Monthly Archives: June 2007

Is it amnesty if they’re already here?

As you already know, unless you’ve been standing in line to buy your iPhone, the Senate struck down an immigration bill that detractors say would have granted amnesty to the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants in the United States.

Ay. Que complicada la cosa. (This is so complicated.) As one astute pundit put it, the failure of the bill doesn’t mean that the millions who are here illegally will now go to their countries of origin.

Once again, our lawmakers stare in the face of greatness, blink, decide they enjoy their eyes closed and take a siesta from the immigration issue until a new president begins his term in January 2009. Continue reading

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June swoon

It appears I have been in a writing funk for a few weeks now. There’s no reason, really. Summer is here, the wife is enjoying the perks of her teaching job and that Hebrew Prophets paper is over.

A significant amount of my time is spent in the evangelism/outreach field at church and while there has certainly been a lot to document, I’ve been so busy giving Bible studies, discipleship classes, hosting dinners and checking in with my peeps that I flop on the couch at the end of the day with a good book and tune out the world.

I’ve slowly emerged from my vacuum-sealed bloggless cocoon and will be my old self by next week.

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Overheard at La Casa Rivera:

“If I could eat beans and listen to Bossa Nova every day, I’d be a happy man.”

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Court drop-kicks “bong hits” appeal through goal posts of life

Get it on, Bang a Bong, Get it on...

In easily the most bizarre news item of the day, the Supreme Court ruled 5-3 that school administrators can punish students for statements that promote illegal activity.

The event in question occurred in January 2002, according to blog site Lift While Climbing,

as the Olympic torch relay wound through Juneau, Alaska, en route to the winter games in Salt Lake City. As the torch passed by the school, student Joseph Frederick and friends unfurled the banner across the street from campus apparently to attract the attention of television cameras.

More analysis of this will follow tomorrow, I’m sure. The SF Chronicle, from the city that knows a thing or two about bongs, stumbled first out the gate with a lengthy piece on the ruling, not even the recent 25 percent reduction of its newsroom staff could keep them from leading the news cycle.

Anthony Spicoli humor aside, this confirms what I’ve said for years — we’ve run out of things to do. What other explanation is there for “Bong Hits for Jesus,” additional holes in one’s head

and the vaunting of all things 80s?

My high school crush said I reminded her of Duckie

That’s all for now. The crotchety old man is signing off to read The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, the latest offering from Wonder Boy Michael Chabon. Anyone else reading it? What is everyone else reading this summer?

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Filed under nutty news, Supreme Court

The wife returns, civilization restored

The wife returned this, er, yesterday afternoon after a week’s absence visiting her family in Southern California. Her 85-year-old father, a.k.a. The Indestructible Little Mexican Man, continues to do well.


I’ll send another dispatch tomorrow, now that my week of bachelorhood has come to a close.

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Update: Authorities capture fugitive Eric Hu, pleads not guilty

Clifford Oto/The Record

Good news. Eric Hu, our local escaped convict, was apprehended without incident Tuesday after more than two months on the run. He said repeatedly to his girlfriend that he would not be taken alive. All joking aside about living through my first neighborhood manhunt, I am thankful no one was injured or killed in the arrest. I’ll sleep a little better at night knowing he’s behind bars. I can’t believe he was going door to door on my street and trying to take people hostage and stealing their cars.

Hmm, we were going to wait a year before buying a home, now I’m thinking we might move it up a bit.

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Read this: Hemant Mehta’s “I Sold My Soul on eBay”

I’m almost finished reading Hemant Mehta’s book I Sold My Soul on eBay, which details his experiences as an atheist visiting Christian churches of varying sizes and traditions after putting himself — and his soul — on the eBay auction block.

The winning bidder, evangelist Jim Henderson, “paid for his time” by sending him to more than a dozen churches in. A self-described “friendly atheist,” his web site keeps abreast of atheists in the news — something that is rarely done in our culture. Sadly, and this is a point he mentions in his book, atheists only make the news when there is a court case or a moral issue being debated.

Hemant’s perspective is that Christians don’t really know atheists, and I would have to agree. He argues that most Christians view atheists as immoral, corrupt and evil and that isn’t the case. He argues that he believes in morality, although as an atheist he believes the origin of his morality is not from God, but from himself, or more precisely, learned behavior. Continue reading

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One ink cartridge, several pots of coffee, a week’s worth of late-night writing sessions and several pieces of paper later. I am finished with my Hebrew Prophets class. Hallelujah. Off to get some frozen yogurt and take a much-deserved nap.

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I’m (almost) finished

My whale of a paper on Jonah is almost complete. It’s probably the best work I’ve ever done and, no surprise, the most grueling. Let’s just say that my days of applying a undergraduate’s worth of effort to a graduate course are long, long gone.

I’ll be back, when the day is new, and I’ll have more ideas for you. And you’ll have things you’ll want to talk about. I will, too. 

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My warranty has expired

When I hit my mid-30s, my life fell apart, at least my body did.

  • In May 2006, I had a pilonidal cyst removed from my lower crack, um, back.
  • In April, as some of you remember, I had an appendectomy.
  • On Monday, I had a ganglion cyst removed on the top of my foot.

The most recent escapade was a marvel of simplicity and efficiency. It took significantly longer to fill out the first-time patient paperwork than it took to apply local anesthetic and squeeze the mucus that had formed in a tight ball on top of my foot. It came out in a perfectly clear goop that sat triumphantly on top of the dermatologist’s index finger, like a transparent turd.

All this fun for an hour of my day and a $20 co-pay.


Filed under health, humor