You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Meta’ category.

I thought you might be interested in an odd thing that is happening with this, the Responsible Puppet blog.

Last September, I posted a Tuesday Stand Alone Statement about not wearing sunglasses when you’re talking to someone. To be honest, it was an inconsequential post.

So I was surprised when it slowly became one of my more popular post. I didn’t get it.

I have since learned, thanks to a helpful commenter, that if you go to Google Images and search on ‘sunglasses’ the third image links back to that post. For who knows why?

In the last month, it’s gotten more than 860 hits.

And here’s what makes me feel guilty: I just grabbed that photo off the internet somewhere. I can’t find it. I’ve tried, because I’d like to update that post to link back to it.

For the record, I no longer do that. I’ve learned my lesson: Now I try to make sure photos link back to the source (often Wikipedia).

In any case, I’m letting you know. Maybe you could go to the google search and click on my link. If enough people do that – it could go to position 2!

Update: Okay in creating the image for this post, I’ve found the source, but it just brings you to an error page if you click on it. So maybe I feel a little less guilty.


Another big round number.

I’ve been blogging since Jan 28, 2007. With the added posts from my other blogs, I have a total of 1537 posts – which means I’ve put up a post, on average, about one every 42 hours – or more often than once every other day.

If you’re interested in seeing my most popular posts, I recommend you go look at my Top 35 page – listing those which have had more than 1000 hits.

Now, I just saw that Challies (to whom I’m very grateful) just had a post get more than 750,000 hits, so I know that I shouldn’t consider any of mine viral.

Nevertheless, I did feel some joy this spring when my 5 Signs post (by far my biggest with 12,000+ hits) did so well, particularly since it dealt so heavily with the Gospel. To God be the glory.

Anyway, please stick around. I have more.

Okay, this is pretty close to bragging, but I wanted to write this down somewhere. I think it’s at least a little interesting.

Two days ago, over at my Dad blog, I published a new post that I’d been writing for awhile: Five Signs Your Child Is Not Saved. Yesterday, before 8:00, Challies linked to it.

He’s done this before. I think this is the seventeenth time he’s linked one of my posts, and those posts always did well. So I knew it was going to be a good day.

The record high hit count for a day on my Dad blog was 3,087. The blog hit count matched that before 9:15 AM.

The record highest one day hit count for any of my blogs was on this one a few years back – 4,224.

Yesterdays hit count matched that before 11:15 AM. It was going to be a bigger day.

And over 5,000 at 12:15.

At the end of the day, I had 9,567 hits. This is nothing compared to the big blogs, and obviously Challies must get a count significantly greater than this every day, but … I mean … Yikes.

So some comments:

1. 2203 (23%) of these hits came from Facebook. That means that some thought the post was good enough to link to on Facebook and that many people got to my blog this way. Nice.

2. People in 82 countries saw this post.

3. At times, I was getting 15 hits a minute. Even at the end of the day, I was getting 2.5 hits a minute.

4. Apparently, this post was counted as the 16th biggest blog post for the day over at WordPress.

5. More than a fifth of all of my Dad blog hits (all time, so far) came in one day yesterday.

6. I’m really glad that I got this many hits because of a blog post where the gospel was stressed so greatly. So much more meaningful that funny on-line add posts.

I keep a word document where I keep track of possible Blog Post Subjects. Anytime I think of one and don’t have time to write it, I put it there for when I do have time. I just looked at this file and in there is this line:


This could be translated: Remember to post that excellent Stand Alone Statement you thought up on the subject “Adventure”.

Unfortunately, I have no memory of what this was.

So could you just come up with one on your own? Make sure it’s clever and slightly earth-shattering and makes you think better of me as a blogger.


For those of you who actually go to my website (as opposed to subscribe and just see it on a reader) you may note a change in the look.

Since day one, my tagline has been this.

With An Eternal God, you can have it both ways. Anti-Calvinists say that they don’t like the idea that God is the Universal Puppetmaster. This description implies two ideas: (A) That God is in control of everything that happens, including each person’s choices. (B) That Humans are not responsible for anything they do. I reject one of these. See if you can guess which one. Please see my discussion on this in the ‘Both Ways’ category.

This has been a good intro – with content that helps a newcomer know where I’m am coming from theologically, but is somewhat unwieldy, to say the least. So I’ve changed it.

At 28 words (compared to 76), the new tagline is quite a bit more, shall we say, wieldy, if not as streamlined as the experts would recommend. What do you think? Should I just reduce it to the first sentence?

I thought I’d start a list of all of the blogs run by Bethlehem Baptist Church attenders. It is certainly incomplete.

I have tried to identify people as they have identified themselves.

Update: The list is now up to 40.

Please let me know if you have any blogs that I should add to this list, or any that I should take off or edit.

Name Blog Name URL
Abigail Abigail’s Leftovers
Abraham Piper Downhill Both Ways
Abraham Piper Twentytwo Words
Amy K Splintered Kindling
Andy Gammons The Gammons Fam
Anthony Bushnell Fully Alive In Christ!
Brian Tabb Bible Arc Blog
Caryn Defining Moments
Corrie Ayers To Run And Not Grow Weary
Halmar Living By Faith
Harlan Paulson Means To Protect A Christian Marriage
Harlan Paulson Singing and Praying the Psalms of David
Jessica Melling Ten Digit Lumber
Jan Not Easy Being Green
Jenifer 3Here1There
Jenna All The Way Home
John Knight The Works Of God
John Piper Desiring God
Jonathan Parnell Bible Arc Blog
Josh Lewis Blog: Josh Lewis
Melissa Tending The Home Fires
Not Just An Ordinary Life Julie Martindale
Kanowitz Desired Haven
Kenny Stokes Wilderness Mercies
Mary Decker DakarDeckers
Matt Taylor Taylormatthews
Mike Tong Never Hoot Alone
Molly Piper Molly Piper
Noel Piper Noel Piper
Patty Broberg The Broberg Family
Phil Carlson philthecarl
Phil Carlson thecarpenterman
Rob Hulson Rob Hulson
Ryan Golias Fighter Verses
Ryan Golias The Renewed Imagination
Sam Crabtree Pastor Sam’s Blog
Sara Shull Treasure From The Junk Drawer
Scott J The Blog Of Scott
Scott Jamison Reponsible Father
Scott Jamison The Responsible Puppet
Shaun Tabatt Bible Geek Gone Wild
Steph Lewis Steph Lewis
Team Global Diaconate
Tyler Kenney Fighter Verses
Yvette Hatchlings
Grace In Focus
And a couple blogs from people who were recently Bethlehem Members
Dorothy Urban Servant
Bob Hayton Fundamentally Reformed

. . . and should this blog be included on it?

I’d like to think that this is a blog that often delves into biblical spirituality, and while I try to never be unbiblical in my not-directly-religious material, it is often very . . . not-directly-religious.

Still, I’m honored that this blog was placed on a list of “the more thoughtful, regularly updated blogs from Minnesota about faith”. I have to think that this is a direct result of my friendship with Bob over at Fundamentally Reformed (to whom I am grateful), who is a primary focus in the article.

But I have to think there are other Minnesota bloggers who might come over here and think, reasonably, Why is this on the list?

That’s just the way the cookie crumbles, I guess.

For every idea I post here, there are most likely two possibilities –


(1)   That my ideas are unoriginal, and I know the original source. Generally speaking, I link to these sources to give them credit.

(2)   My ideas have already been posted or written elsewhere, I just don’t know it and I think my ideas are original.


Certainly there are very few authentically new idea under the sun. And sure, some people have unique brains that can actually think up original ideas, but I have doubts about my own abilities to do this, especially considering how little research I do.


I’m just saying this as a disclaimer. Let the record show I make no claims of originality here.


And if anyone knows where someone has written a post with the same ideas as this one, let me know, because that would be awesomely self-referential if I could link to it.

I have been thinking that I should put up a post describing my categories. Here goes (to get to them choose from the list at the bottom left):

Both Ways:  Describes and defends my Hyper-compatibleist twist of Calvinism. Since this is where I get the title of my blog, I really should do this more. It’s been more than a half year. I feel guilty. I’ll put one out soon.

Friday Everything : My weekly collection of euphoristic sayings from a single source. The sources are rather eclectic. Here is my set of disclaimers on the subject.

Attempts : Trying to be funny. You be the judge.

Saturday Poem: For the first several months, I posted a poem every Saturday, but I ran out of poems and I don’t write them that often. I see that’s it’s been more than a year since the last one.

Sunday Interesting Weekend: Self explanatory. This is a more recent addition and is not completely consistent.

Third Thursday Ogden: A collection of stories about a character named Ogden. See the full explanation here.

Tuesday Stand Alone Statement: A collection of observations about a variety of subjects. This has the most posts.

I thought you might be interested in another list of my favorite texts that people searched on to get to this blog:

– debra winger + tickling

– mickey mouse peppy puppet 2

– ultimate puppet guide maple


-alba, -biel, -simpson, -lynch, -lunsfor


– “bob denver” “good looking”


– Erchomai “one place to another”


– Young grwon ups should leave their family


– Bible verse relating to jogging


– puppet eighties hah!


– shortened pinky


– what happens if you eat a blue crayon


– john madden bluebird wonder lodge


– can a cholesteatoma make your body shake


– tom hanks paprika


– what happens if i dont have the cholesteatoma


– we have a no see um infestation in our house


– predestination sadistic god offensive


– tuba notes for “dirty diana”

It was fun to see the responses. Here are some places where the root took hold:


Obviously there were some good lists put in the comments of the original post.


Never one to turn down a meme, Steve  made sure to put in his list.


And John at the Cross Driven Blog has an eclectic set as well.


Here’s one from the Pole Hill Sanitorium


Abraham had, as you might expect, a different take on the question


And obviously the biggest response was from Vox Day, who couldn’t resist a little jab at my theology on the way. There were many lists given from his ilk in the comments and it was interesting to see how the format evolved as the day went.


And I’m sure I’ve missed a few. In any case, all of these worked together to put me at # 42 at the wordpress growing blogs list for one day. I’ve hit the big time!


No word from Pastor John yet. I’m sure it’s on his to-do list.

Just added a link to Abraham Piper’s new blog – 22Words, a good name since it describes every post that he makes (not counting the post’s title).  Quite clever (Somewhat Haikuish) , on several subjects – Check it out.

Hmmm. . .  Piper. . . Now why does that sound familiar?

. . . of Search Texts By Which People Found The Responsible Puppet

Subheading 1 – Evidently, if anyone on the internet googles anything with “Puppet” – it comes to me:
* What does the bible say about puppets
* Armor of god puppets
* hippopotamus puppet bath dollar store
* conclusion of puppet
* brickhouse betty stolen by the puppet
* mate, darn and make puppets
This last one was searched (sought?) for today – and in all of Google, my blog is at the top of the list for it.

Subheading 2 – Also “Poems”
* poems about been thankful for employees
* poems about Woodticks
And the best poem search . ..
* Revenge poems that rythme with Debbie
Any luck with that one, I wonder?

Subheading 3 – Um . . . what?
* we can see speckles in a piece of granit
* what did Friday’s moon look like?
* Inverse Cinematics – Pet Legs mix 1
* monumental teepee
* policing for God
* what happens to a person in a submarine

Subheading 4 – My Favorite
* deer god my kids are disrespectful

A few questions arise from this one, to wit:
Is it a cry for help or just a rhetorical exclamation?
What did his/her kids do to provoke such an outburst?
Is that a misspelling or did the searcher really hope to invoke the help of a lesser-known pagan deer god?

A week ago I posted the fourth Third Thursday Ogden Story. I thought I’d give you a bit of a background on them.

I have already mentioned that I am (now more than ten years!) a database guy in Corporate America.  Back in the late 90’s I had a twice monthly job of loading a certain database (our Redbrick database) that was used by people in my department. They all wanted to know as soon as the data was updated, so when I had run the job, I sent out a note that said something like “The Redbrick Data has been loaded for January – You may query at will.”

One month, the day that I was sending out this note was the day after a departmental party in which we had given each other white elephant gifts. So when I sent out the note, I positioned the “Redbrick Data” message in the middle of a story which included many of the items that had been given. People wrote back that they appreciated it.

So after that I started to put stories around all of the Redbrick update messages. I created a fictional character named Ogden Fenfert, who was himself a database programmer, did odd things, and occasionally met famous people. Most of the story worked with Ogden as the main character.

I continued to get nice comments from people (my boss’s boss one told me that she laughed until she cried) so I continued to write them. Ogden went on “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire”, was recruited by Bill Gates, had his own radio program (“Optimizing with Ogden”) and spoke at an elementary school career day with a football player from the XFL. 

Fortunately, (and unfortunately) we replaced this system with a more automated process which no longer needed a manual load, so I no longer write them. But it was fun while it lasted. For a while there I was getting paid (and complimented) to do creative writing.

As I look back at them, many of them don’t work in this setting because they are so filled with inside jokes. But some of them do, and I’m posting them here. As always, I appreciate feedback.

On January 28th, 2007, I posted my first post.

A few comments about this year:

* As I started out, I wrote with the hope that I wouldn’t be embarrassed in later months by the first few weeks of posts. I am glad to report that I am not.

* Astute readers will note the leaving off of one repeating category and the addition of another. I pretty much have stop posting my Saturday Poems for the single reason that I don’t have that many previously written poems and I am currently not writing very many new poems. At least not one a week. I still have a few that I want to put up, eventually. And I’ll give an explanation of the Third Thursday Ogden stories fairly soon.

* I have wondered if I would been able to keep up the one-a-day pace, but this hasn’t really been a problem. A few times I have wondered what I am going to put up the next day, but something always comes to mind.

* I regret that I haven’t done as much with the Free Will/ God Sovereignty Compatibleism (Both Ways) discussion as I should. A goal for this blog has always been to glorify God and talking theology does this better than Calvin&Hobbes Friday Everythings, for example.

* I always appreciate commenter input, positive and negative.

* I have been thankful every time that people have linked to me, as has happened today by the Evangelical Outpost and a week ago by Vox. I wouldn’t really have a blog except for these referrals.

* If you want to describe the many ways that your life has been changed for the positive as a result of reading this blog, the comment section here is the place to do it.

Okay, I am ignorant about these thing, so I don’t really know how it happened, but I found this interesting. Someone got to my page from a google translation page (shown at the bottom, but you can get to it here). As it turns out, this is the translation for my Bruce Willis Friday Everything.

I could do a little studying and find out what a person would have to do to get this (as well as what language it is – Japanese? Chinese?) but technical research is not really what the Responsible Puppet is about.

What it is about (at least on a small level) is pointing out interesting things. What I find interesting is that there is apparently no <chinese> word for ‘Calvinists’, ‘Puppetmaster’ or, surprisingly ‘Jerkweed’

If you’re the person who did this, let me know. I’d be interested in finding out your goals in making it.   


I just wanted to clear up a few points: 

  • Astute readers may have noted that it is impossible for all of these very divergent lists to include “Everything I Ever Needed To Know”. This suggests that either I am a nonsense peddler (crazy or deliberately and obviously lying) or that I am not really serious in my title. I’ll leave this for the reader to decide.
  • For the most part, I try to populate these documents not just with good quotes from the source – Rather, I try to choose only those statements from the sources that sound like they are giving advice, or making a universal truth. As I look back at the Princess Bride Everythings, however, I see that I have made some exceptions.
  • Another thing that astute readers may have noted is that I have in mind varying degrees of agreement with each of these lists. Obviously, I agree with all of the statements from the Biblical Book Everythings. Obviously, I don’t agree with everything in the Spinal Tap Everything. I was pleased to see that I agree with everything in all six of the Lord of The Rings Everythings, except for one: “Nothing is evil from the beginning” (I suppose it depends on your definitions of ‘evil’).
  • Ever since the beginning, I have not been completely pleased with what I call them, since the category is (of course) inspired by the original Kindergarten Everything. This original, while conceptually creative, has two problems: (1) It is completely cloying, (2) Parodies of it has been really, really overdone (not so much lately, but that’s only because would-be authors (even bad ones) have seen that it has been overdone.
  • For this reason, I have toyed with the idea of changing the name to something more cool sounding, but I’m not sure what I would change it to. I am open to suggestions.
  • Blachr has told me outright more than once that renaming isn’t good enough – I should stop them altogether. Request Denied!

Steve over at Careful Thought  has pointed out here (more than once) my inadequacies in spelling the name of followers of the historical foe of Calvinism (or however you want to describe them).  Now Bob (who is currently happy about the most recent Huckabee success, as am I) over at Fundamentally Reformed has sent over a link which gives evidence that my errors are not taken lightly. It’s quite funny.

And have I mentioned that I can schmooze?

Thus Spake Bob: He’s always talking idly and casually in a friendly way. And he’s not out to gain anything either. His blog is interesting and varied, with the occasional attempt at a Calvinist debate. I chat with him at church on Sundays and Wednesdays, and we keep up with each other’s blogs too. I think you’ll find his blog interesting and often useful.  

Not out to gain anything? Well, I guess that depends on your definition of Anything. I also note the judicial usage of the word “attempt”.

I have found that it is wise to consider trusting an idea that comes from two relatively non-connected sources. My wife and my Mom, for example, don’t always agree, so when I am undecided on a decision we are trying to make, and both of them have an opinion, and they agree with each other, I am relieved. Because if they agree with each other, it’s a pretty good bet that they are right.

Another example of this is when Debbie and I were newly married, within a few weeks two former roommates of mine (both who knew me well but didn’t really know each other) both commented that I was a person who rarely complained. (This was 12 years ago, mind you.) Sometimes a person is unsure whether to trust a compliment. This time, because it came from two sources, I trusted it. So did my wife and I was grateful for their words.*

The flip side of this is when two disparate sources think you are wrong. This means it’s time to reconsider and it happened to me on Monday after my post about less important activities.

Marie, generally a thoughtful person, commented, cordially, but her message was clear: I was mistaken. Okay. Hmmm. I wrote a quick rebuttal and hoped it would help me stop wondering if I had written an unwise post. Nope.

So I walked over and showed the post and the comments to BlaChr, who never has any qualms about stating that I am crazy and nor did he, in this case, show any hesitancy to state that this was a wrong-minded post. (He took especially exception to the personal hygiene items on the list, to wit: “Why you gotta hate on being clean?”) (And he suggested one that I had missed: Video Games)


So I brought it home and showed it to my wife who was, I state with zero pride, somewhat angered by my post. She would like me to make it clear, for example, that she has our kids dust once a week, and she does iron and we do vacuum more than once every half year. Indeed, now that I think about it, I vacuumed on Saturday.

I’d like to hide behind the idea that I was intentionally overt exaggerating (like you do) and that the astute reader would know this, but (at least) three usually astute readers didn’t enjoy the post’s subtle humor. To say the least.

So . . . what to do now? I think I can say that my main point is still valid: There are things that people do that keep them from doing more important things. But maybe I was a bit overzealous.

So, how’s this for a new list?:

6 Time-users which, if you do one of them, (in Jamsco’s Opinion, but he in no way thinks this list is universal, complete or decisive) (and he readily admits that he wastes his time regularly (and perhaps if anyone reading this would care to comment with some additions to the list, maybe he, too, would be forced to rethink his priorities a little)) should, perhaps, cause you to pause and wonder if doing the thing less will enable you to glorify God in a more real way:

1. You play video games, like, a lot.
2. You wash your car more than once a week (with an exemption if you live in a really dusty environment)
3. You watch more than, say . . . 5 hours of TV a week.
4. You golf.
5. You read fame magazines.
6.  You dust more than once every half day.

But I don’t know. Is 6 enough to make a list worth reading?

* Guys, if you want to do a friend a favor, make nice comments about him within earshot of the girl he is trying to impress.

My Wife’s Blog

My State Park Blog

Promotion – Songs To Help Families Memorize Scripture

I’m on Twitter

To Subscribe



January 2023