Odd ad placement on the radio.

Overheard at the furniture store today:

What do I love about Lite 102.9? The music is all so relevant. It’s like every song could have been written about me.

Immediately following: Sir Elton John’s “Rocket Man.” Which was so perfect, because that’s exactly how I felt when I was an astronaut.

Miscellenies

Which usually means “brain too fried for extended train of thought.”

Dr. Seuss. Now there’s a man who found something that worked and rode that train as far as it would take him. I mean, some of us might be dissuaded from writing poetry if all we could do to rhyme was make stuff up. Not the Doctor.

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One thing that can ruin a good compliment: the word actually.

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Blast from the past: I listened to Pearl Jam’s Ten yesterday on a run. Those guys rock, in the truest sense of the word. And just think, at the time there were several bigtime bands that rocked like that. Not like these kids today with their emo and their hair gel…

Wordle

If you’re trying to kill time this afternoon, get ready to thank me. Via JT I learned today of Wordle, a program that generates a word tag from whatever text you paste. If you’re not familiar with word (or tag) clouds, they’re based on frequency, so the words are sized according to how often they’re used.

This is from a paper I wrote a couple of years ago on Revelation 19:11-16 (it was one of the longer texts I had).

Miscellenies

We saw Prince Caspian a few weeks ago, and if there’s one thing I know, it’s whatever Lucy Pevensie or Jack Bauer says, man, just go with it, even if it doesn’t seem to make sense.

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I have to hand it to her: she’s being pretty classy. But you have to know Hillary Clinton is just stinkin’ ticked.

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I was reminded again last week that the internet is just not as essential to daily life as we think it is. Although I was glad I had it when I realized I hadn’t gotten a recipe I wanted.

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Tonight I’m going to my first concert in way too long: The Waybacks and the Duhks. Sometimes you need a little funky bluegrass in the summer.

Cinco de Mayo

**This post contains a joke I stole from my friend Jessica. It was too good not to steal.**

Today is Cinco de Mayo, when Mexicans celebrate the victory of the Mexican army over French forces in the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. It was really only a temporary victory, as the French defeated the Mexican army in 1863 and occupied the country until 1866.

Which was the last time the French put up a fight against really anyone.

About 5 people will be interested in this post.

This is one of the best days of my life. I’m only half kidding.

I’m sitting in a training workshop for Bibleworks 7. Bibleworks is the exegetical software that RTS professors recommend. Since I sell it at the bookstore, and since I want to get my money’s worth out of the program, and since I want to be a scholar and all that, I registered for this training session. Yes, nerd-fest. And I’m the most excited one here. Here are some of the things I’ve learned I can do.

  • Display ready-made synopses that put all the narrations of, say, the Transfiguration side by side.
  • Download free modules that have things like Calvin’s commentaries, images of NT manuscripts
  • Set text color options to show all the differences in 2 translations– for example, the King James and New King James.
  • Find and create sentence diagrams of the entire Greek NT
  • Easily make custom maps, which we haven’t even talked about yet.

People keep looking at me because the guy shows something that freakin’ blows my mind and I say something like “Stop it. You’ve got to be kidding.” So yes, I’m a dork. But I’m a dork with an incredible research tool.

Calvinism at the Wesley Foundation (before me!)

You can imagine my surprise when, while reading Collin Hansen’s new book Young, Restless, Reformed, I saw the name of the campus ministry where I used to work!

Joel [Brooks, founder/director of University Christian Fellowship at Samford] embraced Calvinism during his freshman year at Georgia. It turns out that not even the Wesley Foundation is safe from Calvinism. He joined the Wesley Foundation because that Methodist group was much more conservative than the Baptist equivalent. But Calvinists had infiltrated the Wesleyan ranks. Joel picked fights with them at first, and they obliged with spirited debates. But one Calvinist shocked him by refusing to argue. He told Joel to spend a couple of weeks reading the Bible first. Joel took four weeks studying the relevant passages.

“He never even had to talk with me,” Joel said. “It was like I saw Scripture through a different lens.”

A great anecdote for the next time I get asked about coming from the Wesley Foundation to RTS.

Two Movies

I saw two movies this weekend. One was great and one was terrible.

I didn’t have high hopes for Waitress, simply on the basis of it looking an awful lot like a romantic comedy. As it turned out, that was the least of its worries. On a worldview level, this movie is an absolute disaster. Miserable marriages, extramarital affairs with little to no consequence, and an absolutely dismal view of men in general. The constant references to an unwanted child made me sick to my stomach, although there was some redemption on that score eventually (and it was good to see that abortion was specifically rejected as an option).

If that weren’t enough, the movie failed on an aesthetic level as well. The characters were all completely flat– no development or really anything interesting at all. Everything was very typical: the quirky girlfriend who finds happiness with the quirky guy, the trashy girlfriend who finds happiness with someone else’s husband, the romantic-but-spineless love interest. The main character’s only distinguishing mark was that she made good pies, and somehow that was supposed to set her apart from the rest of the banal cast.

There were bright spots: Andy Griffith’s character was enjoyable, and some of the initial awkward dialogue with the romantic-but-spineless love interest was funny. But overall, as a Christian and as one who likes a good movie, this one was pretty lousy.

Now Once, on the other hand, is a fantastic movie. The music alone makes it worth the time (it won the Oscar this year for Best Original Song). But there’s a lot more to like. I loved the reality of it: the grainy, shaky camera work, the awkward pauses, the uncertainty of the characters. I also liked it because it’s an incredibly unromantic romantic movie. That will make more sense if you see it.

Once is the story of two musicians connecting on an artistic and personal level, but mostly artistic. As a music person there was just so much to like & “get”– like the exhilaration as their music came together, the connection of their voices & instruments, and the general Irish beauty of the whole thing. Going back to the worldview level, the way things developed was surprising but somehow right… but that’s all I’ll say about that. As a special bonus, the girl is Czech.

Once is a delight on every front: the characters are great, it’s non-commercially beautiful, and the music is incredibly, refreshingly real.The next time you’ve had a long day, pour a glass of wine and watch this movie.

Variety.

That’s the name of the game here at Wiser Time. Yesterday: continuing a series on N. T. Wright and the New Perspective on Paul. Tomorrow: more of the same, maybe a book review.

Tonight: a video with a rap about Home Depot.

The Longs are friends of Annie‘s who are trying to win a $25,000 contest, and part of the vote depends on how many people watch the video on YouTube. So go there and watch it. I’ll vouch for them. It’s quite well done. I don’t know these people, so I have no vested interest in their winning money for home repairs; I just thought it was really funny. And I like to think I know funny when I see it.

In What Messed-Up Universe…?

Suppose we have a Ping-Pong tournament at RTS. As we approach the finals, the rankings look like this:

1. Ted
2. Matt
3. Tyler
4. Carlton
5. Sean
6. David
7. Jake

But then, right before the tournament starts, Ted & Matt get beat by a couple of randoms. The whole school is abuzz. Now Tyler & Carlton (#s 3 & 4) will play for the championship, right?

Well, not quite. Tyler, #3, does indeed move up to #1. But instead of moving Carlton to the #2 slot, the organizers actually look all the way down to me. In fact, Carlton moves down a spot, because I played in another match and beat somebody who wasn’t a contender for the finals in the first place. So I hop over several people and play Tyler for the championship, while Carlton is sent to New Orleans to play some high school kid who’s beat a bunch of other high school kids.

In what messed-up universe would this be thought normal?