And the Angel of the LORD Passed Over the Children of Israel…

And so Passover begins.

But smote the Egyptians (Exodus 12).

A blessed Passover to all my Jewish readers. Next year, may you celebrate in Jerusalem!


First they Came for…

In light of recent arguments and shouting in the US, and the on-going celebration of Passover, here is a link to an essay with lot, and lots, of supporting articles and essays about governments that disarm their populations.

Click the image to go to the essay. Click the caption to get this and other pro-firearms Judaica.


Edited to Add: Perhaps it is because I am eyeball deep in reading too much about the 1920s-1969, but I’m getting a creepy feeling. I hope it is just from reading too much about really unpleasant people and events.

Edit April 5: Welcome, Instapundit Readers and Free Republic Readers. Thanks for stopping by!

Chaos and Its Enemies

“And the earth was without form, and void, and darkness covered the face of the deep.” Genesis 1:2, NKJV.  Other translations say “all was chaos.” Some people maintain that this is the first mention of lawyers in the Bible, while others sigh and say that obviously, the US Marine Corps had been there (“chaos” translation).

All jokes aside, the idea of everything being intermixed and formless and swirling and without order or form appears in a number of faith traditions around the world. And then a Creator, often aided by different spirits and/or animals, creates order from that chaos and the world comes into being. Chaos is not good. Order of some kind is better. We humans do best when we can find order in our lives—not so much that we are reduced to near-automata, but a basic structure of some kind, sort of a theme that supports the variations.

It seems today that the pro-chaos people are winning. Or if not winning, at least happily sowing chaos and overturning order without having a better system to set in its place. Continue reading

Test Pilot: Don’t Try This at Home

“The autopilot won’t hold altitude.” The other captain had written the light-twin plane up five weeks before, but the chief-of-maintenance had (as usual) blown off the report. And it was crunch season for the mechanics, because in addition to the charter planes, and teaching plane, they had to keep two spray planes going and going and going. We had a procedure for working around a cranky autopilot, but it’s not fun, and there are times when having one that will do all that it is supposed to is very, very good. Continue reading

Choral Days of Obligation

All of you who have sung or who do sing in a church choir know what I’m talking about. Those days when the minister of music, choir director, or other person in charge of vocal music in worship lets it be known that nothing short of vocal-cord paralysis (with a doctor’s note) or death (yours, and provide proper paperwork) had better keep you home. Or Else.

Continue reading

The Copier Got Even

I should have known things were going too well…

So there I was, trying to be a good teacher and get all my copies done before Monday at 0745, or before “I have to have 60 copies on custom paper stapled on the right corner in three minutes!” I fanned the pages so they would not stick together, I selected the proper parameters, staple, collate, number of copies, and hit “Start.” Then I stepped back, checked my in-box, refilled the water in the little coffee maker, and sipped my soda pop.

The copier chirped, and I retrieved the pages. They were not stapled together. The middle page was missing.

Huh. I looked at the command screen on the copier, looked at the copies, and heard the machine giggling.

I’d forgotten that I needed to select two-side to two-side, not one-side to two-side, as I usually do. And I have no idea why it refused to staple.

Just to rub the folly in, the copier wrinkled half the middle pages that it copied, and I had to hand staple everything. And re-load the stapler.

So That’s what that Sound Was!



Product Review: Hotter-Brand Shoes

An entire brand? Well, yes, because more and more of my shoes are from this British company. And they have some commonalities, so they get a group review.

First, a little background. I will not wear shoes I cannot run in. If there is any possibility of it coming off in an emergency, I will not wear it. Second, I prefer a relatively wide heel on dress shoes, for stability. So these are attractive but not high fashion footwear. Continue reading

Freezing in a Storm?

On Tuesday night I attended a talk by the author and rancher John Erickson. He’s best known by most people as the creator of Hank the Cowdog, a growing and very popular series of children’s books about, well, Hank, a cowdog, and his associates and human family. However, Erickson’s first books were non-fiction histories and discussions of ranching and the Texas Panhandle. His book, Through Time and the Valley is one of the things that re-kindled my interest in regional history. He was reading from and talking about his latest non-fiction, Prairie Gothic, based on his family’s history.

During the Q and A after his main talk, someone asked him how he could keep going after the horrible fire last year that burned up his home and all the fences and grazing on the ranch. “If I were in that kind of [life]storm, I’d freeze,” the questioner explained. Continue reading

Filk and Folk-Tales

So, I broke down and bought a used CD of Songsmith, filk-music from Andre Norton’s Witchworld universe. Some of the songs are very, very specific to the Witchworld, and in some cases to the novel of Songsmith. But a few others could be our-world folk songs without half trying, in part because Norton drew on a very rich language of legend and mythology to build her world. Continue reading