Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Current Events

I have been to the Middle East, or "Southwest Asia", on a couple of occasions. The first time was to Saudi Arabia (and Bahrain) during Operation Desert Storm. While I was there, we were the proud target of numerous scud attacks. In fact, it was at our Base in Dhahran that had the largest casualty event of that war, from a scud attack.

For a time, we lived under the constant threat of a scud landing in our midst. Even though we were protected by the Patriot Missile System, we knew that missiles could, and did, get through. It was our almost desperate hope that the Army would hurry up and find and eliminate the launchers that were plaguing us.

My second trip was to Israel, when I was in School and got to talk to some soldiers and people who were in Israel during that war. They too were protected by Patriot Missile Systems as they too were subject to scud attacks. However, they showed great restraint in not sending their army after those that were launching missiles at their country in hopes of drawing the entire region into a war. I know the terrible feeling of being a soldier and living under the constant threat of death by rockets.

Now, imagine what it is like if you are under that same threat, only in your home. Not as a soldier, but just as you going about your daily life, and, oh yes, the neighbors might bomb you at any time, either with rockets, missiles or suicide bombers.

Now Israel has been attacked again by rockets and missiles from Hamas in the Gaza Strip. I think Israel has shown incredible restraint by even allowing an enemy that has sworn to eliminate them to obtain and retain power in the Gaza Strip. But, they have decided that they don't want their people blown up, so they are working to stop it...and are being severely criticized for it.

Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem...and pray that we never fall into their shoes in our country.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Leadership Secrets Learned the Hard way

Here is a great article on Leadership I came across. If you are involved in leading anyone; at church, work, family, etc., this has some great insights. It is by Joe McKeever. Joe McKeever is a preacher, cartoonist, and the Director of Missions for the Baptist Association of Greater New Orleans. Visit him at JoeMckeever.com.

1. Delegate.
Just because you do a job better than someone else does not mean you should do it.
2. Follow-Up.
People do not do what you expect; they do what you inspect.
3. Earn the Right to Lead.
Still your impatience and earn the right to the congregation's trust before making difficult decisions.
4. Appreciate Your Support Team.
A pastor depends on his wife and family, other ministers and countless others in his service for God.
5. Know When to Give In.
In some conflicts, maintaining harmony and unity is more important than being right.

6. Learn from Your Failures and Go Forward.If you want to succeed, you must prepare to fail."
7. Discipline Yourself.A great purpose drives self-discipline; you can tell yourself �no,� and you can bring yourself to do the hard thing.

8. Remember Names and Use Them.
There is just no substitute for a pastor learning the names of the members, even if there�s a lot of them. The payoff is well worth the effort.
9. Sometimes Leaders Must Follow; Do it Well.
It takes great strength and maturity to recognize when another has the gifts and training to lead in a situation where you do not, and to turn it over to him.
10. Your Brother is Your Partner, not a Competitor.
There is no competition between lighthouses, and there shouldn't be between God�s family members.
11. Be Tactful.
The time for bluntness does not come around as often as people think; far more often, situations call for kindness.
12. Know Yourself Inside and Out.
Unless we also know our weaknesses and protect ourselves in those areas, we will be defeated at the very moment we are doing what we do well�and will be completely surprised in the process.

13. Keep Your Idealism, but Lose the Perfectionism.
Since the God of perfection does not expect perfection from us, we would do well to cut ourselves and our friends a little slack.

14. Keep Your People Informed.
If you expect your constituents to respond when you lead out, don't wait to the last minute to bring them on board.

15. If You are the Leader, Then Lead.
The Bible says the pastor takes orders for the congregation �for Jesus� sake� (2 Cor. 4:15) Be sure of the will of God, then do it.

16. Clean Up Your Act.
Learn to speak correct English, and drop expressions that offend the hearer, detract from the point, or debase the speaker.

17. Give Yourself Time to Think.
Anyone who would accomplish anything in the service of God and man needs to carve out for himself a circumference of silence every day and protect it jealously.

18. Know When to be Soft and When to be Firm.
Sometimes encouragement takes a pat on the back; at other times it takes a kick in the seat.

19. Provide for Feedback.
A pastor will either make a way for his members and staff to bring comments and suggestions and findings to his attention, or the entire program will suffer.

20. Watch the Money!
Refrain from handling money in your church and avoid a personal lifestyle that appears to be above your means. Set an example for your congregation; don�t follow theirs.

21. Tell the Truth.
Accurately present your church�s statistics (baptisms, attendance, giving totals, etc.) at all times. Nothing undermines the loyalty of your team members so much as them watching you present exaggerated results of your ministry.

22. Be Transparent.
There is no place in the Kingdom of God, or in any of the methodologies that the Holy Spirit employs, for manipulation, subterfuge, camouflage, or anything less than open-handed honesty.

23. Set the Mood.
See your congregation and your staff as God sees them, as they are in Him, what they shall become, and what the Holy Spirit is going to empower them to do.

24. Finish Strong.
No one gets credit on the scoreboard for having started well; it's how you finish that tells the story.

25. Watch Your Reputation.
What the public thinks of you will often determine whether they trust you; even God values His reputation.

26. Guard Your Integrity; No One Else Will.
The ability to say 'no' is one of the minister's greatest strengths; he must never do anything to hamper his power to utter that single syllable.

27. Keep Restocking the Shelves.
Guard your time for continuing education, and then do it�and do not feel guilty about it.

28. Keep Renewing Your Commitment to Lead.
God has made you a leader, and what people decide or don't decide about your leadership has little to do with anything.

29. Love the Church, or Go Into Some Other Line of Work.
The great majority of Christians never comprehend how much they are meant to love the Lord's church.

30. Be Kind to Your Predecessor; Someday You�ll be One.
Beware of underestimating and thereby insulting the hard work of the one who preceded you. Refrain from demeaning the work of others in the family of God.

31. Develop a Spine.
There is a time to listen to the input of others, but eventually the time comes to stand up and make a decision.

32. Welcome Change�You Might as Well.
Although God Himself never changes, God is all about change�to the deepest level all over His ever-changing universe. Embrace it and be used by Him in it.

33. Expect Hardship.
Just because "the Lord is in it" or it's the will of God does not guarantee success. We do not follow Jesus because the way is easy; we follow Him because it's the only way.

34. Be Careful About Preaching Your Convictions.
God did not send us to preach our convictions, but the Word of Christ. Never make the mistake of giving our convictions an equal place with God�s Word.

35. Humor is Good; Don�t Overdo It.
Knowing when to tell a funny story and when to squelch it is a sign of maturity.

36. Speak Well, but Don�t Overtalk.
We who have the greatest message ever should take pains to make certain we get a good hearing when we begin to share it. Endeavor to speak fewer (and better) words.

37. Get Humble and Stay That Way.
There are so many reasons to be humble and so many temptations not to. Get your eyes off yourself and on to Jesus.

38. Recognition is Good; Just Don�t Need It.
Appreciation is good, and we ought to give it freely and honestly. Just don't let it fool you into thinking you're something you're not, and don�t require it in order to do your best work.

39. Keep Good Records, Even a Journal.
There is no way to overstate the importance of keeping good records; such records have been known to settle disputes and save a lot of grief or even money.

40. Pray, Pray, Pray. (I apologize for making it #40.)
The leader�s biggest danger is that he will try to lead people in directions the Lord is not leading them. Prayer is the best thing you can do; therefore, it ought to be the first.

41. Slough Off the Petty Stuff.
Don't go manufacturing any troubles for yourself where none exist.

42. Take Your Lumps.
Your congregation, your staff, your people are not your Lord. Whether they thrill at your words or balk at the sound of your voice, be faithful to what the Lord calls you to do.

43. Train Your People to Become Leaders.
Use God�s example: do not force obedience or loyalty, but share power and allow decisions, differences, mistakes and reconciliation.

44. Train Your People to be Faithful Followers.
Teach your people to complement the leader�s strengths with their own, speak up if they see him about to make a mistake, and give him room to be human.

45. Make Full Use of Your Greatest Resources.
The Holy Spirit. The Holy Bible. We have both a Guide and Light, one to accompany us and the other to illumine the way. We need never be lost or confused again.

46. Keep Your Focus on the Main Thing.
Find out who you are and offer it to the community in Christ�s name. Don�t risk going out of business because you forgot what you�re in business for.

47. Restrain Your Ego, or You�re in Trouble.
Nothing heads you on the road to disaster like shutting down negative voices and giving full vent to your ego.

48. Your Attitude is Contagious; Keep it Positive.
Faith is contagious. Unfortunately, so is fear.

49. Say �No� a Lot.
Discipline yourself from any activity or project that interferes with Christ�s goal for your life.

50. Don�t Think of Yourself as a Leader�Think �People-Helper.�
Say �we� a lot, not �I�, �me�, and �mine�. Ask, 'How's it going?' a lot, and listen to the answers. Pray with your people, even at odd times.

51. Deal with Rebellion Quickly.
Your job is not to make the congregation happy; your task is to make it healthy and to make the Lord happy. If you are not going to protect the flock, you are no shepherd.

52. Never Hesitate to Challenge People to Greatness
Like Christ, let us never hesitate to call people out of death to life, out of complacency to commitment, from the partial to the complete, and from the comfortable to the sacrificial.

53. Someone Has to Ride Drag
Select faithful, mature people to share the burdens of church leadership.

54. Avoid the Disconnect Trap
The preacher who fails to see the connection between his Sunday ministry and the life he leads during the week will bring great shame, embarrassment and disappointment to God and those nearest him.

55. Vision: Don�t Leave Home Without It
One can have a vision but no leadership, but real leadership requires a vision.

56. Moral Courage, True Leadership
Moral courage does not act rashly but considers the cost, speaking truth to power and refusing to stand idly by while others engage in wrong or hurtful acts

57. Leadership Has Secrets?
Courage is not the absence of fear�it's inspiring others to move beyond it. Nothing is black or white. Quitting is leading too.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

In the Doghouse

Hey Guys!

How did you do with your gift giving this year?

Here's some help.

The Hand of God Defeats the Hand of the Valkyrie

In Norse mythology, the Valkyrie is the angelic being that transports warriors to Valhalla.

On Christmas day, I went with my brother-in-law to see the new film starring Tom Cruise, Valkyrie. The movie is about a plot, the central figure being Col. Alfred Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg, to assassinate Hitler and put in place a new government in hopes of negotiating a peace during the Second World War.

The plot, as history tells us, failed. I didn't realize, until seeing the film, how close the plot came to succeeding and some of the intricacies that were put in place in order to bring about a succession of government.

According to information provided at the end of the movie, at least 15 attempts were made on Hitler's life by Germans, many of them German military members and loyal supported of Germany.

After the attempt detailed by Valkyrie, Hitler is on the radio assuring the people that Providence, the hand of God, saved him from an attempt on his life.

Knowing the details of Hitler's meteoric rise to power, his survival of several attempts on his life and the attempt shown in this movie, it does seem that God's hand was indeed watching over Adolph Hitler.

To me, this seems kind of bothersome.

God watching over evil men to keep them in power.

Allowing the atrocities of the holocaust to continue and the death and torture of millions of innocents because of the madness of the German leaders philosophy.

I have come to realize that God still does not consult me on his making of plans and doesn't always make clear to me his reasoning or the the results of what he does, allows for and doesn't do.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Holiday Preparations!!

Just for fun, here is a pic of our four wheel drive training yesterday.

Merry Christmas!!!

Merry Christmas to all my loyal fans, casual readers and one follower. I hope your day is blessed with all the blessings that are available to you during this holiday season.

Also, as an aside, check out the website for the Young Authors and Artists Club (Yaac). It is the club Emily started for her friends. they meet weekly (not during the holiday season) at the library to discuss art, literature, and other things of interest to early and preteen girls. She just started the website, so it is not long on content yet, but still good fun.

Check it out here.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Here is a favorite Christmas song of ours. I was going to put a video of the actual singing group singing the song, but their video ruined the song. So, here is the song with some assorted images:

Friday, December 19, 2008

Do It Yourself Christmas

It is beginning to stink a lot like Christmas out there.

Every year around this time, the major roads become gridlocked because everyone is out and about doing all sorts of crazy shopping and packaging and the like. Even with the horrors of our economic situation, this year is no different.

I got in on the mad rush yesterday and today. We were purchasing and preparing some gifts for family and friends. Even though the things we bought were minor and very inexpensive compared to what everyone else seems to be doing (even Advent Conspiracy adherents that we know of are not substituting all their consumption, it would seem), it still feels like a mad rush.

So, in order to make my Christmas more blessed, I am going to write a list of things I am thankful for and blessed by. I will post it on here in a couple of days. In the meantime, think of writing your own list and sharing it with family, friends or even complete strangers.

OK, I will start the list on here with this one:

I was able to have some time off work yesterday and today so I could help Diane get ready for the holiday.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Cold War is Heating Up!

In various spots around Tucson, you can find the now defunct and mostly destroyed Titan II Missile Silos. One of them, in Avra Valley, appears to have not been filled in with concrete, as many of them were. I went to check it out yesterday and someone had broken the hatch to get in. We contacted the Air force, who maintains them still and talked to the Desk Sergeant, who had no idea what to do.

I also went down inside to make sure no-one was dead inside. The picture of me entering and the tube with the ladder is, I think, the escape hatch on the left side of the artists rendition. The picture of the tube with the rubble is the entryway to the control room.

The air was very musty and it made me gasp, so I am pretty sure the oxygen level is not quite what it ought to be. If you want to check one out, you can go to the fully intact silo at the Titan Missile Museum. We went there with my Mom and Dad this spring when they visited us.

These silos are an interesting part of our history, as each of these missiles could take out almost an entire state.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Does this ever happen to any of you?

My buddy at work, the one who was recently featured on my blog in the news broadcast about the shooting, was sick last night. He came into work anyway. Not because he is some kind of a martyr, but because he was concerned that he might get looked upon dubiously if he called in sick.

At our job, they give us 12 sick days a year, which is about 100 hours of sick time per yer. And, you can allow it to accumulate or even trade some of it for vacation time, which is what I usually do. But, even though they give us all that time to be sick, the powers that be look askance at you if you actually use it. For instance, if you call in sick in conjunction with your weekend, which is what calling in last night would have been for my buddy, you are reported to personnel. I don't know what it means to be reported to personnel, but it can't be good. If you seem to be taking to much sick time, they transfer you somewhere else. I don't know why they give you so much sick time if they can't stand for you to actually use it.

Last year, in the Summer of 2007, I got pink eye in both eyes. I probably got it at the jail or from the kid's thing at Church. The two places on earth that have the filthiest people are daycare settings and correctional institutions. So, along with the pink eye, that made me take over a week off work, I got a fever.

According to Diane, when I get a fever I also get delirious. I think that is a bit of an exaggeration. I do remember thrashing around and repeating the same phrases over and over, but I hardly think that qualifies as delirious. I was curious if that sort of thing happens to anyone else.

Lately, I have been exercising a little more regularly. It seems to cut back on the amount of time I am sick. I don't know if it does this because it burns away viruses like a fever or if it speeds up my metabolism and rids my body of bad stuff quicker or if it just stimulates my white blood cells. Whatever the case, I have been ill much less the last year or two that the few years before that.

Once again, here is evidence that exercise will improve your quality of life overall. I just got back from a jog, which gave me direct evidence that exercise greatly decreases your quality of life while you are actually exercising.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The End IS NeAr

Here are the Seven Signs that Pastor Steve shared from Matt. 24 where Jesus was talking about how to know if the End Was NeAr. I know some of those that read this aren't Bible Believing/Church Attending/Hymn Singing/Jesus Freaks. But, everybody wants to know about when the end is coming. That is why Nostradamus and Fortune Tellers are so popular. And besides, this is from the man himself, Jesus.

As you read them, decide for yourself if they have been fulfilled or not:

1) Many people claim to be the Messiah
2) Wars, Rumors of War, Earthquakes and famines profligate. By the way, there is supposed to be about 50 earthquakes every day on the earth. I just got a NOVA special on earthquakes from Blockbuster. Maybe I will watch it tonight.
3) Massive persecution. Voice of the Martyrs says that more Christians have been martyred in the 20th Century that the previous 1900 years combined.
4) Betrayal/Denial of God and one another.
5) Many false Prophets
6) An increase in wickedness
7) The "gospel" preached to all the nations. Nations, in biblical terms, are people groups, not just locations. So, the "gospel" preached to all nations could very much be about every tribe and "nation", or people group, hearing the good news.
8) A rebuilt temple. To see how this is progressing, check out the Temple Institute's site and the site of The Temple Mount Faithful.
9) The Antichrist shows up. Well, we all know who he is, don't we?
Hahahaha...I was just kidding there, but here is a site to find out about him: Fullfilled Prophecy. Be sure to read their sections on whether or not Obama is the AntiChrist (they say he isn't) and the sections about whether or not they are right (which, they say, is most likely).

Check back in and I will tell you why I think the intense passionate study of end times things is a waste of time for most of us.....and why Pastor Steve, after two sermons on whether or not the end is near, might agree.

Bad Info

I thought Hanukkah started this weekend, and told some friends the same. It really doesn't start until next weekend. Sorry kids.

Here, you can watch this in the meantime:

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Minor Donors

"Would you like to round up to the next dollar and donate to a local coven of witches that are rescuing unwanted kittens and using them for sacrifices on the winter solstice?", Asked the clerk at the pet store.

"No thanks."

I was already spending money I didn't want to so I could buy a couple of silly cat toys and snacks for a project the girl's 4H club was doing; giving silly cat toys and snacks to a cat rescue group in the community.

It seems that this is the season to make me feel more and more like the Grinch. Most every store wants me to throw down a buck or two in order to help out one cause or the other. The Postman, well, our Postman is a woman, regularly brings pleas to help feed the homeless. The radio lets me know how I can help local families get bicycles Now I want to get bicycles for my family this year too. Every School in town wants me to throw dollars their way, promising I will get tax credits. My kids are begging me to go Mad Max at the stores on Black Thursday so I can get them all brand new computers (well, not really, but it seemed to fit the zeitgeist of this post).

Even at work, they want me to adopt families to buy gifts for for Christmas. I chose my family, and I didn't even have to pick anything off of their tree thing. I am trying to figure out how to get my family on the tree too.

Not to brag, but I really am a generous person. I wish I had the means to be more so. I do give. I give a percentage of my income(extra points to anyone who guesses just what that percentage is) to our Church, we give regularly to sponsor a World Vision child, and we try to help out with other stuff and with other people as we can.

My kids try their best to be generous too. Ethan (6) told me today, after he gave some change to the Salvation Army bell ringer, that he tries to always give them some change when he has some and he sees them. One time, he told me, his mom had to give him money so he could give. The Salvation Army is a great organization. I would strongly encourage everyone to give to them. But I have to wonder, does my son's 4 ¢ really help them out all that much?

I had a friend in Sacramento who's job was to work with major donors for World Vision. All he does is cultivate some major donors in the area and ask them for help with some of the large projects that they have. World Vision does some amazing work worldwide and I think it is really cool that their are people with money that help make that happen. I would encourage you all to make as much money as you possibly can because, historically, without wealthy people, philanthropy just doesn't seem to happen.

I still have to wonder how much of an impact all the little bits and pieces have on the world during the holiday season. They say that every penny counts. Every little bit helps, I guess.

*Oh, I included the picture I did, because with these sorts of pleas, you always see little children from some other Country that need some sort of help. This picture includes bicycles. How could you not help out?

A Quick Anecdote About One of My Favorite Lead Pastors

Dave Gibbons of NewSong Church.

Dave Gibbons shared this story at the National Pastor's Convention in 2000:

He attended Bible College at Bob Jones University, which is considered extremely conservative. I don't label it as conservative, more like fundamental. But, I am not sure that is fair to the word fundamental. What I am really trying to say is that I am not a fan of the place, or many of it's policies.

Dave was the son of a Caucasian U. S. serviceman and a Korean lady and grew up in the U.S. When he arrived at the school, they called him into the office and let him know that bi-racial dating was prohibited. Since he was biracial, they didn't prohibit him from dating, but he had to decide then and there if he wanted to date the white girls or the Asian girls. Well, he said he took a look around and realized there were way more white girls there, so he said he would only date the white girls.

I am not sure of the point of this story, or me sharing it with you, but I was just thinking about him today and remembered this nonsensical story.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Preterism at Skate Country

While Roller Skating with Diane and the kids today (and a crew from Emily's Club and their Mom's), I realized that I haven't yet shared what Pastor Steve said about whether or not it is the end of the world.

First, a couple of definitions and my preface:
"Preterist" - Someone who believes the biblical prophecies concerning the end times have already been fulfilled.

"Partial Preterist" - Believes some of the biblical prophecies concerning the end times have been fulfilled.

Many Evangelical Scholars believe that many of the biblical prophecies have a dual meaning. In other words, they have a direct and contemporary implication for the time they were written, as well as a future implication.

Now, a bit about what Steve said.

He mentioned several major prophecies that many biblical scholars say must be fulfilled before the end of times. He said that many say that most of them have been fulfilled, but many say they have not been. He also mentioned that he has no idea if it is almost the end of times or not.

I am going to say that it is nowhere near the end of times. Why not. If I am wrong, it won't really matter. However, I am going against hundreds of years of tradition in many evangelical circles that say the end of the world will definitely be within the next fifty years or so. So maybe that will cause problems.

I just hope SevenStarHand doesn't comment on this blog like he did on this one.

I also just realized that the only other men at the skate rink were a man with a pony tale and an old guy and a guy with a helmet. I was the only adult male in our group. I wonder what that means? Probably just that I was able to get off work early. Or maybe it really is the end.

Oh, and here is a link to Gary Demar. He is one of my favorite Eschatologists, but is considered by many to be a partial preterist. I don't know his material well enough to know if I agree with it all, but he has some interesting stuff.

Monday, December 8, 2008

I am truly gifted

Here is some fun(or frustration).

Emily found this IQ test online and took it. She scored 100 pt.s, which, according to them, means she is average. However, that is average for adults, not a 13 year old. So, she confessed that she had no idea what they were asking in at least half of the questions and has never taken any test of this nature. I think an average adult should score better than someone who has never taken this sort of test and doesn't have any idea what the questions are about.

I scored 132. Here is a chart to show what your score means:

Intelligence Interval Cognitive Designation
40 - 54 Severely challenged (Less than 1% of test takers)
55 - 69 Challenged (2.3% of test takers)
70 - 84 Below average
85 - 114 Average (68% of test takers)
115 - 129 Above average
130 - 144 Gifted (2.3% of test takers)
145 - 159 Genius (Less than 1% of test takers)
160 - 175 Extraordinary genius
As you can see, I am gifted. You can also spend $9.95 and get a complete intelligence analysis to show you where you are smart and where you are not. I believe it is generally those who score 49 or lower that pay for this.

By the way, I don't think it is necessarily an accurate representation of a person's intelligence, or I would have scored much higher. So go ahead, give it a try.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Where there is a will there is a way.

I don't know where this is, but......

Top Ten Reasons Church Planting Sucks

Here is a post I got from Jake's Facebook, after he posted it on his blog after he got it from lofitribe who got it from Pastor Dan from Edmonton.

It describes why church Planting can be tough and why it is hard to give up too.

Here it is:

1. It’s harder than you think - but not in that ways you expect. I expected it to be a lot of work and I expected there to be discouraging times and I expected there would be times I would want to quit, but I didn’t expect that I would spend most of my time doing stuff that I don’t love and doesn’t excite me …

2. It’s more fun than you think it’s going to be. Strap on your helmet, but it is fun. You’re building something from scratch and fighting and winning and failing …

3. There are people who don’t want you to succeed … Identify these people and ignore them …

4. There are people who desperately want to you to succeed … Identify these people and seek them out …

5. It is not easy to figure out who are #3 people and who are #4 people.

6. Weather will kick your ass … There’s not much you can do but be ready for it …

7. You will also schedule something no one will show up for …

8. This is not the church you built in your head … Trying to be the church in your head will kill your joy for the church you have, so kill the church in your head …

9. Don’t take anything personally. People will come to your church and go, and friends will choose to be a part or not … If your confidence and self image depend on the “success” of your church, you are screwed as a pastor and will be a terrible person to live with …

10. Settle the failure question before you start …

Note: Why Church Planting Sucks is an encouraging list because it really does let other planters know they aren’t the only ones experiencing such things! It’s good to know that other planters are experiencing the very same things! Let’s pray for one another, and keep working for Christ’s glory and fame.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Private Eyes*

Since I am currently spending a the week in Detective Training, I thought I would share what my favorite Detective shows are that are currently on television.

In this show, the hero has recently been released from prison for a murder he was wrongfully accused of. He has also been rewarded a large settlement from the City of Los Angeles and reinstated to a position as Detective. You can catch it on NBC.

Billed as "The Obsessive Compulsive Detective", Monk is a former police officer with very bad OCD that also happens to be an exceptional Detective and makes his living doing consulting for the San Francisco PD.

Psych highlights a guy that was trained from childhood to be an investigator from his retired cop father. Now, he runs a private investigations firm pretending to be psychic, but really using his investigative skills to solve crime. It's much funnier than I make it sound, and, along with Monk, can be found on the USA network.

*Private Eyes is the name of a Time Conway/Don Knotts movie about a couple of bumbling detectives trying to solve a murder in a hauntingly scary British manor. They were actually supposed to be from Scotland Yard, I think, so they were technically not "Private Eyes".

Monday, December 1, 2008

I bet we've been together for a million years, or, a little information from a guy with a girls name.

I got the holiday off and then had to work Friday before having the whole weekend off this week. It is a nice change to have weekends off from time to time.

So, we took advantage of the time by joining some friends for games. We went to the park Saturday afternoon with Agent Pipes and his family, the Dusek family and the Hart family to play kickball. How long has it been since any of you have got to play that one. And, between our four families, we had 23 people. Enough for a good game.

Then it was over to our house where we had pizza and played Hoopla while the kids watched National Treasure II.

It was all great fun. It also reminded us of our tradition of game nights in Sacramento. We used to gather with some people from the Church almost weekly, for a while there, to play some games and enjoy one another's company.

One night, we were all trying to remember the theme songs to television shows we had watched as kids, either first run, or in re-runs. I had Growing Pains down pat, because I used to like that Tracey Gold girl. When we got to Family Ties, we were stumped. Even our beloved Brea(not to be confused with Breehy-hinny-brinny-hoohy-hah), the maven of cultural icons of the time, didn't know.

Since we didn't have internet at whoevers house we were at*, we did the only other thing we knew to do. We called information. Yep, the old 411 came through for us, as we got in contact with a guy named Ashley. I don't know if he had to look it up on line, or if he just knew, but he was able to fill us in with the words for the theme song. Brea filled in the tune and soon we were all singing it.

I was surprised that I didn't know it, because this was one of my favorite shows at the time. Well, come to find out, the information room supervisor's don't really like it when you call back and ask for specific operator's, like "the male Ashley", as we did from time after that. I hope we didn't jeopardize his job in any way.

Our Pastor told us this week that the purpose of life was to walk with God and joy your life (Apparently the End times topic is not until next week), so that is what we did this weekend and in the past. I recommend a game night for everyone.

* I am not sure why we didn't have, or didn't check, the internet. I am sure it was available. Maybe the computer just wasn't turned on at the time, or something like that. Anyways, here is the theme song in question:

Sunday, November 30, 2008

How the Mighty Are Fallen

David M. "Davey" Jones died earlier this week right here in Tucson. He was one of the Doolittle Raiders that helped bomb Tokyo in a surprise reprisal a few months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

I first heard of the Doolittle Raid in the fifth grade, when I read a copy of the book, Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo, by Captain Ted W. Lawson. The book was also made into a movie of the same name in 1944. I remember it vividly, because in the story, the author was shot down, had some broken bones and was in excruciating pain. I had to look up excruciating as a vocabulary word, since I didn't know what it meant.

Davey Jones, a Lieutenant at the time of the raid, retired a two star general in 1942.

Jones was also shot down over North Africa later in the war, and spent two and a half years in a Stalag, leading the digging of a tunnel, which was the inspiration for the movie, The Great Escape.

Here is the local article about his passing.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving Thursday into Black Friday

I find it somewhat ironic that we spend a day of celebrating how grateful we are for all we have followed by a day of celebrating how we, and our loved ones, need to get more, desperately and uncomfortably extending ourselves to do so.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

My First Paid Writing Assignment.

Does anyone remember this post?

As you may have seen from the comment, the people at Bookman's, or at least Heather at Bookman's, saw it too. As they didn't want their store to be known for "that", they offered to make amends by sending a gift card. Since I didn't want to offend any of them further, and I really do enjoy going to Bookman's, I accepted.

So, I have received my first payment for my writings in the form of a $50 Bookman's Gift Card. I am so excited. I am much more excited about the fact that I am getting the gift card than I am about the fact that it is my first professional writing gig. I think mostly that is because I am being paid to shut up rather than really being paid to write. But, since I did get the card just today, I will gladly shut up about my negative experiences there and, instead, focus on the positive. Besides, where else can I find such a variety of books (and dvd's, magazines, games, cds, etc) at such great prices.

In other news, Emily's writing club is marching on. Today, the two sister's that were in India returned and shared some of their experiences in the Land of Tigers, Tamil's and, now, terrorist attacks.

Maybe those girls will be able to get a return on their efforts soon too. I think it would look suspicious if they all wrote about Bookman's, so maybe I can get them to write about something else.

Here is some fun.

In these times of economic downturn, check out the global rich list. It will help you feel better about your lot in life.

I'm the 58,252,719 richest person on earth!

Discover how rich you are! >>

Those of you in the military, don't forget to add in your housing, substinence and all of that to get a true picture of where you are.

Monday, November 24, 2008

You never really know, I guess

Did the fight training for the recruits again today. Or arrest and control, or defensive tactics or padded assailant or whatever we are calling it now.

We had six adversary's that took turns on two separate sides of the defensive tactics room, three on one side and three on the other. There were 38 recruits, so we each had to do about six fights, plus the other scenarios, so not too bad.

As I was preparing for one of my fights, everyone started oooohing as they mentioned someone's name. Since I prefer being pitted against those with no skills at all, I grew concerned. The opponent, as it turns out, was a defensive tactics trainer for the Correctional Academy and has since decided to train as a deputy. So, they were all sure he would hammer me. Great!

He came out, we fought around and punched each other, I took him down, smothered him some and fought around some more before he cuffed me up. It was pretty much like the other ones, although he did land a few good shots and had his handcuffing down pat. All in all, no big deal.

The very next guy I fought came out and, as soon as I smacked him, punched me square in the nose. He stepped into it good and, even with the headgear, my nose started gushing blood and I dropped down so he could cuff me up quick and I could stop bleeding in the headgear and bleed on the mat instead.

I wondered aloud why everyone had to warn me about the other guy and no-one told me that this guy was going to make my nose bleed all over and hurt enough to make my eyes water (no, that is not the same as crying. When you are hit in the nose, they automatically water. Really, it does.).

I guess you never really know.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Where do they go?

I have recently attended a couple of "Christian" Concerts here in town. One was the Newsboys at the TEP stadium. Now featured in the band is Paul Coleman. the last time I saw him, he talked with Diane and I, convincing us to buy his CD, which we did and still enjoy from time to time. He really is an entertaining guy, both musically and in conversation.

The other concert was featuring David Meece at the Church we attend. Many of you will not know who he is, but he was big in the '80's "Christian Music" scene with songs like We Were The Reason, Seventy Times Seven, Amor Conquista Todo, His Love Was Reaching and the list goes on. Seriously, this guy was huge in the '80's.

So, I kind of wonder what the "Christian" musicians do when they are no longer big. If you are a regular band, you end up playing at casinos and state fairs, but what about the popular praisers? I guess David Meece does Church concerts and stuff with Teen Challenge and play for people who remember him. The Newsboys are still pretty big, but their stuff is starting to seem awfully nostalgic. Paul Coleman probably has a pretty bright future still. But, someday, every band, musician, whatever declines in popularity. What happens then?

I think I will get my guitar, that Bill from West Sacramento gave me, restrung and become a formerly popular Christian artist just to find out.

Here is Paul Coleman in action, since I like that guy:

Is it the END?!?

We currently attend the Church where I did an internship when I first started pursuing vocational ministry just after graduating from that Bible School, Beth Sar Shalom. Beth Sar Shalom is considered a Messianic Jewish congregation, which means, loosely, that it is a Christian Church Comprised of Jewish "Christians" and those that want to discover the Jewish roots of the Christian Faith.

Next Sunday, Steve, the Congregational Leader, is teaching on the topic, "Is this the End Times?", or something very like that.

So, is it the end? Are we almost there? My Father certainly thought so. His last email to me, prior to his passing(which is till in my in box) was entitled, "The End Of Days". In a way, I suppose it was for him.

I have recently recorded some of my thoughts on this topic here, here and here.

I will let you know what Steve has to say after hearing his sermon next week.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

That's what he said.

Seth Godin, called 'America's Greatest Marketer" on his web site recently posted his idea about the auto industry bailout. Read it here.

Friday, November 21, 2008

A Couple of things that bug me

1. This bailout business
Now we(as in our government) are looking to bailout the auto industry. I do not like that they have fallen on hard times after having oversold cars based on being able to get everyone financed so we all could have a new car every three years. It seems that now that credit is a bit more difficult to get, they are not able to sell as many cars. Hmmmm, sounds like the mortgage lending problems.

But, even though they have fallen on hard times, why does it fall upon us as taxpayers to pay them oodles of bucks so they can keep doing what they are doing and not have to face the problem for another ten years or so? And didn't we "bail-out" the auto industry a few years ago? What will make it work this time if it didn't last time? He do we have to bailout next?

Oh, and in order for the "bailout" of the auto industry to be approved, it must be, among other things, "innovative" and "viable". I am all for innovation and viability, but their is really no way to guarantee both since innovation, by nature, is an unknown quantity. It sounds to me like more congressional political double talk that brought us to, or at least pointed out a nice wide paved road to, our economic woes.

2. Those darn boob signs around town.
The Susan G. Komen Foundation is sponsoring an ad campaign around here (and maybe elsewhere) that I am sure they think is clever. It features pictures of women, faces not showing, that are topless from the waist up. At least they appear to be. Actually, they are holding some sort of white board or canvas with a picture of twin pieces of produce strategically placed. I am sure I have seen green olives, with the pimento's in place, and avacados, with the pits in place. I don't know what else they have out there. Maybe Watermelons, bananas, kiwis, I dunno. Beneath the pictures, it says "We support all shapes and sizes", or something like that.

It just seems inappropriate.

By the way, someone told me that the Susan G. Komen foundation has given grants to Planned Parenthood. I haven't confirmed it yet, other than seeing all sorts of links about that when I googled it. But, as I have found the internet to have, from time to time, information of dubious veracity, I don't know for certain. Someone find out for me, would you?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Getting Ready for the Feast

While on my trip, In preparation for the upcoming holiday, I took in this book. It chronicles the pilgrims, from their leaving England for Leyden, the arduous journey across the sea, the loss of half their number during the first winter, to the activities of the colony fifty years after it was established.

It, of course, mentions the first "Thanksgiving". Thanksgiving was a term they used to describe a time of giving thanks to God on a special occasion. the first in the new world was a combination of that and a harvest festival, with their new native allies bringing 100 or so people to and some deer to throw into the mix.

It also has a detailed account, drawing heavily from Governor Bradford's later writing, of their dealings with the natives. From the first encounter, which was an unexpected assault of the landing party to the political machinations of the tribes and the dealings the colony had with them, it is an interesting account. It details how they made friends with the a local tribe, only to discover that this made them enemies of another, more powerful local tribe and the different characters, including Squanto, that influenced their dealings.

Indeed, the book does an excellent job of fleshing out some of the characters, from the belligerent warrior Miles Standish, the Chief Massasoit, the Governor Bradford to the military leader of the colony during King Phillip's War, Benjamin Church.

It also talks a bit about my ancestor Isaac Allerton, Governor Bradford's Assistant Governor at first, one of the original five Assistant Governor's after the government was more formalized. The author also mentions how he later caused a stir by mixing some of the colonies business dealings with personal business dealings, helping to lead the colony to increased debt. Oops.

Here's to hoping your Thanksgiving is the perfect mix of giving thanks to God for all the blessings he has brought you and a lively celebration of family and friend!

Back From Ajo.......

Here are the aforementioned photos of Emily's Birthday party on Sunday. I was gone, so I didn't get to post them sooner. We hosted a Dessert Extravaganza for her 13th, which included Emily's Oatmeal Fruit bars, Emily's Lemon Meringue Pie, a Dark Chocolate/Mandarin Orange Cake, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies, Angel Food Cake, Assorted Fruits, Chocolate Pie and, in support of our local grocery store, we bought two pudding cakes and some Jones Soda.

Afterwards, I took some of the girls to see City of Ember. All in all, it was a good and fitting celebration for one of our favorite young ladies.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Gone, but not forgotten

I will be off to the land of garlic for a couple of days. If you're the praying type, pray for my family while I am gone and success in my work. If you're not, then never mind.

See you all soon!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Ladies and Gentlemen!!! Let's get ready to.....

This afternoon we celebrated Emily's Birthday. She decided she wanted to have some friends and family over for dessert, then go hit a movie. I will throw some pictures on here soon for those that might want to see them.

Our family decided several years back that we would not address our children as teenagers. The whole idea of teenager, as we know it today, emerged in the 1940's as what was initially a marketing strategy to tie everyone together and to influence their tastes, purchases and behaviors.

Today, the stereotype of a teenager seems to connote a rude, rebellious young person that has no responsibilities, prefers spending time with anyone other than their family and is welcome to use their time to have as much fun as they can because they will have the rest of their life to take life serious.

At our house, we prefer the terms of young ladies and young men. This better communicates are expectations that are kids be respectful, responsible and reasonable. As the young men and women in our house are given more freedom, they will certainly make mistakes. Nonetheless, we will continue to have high expectations for them because our children are perfectly capable, with God's help, of living up to them.

Are other young people capable of this, or are ours the only ones?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Local eats???

We went out with some friends last night to El Charro. It was the downtown one, so it has the best decor while keeping the same menu as the others. It was good, but on the way back I lamented that I really don't have favorite restaurants or coffee shops around here.

In Dallas, we enjoyed the Queen of Sheba Ethiopian place and the Bombay Cricket Club, an Indian restaurant.

In Sacramento it was Jack's Urban Eats, Dos Coyotes, The Pooja Indian Grill and Paesano's Pizzeria.

Even in Safford, we liked to go to Chalo's La Casa Reynoso (the link here is to the sister Restaurant in Globe). But, we have yet to find those places here where we love the food, the atmosphere and are our first choices when we think of where we want to go out for a night on the town.

I'd look more, but I don't have the money for an extensive search. We are currently looking for sponsors that would like to finance such an endeavor.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Being "Homosexual" is not a sin

Temptation is not sin, yielding is"- Billy Sunday, some time ago.

I thought I would shock all the "Christian" readers with my title and share my views on this topic.

I believe we live in a broken and fallen world. For more information, check out this perennial best seller. We are also broken and fallen. The symptoms of this fall include proclivities towards activities that are against our design, harmful to ourself and others and that would turn us against our creator.

One of these proclivities that we see becoming more acceptable in our society is homosexuality. For some reason, this symptom of a fallen world is currently being flaunted by those that are inclined in this direction, and it is considered wrong to tell them they are wrong. I don't think being homosexual is a choice, any more than having this fallen nature is a choice. Based on genetic make-up, past experiences and nurture, it seems that some develop a propensity for this. Others develop a propensity to promiscuous heterosexuality, isolationism or any number of other behaviors.

For some reason, this symptom of a fallen world is currently being flaunted by those that are inclined in this direction, and it is considered wrong to tell them they are wrong. If someone decides that they are homosexual, whatever. I think it is wrong, but I think that the deeper issue is a spiritual one and I am not called to ask people to change behavior without asking them to change their hearts. But why is it socially acceptable for them to flaunt their behavior and identify themselves solely as a sexual being?

We also seem to have lost the idea that just because we feel like doing something then it is inherently okay for us to do it.

Once again, we need revival.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I am sure this is wrong somehow, but it is funny!

Obama Win Causes Obsessive Supporters To Realize How Empty Their Lives Are

A Coffee Canticle for Veteran's Day

David Norris , in the recent issue of American Heritage, informs us that the Union's Grand Army of the Republic during the Civil War, comparatively awash in supplies compared to the Southern Army, also had an abundance of coffee to keep them going.

Southerners could expect to pay up to $70 a pound due to the blockade, while Union troops enjoyed a 6 cup a day ration. They even experimented with an instant coffee sort of product that no-one would drink. So, it was back to the whole beans for the boys.

William McKinley, the 19 year old commissary sergeant and future president even got in on the act, delivering his regiment, the 23rd Ohio volunteers, a cup of hot coffee and food for every man while under fire during the battle of Sharpsburg.

So, for all you coffee drinkers out there, raise your cup(s) today in memory of the brave lads, and ladies, that served, sacrificed and got fueled up on some hot joe to bring us the freedoms we enjoy.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Parks, Poo and the Bookstore

This post has the word "Crap" in it.

I have a dog and enjoy having her. She is a mix of Great Dane and something else, retriever I think, and she is very pretty. I will have to post a picture for you sometime soon.

One thing that I do not enjoy about dogs is the waste they produce. We do a pretty good job these days of cleaning up the area of our yard where our dog does her business. Did you know that the City Code requires you clean up after them every two day? I think we pretty much do that.

We have a nice little park in our neighborhood. It has a swimming pool, play area, picnic tables, soccer field, mini-ball park and a 1/2 mile track around it. Diane likes to go there for her walks and I go jogging there a few times a week. But, many of the dogs showing up there bother me. If you go at certain times of day, you have to be very wary of free range dogs coming after you. The owners are always chasing after them and acting surprised. The looks on their faces say, "I can't believe my dog is actually chasing after other people and animals". Seriously people, we do still have leash laws around here and just because you want your dog to listen to you doesn't mean it will.

And then people will let their dogs crap all over the place and just leave it. I have a reputation with friends and family of being grossed out by dog crap. Just because I have made retching sounds a few times when picking it up, everyone assumes that I can't handle it. I can. I just think it is gross when it isn't where it is supposed to be.

For instance, I was recently at Bookman's, a large local used bookstore, and stepped in crap on the floor. Who lets there dog do do at the bookstore? Who even brings their dog to the bookstore. While Diane was impressed that I didn't freak out ....oh, and I was wearing sandals...she said that this was the one time I should have made a scene. Shrieks, screams, retching noises, the whole nine yards.

I think that this is another sign that people really have forgotten that other people exist. We are in need of revival.

Here, check this guy out. He might be a nut, but we do need a revival.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Back To It

We made it back from our trip to San Diego, leaving yesterday morning in time to hit the Newsboys concert here in Tucson last night.

We had a nice relaxing time and now you can look forward to regular posts on here again.

The pictures are from time spent at Coronado Beach and at a coffee shop with the niece and the fam.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


I will be away from the desk and the computer until the 8th of this month, so don't expect to hear from me until later.

But, I am sure I will have plenty to share, as always, starting back up the 9th of this November.

In the meantime, spend the week looking at the links on my page or reading the new, politically charged and locally operated Townhall Tucson blog site.

Monday, November 3, 2008

It's the End of the World as We Know it.

When I was in Bible College, Bill Clinton was elected as president. the mood on the campus was glum. The general attitude was that this certainly spelled the end of the world and the return of the Lord, which one would think would make everyone happy.

Now that we have another candidate running that many evangelical Christians disagree with and that has made disparaging comments about people clinging to religion, the attitude with many is the same.

My neighbor saw me outside of my house the other day and trooped over to let me know that he was certain that the Ezekiel 38 and 39 war with Israel was coming after Obama was elected. He explained that Obama would so weaken our economy and military that we would no longer be able to support Israel. Israel would then be forced to nuke Iran, which would lead Russia and Iran to attack Israel and begin the fulfillment of prophecy.

An interesting scenario, but I am not so certain that this is the case. Do I believe the Lord could be coming soon? Yes, I believe he could return at any time. I am one of those. However, I also believe that he could wait another while too. And I am not so certain that the Lord's plans are based on and dependent upon who we elect for president, either good or bad.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

By a Nose

My kids recently found the book Arthur's Nose at the library, and it had a page about the evolution of his nose.

In the picture's at left, A. is from the aforementioned book, from about 25 years ago. B. this is another picture of Arthur, from Arthur Goes to Camp, some years later. In picture C., from Arthur's Tooth, we see that Arthur's nose is nearly gone and his ears are smaller. D. is the current incarnation...smaller forehead and ears, missing nose, much lighter skin.

It all kind of reminded me of someone else.

Friday, October 31, 2008

The Holiday

According to the National Retail Federation, Americans will spend an estimated 5.77 Billion Dollars on Halloween this year.

A sure sign of overall economic decline.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Small Matter

We work hard to teach our children to be cognizant of and respectful towards others. Even strangers. Even in crowds and in public. I have discovered that not everyone values this. We have recently faced some annoyances, albeit minor ones, but I think they illustrate my discovery.

- For instance, at the grocery, while looking at some eggs, another woman who was also looking at eggs to make sure they were not broken set the broken ones right in front of us, as if we were not even there.

We try hard while in a public setting not to jostle, throw things on or at and not let our kids do so. Or at least have the decency to apologize when such accidents do occur.

- At a recent outdoor show, the people behind us kicked, bumped and shoved with complete oblivion.

- At another, the children behind us kicked, bumped, shoved, ran around and spilled their drinks on us. Once again, with seemingly complete oblivion that we were there.

No, I know that we are not any more invisible than anyone else. I think this sort of behavior reflects a total disregard for the fact that their are other people in the universe.

What can be done to help people understand that their are other people in the world and it really doesn't help any of us when we selfishly disregard them, even in small ways? How can we reinforce in our children that people, even those we don't know, are worthy of respect and deserve our politeness, even when so many others seem so rude?

Monday, October 27, 2008

My Endorsement

As promised, here is my presidential pick for this election and some of the reasons why:

John McCain

Here is a brief overview of the top reasons why I am picking McCain.

Life Issues
John McCain has a record of defending a pro-life position. Obama has a record of defending a pro-choice position. As someone who believes in the sanctity of life and all that, I do not feel that I can, in good conscience, vote for someone who who continue to promote the idea of abortion as a convenience.

The President may be in the position to appoint up to four supreme court justices. I believe that John McCain will appoint justices who believe that we should not kill the unborn out of convenience. Obama will not.

National Defense
John McCain realizes that, in this age of increasing global terrorism and unrest, a strong military is vital to protect our country and to ensure our ability to provide aid and protection to other countries, promoting peace in the world. Obama will not.

Economic Issues
John McCain is in favor of seeing businesses grow creating more jobs and increasing our prosperity and will work to promote policies that do just that. Obama is in favor of promoting Socialism in our economy and county.

I recently had a discussion with someone about Karl Marx. I stated that I didn't believe that his intentions were evil. I think he genuinely thought that his ideas of government would promote equality and peace. However, these ideas has been shown throughout the 20th Century to destroy wealth, rather than redistribute it and they lead to violent discontent, increased government bureaucracy, and a gross lack of freedom.

I am simply not in favor of government deciding who has too much money and who doesn't have enough and then deciding who gets what. The whole philosophy of Socialism comes from a lack of understanding about where wealth comes from, how it increases and decreases and why our nation has been so prosperous for so long.

John McCain will promote economic prosperity, while Barack Obama will promote Marxist ideology.

These are the primary three issues for me, with Life Issues having primacy.

I am also concerned about these issues:
Enviromental Concerns- I do not think either candidate or party is not concerned about this.
Energy Issues - we are much too dependent on foreign oil for our energy. John McCain has sensible energy plans to increase our independence in safe and desperately needed ways.
Personal Concerns - I am concerned about Barack Obama's affilition with Weatherman Terrorist Willian Ayers, his 20 years of attendance at Jeremiah Wright's weekly anti-American rallys and his deep affiliation with Acorn, that seems to have some very troubling practices.
Religious Freedom - Another issue that always concerns me when discussing politics. Once again, I hope that both candidates have a concern for this issue.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The First Five of the Last Mimzy

Ever walked out of a movie theater in the middle of a movie?

I have recently turned off a couple of movies because of their offensive nature. I don't get offended easily. I work around a bunch of guys that swear like sailors. In fact, the guy I am usually partnered up with used to be a sailor. It doesn't bother me that he and they swear.

I am more offended by the cultural forces that have made this sort of behavior and speech perfectly normal. The Hollywood movie producers, for instance, who seem to think that it is perfectly normal to swear like sailors and have the morals of a drunken whore.

William Wilberforce, the man who almost championed abolition in Great Britain said "God Almighty has placed before me two great objects: the suppression of the Slave Trade and the Reformation of Manners (morals)." I find it interesting that he placed the reformation of manners and morals on par with the suppression of the slave trade.

The being said, the only movie I ever walked out on, that I can recall, was The Last Mimzy. It was just boring and stupid. After the first five minutes I was ready to go. I waited another five to see if it got any better. It did not. I then waited another five before I brought it up to Diane, who was thinking the same thing.

Turns out that, like many in our culture, I am more likely to be offended by being bored that by being cussed out.

Coming Soon!

As I mentioned, I will blog about who I plan on endorsing for president. Since Colin Powell made his choice known, I will do the same on Monday. I will also include a few reasons why I am making the choice I am.

As I said, Who my choice is will come as no surprise to many of you and little surprise to the rest.

Here is something that does not affect my decision.

The "Race" issue.

I have heard of people that plan on voting for Obama because of his race. Many "African- Americans" have reportedly said they are voting for him because he is black...or half black....and it is time to have a half-black president.

This is perhaps the most foolish thing I have heard of yet. If someone is truly making voting decisions based on race then they are either idiots or racists (which, in my opinion, is synonymous with idiots).

Likewise, I am sure their are pockets of white supremacists here and there that have discounted Obama out of hand simply because of his racial mixture. See the previous paragraph for my thoughts on them.

So, check in again.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Club your Friends

Our Daughter Emily is working on starting a writing club. So, on Wednesday, she and her sister sat with five friends in the back room of the local library and worked on stories.

They say that perfect practice makes perfect, which is true. If you continually practice something, but do it in a wrong manner, your actually reinforcing your mistakes, rather than improving your skills. When I read Emily and her friends stories, I find plenty of spelling, punctuation, grammer, syntax and thematic errors. I am tempted to think that they might just be making themselves worse.

Writing, however, is a bit different. The most important skill is creativity. The other things are merely tools to convey your creativity in a coherent manner. If someone continues to trigger their creativity, writing becomes more and more natural, regardless of the correctable errors in the tools.

Here is one of my favorites of hers so far:

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

To have a world of your own. . .

Is to use imagination.

Is to feel magic.

Is to have a place that is
Yours to keep.

To ride with dragons,

To dance with Faeries,

To sing with birds,

To hear the music and feel the kiss of
The Wind, Rain, Flower,
And Star.
A world of your own,
Is to make up new;

To laugh with the sea,
That is what having a world of your
Own is.

And here is her blog.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I had to do it....we came up with it with the help of Agent and Mrs. Pipes

SPINGA is a game that no fun-loving household should have. Behind its seemingly simple exterior there’s a surprisingly stupid game in which not much happens at all. SPIN_GA is an ideal way to waste quality time with family or friends.

Much like other block stacking games, you play by removing blocks from lower levels and placing them on top. But, it has a twist....literally. While you are doing this, the whole game spins around on a lazy Susan type support structure. Wow! A game that is almost exactly like Jenga, but it spins! It's SPENGA!

Listen to what actual players have said about SPIN-GA:

"This game is p***ing me off!"

"Whose stupid idea was this, anyways?"

"Can we do something else now?"

Yes, you and your friends will be sorry you ever got together for game night when you try SPIN_GA. So gather your friends or family and get ready for some real "edge-of-your-seat" fun!

For best results, play while drunk.

Also coming soon from SpinBro games:
SPINABLE - Make words from different letters on a spinning board.
SPOKER - Bet your friends real money that your cards are better than theirs, while the deck spins around!!!
And for Kids:

SPINBRO ... We make games a little dumber

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Crime Spree

I recently heard Ethan Orr (Executive Director For Linkages, here in Tucson) point out the following:
Statistically, most crime is committed by a certain demographic, the 16-24 year old male group.

Local Law Enforcement officials have touted a drop in crime over the past few years. This drop in crime also happens to coincide with a drop in males age 16-24 in our community.

In the next several years, there will be a spike in males age 16-24. Will crime spike as well?

Our Sheriff has pointed out how much lower the crime rate is in the unincorporated areas of the County than it is in the City. While I appreciate the efforts of all the Deputies, I wonder if the demographics reflect a lower rate of males age 16-24 in the County than in the City limits.

Expelled on Video Now

Friday, October 17, 2008

Now you can see the video

I emailed KVOA and they put the video up for the thing about our unit. It looks like you can't embed it, so follow the link and click on the video. It makes us look cool. You can also listen to the 911 call.

Here is the link.

My Dad would have liked this place

We took the Drive (about a two hour one) to Ft. Bowie yesterday. It is 1.5 mile hike to the fort from the trail head, so it was a good start of the hiking season for our crew.

Along the way, there are signposts and sites for some of the history that occurred here, including:
the spot where Cochise was captured by and escaped from U.S. troops and the Bascom Affair begun, a Butterfield Stage post, an old miner's cabin, the post cemetery, which, among others, holds the remains of medal of honor winner O.O. Spence, a mock-up of an Apache wikiup, info about the doings of Geronimo in the area, and Apache Springs where California troopers on the way to New Mexico during the Civil War were attacked by Apaches.

We also saw and held a couple of Great Horned Lizard, one of which is blurrily pictured above, saw a dead snake and plenty of wasps, bees and grasshoppers.

But, what everyone, myself included, probably enjoyed the most was blowing the bugle at the visitor center.