Friday, May 07, 2004

Well, I made it through the last couple of days. It turns out that it was a good thing that I stayed at the church Wednesday night as most of the people that had signed up for the prayer vigil didn't show. I was able to stay up until the pastor came in at 3 am Thursday except for a couple short naps while two other couples came in for their time slots. It was 4:02 am when I got to bed and my alarm went off at 4:52 am for the prayer breakfast in Traverse City.

The prayer breakfast was a lot bigger deal than I expected. There were nearly 400 people there. It went ok, but it did bring something home to me that I've noticed more and more. One can assume that the vast majority of people at a prayer breakfast are professing Christians, yet I have never seen such a display of complete contempt for others than I witnessed Thursday morning. The MC tried in vain for a full 5 minutes to get people to sit down and shut up. Only when the color guard brought in the flag and the National Anthem was sung did people finally stop talking. Alas, it didn't last. As soon as the opening prayer was finished, everyone went right back to nattering. A madrigal from one of the middle schools came on stage and tried to sing, but there was so much noise they couldn't hear the director's pitch pipe. They finally did get through a few selections, but I heard almost nothing. Later, each of the tables had a time of prayer. Our table did ok, although our resident windbag (see below) was talking and missed the instructions to keep your prayer short and to the point because time was limited and they wanted to give everyone a chance to pray. The table next to us had an elderly couple that talked to each other non-stop the entire time the rest of the people at their table were trying to pray. A hostess finally came by and told them to either shut up or leave, but by that point the prayer time was over.

I was also faced with the fact that most if not all politicians are self-centered windbags. Each table at the breakfast had been sponsored by someone. Ours was sponsored by some guy that used to work in the Justice Department (under Bush I, I think). Talk about someone in love with the sound of their own voice. His mouth never stopped until it was time for him to get on stage; then nothing but absolute silence was expected. Old people wonder why teens don't respect them. About twenty middle school students witnessed a dramatic demonstration by this clown how the world works: "important" people can do as they please and everyone else is lucky that they are allowed to exist.

I had an encounter with another of these guys later. The keynote speaker was my current instructor, so I went up to talk to him afterwards. Some jerk steps right in front of me in mid-sentence, blabs some meaningless drivel in my instructor's direction, then prances off. I knew he was a politician, because he was wearing a tag that identified him as a circuit court judge selection committee something-or-other. It was a typical government bureaucrat title and took up three lines on a 2" by 3" badge. Other than making sure everyone knew he was a Really Important Person, I can't think of what purpose wearing that badge served. And his behavior is exactly what I have come to expect from petty functionaries.

It's like that Jesus thing never happened....

Other than that it was great.

Oops. Meeting. More in a minute.

Well. I'm back. I did some polishing on the previous stuff. Now some new stuff.

Study group was productive and we are mostly set for our final project. One person can't be there, so we completed the written report and videotaped her part of the presentation. I'll get that transferred to some sort of media file so we can pull it right into our Power Point slides. It feels good having a major chunk of work done a full week early. Of course, I still have two other papers to write, but at least I don't have three...

Class was tough simply because I was so tired. I missed a lot of what was said because I kept zoning out. At least I didn't have to drive. I fell sound asleep about 20 minutes into the trip home. I got home and in bed around 1 am.

I woke up fairly early, but decided it just wasn't worth it and fell back to sleep for a few hours. I didn't get into work until after 10:30. Looks like I use up some more vacation time I don't have...

Not much else going on. Debbie is supposed to meet me in Traverse City for some shopping and dinner someplace. Tomorrow is a work day at the church, so I doubt I'll get much accomplished at home.

The news is nothing but talk of the mistreatment of Iraqi POW's. They all just seem to say the same things over and over, so I won't do the same and repeat what I've posted before.


Scientists have created a DNA robot. It consists of a pair of legs that walk down two parallel DNA "railroad tracks." It can't carry anything yet, but give them time. I just hope these guys can avoid the luddites.

Back to work.

No comments: