Infection

OK… I’m old school when it comes to (DC) comic books. I was born in 1961. Comic books were on the periphery of my life for my earliest years. I would occasionally run across a comic book at a friend’s house, in the barber shop, doctor’s waiting rooms, etc. I would read them and enjoy them but they never were an important part of my life at those ages.

I did enjoy super-hero cartoons, movies and television shows. Since I was born in ’61, I was too late to have caught “The Adventures of Superman” on TV when it aired originally, but luckily there reruns available at various times on one of the local stations (WDRB in Louisville, KY). I always enjoyed super-heroes and especially Superman. Comic books were only a side item until one fateful day.

I don’t know exactly what day it was or the month, but it was most likely in December of 1973 when it happened. I was at the local supermarket (Coonie’s I believe) with my mother, doing some grocery shopping. Near the checkout, I passed by the comic book rack. (Yes, at one time, there were no stores dedicated to selling comic books but rather; they were sold at grocery stores, drug stores, convenience stores and many other places that sold magazines.)

Anyway, as I passed the stand, I noticed a comic book with Superman on the cover. The cover showed three invisible people (we could see their outlines through the magic of Superman’s various vision powers) pulling Superman along, by the cape, through the air. The trio looked to be ordinary humans. What the heck was going on here!? As I said, I had read superman comic books in the past and had enjoyed them, but until that moment, I had never actually purchased one. I thought, “I haven’t read a comic book in a while, it might be fun.”

On the way home, I started examining my new prize. The cover told me that the book was Action Comics #433. Inside, I learned that the story referred to on the cover was called “The Man Who Was Buried on Page 64!”. I won’t get into the story here, but I will say that I enjoyed it very much. The second story in the book starred a character called “The Atom”. He was a hero who wore a colorful, skin-tight costume and could shrink to sub-atomic size. I had never seen this character in a comic book, but I did remember him from some cartoons in the 60s. I especially remember him from the old Justice League cartoons, where he often perched on one of the other heroes’ shoulders as they sped to confront a menace. The story was called “Affair of the Bouncing Chair!”. Again, I won’t go into the story here, but I enjoyed it as well.

I later realized that the Superman story was written by Cary Bates and the Atom story was written by a fellow named Elliot S! Maggin. (They would soon become two of my all-time favorite comic book writers.) Little did I know it, but I was infected by comic books that day and after 41 years, no cure is in sight!

You have a right…

Today, as I was filling my gas tank, I had strong reaction to something I heard coming from another car there.

The driver of that car was also filing his gas tank but was also loudly playing his stereo. What I heard from it bothered and offended me. I’m no fan of rap music, but I certainly don’t begrudge anyone to listen to it if he or she so chooses.

This particular selection was full of words that I find extremely distateful, derogatory, demeaning and just plain ugly, Words like “n****r, f**k, b***h and w***e are not foreign to me, but I don’t use them and I don’t like hearing them, especially when blared to me against my will in a public place.

As I said, I don’t begrudge anyone to listen to this, but I don’t choose to and I don’t want to be forced to do it. Because of the volume and proximity, I dodn’t have the choice though. I can see where, if I was blaring classial music from my car that someone could find it annoying or even rude. When I fill my tank, I turn off my car and consequently my radio.

I’m a huge advocate of protecting everyone’s right to do as they please, but your rights end where mine begins (and vice-versa). Another way of saying it is that your right to move your hands in any direction ends where my body begins.

People, everywhere in this nation, should learn to respect one another’s feelings and rights. Let’s all try to be respectful of each other.

Examining the Bible – Matthew 1

(Bible text is taken from the NIV version of the Bible as found on BibleGateway.com)

The Genealogy of Jesus the Messiah

1 This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah1 the son of David, the son of Abraham:
2 Abraham was the father of Isaac,
Isaac the father of Jacob,
Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,
3 Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar,
Perez the father of Hezron,
Hezron the father of Ram,
4 Ram the father of Amminadab,
Amminadab the father of Nahshon,
Nahshon the father of Salmon,
5 Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab,
Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth,
Obed the father of Jesse,
6 and Jesse the father of King David.
David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife,
7 Solomon the father of Rehoboam,
Rehoboam the father of Abijah,
Abijah the father of Asa,
8 Asa the father of Jehoshaphat,
Jehoshaphat the father of Jehoram,
Jehoram the father of Uzziah,
9 Uzziah the father of Jotham,
Jotham the father of Ahaz,
Ahaz the father of Hezekiah,
10 Hezekiah the father of Manasseh,
Manasseh the father of Amon,
Amon the father of Josiah,
11 and Josiah the father of Jeconiah and his brothers at the time of the exile to Babylon.
12 After the exile to Babylon:
Jeconiah was the father of Shealtiel,
Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel,
13 Zerubbabel the father of Abihud,
Abihud the father of Eliakim,
Eliakim the father of Azor,
14 Azor the father of Zadok,
Zadok the father of Akim,
Akim the father of Elihud,
15 Elihud the father of Eleazar,
Eleazar the father of Matthan,
Matthan the father of Jacob,
16 and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, and Mary was the mother of Jesus who is called the Messiah.
17 Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Messiah.2
Joseph Accepts Jesus as His Son
18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband3 was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.4 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus,[f] because he will save his people from their sins.”
22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).5
24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

What do we know?

  • Jesus (or at least Joseph) was descended from Abraham and David. Joseph’s father was Jacob, his grand-father was Matthan and his great-grand-father was Eleazar.
  • Joseph and Mary were not yet married when she became pregnant by the Holy Spirit.
  • Upon learning of her pregnancy, Joseph, at first, thought to divorce her (did they get married in the meantime?), but he decided not to after an angel came to him and explained what had taken place.


1 The genealogy of Jesus includes (in order) Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judah, Perez, Hezron, Ram, Amminadab, Nahshon, Salmon, Boaz, Obed, Jesse, King David, Solomon, Rehoboam, Abijah, Asa, Jehoshaphat, Jehoram, Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, Hezekiah, Manasseh, Amon, Josiah, Jeconiah, Shealtiel, Zerubbabel, Abihud, Eliakim, Azor, Zadok, Akim, Elihud, Eleazar, Matthan, Jacob, Joseph. This is through Joseph, even though Joseph was not related by blood, to Jesus since Jesus was born of Mary while she was still a virgin.
2 This passage indicates three sets of 14 generations (3×14=42), however there are only 41 names, including Jesus.
3 Joseph is called “her husband”. The previous sentence indicates that they weren’t married when Mary was found to be pregnant, but now Joseph is called her husband. Also, Joseph contemplates divorcing her. Either Joseph decided to marry her anyway and then thought better of it and thought about divorcing here, or the concept of marriage is different than what we are used to.
4 This passage says she was made pregnant by the Holy Spirit. Since, later, we learn that God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are the same entity, so, we believe this to be also God and Jesus.
5 This is a reference to Isaiah 7:14

Examining the Bible – Introduction

I consider myself to be a Christian in that I try to understand and emulate the teachings of Jesus. Like most people, I have done this imperfectly and inconsistently over the years.
In an effort to be a better Christian and person, I’ve decided to undertake an exercise over the next few months. I’m going to endeavor to read and critically study what I’ve read. I’ll try to examine one chapter every week. For now, I’ll just look the four gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) and the book of Acts.
I’m going to approach this with an open mind, but with the supposition that many Christians have… that is that the Bible is the inerrant word of God, or at least the inspired word of God. We’ll see how the examination goes with this in mind.
So, feel free to follow along with me as I undertake this personal examination.

The Bible ExaminedIntroductionI consider myself to be a Christian in that I try to understand and emulate the teachings of Jesus. Like most people, I have done this imperfectly and inconsistently over the years.In an effort to be a better Christian and person, I’ve decided to undertake an exercise over the next few months. I’m going to endeavor to read and critically study what I’ve read. I’ll try to examine one chapter every week. For now, I’ll just look the four gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) and the book of Acts.I’m going to approach this with an open mind, but with the supposition that many Christians have… that is that the Bible is the inerrant word of God, or at least the inspired word of God. We’ll see how the examination goes with this in mind. So, feel free to follow along with me as I undertake this personal examination.

Big decision

After 50 years, I’ve finally decided to become a homeowner. It’s exciting and scary at the same time. I’ve put in an offer for a condo. I’ve already been pre-approved for the loan. It’s at a great price and at 3.5% interest rate. My payment’s (everything included) will only be about $170 more a month than what I’m currently paying for the rent on my apartment.

Here’s a description of the property: http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/5769-Spruce-Knoll-Ct-Indianapolis-IN-46220/52493566_zpid/

Health update

Since my last post, the arthritis in my right hip has gotten much worse. I’m definitely in some pain every time I move and much of the time when I’m not. I have scheduled hip replacement surgery for March 7.

While I never thought I’d look forward to surgery, I am looking forward to this. Everyone I’ve talked to about this says that it will be like a new lease on life. I’m excited about the prospect of moving pain-free and regaining some of the movement I’ve lost in my leg.

March can’t get here soon enough for me now.

New addition

Well, I have a new addition to my family… a new 2012 Ford Focus hatchback. It’s pretty sweet. I was a little scared driving home from the dealer, however. It was dark and raining (I don’t like driving in the dark and in the rain) and I was driving an unfamiliar car. To add to the danger, I caught myself trying to play with all the techie stuff in the car, and there is a bunch of it! I finally decided to pull over, get something to eat and play with the car in the parking lot as I ate.

After about an hour of that (really!), I started my drive back home. About half-way there, I was out of the rain and I started feeling more comfortable. I brought it home and parked. I have kept my Beetle and it’s still parked in its usual spot, in front of my apartment and the Focus is in a guest spot. I’ll switch them tomorrow. I know my Beetle will be jealous. It has served me well, but it’s past its prime. I’m keeping it as a backup.

I’ll write some more tomorrow, after I’ve gotten to know my Focus better.

Don’t host with Siteground!

I started hosting a site with Siteground on June 12, 2007. When I started the hosting fees were about $80. The are now $108 for the year. I have another account with GoDaddy and I’m in the process of moving my site there. I thought I had until June 11, 2011 to cancel the Siteground account. I found a charge on my bank account today of $108 from Siteground. This is what prompted the following chat session.
You are now chatting with Petar

Michael Moore:
Existing customer
mmoore@atomicdwarf.com
Domain name: alphacontrol.org
Interested in: service renewal
Question: I wasn’t planning to renew my hosting agreement and I thought I had another few days before it expired. However, I see that a charge has been made to my bank account to automatically renew. Please let me know what I can do about this situation.
———————

Petar: Hello Michael

Petar: Welcome to SiteGround.com Hosting Services!

Petar: Could you please allow me a second to check your account details

Michael Moore: yes

Petar: I can see that you are a customer of ours for a long time, Michael – since 2007 actually and may I please ask for the reason you would like to close the account?

Michael Moore: I see that your prices have gone up and I only use this account to host a wiki. It’s expensive. I have another website already where I can host it. I am moving my wiki there.

Michael Moore: If I do that, I can avoid the $108 expense of this account.

Michael Moore: I thought that my account didn’t expire until June. I thought I had a few days yet.

Petar: Unfortunately, the renewal payment was already processed and I cannot give you a suitable discount for it, Michael, however specially for you I can offer you something else – what would you say if I offer you to extend your expiration date for the account with 3 more months?

Petar: In that way you get 15 months of hosting for a renewal rate of 12 months and you can always use the account for another website

Michael Moore: Is that going to let me avoid the $108 charge?

Michael Moore: I want tp pay $0 and have 0 moths of hosting. How is charging me $108 any kind of compromise.

Michael Moore: When was my account set to expire?

Petar: From what I can see your account was set to expire on 2011-06-12, and we have all services on recurring for our customers convenience to avoid any downtime due to expiration

Michael Moore: I created my account on June 12, 2007. I didn’t expect to be charged again until June 12, 2011. Why did you charge me early?

Michael Moore: Why was it renewed before 6/12/2011 though?

Petar: That is why the recurring date is set 15 days prior to the expiration date in the event that the renewal is not completed due to an error, the customer would have time to rectify it

Petar: That is exactly why we start to notify you 45 days prior to the expiration date that your service is up for renewing

Michael Moore: I do not want to extend my account another 3 months. I do not want to pay $108. What can I do?

Petar: You can easily cancel the account from your User area -> Billing section -> Billing cancellation link and there you will see the options that you have, Michael and you can choose the most suitable one for you

Michael Moore: If I cancel the account, will I get all or some of the money back?

Petar: You can request for a refund of the payment and we will refund it withholding only $35 late cancellation fee and $14.95 domain name renewal payment – the rest will be refunded to your credit card, Michael

Michael Moore: How is it a late cancellation? I’m cancelling it before it expires again? I also will want to cancel the domain name. I’m moving it to another host as well.

Petar: The late cancellation fee is there to cover all the transaction fees that follow the initial transaction and then the refund, as well as the time and effort of our Billing, Sales and Admin departments

Petar: and as for the domain name I can make a special exception for you and waive that fee so the total withhold will be only $35 and you will be getting refunded $72.40

Michael Moore: So, I would, in effect be paying $35 for receiving no service.

Petar: Actually, this is a special solution for you because you have contacted us so soon after the renewal took place, Michael, because all renewal payments are non refundable

Michael Moore: Just so you know, I will be posting the text of this conversation on my personal blog and making my own comments. I’ll also be liking it to my Facebook account.

Petar: We have tried to notify you about the upcoming renewal by sending you 3 notification emails to mmoore@atomicdwarf.com

Michael Moore: The comments on my blog and Facebook will be non-retractable as well.

Petar: Yet you have not taken any action to stop the renewal and and we had no way of knowing you did not need the account so it was renewed for the next year

Michael Moore: OK. It looks like you will be charging me $108 and I will be making my case to the court of public opinion.

Michael Moore: So be it.

Petar: Of course, that is entirely your right as everyone can express his or hers opinion in any way he/she wants, Michael

Petar: I am only saying that we have provided you with the service you have paid for and as per our mutual agreement when you created the account, it has been set on recurring

Petar: Which can be stopped at any time from your account if not needed, yet since you did not such a thing, the account has been renewed as per this agreement

Michael Moore: Well, I won’t be making that mistake again.

Michael Moore: I understand.

Michael Moore: Good bye.

Annabelle Lee

ANNABELLE LEE

Author: Edgar Allan Poe
Reader: Michael Alan Moore

It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of Annabel Lee;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.

I was a child and she was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea;
But we loved with a love that was more than love –
I and my Annabel Lee;
With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven
Coveted her and me.
And this was the reason that, long ago,
In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
My beautiful Annabel Lee;
So that her highborn kinsman came
And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulcher
In this kingdom by the sea.
The angels, not half so happy in heaven,
Went envying her and me
Yes! that was the reason
(as all men know, In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of the cloud by night,
Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.

But our love was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we
Of many far wiser than we
And neither the angels in heaven above,
Nor the demons down under the sea,
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee.
For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise but I feel the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling, my darling, my life and my bride,
In the sepulcher there by the sea,
In her tomb by the sounding sea.