Sunday’s Best: What’s That in Your Hand

Always a lesson for Calvin, it seems.  Another classic Calvin and Hobbes Sunday strip by Bill Watterson that is product of its time that points to truth great and small.  And the kid’s facial expressions are amazing, as always.

Calvin's Water BalloonsThe summer, at least as the school calendar calls it, is quickly coming to an end.  After a good trip back to Tennessee, I’ve spent the last few days taking care of odds-and-ends while slowly nudging my way back into work.  I well remember the frustrations of last fall, frustrations that I would like to avoid as the new school year begins.  I have a school trip to England and Scotland to look forward to, of course, and that brings me a great deal of joy and good hope for a mid-semester break.  But there’s a lot to get done even before things really get started.

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I’m about halfway through Whispers Underground, the third book in Been Aaronovitch’s Rivers of London series.  It’s fun having a still-running series of novels to catch up on.  The series follows policeman Peter Grant as he discovers some level of magical ability.  “CSI meets Harry Potter,” some have said.  Perhaps the way the series is most like Harry Potter is the deepening sense of history that comes with each book.  Whispers is a good recovery after a somewhat discursive second volume.

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Now that Spider-Man: Far From Home has dropped, there’s not much at the theater to see.  I might make my way to see Yesterday if the timing of the week allows it.  I’ve no real interest in Disney remakes, so neither Aladdin nor Lion King are real options for me.  Far From Home was a good way to end the season, though, a good and funny and intense story with great effects.

(image from

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That July 1st Panic

Calvin should be glad for a traditional school calendar.  Either way, the mid-summer panic is a sobering moment for many.

Mid-Summer PanicI’ve been trying to take care of a little bit of work here and there, in bits and pieces while traveling.  It’s difficult giving your mind a rest when you know that your plate at work has gotten bigger . . . . or at least a little different from what your used to.

(image from

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Sunday’s Best: Playing Outside

This week summer vacation enters “phase two.” And while I can’t say that I’ve accomplished all that I had hoped (“accomplished” is such a big word anyway), it has been a good couple of weeks.

This Sunday’s Best is today’s all-new FoxTrot comic by Bill Amend.  Timely on a couple of levels, as always.

FoxTrot Playing Outside(image from

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Middle Earth Lost-and-Found

It feels like forever since there’s been any good Lord of the Rings humor.  Usually it’s at the expense of Gandalf or the Hobbits, so it’s nice to see the ring on another finger . . .

Sauron Lost and Found(image from

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What You See, What You Feel

I’ve kind of been following the classic Peanuts strip that involves Charlie Brown getting sent home early from camp because of something he didn’t actually do.  Schulz took an interesting approach with this particular series with how he skips back and forth from Chuck to Peppermint Patty, who often visits Chuck while at summer camp.

While the strip regular has a sense of (profound) sadness about it, this is acutely true for the Charlie Brown/Peppermint Patty strips.  Consider the most recent strips, where we finally find what Patty did that got Chuck kicked out of camp.

Patty 1

Patty 2So two things:  first, Patty sees someone that we are never privy to seeing as the audience.  Second, upon seeing the little red-haired girl, Patty is crushed.  It’s painful and real in a way you just don’t expect in a comic full of kids.

It will be interesting to see how Schulz wrapped this particular story up.  I suppose we’ll see the conclusion as the week comes to an end.

(images from

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Gut-Level Medicine

Talk about what happens to best-laid plans . . . My hopes of “getting back into work” this week just haven’t materialized.  And with good reason, really.  A couple of days ago, my church voted in a new pastor.  So Saturday was a meet-and-greet, Sunday was meeting and voting, and yesterday was my opportunity to treat my new pastor and his wife to lunch and dessert.  Take all that and throw in quality time spent with neighbors and you end up with a great week without much work.  Ah well.  Maybe tomorrow?

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Last week’s classic Peanuts strips saw Charlie Brown shuttled straight from school to summer camp.  By the end of the week, though, he had been sent home for “causing trouble,” even though he didn’t do anything.  That’s because Peppermint Patty, who goes to a girls camp across the lake, confronted the little red-headed girl that Chuck has always obsessed over.  Chuck still hasn’t found this out yet, but Linus has.  Today’s classic strip from

Patty's MedicineI’m thinking we could all use some gut-level medicine in some way or another.  That’s what the Gospel is on every level, of course.  I’m currently working my way back through a Cavadini essay about Augustine’s view of the self, something that Cavadini says many people have misconstrued on Augustine’s part.  The inner self is a mess, the assertion is made.  And it’s the Gospel, the truth of God communicated through Jesus, that gives us the first real thing to base any sense of self on.

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Sunday’s Best: Sparrow’s Song

Today’s best is a classic Calvin and Hobbes Sunday strip that features no Hobbes and very little Calvin.  Artistically, it’s wonderfully rendered, a great balance of realism and Calvinism.

Calvin Sparrow(image from

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