Monday, January 30, 2012

Musical Misdemeanors

I've observed in the past that all churches, even those who don't consider themselves "liturgical," nonetheless do have a liturgy, by which I mean that each church has a set pattern by which that community worships God. A pattern that, if it is disrupted, the disruption is not only noticed, but often resented. I am by no means immune to this observation. I worship with the congregation I do for many reasons, but one of them is that I find myself more or less "in tune" with the patterns of worship there, and when those patterns are disrupted, I don't always like it.

Friday, January 27, 2012

A Brief History of G.B. Blackrock - Part One

OK. So we've been told that the old Marvel Transformers comic continuity is being picked up again, starting with a Free Comic Book Day issue in May. The good folks at Comic Book Resources have released a preview that gives us a little more information. Obviously, this has generated some speculation about just what lies in store, and I've been following all of that with interest. But what really caught my attention was the fact that G.B. Blackrock was one of the characters "we can expect" to see featured in the new stories. Having used that name as my main Transformers-forum alias for many years now, and having gone to the trouble to create a custom figure of the character, Blackrock is obviously a character I'm pleased to see again. So, for the benefit of those who only know of Blackrock from the occasional mention of his name here on the blog, it's time to fill in Blackrock's story.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Montreat! Montreat! Montreat!

Although I've certainly shared videos, myself, I have to admit that I really wish that people didn't share videos on Facebook and elsewhere as much as they do. I would much rather everything shared was text. The reason for this is that I do much of my browsing during downtime at work, and I don't wish to disturb my co-workers with the sound (obviously, an audio-only piece can be even worse). Also, it's much easier to leave a page of text alone when a task comes in, and come back to it once I'm done, than it is with video.

All this means is that, when I started to see this video of "Stuff Presbyterian Seminarians Say" making the rounds on Facebook Monday morning, I waited until I was at home that evening to finally watch it. You can watch the video for yourself after the jump, or just go straight on to my comments.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Year of the Dragon: Let's Update Cryotek

CryotekI've been getting a lot of e-mails and notices informing me that it's Chinese New Year time, and that specifically this will be the year of the Dragon. I figure it's as good an opportunity as any to revisit one of my dragon-themed Transformers, and quickly realized that my old Cryotek entry had pretty lousy pictures, and that I could almost certainly do better.

I invite you to head back to the entry and see the new robot mode and dragon mode images (I confess that I didn't retake the "dragster" picture, which needed it less, anyway).

Friday, January 20, 2012

Transformers Feature: Gutcruncher with Reprolabels

This entry has been a long time in coming.

A little less than five years ago, I announced the completion of my collection of American-released Action Master figures with the acquisition of Gutcruncher. I made that claim by the standard of having all of the actual figures themselves, even though I didn't then—and still don't to this day—actually have all of the accessories that came with each figure if one was to buy them at retail in the early 1990s. Although I was able to get all of the accessories for Gutcruncher when I procured the Gutcruncher figure, they came with none of the stickers applied. At the end of my original Gutcruncher post, I commented that I had contacted the folks at Reprolabels about getting a set of Gutcruncher labels made. Such a set was finally made available a few months ago, and I made sure to order my set!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

On Dealing with Bullies

Mark Driscoll is a bully.

I'm not unaware that to call someone a "bully" (and I'm not the first person to do so) is to resort to name-calling, and I'm not really a fan of conscious name-calling (not that I advocate for doing it unconsciously, so much as I recognize that—being human—I don't always realize when I've failed to uphold my own ideals). But I find that the only other word I can come up with to describe the man, based on what I've read of his own words and his interactions with other Christian leaders, is "thuggish," and that amounts to much the same thing.

Monday, January 16, 2012

He Speaks French!

There is so much one could say about the political campaigning going on these days. Thankfully, here in California we're not targeted by the bulk of it just at the moment. I hope that holds true for just a while longer.

Friday, January 13, 2012

"...More Guns Than a Tea Party Convention in AZ"

Believe it or not, this is not a political post, but a Transformers-related one. The quote comes from alt.toys.transformers member "Banzai-Tron" (here's the full post), and was simply too good to ignore.

Unless you follow Transformers a lot (or you've already clicked the link), it's probably not obvious from the arsenal laid out in the picture to the left, but that quote was talking about the BigBadToyStore reissue of the Seacons.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Faith vs. Science: The Ongoing & Unnecessary Battle

Between two churches, a seminary, and just generally being interested in this kind of thing, I daresay its safe to say that I hear a lot of prayer requests. These range all over the spectrum, but one I heard recently left a particularly bad taste in my mouth.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Fear and Loathing in Marietta

A certain segment of the blogosphere lit up late last week in response to some anti-Mormon and anti-Muslim comments made by a local state representative from Georgia.  Here's the relevant bit, as reported in The Marietta Daily Journal:
"I think Mitt Romney is a nice man, but I’m afraid of his Mormon faith,” Manning said. “It’s better than a Muslim. Of course, every time you look at the TV these days you find an ad on there telling us how normal they are. So why do they have to put ads on the TV just to convince us that they’re normal if they are normal? … If the Mormon faith adhered to a past philosophy of pluralism, multi-wives, that doesn’t follow the Christian faith of one man and one woman, and that concerns me."

Friday, January 06, 2012

Parish Politics

A recent conversation has got me thinking about politics in church.

No, I'm not talking about the recent Iowa caucuses, nor about how some preachers might tell people in their churches how to vote. Rather, I'm thinking about the ways in which different personalities play off of each other in getting the work of the church done.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Parades and Positive Publicity

To hear the way that some people respond whenever they hear the name of Jesus Christ proclaimed in positive way public, you'd think they lived in a world in which he was never mentioned at all, and thus they're drinking up the mention of the name as though it were a drop of water after having spent the past month in the desert dying of thirst.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Game Show Board Games: TV Scrabble

As the show itself regularly announced, "it's the crossword game you've played all your life, but never quite like this!" Scrabble has certainly not been the only game show to spin out of a popular pre-existing board game, but I daresay that it was one of the more successful, lasting for nearly six years in its original run (and earning a second run a few years later that admittedly only lasted a few months). Oddly enough, the game was changed so significantly from the original Scrabble that a separately-sold "TV" version was pretty much a necessity if one was to try to play this version at home. Just having a regular Scrabble set just wouldn't cut it.

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