Remember back in 1994 when Harold Camping promised us that the End Times were upon us?

That Apocalypse sure rolled in with a whimper instead of a bang, didn’t it?

Justin Bieber was born in 1994, so there’s that.

Last year, the San Francisco Chronicle reported on Camping’s End Times as he geared up for a shiny new Armageddon he could call his own:

Harold Camping lets out a hearty chuckle when he considers the people who believe the world will end in 2012.

“That date has not one stitch of biblical authority,” Camping says from the Oakland office where he runs Family Radio, an evangelical station that reaches listeners around the world. “It’s like a fairy tale.”

The real date for the end of times, he says, is in 2011.

The piece goes on to outline his mathematical methodology, but I’ll leave it to you to go explore that on your own.

I mention Camping and his Family Radio crew because they rolled into DC a few days ago with a big caravan of fancy buses and a desire to punish us all or save our souls.Or maybe punish us and then save our souls.

They’re only here until tomorrow, apparently. If I’d known I wouldn’t get another chance to take a picture of the caravan I would have taken the time to do it today. Oh well. Live and learn.

It’s not really clear why they’re in Washington, DC and the members of the group don’t seem to have very clear messaging beyond telling me that the end is near (again) and I should repent.

Or that it’s maybe too late to repent.

Like I said, they don’t seem to be very clear about their mission, other than that it’s from God.

The fact that they keep saying this makes me snicker every time. I must admit I find a way to work it into every conversation I get stuck having with them.

I know, I know, I’m going to Hell. Or maybe I’m not. Guess I’ll find out next month.

It’s all gonna go to hell at over at Focus on the Family. They’ve changed their dress code and that’s gonna lead to nothing but trouble:

Focus on the Family has a new look – or at least its employees do.

Beginning today, men who work at Focus no longer have to wear mandatory business attire, including tie, and women employees don’t have to stick with just dresses or skirts and hosiery. Men can now come to work donning an open collar shirt – but no spandex – and women can arrive decked in dress pants and pantsuits.

In a related note, when I tried to tag this post “pants,” wordpress suggested I used the tag “squirrel underpants” instead. That says something about my blogging habits that I don’t wish to contemplate on a Friday evening.

I first saw the Focus on the Family story at Spare Candy. You should go read her funny post about the Hottest Girls iphone app.

Odd coincidences abound this week. Yesterday Tracy was treated to a dissertation on how weirded out I am about red velvet cake. Later, after we went out to dinner, EvilAgent ate a Red Velvet frozen custard sandwich. I reminded myself to look into less creepy ways to make red velvet cake (read: recipes that don’t involve red dye). When I got home my beloved ibook started giving me a kernal panic message and all thoughts of red velvet cake left my brain.

I’m using Husband’s Macbook until I get up the courage to troubleshoot. I think I need a new hard-drive and all of my data is backed up so this is far from disaster, but that darling little 12″ ibook and I are very close. This is why they don’t let surgeons operate on their own children.

Maybe that last statement was stretched a bit thin in the reality department, but what do you want from someone who spends her days blogging about squirrels and television and meat and alligators and Mike Huckabee and dildos shaped like Jesus?

You clicked that link, didn’t you? And you got exactly what you expected, didn’t you? How could you have possibly thought that link would even be remotely safe for work?

But I digress.

I was just about to send EvilAgent a link to Warren Brown’s Warren Brown’s blog. The most recent post is over a month old but it’s about…Red Velvet Cupcakes. Specifically, about how he was unable to develop a successful recipe that didn’t include artificial red dyes.

Well, baking red velvet cake requires artificial red dye and cake flour, a real double whammy considering our philosophy about cakes. We strive to be a resource for our community and proudly bake from scratch with all natural ingredients. We believe that cakes with natural ingredients taste better and are better for you. We’ve kept artificial ingredients out of the bakery since we opened in 2002.

In developing our recipe we tried to go all natural with floral dyes and vegetable extracts from beets and red corn, but none of them worked. The only way to hit bull’s eye is with a dose of artificial red food dye. On top of that, the color and texture get lost unless cake flour is in the batter. It’s bleached to make it pale and neutral for dying.

We encourage everyone to learn as much as possible about the food you eat by researching your dietary habits and the composition of the ingredients that go into whatever you eat. The internet is the best place to start.

Red velvet is a departure from our norm, but we’re embracing change for this specific product only. It’s baked from scratch, on site, with all of the care and love you’d expect from CakeLove.

If Brown and his merry bakers can’t make a go of an all-natural Red Velvet recipe, the enterprise is probably doomed.

I love this quotation about Red Velvet cake I found in a New York Times article:

“It’s the Dolly Parton of cakes: a little bit tacky, but you love her,” said Angie Mosier, a food writer in Atlanta and a board member of the Southern Foodways Alliance at the University of Mississippi in Oxford.”

I’m (irrationally) hoping that if I leave my computer off for the weekend it will start working again at 10 a.m. on Monday. I’d been announcing loudly to anyone who’d listen (and even more loudly to those who didn’t) that I wouldn’t be checking my (artomatic) email after 8 p.m. Friday because I was taking the weekend off. The message began appearing at 7:55 p.m.


kernalpanic

It’s chilling, isn’t it? Just thinking about it makes me consider going out to forage for a cupcake. Just not a Red Velvet one…

I have so-called affinity license plates. I’m pretty sure the only place you can get valid license plates is through the DMV. I mention this because over the last few months several people have asked me where I got my license plates.

The best answer I’ve come up with so far is, “I made them myself…in prison.”

You may be able to get personalized, legal postage stamps now but I’m pretty sure license plates are like driver’s licenses, they need to be issued from a government agency to be valid. I just don’t think you want everyone to be able to manufacture plates, even if the state still issues the tag number.

Now that I’ve seen this post on Cajun Boy in the City, I don’t know if I think every state should be allowed to manufacture plates. Aren’t there any grownups in the Florida Legislature?

This is a mockup of the plate the Florida Senate has proposed:

Religious License Plate

I need to go lay down now.

Our cable was out last night and Overlord, our Tivo, failed to record Ogre.

Fortunately, the tense situation was resolved sometime just before midnight and a Torchwood crisis was narrowly averted. Later, Overlord recorded Talladega Nights: The Legend of Ricky Bobby.

Once again, I am in the weird-feeling position of stating, “I like another Will Ferrell movie.” (Actually, I loveStranger Than Fiction).

We remembered hearing people carry on about how bad this movie was. We must not have been listening to the right people, because we thinks it’s funny as hell. It’s worth it just for the scene where the family has the prolonged dinnertable argument about whether they should be saying grace to “Baby Jesus” or “Grown-up Jesus” (or possibly even “Grownup Jesus with a Beard.” Priceless. Or Sacha Baron Cohen’s appearance as the French Formula One driver. Fantastic.

A youtube gem Husband sent my way:

The Spirit of Truth

Here’s a real gem I recorded on Public Access TV back in the 90’s. I recently found the tape and want to share it with you all. If you like your religion peppered with profanity, “The Spirit of Truth” is the man for you. He does it all; reads from a giant phone-book size Bible, takes phone call and curses out callers with opposite opinions than his. This has to be seen to be believed. WARNING!!!: This man loves to drop the F-bomb! Enjoy!

This was taken from a los angeles public access program in 1997. This is the only recording I have of him. I saw his show one week later, but he was very subdued, and didn’t curse. Then I never saw him again. I should have recorded the subdued version of him, but unfortunately, I didn’t. I really don’t know anything about this guy. I’ve researched this on the internet, but have never found any information. I even called the number on the screen back in ’97, but never got through. What can I say, the guy remains a mystery.  This video was originally 13 minutes, but the rest is filler and doesn’t add any impact to the piece. This is 8 minutes of the best stuff. Sorry that I don’t have more.

Further proof that the Internet makes life better. Or at least more entertaining.

Having time to kill this morning before a doctor’s appointment, I made Husband go on a little sidetrip to visit the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception (or, as we call it, Basillica Joe’s) to see the church all decked out in Christmas finery. We (ok, I) lit a candle for my brother and then wandered about admiring the big holy shininess of it all. We only had time for the upper Church – the crypt, and Nuns in America, will have to wait for another day.

As we left, Heathen Husband pronounced, “That’s a whole lot of One God.”

Now might be a good time to mention that the Bunny got us the 2005 nuns having fun calendar for our kitchen.

Usually I encounter the evangelicals stumping for Bush at the Metro. Yesterday, they came to our door to explain about how Kerry wants to outlaw the Bible and how the demonic jews and muslims and buddhists are ruining the country. Now, don’t be thinking the Jews aren’t useful – we need them to guard Israel until Jesus shows back up and breaks their lease. They aren’t keeping their part of the bargain though. We gave them Israel but they won’t all skeedaddle. There’s still too damned many of the bastards skulking about on our precious American Soil.

After I learned all about the evil Jews, got my Republican voting guide, and promised never to sacrifice goats in my yard, they asked me to pray with them for W.

I had a better idea.

While they were still trying to figure out if I was kidding about the goats, I asked them to pray over my house and yard. There was a Jew living here, I explained. I failed to mention that part about how this wasn’t past tense. (I certainly didn’t want them coming back)

They were happy to accomodate. They sang and prayed, prayed and sang for the rest of the afternoon. All over the yard, wailing away for Baby Jesus and George W Bush to deliver my dwelling from the taint of eeeeevil. I certainly wasn’t letting them inside, and with most of the windows shut I could tune them out when I wished. Oh, I have to admit every once in a while I sat at a window and drank coffee and watched the show. They didn’t care.

Then their car picked them up and they left. I’m sure the neighbors think I’m completely out of my mind, but I’m equally sure they’ve thought that for years.

My thinking was, if they’re exorcising my yard, they aren’t bothering anyone else with their bigoted horseshit. It’s like community service.

Works for me. Plus, now I can be assured that all of my earthworms have a place at the right hand of the Lord. That’s a big relief, I gotta tell you.