Monthly Archives: December 2008

The Last Forty Years

The last forty years


By Kenneth Burchfiel


“I daresay I haven’t changed at all in the last forty years.”

The man in the chair nodded. The barber trimmed the back of his neck, then added:

“I don’t know if anything here’s changed in the last forty years.”

A ray of sun broke through the dense clouds outside. The window, blurred from years of grime and sweat, displayed the same message as it always had: “POHS REBRAB S’UOL.”

“Well, I’ve been watching all those liberals telling me that we need change. Maybe they need change in that crooked east-coast capital, but I sure don’t. Why, all I need is a few ten dollar bills a day and a few heads to shave.”

The man in the seat laughed. Locks of hair slid down the chair and onto the floor.

“Just look at them fancy barber shops across the river, would you? Thirty dollars for a cloud of perfume and a few snips.”

“That’s why I come here,” the man in the seat acknowledged.


    The shop turned silent for a few minutes, until the barber commented:

    “Say, do you hear something? Sounds like—”

A five-ton boulder crashed through the ceiling and sent the floor tiles flying. Mirrors shattered and fell on the ground; dozens of scissors and razors and combs fell from their tables; a cloud of hot dust pushed the barber back against the wall.

When the smoke cleared, the man in the seat said:

    “I reckon we just got hit by a meteor.”

    The barber surveyed the floor, tilted his head and nodded.

    “Why, I haven’t seen an asteroid in forty-three years, back when that Eisenhower man was building all the interstates.”

    The patron nodded. “It must have been our first day in Normandy when a meteor crashed right through our bunker. Gave our lieutenant a good scare.”

    “Well, they don’t make asteroids like they used to. When I was a child, the whole town would come out to watch boulders fall from space. Some of us would even skip school to play in the impact craters.” The barber looked at the smoldering rock, then wiped the dust off the man’s head and resumed cutting.


    Again, the shop was silent. The dust made it difficult to cut Martin’s hair, but with a little water and some guesswork, Lou could weed out the singed hairs and trim off the grime.

    Both turned to watch a car skid across the parking lot. It flipped in the air, combusted and came to a flaming stop against the barber shop wall. The driver pried open his door and backed away from the vehicle.

    “I’d say that was a mighty fine crash,” the barber said. “Haven’t seen one that good in forty-one years.

    “Well, the flips made it tolerable.” Mark coughed. “But I miss the glory days of vehicle accidents, when chases ripped apart and seat backs went everywhere. Just yesterday, it seems, I was out in Normandy when a Panzer fell off a cliff. Now that was a crash.”


    The engine fire gave out, but the roof had begun to creak again. It seemed that the meteor had weakened the very supports holding the ceiling up.

    Just as Lou reached for the hair blower, a twenty-pound chunk of pipe fell on the top of his head and knocked him to the floor.

    “Well,” the barber said, “that was quite a hit.”

    Martin looked over from his chair. “That’s the worst concussion I’ve seen in fifty-two years.”

    Lou looked up at the ceiling. “I’ve had worse. When I was cleaning the chimney as a child, the top gave in and struck me on the head. The doctor said it was a miracle I survived.”

    “That reminds me. Should I call a doctor?”

    “No, no. Don’t trouble him. I’ll just be unconscious for a few hours, if that’s fine with you.”

    The barber stared up at the fractured ceiling. As his eyes closed, Martin could hear him muttering the same thing over and over:

    “Those were the days. Those were the days.”









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The Voice (Wikipedia Page)

“The Voice” is a [[Biblical translation]] project established “to rediscover the story of the Bible.”

<ref name=”Book”>[New Testament, The Voice Edition (Website:</ref> It employs writers with artistic, theological and musical backgrounds in order to differentiate its work from scholar-centered translations.

<ref name=”Book”/> The Voice’s first publication was a [[New Testament]] translation, which came out in [[October]] [[2008]]. <ref name=”Site”>[ The Voice’s Website]</ref>

== Composition ==

“The Voice” encompasses a range of writers, editors, scholars and musicians. <ref name=”Book”/> The writers and scholars collaborate to produce [[Biblical]] texts with academic and artistic merit, while the 27 musicians involved work on “Songs From The Voice,” a musical compilation. Seven editors oversee the writing process.

The project is overseen by the [[Ecclesia Bible Society]], which is presided over by [[Chris Shea.]]

== Biblical Translation ==

The Voice markets its [[Old Testament]] (still in production) and New Testament editions as alternatives to scholar-led translations. Its overall goal is to produce “holistic,” “beautiful,” “sensitive” and “balanced” <ref name=”Book”/> transcriptions that present-day readers can identify with.

The project’s first production, a translation of the New Testament, pairs a play-like format and contemporary verse with occasional commentary and in-text explanations. A brief introduction precludes each book.

== Current and future publications ==

In addition to their complete New Testament translation, the project has produced a number of titles dealing with the Bible <ref name=”Site”/>:

[[The Voice of Acts]]

[[The Voice of John]] (offered as a free download on their website)

[[The Voice from on High]]

[[The Voice of Luke]]

[[The Voice of Hebrews]]

[[The Voice of Mark]]

[[The Voice of Matthew]]

[[The Voice of Romans]]

A translation of the Old Testament is currently underway.

== External Links:== (a comparison of contemporary [[Bible]] translations, including The Voice) (The project’s website)

== References ==


Here’s a Wikipedia page I worked on of The Voice’s New Testament edition:

The Voice: New Testament is a [[New Testament]] Bible translation written by [[The Voice (Project)]], a scriptural research group. It was published by [[Thomas Nelson]] in [[October]] [[2008]].

== Nature of the translation ==
The Voice markets its [[New Testament]], a rewritten edition which incorporates writers, musicians and [[pastors]] (including the [[Emerging Church]] proponent [[Brian McLaren]] <ref name=”Book”/>,) as an alternative to scholar-focused [[Bible translations]]. The group’s goal in the project was to produce a “holistic,” “beautiful,” “sensitive” and “balanced” <ref name=”Book”>New Testament, The Voice Edition (Website:</ref> New Testament that present-day readers could identify with.

The compilation pairs a play-like format and [[contemporary]] verse with occasional commentary and italicized in-text explanations. Each book in the New Testament is preceded by a brief introduction explaining its background and significance.

== Criticism ==
Chris Rosebrough of the website Extreme Theology has taken issue with The Voice’s interpretation and extensions of the Bible’s original text. In Part One of his book review, Rosebrough writes:

“Unfortunately, not since the release of the [[Jehovah’s Witnesses]]’ [[New World Translation]] of the Greek Scriptures in [[1950]] has there been a bible published that so blatantly mangles and distorts God’s Word in order to support a peculiar and aberrant theological agenda.” <Ref Name=”Review”>Chris Rosebrough’s review (site:—part-one.html)</ref>

Rosebrough then goes on to contrast the New Voice translation with the [[English Standard Version]] and the original [[Greek]] text, pointing out areas in the book that he sees as misleading or contrary to the passage’s original meaning.

== References ==

== External Links == (A comparison of contemporary [[Bible]] translations, including The Voice) (The project’s website) (Official book website)

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Christmas Eve Reflections

The following image likely demonstrates two things: first, that I’m not an artist–but second, that I find Christmas to be more than a frenzy of greeting cards, sit-down dinners and pine trees. I hope it means something more to you, too.

Christmas Eve Reflections

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“Skies Air” Tail Livery

Certainly simplistic from a design standpoint, but that might be a plus. (Click on PDF link below.)


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“Starbird” design and instructions

The PDF (click link below) features both a simple design and instructions for recreating it.


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Kenneth Burchfiel

“Okay. Please. Let me explain what happened.

“So I was walking down a sidewalk in an unfamiliar neighborhood. Dark as tar outside. All of a sudden, a monitor walks out the front door of a house. Literally. It stops on the front porch and lays down.

“I’m not pulling your leg. And the next thing I knew, this flat-screen plasma follows it out on little television feet. Sony model, I think. Fifty two inches.

“Well, this is a little disturbing, so I walk in to investigate. Italian cookware, alarm clocks, a really nice ring I wanted for my wife—it’s all running down the steps and out onto the front porch.

“And before you know it, a police car pulls up. All the little appliances and cookware and jewelry freeze in place, and I’m trapped upstairs. Talk about a strange day.

“Okay. Okay. I’ll give you the truth.

“Well, I was walking down to my friend Lu’s house. We were getting ready to go skiing.”

“This is Kansas.”

“Well, I know that. We were driving down to Oklahoma to ski. I don’t like the cold, so I put on, you know, a ski mask, coat, pants, boot, gun—cold-weather stuff, right?

“And as I’m turning the corner for his house, I hear this terrible scream from a split level. I run inside to find an elderly woman trapped under a whole pile of things: monitors, a Sony flat-screen plasma, Italian cookware, even a diamond ring. The poor lady couldn’t even breathe! Naturally, I helped get all that stuff off her aching chest. Moved it out to the front porch so it wouldn’t trouble her anymore. And just as I was freeing her ailing body from the plasma television, the police showed up.”

“My patience is running thin.”

“The whole truth this time, I promise you. You’ve been patient.

“Two nights ago, I broke into an elderly women’s house using a gun. Someone tipped me off that she was a wealthy lady, and I was a poor guy looking for a break.

“The door broke open with a kick. It was 2:00 in the morning; not a single witness around.

“Figuring the woman was asleep, I went directly to the entertainment room with the gun in my hand. The door was already open, so I walked inside.

“And would you believe it! Just as I was putting my gloves on, A computer monitor stood up, jumped off the table and walked right out the door.”

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Exchange Trip Logo

I created this simple design for an upcoming German exchange trip. As usual, the illustration was made in In-Design CS3.


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