Friday, April 30, 2010

If I was a rich man...

"The most important men in town will come to fawn on me--
They will ask me to advise them,
Like a Solomon the Wise--
....And it won't make one bit of difference
If I answer right or wrong--
When you're rich, they think you really know."

- Tevye, Fiddler on the Roof
Apparently Billy Long, the auctioneer, real estate, world-class poker player, and general shyster, has decided to run for congress.  That should be a good fit.  There's not been a single auction of his that I've been too (I've only attended about 10 of them), where I haven't had him or his cronies double-bill me, help me bid against myself, or change the lot mid-bid.
His website says he's gonna go fight Nancy Pelosi.  In all honesty, I think he's got a bad bite of Tevye's "Rich man" syndrome.  And I'm not the only one to think so.

I don't think he has a chance, so for now I'll just laugh and move on.  But it's something I'll be keeping tabs on.  We just  might have to do some campaigning ourselves.

(Oh, and been awhile since you've seen Tevye shake his stuff? Here's the link for that)
We're wrapping up this semester.  In Microbiology lab yesterday, we got a chance to "paint" using a variety of bacteria for the color palette.

I'm not much of an artist, but I am pretty impressed with how well the bacteria performed...

Here's my lame little prarie scene....

My lab partner -- also a graphic designer -- got more elaborate with his skull design.

And apparently Serratia marcesens likes MSU a lot more than I do 


(Pseudomonas aeruginosa = Green / Staphylococcus Aureus = "Gold" / Serratia marcescens = Red / Escherichia coli = White)

So far my back seems to finally be coming back around.  My primary care doc gave me some muscle relaxants to use, and other than trying to knock me out cold every night, they work wonders for making it easier to get through the day.  That, and Dr. Scott at Springfield Chiropractic is starting to get my spine persuaded back to it original shape, which helps tremendously.  I've just gotta say, it's good to finally have my memory back.  That short-term memory loss was getting a little trippy.

I also retained a lawyer to help sort through all of the hassle.  As my wife put it "you have finals to focus on right now", and she's right.  I'll focus on finals, and pay somebody else to focus on negotiations and such.  It should work out well, especially considering I've already gotten more done in 3 phone calls with the lawyer than I did in 6 phone calls with this insurance company.

That's what I call a good trade-off.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

April's Showers...

You can tell it's late.  The lame title gives it away.

May is here.  Close enough anyhow.  The older I get, the faster the years go by.  I know my birthday isn't til January, but for all intensive purposes, I may as well be considered 26 now.  Four years 'til I turn 30.  Let's just hope I've moved outta' the cubicle by then.

The little guy is getting bigger.  He's been kicking pretty regularly now, so I've been able to "spend a little time" with him.  It sort've makes the fact that I'm about to be a father (ok, so I'm already am...) all that more real.

What's weird is that by the time my parents were 25, they had already potty-trained both my brother and I.  At that same age when they were changing my diapers and working multiple jobs, I was working part-time and racing my bicycle every weekend.  It makes one wonder about the maturity of me and my peers. Will we ever truly grow up? Or will our children forever have to struggle against their parent's own childish self-interest?

Fredrica Matthews-Green had a great post on her blog about that "missing" maturity in prevalent in modern movies.


"In a review ... Michael Atkinson referred to the current crop of childish male actors as 'toddler-men.' He wrote, 'The conscious contrast between baby-faced, teen-voiced toddler-men movie actors and the golden age’s grownups is unavoidable…[T]hough DiCaprio is the same age here as Hughes was in 1934, he may not be convincing as a 30-year-old until he’s 50.

Characters in these older movies appear to be an age nobody ever gets to be today. This isn’t so much an observation about these actors (who may have behaved in very juvenile ways privately), but about what audiences at the time thought grownups acted like."
It's a great skim, Read it here...

(Thanks, Darrin Rogers for pointing me there)


Been reading 109 East Palace.  It's the story about "Site Y" where  "The Manhattan Project" took place.  It's a fascinating read about these Noble-prize-winning scientists and their families living in makeshift barracks on the top of a deserted hill in complete secrecy -- hidden even from their own friends.

I can't say that I like the author's style.  She takes plenty of detours into the local painters and politicians of the WWII era Sante Fe area. And, to add insult, she leaves out most of the cool scientific stuff.  (Granted, if it included instructions on how to build a nuclear weapon, the book probably would not have been published.)

What is cool, though, is the Los Alamos' website.  I thought NASA had a cool site, but, whoa -- they need to get some pointers from these guys in the desert.  Fuel cell technology, atomic bombs, missile defense.....You've gotta check it out for yourself!!


Quiz tomorrow. Enjoy the rain.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Entering your PIN backwards will save your life...

..and other lies.

So, here it is. No, Obama did not deem the National Day of Prayer as unconstitutional.  He is actually in a court battle trying to defend it.  And he is using the premise that prayer is a right and an important part of many Americans individual lives.  As such, he isn't hosting a major White House event.

And no, if you are captured by an attacker and forced to withdraw money from an ATM, entering your PIN number into the machine will not summon the police.

I am increasingly surprised at how many people will forward items without checking their validity first.  Nothing screams "I"M AN IDIOT" like not checking before hitting the "share" button on facebook.

There. I've ranted.


The good news is, I'm back on the mend.  The body's still pretty sore, but I've quit limping, and even took the stairs once yesterday instead of the elevator.

The brain isn't still quite back with it... I still have some weird moments of short term memory issues, where I forget which sentence I was reading, or what I was trying to say.  They say it is standard with a little brain-bruising. 


Was reading about the construction of the tabernacle in Exodus.  All of the Israelites liberally donated their possessions.  Many of these items had probably been given to them when they "spoiled" the Egyptians.  Now they gave the items back to God.

I especially appreciated how the ladies donated the mirrors that were used for the water basins.  What lady can live without their mirror? And these ladies donated theirs for God's house. 

I tend to have an issue with considering things to be "mine".  But are they? Am I using them for God's house?

A couple of neat things I've run into this morning:

Kip Copeland called into the customer service department, and he and I got to talking about their mission work.  He still keeps me updated. Cool. And Random.

People who feel no pain.
'nough said.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Chasing Cars

Four wheels move the body,
Two wheels move the soul.

-Seen on a bumper sticker

I got the Fixie out and rode to my 9 am lab class.  Loved it.  Took back roads -- that's the only way to ride a bike, you know, less traffic, more trees. 

More food for the soul

Got out of the class and called my honey at 12:04pm.  She was shopping with her family in Branson. 

Hit a Ford SUV at 12:08pm.

I was headed up towards OTC, coming through the green light there, near the "new" Cardinals stadium. According to her blinker she was planning on making a left turn.  Unfortunately, I was already in the intersection when I realized that she planned on making the turn while I was still in that intersection.

It was one of those accident you saw coming, and could do nothing about.  I decided I didn't want her hood.  So I steered as far left as I dared, hoping by some miracle I'd just clear the rear bumper. 

Unfortunately, her passenger side door was just a little too quick for me.

I'm just thanking God that I'm fine. They ran tests for about 3 hours in the ER.  No concussion, though my head is still a little weird. For instance, I had a test today, but had the hardest time remembering what an axon is.  Normally you could wake me up in the middle of the night and I could explain nerve action potentials, complete with sodium "inactivation" gates, and leak channels.  Not this morning.

I'll try heading back to work tomorrow.  Gotta pay rent, or so they say.

Major thanks to the boys at Sunshine Bike for putting my ride back together again.  Those are some awesomingly cool peeps over there.

I've finished reading "A Ragamuffin Gospel" by Brennan Manning.  It's been an inspiring look at how God loves us, His ragamuffins.  And a real challenge as to how a view my fellow man, and the judgement and racisms, and stereotypes I can be so apt to throw around. 

And honesty.  Not the face I wear on Sunday morning. But Honesty.  In fact, he thinks that's why churches are so dead.  We all put on a good "act". Go to church to feed the "act".  And pick up the miserable reality again on Monday.  And when we are really honest with ourselves, are we that different from those we despise? It's only the Blood that has made the difference.  Lose the act, go to God as sinners.  Let God be real, and do His complete work in us.

Towards the end, he contrasts this notion we call "Born Again" with the old-fashioned phrase:
"Seized by the power of a great affection"

Well are we? Or are we simply, "born again"

That being said, this isn't a carte blanche review.  Do skip over his sections on "contemplative prayer" aight? And never replace "spiritual" books with the REAL THING.


Shucks, my head still isn't with me.  These sentences are coming out a little weird.

Keep pedaling.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

I dare you...

to try this innocous workout.

Put two chairs side by side facing you with an 18" gap between them.

Perform 50 dips in any combination you can do...5 sets of 10, 10 sets of 5, 2 sets of 25, whatev...

(Oh, you can do all 50 without stopping, huh? Please go read somebody else's blog. You are making me feel irrelevant)

 Then tell me how you feel tomorrow. 


Thanks to Charles Atlas the "World's Most Perfectly Developed Man" from the 30's, I've been tormenting myself with that workout for years.  For pictures of the workout go here.
I met with my buddy Logan for Coffee this morning (Coffee should always be capitalized).  I love the guy, because his head is never boring.  For example, he just came up with a new workout for his bike riding:  When going up a hill, you wait 'til you can hardly pedal, and then shift up to a harder gear.
Does it make you stronger?  I don't know.  He does it because it makes the endorphins last longer.
See, now that is hard core. 
This morning he introduced me to an archaelogist by the name of Adam Zertal who has done some archaelogical work uncovering the altar at Schechem that is described in Joshua chapter 8.  Zertal also has done some work helping uncover extensive landmarks of early Jewish settlements that are being used to help establish Israel's right to statehood. 
Logan also posted another website with a short list of archaelogical finds and the scriptures they support. It's a great 5-minute read, and is sure to give you some fascinating items to share with believers and non-believers alike.
"They're Digging Up Bible Stories"
Frankly, these finds should be enough to convince anyone of the validity of God's word.
But, as Christ said "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him" (John 6:44) and we also know that God's "Spirit shall not always strive with man..." (Genesis 6:3)
Some of us are always going to be a little bone-headed, I guess.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Softly as a Child

And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:3)

What is that -- this becoming a little child?  Is it the child's sweet innocence? I, for one, was a bratty child. 

Is it their helplessness, their dependence? I can certainly envision that being what Christ is saying. 

I've often pondered that, and as I was reading The Ragmuffin Gospel last  night, I was really stuck by author Brennan Manning's take on the subject.

"It's important to remember the Jewish attitude toward children in first century Palestine...In the present day, we tend to idealize childhood as the happy age of innocence, insoulciance, and simple faith, but in the New Testament times the child was considered of no importance, meriting little attention or favor.  'Children in that scoiety had no status at all -- they did not count' [Albert Nolan, Jesus Before Christianity, p56]

...For the disciple of Jesus, 'becoming like a little child' means the willingness to accept oneself as being of little account and regarded as unimportant.  The little child who is the image of the kingdom is a symbol of those who have the lowest places in society, the poor and the oppressed, the beggars, prostitutes and tax collectors -- the people whom Jesus often called the little ones or the least.  'See that you never despise any of these little ones' (Matthew 18:10) ...."

Am willing to accept myself of being of little account for the sake of the kingdom? an unknown person, overlooked by the world? ouch.

Hope you enjoy it.

Dang, I love this spring.  Think I'll go pull the fixie out.  It's a perfect day to ride to work.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Winning..By Quitting

In America, more people die of bacteria that are so mutated that none of our medications can touch them -- than they do of AIDS. 

Meanwhile, we stuff our livestock, our poultry, and our sniffly-nosed children with every broad spectrum antibiotic available, effectively turning our nation into a breeding lab for highly-resistant strains.

The Norwegians have an entirely different idea. "We don’t throw antibiotics at every person with a fever. We tell them to hang on, wait and see, and we give them a Tylenol to feel better,” says Dr. John Birger Haug.

They are conquering bacteria by NOT PRESCRIBING antibitoics!

The result? They can still prescribe simple pennicilins that have fewer side affects, and that are essentially useless in other developed countries.



My wife just brought me a big, beautiful wad of meat and bacon, and bread.  Looks good.  I haven't been to the gym yet today, so my brain is already making me feel guilty.  Maybe I can eat just half of it?  Oh, the joys of counting calories.

Gotta hand it to her cooking skills.  I am officially 20 pounds over my married weight. 

Been reading voraciously this past week about early inventors.  Pretty inspiring stuff.  Like, did you know that Newton stuck a needle in his eye when he was trying to figure out the "elements" of light?

"The Ten Most Beautiful Experiments" by George Johnson is a great little read here at the local library.  I'll be done with it in a couple of days, and you guys can enjoy it.