Category Archives: Life

Back on the Blog

I’ve been spending a lot of time on the websites for our radio group, so my personal blog has taken a back seat the last couple of weeks. Show notes are now posted at the radio station website, which is where they’ve belonged since the beginning. From here on, this site will be reserved for my personal thoughts.

Russ Dizdar traveled from Ohio to St. Louis last weekend, and I had a pleasant evening with him and a few of his friends. They were in town for a conference on cult crimes and secret societies (he really knows how to party, doesn’t he?), and so our conversation over Mexican food at dinner was hotter than the salsa.

He’s thinking about a conference of his own in 2008. Keep an eye on his website for details.


1947 and 2012: Roswell and the End of the World as We Know It

Friday, Tom Horn referred to an article by David Flynn about the 1947 Roswell UFO crash and its mathematical relationships to the year 2012 and the predictions of the end of the world. You really should read it.

Continue reading

Okay, Beard Vote

Mine is real. Justin’s is not. Yet.

Derek’s beard
My beard

Justin Bin Alferman
Justin Bin Alferman

Pagan Symbolism at Missouri State Capitol

Great Rivers: Mississippi

Maybe I’m oversensitive here.  I mean, my barbershop quartet gets hired to sing for a July 4th celebration on the south steps of the Missouri State Capitol, a lead-in to an evening concert by the Fabulous Thunderbirds.  And all the while we’re singing “God Bless America”, we’re flanked by two huge bronze sculptures on either side of the stage.

The one pictured sits to the right of the south entrance.  It represents the Mississippi, the “father of rivers”.  The figure holds the caduceus, the magic wand of Hermes, in his right hand and an anchor in his left.  The images around the base portray a sun god with a rattlesnake for a girdle, and a bunch of people who appear to my eye to be in distress or abject servitude to the god.

A female statue representing the Missouri River sits to the left with matching imagery around its base. Creepy.

The dome of the capitol building is topped by Ceres, the goddess of vegetation.  The statue of Thomas Jefferson at the capitol is 13 feet tall — 13 being a very important occult number.  The bronze front doors measure 13 feet x 18 (6+6+6) feet.

And the Freemasons laid the cornerstone.

Yeah, yeah, I’m paranoid.  Right.  Still, why all this pagan symbolism in a building that houses the government of a state in which the majority of the people have always professed a belief in the God of the Bible?

That Felt Good

Back on stage after nine years away from barbershopping!

I stepped away from a 20-year run in the Barbershop Harmony Society after the international competition in 1998 to spend more time with my family. Now that our daughter is finishing up high school (and 100 miles away), her need for Dad to be home every night isn’t quite as pressing. So with Sharon’s blessing and urging, I’ve joined up with the Boonslick Chordbusters, the barbershop chorus in Columbia.

The Chordbusters’ annual show was Saturday night at Columbia’s historic Missouri Theater, and I had the chance to sing two songs with A Work in Progress:

A Work in Progress
A Work In Progress: Greg Grote, Tarry Koutz, Tom Palis, and me (L – R)

We were a bit out of breath on our second song, a ballad. But the first song, “You Make Me Feel So Young”, sounded pretty good if I do say so myself. The shot above captures the high C I have to hit on the final note.

Hi, Amazing!

Hey, nice to know that the followers of James “the Amazing” Randi have been keeping track of me. No publicity is bad, and all that.

Sharon and I caught Randi’s attention back in 2005 when he felt compelled to debunk us in his monthly newsletter. Randi included this graphic to help make his point:

It seems that a regular at Randi’s forum — I’d call anyone with over 7,000 posts a “regular” — was moved to check out the picture of the odd triangle Sharon posted from Google Earth.

Odd triangle in Australia

I’m just glad we haven’t fallen off Randi’s radar yet. He’s supposed to be in Columbia as a featured speaker at the first-ever conference of “brights” (a cute word for “atheists”) late this year or early next.

James Randi has made his name as a professional debunker and there’s no question that he’s done some good work in exposing frauds and fakers. So it’s amusing that he presumes to know that nothing exists outside his ability to detect or measure it — because that is in itself a metaphysical claim.

Thing That Makes Me Go, “What?”

I wouldn’t notice this except the compressors for our apartment building’s air conditioning units are right outside our living room window:

Why, in the name of all that’s good and right in this world, are our upstairs neighbors running the A/C when the outside air temperature is 34 degrees F?