Playful, Pius or Remembered Stuff

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Monday, May 23, 2011

bird nursery

Up in the corner of our porch is this little nursery. We would like to have documented it further, but we are going out of town for three weeks, and the little ones may have flown the coup by that time.

We are not authentic birdwatchers, and consequently we have no idea what is the Latin title of the varieties we have seen at our feeder, and now see right on our porch. But we do care enough to mount a bird feeder, and in the front yard, a hummingbird feeder. Yes, we CAN tell them apart from the others.

We think the birds are cute, and we enjoy watching them, but neither Barbara or I seem to be committed to the necessary book research, and we don't speak Latin.

So here is what we caught with the camera. Maybe an ornithological type person would like to tell me if this is a finch a wren or what.

We have enjoyed our bird feeder, and the crowd of feathered friends that chirp and flutter around it like a flash mob.  We look for wild birdseed on sale, but even that gets expensive in the long run.  The feeder sports 6 holes, each with a perch, and then a wider circle at the bottom to catch the spill.  It doesn't.  When I fill it and retreat my distance, the bolder ones cautiously perch and begin to chow down.  Then others come and begin the game, chasing one another away to the fence while they nibble a little.  Whoever first said, "She eats like a bird." cannot have meant it as a compliment.  Some varieties eat half their body weight in one day.  (Okay, that statistic maybe bogus, but I think I read something similar to that.)

From the seeds that spill, some germinate amid the rocks below.  Last year I let them mature to see what they were.  But grain bearing weeds just cluttered the landscape.  This year I already tore out a crop.  The weird thing is that the snails seem to like this stuff.  Is that possible?  Anyway I have had my way with those snails.  I wish some varieties of birds would eat them.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Christ is coming

It is certainly tragic that Harold Camping is making Bible believing Christians a laughing stock before our increasingly cynical culture. My son called me today to say, "Hey, I guess I'll be seeing you tomorrow." Of course I got a good laugh out of it, but in more sober thought I realized how I should be more upset than I seem to be.  I think it would be wonderful if Jesus did come tomorrow, because I belong to Him and He belongs to me.  That always makes tomorrow a good day.  If He returns, then it would be the best day ever.

Then I was reminded by an article in World Magazine just how hard it is going to be for those who have spent themselves and their substance because they followed Mr. Camping's directions.  If they are real believers in Jesus, they will recover (and we church going believers ought to hold out a hand to them).  If they only have a temporary faith, then a whole new host of cynical folks will be hurt beyond repair.

Then it occurred to me that we have been thinking about the return of Christ a lot more than we usually do, just because of Harold Camping's crusade of publicity.  For me, personally, that has been a blessing! Yes it has.  I found out in the past few days just how pleasant it is to think about Jesus coming again.  I was just wondering how He can deal with all the people of the world in a personal, one-on-one manner, as the Bible seems to teach.  From there I said, of course He is God, and God can do this without a problem.  We will not be waiting in an enormous line for our turn.  The experience will no doubt be one-on-one, personal, with every person who has ever lived at the same instant.  It simply has to be like that, if you think about it.  And that is what I have been doing lately--thinking about it.  I'll be able to look into His face and thank Him for loving me, and giving His life for me, and it will be intimate and personal, but millions of others will be having the same experience at the same moment it time.  Time!!  Did I say "time"?  You see how difficult it is to think about these things.  Time will be no more.  I am actually getting a bit excited and even wishing Camping were right.

Yes, for me personally, Camping's heresy has been a blessing!  It's always a blessing to think about Jesus, and His coming again.

Let's remember to pray for, and reach out to those who have been bitterly disappointed.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

It IS Spring!

Some cool weather has crept up on us today--and even some drizzle.  But it is, nevertheless, definitely spring.  I read in a gardening book a long time ago that in cool weather tomatoes sulk.  Well they may be in sulk mode today, but they have already experienced several warm days of spring, and are showing the results.  I planted two tomato plants in the "fertile ring" in which the zucchini overwhelmed me last year.  It is a raised, circular planter in the middle of my cement patio.  And the ideal soil that last year gave life to these prolific gourds, now seems dedicated to supplying a plethora of tomatoes this year.  All I added to the soil was a heap of steer manure, and the plants seem to be very grateful for that.

We replaced the watermelon with another watermelon.  Only this year we put out the killer snail bait early enough to support this now spreading vine.  Yum, yum. 

Another six pack of zucchini got planted.  That quantity seems to be the smallest available at our nursery.  This time I planted them in various places in both the back and front yards.  At least three of them are sporting yellow blossoms (and they tell me the blossoms are delicious when dipped and deep fried).

My lettuce didn't do that well.  I show a photo of the head of leaf lettuce that looks great, and tasted fine as an accoutrement on my last salmon patty sandwich.  But when I planted early seeds, we made the tactical error of planting just before we left for a few days.  Those days proved to be rather hot, and the soil baked the seeds to death.  Then the heads I purchased got a little scorched, one went to seed, and I gleaned a little from what was left.

The long and the short of it is that I see salad growing before my eyes.  Oh yes, there are the three peppers.  One is a giant bell pepper.  One is an Anaheim chili and the third is a jalapeno.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Obama got it right!

I want to say something positive about the President of the United States.  He had the courage to give a "go ahead" to the Navy Seals, when they took out bin Laden.  Can you imagine the amount of grief he would have taken had our intelligence been wrong again, and bin Laden was not where we thought?  This was a work of military precision and years of intelligence focusing.  It was a success of the special forces we have out there protecting our country.  Thanks to all of them!

But when vengeful gore seekers demanded the publication of photos of the bloody body of Osama bin Laden, our President gave a firm, "No!"  I think he got that just right.  As long as we know we got the right guy, we don't need to prove anything to anybody else.  The President exercised his sensible judgment and presidential statesmanship when he said, "That's not who we are."  "We don't need to spike the football."  I say he got that right.

Now I hear the voice of moral confusion raising it's silly objection, "Was this murder?"  It's the same moral confusion that cannot distinguish between the heinous crime of murder and the justice of capital punishment inflicted by the state.  The Bible makes a clear distinction between personal vengeance and the vengeance of justice ministered by the state on behalf of God Himself.  When this distinction is obliterated only moral confusion is gendered.  Romans 12:19 plainly says, "Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, 'Vengeance is mine.  I will repay, says the Lord.'"

Then in chapter 13:4 we read, "[civil authority] is a minister of God to you for good.  But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath upon the one who practices evil."  The context explains that there are no authorities but those which God has ordained.  And when it is time for justice to bring punishment--even death (sword)--God expects the civil authority (the state) to be His servant in accomplishing this. 

This is why cops who shoot the bad guys are not guilty of murder.  If investigation proves that it was a "good" shoot, it was the wrath of God coming down on the one who practices evil.  And it is the same principal that applies to agents for the US government (e.g. Navy Seals) when they shot Osama bin Laden.

I salute the Seals and the President because I believe they acted in obedience to the will of God.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Baseball lore

Pie Traynor was known as a very mild mannered, good playing third baseman for the old Pirates about a generation or so ago.  He was clean of reputation until so offended by a decision of the famous Beans Rearden, that he spoke one note of severe criticism and was thrown out of the game.  When Rearden called "safe" a sliding runner whom Traynor had clearly tagged out, he screwed up his rebel spirit to say, "Mr. Rearden, I'm getting sick and tired of your stupid decisions!"

When the famous Dizzy Dean was pitching for the St. Louis Cardinals, he was seriously beaned by a line drive back to the mound.  The game was stopped as his team mates gathered around the sprawled pitcher.  His brother, Paul Dean, asked, "Diz, are you hurt?"  Staggering to his feet, Dizzy said, "Shucks no, Paul.  It were just a glansin' blow."

In 1935 (I recently read, and no, I wasn't there) at Crosley Field in Cincinnati, they had an overflow crowd at the stadium, and fans spilled onto the field.  They say it was rather chaotic.  A local burlesque queen by the name of Kitty Burke, ran up to the batter, Babe Herman, grabbed the bat out of his hand and dared the pitcher, Paul Dean, to pitch to her.  He did.  She hit his underhand toss back to the mound and was thrown out at first base.

Some upstart catcher kept muttering complaints about the way Beans Rearden was calling balls and strikes.  Finally Rearden tore off his mask and barked at the catcher, "Shut up and play the game or I'll bite your head off."  The provoked and eloquent retort was, "If you do, you'll have more brains in your stomach than you do in your head."

When you mention "the catch" to a real baseball fan, everyone knows you are talking about the famous catch made by the "say hey kid", Willy Mays on September 29, 1954.  The New York Giants were playing the Cleveland Indians in the first game of the World Series.  Sal Maglie was lifted in the 8th inning with two men aboard and heavy hitting Vic Wertz coming to bat.  Manager, Leo Durocher, brought in Don Liddle, a lefty, to face him.  When the count drew to 2 and 2, Wertz hit a very long and high drive to deep right center field.  Anywhere but the cavernous Polo Grounds it would have been a home run.  But Willie Mays turned and sprinted straight back to the warning track to catch the ball over his shoulders, whirl and throw it back to the infield to prevent the stunned base runner from advancing more than one base.  Durocher then brought in another relief pitcher, Marv Grissom.  As Don Liddle handed Marv the game ball, he said, "Well, I got my man."