Tuesday, March 27, 2007


I think it's time for you to get some free, legal Switchfoot music.

They're uploading songs from their current tour.

Go get some!

beautiful lovely taxes

I did our taxes yesterday.

One of the strange things about living in Washington and working in Oregon part of the time is that I get to pay taxes to the government of Oregon, although I didn't vote for any of the government's representatives and, in fact, have no voice within that government. I do receive some of the benefits of that government-- the roads that I drive to work being the most obvious--but I have no ability to vote, no representative within the administration and no way to become represented.

This is what we call "taxation without representation."

Solution: I guess I'll go down to the river on the Oregon side, shoplift a couple of boxes of tea and throw them in the river.

Okay, okay, I'm kidding. I'm more of a mindless obedience type when it comes to paying taxes. Or, as they would have no doubt called me two hundred years ago, "a Loyalist."

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Why I Love Democracy

Presidential candidate Jonathon "The Impaler" Sharkey has threatened to "impale" President Bush after he is elected.

Sharkey is a self-described "satanic vampire". The secret service is checking in on him.

Law Professor Neil Richards asks the astute question, "'If he's a vampire, why is he the one staking people? Shouldn't he want to bite the president and feed on him?"

Sharkey has a very compelling platform. He plans, for instance, to remove every Supreme Court Justice and replace them all with Alan Page. As for a running mate, he has it narrowed down to Christine Todd-Whitman, Hillary Clinton or Elizabeth Dole.

In other news, Sharkey only dates "models or women who look like models." I was going to put a link to Sharkey's website, but I wanted to keep it funny rather than sad.

And now you all have just a little insight on what it's like to work in a comic book store.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

In Which I Learn The Pecking Order

A: Daddy, why did we get two green lights?

Me: I don't know. Maybe so I can get you to school on time.

A: I guess only God knows why we got two green lights.

Me: I guess.

A: And Mommy.

istanbul pictures

My darling wife has put some of her pictures from the Istanbul trip up at her blog. Enjoy!

The Kind Crab

Once upon a time there was a kind crab. The crab helped an eel. The eel was happy. The eel thought she would do something to do for the crab.

And Now a Word From Our Sponsor

Cola Turka. The Turkish Cola.
I would like to be the new spokesperson. Our slogan: "Even Greeks like it!"

New Keychain

We were so impressed with the keychains at our hotel in Istanbul that I just had to get one for myself.

A Very Special Homecoming

We knew that everyone missed us last week while we were in Turkey. Even the neighborhood cat!

That cute little bundle of fur brought us a welcome home gift. It was a mouse sans head. As I'm sure you know, this is cat-speak for, "I love you so much that I have killed something in your honor and only eaten part of it."

Luckily, my mom made us dinner so we didn't have to partake of the feline generosity left beside our porch.

And, as if in our honor, last night's episode of LOST was quite good.

Sunday, March 18, 2007


Our meetings are over, and Krista and I are headed over to Europe again today. We're without translators or people who have lived here, so today will be purely what we can do with our phrasebook and tour book.

Right now we're thinking about going to the Topkapi Palace and the Galata Tower. We'll let you know how it goes. We haven't been able to get pictures to load correctly, but we'll get some pictures up when we get home.

Lost in Translation

It's amazing the number of western chain restaurants that are here in Istanbul. There are over 40 Starbucks, and an uncountable multitude of McDonald's, Burger Kings, Pizza Huts and even Arby's.

Last night we went to a local mall and I bought a milkshake at Burger King. Krista noticed that their version of "Kid's Club" here in Turkey was called "Chub City."

Now that's truth in advertising!

Typical Breakfast in Istanbul

Olives, fresh cheese, raisins, pizza and cigarettes.

Friday, March 16, 2007

greetings from Istanbul

We arrived safely in Istanbul last night. We met up with our friend Ron at the Frankfurt airport, flew to Istanbul and caught a taxi to go from the airport in Europe to our hotel in Asia.

By the time we crossed the Bosphorus the sun had set and the bridge and a hundred mosques were lit by floodlights. We moved into our hotel and set out to have our first Turkish meal.
We started with a tasty sort of burrito/sandwich called a durum… lamb, pickles, tomatoes and lettuce wrapped in a tortilla. I thought I would try the mysterious white drink called ayran, because you never know when culinary bravery will reward you with a new favorite food or beverage.

Ayran turns out to be a thick white drink made with sour yogurt and salt. It’s not a favorite. But you should still try it when you come, you might like it, who knows?

We rewarded ourselves with some excellent pistachio baklava. Before we figured out how to ask for our check, our friend Dave showed up. Dave used to live here so he took us on a little walking tour of the neighborhood (called Kodikoy). There are 2.5 million people in the neighborhood here.

Dave says that although Istanbul is called the “City of a thousand mosques” that he thinks a more accurate name would be “the city of a thousand churches with mosques built on top of them”. I thought that was interesting.

We also learned about the heavy influence of Turkish culture on C.S. Lewis (“Aslan” means “lion” for instance). By 11.30 we were tired, so we headed for bed.

We woke up this morning to a breakfast of fresh cheeses, various olives, raisins, and pizza. Krista and I went off and took some pictures this morning, and in a little bit we’ll take the ferry across to the European side of the city and go to the Grand Bazaar.

We’ll post again soon and keep you all in the loop!

Mikalatos Travel Tip #1

Never. never smell the free blanket on the airplane.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

for John Rozzelle

This photo reminds me of my relationship with God because it reflects the adventures he takes me on, the power and speed with which we travel. We're outlaws according to the world, functioning by a set of rules outside of and incomprehensible to them. I only answer to him and his line of authority. And the skull and crossbones on the back show that I am not afraid of death. I am part of his gang and thus I'm one of the most powerful people on earth.


Krista and I leave today for Istanbul. We'll be gone a week. It's a modern city with lots of internet hookups. I think. So don't worry, you'll get updates.

In the meantime, you should check out the Istanbul live traffic cams. Don't let the turkish instructions fool you, just click on the links on the right side of the page. And I promise that if I see any traffic cameras while I am in Istanbul, I will stop and wave. So you just might see us if you click the right camera at the right moment.

And, for your reading pleasure, here's wikipedia's Istanbul article.

See ya soon!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Found Poetry: Far From Day

Of a far barn, just where the road curves
sharply for a few weeks,
in the dread circle
hemmed by glaciers.
I see the line
between the outside
and this room
in stone waves
and rock waters,
far from day.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Hebrew Midterm


Hip hip... Hooray!

כִּי מֶלֶךְ כָּל־הָאָרֶץ אֱלֹהִים זַמְּרוּ מַשְׂכִּיל׃

Sunday, March 11, 2007


If you haven't already heard, Steve Rogers, aka Captain America was shot to death right where he ought to be safest... in his very own comic book.

Good old Cap started out beating up Nazis back in the old days and went on to be a founding member of the Avengers and to star in several awful television movies.

Now, one thing I love when a comic book character dies, is that if they are well-known enough, it actually becomes news!

Sad comments are made. The blogosphere lights up with angry fanboys! Well. Not really. Anyone who has read comics for long at all realizes that Cap will be back. This is because it is very hard to stay dead in Comic Book Land. When you live in a world where a radioactive spider might give you super powers, and getting caught at a bomb testing site without a radiation suit might turn you into a hulking monster, it's hard to keep yourself in the grave.

Remember the death of Superman? What's that you say? He's back, you say? You mean... it was all a ploy to get attention from the mainstream media and the plan all along was to bring him back to life?

Yup, that's right. It's all to sell books, my friends. Captain America will return. Probably on July4th. Until then, I leave you with the cover of Cap's first comic. Take that, Hitler!

The Frightened Ship

I've finished my translation of Ruth from Hebrew to English and have learned a lot, and now I'm diving in to Jonah. I've already learned some interesting things. I thought I'd share a few here from time to time.

Numero uno, in Jonah 1:4 a literal translation would say something to the effect of, "And the Lord hurled a great wind at the sea, and there was a great storm on the sea and the ship thought it would be broken."

Did you see that little bit of weirdness at the end there? The ship is personified. The ship looks around at the winds and the waves and says, "Yikes! I am about to be destroyed!"

I like that. It's been completely washed out of any translation I've ever looked at. The author of my workbook (Chisholm) says that it's a dramatic point designed not only to show the severity of the storm, but also to drive home the fact that everyone and everything is reacting to God-- the wind, the ocean, the sailors, the captain and even the inanimate ship-- everyone and everything except Jonah, who is sleeping below deck.

I like to think that it's part of the comedy, too. One thing I can't get past as I read Jonah in Hebrew is that it's meant to be funny, at least in places. I think the thinking ship is part of the hilarity.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

God Save the Queen

As many of you know, today is the birthday of Her Royal Highness, Alexis Youngs. Please note the spectacular photograph to your left, which truly fails to capture her resplendent glory.

In honor of Her Royal Highness, I am officially declaring the next seven days here at BHR to be the Her Majesty Alexis Youngs Celebratory Week of Congratulation and Adoration.

Ways that you can join us in celebrating the birthday of She Who Must Be Celebrated:

1) Leave a comment, a poem, or a celebratory paean of delight here on this post

2) Steal the photo above and make a post upon your own blog.

3) Go to her Royal Blog and leave lavish words of praise upon her comments

4) Make a fan club on facebook

5) Make a fan club in the real world

6) Send her $100 for every year old that she is

7) Fly to Croatia and buy her lunch

8) Or you could buy her an expensive pony

9) Call her on the phone and say, "God save you, Dear Alexis! Happy and glorious, long may you reign over us! O Lord, our God, arise and scatter her enemies, make them fall! Confound their politics, frustrate their knavish tricks!" (et cetera)

10) My original plan for Alexis' birthday was to stage an elaborate ballet. Krista was going to take pictures of it. I was going to be the main dancer (or whatever). But then I thought of this and Krista said this was better.


Wednesday, March 07, 2007

The Pony and the Wolves: Chapter 2

And she ran and she found a cave. She ran in there. She felt safe. Outside were the wolves. The wolves were hungry. The pony was scared of the wolves but she was safe.

A story from A

Not wanting to be outdone by her sister, A is now dictating a story for your pleasure.


First there was a little nut that loved to slide down the slide and then it would climb back up and slide back down again. Then a beautiful fairy came and said, "Do you want a ride?" and then some pegasuses said, "Why don't you have a ride on us, too?"

"Okay," the nut said.

The end.

Continued next week.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Welcome Home Mikalatos

I can tell you all missed me. All the comments and questions... "Where are you?" "Are you okay?" "Time for an update!"

Well, I'm back. And since I haven't been blogging, I thought I'd send you over to the blog of my boss. That's right. My boss has a blog. He's been calling me "Blogalotos" all week. So, please be sure to stop by and leave a comment for Keith Blogalo. He's swell.

In addition to not blogging, I've also been not writing. I know what you're thinking: How does he have time to not do so much? It's a gift, my friends, a rare and much envied gift.

But my daughter, Z, wrote the first chapter of a story tonight. She said I could share it here if I promised to fix all her spelling errors. So, here it is:

The Pony and the Wolves: Chapter One

Illustrated by Z

Once upon a time there was a pony. And she grazed in the grass. And she grazed and she grazed and she grazed but wolves came.

Tune in tomorrow for chapter 2.