Tuesday, January 31, 2006

A descent to politics

Apparently, conservatives are having a wonderful time yet again making fun of Teddy Kennedy's rants on the Senate floor about Samuel Alito. I've listened (link via Michelle Malkin's site), and as is customary when the good Senator falls off the wagon, it is hilarious.

What is even more interesting to me it the Senator's implicit admission that his politics are unconstitutional; he is arguing that the appointment of constructionists/originalists to the Court will undo most of the "progress" he cherishes, knowing that a good reading of the 10th Amendment does demonstrate that most federal spending violates the Constitution.

So yes, this was a lot of fun because it makes Kennedy look silly. Even more important, however, is what he accidentally admits while doing so.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Weekend joys....

...included Friday evening spent in fellowship with new friends, Kaiserschmarrn for breakfast, and a prayer meeting on behalf of a new church. The last was a particular blessing; I often think that 15 minutes spent in earnest prayer accomplishes more than years in Sunday School.

Now, what are Kaiserschmarrn? They are, in a nutshell, some of the most delightfully rich pancakes I've ever had. Here's how to make them:


1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
5 eggs
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups milk
2 sticks butter

Separate eggs into whites and yolks, and beat whites until stiff peaks form. Take the yolks and mix them with the sugar, flour, vanilla, and milk.

Take 2-3 skillets (griddles will not work for these) and cook a slice of bacon in each to make sure that the heat is right. Go back to bowls and fold in egg whites, add 1/2 tbsp butter to each skillet and pour a pancake-sized amount of batter into each. Turn when bubbles form on top and edges brown, and add 1/4 to 1/2 tbsp butter each time a pancake is turned or poured. Serve with powdered sugar, maple syrup or fruit syrup, plenty of strong coffee and friends/loved ones.

Friday, January 27, 2006

On pleasing your wife--and the Lord

Building further on Marvin Olasky's recent column in World Magazine, I'd like to bring something else even more important to mind; husbands need to, as Ephesians 5 and 6 note, wash their wives in the Word. This is even more important than shooting one's TV or baking waffles--or even making Kaiserschmarrn (recipe coming soon).

Why so? For starters, what better way to learn the Scriptures than to present them to someone else? Even better, what better way to ensure that your wife learns to love Him better than to lead her yourself?

Thursday, January 26, 2006

A thought and a recipe

First, the thought; if you want to win some, you must first be winsome.

Now, one of my favorite breakfast recipes--my grandfather's waffle recipe.


4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (my change, grandpa used white)
2 tbsp baking powder
1 tbsp granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups milk
3tbsp butter or bacon drippings
1tsp vanilla extract.


Pre-heat waffle iron. In one bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and sugar. In other bowl, separate eggs and leave whites in bowl #2. Put yolks in bowl #1 with flour mixture, add vanilla and milk, and mix. Melt butter in saucepan, small skillet, or in a cup in microwave.

Beat egg whites stuff with hand eggbeater--motorized is cheating, and this might be your exercise for the day! Mix melted butter into flour mixture and then fold beaten egg whites into mixture until fully mixed. Do not stir or beat them in, as it will destroy that foamy cholesterol goodness.

Put about 3/4 cup to 1 cup of batter into heated waffle iron and cook for about 3 minutes, or until steam ends. Enjoy with maple syrup or other toppings--our family likes blueberries, chocolate, and honey.

Serve to your dear wife with a good cup of strong coffee, preferably made in a French Press.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

More ways to make your wife happy

....is to get rid of the TV from your bedroom, if one is to be found there. Personally, I also wonder whether getting rid of it altogether, or at least keeping it off most of the time, would also be helpful in this and other ways.

To draw a word picture, how many of us spent a lot of time watching TV during our honeymoons? Could TV (and movies) be part of the reason that our lives today aren't like those blessed days?

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

How to make your wife happy

Well, at least this made MY wife happy. After work yesterday, I went to the music store to get piano sheet music for my eldest daughter, and then went to the gun shop to get her some new magazines for her Mother's Day Gun, bought in honor of the Million Mom March.

Then, this morning, I made her breakfast.....what a joy to in a few hours see some beautiful pianos, wonderful firearms (including a 0.50 caliber bolt action...), and go home to my family.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Christians and popular entertainment

There has been (see link) quite a "rhubarb" over the lifestyle chosen by one star of a new movie, "End of the Spear." While I am not much of one for video entertainment of any kind, I am continually struck by how "Christian" entertainment is diverted to serve Hollywood's interests.

Here's what I mean; even the "best" Christian movie lately, "The Passion," was dogged by comments about the lifestyles and other movies of the stars. "The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe" changed quite a bit of the story for "theatrical presentability"--I counted half a dozen changes in a few promotional posters, it seemed. "End of the Spear" counts the director from "Charlie's Angels" and a prominent homosexual activist among its contributors.

Music and TV aren't much better. Big Idea's (VeggieTales) difficulties began as they "improved" their technology and theatrical effects. Due to this, their product became too scary for many children, including mine. The troubles of Amy Grant, Sandi Patti, and others are well known as well.

It almost makes me wonder if these cases are an example to us--artists or no--about what happens when we try to use the world's ways and the world's resources to try and do God's work. It seems that when we try to use the world, the world just as inevitably uses us.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

A poet's praise of wedlock

I am afraid that my praise of my wife is nowhere near as eloquent as Anne Bradstreet, Puritan poet, wrote to her husband. But we must start somewhere, no?

If ever two were one, then surely we.
If ever man were lov'd by wife, then thee.
If ever wife was happy in a man,
Compare with me, ye women, if you can.
I prize thy love more than whole Mines of gold
Or all the riches that the East doth hold.
My love is such that Rivers canneot quench,
Nor ought but love from thee give recompetence.
Thy love is such I can no way repay.
The heavens reward thee manifold, I pray.
Then while we live, in love let's so persever
That when we live no more, we may live ever.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Ending the culture of death via marriage

...is the subject of Dr. Marvin Olasky's column in this week's copy of World Magazine. As is usual, his logic is compelling; given that the vast majority of abortions involve out of wedlock pregnancy, a return to respect for marriage would likely greatly reduce abortion rates--by at least an order of magnitude.

Knowing this, it is a shame that so many otherwise pro-life men refer to their wives as a "ball and chain", or view marriage as some infringement on their lives. Is this how we treat our "spare rib", the one who shares all with us? Is it any wonder that we have over a million abortions (and hundreds of thousands of divorces) each year with attitudes like that?

Let's start a practice of bragging about the joys of marriage instead. I'll start.

My wife is my constant companion, consolation, helpmate, and encourager. She's the faithful homeschooling mom of our four children, the caretaker of our home. She also is the one who bought me my pickup, my power tools, my bicycle, many of my books, and my guns.

No "Bond girl," or series of them, can compete with that. Certainly no bar experience can compete with it. Let's remind our friends of this fact.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

...or want a little raise?

The SEC, in its, um, finite wisdom, appears to be moving to require more disclosure on executive pay in order to "better serve" stockholder interests. One of the parts of the proposal is to reduce the amount of extra-wage compensation required to have SEC regulations apply to $10,000 from $50,000.

Now think about this. In order to allow stockholders to "rein in" pay packages in the millions, the SEC is going to analyze every bonus or perk that costs more than $10,000.

In other words, they're going to look at the perks of a good portion of all professionals (engineering, law, etc..) and first level managers in the effort to help stockholders control executive pay--causing some of them to disappear due to the costs of compliance, while doing nothing to control excesses like those of Enron or Tyco.

Thanks, SEC. Not.

Want a big raise?

I'm talking about 50%, or even a doubling of your wages. Want to know what to do?

John Taylor Gatto's work suggests a powerful method; get rid of your manager. No, not by hiring someone from the Mob. No, no, no!

Rather, Gatto (again, no, not Gotti!) reminds us that 13% of wage-earners in the USA were managers a few years back--and that includes millions of small businesses having no manager at all. Contrast that with about 4% in Japan, and add in HR, PR, Benefits, and other "helper" organizations, and you'll find that "overhead" costs take a disproportionate share (I'm guessing 30% or more in most companies) of resources available to "the help." Put simply, managing people is a difficult enterprise, and takes a lot of work.

So how do you give yourself that raise? Work in such a way that your manager doesn't have a lot to do, or find a way to ply your trade as an entrepreneur.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Some more on liberty

....take a look at the work of John Taylor Gatto, a former New York state teacher of the year. He deals predominantly with educational issues....but then he doesn't, but rather traces the decline in education observed in the past century and a half in terms of the desire to control other people. In other words, large, government-run schools are an infringement on liberty of no small order.

Friday, January 06, 2006

What would you do....

with liberty?

No, really. I'm personally an advocate of liberal arts education, especially as detailed in Dorothy Sayers' "The Lost Tools of Learning." I believe that teaching logic, rhetoric, and grammar fairly well would revolutionize the thinking of all of us. I take seriously C.S. Lewis' "The Abolition of Man" and the possibility of becoming a "trousered ape."

But let's assume that we get this education--these habits of thinking, really. What do we do with them when we get 'em? We'll be free, right?

Free of taxes? Nope. Free not to work? Nope. Free of disease? Nope.

And we can look at the "free" men of Rome, medieval Europe, and even the United States at times. All too often, freedom for them meant grievous sins, including the enslavement of others. No, thank you.

So I come to the conclusion that unless we couple our thinking with the fruits of the Spirit spoken of by Paul in Galatians, we're not free at all. That said, if we master love, joy, peace, self-control, and such, we'll end up freeing ourselves of all kinds of entanglements.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

New Years' Resolutions

To all of my eager readers....well, really, any reader that I can get. :^) Here are my resolutions for this coming year.

1. To get back in mediocre shape and lose 20-30 lbs. I'm doing some calisthenics (squats, pushups) to get my flabby muscles moving to burn a bit more fat.

2. To work more on what is important and eliminate some of the trivia from my life. Even that which is morally neutral can be a horrendous distraction.

Yours? Keep me accountable if you like.