Category Archives: This or That

Atheists to the Rescue (Thank God)

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If Pam and I get raptured, what happens to Jordi and Molly? How can I enjoy eternity knowing that my cats–my KIDS–are trapped in our house with limited food and water?

But God has provided. To the rescue: Eternal Earth-Bound Pets, USA. This service, run entirely by atheists, is committed to caring for left-behind pets. The website says:

You’ve committed your life to Jesus. You know you’re saved. But when the Rapture comes, what’s to become of your loving pets who are left behind? Eternal Earth-Bound Pets takes that burden off your mind.

We are a group of dedicated animal lovers, and atheists. Each Eternal Earth-Bound Pet representative is a confirmed atheist, and as such will still be here on Earth after you’ve received your reward. Our network of animal activists are committed to step in when you step up to Jesus.

We are currently active in 22 states. Our representatives have been screened to ensure that they are atheists, animal lovers, are moral / ethical with no criminal background, have the ability and desire to rescue your pet and the means to retrieve them and ensure their care for your pet’s natural life.

The cost: $110 for the first pet, $15 for each additional pet at the same residence. This is good for ten years. If the rapture doesn’t occur within ten years, they keep your money. And being atheists, they are quite confident of keeping it.

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I Must Be Missing Something

I was on a Christian site, called Women of the Harvest, looking for an article they published by one of our missionaries. In trying to access their articles, I was taken to a page telling me:

Our website is secure for your privacy. To access the
Women of the Harvest resources, you will need to become a registered user.

So let me get this straight. If their website was NOT secure, but open to anyone, I could freely read their content and nobody need know I was even there. But because their website IS secure, I must give up private information about myself in order to protect my privacy.

CNN doesn’t require that I register. Is that a liberal conspiracy to undermine my privacy?

Perhaps my church should require people to register before they can view such information as service times, ministries, etc. You know–to protect their privacy.

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Who is that Masked Yodeler?

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Found this photo of me in an unusual Halloween get-up. I remember being a pirate several years. But this year–probably 6th grade–I wore the lederhosen Dad brought back from Germany,plus a mask. I don’t know what my brother Stu is–he’s wearing a winter coat with a black mask. Huh? Rick is a pirate, probably wearing my hand-me-down costume. Such is the life of the baby.

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Walmart Gets Into the Discount Casket Business

Walmart has started selling caskets online. Fifteen caskets, and dozens of urns. Their prices undercut what you pay at funeral homes. And federal law requires that funeral homes accept third-party caskets.

Prices range from $999 for models like “Dad Remembered” and “Mom Remembered” steel caskets to the mid-level $1,699 “Executive Privilege.” All are less than $2,000, except for the Sienna Bronze Casket, which sells for $3,199.

Caskets ship within 48 hours. Don’t know about the return policy.

I imagine Jay Leno could have a lot of fun with this.

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Did You Know?

This is a very interesting video from YouTube. It throws a lot of stats around, and I always want to know the source of stats before I accept them as true. But that’s not crucial to this video. The intent is pretty much to say, “Here are some of the incredible things happening very quickly in our world. What does it mean?”

(If you’re reading this within Facebook, you need to click the “View Original Post” link. That’ll take you to my blog, where this was originally posted.)

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Apple Vs. Woolworth

woolies3-420x0.jpgApple is suing Woolworth, the largest retailer in Australia, saying their new logo looks too much like Apple’s logo. Woolworth says it’s a stylized W that also looks like fresh produce. Apple doesn’t want them slapping this logo onto electrical appliances–like, uh, portable music players.

I don’t know. While I am so technologically ideological that I will normally excuse anything Apple does, I think they may be a bit picky here. Yet, I can see the argument.

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Fort Wayne’s New Parkview Field

Last nite was my first exposure to Parkview Field, the new minor-league baseball field in Fort Wayne. We went there, not to a baseball game, but to a concert with MercyMe and Attaboy. The stage was set up where second base goes. The sound quality was great. And in that setting, there wasn’t a bad seat in the house.

Fort Wayne’s baseball team is called the Tin Caps. That’s a new name, replacing the previous Wizards. New stadium, new name. Now, I liked the previous field. It was fairly new, had unlimited parking, and was very accessible. You could quickly get in and out. It was fun to attend games there.

But then the city decided we needed to spend millions of dollars on a new field near the downtown, like it would rejuvenate Fort Wayne’s glorious center and make nightlife flourish. Or something dazzling like that. So they built a new stadium, and tore down the other perfectly-good Wizards stadium out by the Coliseum. I think it was a waste of money, unnecessary.

But alas, the deed is done, so let’s quit crying over that spilled two percent. A new stadium is in place, so I’ll force myself to deal with that reality.

I LOVE the new stadium. I’ve heard other people rave about it, too. But now, having been there, I must agree with them. The concession area is open to the field, so you never need to miss a play. Very, very nice. Many more great features. In short: they did it right. They did it, even, spectacularly. Kudos and praise be upon our wise city fathers, despite their fiscal irresponsibility.

Just because it’s a great park doesn’t mean it was necessary. Pam and I could buy a Lexus, and you would agree that it’s much nicer than the car we currently own. But that doesn’t mean the Lexus would be the best use of our money. I’m just saying. But Parkview Field is a superb ballpark, no doubt about it. I will enjoy going there in the future.

It’s very easy to get to…but not to get away from. We parked in the new parking garage attached to the field. Got inside nicely. But leaving was a mess. Like going to Wrigley Field. It took a good 20 minutes just to get out of the parking garage, followed by FOREVER to get out of the central city, with the tangle of cars converging on one-way streets. Just a royal mess. 

But hey, we are rejuvenating the downtown. Or that’s the plan, anyway.

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Improv at Saddleback

I’m a big fan of Joel Stine, who writes for Time magazine. He’s a journalist, but he’s also very very funny. Think of him as Dave Barry doing actual reporting. Dave Barry is hysterical, but he’s primarily a humor writer. Stine is a reporter.

Stine usually writes the back-page column in Time, but also does other stories. A couple weeks ago, he did a column called “Christian Improv: What’s Funny at Warren’s Church.” He actually called up and got a spot as a member of the improv group at Saddleback Church one week. It’s not a story which sheds much useful light on anything, but it made me laugh. Stine, I should point out, is Jewish.

Here’s how the article began:

There are many things Evangelical Christians are good at, such as bake
sales and talking to me on planes. They’re less adept at other things,
such as comedy and fighting lions. Christians aren’t funny because they
tend to be literal-minded. Also because they’re sad about having had
sex with only one person.

Time is a superb magazine, and I’ve subscribed since the 1980s. But when Joel Stine arrived some years back, it became a must-keep subscription for me.

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Trivia about Why Americans Keep Getting Fatter

The July 20 New Yorker has a great article by Elizabeth Kolbert called “XXXL.” It’s actually a review of books about obesity and over-eating. Here are some interesting tidbits:

  • Three National Health studies done in the 1960s and 1970s showed that the number of overweight Americans was around 25%. It nudged up slightly with each survey. But in a study in the 1980s, the figure shot up to 33%. 
  • Today, men average 17 pounds heavier than in the 1970s. For women: 19 pounds heavier. The number of overweight children (ages 6-11) has doubled, and the number of overweight teens has tripled. 
  • The typical revolving door has increased from 10 feet to 12 feet, to accommodate obese people. 
  • The weight gain costs airline companies a quarter-billion dollars in extra fuel costs. 
  • Soft drinks account for 7% of all calories consumed by Americans. If the average  American stopped drinking soft drinks and only drank water, he would lost 15 pounds. 
  • “Eatertainment” is a term used in the food industry to describe food which mix the big three–fat, sugar, and salt–in ways to produce the most calories. 
  • A small order of McDonald’s fries has 230 calories, a large order 500 calories. 
  • Supersizing has been a huge hit in selling more junk food. 
  • Although Americans were the first to fatten up, we’re not alone. The proportion of overweight adults is higher in Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Greece, Malta, and Slovakia. And obesity is on the rise in Asia, Africa, and South America. 
  • People just above the poverty level seem to be gaining weight the most rapidly. 
  • Some ailments linked to excess weight: Type 2 diabetes, coronary disease, hypertension, various cancers, gallstones, osteoarthritis. 
  • Overweight Americans cost the medical system $90 billion a year. 
  • US corporations spend $55 billion a year building food processing and distribution centers in other countries. So “globescity” is only going to continue rising. 

For the record, I just returned from the gym.

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Hear Me Talk about Web Writing

Last September I did a seminar at the MinistryCOM conference on “Writing for the Web.” That session is now available for purchase and download at $9.95. Seems a bit steep for 90 minutes of ignorant spouting, but hey. Actually, it was a lot of fun and I had good interaction from people. If you’re involved in local church communications, there are lots of other workshops you can download.

I’ll attend MinistryCOM in September, when the conference meets in Chicago (the closest it’s been so far to Fort Wayne).

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