Wednesday, July 26, 2006
I've been tagged by Rick @ Daylight on a book Meme.

It took awhile to respond, since the day he tagged me, we found out that my Father-in-Law's lung cancer has returned with a vengeance. Not good. Perhaps 6 months. He did, however, get to see the birth three grandsons in the time since his original diagnosis. We (his two daughters and both of their husbands) are taking him back to Chicago one last time in two weeks to see his beloved Cubbies play at Wrigley Field (against the Cards). The trip is (ostensibly) his chance to take his grandsons to their first baseball game, just as his grandfather took him back in the 30s. He actually saw Babe Ruth play at Wrigley (in Ruth's later years).

I will miss him terribly. I have been very blessed in the FIL department. He's a good man, who came to Christ very late in life, I am happy to say (he was baptized at age 71, and three months later got the cancer news...). Anyways, I don't mean to be a killjoy, so here goes:

1. One book that changed your life:

The Phantom Tollbooth, by Norton Juster

I remain convinced that Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure was nothing but a poor rip-off of this brilliant book. At one time in my life (at about age 9 or 10), I think I was Milo.

This book opened me up to history. I'm pretty sure it was my 5th grade teacher (Mrs. Miller) who pointed out th similarities between this book and Gulliver's Travels. Gulliver, in turn, has repeatedly blossomed as a deeper and more meanigful book to me. Swift's ideas, as it turns out, have played fairly deeply into my dissertation... All because of Milo.

2. One book that you've read more than once:

A Canticle for Liebowitz, by Walter M. Miller, Jr.

I asked (in my youthful naïveté) my junior English teacher if there were such a thing as “Science Fiction” in the Middle Ages. The obvious answer was “No”…”But,” he said, “Now that you ask, that does make me think of one book in particular…” Turns out Canticle was one of my parents’ favorite books (along with Stranger in a Strange Land, by Robert Heinlein).

3. One book you'd want on a desert island:

The Collected Poems of William Wordsworth

He is the master. (No matter what Thom at Endlessly Rocking says!)

4. One book that made you laugh:

Porterhouse Blue, by Tom Sharpe

A hilarious look at British academe…Made me laugh out loud on the plane ride home from Scotland. I felt like an idiot.

5. One book that made you cry:

Where the Red Fern Grows, by Wilson Rawls

Every guy out there knows what I’m talkin’ about!

6. One book that you wish had been written:

The Lutheran Doctrine of Scripture (and why the word “inerrant” is not a part of it)

7. One book that you wish had never been written:

The Story of Civilization (12 vols. ?), by Will and Ariel Durant

So many people read this collection as if it were authoritative history. It’s CRAP, people! If you have a copy, throw it away!

8. One book you're currently reading:

The Eclipse of Biblical Narrative, by Hans Frei

More on this in a post to arrive shortly…and yes, it relates to #6.

9. One book you've been meaning to read:

Albion's Seed, by David Hackett Fischer

I own it; I pick it up every now and then…but then I remember I am writing a dissertation, and I grudgingly put it back on the shelf. Happily, my Dad is reading it right now…perhaps it will cure him of that “Christian America” nonsense.

Now, passing it on...

I am tagging the following people:

Maria at Musical Ramblings dang! Already tagged!
Thom at Endlessly Rocking dang, again! Already tagged!
John Z at jzuhone
Charles at St. Charles Place
Glen at Territorial Bloggings
Jason at TheologyGeekBlog
Dan at ProtoEvangel triple dang!
Kelly at Kelly's Blog

Now I have to figure out how to notify them....

Tuesday, July 18, 2006
Anybody know who is behind the blog Endlessly Rocking? It's a darn fine blog, but I can't quite tell what flavor it is...renegade ECUSA? renegade ELCA? LCMS? Orthodox? I think the last, but I am not sure.

Anyone know? One of the smartest out there (aside from Daylight, natch!), but I don't know who or what "it" is...
Sunday, July 16, 2006
Upon starting this blog, I had promised the occasional post on home-brewing and/or sharing recipes. At long last, I am doing that now. Making a pilsner requires that you can dedicate a spare refrigerator to the task (something not all of us have). You also need an external thermostat, like this one. Here goes ---

lager/pilsner, extract

Final product begins with a mild fruit flavor of apricots and nectarines, but finishes dry and mildly bitter. An excellent warm-weather beer!



  • 8 oz Pilsen Malt (Wyermann 2-row)
  • 88 oz. (5 ½ #) British Extra Light DME
  • 2.0 oz. Saaz plugs (60 minutes-bittering)
  • 1.0 oz. Saaz plugs (30 minutes-flavor)
  • 1.0 oz. Saaz plugs (2 minutes-aroma)
  • 1/2 oz Saaz plugs (dry hop)
  • Wyeast Bohemian Yeast directly from the pack (no starter)

Steep the Pilsen Malt in 3 quarts of water at 150 degrees for 30 minutes. Sparge with another 3 quarts hot water (~190 degrees). Put all six quarts of steeped and sparged water in a large kettle, and add another one gallon of fresh water. Bring to ~190 degrees, remove from heat, and add DME, strring constantly. Bring up to the boil.

Boil the wort and follow the hop schedule as indicated, starting with the sixty-minutes hops as soon as the wort reaches the boil. Once the boil is complete, cool the wort quickly, either in an ice-bath or by adding chilled water (bring to a total volume of 5 gallons). When the temperature reaches 65 degrees, pitch the yeast.

Let it remain at ~65 degrees for one day, and then place into a 'fridge to begin lagering. I started at 50 degrees (I have an external thermostat for a spare 'fridge in my garage) and brought it down to 36 degrees over 14 days. At 14 days, rack to a glass carboy, add the dry hop, and continue the secondary ferment at 36 degrees for eight weeks. Bottle with 1 ¼ cups of corn sugar in 2 cups of boiling water.


  • O.G.: .1044
  • F.G.: .1008
  • ABV: 4.9%
Friday, July 14, 2006
If you don't read Tacitus (another of my favorite NAAACL sites), you should!
Monday, July 03, 2006
From Last Week:
The Return of Grand Theory in the Human Sciences, by Quentin Skinner

The Enlightenment Bible: Translation, Scholarship & Culture, by James Sheehan

From This Week:
Science in Europe, 1500-1800: A Primary Sources Reader, by Malcolm Oster

Science in Europe, 1500-1800: A Secondary Sources Reader, by Malcolm Oster

I might have an opportunity for some adjunct teaching next spring, so it's time to start preparing a syllabus. The class will be an undergarduate lecture seminar on the Scientific Revolution (if there actualy was such a thing!)