Sunday, March 28, 2010


Loyal readers and random finders of the greatest blog in the history of blogs (this one):

Very soon, Hotter Than New Love will be moving into a new exciting .com format with new styles and organization.

The new format will be in a group blog template. There will be different headings for all of the different topics I will post under. Rather than posting all of the items I write about under the same general heading there will be a main page and then separate sections for each area of focus. Right now the topics will most likely be:

Catholic culture and commentary
Pro life news, advocacy, and logic
Craft Beer tasting and brewing news
Fatherhood and Husbandry
Random comedic incidents

I have been kicking around the following ideas as possible topics:

Marathon Running
Fantasy Baseball
Academia: the achievements and plights
Garden growing

Do you have any suggestions about headings you would like to see me post under?

Don't worry though, no need to update your records or links. Visiting the current site will automatically bring you to the new site. Just enjoy the transition into the beauty of the new site... like the blossoming of a new spring flower....


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

It gets worse

Of the many, many problems in the new "health care" bill (which you can read about here - provided by the Heritage foundation) I came across this:

In 2011, Medicaid allocated by states will be allowed to increase to 133% of the Federal Poverty Line (FPL) for childless adults only.

I'm not sure why the federal government restricts this service to childless adults only. I suspect, though that because B.O is the most pro-abortion politician in the history of the US, many facets of this bill either directly (through tax funded abortion) or indirectly support the killing of the unborn. It's terrifying how much easier getting an abortion just became. The federal government now funds abortions, puts new 'restrictions' on non-profit hospitals (Catholic hospitals) and gives out various lollipops to those who have no children. As the bill unravels, it will get messier. As it gets messier, it becomes more and more absurd for individuals to continue thinking the bill is really about 'health care' when it is in fact about government influence, the abdication of liberty, and the federally funded killing of the unborn.

Here is another great article worth reading.

To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical. -- Thomas Jefferson

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Not Good

Meanwhile, Obamacare will result in the creation of at least 16,500 new jobs. Doctors? Nurses? Ha! Dream on, suckers. That's 16,500 new IRS agents, who'll be needed to check whether you – yes, you, Mr. and Mrs. Hopendope of 27 Hopeychangey Gardens – are in compliance with the 15 tax increases and dozens of new federal mandates the Deemocrats are about to "deem" into existence. This will be the biggest expansion of the IRS since World War II – and that's change you can believe in. This is what "health" "care" "reform" boils down to: Fewer doctors, longer wait times, but more bureaucrats.

-Mark Steyn in this past Sunday's OC Register

If I had to choose between laughing or crying, I guess I'll laugh. But this is a very very bad time for this country. Enacting vast bureaucracies, increasing taxes, increasing the size and scope of the welfare state, moving toward a single payer system, nationalizing 1/6th of the economy - not good, not good at all.

The media is saturated with news on this subject so I will offer just one thought. The vast majority of us in the "prosperous" US have grown up in peace and have assumed that peace and prosperity are the norm. But they are not the norm, far from it. Decisions have weight and big decisions carry a very heavy weight. This bill, if it goes through, will have a very heavy weight. We should not assume this country will continue to prosper when such terrible decisions are being made.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Words not to be paired together

I've been funded through some of the stimulus money to inform the world regarding various groupings of words that simply should not go together.

1. Chinese food buffet (speaking from unfortunate experience)
2. Catholic democrat
3. Sleeveless t-shirt
4. Dog sweater
5. Discount toilet paper
6. Modern design
7. Men's capri pants
8. Jesuit opening hymn written in 1972
9. Thrift store sleeping bag
10. Director George Lucas
11. Boxed wine
12. Light beer
13. Discount cheesecake

Friday, March 5, 2010


I've recently stumbled across an incredible podcast that features weekly, Mark Steyn, Peter Robinson of Uncommon Knowledge and Stanford University, and Rob Long. Each week they interview one or two new people and they are hysterical!

I highly recommend it!

Monday, March 1, 2010

A Friend and a Gentleman

Sunday, February 7th, 2010 my dear friend Marion Black passed away after a prolonged battle with a blood condition. Husband and father, Marion was laid to rest in South Carolina. I met Marion while volunteering with the Christian Appalachian Project in southeast Kentucky in 2007 and 2008. He is a man of such integrity, faith and inspiration that I will try to relate some of his influence into words for the betterment and lightening of the heart of you, dear reader.

The bright and scorching summer of 2007 in southeast Kentucky had burned away and the leaves were mostly dried and crunching underfoot. As December rolled in, so came the rain and the gray, with a dull cold that crept into your feet inside steel-toed boots. Jesse, Laura, Monica and I were stalled on a drawn out, tired project; rehabbing a particular home for months after half a dozen set backs, some bad luck and looming dread of going into the home day after day. The job was an hour from our home over the winding and narrow roads of the Appalachians. As the air cooled and froze - a light drizzle coated our trucks as we made the long journey. Our former beloved crew leader (Ross man the boss man) had retired months earlier and we lacked the necessary construction knowledge. We did our best, but were floundering and failed to gain traction. That is, until Marion arrived.

Marion and his wife Shirley arrived on a Saturday afternoon to our fair camp. Our volunteer house rested atop a gentle Appalachian hill with a green valley and the road below. The valley would often hold the mist of the morning and a small stream flowed next to the road. It was soft and snow covered in the winter and peaceful and alive in the spring. Marion and Shirley parked their RV in the valley below our home and set up their camp where they would stay for the next 6 months. They came up to the house to meet all of us and introduce themselves as they would be our crew leaders for the coming months. Marion had a way of calming those around him. I always attributed this to his ability to radiate and reveal the peace of Christ, a deep and satisfying peace that scatters worry and dread. When we recounted to them the horrors of the past months at the dreaded job they listened and smiled slightly, as if they knew something we didn't. "Well," Marion said, "We should have the job done by the end of week after next." We stood slack-jawed and aghast for a moment. "Two weeks! No, surely not, we'll be on this job for at least 6-8 more weeks." But in his gentle and reassuring way, Marion recounted, "Two weeks. Before Christmas we'll be done."

The following weeks, sure to Marion's word, we swiftly progressed toward the goal. Marion was a master craftsman, having been a contractor for many years. He and Shirley would travel to many locations, rebuilding homes, and acting as living witnesses to the Gospel and the commands of our Lord. Not only was he a master craftsman, but also a master teacher. Like any skilled teacher, he took the attributes that were greatest in you and accented them and molded them into useful skills of his craft. He took the time to teach you that which was important but still left room for you to make mistakes - which you would soon correct and thus master the task. We accomplished as much in those 2 short weeks than we had over the previous 2 months. It was truly astounding what we were capable of with Marion leading us in battle, astounding that is to everyone but Marion for whom everything was going according to plan.

The day before we were to break and travel home for Christmas, Marion, Jesse and I ventured to the job one last time to tie up some loose ends. As we left for the last time we were satisfied to be sure - but more relieved. We stopped at the local gas station and bought some Ale-8s (of course). We drank them in the truck on our way home and ate pecans Marion brought up from a grove near his home in South Carolina. We were the kings of the land for a day, returning to our home like conquering heroes. Feelings of disbelief accompanied accomplishment for Jesse and I, but Marion's quiet satisfaction led us to believe he had done this before - many, many times.

After we returned from Christmas, Marion and Shirley continued to lead us through the long stretch of winter in Kentucky - through many jobs and many treacherous situations. Through that time, Marion imparted his craft, wisdom and quiet inspiration as well. He was never loud or boisterous, always collected, instructing, compassionate and reassuring. As the days drew on, our confidence grew until the point where we were diving head first into jobs with reckless abandon... and to mixed results. At the end of each task, Marion would be there to share in our marvel and amazement at a task well done or to instruct and gently correct our missteps.

Over the coming months, we could tell Marion was not quite at his full speed. Many days, especially the cold ones, we tried to pay special attention and to care for he and Shirley as I'm sure it was quite uncomfortable to be out there. He soon after told us that he had some blood tests in South Carolina during the Christmas break but that everything was OK. But, we tried our best to take care of them and they certainly took care of us.

In one particular case, my then girlfriend (now my wife) was down for a visit helping on a project putting in 10 windows in the home of an elderly couple deep in the hill country. Living as a volunteer has its financial... setbacks and Marion knew this fact well. So when we finished our day on the job, my wife and I were to venture on a date (probably to the McKee Dairy Queen). Marion tried to slip me 50 dollars so we could have a proper date, with a slight smile and the twinkle of his eye. I tried my best to refuse, and suggested instead that he and Shirley accompany us to the wonderful ambiance of the Dairy Queen. They agreed and we had a wonderful lunch. Particularly wonderful for my future wife and I was witnessing the path which we would soon be embarking on, the path of a loving, enduring Christian marriage. But then, Marion and Shirley had been acting as an example since we met them and their witness was a powerful one.

As we drew closer to workfest (the 3 week period when college students would come and work for alternative spring break), our excitement grew - excited for the newness of spring that was budding on the forest trees and forest floors, excitement to meet the college students ... Most of all, we were excited for all of the other crew leaders to come in who would be leading the college students along with us. Most of these characters are retired contractors who come from around the country and have been coming to workfests for years. So, its a reunion of sorts.

One of my fondest memories was accompanying these seasoned bruisers to Grayhawk building supplies. Each sauntered around the store, searching for unique supplies for their workfest jobs and jawing with the locals - to reintroduce themselves to the area. Then, they pulled out their seasoned wallets and paid their own money for the supplies, as they often did so as to alleviate some of the costs. Jay, one of the more ... colorful crew leaders pulled out his wallet and Marion pulled some loose change out of his. "See," said Marion, "that's the difference between me and Jay." Jay replied, "Would you get off my back big boy!" with exuberance. It was hysterical. And you could tell that the camaraderie and fellowship found here is rarely found elsewhere and added to the special nature of those weeks we spent together for workfest.

What are the finest lessons I learned form Marion? First would be to always conduct yourself as a man of Christ; compassion, virtue, hard work, perseverance, patience - holiness - are all within reach but take a tremendous amount of prayer and real spiritual work. Second would be to always be calm, collected, and professional even when things are the most hectic on the job. Even when we would mess things up horribly, Marion would always be calm and that helped us to correct the problem much faster. Third would be to strive for a vocation and to share your vocation. This can often yield tremendous benefits for those you share with - which you can never truly anticipate. Finally - sacrifice and the importance of sacrifice. Sacrifice transforms and is special in that respect. Quite profoundly, though not unexpected for the Christian, giving up so much can give us so much in return. Marion was a man of Christ, and Christ sacrificed his life.

We know now that Marion was spending time with us when it was very inconvenient for him - when he was sick and when it was cold and dreary in Kentucky. We know now that he probably didn't feel too great on some days. But, in Shirley and his wisdom, they decided to spend months with us - a bunch of kids who knew nothing about construction. He decided to take the time - to take the time to teach us his craft and his way. He truly did give himself - sacrificing so profoundly. He was a man of tremendous character and faith - an inspiring man. His lessons, faith, and influence will remain with us always.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Further Thoughts of an Olympic Nature

Was anyone else creeped out by the British brother and sister ice dancing duo?......

If socialist Europe is so great, why do all of their athletes train here? I'm just sayin'. Lets face it, not even communist trained Drago was a match for Capitalist trained Rocky. For gosh sakes, even the Canadians train here!

Apparently Canada was a bit apprehensive about winning their first gold medal. On the one hand they wanted to win a gold. On the other hand they wanted to be good hosts and continue their lame tradition of failing. Luckily for us, nothing could stop their tradition of lameness... even the 3 golds to date.

Did anyone see this video.... reminds me of the French military.