’20 A To Z Challenge – X

 

How do you catch a bear??  You dig a hole in the forest, and build a big fire in it until it burns down to ashes.  Then you place frozen peas around the rim of the hole.  When the bear stops for a pea, you kick him in the ash-hole.

All of which is easier than catching a theme for the letter X.  I recently published a post with references to Utopia, Brigadoon, and Shangri-La.  Since I did not include it there, and with inspiration (and words that begin with X) so thin on the ground, I’ve decided to feature the word

XANADU

a place of great beauty, luxury, and contentment.

Xanadu – the movie – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xanadu_(film)

Xanadu – the poem (part of it) – By Samuel Taylor Coleridge – actually titled

Kubla Khan

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan

A stately pleasure-dome decree:

Where Alph, the sacred river, ran

Through caverns measureless to man

   Down to a sunless sea.

So twice five miles of fertile ground

With walls and towers were girdled round;

And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,

Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree;

And here were forests ancient as the hills,

Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.

The Xanadu in the poem was inspired by Shang-tu, the summer residence of Mongolian general and statesman Kublai Khan (grandson of Genghis Khan). You might also recognize “Xanadu” as the name of the fantastic estate in Orson Welles’s 1941 film Citizen Kane.  Coleridge’s fantastic description of an exotic utopia fired public imagination and ultimately contributed to the transition of “Xanadu” from a name to a generalized term for an idyllic place.

There’s everything that you never wanted to know about Xanadu.  After (almost) completing this post, I decided on a likely suspect for next year.  After that, you’re on your own.  The alphabet will only contain 25 letters.  Any suggestions or requests will be gratefully accepted, unless you want an exciting and extended treatise on the development and use of the cedilla.   😳

True Colors

Ladies and gentlemen, this is where a Christian/Atheist religious discussion goes, when it doesn’t go where an evangelical apologist wants it to go.  Sooner or later they show their true colors.

I love when you write about religion and faith because this is my favorite topic. However, it seems like you only want to engage in discussing the worst ideas that Christians present, rather than actually dealing with the difficult questions. Of course it is true that as an atheist you are capable of making moral choices. And I accept that if evolution were true, you would be capable of caring for others through an evolved empathy. However, what if my evolutionary pathway didn’t cause me to have empathy? What if my evolution led me toward conquering others by any means necessary in order to survive? What if I sincerely believed that killing you and stealing your stuff was a moral choice? If you are a cosmic accident, and I am a cosmic accident, then you have no standing on which to claim that anything at all is good or bad. There is no such thing as good or bad. It doesn’t matter if 7 billion cosmic accidents decide that killing is bad. You could put me in jail and stop me from stealing and killing, but you couldn’t actually call my actions bad. There is no one on earth who could say anything is good or bad if we are all cosmic accidents. You put up a meme that says, “Not wanting to know the truth is what makes you stupid.” I completely agree. So, where do you stand on that? If you really want the truth, then why do you tear down stupid arguments and avoid answering real questions? Thanks!

I tear down stupid arguments, because they are stupid arguments. Like assembling car models or collecting coins, it is a retirement hobby that fills some spare time, and gives me a pleasant feeling of accomplishment. What are some real questions that you feel need answering, and why do you think that it is incumbent upon me to answer them??

I accept a wide array of ‘facts’ and opinions which I believe to be the truth, because I have been presented with what I feel is, sufficiently convincing evidence. It is likely that some of my beliefs are false, because of incomplete or incorrect information, but if someone presents me with new evidence, I am open to changing my mind. What ’Truth’ do you think exists, that I am not accepting? I do not discover truth by telling others what I believe, but by asking my own questions, and listening to others.

You are correct that there is no good or bad, and you are also wrong! Good and bad do not exist as concrete, clearly-defined, unchanging, imposed-from-without, terms. They exist because we – individuals and societies – say they do. Good is what increases my well-being. Bad is what decreases my well-being – and my family’s – and my city’s – and my country’s – and Humanity’s. They are amorphous, constantly changing, constantly being negotiated. They require continuous thought and consideration. We need to be responsible for our own actions and attitudes.

I did not mean to say that you have an obligation to answer any argument. I only wondered why you seem to avoid addressing good Christian arguments, and only pick on the stupid ones. You asked which truth I think exists…and I think you know the answer. God exists and there is plenty of evidence for his existence. I have offered to take the time to show you the evidence, but you did not respond to my offer. I’m glad that you at least admit in this comment that good and bad do not exist in a concrete way, since that is consistent with your worldview. But you said that good is what increases your well-being and that of your family, city, etc. You also said that good and bad exist because we say they do. What if my society decides that what is best is to kill millions of Jews, because our race is superior? Does that make it good? And what if I personally decide that what is best for me and my family is to kill you and take your stuff? What if my city decides that what is best for our city is to take over your city and make you our slaves? Is there anyone in the world who could say that would be morally wrong? In your world, no there isn’t. Would you disagree? And on what basis would you disagree?

I pick on stupid Christian arguments, and ignore good ones for a couple of reasons. One is that I don’t seem to ever find good arguments, just ‘less dumb’ ones. Another is that this blog-site is an outlet for my creativity. It is for education, entertainment and amusement. It is not a Theological debate site, and I am not a theologian or trained debater. I am, however, capable of holding foolish claims and statements up to ridicule. I do it with social, political, legal, logic, and linguistics. If you don’t want to see your ox gored, don’t watch. It’s like news services; they don’t run ’Dog bites man’ stories. They run MAN BITES DOG. So do I.

I have not accepted your kind offer for various reasons also. First, better men than you have tried and failed. Second, you don’t seem to be offering anything new, only a protracted brainwashing program that will eat my time, and benefit only you. It will not lead me to the truth, only an attempt to convince me that what is offered is true. Lastly, if the Christian God exists, the Bible says that He hardens the hearts of many people, making them unable to see the truth. All your hopes and prayers are ineffective against His plan.

Your questions indicate that you still view Good and Bad as concrete entities. What is good for you (and yours) is bad for me. We each need to consider what will produce The Greatest Good For The Greatest Number. The victors get to write the history. That’s what the Holy Inquisition was all about. If only Nazi Germans had survived, strong and prosperous, then killing Jews would have been good – for them – but each city and nation must live with, and get along with, the rest of mankind. I don’t steal, because I do not want anyone to steal from me – or kill, or rape, or enslave, or invade, or destroy – Do Unto Others. What would the world be like if everyone did that??

At the end, you slide into ‘morally wrong.’ I would disagree, because this is an entirely different concept from ‘Good and Bad.’ If God does not exist, then “Morals” do not exist, only the evolutionary empathetic urge to assist and improve the lot of individuals, and Humanity in general, so that our lot will also be improved. Be good, for goodness’ sake.

You said that “we each need to consider what will produce the greatest good for the greatest number.” But if I follow your worldview to its logical conclusion, then it doesn’t matter whether I shoot up a school full of children or bake them all cookies. Those are moral equivalents, because we live a meaningless existence. You atheists want to play pretend that things actually matter, while holding a worldview where things don’t matter. And then you cry when someone shoot (sic) schoolkids (sic). Why be upset just because a cosmic accident decided not to play your game of pretend? Your worldview is completely inconsistent with your actions. I suspect that you know God is there, you just don’t want him to tell you to stop looking at porn. Enjoy it while you can, Archon! Thanks for your response. I won’t bother you anymore since you are not interested in spending your time this way.   (My emphasis)

Five minutes after I got the above comment, I got a frantic email – not apologizing, (s)he still stood by all the claims, but was worried about how it would make this ‘loving Christian’ appear to the public.

I will totally understand if you delete it

No, no! Just the opposite. Not that anyone will come back to this post and read it, but I am leaving it up as a cautionary tale, and an object lesson.  Congratulations!  You get to be the star of one of Archon’s ‘Christians vs. Atheists’ posts.  Your date with infamy will be Feb. 24/21 if morbid curiosity drives you to investigate.

Two weeks later: I guess it is just going to be another post where you congratulate yourself for being such a good and intelligent person.

More interested in winning than engaging in a discussion, when it became obvious that they were not going to be taken seriously and agreed with, it quickly devolved into insults, personal attacks, strawman arguments, claims to be able to read my mind and insist on what I ‘knew’, calling me a liar, and accusations of my immoral behavior.  For those who have waded through this saga, what are your thoughts??  😕

Just Say No To – Jail!

Poor Chastity Eugina Hopson was so worried about her possibly-tainted meth that she actually contacted the police about it. Officers at the Granite Shoals Police Department in Texas were trying to catch the county’s dumbest drug users when they posted a fake Facebook story about Ebola-tainted meth. The post said, “If you have recently purchased meth or heroin in Central Texas, please take it to the local police or sheriff department so it can be screened with a special device. DO NOT use it until it has been properly checked for possible Ebola contamination!””

Hopson, 29, saw the post and was understandably afraid that her meth could be… wait for it… dangerous. She responded to the department’s post on Facebook, and they gladly took her sample in for “testing.” Hobson was charged with possession of less than one gram of a controlled substance.

***

18 year old Ruben Zarate wanted to rob a muffler shop in Chicago and demanded money. Unfortunately it was mostly in the safe. Zarate decided that he would try again later. To save himself some time, he left his cell phone number with the store employees. That way, they could call him when the manager returned.

***

Police had an easy time tracking down Floridian Mack Yearwood, wanted in connection with an assault that took place over Labor Day weekend 2016, after he used his own wanted poster as his Facebook profile picture. One of Yearwood’s friends commented “Nice mug shot,” to which Yearwood responded “Thanks buddy!” Another friend expressed more concern: “Holy sh*t ding-dong, are you planning on getting this sh*t squared away? I’d like to see you again at least before they find you.”

Cops in Stuart, FL, north of Miami, used Yearwood’s FB to track him to his brother’s house, where he was arrested. According to the arresting officers, a bag of weed tumbled out of Yearwood’s pocket as he was cuffed, and he politely asked the cops not to charge him for possession.

Writing on the Stuart Police Department Facebook page, Cpl. Brian Bossio noted “Facebook is a great way to communicate and connect with old friends and family… If you are wanted by the police, it’s probably not a good idea to use the ‘Wanted of the Week’ poster of yourself as your profile pic.”

***

Demetrius Robinson, 28, wanted to rob a Golden Pantry store late one night, but he needed to pass the time as naturally as possible until he and the clerk were alone, so he decided to fill out a job application. Not a bad idea, except he left his real name on the application, along with his uncle’s phone number. After he robbed the store, it didn’t take long for police to track him down. He didn’t get the job.

***

Eoise Reaves stretched the limits of “to serve and protect” when she approached a policeman and asked him to help her get her money back for the poor-quality crack cocaine she’d just purchased. She showed him the crack, which she had tucked away in her mouth, and he placed her under arrest. How does one know when crack has gone bad?

***

Amateur criminal and professional dumb-dumb Christopher Kron made every mistake possible in robbery history when he tried to rob a restaurant after it closed one night. Not only did he trip the silent alarm, but when ADT called the restaurant after being notified, Kron answered the phone and gave them his REAL NAME. He returned to the restaurant the next day and was recognized by an employee who had seen the surveillance video. Kron was arrested on the spot.

***

A man in Stockholm, Sweden was a bit upset when the 13-year-old girl he’d been courting didn’t show up for an arranged sex meeting. When the teen stood him up, the man found her home phone number and called her father to demand a refund. Obviously things didn’t end well.

***

Two men arrested in Houston were accused of stealing an iPad and using it to take selfies that they unknowingly uploaded to the owner’s iCloud account. The men appeared in the photos displaying money they were also accused of taking from the victim.

’20 A to Z Challenge – W

 

 

 

I recently told a reader that I spoke/wrote all my Scottish Gaelic in English.  I told another that I did the same thing with the Spanish that he contributed.  It seems so simple, yet it’s harder than it seems, because there is no English language.  Every word in the language came from somewhere – everywhere – else.

The English language imports words from other languages wholesale, and then claims them as its own.  Some words are ‘naturalized’ – accepted and commonly used – more, and more quickly than others.  Then there are words that only pretentious wordnuts (with the accent on Nuts) like me, are even aware of, much less occasionally use.  This brings us to today’s (and yesteryear’s) social-commentary word

WEISSNICHTWO

wise-nicked-woe

Its meaning in the original German was, not clear where.  It came into English with the more substantial, definitive meaning of know not where.  In almost two-hundred years, I’m sure it must have been used a few times.  It was dragged, kicking and screaming, into English in 1833 by the British writer, Thomas Carlyle.  It was made famous – or infamous – by its use in his Latin-titled book, Sartor Resartus.

Even back then, he used it to describe a First-World problem.  World cities, especially those in Europe, were losing their visual culture, and were becoming homogeneous, indistinguishable, one from another.  There were Jews in Belgrade, Arabs in Marseilles, and Irish in London.  If you roused from a drunken stupor and wandered into the streets, you wouldn’t know where you were, until you fell into the Thames, or the Seine, or the Moscow River – and with the state, or lack of, municipal sanitation, even not then.

He used the word Weissnichtwo as the name of an indefinite, unknown, or imaginary place, like Utopia, Brigadoon, or Shangri-La.  The problem situation has only got worse over the years.  With the ubiquitous McDonalds, Domino’s, and Starbucks, and rampant, often war-driven immigration, a traveler might be anywhere.

I imagine that you’re just over there, shaking your head at this word.  You could be much closer to my next post soon, if you pop back in a couple of days.  I promise not to use any of those big, foreign words.  Might even offer up a few chuckles.   😀

Piss-offily

If you are looking for a good chuckle, here are a few of the funniest quotes ever.

Crossing the road

“I have noticed that even people who claim everything is predetermined and that we can do nothing to change it, look before they cross the road.” —Stephen Hawking, physicist

Insurance gods

“The only people who still call hurricanes acts of God are the people who write insurance forms.” —Neil deGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist.

Open-minded

“By all means let’s be open-minded, but not so open-minded that our brains drop out.” —Richard Dawkins, scientist

Narrow-minded

“He was so narrow-minded, he could see through a keyhole with both eyes.” —Molly Ivins, author

Family debate

“I’ve come to learn that the best time to debate family members is when they have food in their mouths.” —Kenneth Cole, fashion designer

Marriage from heaven

“They say marriages are made in Heaven. But so is thunder and lightning.” —Clint Eastwood

Get married

“My advice to you is get married: If you find a good wife you’ll be happy; if not, you’ll become a philosopher.” —Socrates

Slow computer test

“Before you marry a person, you should first make them use a computer with slow Internet service to see who they really are.” —Will Ferrell

Someone you love

“Life in Lubbock, Texas, taught me that sex is the most awful, filthy thing on earth, and you should save it for someone you love.” —Butch Hancock, country musician

Marriage gift

“Instead of getting married again, I’m going to find a woman I don’t like and just give her a house.” —Rod Stewart, rock star

Everything has a consequence

“All the things I like to do are either immoral, illegal, or fattening.” —Alexander Woollcott, actor

Bacon is everything

“When you have bacon in your mouth, it doesn’t matter who’s president.” —Louis CK

Spending foolishly

“Part of [the $10 million] went for gambling, horses, and women. The rest I spent foolishly.” —George Raft, film star

No character

“I was going to sue for defamation of character, but then I realized I have no character.” —Charles Barkley, TV basketball analyst

Smitty’s Loose Change #14

It’s official, folks!  The grand-daughter-in-law had her second fetal ultrasound scan.  The technician noted the clear presence of a sporran.  This means that the first great-grandchild will be a piper.  Names currently being considered include Garion, Gwyllem, and Rowan/ Rohan/Ronan.

All comments will be forwarded as a poll, and your opinion may influence the child’s given name.  Do you wanna get into a lottery about what the final choice will be?  All entries are $1 US/each.  The winner will receive an online photo of a crisp $20 bill, and a note of heartfelt thanx from my retirement fund.

***

If the animals knew that most vegans were Atheists, wouldn’t they prefer to give their lives for the Creator, rather than being exploited by the Godless?
If the hated Atheists are also hated vegans, who eat no meat, just which “Godless” would these sapient animals be exploited into giving their lives for??!

***

Recent psychological study shows Atheists’ IQs slightly higher than average
Well, they’re not really smarter than us.   Atheists just have a kind of autism that makes them look like they’re smarter on the tests.

***

“Jesus Take The Wheel Day”
I’m not sure if it was started by dumb religious people, or Atheists trying to thin the herd.

***

Man buys ‘penis enlarger’. Receives magnifying glass.

***

One reason I’ve never pumped drugs into my veins or put a gun in my mouth is because I’m not addicted to applause. I’m not craving the spotlight. I don’t need the audience to love me. My life is guided by principles, not circumstances.

***

For a while, I worked with a guy named Ugly.  To be honest, he was a French-Canadian who spelled his name Imbo.  While researching other names, I tore his apart.  Spelling drift showed that it started as Imbeau.

In French, beau means handsome, good looking.  The prefix “IM” indicates a negative, like impossible or immature, so, he was not handsome or not good looking – UGLY!  It’s probably a good thing that I didn’t discover this until years after we both retired.

***

The number of local manufacturing jobs is greatly reduced, but there still are some, if you look hard enough.  The son just achieved the triumvirate of working at three of the same plants – though not for the same companies – that I did.

It all started in 1988, when I got him a summer job at my auto-parts plant.  He worked there for almost three months, before returning to high school.  Several years later, he left Community College just in time to find that technological changes and downsizing in the Radio industry had rendered his Broadcast Arts course useless.

He eventually got a job at an injection-molded plastics parts plant.  This was the same building where I had worked as a Purchasing Agent in 1975, when it was a millwrighting/rigging firm.  More recently, COVID 19 got him furloughed from his treasured midnight shift position, when the plant went to day-shift only.

Just when finances began to get a bit tight, his company contacted him and asked if he’d like to work in the warehouse.  Who knew that shipping barbecues to the United States, Sweden, and Israel was an ‘essential industry?’  According to the hen-scratching on the cardboard boxes, the ones going to Israel were Kosher.  Their eventual owners could cook beef or chicken, but not pork ribs.

The building that his company acquired for a warehouse, was the same one where I cut boot and shoe parts for the now-defunct shoe company, before leaving to work at the auto-parts plant.  We have come full circle.

***

Is There a Connection Between Atheism and Antifa?
As far as I can tell, Antifa’s uniting trait is that they are anarcho-communists who oppose nationalism.
We know as a matter of historical fact that communism and atheism have been strongly linked.  Might this also be the case with “anarcho-communism?”

As far as I can tell, this Christian Apologist didn’t exactly claim that they are one and the same.  He just used some impressive-sounding buzz-words, and implied the Hell out of into it, and leaves the gullible to assume that it’s true.

Dead Words

Alas, we barely knew ye.

Language is constantly changing, as new words gain popularity and old ones start to disappear. Often, we don’t really notice when they’re gone, unless they’re specifically describing an object or piece of technology that’s become obsolete. But there are plenty of other words—nouns, adjectives, verbs, and more—that are silly, hilariously specific, or just plain fun to say… and yet we don’t use them anymore! Let’s take a linguistic leap back in time and explore these delightful words that have disappeared from the dictionary.

Snollygoster

Why oh why, would a word with such epic possibilities for widespread mockery fall into oblivion? This term may be related to the German word snallygaster, a reptilian beast that hunts kids and farm animals. A snollygoster is an unscrupulous politician—someone generally corrupt, unethical, and shameless. Such a handy term for contemporary times!

Jargogle

This is one of those terms that kind of performs its own definition. It sounds jarring and gets one a bit agog with curiosity. It means to confuse or bamboozle, and does just that since you’ve probably never heard of this word from the 1690s. Time to pull it back into modern jargon.

Apricity

“April is the cruellest month,” as T.S. Eliot put it in 1922 in The Waste Land. April is still winter weather, but it teases that you’re in spring. The ideal term for this is apricity, or “the warmth of sun in winter.” This term hails from 1623 but hasn’t gotten much modern usage despite its efficient euphony—that is, despite its pleasing sound and awesome reference to April.

Ultracrepidarian

Mark Forsyth searched old dictionaries for his book on obscure, forgotten words, The Horologicon. One of his favourites, and rightly so, is ultracrepidarian. It’s a very extra, or ultra, term for your average know-it-all. It’s the perfect descriptor for the person who has vast opinions on topics about which they know nothing—and comfortably yammers on about them.

Sanguinolency

This bizarre term has no obvious relation to the more upbeat word “sanguine,” which means “optimistic,” but secondarily, “ruddy.” That must be its tie to “sanguinolency” which has the dismal definition, “addiction to bloodshed.” Because this word is so old and obscure, it likely doesn’t refer to bloodshed of the video game variety. Of all the things to be addicted to, bloodshed seems one of the very worst.

Bibesy

This is an adorable, possibly 18th-century word that seems to play in a slang-y way on the word “imbibe.” It describes a seriously enthusiastic interest in drinking. Use it when you want to get bibesy with your bae on friyay! It fits perfectly with contemporary night-life argot.

Slubberdegullion

Here is another beautifully performative term that at its most base refers to one who slobbers. More precisely, however, a slubberdegullion must also be a “dirty fellow,” as well as worthless, careless, negligent, insignificant, and slovenly. Fifteenth-century vocab came at folks hard with the insults! Such a savage burn! Roasted!

Crinkum-crankum

This is basically when you get high key extra with the details. When your outfit or decor makes an over-the-top, elaborate effort to be hyper fancy, it is crinkum-crankum. This mid-17th-century term sounds so lit! Time to get crinkum-crankum back in circulation!

Snowbrowth

Now that the polar vortexes and other wintergeddon weather are in full swing, it’s time to pull this cute, obsolete term out of cold storage. Snowbrowth is simply melted snow. When you think about it, the fresh melt does look somewhat like a broth or a soupy snow stew covering the ground. Winter needs this word!

Snoutfair

It doesn’t even make sense that this word that conjures a pig face actually means “a person with a handsome countenance.” It makes sense that “snoutfair” fell to the wayside, and instead we say “hunk,” “hottie,” “stone cold fox,” “scooby snack,” “sexy beast,” and “cutie patootie.” Those aren’t fantastic, but frankly, “snoutfair,” is worse.

Curglaff

Think of a cold, harsh splash, and the strange merge of laughter and gurgling that comes after. Curglaff, of Scottish origin, is the absolute ideal term to describe “the shock felt when one first plunges into cold water.” In fact, it seems perfect for describing any kind of shock.

Spermologer

This is not a science word and does not refer to biology! It’s the witty term for a “gossip monger.” You can also use it to describe trivia hounds and those filled with random knowledge. A spermologer is a collector of sorts. Society is probably fine if this word continues its descent into obscurity.

Elflock

You know how when the elves tangle up your hair? Back in the 1590s, this hairstyle was called the elflock. Feel free to adapt the term for any of the creatures who matt up your hair. Think of the gnomelock, the yetilock, the dragonlock, the kelpielock, or the wolfmanlock. You get the idea! Remember the term is usually plural, so it requires more than one tangler or stylist.

Spell Check has drawn a bright red line beneath each of these words, saying that they don’t exist in reality…. all except Elflock.  That one, apparently, it recognizes.  Very interesting!

’20 A To Z Challenge – V

How can we miss you, if you won’t go away?

I hope, by the time I publish this, that the gunfire has died down, the fires are out, the smoke has cleared, all the Biden inauguration rioters protesters have been arrested, and Nancy Pelosi’s lectern has been returned – again.

This polar expedition into American politics is brought to you by the words

VAPID

Flavorless, tiresome, prosaic

VACUOUS

Lacking ideas or intelligence, empty, stupid, inane
– and

VAINGLORIOUS

Boastful or vain, ostentatious

I borrowed them from the Kardshians, to give to Donald (Here’s your hat – What’s your hurry) Trump, as a going away present.  Twenty years of Keeping Up With them produced less damage to the American culture than four years with him.  He didn’t even have enough class to attend his own going-away party, but snuck away to Mar-a-Lago, like the phoney Wizard of Oz behind the curtain.  He would not accept the inevitable, and step aside with grace and dignity.  How a man plays the game says a lot about his character, but how he loses says it all.

I wonder who wound him up and set him loose on the unsuspecting public.  Perhaps he is a self-made megalomaniac.  At least when George W. Bush’s lips moved, you could see Dick Cheney’s hand stuck up his ass.

Speaking of an ass…. There’s another word I’d like to pin on this donkey as hee-haw sulks off into the sunset.

VINDICTIVE

He is so full of ego – and other substances – that he really thinks that the entire American population idolizes him.  He truly believes that someone – somehow – stole the election, and the second term, from him.  He has loyalty only to himself.  Anyone of his political confederates who fails to completely and immediately agree with him, gets tossed under the bus.  In fact, he’ll drive the bus.  We couldn’t hear it, inside the White House, but he brought his trademarked phrase – You’re Fired – with him.  He ruined more political careers than compulsory lie-detector tests.

Words beginning with the letter V are not much more common than X, Y, or Z.  I’ve used so many to roast Trump with, that next year, we may have to drop in at The Stag Shop, and purchase a Vibrator.   😉

WOW #67

After doing some navel-gazing recently – and cleaning out the lint – I came upon a word which rhymes with Pedant.

Fussbudget

WHAT IS THE ORIGIN OF FUSSBUDGET?

Fussbudget, “one who is fussy or needlessly faultfinding,” is a transparent compound of the nouns fuss “bustle, commotion” and budget “itemized list of funds or expenses.” The word entered English in the early 20th century; it became associated with the character Lucy Van Pelt in the comic strip Peanuts in the 1960s.

HOW IS FUSSBUDGET USED?

He was a fussbudget. His interest in ideas didn’t match his interest in small, and often silly, facts. Much of the time he saw neither the forest nor the trees but only a bit of the undergrowth.

I thought that I was pretty good at being a fussbudget, but the wife insists that I am a rank amateur – and not only because we just had baked beans.  She holds a Third or Fourth Black Belt in Fussbudgetry.

She has ‘color-coded, properly-filed’ lists of ways to be, and not be, a true fussbudget.  She has CDO – which is a lot like OCD, only the letters are in the correct, alphabetical order.

Well, I’m off to obsess about the word-usage or punctuation in a bunch of other people’s posts, but I’ll be back with a new post in a couple of days.  You can count on that!  I already have a timer set, to remind me.  You try to get your life in sufficient order that you show up to read it.

Why The Case For God Matters

I thought “The Case For God” might be Coors Light, but what do I know?

“The best way to find out the purpose of a widget, is to ask the manufacturer.” So simple and yet so profound.

I have asked the manufacturer, many times, what the purpose of the widget is. I have received no answer from the top. I have received innumerable unbelievable claims from His many and varied sales reps, who stand to make a 10% commission.

Manufacturer: Please read the manual before inquiring. Remember…all claims are unbelievable when you don’t believe them. Most of our sales reps work for free while some do make a 10% “commission” to cover overhead costs…but since you didn’t spend a dime on anything, this is of no concern to you. As the manufacturer, so far you’ve only inquired many times and harassed the sales reps. Problems in many areas cannot be addressed if you refuse to take the necessary steps already directed by the manufacturer. Basically….it’s your fault. When you’re ready to put into action the things already directed by the sales reps….we can move forward with your request. Thank you and have a nice day!

With the best of intentions, you just don’t see the problem.  I have read the manual – carefully, intently, repeatedly, over many years.  I understand the sales reps’ confusion.  Compared to it, Ikea’s is a paragon of clarity.  I have never harassed the reps, although they often harass me.  You, and the reps, would like to believe, and have others believe, that all the claims are identical.

I would love to take the “necessary steps”.  It’s just that it is quickly clear that competing reps’ claims are contradictory, and mutually exclusive.  Even when they agree, the promised quality and delivery of the final product violates observed reality, and arrives, at the exact frequency as blind chance.  The Nigerian Prince can do that well.  How then can I, or anyone, know which claims and conditions are true, that we may follow them??

I know that I am only a potential customer, but I dare to suggest that you cut back the budget of the Promotional Department, stop offering a free, magical prize in every glitzy package, and, instead, have Production grind out solid, reliable product.

I envy your writing skills and ability to analogize so impressively. But I can only point out that our “product” came to die in order to make it possible for all of our customers who choose to accept it to enjoy an (eternal) lifetime warranty. He then left an empty grave behind. If you have a proposed explanation for how that happened that makes sense of more of the evidence for His explanation, then please submit it. Best regards, A Rep.

That’s a debate for another day. Why not solve these problems first?? It might lend credence to any additional claims.  While there ‘should be’ only one basic model, far too many representatives, with or without the knowledge or authorization of Head Office, take it upon themselves to create a whole customized ‘Product Line,’ adding non-standard options, and tighter lease restrictions.  They can’t all be right, but they can all be wrong.

They urge me to take their product on faith.  Faith is the excuse that people give, when they don’t have a good reason to believe.  If they had a good reason, they would give it. If and when all the infighting has ceased, and there is one reputable path to truth, then, and only then, will I consider buying into this.

No, your entire prospect for enjoying our product depends entirely upon how you respond to this specific question. We certainly hope that you will take full advantage of our product but whether or you do, depends upon your response on this question. Best regards.

Did I miss something?? Which specific unspecified question would that be?? Is Jesus Divine? Is Jesus the Son of God? Is Jesus God? Is God one part – or three – or more? And we haven’t even got to the ‘Did He actually  exist? Did He perform miracles? and, Do we have to dab Evian on our foreheads, and stick our left knee out when we go to visit him?’  The only question seems to be whether or not I will accept your specific delusion.
Even the architects of the Tower of Babel put down a solid foundation before they started building toward God. You could at least do the same.