The Karl Show
So I called the Cashier's office at Stanislaus today. The lady on the other end was very happy to hear from me - until she checked my records. Suddenly her mood grew very cross and she asked very forcefully when I would pay them the money.
"Well, you see," I said, "I don't really owe you any money because my counselor said that I would be dis-enrolled before Fall semester started."
"I'm sorry sir," she said in a very clipped tone, "but this college hasn't dis-enrolled anyone in more than ten years. You'll have to clear this up with your counselor."
After I hung up, I called over to my counselor's office - only to find, of course - that nobody was there. Nobody was there to even take a message. Maybe everybody in the office was on an extended lunch break or something - I dunno. Anyway, I'll try again tommorow. With the Lord's help, I'm going to get this worked out somehow.
In other news, I discovered that I still had a few cents on the old Starbucks card in the back of my wallet. Not too much money, but enough to afford a cup of their black Coffee-of-the-day. I took Veli-Matti Karkkainen's book on Ecclesiology with me, sat down with my Colombian roast and read a chapter on "The Planetary Church." Interesting stuff.
Anya Reeser popped into Starbucks while I was there. She was meeting with some folks from her church
- planning some kind of girls retreat or something. It was nice talking to her.
Funny thing about Turlock: you can't go to Starbucks without meeting somebody you know. Amazing, but true.
AS SOON AS THINGS GET BETTER...
...they get worse again.
I got a letter today from Stanislaus saying that I owed them $1300 for classes I didnt take. I was told earlier, however, that I would be automatically disenrolled from all my classes before the Fall semester even began.
Please pray for a speedy resolution to this conflict, as I don't think I can take much more of these financial shenannigans.
: My friend Dan says not to get too worried about all this. He's pretty sure that it's just a clerical error and it'll get cleared up pretty quickly. I agree and most of all, I'm not worrying about it. Or, at least, trying not to worry. It's just kinda scary when you get a bill for $1300 in the mail....
Okay, here is the story so far:
Last Friday I got a call from a local department store
. I had applied for a job several weeks earlier, but never heard from them. I assumed that they had forgotten about me. Thankfully, I assumed incorrectly. The nice lady on the phone asked me to come in for a job interview the next day. I did, and it went pretty well. I took the mandatory drug test on Monday, and finally received the Official Job Offer today.
For those of you who know me, you realize how fantastic this news is. I've been jobless (and, not surprisingly, penniless) for almost a year now. I had bills due and payments to make. My debt was continually rising, my credit limit continually falling. Things were looking real bad - but now, suddenly, everything is all sunshine, kittens and cream. Seriously.
Thats not to say that I'm out of the woods yet. On the contrary, I still owe $400 on my Car Insurance payments, as well as being crushed under the weight of nearly $900 in credit card debt. (I had the credit card thing under control until I was forced to pay for my Fall classes and books using the ol' Visa).
So that's about $1300 that I need to earn before I actually start making money
. That's quite a tall order - but it could be worse. I could have a family to support and rent to pay. When life gives you debts....make Debitade, or something.
In the end, I'm very, very thankful for the continued prayers and support of all my friends. I think especially of my Monday Morning Men's Meeting - and especially my friend and mentor Brad
, who has held my hand through these trying times. I can imagine it's not easy being a shepherd for 200+ needy sheep, only to have one of them continually in trouble. If I had my way, the whole church would pitch in for his Florida-bound working vacation that's coming up in November. If I know anyone who deserves a vacation, it's him.
(Oh, in case you were wondering, getting this job is the "Amazing Thing" that I refrenced in my previous post).
Moving right along...
Dan is busy writing a paper for school, so he asked me to perform some Video Voodoo for Sunday Night service that he would have been forced to do. It shouldnt be too hard, and I don't mind working for the church anyway. I especially understand how hard it is to juggle school work and Work work. Hang in there, man.
Also, this Saturday I might be heading up to Reno for a little relaxation. You church folks can relax too, because we'll probably be back by Sunday morning - so I'll be able to grace you with my presence yet again.
In the meantime, go do your jobs the best you can. Earn money and be happy with what you get. I know I will be.
I won't be writing much in the next few days. I have a few important things to take care of - but rest assured - some amazing things are happening and I'll fill you all in on the details soon.
NINJAS, LASERS & GOLD
In England. You have been warned.
This is an actual phone conversation that I had just a few minutes ago. It's completely true - as much as I can remember it, anyway.
[phone rings - my dad answers it]
Karl! It's for you!
[I pick up phone]
Hi there, Mr. Naslund. How are you?
Uh, fine I guess. Who is this?
My name is John Doe* and I'm with the California Republican Party. I'm just calling to enlist your support in our upcoming campaign. Did you know that we are just nine seats from controlling the State House and being able to get all of Arnold's legislation passed? Surely you must realize how important this legislation is, so I'm calling today to see if maybe you can help us out with a $75 grant or maybe $50 if your money is a little tight right now?
Uhh.....hey, that sounds like a really great idea
, and you know, I'd love to help Ahnold
, but you see - I've actually been jobless for almost a year now - so I literally have no money
Oh. Okay. Well hey, as long we can get you to vote this November that will be great. So, yeah...hope your situation improves soon.
Har har. Now, before you think I blame the Governator for my joblessness, please note that I'm a little smarter than that. I realize that there isn't a huge cartoon-like switch in the governor's office that goes from the "More Jobs" setting on one end to "Less Jobs" on the other. I realize that Ahnold can no more control the economy than he can control the weather.
Still, asking someone to donate money to a Republican campaign only to find out that they are jobless = priceless.
OBLIGATORY POLITICAL POST
I'm going to take a few moments and make a rashly political post. There is probably too much politics on the Internet this year, and the amount of dreck will only increase as November approaches. However, I wanted to share something with you all. Here is an excerpt from the Don Imus interview with John Kerry:
IMUS: Do you think there are any circumstances we should have gone to war in Iraq, any?
KERRY: “Not under the current circumstances, no. There are none that I see. I voted based on weapons of mass destruction. The President distorted that, and I’ve said that. I mean, look, I can't be clearer. But I think it was the right vote based on what Saddam Hussein had done, and I think it was the right thing to do to hold him accountable. I've said a hundred times, there was a right way to do it and a wrong way to do it. The president chose the wrong way. Can't be more direct than that."
Later, Imus quipped: "I asked him a number of questions about Iraq and I can't tell you what he said."
Of course, we all know that our current President struggles daily with the English Language. He's from Texas, so we mostly don't hold it against him. But Kerry.....jeeeez
I've read and re-read the above paragraph, and honestly I can't make heads or tails of it.
So, under the current circumstances war is bad, but I voted for war because of WMDs. The President distorted the WMD threat. But it was the right vote because of what Saddam did, and it was the right thing to do. But we did it the wrong way. I can't be clearer.
The striking thing about that paragraph - the really striking thing - is that it's almost completely Information-free. There are words in that paragraph, of course, but almost no information. None. Maybe it's because Kerry is a Politician. He excels at saying words that don't mean what you think they mean - or don't mean anything at all.
I don't know who is going to win the November election, but I strongly believe that whoever wins should enroll in a Communications 101 class - STAT
WORD OF FAITH!
I've had my differences with Paul Crouch
in the past, and frankly, I find some of the programming on TBN to be downright manipulative. The sin of hypocrisy, however, isnt quite as bad as the sin of Extortion. I would think that asking $10 million in exchange for not revealing damaging information is kinda illegal. I hope the guy goes to jail for a while and learns his lesson. I hope Paul learns a lesson too.
RESIDENT EVIL: TURLOCK
I poked into our local Office Depot to browse the computer section (browsing only - no money). Afterwards, I walked out to my car and found the entire row of empty spaces taken up by a truck and it's huge trailer. My car was parked on in the space on the very end of the row, but the rest of the row was taken up by this monster. The trailer itself was a rounded trailer, with a very conspicious steel door in the back, securely latched. Several liquid-nitrogen tanks on the outside fed tubes into the rounded hulk. This weird-looking trailer almost touched my car, so you can imagine how non-plussed I was to think that some trucker could have backed his behemoth into my little Plymouth.
That wasn't the strangest part, however.
On the side of the trailer, in big bold letters with a vaguely creepy logo, was written the words "Accelerated Genetics, Inc".
Oh, great. Thankfully, I went home and discovered that AG Inc. mainly focuses on breeding new and better strains of farm animals. But still - one wonders what kind of horrifying creatures that they could possibly be cooking up here in my little town.
Can mutant zombie cows be far behind?
For the second year in a row since it happened, I almost forgot that it did. I'm more than a little ashamed of myself, but to err is human. My words from last year still stand, I believe.
Maybe the best thing to say is nothing at all, and simply take the day as yet another day in life - a day that the Lord gives you, a day to breathe, to walk, to take in the sunset, a day to eat dinner. A day to give thanks for the things we take for granted.
Well, actually, I wasn't named after Karl Barth. But who cares? It's fun to have the same moniker as a famous person. First Barth, then that Marx fellow...
Anyway, buy an abridged edition of Dr. Barth's Opus. It's cheaper than Volf's book, and more obtuse! Hooray!
YOU WONT BELIEVE THIS
An actual, (I assume non-sarcastic), comment
from the "Titus 1:9" Conservative Anglican blog:
"I can only hope that any disciplinary action taken would bring the ECUSA closer to England. The Episcopal Church made a great mistake over 200 years [ago] when it decided to turn its back on England and its Sovereign and accept the degeneracy of American self-dependence and separation of church and state. It's about time that ECUSA recognised the key role of England in our salvation, as most other provinces in the Communion have historically done all along. Discipline on that subject is much more important to me than any debate over the morality of homosexuality. Bring American Anglicans closer to England and all of the problems of the Church can be resolved.
Comment by Christopher Culver — 9/9/2004 @ 8:09 pm"
Where do you even begin with something like this? The role of England in our salvation? The "degeneracy" of the 1st Amendment? The Holy Sovereign of England? Sometimes you pray that these comments are sarcastic or hoaxes. Sadly, in the context of the post, I'd say it was real.
He really was serious :
"Not at all, I’m dead serious. I will spend the next two years in the United States, and its divorce from England, so much greater than any other province, makes it very difficult for me to worship in an ECUSA church.
Comment by Christopher Culver — 9/10/2004 @ 10:18 am "
Amazing. I didn't think people like him actually existed
FOOD & ETC.
Yesterday Dad took us all out to dinner at the Home Town Buffet
here in Turlockia. For those of you unfamiliar with HTB, let me say that the "B" can also stand for "Bland". I think the menu was scientifically designed to meet the needs of an elderly Swedish digestive tract. Meat? Bland. Mashed potatoes? Bland. Macaroni and Cheese? Cheesy Bland. Salad? Crispy Green Bland, and so on.
Nevertheless, you can eat all the Bland foods you like for just $8.00 or so. It's really not a bad deal, assuming that you're going to eat your fill.
Also, HTB seems to be a magnet for the +400 lbs club. It's probably the only restaurant in town where I actually feel kinda thin.
In other news, I got my first of two textbooks for my upcoming "Computers And Society" class. It's "The Digital Economy : Promise and Peril in the Age of Networked Intelligence"
by Don Tapscott. First impressions: the author is almost completely clueless
. Firstly, he refers to "Sega-Genesis" as a company. It's not a company. It's a product
. Secondly, he constantly refers to data traveling over the Internet at "the speed of light". Well, I'm not a physicist or anything, so far be it from me to pass judgment, but I believe data is transmitted from network to network far below the speed of light - as my recent 4kb/s
downloads would suggest. Those are two huge errors, and I'm not even done with chapter one yet.
I probably should cut him a little slack, though. The book was written in 1996, when this whole "Information Superhighway" thing was just taking off. It begs the question, however: what kind of "Computers and Society" class is going to use a book from 1996? It's been out of print for years, so I had to order it on the Amazon auction block. Do I sense that this class may be a little anachronistic?
Well, at least I only paid $0.39 for it. Probably the cheapest textbook I've ever bought or ever will buy.
NO SENSE CRYING...
...over spilt Jamba Juice.
I went out for a little late night JJ and got one of my favorites - Orange Berry Blitz. I put the tasty beverage into my Plymouth's extra-tiny cupholders. For those of you who don't know, Jamba Juice containers are notoriously top-heavy.
Needless to say, I hit a red light, hit my breaks and got hit by the laws of Physics when my precious five dollar slushie asploded all over my car. It flew out from the cup holder and landed perfectly - perfectly
- on it's head, spilling every single drop
of juicy goodness on my upholstry. I didnt even get a sip.
Life Lesson: next time, get a car with a bigger cup holder.
Check out this diagram
from the official F22-Raptor website. Notice anything different?
Sadly, Strongbad has been removed. However, I can testify that I did see the original, and Strongbad was very much visible. Some of those Defense Contractor people must have a sense of humor - and others must not.
DOUBLE DANGERESQUE UPDATE:
for the original image. The Man can't stop us now!
BOOK 'EM, **BURP** DANO.
Holy cow, did we have
a good Labor Day! Yes we did!
We (meaning my family and I) were supposed to head on up to Yosemite for a little picnic today, but the picnix were nixed when mom and dad woke up too late. Change of plans: head on over to neighbors house for BBQ and swimming.
I may have mentioned my neighbor (...uh....let's call him ....uhh.....Dano
) Dano before. He's a fantastic cook. He also brews his own beer. He also has a swimming pool. Need I say more?
We had brazed ribs that were out of this world. Every spice, garnish and doodad you can think of was put into the dry rub on those ribs. Dee-licious. We had some nifty margiritas to wash 'em down too.
All in all, I had a great time. So great, in fact, that I came right home and took a Coma. My mom is sitting in the living room right now, slumped over in her chair, snoring like an old turtle with asmah. It was that good.
This Labor Day was a tad bittersweet, however. It's the first jobless Labor Day that I've had in a couple years. Quick! Somebody call the Irony Police! But seriously, it kinda hurts not being able to provide for yourself. Bills are due in a few days, credit card is mostly maxed out (thanks largely to my new classes) and I may be up a creek without a paddle. Everyone I know says that I should continue to persevere and make the best of it. I agree - in fact - I don't see what else I can do. I feel as if I've hit near rock-bottom, and thankfully, as the old saying goes, when you've hit rock bottom you have no place to go but up.
Well that's about it for today, I guess. Hope you all enjoyed your Labor-less Labor Day.
PS- Under the advice of my lawyer, I've changed my profile heading to read something a little different. It's always been difficult for me to be subtle, but I think I get better as time goes on.
North Korea 'bred spies using former US soldiers'
An American army sergeant who spent 40 years in North Korea has revealed that the Stalinist state operated a programme to breed spies who could pass themselves off as Westerners.
As a part of a plea-bargain with the American military, who want him court-martialled on desertion charges, Charles Jenkins has made the extraordinary claim that other former American soldiers living in North Korea were used to father children who are now operating as spies abroad.
Kim has been accused of leading terrorist operations in the 1980s, including planting a bomb on a South Korean airliner, killing hundreds of people.
He was widely believed by the West to be insane until Madeleine Albright, the former American secretary of state, declared him to be "perfectly rational" after a summit in 2000.
I dunno, Madeleine. I reckon that anybody who builds an army of genetically-selected killbots is less than "perfectly rational". But that's just my opinion.
THE BIG LEAGUES
Ok, folks. I'm joining the Amazon Referral Thingy which means that you can now buy stuff through my little blog. Neat, yes?
Very. If you folks buy more than 20 "units" of stuff through my blog, I get a 2.5 percent comission. Whooohoo! I'm rakin' in the dough now...
Actually, it'll all go back to Amazon anyway. I chose the "Gift Certificate" option. So the more books you buy here, the more free books I'll be able to get. Sounds fair to me!
Up this week is "Exclusion and Embrace" by Miroslav Volf. I havent actually read it yet, but I've heard that it's powerful. If anybody knows about Exclusion and Embrace, it's someone who was born and raised in the Balkans.
If you could all buy about 100 copies each, I'd really appricate it. Thanks.
Some theologians have said that the existance of Sin is the easiest Christian doctrine to verify. In the spirit of such verification, I offer you proof.
Don't say I didnt warn you.
FOR GREAT JUSTICE!!!
So it's early Saturday morning, and here I am. Well, I'm not actually here
, per se. This is just an HTML file that you downloaded off the Blogspot server. I'm not here. But I am here, sitting at my desk in my office. It's 2:30 in the morning (Saturday, as I mentioned above) and I'm supposed to be doing History homework. Well, I am doing it - in between surfing, of course. There are certainly some drawbacks to internet education.
My friend Dan and his family are in Oregon. My friend Kirk is in Argentina. My friends Kent, Adam and Glenn are getting ready for school. My search for a job is now in it's 308,594,866th consecutive week. I grow closer to God while also growing more distant. My life feels like it's in neutral - being pushed or pulled depending on who's behind the wheel.
What more can I say? Except that Christopher Columbus is a dork...
"Should your majesties command it," he said to the King and Queen of Spain, "all the inhabitants [Indians] could be made slaves."
Yay for Columbus Day!!! Go slavery!
And to think that I was never taught this in 3rd grade. It almost makes one cynical...