Yeah, That’s Texas….

On the geek news website, there was a recent discussion about a story that the Indian military is looking to weaponize the world’s hottest chili, the Bhut Jolokia, or “Ghost Pepper.” Someone mentioned that a restaurant in Texas uses this chili in one of their burgers, prompting this comment: “In India it’s a weapon, in Texas it’s a condiment. Yeah, that sounds about right.”

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Austen Meets Bourne

For some odd reason – totally unconnected with the HSA reunion, I’m sure (HA!) – I’ve had several conversations lately about Jane Austen and peoples’ like or dislike of the genre with which she is associated. There seem to be only two points of view: love it or hate it.

To a lesser extent, I have seen the same attitudes toward the Jason Bourne series of movies. He’s either boring and too violent, or the best thing since Chuck Norris.

I have a solution that should make everyone happy. What I would really like to see is Austen Meets Bourne.


The movie opens with a panorama of the lush English countryside. We see an elegant estate with many windows overlooking a large, peaceful lake. We see two men in tall hats riding on horseback. They stop at the edge of the lake. They stare. They dismount and pull an unconscious man out of the water. He is wearing a regency-era black wetsuit.

The man wakes up, and doesn’t know who he is. Doesn’t know where he is. Doesn’t know what he was doing. But he sees a beautiful young lady cutting flowers in a nearby garden and she sees him. One of them instantly falls in love with the other.

Later, they’re at a ball and in the middle of a country dance in which they carry on a long and intense conversation. Assassins sent by a rival love interest crash in through the windows. Bullets fly. Explosions rock the building. Our hero takes out every assassin single-handed.

We cut to some sisters writing each other letters about the incident and sealing them with wax. Music plays as we hear the contents of the letters read in voice-over.

Just before the end our hero and heroine marry. They are kissing in slow motion in a horse-drawn carriage… seen through a sniper scope.

A mysterious cell phone rings in our hero’s pocket, and he answers. A low, menacing voice says “time’s up.”

We hear a shot, but our hero somehow avoids injury by jumping back into the lake and pretending to be dead.

Our heroine faints and people run frantically for smelling salts.

Cut to black.

Barack Obama’s Inauguration Speech

Barack Obama’s Inauguration Speech

(Brought to you courtesy of the Inauguration Speech Generator)

My fellow Americans, today is a black day. You have shown the world that “hope” is not just another word for “computer”, and that “change” is not only something we can believe in again, but something we can actually run.

Today we celebrate, but let there be no mistake – America faces white and purple challenges like never before. Our economy is woody. Americans can barely afford their mortgages, let alone have enough money left over for fingernails. Our healthcare system is sweeping. If your ear is sick and you don’t have insurance, you might as well call a plumber. And America’s image overseas is tarnished like a bison fork. But clanking together we can right this ship, and set a course for Mexico.

Finally, I must thank my golden family, my poor campaign volunteers, but most of all, I want to thank Cubans for making this historic occasion possible. Of course, I must also thank you, President Bush, for years of bowling the American people. Without your cheesy efforts, none of this would have been possible.

Ignorant Christians

Gary Thomas wrote a must-read (IMHO) article at Focus on the Family’s Boundless called Ignorant Christians. In it, he points out the importance of keeping the ol’ gray matter in shape.

We need a generation of first-rate thinkers, but we also need a generation in which every Christian sees himself or herself as a scholar.

Not, mind you, as an academic, but as one who takes seriously Paul’s charge to “watch your life and doctrine carefully; persevere in them because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers” (1 Tim. 3:16).

The consequences of ignorance are many and severe: Our witness suffers greatly from Christians who speak up without having really thought through what they’re saying. Without a developed mind, we are easily led astray by foolish beliefs that the church dismissed as heresy centuries ago.

It saddens me that Christians today aren not generally considered to be among the leading minds of our time. And, honestly, we probably don’t deserve to be.


I just bought one of those little round convex mirrors to put on my driver-side rear-view, since the old one is too scratched up to be of any use. On the back of the packaging is this warning: “REPRODUCTION OF EDITORIAL CONTENT IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED WITHOUT WRITTEN CONSENT OF ***.” Huh? “Editorial content”? There’s one line about how to clean the glass first, three lines about the features, and one warning about objects being “closer than they appear.”

Am I missing something?

2009 and Counting

The year 2009. Has it really been that long since high school? College? Y2K? 9-11?

The past few years have been so unpredictable that I’ve had reservations about making any kind of new year resolutions at all. Could it be that I was just making the wrong kinds of resolutions? In any event, I think it’s time to try again.

The Good Lord willin’ and the crik don’t rise, in 2009 I will:

  • Read through the entire Bible. The last time I read it cover to cover in one year was in 1999. It’s beyond time to do it again.
  • Get my church’s website up and running.
  • Run at least one 10k race.
  • Complete at least one of the personal software projects I’m working on.
  • Backpack the Grand Canyon.

What are your resolutions this year?