Monday, October 16, 2017

Blah

Just read an article about blockchain.  It was full of cryptography, time stamp, hash pointer, distributed ledger, Byzantine fault tolerance, and the like.

Other than a buzzing head, I know precisely what I knew before I read the article.

Have a wonderful 21st century day!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Grasshoppers in the Bible

As I was walking across the backyard, I espied a grasshopper hopping in the grass.  Though the rascals have been in near-plague proportions at times in my life, I seldom see one these days.  My inner Little Boy insisted he have it.  I stooped and grabbed for it, but my outer Little Boy no longer exists, and Hop!  She eluded me.  However, I am much the larger creature, and slow and clumsy as I may be, a couple of steps and a reach enabled me to capture her.

I opened my hand.  There she perched, yellow and brown, perhaps two inches in length.  The insect gazed at me, crawled out onto the second joint of my index finger, pondered her next move for a few moments, then launched herself into the freedom of the air.  She landed a dozen feet away.

Reading the Bible the next morning, I came across a reference to the grasshopper in Amos 7:1 where the creature is characterized as destructive. wreaking havoc on the young crop.  My mind drifted to the much earlier incident  in which the Israelite spies reported back that  "we are as grasshoppers" in our own sight, and in theirs  Here the grasshopper represents insignificance.  (Numbers 13:33)

What other references do we find to the grasshopper?  In Leviticus 11:22 we find that the grasshopper is fit for human consumption, nutrition.  In the Book of Judges, we find the insects represent great multitudes.  (6:5, 7:12)

In Job 39:20, the grasshopper represents timidity.  Isaiah uses the creature, again to represent insignificance. (40:20)  Jeremiah uses the imagery of vast numbers. (46:23)
So scripture gives us that the grasshopper is variously nutrition, timid, insignificant, multitudinous,  and destructive.  And this doesn't even consider the references to locusts.

What is the difference between locusts and grasshoppers?  A lot has been written on the topic, and I am not an entomologist, but I have distilled my reading to this, which satisfies me.  Locusts are simply grasshoppers that have gone into a color-changing and swarming stage in their existence.  You can read about the role of serotonin*click* and all that stuff, if you are so inclined.

Consider this. God used the insignificant grasshopper as a scourge against resistors (think Egyptian ruler), as sustenance for his people and his prophet (John*click* comes to mind), and in numerous instances throughout His Word as simile or metaphor to convey His message.

The Lord who can use such a minor creature can also use you.  The difference is the grasshopper had no choice; you have.

The green grasshopper visited our yard a few years ago.  It was much smaller than the one this story started with.

This is another instance of String Too Short to Tie paying it forward.  Post originally published in 2014.


Friday, October 6, 2017

Poles. Big Poles

Project going on down at the corner-- the erection of humongous tall poles for power lines.  These rascals are probably 30 inches in diameter at the base and the crew buries them eight feet deep in the earth.  You should see the augur that digs the holes!

I came out of the house Wednesday morning to go to the pharmacy.  I was a prisoner on my own property.  The street was blocked 50 feet to the north of my driveway and it was blocked 50 yards to the south!   With all sorts of equipment in the intersection to the south it was clear that my only hope was to run the barricade to the north an use the alternate bridge a quarter-mile to the north.  Removing a couple of traffic cones gave me a pathway wide enough for the car and there we go!


The top picture shows a crane lifting a pole into a vertical position.  The second shot shows a lineman working at the top of a seated pole.  The pulleys that carry the lines are yay big around, quite impressive.  The crews have seated about ten of these and I've no idea how many yet to go.

Snapshots taken from street in front of house.  The project was interrupted  about ten days while the crews were in Florida assisting in the restoration of power following Irma's devastation.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

BBBH Celebrates

A lovely evening drive to Bloomers in Anderson.  A nice New York strip for the birthday girl.  The drive home in the dark-- and drizzle-- was without untoward event.  A nice start for her eighty-first year!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Birthday Eve

On the eve of her 80th birthday her kids gathered 'round and BBBH was treated to a Mexican dinner.


Monday, October 2, 2017

Wiener is 15!

Happy birthday, Dog.
 Engaged in his favorite "activity" these days.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Our Walk with God

Let's go back this Sunday morning to a lesson from a few years back-- slightly amended.
 
He hath known thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? --Micah 6:8

This is a rhetorical question, for the answer is contained within it.  The first clause asserts that God knows us, and thus knows what is good for us.  The second clause contains the question, "What does the Lord require?" and finally, the apparently very simple, three-fold set of actions incumbent upon us.


  1. Do justly.  To accomplish this goal, one must first have a sense of justice, then he must have the inclination and will to practice it.  Many people, in my opinion, have a "sense of injustice," by which I mean they recognize the hurts or perceived slights performed by others against them, yet they seem to have a truncated notion of what justice is in their dealings with others.  A "get even" attitude grows readily in this soil.
  2. Love mercy.  Another action required.  It does not tell us to recognize mercy, but to love it.  If we love mercy, we are going to behave in a merciful way; we will practice kindness toward others.
  3. Walk humbly with God.  First, this is a requirement to walk, not to sit, or lie about.  Then we are told with whom to walk; and we are told how to walk-- with humility.  We are clearly not to carry a prideful attitude with respect to our walk with the Lord.
Now this doesn't seem to be so simple, after all.  But it is required.  The additional good news is that there is apparently not a laundry list of further requirements.  Look at the word "but."  The implication is that in doing the three required things we are relieved of the burden of making and following nit-picking rules by which to define a godly walk.

It seems Micah has summed up the law in three requirements: Do, Love, Walk.  Jesus did ii in two, encompassing all the law and Micah's summary:  
  
Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.  --Matthew 22:37-39

Happy October the first!         


Thursday, September 28, 2017

Outraged

Everyone these days seems to be "outraged" about something or other.  I have been searching for something to be outraged about, that I might be a part of our societal fabric appearing to be "normal" in some respect.

I have found it.  Nordstom offered Barracuda predirtied jeans at $425.  But they are sold out.  Do you see the outrage building?

Not to worry, though, they have other filthy-appearing models as low as $148.49, though they do lack some of the panache of the sold-out item.

I labored for a good many years in the construction trades prior to my late-starting career in education.  I am proud to have been a working man.  One goes home at night, dog-tired, jeans encaked in cement dust already beginning to turn into concrete from the activation of the day's sweat, shirt and pants perhaps riddled with metal burns if welding was part of the days work, the whole thing reeking of gasoline fumes from the forklift operating in tight spaces.

Upon entering the mudroom the clothes are shed and one staggers from exhaustion to the shower and relief from the dirt and pressure and tiredness of body, then to stagger to bed and sleep the sleep of the righteous in preparation for another shift on the job.

So someone who spends his days in a boardroom or corner office buys the above named product to emulate a real working man and why?  Because he has more money than he knows what to do with.  It is insulting to every person who builds the sewer tile and the sewers down which his crap flows; to every person who strikes an arc or lights a cutting torch; to every person who climbs a utility pole so he won't have to sweat on the job; to every person who swings a paint sprayer that his much-too-costly Beamer or Benz will look really good parked in front of his 6000 square foot McMansion.

Are you sensing the outrage yet?

Yes, it makes me mad even though I have not gone home caked in cement in several decades.  Show some respect for the people who make your lifestyle possible, Bozo.