Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Random Thoughts on the Night Before Thanksgiving

Sometimes the Captain is bewitched with random thoughts that keep his mind from focusing on more important matters.

And sleep.

Hopefully putting them down here will help drive these demons away on this, the night before Thanksgiving.

If not, then... more rum!

Oh, Deer!
Last night as I was leaving the office at dusk, I noticed a strange object in my front yard. Then I noticed a white van sitting in the neighbor’s driveway – which is odd since no one lives there. I quickly realized the front end of the van was smashed in, and the object in my front yard was a dead deer.

Since I was on my way to lead a Bible Study (yes, read the bio info – the Captain is also a pastor), I didn’t have time to butcher the deer.

I did check on the driver of the van – she was okay – then proceeded to make phone calls as I drove, trying to find someone to come get the fresh kill.

Naturally, I didn’t want all that meat going to waste. I had just had that conversation with a friend, who reminded me that I could, in fact, harvest a deer I hit.

But mostly I didn’t want a bloated, stinking carcass in my front yard.

I called three friends who were hunters. One was too busy, the other two had reached their capacity. I called the city police and the dispatcher gave me a phone number of “a guy”; I left a message for “the guy” on his answering machine. Then I posted a message on Facebook: 

"Fresh kill. Free for the taking."

And as a “Plan B”, I called a friend on the highway department and left a message asking if he could send a crew in the morning to haul away the carcass.

When I returned home, the deer was still there.

Then a new FB friend saw my post. Another pirate Captain like myself. He has a wife and four hungry kids to feed. It was late – and about 5 hours after the collision, but he gladly came and took away the deer.

I hope they enjoy many good meals.

The world of politics continues to get crazier every day. This week the Republican Party’s frontrunner, businessman Donald Trump, proclaimed to his audience that on 9/11 (the day in 2001 the U.S. was attacked by terrorists), he personally saw Muslims dancing in the streets in New Jersey.

This was said to support his position on why we shouldn’t allow any more Muslims – especially the Syrian refugees – into our country.

And why he thinks Muslims in America ought to wear some sort of identification badge.

Someone tried this once.

It wasn’t well received.

News agencies immediately began combing through video footage for that day and have come up with nothing.

Trump, who claims to have “the best memory in the world”, insists the lack of existing video footage is a media conspiracy to make him look bad.

As if…

He continues to stand by his claim, even after being called out by Bill O’Reilly and his friends at FOX News!

If FOX News won’t back your crackpot theories, you’ve got some serious issues, brother!

New Jersey’s Governor, Chris Christie – another Republican candidate – says he doesn’t remember anyone dancing in the streets of New Jersey; Dr. Ben Carson, another crackpot candidate, at first agreed with Trump, but later said he was confused and thinking of footage from the Iraq War.

Carson seems to get confused a lot…

Nonetheless, despite party leaders’ wishes to the contrary, Trump remains the Republican Party’s frontrunner! Even despite quotes like this resurfacing...

Sadly, coming up a strong second is a candidate named Cruz.

Unfortunately not Penelope.

No, Senator Ted Cruz, another embarrassment to the Republican Party, who until recently held dual citizenship in Canada and the U.S., and who openly welcomes to his campaign a pro-life hate monger who proposes we should stone to death women who have abortions.


Allow me to point out here that the Captain’s polling numbers are as high as half the field of Republican candidates, and I’m not even running.


Since the “Friday the 13th” terrorist attacks in Paris, the world has freaked out about the millions of displaced Syrian refugees – people fleeing their homeland at the threat of ISIS. Some believe one or more of the terrorists involved in the Paris attacks snuck into the country posing as a refugee.

While President Obama has previously announced that the United States would take up to 80,000 refugees, with this latest alarmist threat revelation the Republican candidates are shouting to bar the door!

Trying to strike a more moderate tone, hapless Governor Jeb Bush (once thought to be the crown prince of the Republican ticket) said he would welcome the refugees only if they were Christians. But when asked how one could tell for sure, his response was simply simplistically, “You can tell.”

Many have already pointed out that most of the mass-murders in America (that happen all too often for my taste) were committed by self-professed Christians; none were committed by refugees.

Captain’s Note: As our politicians should know, the screening process for a refugee to enter America is rigorous – taking as long as 18-24 months. If someone had terroristic intentions, it would be much easier to just get a visa.

So, “What would Jesus do?” – as a friend and fellow blogger asked? [Read about it here.]

Today on Facebook a colleague in ministry (although retired) warned “all you Compassionate people wanting to take in all the Syrian Muslim Refugees” to remember the story of the Indian chief [sic] who found a rattlesnake freezing to death on top of a mountain. Long story short, the [man] put the snake inside his shirt to carry him down to warmer climes, and as the snake warmed up, it bit the man, saying, “You knew what I was when you picked me up.”

Unfortunately, we can never know for sure if a person is a refugee, a terrorist, or a United Methodist pastor.

No, we don’t know what these refugees are – at least until Donald Trump makes them wear identification badges! Are they secret terrorists or people living in terror? I, for one, am willing to err on the side of compassion.

Another commentor chimed in: Many Christians are saying if doom comes with helping refugees, then let doom come. Wow, they are saying I am willing to put my life on line for them. That's almost like saying I willing to assist my enemy in the destruction of my family. It takes great faith to do that.

Although we can assume this person was actually siding with my colleague, his comments accurately reflect the Captain’s thinking.

  • Yes, I am willing to put my life on the line for a stranger in need.  
  •  If that means sacrificing my family and all my possessions – even my own life, then yes.  
  • And finally, yes, it takes GREAT faith to do that.

I don’t see how one could read the Bible and think otherwise.

Tomorrow is “The Big Day!” Families will gather together, express gratitude for all their many blessings this past year, and then gorge themselves feast!

And should any of the above issues arise (except maybe the thing about the deer), they will undoubtedly argue. And drink. And argue some more.

It’s a great family tradition.

And then, after the expressions of gratitude are over, the great platters of food have been demolished, and the arguers have worn themselves out and fallen asleep in the living room, others will rush out to hit the early pre-Christmas sales!

Because nothing says gratitude like buying more stuff!

And while many stores have learned – from the backlash of previous years – that Thanksgiving is supposed to be a day set aside for families, some will still open their doors to try to capture the first precious dollars of the Christmas Shopping season.

While the Captain is becoming used to this folly, I am most appalled at the recent Old Navy ad – yes, I’m naming them to shame them! – which proclaims that ‘someone standing in line when their doors open at 4 p.m. will win one million dollars!’

Obviously their product is not good enough to shake you out of your turkey-induced stupor, but they’re hoping the bribe offer of a million dollars will!

Captain’s Note: There are more than 1,000 Old Navy Stores scattered around the country. Do you really think you will be “The One” at “The Right One”?

And so tomorrow – Thanksgiving Day – may you celebrate the bounty of this year (whatever that may be), enjoy one another’s company, and find the peace to endure the four weeks of madness that lead us to Christmas!

If not, perhaps there will be enough turkey and enough rum to help this ol’ Captain pass out find that peace which will set his mind at ease and his body rest.