Saturday, September 19, 2009

Love and Marriage, Pirate Style

Ahoy there, Mateys! That fair wench The Ironic Catholic hath reminded me that today be Talk Like a Pirate Day once again, it be. Shiver me timbers, I almost missed it! Here be the link to the last time I blogged about TLAPD. But what's more, it seems The Ironic Catholic (Dr. IC for short, don't ye know), has as a story to tell about Lizzie the Pirate Wench, Jack her intended, and their parish priest, no less! Lend an ear, ye scurvy dogs, and ye'll learn somethin' about that there Theology of the Body, so ye will, and have a laugh besides.

In the meantime, here be a video of a song that some scurvy dog hath composed in honor of the occasion:


Friday, September 18, 2009

The Happy Haka

Reader PaperSmyth and I have been chatting via the comment boxes lately about rituals, symbolism, and team loyalty. When I mentioned that wearing an Auburn University cap brings back all sorts of memories of my Dad, and wearing a University of South Carolina cap brings back both memories of my Mom and memories of my own time at USC, Papersmyth responded that she has used the earthshaking, earsplitting experience of The Tunnel Walk at University of Nebraska home games as a metaphor for what The Last Trumpet in the book of Revelation might be like:

This is obviously a pregame ritual designed to psych up the home team and home fans and intimidate the visitors, right?

Then, as it happened, I listened to the most recent episode of Father Roderick's Daily Breakfast Podcast. Father Roderick has been visiting Australia and New Zealand speaking to members of the Australasian Catholic Press Association. His host in New Zealand mentioned a local rugby team, The All-Blacks (so named because of their uniforms), that performs a haka, or a kind of war dance used by New Zealand's Maori people, before every game. The haka uses chanting, shouting, aggressive body movements, and fierce facial expressions to convey the message to opponents: "We are bad dudes, and we will mess you up."

In other words, it's a pregame ritual designed to psych up the home team and home fans and intimidate the visitors:

And it's quite effective! So, PaperSmyth, I'll see your Tunnel Walk and raise you one haka. Maybe if the Gamecocks did that before every game . . .

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

I Won Again!

Yes, Dear Readers, it has happened again.

More than a year after my first victory in the HeroMachine Caption Contest, I have won again!

Jeff Hebert, creator of the fantabulous HeroMachine software, website, and blog has recently revived his much beloved caption contest. Every couple of weeks, Jeff searches through his vast library of comics, finds a single panel rich with comedic possibilities, removes the dialogue, and invites readers to submit their own. The reader with the funniest dialogue (in this case, that would be me) wins a prize drawn by Jeff. Since he is currently hard at work on the next major upgrade of the software, the prize will be an item of my choice to be included in the next version of HeroMachine or (shudder) a caricature of my face, an item too horrible to be contemplated.

Here is this week's panel with the original dialogue removed:

Here's the same panel with my dialogue inserted, which I hope, Dear Readers, you will find appropriately hilarious:

I have an idea of what I would like for my prize, but I haven't made a final decision. I'll keep you posted.


It's funny how the physical objects around us can get us to thinking.

Now that another college football season is upon us, I splurged on a University of South Carolina baseball cap to show my team loyalty. This is the one I chose:

I've cheered for Carolina teams since I was a boy, long before I did my graduate work there (and far too often been poorly rewarded for my loyalty, but that's another story). Hope springs eternal in the Gamecock fan's breast however. This might just be the year the football team or the basketball team or the baseball team or the women's track and field team or somebody does great things.

When the cap arrived yesterday I wore it with great pride, but it reminded me that I had a similar one for Auburn University, my Dad's alma mater, a cap very much like this one:

Towards the end of his life, I noticed that Dad had taken to wearing a baseball cap whenever he drove to keep the sun out of his eyes. He was wearing a generic baseball cap he'd gotten from somewhere (the USC bookstore if I remember correctly). Two Christmases before he died of cancer, I gave him an Auburn cap. He smiled and thanked me. Later I learned that he wore it whenever he drove until he was no longer able to drive. After Dad's funeral, my brother Allen asked me if I would like to have the cap and I have kept it ever since.

Dad was never a big sports fan. Normally he paid very little attention to Auburn athletics—until perhaps the annual weekend that Auburn played Alabama. When I rediscovered the cap, however, I couldn't stop thinking about him. I found Auburn's fight song on the internet and have been listening to it almost compulsively. I'll keep an eye on how the Auburn Tigers (Clemson Tigers = BAD! Auburn Tigers = GOOD!) do this year, even as I'm cheering on my Gamecocks. And should Auburn triumph over Alabama, you will hear a rousing cry of WAAAAAAR EAGLE!" from this direction.

Miss you, Dad.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

What The . . .?

Regular readers of this blog (all three of you) know that two of my interests are the Catholic faith and comics. These two things came together in a rather bizarre way when I looked in on Jeff Hebert's Heromachine Blog on Friday and found the following item:

As I commented on Jeff's blog:

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot? Bats in the altogether except for his cape and cowl? With his batboys discreetly covered by the undulations of Joker, aka the Serpent in the Garden of Eden? This is not just whacked out comics, folks. This is some SERIOUSLY whacked out theology.

(Darned Episcopalians!) :)

The meaning of this one confounds both Christians and comic book fans. Never let it be said that It's All Straw does not broaden your educational, cultural, and theological horizons, dear readers.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009


Hey, everybody. I know it's been awhile since I posted anything of significance. Still having some medical problems that interfere with my ability to do much of anything useful, but I'm still here. So . . . 'Sup with you?