I went outside and walked in the rain tonight.
The puddles were warm; they're always cold in Iowa, but here they were warm.
I got damp, and then wet, and then soaking wet, with the rain running down my face.
It was wonderful.
Alrighty. Yes, I'm actually still alive, and have been so for the entire weekend. Some of you are very disappointed, but I'll let that slide this time.
First off, I want to say that whoever thought that 1A running around yelling at some ungodly hour of the morning would be a good extended orientation activity should be shot, drawn and quartered, and hung up as an example for the rest of campus. I do *not* appreciate being woken up before dawn on a Sunday morning.
After catching a few more hours of sleep, I managed to drag myself out of bed and go to church with various and sundry friends. What's even more amazing is that I stayed awake through the entire sermon. Which may or may not be a good thing, as I now feel stupider for having done it.
I have vague recollections of visiting the church we went to a couple of times very early in my freshman year. I didn't go back; now, I like to chalk it up to feelings that something was fundamentally wrong with the preaching. This may or may not be true. I was a little bit naive back in the day.
Anyway, the pastor proceeded to take as his text Revelation 18. Of course, in reading it before the actual sermon he stated something to the effect that it was quite self-explanatory and could stand on its own. Then he spent an hour explaining it to us. For those of you who don't particularly feel like looking it up yourselves, it's the passage where Babylon the Great falls and the vast majority of the world is mourning over it. The summary of the sermon reads thus:
Babylon the Great = materialistic economic empire which will rise up in the last half of the Tribulation
Materialism & money = bad
Bad things get destroyed -> bad people are sad
Bad things get destroyed -> good people are happy
Etc., etc. Which wouldn't be so bad, except for some of the weird cross-references he pulled in. For instance, in Rev. 18:2 it states that Babylon the Great "has become a dwelling place of demons and a prison of every unclean spirit, and a prison of every unclean and hateful bird." As some sort of backup, he referred to the parable of the Mustard Seed, and interpreted it to mean not the church as a whole, but organized religion, and especially the one-world church which he says will rise up in the end times. This is apparently because of Matt. 13:31-32, in which the mustard seed grows into a tree, and birds rest in its branches. And since birds are obviously demons and incarnations of evil, the parable of the mustard seed cannot refer to anything good. Contrary to popular opinion, and the belief of nearly every other church in the nation. But anyway, enough of that.
I finally got my install of Win2K patched, after IT so kindly informed me that I was vulnerable to the Blaster worm. And then I installed Mozilla *and* Opera, and everything is fairly happy again.
Today's the memorial service for everyone from LU who died over the summer. Three people; they'll be missed by so many today.
Hmm... my comments no longer show up at all in Win2k Explorer. This is obviously a sign from God that I need to install Mozilla or Opera.
And running on about 4 hours of sleep.
It should be a great evening. *grin*
You know, I'm getting tired of my plans always changing at the last minute. It seems I now won't be on campus until Saturday morning. While this will make tomorrow considerably less hectic, I'm still annoyed.
Anyway, you all who are already at LU will have to get along without my charming presence for an extra 24 hours. I hope your little minds can stand the strain.
All right. I'm back home (home? Is this home? I'm not sure...) for all of 48 hours, my computer is still alive, and I spent the whole evening very profitably watching mindless television. I'm going to bed.
Ah, must post this, too. Look, they're at it again. I guess Oklahoma wouldn't take in the poor Dems this time.
No, I'm not home yet. But I am sitting in front of my aunt's computer, so I decided to be all informative and post something.
My little sister is now safely esconced in the dorm at Grace College. It's a nice school. I just wouldn't fit in at all. My first impression in the gym while watching people wait in line to get their room keys, etc? "Man, there's a lot of girls here." And there are, comparatively speaking anyway. The student population is about 60% female. Sharon will have lots of fun, but I would probably be very frustrated in about two weeks. Not from lack of guys, but because I'd have to put up with so much 'girl talk'. I'm shuddering just thinking about it.
We also roamed around Warsaw, IN awhile. Saw the house I lived in until I was 11, some friends from our old church here, etc. I didn't realize this until we were driving into Goshen Friday evening, but northern Indiana looks a lot like east Texas. Kind of flattish, more trees than Iowa, a few scattered trailer parks beside the road. Yes, I know, Moore will probably want to kill me after he reads this. But it's true.
Oh, and as a bit of amusement to brighten your day, allow me to repeat the quote I saw on a church sign between Warsaw and Goshen.
New Paris Church of the Nazarene - "The only vitamin a Christian needs is B1."
One week, and I'll be headed back to LU. Just one more week. One more week, made shorter by a trip to Indiana through next Tuesday. For the oblivious, this means I won't be able to post until next Wednesday unless I post something from my sister's computer once I get it set up in her dorm. Time will tell.
Oh, and I'm really glad I don't live in New York City right now. Really, really glad.
This evening, in a rare 25-minute slot of free time, I sat down and watched an episode of the Andy Griffith show with my siblings. Everyone should have the opportunity to see this show at some time in their lives; even if they don't appreciate the fact that a show about decent people can actually be funny, it gives a good example of the way people used to think life should be like.
The one we watched tonight centered around a fairly personable hobo who hitched a ride into town on one of those things called trains. You know, they travel along tracks and try to run innocent cars down at intersections. Anyway, this hobo seemed to be fairly well-read; he made various references to evolution, oriental methods of horticulture, and the groundskeeping around Buckingham Palace. He also was acquainted with methods of extracting gumballs from gumball machines without using any shiny, round bits of metal. As the story goes, he runs into Andy and his son Opey while they are off fishing. A little while later, Barney picks him up on various small charges of loitering and jaywalking, and Andy, being the kindly sheriff that he is, lets him off the hook, since he's bound to be out of town before too long anyway. One thing leads to another, the hobo influences Opey to play hooky and fail to clean his bedroom, and Andy eventually convinces the amusing yet less-than-law-abiding vagrant to catch the next train out of town.
The character portrayal of the hobo startead me thinking. Here we have a fairly decent guy with a good sense of humor, a way with kids, who apparently knows how to read, and enjoys it. The only thing that's wrong with him is that his moral compass tends to point northeast instead of true north. If there ever were people like that who rode trains and stole apple pies from law-abiding citizens, they seem to have disappeared nowadays.
Until I realized that they haven't disappeared at all. See, a bunch of them got grants from the government and what all, and went to college. Most of them became Professors of Sociology and Applied Morality at Ivy League schools, but a few also decided to be Democrats and Socialists and confuse people in Washington and protest wars and things. Since they got to be so important, people assumed they'd had operations to get their compasses fixed, and started listening to them, instead of telling their kids important things like "Don't steal" and "Go to school so you can learn things". Thus we have people who think that since gumball machines don't use the money we give them, they don't need it. In fact, all the gumball machines really need is a nice pat on the head to make them feel worth-while.
And then they went around and told the kids that they could have as much sex as they wanted, as long as they didn't have babies or get sick. And if they do have babies or get sick, all they have to do is ask nicely and Uncle Sam will give them money to make all their troubles go away.
Then they told the parents that they'd better stop telling their kids what to do, since it's bad for the kids' self-esteem.
Then they told the big countries to make the little countries stop fighting, and the college students to make the big countries stop fighting, and the United Nations to make everybody stop fighting.
And then they decided that killing the little owls is bad, but laying off the people who cut down the trees and make money to feed their families is good, because then the little owls don't have to move to different trees.
And then they told all the little girls that they had to beat the boys at everything. And they told the little boys that they should stay home and watch the kids because it's more fun.
And then they told everybody that they would have more fun if they gave more money to the government so the government could think up fun things for them to do.
And thus the hoboes ruined the world.
If you've read enough Michael Crichton, this should send shivers up your spine. Now all we need is a ruined city and a few diamond mines...
Oh, and incidentally, Blogger was complaining about running out of room for my archives last time I posted. Who would've thought I'd be accused of talking too much.
I finally have my schedule all worked out for the next two weeks:
Mon-Wed -- Work. Think of ways to manipulate the new freshmen. Thursday -- Work. Then go reinstall Windows 98 on a friend's computer because I'm all nice and can't say no to anybody when asked nicely for a favor.
Thursday evening -- Throw a bunch of clothes into a bag for upcoming trip to Indiana. Work like mad to clean up and pack a little of the mess around here.
Friday -- Leave earlyish in the morning for Indiana to take my sister for her orientation at Grace College and Seminary. Drive or be driven crazy for 8 hours in a 15-passenger van with 9 siblings.
Sat-Mon -- Help my sister set up her computer, get all moved in, etc. Also warn her of the dangers of indoctrination and poke fun at all the stupid orientation activities.
Tuesday -- Drive back home. If I'm not crazy by this time, I just might make it until I get back to school.
Wednesday -- Pack. Then pack some more. Theoretically get everything packed. Or at least thrown into boxes and taped shut so nothing will fall out.
Thursday morning and afternoon -- Dentist appointment. Optometrist appointment. Arrange for glasses to get sent to Texas.
Thursday evening -- Should leave the house around 5ish. The friends I'm riding with are planning on driving through the night. Thus:
Friday morning -- Arrive at LU somewhere between 7am and 9am. Bring all my stuff in and dump it on the floor. Sleep for several hours.
Friday afternoon and evening -- Unpack, taking naps when needed. Enjoy myself.
I had a momentary burst of inspiration today while discussing a completely unrelated subject with my sister.
It is possible that Starfleet contracted out the control software and some of the more important hardware for their starships to Microsoft. For instance, the phrase 'recalibrate the sensors' is obviously just a different way of saying "Reboot all the servers, as they've bluescreened again." And those transporters? They malfunction at least once a month. The warp drive is never online when you need it, nor are the phasor banks. Also, the final solution to every problem is to give the trouble-making system more power to eat up. Not to mention the ease with which various evil entities including, but not limited to, the Borg, manage to hack the central computers. The security on all their ships is laughable, since nearly anybody who really wants to can take over the bridge and incapacitate the crew with little trouble.
And all those time traveling ships which keep popping in from the future? Only Microsoft would call that a feature. Since everyone from the future brings news of horrible war and tragedy, any sane person would realize that all these portents of mass extermination of the human race are a direct result of time travel. Discovering time travel causes bad things to happen. It brings in, out of the blue, evil, malicious, and nearly all-powerful enemies set on destroying every last puny little weakling in their path. Like the talking paperclip, time travel has ramifications which come completely unlooked for by any of the various marketing droids which think they have discovered the wave of the future. Literally.
It's all so obvious now.
It's all a vast conspiracy to prolong plot-lines. Really, it is.
I went shopping yesterday. Clothes-shopping, actually. Of course, being who I am, I managed to pick up a few other things along the way. Several used books, including:
"Cheaper by the Dozen" - for obvious reasons.
A very nice hard-bound edition of "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" and a few other short stories by Robert Louis Stevenson - a classic. And one I happen to enjoy very much.
"That Hideous Strength" by C. S. Lewis - No, it's not the whole trilogy, but the last book stands on its own, and I'll buy the other two before the year's out.
I also picked up a pair of black leather gloves at Goodwill. Because you never know when you'll be wanting not to leave fingerprints...