The Karl Show
HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYBODY
I have a lot of conflicted feelings about starting a new year. I really don't know what to say - but I think this poem by Tolkien pretty much sums up my feelings. Happy new year, everybody.The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.
BAD JOBS AND GOOD SANDWICHES
Went to the mall (again) today with my family. Everybody is broke because of excessive spending around the Winter-Like Cashmass Holiday Season, so we pretty much spent the whole day window shopping. And eating.
I went to the food court and dined at the sophisticated, nuanced yet subtle "Palace of Cheesesteaks". Had a chicken-cordon-blue Cheesesteak with extra crispy Freedom Fries. It was tasty.
While my Family Units were busy gawking at the Vintage Faire dooodads, I decided to do a little job hunting. I've been hurting for some cash for quite some time, so I figured a job at The Mall wouldn't be beneath me.
I asked around at a lot of places, including Waldenbooks, but sadly, they told me that not only are they not hiring, but they are actually laying off
Eventually, I found my way to a little shop called "International Imports"
, it looked pretty promising - at first. The lady said that I could give her my resume and she would get the hiring process in motion. Finally! A Job! Money! Things! Stuff!
The lady gave me a prefunctory tour around the shop and explained to me all the departments that I would work in. The Joke department, the T-Shirt department, the Gift deparment, the Adult depar-
Excuse me? The Adult deparment? As in, the "Adult" if you catch-my-drift department?
"Oh yes!" the tougue-pearced lady said. "I'm actually in charge of the adult department."
That was all she said about that. After showing me around a little more we shook hands - I smiled - and I went on my way. I don't need to tell you that I'm probably not going to be working there - but the situation did strike me as humorous - so I thought I'd tell you all about it on my little blog.
And now for a rant.
Why do we call those things "Adult", anyway? Well, the obvious answer is that they are for Adults as opposed to Minors. That seems like a reasonable definition, I guess. But it's a deceptive one. It really serves two purposes - one, the aforementioned purpose, to keep children away, secondly to cover up the fact that it's really something dirty and fiendish. After all, calling it the "Adult" department sounds much nicer than calling it "The Disgusting Perverted Sex Deparment".
"Oh yes!" said the lady, "I work in the D.P.S.D, that's my beat, for sure."
By controlling the language, controlling the words - people can make bad things seemingly less bad - unhealthy things seem beneficial and unnatural things seem normal.
So, that is a brief summary of my day at the mall, and some thoughts that I had afterwards. I really don't know how to write a proufound and thought-provoking end to this article, so I'm just going to end it right now.
YOU KNOW WHATS SCARY?
Sometimes I check my blog to see if I've posted anything.
EVEN DIE THEREBY
So I open up an email today with the subject heading of "KINGDOM INVESTMENT", and here's what I found....Dear Beloved in Christ, It is by the grace of God that I received Christ,knowing the truth and the truth have set me free. Having known the truth, I had no choice than to dowhat is lawful and right in the sight of God for eternal life and in the sight of man for witness of God´s mercy and glory upon my life.....I am Barrister Tola Lawson, the legal adviser to late Mr. and Mrs. James Greenwood....And as matter of fact,after I sold all their properties, I realized more than $15,000,000.00(fifteen million US dollars plus)....
So, obviously this is going to be a Famous Nigerian Scam Email with a strangely Christian bent - but here's the kicker:I had encounter with Christ when Pastor Benny Hinn was preaching on television concerning Ananias and Saphira in Acts 5:1-11. After hearing the word of God, I gave my life to Christ and became a born again Christian. As a born again Christian, I started reading my bible and one day, the Lord opened my eyes to Ezekiel 33: 18 and 19 where the word of God says: "When the righteous truth from his righteousness, and committee iniquity, he shall even die thereby. But if the wicked turn from his wickedness, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall live thereby".
I think this email raises an intresting theological question. This person claims to be a Christian, yet is obviously involved in a financial scam designed to bilk others out of their money. Can someone confess Christ and yet be a thief? Or is there a special (and very hot) place in Hell for those who use the name of Christ to "commit iniquity", as Ezekiel says. I sure hope so.
Also, it was funny to see the name Benny Hinn attached to this scam. Benny Hinn! In a Scam? Imagine that!
AND I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP
Went to the mall today for a little after-Christmas bargan hunting. Had lunch at the chinese resturant in the food court where I spied this sign:
Tis' the Season for Shrimp!
I can live with the war, with the plague and pestilence - but this - THIS - is proof that humanity has truly gone insane. "2000 years ago, Christ our savior was born in Bethlehem, so buy some shrimp!"
THANK YOU, FOIA!
Have you ever heard of Abbie Hoffman? The 60's radical who preached revolution against the pigs? Well, thanks to the FOIA (click on Electronic Reading Room)
, I'm having a lot of fun reading his FBI file. It's also pleasing, in a mean sort of way, to see that his plans for a perfect utopia didnt exactly turn out the way he expected. Excerpt:
"...does not ever plan to work because he is a passive revolutionary. Everything is free, he is in the process of completely redeveloping New York City and has things well under way. From Fourteenth Ave. on, things are well organized, free sex, free narcotics, the world is a ball. Everyone invited to join the activity there. Hoffman observed that he has done such a good job in New York City, he does not know why he wants to leave..."
Yup. That whole 14th Ave. experiment turned out real good, didnt it?
FROSTY THE TURLOCK MAN
It's 8:30 am, I have a head cold and there is a inch of frost covering the whole world right now. FYI.
Il Parisa Hilton Duce!
For some reason, I seem to be getting Italian spam in my mail box. Egregio signore
Benvenuto! Questo link la portera' alla pagina
della donna piu' famosa del 21esimo secolo.
Paris Hilton.Ne ha sentito parlare prima?
Per saperne di piu' segua le istruzioni
che trovera' nella pagina seguente.
Le auguro una buona visine
Stupidity knows no bouandries, it seems.
BEST CHRISTMAS PARABLE EVER
I went to our Christmas Eve service tonight, and I'm happy to say that it was very uplifting. Pastor Brad did a great job with the parable, and I don't just say that because he accounts for 25% of the readership on this website.
It's good to know that we don't have to be good enough for Christmas, and by extension, good enough for salvation. None of us could ever be good enough. God knew that, He still knows it today - which is why we have Christmas.
Also, I couldnt help but notice a thinly veiled refrence to a "computer savvy man" who plays the ukulele.....er....I mean, banjo. I wonder who that could represent? ;-)
Merry Christmas to one and all, and to all a good night.
THE WORST CHRISTMAS PARABLE EVER
So today is Christmas Eve, 2003. Praise be to God.
About my debt situation: as I said in an earlier post, I paid off about 300 of 900 that I owe, which leaves me roughly 600 to pay off. All of my Christmas money will be going towards that stupid credit card, but I'm really not bitter. Let me explain.
This is going to be the first Christmas in my life when I didn't get anything
. All the money that relatives are sending me is going directily to my credit card, all the gifts that people give me are going back to the store - to be exchanged for cash - so I can pay off my credit card.
I have every right to be angry and bitter about this. I have every right to hate the Bank for ripping me off with huge finance fees. I have every right to hate my parents who didnt help me with my school textbook debt (it's a long story). I have every right to hate American Capitalism for embracing usury, a practice forbidden in the Bible. And of course, I have every right to hate myself for using my credit card at all. But I don't and I won't.
Even though I'm not getting anything this Christmas, even though I don't have any wordly gifts - the fact remains that I am still wealthy beyond imagining.
Many years ago, the Creator of The Universe became a little baby in Palestine. Now, just about the entire world disputes this account of events, but we know it to be true. He grew up, lived and died - and then lived again. He still lives today - paradoxically - in some far off land and also within our hearts.
He has given me a gift that I can't return. And Lord, am I glad that I can't return it. If I could have returned it, I probably would have done so by now - but He refuses. No refund, No return. This is the gift that I have in my black, decietful heart - the gift of Salvation, the gift of Life. More precious than Gold, more beautiful than diamonds, better than our human life itself.
So the truth is, I have no more debt. I maxed out my card long, long ago - and sadly, I max it out to this day. But my debt is forgiven, my account paid. And not only that, but He's also given me a wonderful family, best friends, a great church and more love than I know what to do with.
Let me say it very clearly: this Christmas I will recieve nothing, but in doing so, I have recieved the whole world. Thank you Lord, for coming as a child, thank you for Grace, thank you for Mercy. Thank you for bringing worth to my worthless life.
Fog dampens my sky
Oh how gray the world is today
It covers like a blanket
Squak you Magpie I,
see you in the watery mist
fly and steal what is mine
The poems above are some examples of Haiku that I've just written. They arent very good, and dont exactly follow the rules, but I think it's a good start. Would you like to write Haiku with me? It's really easy.
Unlike alot of other complex poetry, there are only two rules to Haiku:
The fundamental nature of Haiku is the "season" of the year. Every Haiku poem must contain some kind of refrence to the season that it was written in. Here in Turlock, that would probably be Fog for the winter. It's different in other places around the world - so naturally it makes for intresting and diverse reading. Secondly, it must be written in the following format:
5 Syllables in the first line
7 Syllables in the second line
5 Syllables in the third line
And that's it! So write a Haiku today, and broaden your horizons!
MERRY CHRISTMAS, KARL
I went online to check my bank balance today, and the news I discovered wasin't that great. It turns out my credit card has been defaulted for the past 30 days or so, my account has
been closed, my money collected and the Collection Agency notified. Hooray.
So I need to come up with 900
dollars or be taken to court for everything that I have, which isn't much. Oh yeah, my credit history has also been destroyed.
You know what the worst part about all this is? Even worse than the prospect of being taken to court? The realization that all of it - every last bit of it - is my fault. It's all my fault, and now I pay for it. Literally.
Merry Christmas, Karl.
Mom cooked up an entire Prime Rib tonight. I could never figure out why she didnt do that more often, until I asked her how much it cost.
Fifty bucks for a side of meat. I felt like I was eating slices of gold. Still, it was delicious and we do have plenty of leftovers. Prime Rib, anyone?
ON THE OTHER HAND
If a train did derail in Turlock, it would probably destroy our Starbucks. Food for thought, Dan.
Living in a town like Turlock, where we have dozens of freight trains passing through every day - this story does give me pause.
Freight Train Derails In Placer County
So next time I'm sitting "front row" at the crossing, I'll have some happy thoughts to keep me busy.
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN....
Saddam Hussein as Charles Manson
SPEAKING OF DISTURBED...
A strange thing happened to me today. I was sitting here at the computer when I overheard my mom and dad talking about my sister in the next room. Apparently, my sister is in trouble for various reasons which I wont go into.
None of the reasons shocked me, but what did shock me was my reaction to the news.
I felt happy - almost glee - that my sister was getting in trouble. That she would take the fall for some offenses that she had committed. It didn't hit me until later on that I was thinking very bad thoughts. I mean, what did my sister ever do to me? Shouldn't I want my sister to stay out of trouble? Shouldn't I want to keep her out of trouble? Of course! So why was I so happy that she was "going down"?
I think it's because I'm a fallen human being who is still learning to be a child of God.
So now you and I have proof - if any was needed - that I can be a wretched and twisted little man sometimes. But thanks for still being my friends, none the less.
YES, I AM DISTURBED
AVAST, ME HEARTIES!
Along with her Zucchini Bread, my mom also made some "Rum Balls"
. The reciepe calls for some Rum, so mom ran out and bought some Captain Morgan's Spiced Puerto Rican Rum!
I decided to take a swig and see what all the hype is about. I'm constantly told by my peers, TV, radio, print and billboard advertising that Alcohol is just super! So I took a little sip. Or should I say, a little sip took me.
Honestly, I have no idea why people would drink this stuff. It tastes like a combination of Listerene and Rubbing Alcohol. Oh, it also felt like Napalm going down my throat.
I can't say that it's an expirience I'd like to repeat. Remember kids, just say "NO" to the silky smooth flavor of Captian Morgan's Liquid Napalm Drink.
No, really, I do. At the end of the day, I smell like a used jock strap stuffed inside a dirty sock, then rolled in a block of Limburger cheese. Thats how bad I smell.
Ii take a shower every day, put on deoderant and cologne - it's just, I always end up smelling really bad.
My mom thinks that having an improved diet would help with the problem, and I agree. I just don't know how to go about doing that!
I WISH WE HAD FRUITCAKE
You see, instead of baking fruit cake, my mom bakes "Zucchini Bread" instead. Quite frankly, I think thats enough to drive a wedge between us all by itself.
Tommorow hopefully I can visit my friend Leafar, who currently lives in the Bay Area. That'll be nice.
Well, things on the homefront arent looking too good.
My parents and I will have confrontations once in awhile, and they usually arent pretty. They are usually my fault too. I hate it when this happens, but it's almost like a force of nature.
1) Mom or Dad says something (usually about "new" rules for the house)
3)Mom or Dad get angry
4)I get angry too
It really gets on my nerves after a while, and it starts to exaust me. I hate it when this happens, so all I can do is weather the storm.
Sorry I've been away so long, I've had finals all week, and I've spent most of my time studying. Now that I dont have any classes until January, hopefully I'll be able to get some blogging done. Stay tuned.
Both of these articles are a few months old, but I just discovered them recently. It seems some intresting things are going on north of the border.
Judge rules that certian Bible verses are "hate literature", when used in a certian context
andCanadian bill passes which could label the Bible as hate speech
The author of the bill, Mr. Svend Robinson says that "fears that freedom of speech and religion will suffer are "a mask for homophobia for people who don't want to be honest about the real reason why they don't want to include sexual orientation in the law," according to the Toronto Globe and Mail. "
Hoooray for "Equal Rights"!
GOOD MOVIE WATCH
I watched "Enemy at the Gates" last night. It features Jude Law and a fantastic preformance by Ed Harris. In the way that war movies go, it was pretty good. Character development was good too, and the battle sequences in Stalingrad were nicely done. Overall, I'd give it a B+.
WEIRD HAPPENINGS IN TURLOCK
Just a few moments ago, around 4:30am, I was sitting in my living room, enjoying an early-morning Orange - when I thunderous boom shook my house.
And I mean shook.
I mean, you could actually feel the house tremble and the glass flex. The boom lasted longer than a "normal" explosion, maybe as long as 2.5 seconds.
I'm not kidding when I say that it sounded like somebody had lit off a stick of dynamite a few blocks away. It was that loud. Then, of course, all the dogs in the neghiborhood started barking.
I just had enough time to run in here to my workroom and type out what I'm writing now.
But as I sit here writing this, another thought came to mind....maybe it wasin't an explosion at all, but a sonic boom?
I dunno. But whatever it is, I think the Guvmnt is taking Doug's advice and doing some weird stuff in Turlock.
Either that or somebody down the street really did set of dynamite. That wouldn't surprise me either. This is Turlock, after all.
Well, I'm happy to say that I was the 1,000 visitor to my own website. Truly, this website is now more self-centered than ever before.
ATTENTION ALL PROTESTANTS!!!
I was reading through a Theology forum when I came across this:
Do Protestants go to hell?
It is not my contention that all Protestants will go to Hell, nor that they will all get into Purgatory. But it will be a mixture....Our Catholic Sears have seen the death of some Protestants, and were surprised to see Mary come and lend her advocacy with them before Christ their Judge. Certainly these people would not be damned. But Mary all too often sees the utility of Purgatory for some souls who had not made a great effort in their lives to purify themselves....One huge problem with the Protestant Churches is that no one prays for the dead – you think you are all going to Heaven and so when most of you go to Purgatory, no one prays and so little of the suffering is averted. Purgatory is not meant to be permanent, and rumor has it that on the Day of Judgment the Souls in Purgatory will be released.
And you wonder why I'm not Catholic.
Now, I understand that this person isnt indicitive of all Catholics everywhere, but along side the good folks in The Church of Rome, there is a strain of Loonyism that runs very, very deep. I hope one day the Church will get it's act together on these folks.
But I wonder why "they" (meaning the Bishops, etc) don't? Maybe because they feel these Uber-Marian looneys are the only alternative to the creeping liberalism in the Church? Could be. But then again, I've been known to be stupid.
CALVIN & HOBBES
C&H used to be probably my favorite comic strip. After it ended in 1995, its creator, Bill Watterson, became a recluse and refuses to speak with anyone
about his creation.
Rumor has it that he enjoys painting landscapes as well - but as soon as he's done painting, he burns the canvas and starts again.Click here
to read a long and intresting article about the mysterious whereabouts of Bill Watterson.
I hope he comes back one day, I really do.