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Everything I Ever Needed To Know I Learned From Thanksgiving Hymns


For the joy of human love (Brother, sister, parent, child), friends on earth and friends above, pleasures pure and undefiled – Lord of all, to thee we raise this, our hymn of grateful praise. *** Now thank we all our God with heart and hands and voices who wondrous things hath done in whom his world rejoices; who from our mother’s arms hath blessed us on our way with countless gifts of love, and still is ours to-day. *** Let all things now living a song of thanksgiving to God the creator triumphantly raise. Who fashioned and made us, protected and stayed us, Who still guides us on to the end of our days. *** The wicked oppressing now cease from distressing. Sing praises to His Name; He forgets not His own. *** This is my Father’s world: I rest me in the thought of rocks and trees, of skies and seas; his hand the wonders wrought. *** Thanks to God for my Redeemer, Thanks for all Thou dost provide. *** We all do extol Thee, Thou Leader triumphant and pray that Thou still our Defender will be. *** Lord of harvest, grant that we wholesome grain and pure may be. *** Sing to the Lord of harvest, sing songs of love and praise; With joyful hearts and voices your alleluias raise. By Him the rolling seasons in fruitful order move. Sing to the Lord of harvest a joyous song of love. *** O let me ne’er forget that though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet. *** For the love which from our birth over and around us lies, Lord of all, to thee we raise this, our hymn of grateful praise.


An Edited Repeat From Last Year (for another contest)

The Adventures of Ogden: Man of the Suburb
Giving Thanks – Ogden is Twenty-Four

When Ogden woke up, it took a few seconds to gain his bearings. He was in a car, in the back seat, somewhat reclined, and his younger sister, Terry, was looking at him, trying to stifle a grin.  Why was he waking up in a car? And then he felt the pain in his hand and he looked at it, very clumsily bandaged.

“You fainted,” said Terry, obviously trying not to giggle.

“I fainted?” Ogden asked


It came to him quickly. Whole family together for Thanksgiving, a little touch football outside, listening to the uncles doing dueling jokes, chatting with Terry’s new boyfriend Chad. Dad had offered to let him carve the turkey and . . . . that’s all he could remember.

“You cut yourself on the carving knife”
“I did?”
Ogden was now experiencing a faint memory of seeing a good amount of blood, but he didn’t want to think about it.

A voice came from the front seat “That’s right. A pretty impressive cut. Your aunt Janice ran screaming from the room” Ogden looked up.  Chad was driving them to the hospital.

“Well,” said Ogden, sitting up a little, “It looks like my reaction wasn’t that impressive either.”

There was a pause in the conversation.

“So I assume we’re going to the hospital”
“That’s correct,” giggled Terry, “Mom said she’d hold off on serving the food until we get back.”

“So I’m screwing up the big meal for everyone.”

“Believe me, Ogden” said Chad, “No one’s blaming you. They were all feeling so sorry for you, and your Grandma called you a hero.”

“Ah.” That sounded like Grandma. So kind. More so since Grandpa had died.

So now, thought Ogden, this is what was going to happen. They would soon be getting to the hospital, the nurse would hear about his hand, they would wait three hours, the doctor would finally see him and sew him up, which would take twenty minutes, during every single minute of which Ogden would be liable to faint again. It would hurt. And they wouldn’t get home until 7:00, by which time everyone would be irritable and trying somewhat unsuccessfully to hide it.


“So, what happened?” asked Anna Joy, Ogden’s ten year old daughter, fifteen years later, “Was it as bad as you expected?”

Anna was sitting between Mom and Dad on the couch, happy to be allowed to stay up and talk to them when her brother and sister were already in bed.

“No, actually. The wait was only about an hour, I was able to handle the work on my hand without losing consciousness and we were sitting down to eat before 4:30. And I think the happiness that people showed was not faked.”

“What about your hand?”
“Well, it healed pretty quickly, but you can still see the scar, see?” Ogden showed it to his daughter. The scar was faint but evident.
“And that was an interesting meal. I couldn’t use this hand, so Grandma offered to cut everything for me.”
“I imagine that was a humbling experience for you as a twenty four year old,” said Gretta.
“It was indeed,” replied Ogden. “But Grandma loved helping out. She still does.”
“Why didn’t you help him,” Anna asked her mom.
Ogden chuckled, “Oh, we hadn’t met yet.”
“Oh yeah,” said Anna. It was always sobering to consider your parents before they’d met. What if they never had?

“But here’s the interesting thing,” said Ogden, “I had taken a dim opinion of uncle Chad from the first day I met him. My immediate opinion of him was that he was someone who only liked to talk to people and was too interested in making himself look good. But my accident caused me to see him in a different light. He made a real sacrifice when he offered to drive me to the hospital. He really was quite helpful. I had been too quick to judge. I thank God for that lesson.”

“I like Uncle Chad!” said Anna Joy.
“So do I, now. So there was good that happened when I cut my hand, because it gave me an opportunity to rethink my opinion of him.”

Anna Joy thought for a few seconds. And then “Oh!”

“What?” asked Ogden.

“So that’s why they never let you carve the turkey!”


Happy Thanksgiving from JamFam and all of here at the Responsible Puppet.

Any time you use some item (shoes, a car, a house) past the point where it would be reasonable to replace them, you are doing well, especially if you use the funds you would have spent to replace them wisely.

Top Nine Things That A Baby Might Say If Asked If He/She Wants To Be Born


9. Um, no. I’m good. Thanks, though!


8. Are you kidding? I can’t breathe out there!


7. Would there be weird colors? Because right now I’m really fond of black and dark purple.


6. <a boy, after hearing about a certain procedure> I’m sorry, what was that again?


5. I would only consider it if the extraction process was stress free for both myself and my carrier.


4. Is it fairly warm out there? Because right now I’m pretty used to roughly 98, 99 degrees.


3. Are you kidding? Can you see this tube thing? I can’t eat out there!


2. Putting my thoughts and feelings aside here, I think we should reflect on how much work I am going to cause my carrier and her partner post birth. I really have no wish to be a burden.


1. Given my current state of peace and comfort, I believe I can best serve and glorify God right where I am.


Any suggestions?






Everything I Ever Needed To Know I Learned From A Horse An His Boy By C S Lewis (Part 2 of 2)

All that galloping for a day and a night, like in stories, can’t really be done. It must be walk and trot: but brisk trots and short walks. *** One of the worst results of being a slave and being forced to do things is that when there is no-one to force you any more you find you have almost lost the power of forcing yourself. *** If you do one good deed, your reward usually is to be set to do another and harder and better one. *** I have now lived a hundred and nine winters in this world and have never yet met any such thing as Luck. *** There is something about this that I do not understand: but if ever we need to know it, you may be sure that we shall. *** It would be better to stay and say we’re sorry than to go back. *** You’re not quite the great horse you had come to think, from living among poor dumb horses. Of course you were braver and cleverer than them. You could hardly help being that. It doesn’t follow that you’ll be anyone very special here. But as long as you know you’re nobody very special, you’ll be a very decent sort of horse, on the whole, and taking one thing with another. *** Goat’s milk is rather a shock when you’re not used to it. *** I tell no-one any story but his own. *** There are some things that take a lot of getting used to. *** If you would not be taken for a traitor, try not to hear what’s meant for other ears. *** A boy in battle is a danger only to his own side. ***  He would not be your son if he did not inherit your conditions. *** Happy the horse that knows he’s a fool while he is still young. *** No-one is told any story but their own. *** Even a traitor may mend. *** I have no stomach for killing men in cold blood. *** Never taunt a man save when he is stronger than you: then as you please. *** Your doom is very near, but you may still avoid it. Forget your pride (what have you to be proud of?) and your anger (who has done you wrong?) and accept the mercy of these good kings. *** The king’s under the law, for it’s the law makes him a king. *** It’s princes have all the fun. *** This is what it means to be King: to be first in every desperate attack, and last in every desperate retreat, and when there’s hunger in the land (as must be now and then in bad years) to wear finer clothes and laugh louder over a scantier meal than any man in your land.

Reasons we named our new son ‘Foster’:


1. Astute Responsible Puppet readers will have noted that both of our daughters have names that begin with A, and the boys are B,C,D,E. We needed an F name.

2. I like the Piper’s naming convention.

3. The first definition of Foster in our dictionary is ‘To care for or cherish’

4. I think it sounds cool.


Reasons we gave our new son the middle name ‘Nathaniel’:


After the baby had been born, I quickly realized that, while we had pretty much agreed upon a first name, when hadn’t really discussed the middle name at all. So I was very happy when my wife called from the hospital to say that the birth parents had requested that we have the name “Nathaniel” somewhere in his name. It’s a very nice sounding name and goes well with Foster.


Our adoption agency social worker suggested that the combination sounds presidential.

A post-born infant suffers many indignities – especially if he is a boy.

We got a phone call at 2:30 this morning and Debbie headed right out to the hospital to see the birth parents who chose our family last August to adopt their child.


As I write this, I’m looking at a happy adoptive mom feeding my new son.


He is sweet and cute and we praise God. Our other kids are excited to meet him.


His name is Foster.


Please pray for health for him and parenting wisdom for us. Please also pray for the birth mom and dad who did (and are still doing) what I assume was a very difficult thing.


Happy Mom

Happy Mom

 In Dads Lap




Everything I Ever Needed To Know I Learned From Summa Elvetica By Theo Beale (Part 3)

It would be difficult for you to do anything at all if you are dead. ***  I have many deeds for which to repent, much pride for which to atone. *** There are few, man or orc, who cannot be purchased by one means or another. *** We are all fallen short of the glory of God, my brother, even if some of us fall shorter than others. *** The mighty are ever proud. *** Peace, child. We must have the courage to trust in the Immaculate One and pray that His will be done. *** One day we shall walk the streets of gold together and complete our conversation at our leisure. *** Fare you well, And may the Immaculate Incarnate drive all darkness from you and shield you with blessing and light! *** It is an intrinsic error to conclude that animation without anima was the result of a demonic heritage. The sparrow was equally unworthy of the Gospel, and yet it was loved by its Creator all the same.  *** It is an outrage, an abomination, that such a brilliant mind should be forever silenced by stupid and greedy men so that other stupid and greedy men could hope to increase their wealth. *** Trust in your sword or trust in your God, but don’t put your faith in Lady Fortune. *** Try trusting in God for once, instead of your sword and I shall pray that one day the Immaculate One will wash that blackened soul of yours as white as a Sanctiff’s beard. *** I have decided to serve God. *** Do not ever confuse the Church with the God is serves, nor God’s voice on Earth with the still small voice that speaks after the wind, the earthquake, and the fire. *** Not all knowledge can be gleaned from texts. *** Our desire for talent must never be used to overshadow an absence of calling. That way lie madness and material empire. *** Purity is a virtue of the soul. *** To blush is to be impassioned by an offense against that which is immaculate. Only a creature with a soul could possible be cognizant of offending such virtue. *** Have you never perused the list of true saints? Have you never seen how very few of them happened to be men of the cloth? *** THE IMMACULATE GOD so loved man that He created him in such wise that he might participate, not only in the good that other creatures enjoy, but endowed him with capacity to attain to the inaccessible and invisible Supreme Good and behold it face to face

A week early, referring to this:


It was late in the afternoon on the fourteenth of October 2008 when Ogden received the e-mail message:

“The Redbrick Detail database September midmonth load is done.”


Not for the first time this decade, Ogden shuddered. The last time he had read a message like this it was on that fateful day, exactly ten years ago – the day of the Scarneycreelpy Disappearance.


Ogden heard a noise behind him and turned just in time to see the figure of a man in a business suit carrying a briefcase move past the door of his cubicle in building 223. So, Ogden thought with fear, he was the next person to experience an October sighting of the ‘Seventh Floor Ghost’.


He quickly stood up and walked out of his cube and looked down the hall, but he was surprised at what he saw. This was no floating apparition, but a solid walking man.


Mortimor?” Ogden asked.

The figure stopped and said with a cheerful and distinctly un-spooky voice, “Yes?”

Mortimor Scarneycreelpy?” Ogden asked again.

“That’s me. How’s it going, Ogden?”

“But we thought you were – . . . Where have you been since 1998?”

“Oh, didn’t you guys know? I took a position in I.T. Maybe I forgot to mention it. I’m over in 772 now.”

“Oh.” said Ogden, trying to sort things out.

“I’m just over here to do my yearly warehouse feasibility study”

“Well . . . that explains it.”


Still confused, Ogden walked back into his cube and sat down.


And thus the mystery of the seventh floor ghost was solved.



“Talk about a failed regime, that closet is the epitome of stupidity.”


 – My wife, commenting on the lack of orderliness of our office closet.


I’ve been tagged again. By Bob (of Fundamentally Reformed ).

The rules are simple. 1) Pick up the nearest book and find page 123. 2) Count the first five (full) sentences. 3) Then quote the next three sentences. So here goes!

Generally, though, it is better to take alternate approaches for the sake of clarity. There are two options. First, you can use concatenation of the variables to avoid using nested pound signs:

<cfset Value1 = “This is”>

<cfset Value1 = “a test.”>


The string is ‘#Value1# #Value2#’ <BR>

In reverse: “Reverse(Value1@ “ “ Value2)#


The book is ColdFusion 4. I had to make my own determination of what the sentence breaks were. The Content would have been significantly different if I had done this at home.

One more rule, you’re supposed to tag 5 other people with the meme. So I nominate Abraham, Molly, Steve, The Latte Steve, and Chris. And can I do a sixth? How about the Tulip Mom?

And no, don’t ask me how Abraham is going to work this into his 22 word rule.


I thought I’d try this out. Yes, it’s obvious, but someone has to do it!

Taking a short break from Summa, but what would be more appropriate for breaking away from Vox aphorisms to showing aphorisms from his favorite Narnia book (which I just finished reading to my kids)?

Everything I Ever Needed To Know I Learned From Lewis’ “The Horse And His Boy”

(Part 1 of 2)


It is wrong to listen behind closed doors. *** He who attempts to deceive the judicious is already baring his own back for the scourge.  *** Swords can be kept off with shields but the Eye of Wisdom pierces through every defense. *** A war horse costs too much to be treated badly. *** What silly legs humans have. *** Talking horses always become more horsey when they are angry. *** No one can teach riding so well as a horse. *** If you live you may have good fortune, but all the dead are dead alike. *** People who know a lot of the same things can hardly help talking about them, and if you’re there you can hardly help feeling that you’re out of it. *** One usually gets on better with people when one is making plans than when one is talking about nothing in particular. ***  It is an old saying: See the bear in his own den before you judge of his conditions. *** There is a great distance between a noise heard letting you in with your friends in the morning and a noise heard alone at nightfall, shutting you out. *** I don’t think anyone can be blamed for shouting if something comes up from behind and touches him; not in such a place and at such a time when his frightened already. *** If one is nervous, there’s nothing like having your face towards the danger and having something warm and solid at your back. *** I’ll never do anything nasty to cat again as long as I live. *** The departure of guests makes a wound that is easily healed in the heart of a judicious host. *** Deep draughts from the fountain of reason are desirable in order to extinguish the fire of youthful love. *** One of the drawbacks about adventures is that when you come to the most beautiful places you are often too anxious and hurried to appreciate them.                                     



Anytime someone pumps his fist and says “Yes!” I assume they are faking (i.e. they aren’t as excited about it as they (a) want to think they are, or (b) they want us to think.)


My belief is that this assumption is more often correct than not. Is it just me?

I’ve been remissing in mentioning this . . .

Good news, the disclaimer on the good new and more good news:

First, the Good news: My story entry for last month’s Friday Challenge over at the Ranting Room has been declared the winner

The Disclaimer: As it turned out – out of four entries, mine was really the only one that played by the rules, so it was very nearly a win by default.


The Other good news: But I still win a prize! In this case it is a free book of my choosing from the K&B Bookstore.



I voted for McCain. I really wanted him to win. Still, here are:


10 Good Things about the Obama Win:


  1. Soon, the blame for every bad thing that happens in America will have to start shifting to the Democrats.
  2. I think the Democrats would have been hit harder emotionally by a loss than the republicans are now being hit. So America is less sad today due to how the election went. I was fearing suicides had McCain won.
  3. Change is due. Let the Democrats have their shot.
  4. Senator Obama is less likely to die in office.
  5. Public Schools will most likely be better off.
  6. We know that this result is God’s will.
  7. This is a significant sign that racism has decreased in America
  8. I had hesitations about Palin as V.P. Or should I say – one hesitation.
  9. I think this means that America will be out of Iraq sooner.
  10.  I believe that Senator Obama wants America to succeed.


And one consolation –

According to my pastor’s theology – babies who are aborted go to heaven.


And yes, I wrote this list before seeing his excellent video. If by chance McCain still wins, then turn these around and call them 10 Bad Things About The McCain Win.


Do you want proof that peer pressure doesn’t work on all people? How about this: For a month, all televisions stations, radio stations, newspapers, most places of work and most pastors and churches have been telling people they should vote, but still 50 percent (40? 35?) of the people won’t. They are impervious.

How about a little politics on the day before the election?

From US Senate Candidate Dean Barkley’s question and answer email:

Q: Do you support the statement, “Abortion is a woman’s right”?

A: Support. Any Government that has the power to prevent a woman from having an abortion also has the power to require one. I do not want to give this power to the Federal Government.


Here’s an interesting little game: Take any potential law and put it in the blanks of the following statement:

“Any Government that has the power to prevent _____ also has the power to require it. I do not want to give this power to the Federal Government.

So how about this –

Any Government that has the power to prevent a person from robbing a bank also has the power to require someone to rob a bank. I do not want to give this power to the Federal Government.

or –

Any Government that has the power to prevent a father from locking his children in the basement for a month also has the power to require a father to do this. I do not want to give this power to the Federal Government.

See how it works? Try it! It’s fun!

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November 2008