Flashback Friday: The Guile in Argyle

Even though this blog is young, I occasionally take the opportunity on Friday to look back at a “classic” post for the incredible benefit of new readers.  This week, I’m flashing back to the one post that FAR AND AWAY has been responsible for bringing the most Google search results to this site.

People searching for “Michael W. Smith Argyle” or “Braveheart Uncle Argyle” account for 70% of searches that bring people to Amuse or Bemused.  Yeah, 70%

Is it because of the two pictures below?

Is it because these men have awesome beards?

Or is it that Argyle somehow binds the galaxy together?

Uncle Argyle from BraveheartMichael W. Smith with beard and argyle









I retort, you decide, at:  The Guile in Argyle

Please check it out, or else I’ll send you an argyle sweater and make you wear it.

What a piece of junk!

This high school will make point five past light speed.  She may not look like much, but she’s got it where it counts, kid.

Introducing Parkland High School in Allentown, PA, home of the Parkland Wookies (OK, I made that part up).  Viewed from above, it may just remind you of a certain galaxy hopping smuggling ship.

 Millenium Falcon High School

According to the Daily Mail (from which these pictures come), the school claims that its resemblance to Han Solo’s Millennium Falcon is purely coincidental.

The Falcon

Right.  Some Star Wars Geek Architect has had the last laugh.  Well, laugh it up, fuzzball!

Some people say the resemblance is just luck, but in my experience, I’ve found there to be no such thing as luck.  Check the details:  the circle in the middle of the saucer, the lines from the saucer to the front, three sets of circles (buildings) toward the back.  Brilliant.

Now pardon me while I go get an architecture degree so that I can design Enterprise Junior High.

Serious Sunday: No Borrowed Time, Tom

You never know who you’ll run into at a horse show. Yesterday, I ran into a guy named Tom. I haven’t seen him in 15 years, and it was 15 year before THAT (yes, that’s 30 years ago) that Tom was part of a small band of 20-somethings who came to one of our local churches to run a retreat. He and his compatriots were part of Zion Ministries, and they blew their entire weekend on us – a small group of high school students in a little church in a little town.

Zion Ministries 1982The folks from Zion, back then.  Tom top left.

There was great singing. There were games. There was time just hanging out, where we learned that people who seemed to be WAY older and WAY cooler than us were struggling to walk with Jesus…and that walking with Jesus was the best thing you could possibly do.

Tom’s still walking with Jesus, and with the passing of years, he and I have grown to be the same age. Two guys with some grey in their beards (I’m winning that contest) with wives and kids and responsibilities and a horse show to go to.

Back in 1982, I’d bet Tom was a guy who had plenty of things on his plate that could have kept him from committing his entire weekend to a bunch of high schoolers he didn’t know. There are always things to do.

But I want Tom and the Zion folks to know that they didn’t waste that weekend in 1982, because it changed my life. We talked about things that really matter. We had fun. We had goofy conversations that ranged from sublime to ridiculous. We worshiped with songs that came from the heart.

At one point, we discussed C.S. Lewis’ Weight of Glory, and I’ll never forget it.

It is a serious thing, to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations… There are no ‘ordinary’ people. You have never talked to a mere mortal.

Continue reading Serious Sunday: No Borrowed Time, Tom

Found: Jack Russell Terrier. Please: Help!

I saw this picture on the grocery bulletin board the other day.  On the surface, you may think its just a kind soul’s attempt to return a poor lost dog to its owner.

It is actually a cry for help.

 Insane JRT

This poor lost dog is a Jack Russell Terrier mix.  What the poster people may not have known when they took in the little fella is that sheltering a Jack Russell is a like sheltering an escaped, psychotic criminal who is off his medication and on the hunt for his next victim.

I know what I’m talking about, because we have a stray Jack Russell Terrier mix we took in.  His name is Clyde the Second.

Jack Russell destroys bone

This is the best we can do trying to take his picture, because he is like a shark swimming in the spill created by a wrecked oil tanker that was filled with Starbucks Coffee; he never stops moving.  Here, he is attempting to break the world record for destroying a Nylabone that a normal dog might play with for months or years.  On a slow week, Clyde can be done with it in 3 days.

He can’t help it.  He’s a Jack Russell Terrier. Let me explain.

Continue reading Found: Jack Russell Terrier. Please: Help!

Happy Orthodox Easter, Stormtrooper Bunny!

Today, Eastern Orthodox Christians celebrate Easter.  I am not Eastern Orthodox…does that make me Western Unorthodox?  I don’t like the sound of that.

 Anyway, I didn’t write an Easter post last week on Western Unorthodox Easter (ok, the term is growing on me), so here goes.

Nothing says, “He Arose!” like this picture my daughter took on Easter.Bunny in a stormtroopers head = Easter!

I’ll admit it:  I love the Easter trappings…candy, hard boiled eggs, and egg hunts.  Christmas has more than its fair share of secular trappings too, but I like the way Easter’s secular trappings have absolutely no connection to what we are really celebrating.

Why, you ask?

With Christmas, we mash up God’s gift of His Son, Santa’s gifts to kids, the Magi’s gifts to Jesus, and buying presents on maxed out credit cards into one, happy package.  “The real meaning of Christmas” often gets watered down to love, family, and togetherness…not God’s entry into the world as a man.

But there’s no mash up with Easter.  Bunnies, eggs, candy, springtime….nice stuff!  How does this connect with God’s Son bearing the sins of the world, being mocked, tortured, and killed, only to rise victorious on the third day, conquering sin and death?

It doesn’t.

It’s hard to make cute platitudes out of the story of Easter.  Mercifully, children (both Eastern Orthodox and Western Unorthodox) don’t re-enact the crucifixion in cute Easter pageants.

The message of Easter (last week or this) is humbling and convicting, as it should be.  It really is The Good News.  The trappings of modern American Easter are just fattening and sleep inducing.  There’s little confusing the two.

Jesus came to offer salvation to all people.  The bunny came to offer salivation for peeps.

Mmmm.  Peeps.

This just in: Brangelina engaged. In other news…

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are engaged.  Before I get all satirical let me say, “Good for them!”  Honestly.  Heck, kids, go for it and get married.

Flickr Creative Commons License from FredMikeRudy

On the other hand, the announcement that a couple who’ve been living like married people for 7 years and have 6 kids together are announcing their intent to marry seems a little….like….a….non-announcement.

So, let’s keep the non-announcements coming with the…

Top Ten Non-Brangelina Non-Announcements

1.  In a surprise move, Mitt Romney announced this week he wants to be President.

2.  In a related, shocking revelation,  Barak Obama declared that he doesn’t want Mitt Romney to be President.

3.  CNN began promoting an upcoming one hour investigative special report in which Wolf Blitzer will detail his investigation which uncovers the secret that Mitt Romney is actually a Mormon.

4.  The National Park Service issued a statement that Mount Rushmore is not a natural rock formation but is, in fact, the result of the work of sculptors

5.  Tim Tebow has announced that he’s leaving Denver.

6.  In other sports news, Tiger Woods has opened up to in a recent interview, revealing, “My golf game isn’t exactly what it used to be.”

Continue reading This just in: Brangelina engaged. In other news…

Earl Scruggs, Steve Martin, and the forbidden banjo

Banjo pickin’ pioneer Earl Scruggs passed away this week at the age of 88. Kickin-Banjo-player-in-his-own-right Steve Martin called him “The most important banjo player who ever lived.”

Back in the 70s, when Steve Martin was best known for stand up comedy, he inspired me to take up the banjo. I learned to strum things like The Grandmother’s Song, and other things playable with a I, IV, V chord pattern, but that was it. This makes me one of “the least important banjo players who ever lived.”

I went to a music store this week, and this is what I saw. I think they made the sign just for me.please keep off the banjo

R.I.P., Earl…you were amazing.

I may have to work my way up to Foggy Mountain Breakdown after all.

Christian Scientists, Un-a-Baptists, and Atheists: An Unlikely Trio

You know what an atheist is, and I’ll explain “Un-a-Baptists” later.  You know Christian Scientists, right?  They believe that our world isn’t real, that we live in the mind of God, and that disease isn’t real.  If you keep your mind right and don’t believe in disease, you won’t be affected by it.  I may be over simplifying, but hey, this is a humor blog, not a comparative theology forum.

Imagine you went to work one day, still sniffling, coughing, and sneezing from the flu, and your Christian Scientist coworker angrily protested, “HEY! Don’t bring your sickness in here!” You’d have to wonder why he’s complaining about a disease he doesn’t believe in.

It seems there are some atheists around Polk County, Florida with a similar problem, fighting things they don’t believe in.  About a year ago, a group of Christians decided to bless sections of roadway entering their county.

Flickr Creative Commons License

Recently, the atheists went to those cites with “unholy water” and mops to “un-bless” the roadway.

The head of the Humanists of Florida Association complained that the Christians’  “anointment ritual was to call out the angels to check each car that entered the county, to make sure they were Christian…” and that “we’re not going to tolerate their bigotry.”

They will not tolerate intolerance!

Continue reading Christian Scientists, Un-a-Baptists, and Atheists: An Unlikely Trio