Wednesday, April 24, 2013

My Opa was cooler than your Opa

I want to take a moment to appreciate something here.

My friend Eve has been talking about doing her family tree on and it got me thinking about how my great-grandfather had worked hard on our geneaology while he was alive. He even took the time to write a couple of the stories into, well, story form.

I got it into my head to look for those stories and the family tree that I remember and playing around with them on myself.

First, here is the closet where my Mom keeps all the family papers, pics, etc. that haven't been digitized yet:

It's usually a little neater, but I'd already been digging around when I decided to take the pic.

Scanning all that stuff is one of those projects she does in her practically non-existent free time.

I found the stories:

I also found the files of crossword puzzles my Opa created and the speech that was read at his funeral in place of a eulogy - he wrote that too.

But I also found these:

These are the baptismal and confirmation certificates for my maternal great grandfather and great grandmother. Filled out in German, though they were both born and raised in Ohio, and the churches were in Ohio too.

How gorgeous are these?

How awesome is it that we have these?

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Time for a Distraction - How Do We Feel About Ghosts?

Because I can only watch so much news (and I work at a newspaper so I've been getting inundated at work with everything that's going on) I've been watching cartoons and real ghost shows when I'm at home.

When I say real ghost shows, what I mean is that these shows recount what are supposedly true stories of peoples' encounters with ghosts (or demons in some cases).

And I've come to a couple of conclusions from watching these shows:

1) Never buy a house with the words 'Leave' or 'Die'  or any variation thereon anywhere on the premises when you come to check it out.

2) If the house gives you creepy vibes in *any* of the rooms, don't buy it.

3) If the neighbors won't walk on the sidewalk in front of your house, there's a problem.

4) Strange artwork, religious markings, etc. should be a sign that there might be something going on.

5) If your animals are freaking out, pay attention.

6) If you hear voices or other noises, don't just dismiss them.

7) If things move around your house on their own, or doors open, you're not just imagining things.

8) The first time you hear a voice tell you to 'Get out', get out.

9) If the sellers are willing to sell for *way* less than what the house is worth, that's a red flag. As is them leaving all of their things there and not wanting to step foot in the house to get them.

Aside from all these, I have realized that every time I see activity on these shows that starts getting to the negative side, part of my brain is yelling 'Get a priest! Get a priest!' at the people on screen. Because, no lie, my first move on moving into a new house would be to get a priest to come bless the place. And if stuff started getting creepy? Holy water all over the place.

Which led me to thinking, what would you guys do if you moved into a house and ghostly things started to happen? Do you believe in ghosts? What do you think they are? If things got really scary, would you turn to your pastors or call a paranormal group to come investigate or what?

Monday, April 8, 2013

Badly Drawn Real Life - Someone, Somewhere, Is Being Wrong

For those who can't read my awful handwriting: The blue figure's bubble says: 'Completely wrong statement'. My (red) thought bubble says: 'Don't be a know-it-all...don't be a know-it-all...'

At the top it says: 2 seconds later. And then my word bubble says: 'You are wrong. Let me tell you all about your wrongness.'

Ps: I was called a know it all today.
 Yes, I am burdened with glorious knowledge.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Captain America: Winter Soldier concept art

Once again, possible spoilers contained herein.

Though (again) your spoiler free bunker must be very nice if you don't know this stuff. It's not a secret. Really.

Here, have a puppy:

This is a Shiba Inu puppy. The cutest, fluffiest, best kind of dog around. This is the breed that my dog Baby is. Only this is not a picture of Baby. Baby is white and full grown and still the best dog ever, but less cute and more handsome devil of a dog. God I miss having a puppy.


The sequel to Captain America is titled Captain America: Winter Solider.

For anyone who knows anything about Marvel comics canon, we know what this means.

We know who the Winter Soldier is, and we're all chomping at the bit for this. We want it. We've wanted it since Sebastian Stan was cast to play Bucky Barnes.

Because. Well.

Sebastian Stan. Really.

With Chris Evans.

Where's a drooling smiley when you need it...

Yes, this is the only picture I could find of him.

I swear.

O.O <= This is my innocent look.


Winter Soldier.

I know that the MCU has to redesign some of the costumes to make them a little less comic book crazy, but let's look at the Winter Soldier's original costume:

Fairly realistic, not really brightly colored or skin tight spandex or anything like that.

Now let's look at one of the pieces of concept art that's been released for the CA: Winter Soldier film:

What the fuck is that mask? Seriously. What? I just...I don't even know. It looks stupid.

There. I said it.

I understand that the idea is (probably) to make it believable that Steve won't recognize Bucky right away, but you're telling me that this seemed like a good way to do that? Rather than using, I don't know, Bucky's canonical assassin/spy skills to keep Steve from getting a good look until the final show down?

The second bit of art is better, but I can see that he still has that stupid mouth-mask on.

Bionic arm! :D

And yes, the fangirling is going to go on forever.

You've been warned.

One month until IM3.

*throws confetti*

Monday, April 1, 2013

ARQ Project: It's a three-fer! (13, 14 & 15)

By which I mean that we cover three surah's rather than the usual one or two. Because two of the surah's I have very, very little to say about.

Very little.

Surah 13: ar-Ra'd or The Thunder

My notes on this chapter consist of this: 'Who named these things? Who arranged them? Whyyyyyyyyyy?'

Okay. So, my mental impression of how the Qur'an was revealed is that certain verses were given in response to certain questions. I'm assuming that each surah was revealed as one piece, like a sermon. So that's why they have internal harmony as opposed to just being a collection of sayings. But they weren't revealed in the order that they're maintained in the Qur'an. Assuming that I'm remembering correctly, the chapters of the Qur'an have been arranged from longest to shortest, excluding al-Fatiha at the very beginning.

Why were they arranged that way? What sort of logic was being used for this? Without knowing the context of each revelation, there's no way of knowing which chapters came first, where and when they were revealed, etc. There's a lack of logic (to me) in arranging the chapters all out of chronological order this way. I can understand why they wouldn't be arranged according to a theme, there are mentions of the same subject or problem in various chapters of the Qur'an. Assuming that each chapter was revealed as one piece, cutting them apart to place all of the relevant verses on a subject together would be impossible.

Oh! I did also make a note of the only mention of thunder in this chapter:

12-13. He it is Who showeth you the lightning, a fear and a hope, and raiseth the heavy clouds. The thunder hymneth His praise and (so do) the angels for awe of Him. He launcheth the thunderbolts and smiteth with them whom He will while they dispute (in doubt) concerning Allah, and He is mighty in wrath.

Reminds me of Zeus, with the thunderbolts and all. But then so do some portrayals of the Father in Christian art.

Surah 14 - Ibrahim or Abraham

Again, really really short notes. Keep in mind that these posts are just the things that struck or interested me. They're by no means meant to convey the meaning of the chapters of the Qur'an. If they were I'd be doing a terrible job.

9. Hath not the history of those before you reached you: the folk of Noah, and (the tribes of) A'ad and Thamud, and those after them? None save Allah knoweth them. Their messengers came unto them with clear proofs, but they thrust their hands into their mouths, and said: Lo! we disbelieve in that wherewith ye have been sent, and lo! we are in grave doubt concerning that to which ye call us.

This is another case of peoples' being mentioned that are only (so far as I can find) attested to in the Qur'an and Islamic literature. Of course I could always just not be looking deeply enough. Any idea if these people are known under different names in archaeological circles?

Reading all the descriptions of how much hell was going to suck in this chapter made me remember a question I've had before. How much influence do you think the Islamic description of hell has had on the Christian idea of it? 

Surah 15 - al-Hijr or The Rocky Tract

14. And even if We opened unto them a gate of heaven and they kept mounting through it,

I'm assuming that it's not what is meant, but this verse reminded me of Jacob's ladder and the vision he had of angels ascending and descending it constantly. But like I said, given that this verse is in the context of people being able to walk into heaven and still not believing, I'm guessing that this wasn't meant to be a reference to that vision.

For this next one I'm including multiple translations:

He said: Here are my daughters, if ye must be doing (so).
Yusuf Ali
He said: "There are my daughters (to marry), if ye must act (so)."
He said: These are my daughters, if you will do (aught).
Dr. Ghali
He said, "These are my daughters (to marry), if you would be performing (that)."
Sahih International
[Lot] said, "These are my daughters - if you would be doers [of lawful marriage]."
Muhsin Khan
[Lout (Lot)] said: "These (the girls of the nation) are my daughters (to marry lawfully), if you must act (so)."
So, at least in a couple of the translations, there seems to be the implication that Lot was offering up his daughters for a lawful marriage. Does anyone know if this is something that's been added in by the translators/tradition or if it's something that's implied by the original words used? It's definitely not something that's been carried over from Biblical tradition, but given the Islamic need for the prophets to be perfect I can see where they'd want to make it clear that Lot wasn't suggesting anything improper here when he offered his virgin daughters up to the lust crazed mob of rapists.
80. And the dwellers in Al-Hijr denied (Our) messengers. 
al-Hijr, by my understanding, is Petra. So are the Nabateans, the people who built Petra, meant to be the Thamudians? Or are the Thamudians a later people? 
87. We have given thee seven of the oft-repeated (verses) and the great Qur'an.
What are the seven oft-repeated verses? Any ideas? I can't recall any verses off the top of my head that are repeated, word for word, more than any others.
88. Strain not thine eyes toward that which We cause some wedded pairs among them to enjoin, and be not grieved on their account, and lower thy wing (in tenderness) for the believers.
I think it's clear that this is a verse referring to being jealous of what some other couple may have. Do you think it's referring specifically to children or just maybe the happiness that some couples have that others don't? Or something else entirely? 
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