Blogging Angry


Last week probably wasn’t this blog’s bright, shining moment.

Oh yeah?! Well, you can just...I did something last week that I’ve never done before: blog angry. I’m not an angry person, not in the slightest. I grew up with an angry dad, so anger is not something I like dealing with. As far as I’m concerned, we in this country get too cheesed off too easily over things that don’t matter in the long run.

I don’t visit angry blogs anymore. They drain too much emotional energy, especially since they never seem to have practical solutions to the issues that make them angry.

Anger without focus is about as unhealthy as it gets.

Unfortunately, the state of our country today is such that most of our anger is directed against nebulous sources. That not only fuels further anger, but leads to frustration and despair. When what is causing the anger cannot be located or reasonably addressed…well, it’s destructive.

I’ve spent most of the last two weeks angry, not a normal state of being for me.

I don’t have much, but what I do have I’d like to preserve. Not in an idolatrous way, but because they are good things worth conserving so that generations to come will be grateful for me fighting the battle.

I’m now fighting the biggest company in the world. Needless to say, that’s not an easy battle. It’s asking more of me than I have, but I also can’t lay down and give up on what’s important in life, especially at a time when more and more people are coming around to the values I hold dear. To be a champion of those ideals for others, only to lose in my own backyard is galling.

As someone who makes a living with words, to see our local library levy go down to crushing defeat was more disabling to me than I would have guessed. Then again, I had no reason to believe the levy would fail. At any time my family has about 30-50 books checked out of our library. I’ve got a hotline to the staff. New books on the shelves are like candy to my family. The power of story blesses people in the brightest and toughest times. Why would anyone vote against that? To see that threatened brings out the father bear in me, I guess. ROAR!

At the beginning of last week, the Lord gave me a discouraging word I didn’t want to hear right now. And sure enough, I had to drink that bitter cup down to the dregs. On Friday, we got the bad news, leaving us still drowning in the wake of the tsunami I discussed a few months ago. I’ve now run out of all options and I don’t know what to do. So I’m going into the Christmas season about as low as I can go, hoping and praying for an elusive miracle.

People who study human behavior say that a person under extreme duress reacts with his “shadow personality.” In my case, the normally exuberant, extroverted Dan becomes sullen and withdrawn. Not angry becomes angry. Content becomes frustrated. Spiritually-oriented becomes secularly-oriented.

So my apologies if the tone here recently seemed indignant. I don’t want Cerulean Sanctum to become an angry blog. If anything, it’s supposed to be the antithesis of that pattern.

Tomorrow, I’ve got a post on community that I think will rock. It won’t be angry, just hopeful.

Stay tuned.

Thanks for being a reader.

Plain Old Stuff


It’s been a tough week for the Danster here at Cerulean Sanctum. Nearly every day has brought one bit of bad news after another. I’m having trouble concentrating as a result, and my typing has suffered considerably this week. I was typing notes from a transcription I was making and I think every other word was mistyped. 🙁

Sometime around 3:00 PM today I just cashed it in and took a nap. That didn’t seem to help much, so I walked around my property and prayed. That prayer consisted mostly of one word, Help! Such is the nature of my spiritual profundity right now.

With that in mind, I’ll instead resort to a few observations…


This deal in the Southern Baptist Convention, especially the Missouri faction, reasserting their position that drinking alcohol is akin to sin, kind of riles me up—for a couple of reasons:

  1. Great Commission anyone? Feeding the poor? Healing the sick? You know, the stuff Jesus was primarily concerned with? Hello, SBC, aren’t those the real concern here?
  2. When Jesus turned water into wine, I find it hard to believe that the wedding master would question why the “good stuff” was held in reserve till the end if it wasn’t “real wine.” Honestly, Welch’s vs. Latour. Yeah, right, SBC. Check Psalm 104, too.

Of course, the Boar’s Head Tavern weighed in on this one and added the right amount of snark.


After my impassioned plea for proper understanding of who’s responsible for kids as dumb as dirt, Julie Neidlinger at Lone Prairie Blog came to the defense of the smarts of rural kids, especially when questioned by West Coast city-slicker reporters who talk about “fly-over states.” Julie gives a nice defense.

Now I wish I could say that my county proved the point from my post the other day, but then they went and voted down a public library levy that would’ve added the crushing load of about $30 a year to the taxes of the average household in this county. And they killed it by a pretty fair margin, 56 percent to 44.

Heck, our libraries can barely buy books as it is considering the big state cuts. Used to be that having a library was an enormous source of civic pride for small, rural towns. Today, it seems asking some folks to go without smokes for a month to pay for books is tantamount to murder.

So much for learnin’.

Heck, bring on that Wal-Mart and casino! We deserve ’em both.


In what it also a clear victory for the two ginormous Baptist megachurches in town, the ballot issue to allow the local sports bar to sell alcohol on Sundays failed by four votes.

I don’t know about you, but if Sunday’s supposed to be a day of rest mandated by God, what better day to enjoy an adult beverage? Honestly.


In the aforementioned Wal-Mart news, I spent most of the week trying to gather info from local government sources only to wind up with two lines of minutes from the village meeting discussing the project, and a zoning document that claims the property is zoned for a business of a certain size. Otherwise, I’ve been pointed in a hundred different directions for everything else I requested.

I smell a conspiracy of silence! 😉


Juxtaposition: Considering what just happened to the library levy, perhaps Wal-Mart will just forgo having a book section in the store, seeing as only a handful of brainiacs read them in this county.


Did I mention it was a tough week?


Prayer request: I have some friends in Missouri (there’s THAT state again) who are facing a serious threat to their business and means of making a living. Could you take some time to pray for them? Just ask God to bless Dan’s old friends and protect them and their business from harm.



Been trying to live on a low-glycemic diet, but finding an adequate sugar substitute is tough. We use only pure honey here. Hey, if it was good enough for “The Land of Milk & Honey” it should be good enough for consumption. But no, say the low-glycemic gurus. They claim it’s worse than sugar at spiking one’s blood sugar levels.


Now the gurus also recommend artificial sweeteners which I believe are as close to being “the devil’s sugar” as is possible, so I spent a lot of time looking up healthy alternatives, and I’ve found some.

Sweet & Slender features the sweet extract of the Luo Han Guo fruit from China. It’s cool with the FDA (unlike another natural sweetener, Stevia) and, while not completely at zero on the glycemic index, is still a low-glycemic foodstuff with zero calories. Plus, the fruit has many positive bodily benefits. That scores with me and I’m going to buy some of this stuff and let you all know.

Xylitol is a natural birch bark derivative found most often in chewing gum. Erythritol, another sugar alcohol, is similar and may be even more effective. The cost on both of these is low. They also have some powerful anti-bacterial properties and may even reverse tooth decay. Both also pass with the FDA.

I’ve known about xylitol and most of the other “-itol” sugar alcohols for a long time, but erythritol and Luo Han Guo are new to me.


And it’s now midnight, so my work is done. Have a great weekend.

Bits O’ Stuff


Various bits of random thoughts:

Halloween is a contentious issue among Christians. I have a new theory that can accurately predict which groups of Christians will be against it and which will be for it.

If the denomination was founded in Europe (Lutheran, Reformed, Presbyterian, Traditional Baptist, etc.), then it is far more likely that adherents will be FOR Halloween, or at least less bothered by it.

However, if the denomination started in the United States (Assemblies of God, Church of God, Pentecostal, Foursquare, Restorationist movement, charismatic non-denominational, etc.), then folks in it are far more likely to be AGAINST Halloween.

That’s my theory and I’m sticking with it!


The local Christian radio station, which recently went to a format I call “All Casting Crowns, All the Time,” just fell massively short on their fund drive a couple weeks ago.

First, I have to wonder why Christian radio stations that advertise must also have a fund drive. If they have to pay such exorbitant licensing fees that your advertising receipts can’t cover them, why not dredge up some of the tunes of yesteryear and tell these big Christian record companies (and their painfully bland tunes) to take a hike? Hey, if it’s praise and worship they want, why not some Honeytree, 2nd Chapter of Acts, or a little Don Francisco?

After their fund drive tanked, the local station (which used to have no problem making their fund drive goals when they had more teaching programs–hint, hint), added one more day of fundraising this week and called it “Finish the Work,” supposedly based on 2 Corinthians 8:11.

I don’t know about you, but I thought “finishing the work” was fulfilling the Great Commission, not making sure a Christian radio station playing innocuous, “safe” (i.e. – “limp”) music reached its fundraising goal.

But hey, I’m a rebel anyway.


Popular Mechanics recently published a list of 25 skills every man should know:

1. Patch a radiator hose
2. Protect your computer
3. Rescue a boater who has capsized
4. Frame a wall
5. Retouch digital photos
6. Back up a trailer
7. Build a campfire
8. Fix a dead outlet
9. Navigate with a map and compass
10. Use a torque wrench
11. Sharpen a knife
12. Perform CPR
13. Fillet a fish
14. Maneuver a car out of a skid
15. Get a car unstuck
16. Back up data
17. Paint a room
18. Mix concrete
19. Clean a bolt-action rifle
20. Change oil and filter
21. Hook up an HDTV
22. Bleed brakes
23. Paddle a canoe
24. Fix a bike flat
25. Extend your wireless network

Funny thing though: none of those are legacy skills, like being able to pass on historical knowledge or teach a child. No public service skills, either, like being a surrogate dad to a fatherless boy. No relational skills, either. And what about animal husbandry, hunting, or agricultural knowledge? Heck, whatever happened to being able to feed your family without a dependence on the grocery store? I would say that all of those I just mentioned are more worthy. And why the over-reliance on car stuff? Oh well.


I predict a bad economy hitting us hard very soon. Why? The quality of job listings at sites like, Monster, and CareerBuilder is way, way down in just the last couple months.


It always amuses me that products that advertise that they have less of something (fats, carbs, preservatives, fumes, environmentally-damaging chemicals, etc.) always cost more.

I went through the infamous MTBE era in California. MTBE was supposedly a smog-reducer. Ironically, it’s a byproduct of refining oil. So oil companies take it out in regular gasoline refining. But when California mandated it stay in, the oil companies charged consumers more at the pump to keep it in! Even worse, once it was determined that MTBE caused terrible enviornmental problems of its own, the oil companies charged more on top of what they were charging to leave it in to take it out again!



I don’t care what anyone says, sugar makes kids hyper.


You’ve got to spend a lot more money to eat food that is good for you, but it’s worth it. My son only gets organic milk and meats. I’m noticing more and more kids who are tall/huge for their ages, and I firmly believe it’s due to all the growth hormones in our food supply.


The last few weeks on the longer Daylight Savings Time schedule have been disorienting. I keep expecting it to be dark by 6:00 PM.


They keep having Godblogcon west of the Rockies, though most of the best Godbloggers I know live in the Midwestern and Southern states. Nashville would seem like the perfect nexus for the Godbloggers I routinely read. Why the obsession with the Far West?


I only live about 40 miles from the heart of a large city, but if broadband Internet access is any indication, I might as well live in a black hole!


Funny, but also painfully sad and true.


If you’re looking for children’s games for Christmas, try something less common. We really enjoy Rat-a-Tat Cat from Gamewright and Gulo Gulo from Rio Grande Games. Adults can play either game enjoyably, too. Few things beat playing a board game with friends and family. Turn off the TV and put away the DVD player, then play a game!


Heck, just turn off the TV anyway.


Few things beat sitting around a campfire with friends on a cool night, drinking hot cocoa or coffee, roasting up some marshmallows or weenies, and just talking about life.

Why not do that this weekend?