Monday, January 31, 2011

That wonderful Cuban economy

Say Anything links to a listing of "hot new jobs" available in Cuba these days, thanks to the "largesse" of their government.  Now, apart from the interesting fact that one apparently needs a license to shine shoes in Cuba--I'd guess that shoeshine boy needs a similar license here in the United States, to be fair--notice how many of these "hot new jobs" involve caring for or driving draft animals, manual labor, and so on.

In other words, due to the "miracles" of socialism, Cuba is aspiring to become as productive as the civilized world was over a century ago.  Hopefully "Ragged Ricardo" is blessed to see the timely death of the Castro regime. 

The hyper-regulative principle?

My family has been working through the question of what kind of music and behavior are appropriate in worship, and as a learning experience, we decided to go through Psalm 150 in the original Hebrew--I know just enough to get myself in real trouble.  Here's some of the "real trouble" we got into:

The literary part; the meter is inconsistent, and there is no simple rhyme scheme--it's definitely built more built around the operating verb of "praise" as a refrain than anything else.  That said, after repeating each verse about ten times, I started to get into a rhythm that made sense....

....and the kids started to catch the words, and then came out the pots and pans to be our family cymbals.  Eat your heart out, old time Presbyterians!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

An ode to PETA

.....I bought bunny fur "Mad Bomber" hats for the wife and daughters for Christmas this year.  With due apologies to the fine people at Veggie Tales.....

The Bunny, the bunny, whoa I wear the bunny
I don't wear the gap or Wal-Mart, just the bunny
The Bunny, the Bunny, YEAH I eat the bunny
I gave all my veggies away for the bunny

I don't want no pleather when it's time to dress
And nasty shedding faux fur, it just makes a mess
I don't want no bunnies to come out and play
I'll ride my spring horsie wear bunnies all day
I won't eat fake meat, and I won't eat tofu
That stuff is for sissies, but bunnies are cool!

I don't want no pickles, I don't want no honey, I just want a plate and a fork and a bunny
I don't want a tissue when my nose is runny, I just want a plate and a fork and a bunny
I don't want to tell you a joke that is funny, I just want a plate and a fork and a bunny
I don't want to play on a day that is sunny, I just want a plate and a fork and a bunny
Repeat refrain during final verse

The Bunny, the bunny, whoa I wear the bunny
I don't wear pleather or faux fur, just the bunny
The bunny, the bunny, yeah, I eat the bunny
In a hot skillet with oil......goes the bunneeeee!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

It must be seen to be believed

Apparently, former Michigan Governess Jennifer Granholm--under whom Michigan's official unemployment rate exceeded 15% (25% or so including discouraged workers)--has gotten a job teaching job creation at Berkeley.

Next up, I anticipate Dr. Kermit Gosnell becoming a professor of medical sanitation and ethics at their medical school, I guess. 

Seriously, it amazes me how incompetent politicians get jobs running the exact same thing they've run into the ground.  My favorite example was Federico Pena becoming first Secretary of Transportation, than Secretary of Energy, in the Clinton administration.  This was remarkable because Pena's "qualifications" included presiding over the crash in the oil industry while mayor of Denver, and then commissioning Denver International Airport to "provide jobs" in the wake of that crash--that project coming in at about five times over budget.  If there were less qualified people to run the USDOT and DOE, I'm yet to be made aware of them.

Now this is something I'd like to see more of!

"Ben" comments on the 400th anniversary of the King James Version:

As a committed 1560 Geneva Bible Only (GBO) advocate, I mourn this last day of the last year before the New Age Bible (Per)Versions gained ascendancy in the English language. In 1611 dawned a day when a "bible" produced by Anglican, gospel-compromising, Erastian, Puritan-hating, monarchists changed God's Word and displaced a TR-dependent, nonconformist-influenced, divinely designated Word of God in English produced in the REPUBLIC of Geneva

Now seriously, I love and treasure the 1611 Authorized Version (and am doing my daily devotions in it), but the bibiolatry practiced by KJV only (and KJV preferred) advocates desperately needs this kind of mockery, as it does nearly immense damage to the Church.

That said, this blogger has in his possession a picture of "Ben" (who as far as I know I do not know) sitting in a leather armchair puffing on a cigar, so obviously his view means nothing.  (paraphrase of an actual argument against the eclectic text offered by one KJV advocate.....)

But where will they have the Hash Bash?

Evidently, the University of Michigan has banned almost all smoking on campus. Now, apart from the issue of personal freedom, as well as the reality that diffuse cigarette smoke outside probably doesn't do anyone any harm, is a very important question to many students and professors at the school that gave the Unabomber his Ph.D.; where will the Hash Bash be held, now that the Diag is off limits to smoking?

Or is the ban of smoking only, ironically, a ban on smoking legal substances, and hence Michigan students and professors will still be able to drown their sorrows of yet another loss to the Spartans or Buckeyes with a length of rope?

Monday, January 24, 2011

More thoughts on adoption

My wife checked a very interesting book out about the "Orphan Trains" of the late 1800s, and those who desire to bring the Church into a more vigourous policy of adoption would do well to read it and absorb its lessons.

More or less, the history of New York City in the late 1800s was one where multitudes of immigrants came and worked, and as with any extremely poor population with difficult working conditions, alcoholism and poverty resulted in hundreds of thousands of orphans needing care.  Death rates for "foundlings" (abandoned infants) approached 90% in some orphanages, and (as today) parentless children began to terrorize the streets of Gotham.

Enter the "Children's Aid Society" and others, who realized that only hours away by train, multitudes of farmers needed more children to help with the work than they had.  In the end, apparently about 200,000 orphans found homes.  We can learn a lot from this example.

First of all, the clothes hound in me noticed that, while most likely these kids did not have the closets full of clothes that children today possess, they did tend to have at least one more decent winter coat than those of today--see the picture in the link.  Next, it is illustrative that they tended to work only with families with good character references.  I'm guessing they avoided a lot of problems that way.

On the down side, the book contained little information about the spiritual life of the founder of the "Children's Aid Society," Charles Loring Brace, other than that he was raised as a "Calvinist" and became a Methodist clergyman.  I figured out why later; Brace was, if not one of the leaders, one of those who inspired the "Social Gospel" movement, and hence the intricacies of theological systems were not his chief interest.

Also of interest is the fact that the main difficulties they had with assimilating children were with older boys--in other words, once the damage of homelessness and parentlessness had been done, it is difficult to undo that, even with amazing parental love in an adoptive home. 

Sounds a lot like our foster system, doesn't it?  If a church, or family, wishes to do its part in providing loving homes for the 115,000 adoptable foster children in our country, they would do well to re-learn the lessons learned by Rev. Brace and others involved with the orphan trains.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Book Review: "Federal Husband," by Douglas Wilson

This is a book that I really wanted to like; the author begins with a discussion of the nature of marriage as a covenantal relationship, tying marriage to--as it should be tied--the nature of God, the nature of the Church, and more.  As is typical with a book by Wilson, there are a number of observations which are--at least to those not at the target of the comment--side-splitting.

And yet I am profoundly disappointed by the book, and not just because I'm a dispensationalist, while Wilson is a strong covenant theologian.  No, I was disapppointed because uncharacteristically, Wilson does not hit his target full force. I learned about earrings, nose rings, piercings, beards, the necessity of work, how the family business/agrarian movement (e.g. what Vision Forum is promoting) and feminism are both wrong, but.....ironically, despite the first third of the book being devoted to the "federal" or covenantal nature of marriage, he really doesn't firmly make the connection between the nature of God's love for the Church and what ought to be a man's love for his wife, and how it ought to be expressed.

In short, while no one in evangelical, Reformed, or fundamental circles ought to ignore work by Wilson, this particular book fails due more or less by failing to organize itself around the central passages the Scripture uses to describe the institution of marriage.

Now that's more like it!

Every now and then, this humble weblog likes to share some good news, and thanks to the government of South Korea, we have some today.  South Korean commandos stormed a ship held by Somali pirates, killing eight and capturing five, without losing a single crewman or commando.  Don't you love it when a story has a happy ending?   Maybe a plate of bu golgi with kimchee is in order to celebrate.....

It's like God knew what He was talking about......

The Economist reports that, wonder of wonders, those who delay having sex until marriage have better communication, marital stability, marital satisfaction, and......better sex.  It's as if the Guy who came up with the idea knew what He was talking about when He told us how to go about it.

Now, howzabout an apology from those who reject abstinence based sex ed on this point?  I'm guessing I'd better not hold my breath.

H/T Traditional Catholicism

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Now I understand, Professor Williams

If you want to know why Professor Walter Williams tends to call many civil rights activists "race hustling poverty pimps," you would have done well to be listening to WCCO today, as Minneapolis civil rights activists expressed outrage that a portion of a park named after Martin Luther King, Jr., was to be used as a dog park.

Now if they were going to invite Bull Connor to the grand opening, or use the entire area for this, I'd understand--I've witnessed firsthand how many blacks do have a different experience with canines than I have, as a friend I was running with quickly zipped about ten miles ahead of me as a good-sized pet started chasing us on a country road(nobody got bit).  A park named after Dr. King ought to be, of course, a safe, friendly place for blacks, even if it's not (as is the case here) in a predominantly black area.

That said, I'm pretty sure that the people using a dog park are not exactly going to be bringing their attack-trained Rottweilers, German Shepherds, and Staffordshires for a game of frisbee between terrorizing the postman and the meter-readers, to put it mildly.  I'm also pretty sure that those really concerned about the welfare of minorities have bigger things to worry about--awful schools, rampant fatherlessness, horrific crime, and so on--than whether there is an off-leash dog area in a park named after Dr. King.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Let no man separate.....

I am currently acquainted with at least two families which are going through divorce, and both of them have "Biblical reasons" for divorcing per Matthew 5:32--most likely on the part of both spouses, though I don't know that for sure and don't want to know.  In the New Testament economy, they are allowed to divorce, and in the Mosaic economy, the world would have up to eight fewer mouths to feed (counting the spouses and their paramours).

Actually, probably more than a dozen fewer mouths to feed, as each person has (if I'm told correctly) something of a history.  And so, the justice of the current situation is tempered by a profound sadness; as much as their ability to bond with their spouse is hampered by their past history, these latest moves will make it even more difficult for them to find marital happiness and even more susceptible to fornication--and then we can only imagine the lessons being learned by their children.

You may not know them by name, but you know them in your town, so pray for their repentance here, admonish them regarding their choices, and ask Him that your marriage might be a "Song of Songs" to those lacking Biblical understanding of His wonderful institution.

Here's a "shocker"

It turns out that a man willing to kill children in the womb just might be willing to kill children once they're born, too.  And their mother.  And other patients--at least through hiring of unqualified workers and neglect of proper medical standards.

I'll be waiting for NARAL, NOW, and related groups to come forward with proposals to strictly monitor abortion clinics and crack down on this--but I will not be holding my breath.  After all, if you're willing to look past the fact that the pre-born are being slaughtered in the womb, you just might be willing to look past the fact that they're being slaughtered outside the womb, that incompetents are being hired to perform important functions, that basic sanitation is being ignored, or even that their mothers are dying as a result. 

After all, it's not prosperous feminists going to Gosnell's clinic in Philadelphia.  Our shrines to Molech are clean, well lit, and staffed with only the best technicians, and biohazards are handled properly.  Kinda like a little town in Poland.

The ugly reality here is that when we allow the killing of one kind of innocent human, it's hard to argue against the killing of another type of innocent person.   A shrine to Molech leads, rhetorically speaking, to the destruction of Jerusalem.

Update:  Michelle Malkin has discovered that any number of people should have spoken up about these atrocities, but did not.  Evidently there is more truth than anyone would like to see about prenatal infanticide being more important than the lives of mothers to those who advocate legal abortion.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

On border security

Many on the "pro illegal immigration" side of the debate about illegal immigration are making a lot of a video of two young ladies climbing a border fence in a mere 18 seconds--apparently this demonstrates how easy it is to sneak into the country.

Fair enough, but let's make it truly representative for those trying to get into the country.  Instead of a cool winter day, it's 110 in the shade in July, you've walked 20 miles to get to the border (your whole body is soaked with sweat), and you've got a 25 pound backpack and a baby to get across the fence.  Oh--and you don't get to call it good simply by touching the top bar.  You've got to get over without hurting yourself or your baby, and you've got to keep your backpack with you--or else you must might die from thirst in the next 20 miles before you get to town.

I'm guessing those young ladies might not have done so well had they attempted what illegal immigrants actually tend to do to get into our country, to put it mildly. 

Party all day!

....and be a better Christian for it.  How so? 

Well, in light of my step-father's remarriage last weekend (technically I don't have a step-father anymore, I guess, but he still sees himself as a grandpa to my kids, and his new wife loves her 14 grandchildren), I got to thinking about John 2:1-12 and the phenomenon of a longer celebration than we're used to.  Specifically, weddings in Bible times could last close to a week, which was why our Lord needed to make somewhere around 150 gallons of wine in those six jars.  The hundreds of guests present at such a feast could be reasonably expected to drink that amount without getting drunk. 

In the case of my step-dad's wedding, it was interesting to see my children's reaction to their first five course meal (antipasto, bread, soup, main, dessert course, yes Gino it was Italian).  They got into the antipasto, understood the bread and soup, and while all were socializing merrily (and as in Cana, not drunkenly), our kids wondered when, oh when, the main course would come---until I explained the concept of the multicourse meal to them.  At that point, they proceeded to delight relatives and friends alike by engaging in real conversation with them--for the next couple of hours. 

The next day was similar--while my youngest two (6 and 3 1/2 years old) needed to spend some time in the next room getting out the wiggles, about four hours passed without the necessity for a television, or a book.  They did, however, manage to take most of the pictures with the single use cameras placed on the tables, not being as reticent as the grownups to frame a picture.  The celebration continued another few hours into the evening in the same manner. 

And so, apart from the fact that this celebration helped me greatly to fulfill two of my New Years' resolutions (but I'm not completely successful in this yet!), I'm thinking that believers ought to celebrate more often in this fashion.  Step out of the world we live in from day to day, take the time to really get to know relatives and friends old and new, and enjoy one's food and drink in a way that all too often, we don't get the chance to do.  Ought not faith, and life, be from time to time a celebration in honor, and anticipation, of the infinite-course-feast the believer has waiting for him in Heaven?

So who do you need to talk to?

Pyromaniacs discusses the all too common case of the wife who "earnestly desires" a husband who will lead, and asks the question of whether the wife truly wants a leading husband, or--shudder--whether the real issue is that the husband has rightly perceived that his wife will not follow.

This would explain, in part, why most books about family leadership are written more or less to women, but I'm not quite sure that most of those books really deal with what the Pyro crew is noting here.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Call me ornery.....

.....but part of me wishes that the captain of the cruise ship recently shadowed by Somali pirates had slowed down his ship just enough to let pirates think they could keep tailing him while calling the Navy first thing.....or better yet they could "just happen" to have a squad of security guards on board that could "just happen" to introduce the pirates to the tender mercies of Ma Deuce.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Health food moment

My family finally got to make "shoo-fly" pie last night, and it's a health food winner.  Here's how you do it:

Start with a pie crust (make your own with real lard for optimal healthiness), then combine 3/4 cup packed brown sugar with 1 cup flour and 1/4 cup butter to get streusel crumbs.  Hold 1 cup of crumbs for the topping, then add 1 cup molasses, one beaten egg, and 3/4 cup hot (not boiling) water.  Mix well, then add 1/4 cup hot water mixed with 1 teaspoon baking soda. 

Pour in pie shell, top with remaining streusel topping (add a few chopped nuts if you like), then bake 10 minutes at 450F and 30 minutes more at 375F. 

mmmm........wonderfully sweet, but generally a little strong for young palates.  And it'll get you to Heaven more quickly, I dare say.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Some profoundly depressing things.....

"Stuff fundies like."  While I wholeheartedly affirm the fundamentals of the faith--inerrancy of Scripture in the autographs, virgin birth of Christ, substitutionary atonement of Christ, bodily resurrection of Christ, and His second coming--the unfortunate antics of many fundamentalists (I tend to prefer the term "hyper-fundamentalists", for what it's worth) do incredible damage to the Gospel.

Which ironically, the fundamental movement arose to preserve.

On another note, here is a profoundly depressing commentary (H/T Breathing Grace and others) on (some portions of) Asian culture.  Somehow Ephesians 6:4 comes to mind.  For what it's worth, I spent two summers in a predominantly Chinese church near Los Angeles, and suffice it to say that, while nearly all of those I knew had parents who intensely cared for them and their success, I never got the feeling that the above linked article was the norm.

One delightful event; one middle school girl in a Sunday School class I helped lead was very reticent to take part until I linked a Biblical text to a Motel 6 advertisement I'd heard on the radio.  Turned out she was about the only one there who listened to the radio (the TV/movie fixation of LA must be seen to be believed), and the fact that I'd inadvertently addressed the teaching specifically to her helped her take part in an amazing way.

Leaving the light on for you here......

Monday, January 10, 2011

Let's create some disfunctions

Both the pastor and another family in the church my family now attends have adopted children--the former, two children from Calcutta, and the latter, six from Liberia.  Contrast that, then, with the fact that there are apparently 115,000 adoptable children currently in foster care in the United States, and the fact that domestic adoption is basically free, while foreign adoption can cost $10-20,000 per child, or even more.   Economically speaking, there has got to be a reason that many (most?) Americans choose to adopt overseas instead of domestically, and shun foster adoptions.

It turns out that yes, there is a reason; when you combine factors like child abuse, maternal alcohol and drug use during and after pregnancy, and the foster care system, one tends to get children with very deep-seated emotional problems--one name, evidently, is called "reactive attachment disorder," or "RAD."  Adoptive parents--including my brother-in-law and his family--have learned the "hard way" that parenting such children without adequate support is nigh unto impossible.

In my brother-in-law's case, support was not forthcoming from social services--faced with a "failure to thrive" report from a new pediatrician, they simply acted on the new pediatrician's report without bothering to consult, or heed, either the medical history or the counsel of the parents or old pediatrician.  As foster parents, they consistently dealt with social services ignoring their request for "no crack babies" as well--one reason they no longer are foster parents.  In general, too many were willing to accuse, few, if any, were willing to assist.

It would seem, then, that if the church is to help these 115,000 children become adopted, they must become an extended family in a much deeper way than is typical--I would dare suggest providing medical, family logistics, and even legal assistance in these matters--one of the quickest ways to rein in an out of control social services worker is to hand them a phone and say "you can talk to my lawyer now."

Closer to home for those of us who do not adopt is the question of what proportion of problems for U.S. foster children results from abuse (including substance abuse), and what proportion results from the foster system.  Why so?

Simple.  If the repeated attachment/detachment cycles from foster care can result in emotional and mental disorders, what about the repeated attachment/detachment cycles found at most daycare centers?  What about the results of putting your infant in a room to "cry it out", witholding feedings until it fits "the schedule," and so on?

It is one thing--and perhaps a good one--to stand against today's foster care system if it is indeed harming children where an orphanage system would do less harm.  It may be far more important, however, to ask what we may be doing in our own homes, and correct that.

Let's have a fight!

No, not really, but with the tragedies/atrocities in Arizona (the sad events are of course both), a lot of bits, ink, and decibels are being spilt regarding the question of why we fight so.  In general, not only are the targets of most ire incorrect (sorry, liberals, but the murderer wasn't a Tea Partier), but they also get the more general cause incorrect--sorry, but talking about "targeting" people for removal from office is not equivalent to targeting them for brutal assaults and murder.  If it were, any sporting event would quickly become a bloodbath.

The real issue, in my perhaps not humble enough opinion (and Walter Williams'), is that we have become a nation of thieves.  That is, a strong majority believes that they have the right, through government, to confiscate the property of their fellow citizens for their own purposes.  Then, having departed from spirit, if not the letter, of Exodus 20:15, is it any surprise that we, per James 4:1-4, fight and kill because we covet, but do not ask God or work for what we want?

I do not have any solutions besides prayer--pray that people would see the folly of their ways, and remember that the time lag from a respected society and a Holocaust can be less than two decades.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

How to make a whitewashed sepulchre....

.....out of your children, not in your backyard with some cinder blocks, stone, mortar, and lime.  What do I mean here?

Well, way back when I was skinny, a pastor noted that Elvis, Dolly Parton, Mickey Gilley, and a host of others had gotten their singing careers church.  Now that I'm older, I'm aware of a bunch more....Jessica Simpson (and her little sister, too), Mrs. Kevin Federline, Katy Perry, and others. 

Of course, we don't know these singers today for setting a good moral example, let alone Godliness.  So what happened?

Certainly there is not only one factor, but I'd have to guess that a combination of outward conformity, physical attractiveness, and musical ability led their parents and others around them to neglect what Tedd Tripp would call "shepherding a child's heart."   It probably doesn't hurt, either, that parents saw a LOT of dollar signs in their child's beauty and skill.  The end result is a person whose mind and heart is of the world, but knows how to look like they've got their act together.

And like it or not, there are plenty of job opportunities for whitewashed sepulchres out there, as the pop music industry knows all too well.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Why not to expand federal research funding

George Will recently wrote a very interesting column where the examples of Abraham Lincoln (who was a patent holder) and Michael Faraday were used to justify increased federal spending on scientific and technological research.  While both Lincoln and Faraday did, at times, work for their respective governments, methinks he could have used some better examples.

Why?  Well, for starters, Lincoln's patent was fully funded by the private sector--just like those of notables these days like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Michael Dell, and a host of others today.  So Lincoln's example proves....perhaps that he used the Patent Office well, but not by any stretch of the imagination that we need federal funding for flatboat research!

Faraday's case is even less relevant to modern research funding.  Faraday, for the uninitiated, rose from being a bookbinder's apprentice to the secretary for Sir Humphry Davy to a full professorship at the Royal Institution.  Let's imagine how he'd be treated today.

First of all, when Davy got him the professorship, he would have gotten a quick visit from the Dean explaining how Faraday's professorship without even a bachelor's degree would imperil the Institute's accreditation.   In the same way, government "gatekeepers" are loath to fund research without at least one Ph.D. listed on the grant application, so Faraday would have been working--even had he kept his professorship--without a lab or funding as soon as he wasn't working directly for Davy.  Then, when he turned his interests from chemistry to electromagnetics, the gatekeepers would again have shut him off for trying to do research "outside of his area of expertise."  It's worth noting as well that the Royal Institution, despite its name, was and is private--and its funding was mostly private at the time.

In other words, had Faraday needed help from today's U.S. government to achieve his groundbreaking research, the world would have had an excellent bookbinder instead of the man who helped Maxwell formulate his famous equations.  Perhaps it's time to reconsider what we're actually achieving with federal research funding.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011


While growing up, I held pretty much to the usual analysis of the use of racial slurs in Mark Twain's work, especially Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn--wondering what possessed many activists about the books, knowing that "well it was just accepted words back in the day."  Then, when I read them as an adult, I realized that in certain places, Mr. Clemens was using "that word" as an insult--like when Huck says "I'll be a ......" regarding certain situations where he felt humiliated.  Yes, Jim uses it without perjury regarding himself, but there clearly were cruel uses of the word even at that time.

And so count me conflicted that a group is editing "those words" out of Twain's work.  While reading it, I was struck by the their frequency (don't ya know other words, Mr. Clemens?), but at a certain point, "those words" do indeed contribute to the story--Huck's use of "that word" as an insult contrasts with how he realizes Jim's wonderful humanity, and Twain's use of "that word" (and other words) draws a historical picture of life on the Big Muddy--which is in part erased if we bowdlerize his work. 

I also have to wonder what the editing process is doing to the rest of his work--editors, not being skillful enough to get published on their own, tend to damage the rhythms that the original authors used, making even Shakespeare the literary equivalent of, say, this blog instead of a masterwork.  Yes, ceterus parabus, Twain without "that word" would be a good thing, but I'm afraid that when this is done, there will be a lot more of a third rate writer doing the editing than the work of Mr. Clemens.  In other words, ceterus parabus isn't applicable here.

Monday, January 03, 2011

That's about right....

According to Michelle Malkin's trusty sidekick Doug Powers, the Washington Post has admitted what those watching the TNIV (New Gelded Version paraphrase of the Scriptures) brouhaha have known for years; that when we fail to learn to get a literary education, "ancient" documents like the "Constitution" can not be understood.

In other words, when we declare that we will not learn to understand simple concepts like grammatical gender, we throw our society away.  Not a pretty sight!

Saturday, January 01, 2011

New Years' Resolutions

Since I always fail miserably at my resolutions, I'm resolving this year to gain weight, get completely out of shape,and get a pay cut at my job.  Happy New Year!