Monthly Archives: July 2006

Speaking of Extreme Sports

It’s a blogworthy event when two of your interests intersect, particularly when those are, say, “Uzbekistan” and “Classic Cars”.

Here’s an article about 100 classic cars driving more or less along the ancient Silk Route. July 15th they left Amsterdam bound for Beijing. Last Saturday they stopped in Tashkent, in the parking lot across the street from my old apartment. And I missed it!

But they’re due to pull into Tiananmen Square on August 13th. Maybe I can still catch them.

Slowlane, any chance you could make another trip to that consulate?

Say What?!?

As my brother points out, profile “tests” can be problematic, but fun.

My Linguistic Profile:
60% General American English
15% Dixie
10% Yankee
5% Upper Midwestern
0% Midwestern
What Kind of American English Do You Speak?

I would be more interested in seeing a series of questions that tests other varieties of English, including British, Canadian, Indian, Australian, Singaporean as well as those found in English-speaking African nations. That might be more fun.

For whom did Christ die?

I have been reading up on this question, and generally the responses I expected, and in fact found, were two:

  1. Christ died for the whole world, or
  2. Christ died only for the elect.

Not to deny that your answer to this question is significant indeed, John Piper has written an article from a mindset that is wholly other. I read it and found myself saying, “Wow, God!” and enjoying a new insight into God’s person and plan in a way that I’ve not experienced in a while.

No further comment.

Last week Veja (Think Newsweek) came out with a cover story entitled “The Pastor is ‘Show’!”

The subtitle reads, “With the use of psychology and self-help a new generation of preachers gives a spectacle and reinvents the faith that is growing fastest in Brazil.”

No further comment.

What I’m reading now.

I’ve just replaced the LibraryThing “Random books from my library” widget on my sidebar with a little box showing what I’m reading now. I don’t expect it to change nearly as often, but I thought it would be fun. When available, the icons will link to GBI Books (No, I’m not getting any percentage of the profits if you buy the book).

Culver’s Systematic Theology is very good. I’m enjoying reading it. If I’m able to read 10 pages per day, I might finish it by Christmas.

Fool’s Gold? by MacArthur and other pastors from Grace Community Church was given as a gift at the last Shepherds’ Conference and is also good, but much easier to carry in my pocket. I have almost finished it while sitting in doctors’ offices with Elsiene waiting to meet and choose an obstetrician to deliver our son.

I think we’ve found a good obstetrician, now we need to find a pediatrician, so I’m not worried that I won’t be able to finish the book.

The coolest thing.

Okay, this is about the coolest thing I’ve ever seen. We’ve got three of them around the house. It’s like a little tennis racquet, but instead of catgut it’s got a wire mesh energized by two AA batteries in the grip. You swat mosquitos (or anything else) and it delivers a sturdy 3V shock — trust me, I tried it on my finger.

So we have this nightly ritual now. Every night my wife crawls into bed, and I make my rounds with the racquet, shaking nightstands, rustling the curtains, stirring the leaves on the fake plants, etc. My wife lies on her pillow saying, “Opa, over there, on the ceiling, a big one!” and I approach and usually say, “Nope, that’s the smudge that was there last night.”

But every night, we get one or two, sometimes five or six, of the little bloodthirsty dengue culprits with our portable bug-zapper. The first time we got one, it gave a gratifying sizzle and then a “POP!” that was disproportionately large for the explosion of such a little bugger. The sudden and unexpected demise of the blood-sucker nearly gave my wife a heart attack, and then the smell of ozone filled the room.

“Coooool!” I whispered in awe.

My wife is still not sure if she likes “that weapon” as she calls it. I guess she has come to consider it a necessary evil. I think she is also concerned about having the thing around when our son is born. In fact, I distinctly heard her mumble something about “gmbl boys! gmlbl” when she caught me seeing what would happen if I flicked a booger into the zapper.