Wednesday, May 27, 2009

But comrade, what else could it have been?

Yeah, thats what I think too

Those zaney Russians are at it again. I wonder if it's the same guy who thinks Texas is going to leave the union to join Mexico, and that Montana is going to roll over and follow Illinois?


I don't think this is what they meant when they called him a bash brother

The fact that this isn't some sort of delayed April Fool's prank is what makes it so great. This really happened. I've watched a few MMA and UFC events, and always have to ask the question "What kind of decisions does somebody make in life to reach the point where that seems like a step up?" And nobody has ever answered that the way Jose Canseco did. Jose was riding high 15 years ago, but has burned so many bridges that he traveled all the way to Japan to go get his whuppin'. A lot of guys mentioned in his book would have been happy to save him the plane trip. I liked Jose's quote "That's a big man." Gee, you think? I'm just saying, when your credentials include fighting Danny Partridge to a draw, maybe you ought to think twice before stepping into the ring with the worlds largest Korean.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Taking a request

Not really knowing what to write a blog about, I asked a friend of mine what he wanted to hear my thoughts on. He came back with the wussification of America. Not really what I had in mind, but beggars can’t be choosers.

I don’t think this is necessarily a new phenomenon. There had to have been somebody out there that caused Sam Adams make his famous statement, “If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animating contest of freedom, — go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen!” So it’s been with us from the very beginning. It’s human nature.

If we really look at history, it seems that the tranquility of servitude is a lot more common than the contest of freedom. Europe had been settled for centuries, and had a lot of peasants serving for a lot of years before enough of them got animated enough to cross the Atlantic. They left everything they knew behind to get away from it. They were brave, but once things got settled, some of them settled down enough that when the Revolutionary War came, some were looking fondly at servitude, at least if Ol’ Sam is to be believed.

Fast forward a few more years, and you find people pushing out on the frontier looking for freedom and liberty, and people staying in the settled lands trying to simply maintain the status quo. Texans fighting for their freedom, and their American cousins back east arguing about if they should support them, or cut them adrift so as not to upset international opinion. Coincidentally, there was less support the farther you got into settled territory. Belligerent Alabamans and freedom loving Kentuckians poured over the Sabine to stand with Travis and Houston, while politicians from the north east spoke against them.

Alaska, “America’s last frontier” became a state in 1959. Gun control laws there are in line with the Constitution as written by our founding fathers. New York City is probably the most settled place in America, and they’ve outlawed transfats. In relatively unsettled Alaska, the people exercise their liberty. In New York, the government tells people what they are allowed to eat.

The H is for Hershel

"The H is for Hershel"
We had been driving most of the day, across half a dozen climate zones and almost a third of the state of Texas. Any topic we could think of had been discussed, at length. So when my younger brother made this startling revelation about our alphabet’s eighth letter, I took a moment to compose a worthy response.
“The H,” he patiently explained, “it stood for Hershel”
“What H?”
“The one in Jesus”
“There is no H in Jesus; you’re talking about Hey-zoos, like in Spanish”
“His middle name, Jesus H. Christ, the H is for Hershel”
How is a rational man supposed to reply to that? I glanced over to gauge his sincerity. He appeared earnest. Steven has spent a lifetime surprising people with his intellect. For a pretty bright guy, he does a lot to appear otherwise. Like anybody else, he makes a stupid statement from time to time, but it’s hard to know if it is an actual dumb comment, or just something he said to entertain himself. I decided to proceed with caution.
“Are you serious? Don’t be making fun of Jesus.”
“Seriously, Hershel was a common name back in the day, it's old English”
Once again, I looked his direction. Once again, he wore the same look of earnestness. We had set out that morning, first to take a crane from Lubbock to Midland, Texas, and from there to pick up a stock trailer in Coleman county and take it to Hamilton county. I had embarked on the journey prepared for tire problems, or even encounters with highway patrolmen. I wasn’t ready for debating deity nomenclature. Between my lack of preparedness and the hours of mind-numbing white lines, it is understandable if my reply wasn’t worthy of an Ivy League debate squad.
“Are you an idiot? What does old English have to do with it? Nobody spoke English, even old English. They spoke Hebrew and Aramaic, or Latin.”
“Arabs are Muslims, he couldn’t have spoken Arabic”
“Why’s the Bible in English then?”
“It’s in lots of languages, but you speak English so the ones you’ve seen where in English.”
For some reason, this made him feel the need to defend the depth of his worldly experience. “One of Uncle Randy’s hands left a Spanish Bible at the ranch once; I’ve seen a Spanish Bible. I think it’s actually Hershalvo in Spanish, but it’s the same thing. Its common knowledge in either language”
I sat, determined to keep my mouth shut, my mind made up to end this conversation. And still, he refrained from so much as grinning. Eventually, my thirst for knowledge overcame my dignity. I’ve always been the curious type, I had to ask.
“Where did you hear that?”
“I don’t know, haven’t you ever heard somebody say Jesus H. Christ?”
“That’s just what they say. It is probably for Holy. Why would you think it was for Hershel?”
“Do you know any other H names that were as common as Hershel back in the day?”
Faced with that sort of reasoning, I wanted to know what made him think Hershel was a popular name in Biblical times. And for asking, I got just what I deserved.
“Why else would anybody be named Hershel in modern times if it wasn’t an old name passed down, it’s not modern and trendy,” he replied.

That is my life in a nutshell. I’ve done a lot of stuff, most of it related by the thinnest of threads. My brother has been around most of the time. The good Lord has been there through it all, usually without getting the thanks He deserved. Some of what I’ve done mattered, and a lot of it didn’t. And most of what has happened could best be described as B.S.
So today I decided I'd start a blog. I'm not real sure how to go about getting started, so we'll go with this. It's a a tale of me and my brother, and ought to introduce things as well as anything.