The 'BARKING OWL' always has something to say, and like the feathered version, can be either WISE...............or ANNOYING!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Jane's Tale or A Tale Cut Off

[One of my blogging group's members received a long 27 stitch gash on her face recently, and we were asked to write what response she might give her interrogators.  My offering is based on a perusal of her Facebook Info.]

"Are you looking at my face?" Jane now regularly challenges.

"Of course," people always say,  "you're so beautiful!"

"Then why are you only looking at my left cheek?"

"Uumm," they add.  And then, "Well what happened to you?"

Then Jane begins to tell her tale.  She warms up with something that happened back in High School in Wyoming, then when she was a co-ed in Las Vegas, and moves on to THAT concert THAT night at Red Rocks.  By the time she relates what happens when you mix your taste for vodka with your zeal for roller derby, Jane realizes she should be explaining why she doesn't show a few more scars and then suddenly remembers what Holden Caulfield said in The Catcher In The Rye: "Don't ever tell anybody anything."  So wrapping up her tale with the classic "Yada, yada, yada," Jane shuts up and takes another sip of wine.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


You guys have colored lights on your trees?
Hey, it's warm in here!

I could get used to THIS!
What's this cushy thing?

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Industrial Do Overs

"Do-over, schmoo-over", I said to myself when I read this week's topic.  "I'm not sure I believe in do-overs."

It sometimes seems that, people want to act like the crime they just committed, or the stupid thing they just said, or the false idea they tried to live by, should simply be overlooked or erased or ignored.  As if there were no consequences to any action, folks want a "do over".  As much as I would like to pretend that I didn't just move my rook to the wrong square and leave my knight hanging out there all alone, the deed is done; good-bye horsie!
Perhaps nobody noticed that every other note in that last song I sung was flat, but it's there on the tape, and will not be undone before being perused again, and laughed at.  If only I could always think through my little one-liners before they leave my suddenly embarrassed lips....but alas.

In the meantime I went to work in the shipyard struggling for the right idea to address this theme.  I worked on the Sykes which is having a major bulkhead between two giant cargo tanks replaced.  We set up scaffolding in the Block so the fitters could repair a major dent high up on the starboard shell.  The PRT needed some cracks in its large framing members rewelded.  A barge is in the dry dock (What did I hear?  It costs $50,000 per day?) for some big-time rework after the hull was crumpled by a few stubborn rocks that proved tougher than the barge's thick steel hide.  One of these near 1000 foot ships is being repowered this year: Old engines being totally replaced by brand new ones which requires large shafts to be cut right through many steel decks.

What do I know about do-overs?  Well it suddenly hit me (too), that each of these few jobs, of the many being done during this winter's recoup, is in fact, a literal industrial strength do-over!  A dozen ships are docked there in the ice and waiting for stagers and ship-fitters, and machinists and welders and electricians and boilermakers to swarm through their decks and cargo holds and ballast tanks and engine rooms.  Broken parts and worn steel will be identified, excised, and renewed as new equipment and freshly fashioned steel crops and plates are installed.  When done, each ship will leave as soon as the frozen lakes allow, entirely ready to load up with tons of coal or taconite, confident in its refurbished condition.  Now, every time I hear, or use, a word with the prefix "re" attached, I will think "do-over".

As opposed to the context I referred to above, where one hopes to satisfactorily ignore or dismiss a real problem, most things, and all people, are like the Great Lake's freighters; in desperate need of the costly, extreme and vital work of a do-over.  Every thing we own breaks down, and our bodies certainly wear out (especially in the shipyard!).  But most importantly, our very spirits were born broken, and tending toward rebellion against our God.  If you deny your need to be forgiven, your ship will soon sink either when it runs aground at full steam or as it settles to the bottom from all the slow leaks.

The very good news is that Jesus says "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."  A true "do-over", performed by the Great Creator Himself, is offered and available to all who will sincerely ask for it.  His only requirement is the admission of the need, and the acknowledgement that, like a broken ship foundering in the lake, one can not save himself.  As He died on the cross and then rose again, so our sin enslaved spirits must die (good riddance!) and be resurrected into a brand new, permanently replaced, life in Christ!  The ultimate "do-over"!


My Starbucks gift card which I won in a bit of a writing contest arrived yesterday!  My two paragraphs can be found in the link as comment number two.  Maybe someday I'll win a Fleet Farm card (I don't drink coffee, so I'll have to 'regift' this SB card to the highest bidder).

Thanks to Alana G at Writercize!  Check out her great blog!

Saturday, February 11, 2012


So there are some things that simply should not upset us so very much!  But then, there are.  Jeremiah was called "The weeping prophet".  God called him to tell Israel how upset God was about the nation's disobedience, and he did so.  But when they refused to listen; when they continued in their own ways of self-destruction; even to the point where Jerusalem fell into its enemy's hand, Jeremiah's heart broke.  This prophet not only spoke for God, but felt the agony God feels when we reject Him.  The book of Lamentations describes the grief.

If we reject God, He suffers the loss of our fellowship yes.  But it is we who must endure the greatest loss possible; a life, and an eternal life, without Him.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

A Book Review: In The Beginning: Compelling Evidence for Creation and the Flood by Dr. Walt Brown

As an eager college Geology major, I remember being fascinated by new revelations about the earth's wide variety of dramatic features. I studied everything from the tiny world of elements that make up the thousands of natural minerals found throughout the earth to the big picture realms of the moon, planets, and distant galaxies. In between these extremes, we were taught all about the different shapes and types of terrain found all over the globe, including the imagined origins of vast mountain ranges, plateaus and plains; impacts of glacier ice and volcanic activity; and the mysteries of deep trenches and high mountains under the seas. In related sciences, I learned the basic tenets and rigid principles of physics, chemistry and math.

All of this information and scientific understanding is useful to mankind because with it, we are able to find, process and use the earth's resources to live better, more comfortable lives. But there was one area of study in my pursuit of the BS in Geology that would not help at all in the applicable work of finding fossil fuels or extracting needed minerals from the ground. They called it Historical Geology. Despite the fact that its understanding was truly irrelevant to any industry, my professors seemed to relish in relating everything else to the supposed history, or origins, of it all.

Time and time again, as evidence for the natural, claimed happenstance origin of time, space, matter, our organized solar system and an ever complicating factor called life itself was presented, I found myself being repeatedly embarrassed for my profs. "That's all you have?" I was given one list of assumptions after another, which led to one more series of speculative scenarios after another. As I discovered that our geologists date sedimentary rocks by the fossils they contain, AND that our paleontologists date the fossils they discover by the rocks they are found within, my confidence in their conclusions drained rapidly.

So, many years later, when I discovered this book; In The Beginning: Compelling Evidence for Creation and the Flood by Dr. Walt Brown, I was thrilled. After many years of trying to reconcile the specific explanations given for the origins of this earth's dramatic features with what I understood to be a rigorous scientific method, I have finally found a book which instead, provides a brand new and thoroughly scientific correlation between the earth's geology and a straightforward cause/effect, scientifically plausible chain of events which actually explains how ALL of what we see and know came to be. Possibly.

The qualifier, possibly, is scientifically speaking necessary. True science must claim as fact, by its own design, only that which has been observed, and/or can be repeated. The origin of this planet and its ancient features were not observed by man, nor can we repeat the events in a laboratory. But its features, when separated and defined by basic principles that have been long established, can be examined for particular evidence that may or may not support a certain theory.

Dr. Brown, who earned his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from MIT was for many years a believer in the evolutionary theory until "after years of study, he became convinced of the scientific validity of creation and a global flood. "

The book is now in its 8th edition. I have been most familiar with the 6th edition, but have found the entire 8th edition is available on line for a free reading of every page. There are certain similarities with each: Part 1 details the "Scientific Case for Creation". Part 2 is called The Fountains of the Great Deep and contains the real meat of the book. This is where his own "hydroplate theory" is presented in detail. He relates his ideas about the physical requirements, processes and results (present day geological findings) of a worldwide flood that occurred in the relative recent past.

This section has grown with each edition as some of the details mentioned in one volume are greatly expanded into new chapters in the next. If you have ever marveled at the Grand Canyon, wondered about frozen mammoths, or thought at all about comets or radioactivity itself, this book offers explanations that exceed those thrown out so readily by the typical scientist seen on Nova or a National Geographic special.

Part 3 could be a valuable book by itself. Here Dr. Brown answers many "Frequently Asked Questions" that he has gathered over the years from doing seminars on this subject.

While the question of earth's origins matters little to the applied scientists of industry, and is speculated about freely in academia, the issue does pertain to the individual. "Where did I come from?" is a natural, and important, question that deserves a careful, not flip, answer.

As one might take their existence seriously, I recommend this book to any who would seriously want to consider what probably, and scientifically, happened way back "In The Beginning".  I suggest that a person interested in comparing truth claims made by even their most trusted scientific resource will find that this book represents solid rational thinking.  If you link to this free resource here, and then leave the tab ready for a quick perusal of a few pages every now and then, you will delight in your new understanding of so many of the earth's, formerly mysterious, features!