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Monday, June 30, 2003

Why I really, really, really don't like dogs

I haven't posted since spring, so most of you don't know that Duane planted a garden. I helped him turn the ground over, but after that, he did most of the work. He planted peppers, jalapenos, corn, watermelon, cucumbers, beans, and tomatoes.

Everything was growing so well, and we were eagerly waiting our first harvest. It looked like the tomatoes were going to be first with some beans and peppers a close second.

A few days ago we came outside and the tomato plants were leaning and were almost flat on the ground. Duane put them back upright, but we were confused as to why they were flat. It hadn't rained. The next day there was a big hole next to the bean plants and our best plant (it was almost five feet tall) was dug up and was lying on the ground next to the garden. We began to suspect our neighbor's dog. Their son told me that their mama dog had jumped the fence (she's on a leash attached to the fence right by the garden) and was digging around.

Last night at about 2:00 in the morning I heard ferocious barking and I looked out the bedroom window. I could see a dark figure in the garden, digging, and could see dirt flying everywhere. I told Duane and he went outside. The stupid dog had dug up all three of our tomato plants, both bean plants that were left, and all of our peppers. As soon as the dog saw Duane she jumped the fence into our back yard, taking a tomato plant with her.

What makes it worse is that our neighbors know their dog is jumping the fence, and they haven't moved her. They also haven't apologized for her demolishing the garden. What do you in situations like this? We're extremely upset at the dog, but she's bored, and I don't blame her for jumping over. I know dogs like to dig. We're even more upset with our neighbors.

Saturday, June 28, 2003

Barb, you might like this!

This is scary.

Check out the "Phat" link at the top of the page.

Friday, June 27, 2003

Origins

Intelligent Design theory is not a "biochemical challenge" to evolution. Rather, it is a biochemical alternative to punctuated equilibrium and self-created matter.

At best it is theism; it is not an acceptable Christian philosophy of science or method of interpretation. At worst it is idolatry and a stark example of worshiping the creation rather than the creator. You can infer design in some aspects in biological organisms, but inference to design is not enough to identify the creator, or even acknowledge Him. It is simply postulating an alternative to "something out of nothing".

I have known a lot of educated scientists who are Christians who have been swept up with ID and find it a comfortable and acceptable alternative. They breathe a sigh of relief; "we were scientific creationists", they say, "Christians who are scientists who believe Genesis does not explain creation clearly enough to prove wrong what we have determined through scientific methodology. We're presuppositionists, but we presuppose that naturalism renders the creation account moot. Genesis can't really be taken literally; we have overruled God and have determined that the earth is billions of years old. He didn't really tell us that the earth is very, very old, but surely that's what Genesis means when it says God created the world in six days and rested on the seventh. But since Christians can't believe in evolution, we had no viable alternative that didn't run parallel to evolution, punctuated equilibrium, and natural selection. But now we do. Whew! God designed some of the universe, though not everything, and spun what was there like a top to give it momentum and let it go. He might reach in to keep it spinning every once in a while, but at least now we don't have to worry about understanding the significance of a six-day creation worldview. That was close!"

I just finished Behe's Darwin's Black Box and was shocked that I ever bought into intelligent design. It is a pernicious worldview that is still a slave to the scientific method and, although it claims to be an alternative, is still very naturalistic at its core. But ID acknowledges metaphysical hypotheses, doesn't it? Well, not really. They're really only one step - linearly, not exponentially - away from naturalism.

Wednesday, June 25, 2003

Most bizarre search ever

2002 Seadoo leftovers

Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Good sport

Here's one of the funniest viola jokes I've read recently.

Entry Exam For The BBC Symphony Orchestra--Viola Players
The pass mark is 10% but be careful--over 45% and you are overqualified.

Who wrote the following:
a) Beethoven's Symphony No. 6
b) Fauré's Requiem
c) Wagner's Ring Cycle
[5 pts.]


Tschaikovsky wrote 6 symphonies including Symphony no. 4. Name the other five.
[5 pts.]

Explain "counterpoint" or write your name on the reverse of the paper.
[10 pts.]

Which of the following would you tuck under you chin?
a) a timpani
b) an organ
c) a 'cello
d) a viola
[1 pt.]

Can you explain "sonata form"? (Answer yes or no.)
[5 pts.]


Which of the following literary works was made the subject of a Verdi opera?
a) First among Equals -- Jeffrey Archer
b) Macbeth -- William Shakespeare
c) Noddy and Big Ears -- Enid Blyton
[5 pts.]

Domenico Scarlatti wrote 555 harpsichord sonatas for which instrument?
[5 pts.]

Arrange the following movements in order of speed, starting with the slowest first.
a) Quickly
b) Slowly
c) Very Quickly
d) At a Moderate Pace
[4 pts.]

Where would you normally expect to find the conductor during a performance?
[5 pts.]

Which of the following wrote incidental music to A Midsummer Night's Dream?
a) Des O'Connor
b) Mickey Mouse
c) Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy
d) Terry Wogan
[5 pts.]

Which of the following is the odd one out?
a) Sir Colin Davis
b) Andrew Davis
c) Sir Peter Maxwell Davies
d) Desmond Lynham
[5 pts.]

Arrange the following words into the name of a well known Puccini opera.
Bohème, La
[5 pts.]

Within five minutes, how long is Chopin's Minute Waltz?
[5 pts.]

From which of the following countries did Richard Strauss come?
a) Venezuela
b) Sri Lanka
c) Germany
d) Japan
[5 pts.]

For what town were Haydn's "Paris" Symphonies written?
[5 pts.]

Which is the odd one out?
a) Fantasy Overture Romeo and Juliet -- Tchaikovsky
b) Romeo and Juliet -- Berlioz
c) Romeo and Juliet Ballet -- Prokofiev
d) Ten Green Bottles -- anon.
[5 pts.]

From which song do the following lines come?
"God save our gracious Queen, Long live our noble Queen."
[5 pts.]

Spell the following musical terms.
allegro
rallentando
crotchet
pizzicato
intermezzo
[5 pts.]

Tosca is a character found in which Puccini opera?
[5 pts.]

Arrange the following letters to form the abbreviation for a well known British broadcasting corporation.
C, B, B.
[5 pts.]

Sunday, June 22, 2003

60 Things You Might Not Know (or want to know!) About Me
(lifted from Christin and Micah)

1. I am the youngest of 2 children.
2. We're both adopted.
3. We're not "blood" sisters, though I can't think of another sister in the world I'd rather have.

4. I absolutely hate the Beatles' music.

5. I studied piano for four years and quit in 8th grade.
6. I wish I hadn't quit.

7. I taught myself to play the viola.
8. I wish I had taken private lessons from the beginning.

9. I rowed crew in high school and college.
10. I was good enough at it to get a scholarship offer and to get recruited by Navy.
11. I was skinny back then.
12. I'm not anymore.

13. When I was young I used to think the sound of my heartbeat in the pillow at night was dinosaurs coming up the stairs from the basement to eat me.
14. We had 13 stairs. Once I counted to 25, I generally started to relax.

15. I had a fear that all airplanes flying overhead were going to drop atomic bombs.

16. I was never disciplined in school.
17. I never received detention.
18. I never had a "note" go home to my parents.
19. I missed straight-A's my junior year by 1% - I got an 89% in French. My teacher refused to give me extra credit opportunities to make up the percentage point. I'm still bitter about that.

20. In 7th grade English I did an oral report on humpback whales. My teacher gave me a B+ because the audio accompanying the report was too loud. It landed me with a B for the semester instead of an A. I'm still bitter about that.

21. I played in the "jazz band" in 8th grade. We had two guitars, a drummer, a saxophone, and me on the keyboard. I had to be at school at dawn to rehearse.

22. I accompanied my high school drama club's production of Dracula: The Musical in high school (on the piano). I'm not proud of it.

23. I never turned in my portfolio for my college Latin (Virgil) class. I wrote 70 pages but failed to complete one three-page book review. Never received credit for the class.

24. I'm good at "half-assing" things.

25. If you want something faked well, I'm your man. Or woman. Whatever.

26. I've worked at a children's boutique and a BBQ joint (high school), a laminate production plant (college), TUMS (post-college), a medical school (post-college), and a financial advising firm (post-college).

27. I absolutely love to cook.
28. I love to eat what I cook. And everything anyone else cooks, too.
29. Which is why I'm not skinny anymore.

30. I cry like a baby absolutely every time I watch For Love of the Game.
31. I've seen it at least 15 times.

32. I played a concert (in high school) with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra at the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall.
33. I wouldn't let my mom come see me because I didn't think parents were supposed to come.
34. Now I regret she didn't come.

35. I was an extra in Patriot Games.
36. I rubbed elbows with Harrison Ford.

37. I have an extreme fear of performing anything in front of people, but
38. I love to teach.

39. My dad was in the Coast Guard during the Korean War and barnstormed for extra money in college.

40. My mom is in her mid-60's and still teaches 3-4 aerobic dancing classes a week, plus she goes to Tae Bo classes for fun.
41. Which is why she's skinny.
42. I haven't exercised since I was in the Navy.

43. I've only been in the hospital once in my life (childbirth excluded), for asthma.

44. I have donated blood (countless times) and platelets (several times).
45. I have a really soft spot for St. Jude's.

46. I really, really, really want to color my hair red.

47. I would love to learn how to play the clarinet.

48. I love Barry Manilow's music.

49. I was a varsity cheerleader in high school (and many years leading up to high school).
50. I quit cheerleading to do track - shotput and discus.
51. I quit track to row crew.

52. I still have my high school letter jacket.
53. I have only worn it once since high school, in 1994 when I had to run to the University and I had no heat in my car and I couldn't find any other coat.

54. I do not have a creative bone in my body.

55. I shot 1 point shy of expert on the M-16 in the Navy.
56. I shot expert from prone position and fell asleep in that position during practice - several times.
57. I was a spaz with the .45 until my instructor adjusted the sight.
58. After the adjustment, I fired expert. But it was too late and my overall score was marksman. Barely.

59. My college roommate was a synchronized swimming coach from Bozeman, Montana.
60. Her sister was a three-time member of the Olympic Rifle Team.

Saturday, June 21, 2003

Half-joking

I asked Duane if we could possibly travel to Minneapolis for a vacation next summer.

Minneapolis, you say. What could be there?

Is it...the Mall of America.?

No.

Is it...a baseball game?

Well, no, but that's a good idea.

Is it...the funny accents?

No.

Is it...that we are closet baptists and really want to see Piper?

No.

It's the 32nd International Viola Congress. Yeah. Guaranteed to make your socks go up and down. Really fast.

If you've never read the jokes, or heard of Primrose or Tertis, then you're missing out. But don't tell me any jokes. I've heard them all. And most of them are funny.

Update

The summer is flying by. Along with swearing off blogging (and I was successful for two months!) I canceled all of my commitments for the summer, thinking that would open up all sorts of time to be free. Wow. Clueless.

I have classes to prepare for at the end of August. Two difficult classes (math and science), two moderately difficult classes (beginning and intermediate 2nd year Latin - but with a new book), and perhaps two more math and science classes. Along with the classes I've been offered the chance to teach violin/viola at a private music studio, and I've been asked to tutor a young man who is having difficulty with math. My next-door neighbors want me to take on their two children for piano lessons, and I'm also playing in the Symphony again next season.

The calm before the storm? Hardly.

I have been fiercely trying to get as many lesson plans as I can finished before the school year starts. I thought the summer would be restful, but July is like a hurricane descending. 10-hour trip to St. Louis next weekend, leave on Fri. come back on Monday. I go to see my parents and some high school buddies the first week of July. When I come back I have four days to prepare for my sister-in-law and her three children to come and stay with us for a week. (Duane has to drive to Dallas to pick them up.) That weekend, we have friends we've never met (long story) coming down from Arkansas to meet us, hang out, and come to church on Sunday morning. They leave Sunday, then Monday starts VBS. I'll take Carrie's two older girls with me and Bailey to VBS, where I'm teaching/helping/distributing cookies. Who knows.

Then it's August, and the school year starts.
One of my favorites

Whate’er my God ordains is right:
His holy will abideth;
I will be still whate’er He doth;
And follow where He guideth;
He is my God; though dark my road,
He holds me that I shall not fall:
Wherefore to Him I leave it all.

Whate’er my God ordains is right:
He never will deceive me;
He leads me by the proper path:
I know He will not leave me.
I take, content, what He hath sent;
His hand can turn my griefs away,
And patiently I wait His day.

Whate’er my God ordains is right:
He is my Friend and Father;
He suffers naught to do me harm,
Though many storms may gather,
Now I may know both joy and woe,
Some day I shall see clearly
That He hath loved me dearly.

Whate’er my God ordains is right:
Though now this cup, in drinking,
May bitter seem to my faint heart,
I take it, all unshrinking.
My God is true; each morn anew
Sweet comfort yet shall fill my heart,
And pain and sorrow shall depart.

Whate’er my God ordains is right:
Here shall my stand be taken;
Though sorrow, need, or death be mine,
Yet I am not forsaken.
My Father’s care is round me there;
He holds me that I shall not fall:
And so to Him I leave it all.

Why not come back with a bang?

Here's an ABH for ya'.

A few more marchings weary, then we’ll gather home!
A few more storm clouds dreary, then we’ll gather home!
A few more days the cross to bear,
And then with Christ a crown to wear;
A few more marchings weary, then we’ll gather home!

O’er time’s rapid river, soon we’ll rest forever;
No more marchings weary when we gather home!

A few more nights of weeping, then we’ll gather home!
A few more watches keeping, then we’ll gather home!
A few more vict’ries over sin,
A few more sheaves to gather in,
A few more marchings weary, then we’ll gather home!

A few more sweet links broken, then we’ll gather home!
A few more kind words spoken, then we’ll gather home!
A few more partings on the strand,
And then away to Canaan’s land:
A few more marchings weary, then we’ll gather home!

It's times like these that I am very grateful my computer doesn't have a sound card.

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