01 June 2006

A few short items

A week's worth of blogging packed into one convenient post
by Phil Johnson

The Pecadillo Report

The esteemed Pecadillo has completed his training at the Police Academy. He received his shield in a very simple ceremony while we were in Italy a couple of weeks ago. I hated missing that, but his formal graduation ceremony is coming up in three weeks. I don't intend to miss that.

Anyway, he started doing actual police work today, helping provide security for the mayor's press conference in downtown Los Angeles. He's now authorized to carry a loaded gun pretty much all the time. Fair warning. He'll actually be working on the streets rather than sitting in class at the academy from now on.

Training at the academy is grueling. Recruits who double-fail any test are automatically expelled from the Academy. Some drop out of every new group simply because the training is so stressful. For Pecadillo (who hates mornings), the hardest part was having to get up at 2:45 AM most days in order to get to the Academy in time for the early-morning start.

Of course his mom and I are proud of him.

Jeff Williams Update

This evening, Jeff Williams will make the first of two spacewalks during his 6-month stint in the Space Station. NASA has posted some PowerPoint slides that show what the 5.75-hour spacewalk is designed to accomplish. Both Jeff and his mission commander, Russian Pavel Vinogradav, will be outside the Space Station at the same time. Pray for them today when you think of it.

I'm assuming Jeff will be taking lots of pictures. He's apparently going for the record number of photos taken by one astronaut on a single mission—having taken nearly 15,000 photos already.

One of his photos shows a spectacular volcanic eruption in the Aleutian Islands. On Jeff's earlier mission, one of the things he did was study volcanoes, but this photo is a rare treasure. I believe this is the first volcanic eruption ever spotted from space before it was seen on the ground. Click on the photo to go to NASA, where you can download a fantastic hi-res copy.

If you want watch the spacewalk, tune into NASA TV starting at 5:30 PM Eastern time. And remember to pray for the safety of the spacewalk.

Can you even imagine what it must be like to float freely and weightlessly in space with the whole world filling your field of vision? Wow.

Whether Jeff plans to stick his PyroManiac decal on the outside of the Space Station or not, he hasn't said. (Actually, Jeff, if you read this, just send me a good hi-res photo, and I'll Photoshop the sticker on.)

Odds 'N' Ends

For the record:
  • The Cubs' season is over. I know. Everyone can stop asking me about it.
  • I've been listening to the T4G sessions on my iPod. They've been summarized and thoroughly dissected everywhere, so I'm just going to say that I enjoyed them all thoroughly, and it made me doubly sorry that I missed the conference. I'm glad they made the panel discussions available. I recommend them all highly, without reservation. (And you know how rare it is for me to give anything an unqualified recommendation.)
  • Speaking of which, our old friend NT Wright ("The Bish") came to Canada to drink beer and talk theology. (Always knew he was a BHT fellow at heart.) Read a glowing review of the bishop's Tavern-Talk here. Wright desperately needs to enter the contest to win the Pyro-T. That mauve shirt with the clerical collar isn't working for him.
  • Bonus: Here's a pretty good summary of why we're uneasy with the Bish's position on justification by faith, and why we remain unmoved by the rhetorical tactics he and his disciples use to defend it (ht: CraigS).
  • I had to redo one of the Biblezine parodies (see here, here, and here), because the image I used turned out not to be in the public domain. The person pictured in the original version of "The New Testament for Goth Girls" turned out to be a professional model who has had some rather unsavory gigs, and who once appeared on the cover of something called "Rule Satannia." She saw the parody and e-mailed me to say she wasn't happy to have her photo used on a Bible. So I immediately removed it. Then I redid it with a picture that has a reliable pedigree and which I have express permission to use. I actually like the revision better than the original:

  • The designer Bibles actually being published these days work well as parodies of themselves anyway, such as this one: Immerse—A Water-Resistant New Testament. That's no joke. I think it's doing well among Baptists.
  • I also adapted several old PyroManiacs graphics to make 50 blogheaders which are supposed to cycle at random. The randomize function doesn't always seem to work well, but we'll get it working. In the meantime, feel free to comment on your favorites (or complain about your least favorites).
  • Happy 25th birthday to my second son, Jedidiah.
Update: Heads up for the Pyros—Sometime reader One Salient Oversight (famous dilettante analyst of the US political scene and my favorite Aussie critic of all things American) isn't happy with the direction of the blog. He says: "Ever since Phil Johnson invited others to blog for him, I've been less than happy with the direction of the Pyromaniacs blog. I don't know, maybe it's just too Baptist for me to feel accepted. Being Reformed, they're friends, but being Baptist and American, they're occasionally grating."

"Occasionally"? Our batting average is dropping, guys. Let's work a little harder at rubbing the Aussies the wrong way.

Anyway, I want to send OSO some love and "acceptance" with this gift: "Dubya, dubya, dubya dotcon." (ht: Nathan Casebolt).

PPS: Look who has surfaced in the drunk tank:

The only real surprise about this is that it took so long.

Oh, and by the way...

Today's the anniversary of my entry into the blogosphere. That first post remains my most-commented-on post of all time, though a post in April by Dan Phillips nearly doubled the record that post set.

Now back to work.

Phil's signature


goodnightsafehome said...

I have just finished reading Dabney on the Life and Campaigns of Stonewall Jackson - Now a pretty fearsome picture of Pecadillo with a baton in his hand. Who said Christianity is for sissies?

CraigS said...

Congrats to your son - he looks like a fine boy. Policing (like soldiering) is an honourable profession, and I pray that God will bless your son's work.

Libbie said...

Regarding the underwater bible, and the suggestion in the blurb that it's useful for your baptism... just how long are you supposed to keep people under the water for??

Happy Birthday Jedidiah, and well done Pecadillo.

That action shot is quite fearsome. Do you have a big problem with rampaging burnt marshmallow men over there?

David & Rose Ann said...

The theological metaphor contained in that picture is staggering.

Magnificent achievement, Pec. And a Well Done to you as well, Phil and Darlene.

Steve said...

I've thought about Pecadillo a lot over the last few months, wondering how he was doing in his training. It's great he's made it, and you're going to be a proud set of parents at the graduation ceremony.

Our middle son just finished cadet training with a nearby city police department and graduates from that in a week.

Here's praying for a fulfilling career for Pecadillo, and that he would be as salt and light among his fellow officers.

Sojourner said...

Of course the water resistant Bible is selling amongst Southern Baptists, how else were we supposed to read the Scriptures while running trot-lines? I wonder if this also means that people can now do devotionals in the shower?

Fred Butler said...

Do you mean to tell me this child is carrying a gun? A loaded gun?

He does realize he can do property damage with one of those things?


centuri0n said...

"The randomize function doesn't always seem to work well, but we'll get it working."

By "we", Phil means "Frank", by "doesn't always seem to work well" he means "on my laptop, but it seems fine on Darlene's," and by "get it working", he means "when I personally see all 50 headers on my laptop by hitting the refresh button, I'm going to say it works." Nevermind that with 50 possible outcomes the likelihood of any particular header coming up is 2%, or that random numbers -- when they are actually random -- will not occur in a pattern.

BTW: I am aware that I could serve you all a cookie to ensure that you get to see all the headers before you see a duplicate. I am also loathe to do such a drastically-invasive thing for what amounts to a stunt. However, if you people don't care, I don't care. You can post your feelings about sucha thing right here.

For anyone who wants to help me "fix" this "problem" (note: it works on Darlene's computer, my various computers which are both PC and MACs, on various browser configurations, but not on Phil's computer), e-mail me and I'll send you the code and you can tell me what it may not be doing.

centuri0n said...

And if I have anything to do with it, you will never see header #38.

Even if it changes numbers.

centuri0n said...

Last thing before actually working today:

Pecadillo looks fierce. I'm glad he's on our team.

gegraphtai said...

Trust me as one who has some experience in this stay away from any responsibility for supporting Phil's computer. He has programs on there that should be dead and he has means of fixing computer problems that make a computer technician cringe. The last thing you want to do is mess up WP.


Darlene said...

I really like #38. It's so...
colorful and smiley! C'mon Frank!

Steve said...

I've accessed PyroManiac on two different computers, and I'm not so sure I understand the randomize thingamajig. Whatever.

But Frank and Darlene's comments have gotten me curious about #38.

Phil Johnson said...

For the curious: Number 38.

LeeC said...

Thanks for your service. I thought about being a policemen, but my heart is just too tender I think. I get so weary of this world and the sin in it even glancing at the paper. I'm grateful the Lord has given us people who can do jobs like that. Especially since I live in L.A.

....Hey I got this traffic ticket the other day and I was wondering....


Awesome stoff on Jeff Williams! Thanks for keeping us posted on his mission Phil!

The headers work fine for me on my XP home laptop and my NT4 workstation.

#38 is a must.

Pastor Leo said...

But we'd like to hear Pecadillo say in his best southern drawl (with the obligatory dark shades and low brim hat), "You in a heap o' trouble, boy."

centuri0n said...


I tellin' Dr. Mac you're manufacturing blog headers and not finishing that book.


Castusfumus said...

Contemporary baptism:

1. Emerse Bible into regenerative water.

2. Hold above recepient.

3. Allow fluid to drain onto recipient.

4. Confetti pyro optional.

Even So... said...

Congrats, Phil, my son-in-law (Chris) graduates from the academy June 30th in Oklahoma.

I think Turkie the Clown is a must keep, you know, do unto others as you would.....

Oops, that'll get me into trouble, but I have sour grapes anyway 'cause I know I ain't gettin' that free shirt.

David Cho said...

The Biblezine parodies are simply sublime.

Jim Crigler said...

Re: "The Bish": It took me a minute to get this because the word "bish" conjures a different memory for me: When my oldest was 3 or 4 (lo! these 16 or 17 years ago), he would see an aquarium and call the creatures therein "bish". In my attempt to get the right proununciation out of him, I would say, "Michael, it's 'fffffffffffffish'." To which he would of course reply, "fffffffffff ... bish."

Steve said...

#38 will serve as a lesson for me to pay closer attention in the future.

I saw it when I first logged on this morning, but I didn't realize till now that the centerpiece is TeamPyro's very own Frank Turk!

NOW I understand Darlene's insistence...and Frank's reluctance.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Congratulations to Pecadillo and his graduation from the police academy. I liked his haircut too.

Even So... said...

Turkie the Clown


Goooooo Turkies!

MHK said...

As a working officer of 19 years and currently assigned as a training officer, I fully appreciate the accomplishment that Pec has achieved. It is just the beginning and it will be important, vitally important, for him to have the company and wisdom of Godly men to help him maintain the perspective that we are created in the "imago dei" (sp?). When he works the street over the next five years, his perspective of humanity will undergo a huge paradigm shift that will not be positive. All the "CSI: Miami's" and "Cops" shows can never fully deliver fully the sights, sounds and emotions that are experienced on the street. If and when he is allowed to have a "ride-along" with him (they have two person cars, don't they?), well, it is something that his support network should experience.
My faith in God and a good family life has been the saving grace for me.
Sorry to blather on for so long, but each town, county and state deserve qualified, Godly men and women to work the streets.

centuri0n said...

I'm looking forward to riding along with Pecadillo because I know for sure that he will know where all the good Doughnuts are.

Because he buys them for his Dad.


centuri0n said...


That's all you got? Geez -- my son takes worse abuse in public school in kindergarten than that.

Cindy said...

Your pride in your son is justifiable. My brother is a police officer, and I think it takes a very special person to be a good police officer. Congrats, Peccadillo!

Even So... said...

Oh yeah, well I bet (no, I don't bet, folks, this is all a joke, last time I will mention that fact, however) your son is already bigger than me, bozo!

Krusty! Shakes! (who remembers that mess?), any other clown name I can think of, etc., etc.

BTW, I might just make it to my son-in-law's graduation from police academy, IN NE OKLAHOMA, which means I'll be passing through a little town called Siloam Springs, AK.

UUUUUUUUUHHHHHHHHH let's get ready to rrrruuuuuuummmmbbblleeeee!

centuri0n said...

I challenge you to a Cheeseburger eat-off, fuzzy lips. First one to reach for the defribulator loses.

Even So... said...

Your on, see you June 29th, Dr. Frankenfurter (oh, yeah, he was painted up, all right!).

From he who is 5'3" yet much closer to 200lbs. than 150lbs.

centuri0n said...

I'm going to look mighty tall next to an extra from LOTR.

TheBlueRaja said...

Thanks for the warm greeting! Had someone given me an invite to join your team, I'd have gladly accepted! Sorry, they asked first!

Back to work!

Greg Linscott said...

The Burning Question of the Hour:

When will the Number 38 T-Shirt be available?

philness said...

Johnson's, Congrats on your son Pecadillo. A police officers' authority is his gun by his side just has the christians' authority is the Word in his heart. He is definitely prepared and armed for every good work. That a kid!

Even So... said...

The bigger they are....

BTW, that LOTR gig paid top dollar!

I win the eat-off, we all get to see you painted up as Turkie the Clown ,

You win, we all get to see me as Frodo.

Now about that shirt, or shall I say, "my preciousssssss". I want a shirt for me, and one for the wife (one of those too tight for public consumption types).

Aaron said...

Regarding the "mauve" shirt:

That's the color of a bishop's clerical. He's not making a fashion statement. See?

Phil Johnson said...

To the guy who posted here, claiming to be "a pyro and a Christian":

Sorry, dude. No links to explosive-making instructions permitted here.

BTW, the cult your profile says you belong to is not "Christian."

Janet said...

Congrats to Pecadillo!

Now that you have some free time (yeah right) write a post or two!!

Renee said...

News on the space station mission and Jeff Williams


AuthenticTruth said...

NT Wright sloshing beer…well that certainly explains how he dreams up his “theology”. Downing a couple beers is bound to spark some creative exegisis.

Chris Freeland said...

Okay Pec, I'm ready. Got the DVR set to record new episodes of COPS and "Wild Police Videos." Work your magic.

And happy birthday to Jed.

Anonymous said...

...You're cheating in submitting this "jam-packed post," I hope you know.

Jim Crigler:

I had a similar experience attempting to teach two German girls English. They couldn't pronounce their W's properly, so I'd say "go Wawawawa," which they'd repeat. Then, "ok, now say 'wawawawater.'"

"wawawa... vater."

Phil Johnson said...

Naomi: "You're cheating in submitting this 'jam-packed post,' I hope you know"

I do know. Wait till you see the next one. It's not only jam-packed; it consists entirely of links to previous posts. Like one of those sitcom episodes made with a bunch of flashbacks cobbled together.

iamchief said...

I'm dyin' to know how you Pyro-bloggers come up with such cool graphics!
It took me so long to come up with just one new header image (not to mention 50!) that I missed two of my children's birthdays. Yet you guys can crank them out faster than those bracelets back in the 90's.