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.