Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Random Thoughts on 6 Degrees.

Okay, when pressed for blog material, I have used random association at times.  My favorite form of this is to find "order" to the randomness in the game of Six Degrees of Separation.

I started with a living celebrity that I recognized whose birthday is today, January 4, 2017.  I chose Dyan Cannon, an actress who turned 80 today.  Looking at her filmography, I chose "Heaven Can Wait (1978)," in which she stared as Julia Farnsworth, murderous wife of millionaire Leo Farnsworth.  Mr. Farnsworth had been drugged and drowned, but the mistaken death of "Joe Pendleton" is rectified by angelic agents by resuscitating the victim.

As Mr. Farnsworth, Joe buys the Los Angeles Rams, and as just after Farnsworth is killed for good, Joe enters the quarterback who had just been accidently killed on the field.  Anyway, I looked for an LA Rams team from around the time I was born, finding the 1951 NFL champs but choosing the 1955 season in which they failed to reclaim that title.  I wanted a connection closer to my birth (for some reason).

Though loosing badly, the quarterback for the Rams was the legendary Norm Van Brocklin.  Van Brocklin was a distant cousin of my wife. Another "link" to Van Brocklin: he died in my "home state" of Georgia.  This information is trivial, and doesn't exactly link me to the famous quarterback and coach.  However, it does show the verity of the "Six Degrees" theory.

Monday, January 02, 2017

500 year old Protest

Well, one thing I forgot about this year: October 31 marks the 500th anniversary of the begging of the Protestant Reformation.  Martin Luther had had enough of the nonsense of one fund raiser working for the Pope.

Among other things, Mr. Luther thought it odd that money could shorten one's stay in a place called Prugatory. Being a college professor, Martin had studied the Bible quite a bit. He could not find a lot of support for the doctrine of this "halfway house."

The whole idea about getting to heaven by one's on works didn't seem right to him.  He had been teaching through the book of Romans and had embraced the idea of faith worked out in one's life was the way to get to heaven. Further studies lead him to the book of Ephesians.

It turned out that a key passage in that book removed all doubt: Ephesians 2:8-10. In those verses we find the truth that it is what and had who you BELIEVE rather than what you DO that gets you into heaven.  After that, God works things out THROUGH you.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Happy New Year!!

Well, here we are in another year on the planet earth!  It started at 1200 (noon) GMT yesterday (Dec. 31) at the international timezone.  South Pacific islanders were the first to see the teenaged century pass from "sweet sixteen" to 17 years in.

Right now, it is about 9 PM GMT, so the new year is over 32 hours old, but still quite a fragile young thing.  Where I live, we face another day of holidays with the long weekend (since government workers "need" to celebrate with an official day off!).

Where were you when the new year began?  It would have been pondering getting up at 7 on a Saturday.  I decided that it was not worth the "early" celebration and slept in -- thank you very much!

There are three dates of significance that are coming this year.  The first is on January 20th when a man with no political background becomes president of the United States.  This last happened the year I was born, in 1953, when General Eisenhower was sworn in.  He was easily re-elected for a second term.  Time will tell if President-elect Trump will fare as well.

The second two dates fall in late summer.  On August 13th, my wife and I will observe our fortieth wedding anniversary!  It is hard to believe it's been that long, but we do have two grandsons, so, yep, it's the truth.

And then, just six days later, on August 21st, the "Great American Eclipse" cuts a strip of darkness across the continental United States.  I was in high school the last time I was close enough to travel to a total eclipse of the sun (it came up the east coast).  This one, like the annular eclipse in the 1980's, "comes right over" my house!  We made pin-hole viewers out of disposable diaper boxes back then!  This time we have access to a reflector telescope, though I doubt if we will use it!

Of the three days, I only have control over one of them.  I have just seven and a half months to get ready to make it special.  And so, I will post this and try to make 2017 a blog-filled year parallel to my first attempt ranting and pontificating over a decade ago.

Until next time, then.