Hitting retirement age

When you are young, you want to get older, looking forward to milestone birthdays–16 (I can drive!); 18 (I can vote!); 21 (I can drink!). After that, you don’t particularly want to get older, and the milestones acquire a negative connotation–30 (hippies won’t trust me!); 40 (but what have I accomplished?); 50 (welcome to the middle ages); 60 (I’m old!). But then comes a short span of time in which you want to get older, with retirement-related milestones–62 (I could take early retirement!), 65 (I would qualify for free health insurance with Medicare!), 66 (I could take the full Social Security benefits!). After that, I suppose, is the milestone that we don’t know when it is coming, when we really get to rest from our labors.

So today I am technically old enough to retire! That gives me a strange sense of satisfaction. Not that I am going to retire. That’s not the point. It’s just that I could. After the jump, some retirement-related questions for general discussion. [Read more...]

Yet another crown for the aged

Our grandchildren are coming in great profusion and in rapid succession.  Our other daughter had her baby:  Thomas Gene Edward Hensley.  Though I sympathize with the lad for having two middle names, I am greatly touched at the tribute, not only to me but to my recently-deceased father.  His first picture after the jump. [Read more...]

Off for the baptism of Michael Gustavus

This weekend, I’m making a mad dash to Oklahoma to be there for the baptism of my new grandson, Michael Gustavus.

Getting ready to go, I came across this, which has rated a RealClearReligion link, a rather flippant dismissal of infant baptism except as a communal rite of welcome.  Compare that discussion to this one:  The Large Catechism – Book of Concord.  (Notice how, according to the Lutheran confessions, Baptism is NOT a human work, but God’s work and that it cannot be separated from faith.  I understand that some people don’t believe in the efficacy of Baptism, whether or infants or adults, but I wish they would not mischaracterize the position of those who do.)  How would you answer the one you disagree with?

The Crown of the Aged

I am the grateful recipient of the Biblical blessing:  “May you see your children’s children!” (Psalm 128:6).  I can also relate to this text:   “Grandchildren are the crown of the aged” (Proverbs 17:6).  I now have eight of those crowns, with the birth of Michael Gustavus Moerbe. I will spare you the usual grandparents’ deluge of pictures, but I have posted one after the jump. [Read more...]

Mazeppa and Teddy Jack Eddy

I told you about the Tulsa mini-renaissance of my college days in the 1970s, mentioning specifically the Uncanny Film Festival and Camp Meeting, the late night bad-movie and skit-comedy festival featuring Mazeppa Pompazoidi  (Gailard Sartain) and Teddy Jack Eddy (Gary Busey). Well, hat tip to my brother Jimmy for pointing out that you can find some of that stuff on YouTube.  He cited  this example, which has the further value of being a pitch-perfect satire of the high school football culture of those days (and probably still).  We all had coaches like “Coach Chuck.”  And you can understand why high schoolers of a particular mindset would stay up late for this.  See the video after the jump. [Read more...]

The Tulsa Sound

J. J. Cale died, the musician and songwriter responsible with Leon Russell for developing the so-called “Tulsa Sound.”  This was a bluesy, rock ‘n’ roll shuffle, often adorned with a honky tonk piano.  The most notable exemplar of the Tulsa sound was the non-Okie Eric Clapton, but it can also be found in the numerous collaborations of Leon Russell and in groups like the Tractors.

As someone who grew up near Tulsa and went to college in Oklahoma in the 1970s, I can say this is my kind of music.  (In addition to the music, the Tulsa scene at that time included late night TV with “Mazeppa Pompazoidi,” a.k.a. Gailard Sartain, a comic genius who would later go to Hollywood for Hee Haw and other mostly bit parts unworthy of him, with Gary Busey as Teddy Jack Eddy.  Busey also went to Hollywood and had a pretty good career.  Though known for some meltdowns, he became a convert to Christianity.  Did anyone else out there stay up late for the The Uncanny Film Festival and Camp Meeting?)

After the jump:  J. J. Cale playing his most famous song and a good survey of his life and music. [Read more...]


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