Monthly Archives: May 2011

Armageddon tired of waiting

It would have been great if people who predict the end of the world had been a wee bit more accurate. Even though the prediction of the coming rapture was a few ticks off, it certainly drew a lot of attention.

Presbyterian Pastor Randy Campbell, for one, opened his Sunday sermon by announcing, “I’m here!” Doubtless many others said the same thing.

The gentleman who predicted that on May 21, a fifth of a billion Christians would be taken to heaven, California preacher Harold Camping, also said that those of us left behind, would suffer a living hell on earth.

Camping, whose independent ministry runs Family Radio International, admits he felt terrible that the prophecy didn’t come true. It was an expensive — well into the millions — venture, mainly through 5,000 billboards around the country.

The prognosticating man of the cloth ought to do his homework better. This isn’t his first such miscalculation. Remember back in 1994 when what Camping called a “mathematical error” prevented the Apocalypse? Isn’t there an expression, about “once burnt, twice wary”? Continue reading

This TV runs on kerosene

“Please leave the humor to me.” I’ve used that line many times, especially toward my brother-in-law, Jeff Romero, a lawyer who used to be the district attorney in Albuquerque.

He’d start in with lawyer jokes (yes, lawyers know them all; they hear them, spread them, laugh at them and feel unloved if someone fails to tell a lawyer joke in their presence).

One thing about Jeff, a man who has made quite a good living, was his reluctance to buy new stuff.

What particularly puzzled me was his insistence on keeping a pre-historic TV set, possibly the same one used by the Flintstones.

You know the kind I’m describing, always emitting a greenish tint, having knobs and rabbit ears, and a rounded screen that you might expect to find goldfish swimming in. That kind of TV set. Jeff is like my in-laws, Max and Bertha Jimenez, about whose set I said must have run on kerosene.

When I made the same statement to Señor Counselor, Jeff corrected me and said it in fact “runs on whale oil.” Now I’m not necessarily Señor Everything New. No sir. I like to allow things to perform their services before replacing them. But that’s iffy in itself. How many times have you bought something electronic and when it broke, tried to have it repaired, only to discover that “you have last month’s model. Those aren’t made anymore”? Continue reading

Not exactly a barrel of fun

Video games have spoiled it for many of us. We have grown so inured to realistic things coming toward us that I fear too often we don’t know how to react when danger is imminent.

Let me explain: Many years ago, we brought some friends home from a dance at Immaculate Conception School. Because my dad was the first one on his block to own a genuine adjustable camera (an Argus C-3), he wanted to take a group photo of us.

In those days, the M-25 flashbulb was about the size and shape of the balloons we see at the Albuquerque Festival, and the heat they’d generate was comparable to the kettle that fires up those hot-air balloons.

Well, Lydia, my sort-of date, apparently had never been photographed at night, and when the bulb fired, she shrieked and must’ve imagined there had been an explosion. Those noisy, bulbs, which cost about a quarter apiece, in the days when 25 cents was close to one’s hourly wage, eventually went out of style and gave way to things like flash cubes and later, strobes.

But this isn’t to be a treatise on early photography Continue reading

Show us your hairline, Trump

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Birther. It must be awful to be identified by only one term: birther.

By definition, a birther ought to be 1) someone who creates birth, 2) someone who bears a child, 3) someone like a midwife who catches babies, 4) a bad speller who offers choice sleeping accommodations to another on a Pullman train, or 5) the male child of another bad-spelling mom who expected a girl, whom she would have named Bertha.

But this one-issue group calls itself birther solely because its members fail to believe that President Obama really was born in the U.S. Now, with Hawaii and Alaska as the newest kids on the U.S. state block, having been admitted in 1959, Obama’s legitimacy as president might have justifiably been brought into question. Especially for birthers who failed Basic Math, U.S. History or got only as far as 48 states. Continue reading