August 9th, 2009


From Twitter 08-08-2009

  • 11:55:53: @JaredofMo But wouldn't the Antichrist have to be a thinker, in order to deceive so many people?
  • 11:58:36: One of the most annoying things about the Atlantic City Boardwalk is how the guys with the carts keep accosting everybody.
  • 11:59:52: @oz_diggs How much did it cost?
  • 12:16:48: @JaredofMo You mean that's not EVERY morning for you?
  • 12:20:48: It's kind of peaceful. I'm not an asshole.
  • 12:37:53: I find it a little hard to believe that the director of "Pretty in Pink" was a Republican.
  • 13:45:54:
    I think this preacher is possessed by a particularly loud and obnoxious bird.
  • 14:35:21: @oz_diggs That's a large part of why I don't buy rare books.
  • 14:36:15: @PFTompkins What's that fond that note is printed in, anyway? Comic Sans Junior?
  • 16:06:22: Does anyone else think Trig Palin should be confiscated from her parents?
  • 16:08:54: HIS parents, I mean. Unless they're also raising a girl as a boy, which I wouldn't put past Sarah and Todd.
  • 16:12:02: I wonder if this is true.
  • 16:14:23: I wonder if this was by the same person as the statue of Britney Spears giving birth.
  • 16:48:43: @NowIsStrange's uncle is watching some show with overacting vampires.
  • 21:30:39: Some woman who called in to Delilah said that she (Delilah) was one of the greatest gifts of God.
  • 21:36:15: @huggythuggy What about the tea parties? They didn't even seem to know what it was they were protesting. "Um, duh, we don't like taxes."
  • 21:37:29: @oz_diggs Well, I own it twice on DVD and once on VHS, so I've made up for it. {g}
  • 21:47:59: This guy blamed his cat for downloading kiddie porn (and no, I don't mean "kitty porn").

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Got Melchizedek?

When I first started this series of posts, one of the things that interested me most was finding out more about the more mysterious figures in the Bible. And it's hard to get more mysterious than Melchizedek, a guy who's mentioned twice in the Old Testament and once in the New. He seems like he should be somewhat important, but we're told very little about him.

The scriptures first mention Melchizedek in Genesis 14, which describes him as "king of Salem" and "priest of the most high God." After Abraham (or, more accurately, Abram, since this is before his name change) retrieves the people and goods that raiders had stolen from Sodom, Melchizedek shows up to bless the patriarch, and offer him bread and wine. Abram then gives him a tenth of the spoils, which is used as a model for the system of tithing. The next mention of the priestly king is in Psalm 110, in which the narrator calls the person he's addressing "a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek." The New Testament adds more to the story of this man, saying in Hebrews 7, "This Melchizedek was king of Salem and priest of God Most High. He met Abraham returning from the defeat of the kings and blessed him, and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything. First, his name means 'king of righteousness'; then also, 'king of Salem' means "king of peace." Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, like the Son of God he remains a priest forever." So Melchizedek is immortal and has no parents? That seems like it would have been worth mentioning somewhere else in the Bible, doesn't it? Some take this to mean that it was the priesthood itself, rather than Melchizedek himself, that was supposed to last forever. It's quite likely, however, that the author of Hebrews was referring to a then-popular tradition regarding the King of Salem. The book of 2 Enoch, which was quite likely written around the same time, states that he was born of a virgin who had just died, and was fully grown from birth. Other stories say he was born circumcised. Rabbis often identified Melchizedek with Noah's son Shem, and later takes on the character make him an alternate identity of the Archangel Michael.

So where is this Salem that Melchizedek is said to have ruled? Well, as the passage from Hebrews suggests, some think it was just a metaphorical reference to his being king of peace, or of the upper world. But others think it was an early name for the city of Jerusalem, and I've seen it suggested that the Northern Kingdom had a similar tradition of Salem being Shechem on Mount Gerizim. And was Melchizedek actually a priest of Yahweh back in the time of Abraham, long before the Jewish priesthood had been established? That seems to be the commonly accepted interpretation, but it has also been proposed that the "El Elyon" referred to in the Genesis passage was actually a different god.


All U Can Eat

When I was younger, I used to enjoy going to buffets and other all-you-can-eat style restaurants. In my adult life, however, I find myself not enjoying this sort of place as much. Part of it is that bethje doesn't like buffets (well, she likes Ponderosa, but those are very few and far between nowadays), so we generally don't go to them. But there's also the general feeling that such places bring on, which is that, if you haven't eaten enough food that you can't get up from the table without the aid of a forklift, you haven't gotten your money's worth. And really, most restaurants already have much larger portions than are recommended, so eating even MORE than that isn't the best idea. I've also noticed a growing trend in all-you-can-eat items at non-buffet restaurants, like the endless fries with a burger at Red Robin and Ruby Tuesday. We went to Ruby Tuesday yesterday, and I didn't even think the fries were very good. Even when they are, though, I often can't even finish what I've given with my meal. Fries are a very starchy, filling kind of food, so endless fries are sort of a scam anyway. Same deal with the never-ending pasta bowl that they featured at the Olive Garden a few months ago.

The two main all-you-can-eat specials I still like are the shrimp at Red Lobster and the lunch buffet at Pizza Hut, because, well, these are two foods I can eat a lot of without feeling full. In fact, most places that serve shrimp tend to skimp, and to use enough breading to suffocate a camel. I've had all-you-can-eat shrimp deals at Applebee's and Friendly's, and not only was the shrimp not as good as Red Lobster's, but you mostly got breading anyway. I haven't actually done the math to figure out whether I'm getting a good deal from Red Lobster or Pizza Hut (after all, part of the point of the all-you-can-eat concept is to make it seem like you're taking advantage of the restaurant, when of course you're really not), but it at least feels like it. Still, since I leave these places overstuffed, I'm sure it's a good thing that the shrimp special is only every once in a while, and I generally only get the Pizza Hut buffet on the rare occasions when I'm out in the middle of the day.
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