Friday, December 30, 2005

GPoD: 12.30.2005

Here's Uncle Adam helping Graham figure out that self-locomotion thing.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Some Christmas Highlights

Here's Graham not-so-bright but very early with his new stocking from grandmummers.
Pippin was very eager to meet Graham. And to give him a big kiss.
A festive grin.
Uncle Aaron can be quite entertaining.

Christmas Day at the Finks'

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Homeward Bound...

Today we leave for Minnesota. Two glorious weeks of snow and sub-freezing temperatures lie ahead of us. Skiing. Walks around the section in the snow. Possibly even ice skating. In honor of the occassion, here is a poem by Robert Frost.

"Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening"

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

GPoD: 12.20.2005

Our little munchkin has found his thumb.

Monday, December 19, 2005

GPoD: 12.19.2005

Here is Graham checking out an early Christmas present. I'm not quite sure if this hint of a grin represents his amazement at all the little moving parts on his new Excer-Saucer, or an ironic realization that this is the only "play station" he's ever going to get.

Some More Narnia Commentary

Here is another piece on the Narnia movie, this time by my friend and mentor Warren Smith of the Div School.

Has your family tried 'em?

Here is Graham dancing to the Powdermilk Biscuits jam on Praire Home Companion Sunday afternoon. Heavens, they're tasty! And expeditious.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

GPoD: 12.18.2005

BONUS AUDIO! Click here for some Graham giggles in response to his goofy mommy.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

The GrahamCam: Wiggle-Worm

Here is some fun footage of Graham being entertained by his mummy on the changing table. It's really too bad we don't have sound for this one....

Evasive Disclosure

The semester is officially over: three down, one to go. Of classes, that is. Then there are prelims, a dissertation proposal, and--somewhere in remote mists of my future, the tome itself. But for now, a deep breath and some frivolous fun. Here are my answers to the survey all cool kids are doing.

What was I doing ten years ago?
Being an idiotic freshman.

What was I doing one year ago?
Imagining what life would be like with Cosmo (Graham's womb name).

Five snacks I enjoy:
1. Cashews
2. Homemade Chex Mix
3. Maple Pecan Scones
4. Celery
5. Croutons

Five Songs to Which I Know All the Lyrics:
1. "Red-Hooded Sweatshirt" (Adam Sandler)
2. "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" (Gordon Lightfoot)
3. "Yellow Ledbetter" (Pearl Jam)
4. "You're the One for Me, Fatty" (Morrissey)
5. "Bust a Move" (Young MC)

Five Things I Would Do If I Were a Millionaire:
1. Call the cable company and tell them that they're currently giving us free service.
2. Buy a Chipotle franchise and open a burrito shop on campus.
3. Endow a chair in Christian Theology at the University of Minnesota.
4. Take up the violin.
5. Have the oil changed in my car every 3,000 miles.

Five Bad Habits:
1. Picking my nose.
2. Online data piracy (Aaarrrgh, matey!).
3. Swinging my son upside down by his legs.
4. Not rewinding books on tape from the library when I'm done listening.
5. Blogging.

Five Things I Like Doing:
1. Changing diapers.
2. Playing horsey.
3. Grocery shopping at Whole Foods.
4. Listening to Car Talk on NPR.
5. Adoring my lovely wife.

Five Things I Would Never Wear, Buy or Get New Again:
1. Reece's Peanut Butter Cup Cereal.
2. Bumper stickers.
3. Earings.
4. Tank tops.
5. Dial-up internet.

Five Favorite Toys:
1. The Millenium Falcon.
2. Legoes (the space ones, of course).
3. Etch-a-Sketch.
4. Fingernail clippers.
5. Sand.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

GPoD: 12.12.2005

GPoD: 12.14.2005

He's not a tame lion. But he's good.

French Jokes

French Ban Fireworks at Euro Disney (AP)
Paris, March 5, 2003
The French government announced today that it is imposing a ban on the use of fireworks at Euro Disney. The decision comes the day after a nightly fireworks display at the park, located just 30 miles outside of Paris, caused the soldiers at a nearby French Army garrison to surrender to a group of Czech tourists.
It's probably beneath me to post this. After all, I've got nothing against the French, and I should not like to use this blog for anything so illiberal as a national reflection. But First Things has posted a collection of French jokes on their website, and some of them are quite funny. Quite funny indeed. I would be perfectly willing to publish a set of Ugly American jokes, if any can be found. Stuart, can you help us out here?
Thanks to Sarah Sours for drawing my attention to this little bit of fun.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

GPoD: 12.13.2005

Here's a picture from this last weekend, picking out our Christmas tree. If Graham looks a bit sullen, it's only because he has a very full diaper and wishes his mum and dad would quit dawdling and get him changed.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Saturday, December 10, 2005

No. 1 Duke Trounces No. 2 Texas, 97-66

I've noticed in recent weeks that we've had quite a few visits to the site from friends in Texas. It is thus with some complacency that we note the following AP report:

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) - There was no doubt about the latest No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup.
There was no doubt who the top players were, either.
J.J. Redick had career highs of 41 points and nine 3-pointers and Shelden Williams added 23 points as No. 1 Duke beat No. 2 Texas 97-66 on Saturday, the third-biggest margin in a No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup.
The Blue Devils (9-0) used some impressive defense to pull away early in the second half, holding Texas (8-1) without a field goal for a span of 8:25. In that time, Duke went on a 21-3 run and all that was left for the sellout crowd of 19,579 was to cheer for Duke and chant Redick's name....
The win gave Duke a 3-3 record in No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchups. It also improved Duke's record in Continental Airlines Arena to 17-1, extending its winning streak there to 10 games.
Texas was playing in its first No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup - the Longhorns are now 0-6 against No. 1 teams.
Duke led 45-33 at halftime, but Texas opened the second half with a 9-2 run to get within five. Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski called a timeout with 17:43 to play and things were never the same.
Redick hit a 3 on the play out of the timeout. Aldridge scored with 17:21 to go to make it 50-44, but that was Texas's last field goal for what seemed like an eternity.
Duke had a 16-0 run during that 8:25 span, with half of those points coming from Redick, and when Tucker finally got a field goal for the Longhorns, it made it 71-49 with 8:56 to play.
Redick's 41 points were the most by a Duke player since Danny Ferry had 58 against Miami 17 years ago.

Following Yonder Star...

GPoD: 12.10.2005

Here's Graham just before waking up from his afternoon nap yesterday. He had initially expressed some reservations about wearing this sweatshirt (a hand-me-down from cousins-once-removed), but when I told him that many regard Harvard as "the Duke of the Northeast," he was somewhat mollified.

Friday, December 09, 2005

In Real Time Once More

We just got back from the movie. One word: flawless.

Into the Wardrobe

The film version of C. S. Lewis's The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe opens today in theaters around the world. Sarah and I have made arrangements for our little son of Adam to spend the evening with friends (thanks, Alex and Emily!), and we're off to see the movie with friends from church this evening.

The reviews have been flying off the presses for the last week or so, most of them positive. Nevertheless, the movie seems to have come out as explicitly "Christian" enough to smell like death to certain reviewers (see the particularly noxious and ill-informed
bit of hate speech by Polly Toynbee of the Guardian; cf., 2 Cor. 2:15-17).

For a more sympathetic treatment, check out the review by Frederica Matthewes-Green at at beliefnet. "Mama Fred" always has something good to say, and here she draws our attention to the way Lewis narrates the atonement. The Western tradition, since Anselm (1033-1109), has generally described Aslan's sacrifice as a debt, paid on behalf of humanity, to satisfy the justice of the Emperor over the Sea. The Witch does not figure large in this understanding; rather, the Passion of the Lion is seen as a transaction between members of the Trinity on behalf of the sons and daughters of Adam and Even. This view is strong on the Trinitarian nature of the atonement, but rather weak on the narrative aspect. As Matthewes-Green points out, however, Lewis's retelling seems to follow more closely to the older, Eastern understanding of the atonement, especially as elaborated by Gregory of Nyssa (d. 385/6). On this reading, Aslan tricks the Witch into taking the bait, and her own greed is her undoing: the finite (i.e., evil) tries to swallow up the infinite (i.e., God), which it cannot contain--at least not for more than three days! This view is strong on the narrative aspect of the atonement and in representing the Lion's work as liberating his people from the power of sin. It is weak on the Trinitarian themes, however (at least in Lewis's retelling)--after all, where is that distant Emperor over the Sea? And the Holy Spirit? Is there a Holy Spirit in Narnia?

Lest we think that we are left with a stark opposition between Eastern and Western theories of atonement, however, Lewis's story does give some hints as to how the two may be resolved. The key lies in the fact that the actions of all the characters--both the Witch and Aslan--are governed by law. When Aslan comes to claim Edmund, the Witch responds with an assertion of her right to the victim: "Unless I have blood, as the Law demands, all Narnia will be overturned and perish in fire and water." Aslan could, of course, just gobble the Witch up in one gulp and have done with it. But he doesn't. Aslan assents to this demand, because it is his law--to break it would be to contradict his own character, and negate his creation. But--and here's the hook--there is a "deeper magic," of which the Witch knows nothing: "When a willing victim who has committed no treachery is killed in a traitor’s stead, the Stone Table would crack and even death itself would turn backwards."

I still get chills every time I read that sentence. It lies very near the heart of the Christian Gospel. Evil--Satan himself--plays a part in a drama that is not of his own making. As Luther understood so clearly, the Devil is "God's Devil"--like a dog on a chain, he can act only by God's permission. And, like the White Witch, he is permitted to act only in such a way as leads to his ultimate undoing--and to the liberation of the sons and daughters of Adam and Eve from sin and death. We human beings do indeed owe God a debt we cannot pay--we have exchanged the glory of God for a bit of Turkish Delight. The devil, sin, and death are God's collection agents. But Christ has broken their power and sealed their doom. That is what the "deeper magic" is all about: God's mercy and his justice are not ultimately in conflict.

But don't take my word for it: go see the movie. (And if you can't find a babysitter for tonight, here's a link to whet your appetite a bit more)

GPoD: 12.09.2005

Valiant steed, trusted friend,
We ride together to the end
Blazing trails, seeking thrills,
Fording rivers, climbing hills
Galloping across the plain
With thundering hoofs and flowing mane,
Till Mama calls to end our play:
"Put up your [daddy]-horse for today."

from "Riding the Range," by Cathy J. McDavid

Go Vikes!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

What NOT to Get Me for Christmas

I was a freshman in college when Civilization 2 came out, one of the most addictive computer games in the history of that inglorious pastime. I think that, all told, that particular obsession probably cost me an extra quarter in school. Several years ago, after hearing me fondly reminisce about those halcyon evenings conquering the known world from my dorm room computer, my wife bought me the newly-released Civilization 3 for Christmas. I soon came to realize that if I were to have any hope of completing a graduate program before the birth of my great-grandchildren I would have to part with said gift. Now, Civilization 4 is out, just in time for the holidays: it shall not pass the threshold of this home. If you really want to show me you care, buy me a book. Preferably with footnotes.
But in the meantime, if you want to procrastinate what you're really supposed to be doing and get some sweet Jedi lightsaber skills, click here.

Baby Lindloff

Click on the picture at left for some lovely footage of Sylvia, the Baby Lindloff. What a cutie, eh Graham?

GPoD: 12.08.2005

Graham turned four months old this week, but he's already going bald. At least he doesn't know enough to be embarrassed about it--the comb-over was his parents' doing.

Monday, December 05, 2005

It's a bird . . . it's a plane . . .

It's SUPERGRAHAM! (Cue the music) Flying through the air at unbelievable speeds, our superhero is ever vigilient in his quest for truth, justice, and the defilement of clean laundry. Bane of countless diapers, scourge of dry-clean only garments, tormentor of fine fabrics everywhere, SuperGraham is always ready to battle cleanliness and order wherever it may rear its smug head.

GPoD: 12.05.2005

Here is Graham regarding his Atomic Duck chew toy with some suspicsion. BONUS AUDIO! Click on the picture above to hear Graham explain to his father that he just wants to be left alone to gnaw.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

GPoD: 12.04.2005

Catechesis has started. Here we have Graham and his daddy working through a difficult passage together. Next year the Heidelberg Catechism; the year after that, Lombard's Sentences; the year after that...

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Richard Scary: Then and Way-Back-Then

Will the Brave Hero rescue the Beautiful Screaming Lady? Not in 1991, he won't. Remember Richard Scary? Lowly Worm and Huckleberry Fox? Well, I'll bet you didn't know they got a PC makeoever in the early nineties, did you? Click on the picture above to see a slide show comparing the two editions. Kids these days may go to the kitchen to eat their breakfasts, but Graham will come promptly when he called.

Baby Kinsinger is Here!

Joshua Lawrence Kinsinger entered the world on November 29, 2005 at 12:10 p.m. For more details, check out Classic Kinsinger: the blog.
Congratulations Chris and Maria! Graham was quite pleased to learn that there would be someone to keep him company next time you come down for a visit.

The GrahamCam: Bounce-n-Hurl

Here is everybody's favorite little munchkin at play in his Bounce-n-Hurl. Pay close attention toward the end of the clip, and you'll see why we call it this.

GPoD 12.03.2005

Graham has taken to yodelling. Usually only in the morning.

Thursday, December 01, 2005