The second exit off I-35 for Blackwell, OK has 3 hotels, 2 gas stations, a McDonald's, Braum's, a Kentucky Bell and the Plainsman Restaurant.
The Plainsman has really good catfish, and at 1hr before closing, the salad bar was still pretty well stocked and fresh. The hotel is pretty nice, so all in all it's a good end to over 500 miles of driving.
As for introductions, I think the best way to get to know someone is over time. Some of you should know who I am. For the record, Stephen is my real name. So there's that.
Coming soon-ish: a series dealing with Atheism and religion. Lots and lots of flame-bait there!
UPDATE: That's dumb. It will be about much more than just "Atheism and religion." I don't like those categories anyway, and have no idea why I used them. Still planning on lots of good flame-bait fun.
Un-hiatusing long enough to welcome my new co-blogger Stephen to The Thinkery: I am unsure of just how anonymous or Google-proof you would like to be, so I'll allow you to introduce yourself. However, speaking on behalf of this side of the blogosphere, welcome aboard.
I've done a lot of traveling recently, moving through Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico in a car. There's been a lot of small towns, straight roads and potty breaks.
And billboards. Lots and lots of billboards. I always know where to get pecan rolls or fireworks, how far the next McDonald's is, just how far I will need to go if I don't stop for the bathroom and gas right away.
We didn't travel I-70 on this trip, but between Kansas City and St. Louis there are a number of establishments that cater to the erotic needs of lonely truckers and carloads of college freshmen. They all advertise liberally on billboards, gigantic billboards with huge lettering, telling everyone on I-70 that an adult's paradise, apparently, is available at the next exit. And the next, and the next, and probably the next one as well.
But billboards are not only for sin. They also let us know about churches and pastors, especially through Dallas. If you're looking for a miracle, go to Dallas. Just show up and start watching the billboards. You'll find a good place for your miracle pretty quick.
Also in Texas they have billboards that let us know the private thoughts of God. "Don't make me come down there," or "Yes, I meant all 10," which is presumably about the 10 commandments. I wonder about the idea that God is reluctant to come "down here" or that we should worry so about it. He came down once before, and seemed like a nice enough guy.
My favorite, though, has to be "Keep using my name in vain, I'll make rush hour longer." They're cute, catchy, sometimes they're even funny. Some of them try to be oblique, like "Have you read my #1 best-seller? There will be a test."
I could point out how Judgment Day is not going to be a "test" about the contents of the Bible, or that it's unlikely that God really cares about how long rush hour is. But that's not important.
The important thing here is that God never said any of those things, at least insofar as what is commonly referred to as "The Word of God" is concerned. Perhaps those who put up these billboards claim that God has spoken to them and they are merely getting the word out.
Proverbs tells us that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. These billboards show no fear of God. They mock his power by suggesting it will be used to control traffic. These billboards twist the idea of what it means to read the Bible, what it will mean to be at the Last Judgment. Most important of all, these billboards purport to quote God, and put words into his mouth that he never said.
That is blasphemy. Blasphemy against God. Perhaps God the Father will allow a difference between himself and God the Holy Spirit, thereby saving those involved in this from committing the "unforgivable sin."
I don't know, though, and I'm certainly not going to presume to speak for God.