Friday, July 30, 2010

The Fate of All rests in the balance

I got word yesterday and saw an article in our local news that the local Sun Tran bus workers may go on strike next week.

It seems that public transportation here has never quite lived up to it's ideals and expectations. I know that there are places where the public transit is well used and often a preferable way of commuting than jumping in your own car. This is how it is designed to be, I think. If we have more buses, in theory, fewer people should be driving on the roads. Less pollution, less traffic, fewer accidents and numerous other benefits.

In practice, around here, it seems to be the people who wouldn't go anywhere in a car that hop on a bus to scoot around town. So, instead of alleviating traffic, it just throws in some behemoths that stop in front of everyone else, every block or so, making cars and bicycles furiously jockey around them. They also cruise straight through the turn lanes and act as if they have the right of way in all situations.

Don't misunderstand, I really do think it would be handy if we could find some reliable way to get people to their destination without having so may cars on the road, but this bus system does not seem to be the answer to that problem. And, I am not opposed to people being able to travel around on the bus if they have no other way to get from here to there. I have done it myself on occasion.

But, I don't plan on being sad if the drivers all strike and the buses are out of the way for a while.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A Ringing Endorsement

The news coverage is especially loud today on the much covered SB-1070 law in Arizona since a federal judge has issued an injunction on some of the provisions of the law.

We also have seen that people have many different views of the law. Some believe it is racist and discriminatory, some believe that is it necessary since the federal government is obviously letting us down in enforcing federal immigration law.

Our county sheriff has expressed his opinion that the law is unnecessary since our department is already doing all it can in regards to this matter and routinely has, and continues to, turn over suspected illegal immigrants to Border Patrol. A practice which would not be affected whether this law is in place or not, and the law might add additional burdens and liability to the law enforcement community and the county.

While Diane and I were on 4th Avenue yesterday, we heard a ringing endorsement for the new law.

A group (when I say group, I mean a knot of six or seven people) were marching down the sidewalk carrying a banner that read "We are all illegal" and something about how SB1070 was racist. A girl in front was shouting into a bullhorn about how we should have "no more nations, no more banks" and, I am not sure, but I think it was followed by "no more teachers dirty looks" or something like that.

We were then approached by the "protesters". My personal representative was a young guy explaining how there was to be a rally at the Main Library and I could come to hear about the racist new law and how I could help defeat it. Diane's was a young lady that she described as so "cute and earnest," as she let Diane know about the rally and told her she could come to the rally too. Awwww, how sweet.

Looking at the literature and listening to their description of the rally, we saw that Travis Morales, the almost-famous communist agitator would be the keynote speaker at the rally.

When I call him communist, you may think I am using hyperbole to make my point. But, alas, no. Travis Morales is a real-live, sort of well known supporter and rabble-rouser with the Revolutionary Communist Party.

If the communists (the same people who brought us gulags and mass executions that rival, and probably surpass the Nazis, for those that don't agree with their views, the destruction of free markets, the Berlin Wall, massive corruption, widespread poverty, etc.) are opposed to this new law, then it seems to be a ringing endorsement for the law.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


The agency I work for recently gave me a second trauma kit and some more rudimentary training in how to use it in case of gun shots, knife wounds, loss of consciousness, a tension pneumothorax, etc.

The first kit they gave us includes a nasopharyngeal airway, a decompression needle and both kits include Quickclot combat gauze, a tourniquet, Isreali bandages and a couple of other first aid items.

The Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TC3) class I attended included watching videos of blood clotting agents utilized on piggies (not toes, the animals) and instructions on how to use all the gadgetry in the kit. Last week, I got a new kit and some videos on how to self apply the tourniquet in a tactical setting and how to apply the "Isreali bandage".

So, I was all ready to apply my new skills yesterday when Abigail came into the house with blood dripping onto the floor. She had been working on cutting some tree branches with her knife when she cut her finger.

I followed her into the bathroom where she began to run the wound under water. Since it was still bleeding, I got her some tissue and told her she needed to put some direct pressure onto it.

I then began to assess her. Maybe a little too vigorously.

She was breathing fine....airway, breathing, check......
No cyanosis in the lips or fingers, so her circulation must be fine.......
The blood flow was checked..........
I asked her if she hurt anywhere else...
"No", she said, irritably.

I asked if she needed to sit down or is she was feeling faint. It wasn't bleeding that much, but she could be going into volemic shock. She is small..........
I checked to see if the color was drained from her face. I looked for other injuries. Maybe I should get my trauma kit out.....

"DAD!" She finally said. "You are acting like I cut myself in half!"

I left he alone after that.

It seems when we get a new set of skills and tools that we are excited about, we can overreact in our application of them.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Beauty of God

Perhaps you have seen this story.

A couple in Great Britain that is decidedly not white gave birth to a very white young girl yesterday in South London.

This young lady was named Nmachi, which means "Beauty of God."

Here is the video of the story: Video,

and here is the original report, from The Sun: Article

Genetics may be exact, but we do not know exactly how it works.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Clearly You Have Never Been To Singapore

I think it is nearly time I told you about when my brother in law had to wrestle a crab to recover a diamond ring for a man who had to have a diver try to locate the ring he had lost on a fishing trip.

I am not sure who, except for someone who wants to lose it, takes a diamond ring on a fishing trip.

It is nearly time, but not quite time yet.......

Friday, July 16, 2010

A Slice of Literacy over demagoguery

No Mas Muertes, mistakenly called No Mas Derechos by one of my co-workers, started a campaign of businesses opposed to the new Arizona Law, SB-1070. The campaign, entitled "We Mean Business". had some ninety local business owners putting signs up in their windows indicating that they did not support the new law.

Recently, the owner of the Brooklyn Pizza Company on 4th avenue garnered some publicity when he announced that he would take down the sign he had put up and no longer support the campaign. According to him, he came to this decision after reading the bill and discovering that it did not call for manhunts of anyone that had brown pigmentation and did not advocate the mass murder of all boys between the ages of 1 and 5.

If you are concerned about the arm of the law dragging anyone not quite white from their hearth and home, maybe you too should read the wording of the law, set to take effect on July 29th.
You can find it here:

And here is an article about the Pizza guy:

Business owner defects from anti-SB 1070 campaign

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

On My Honor....I will get us a kickback.

I mentioned to you that I was on a trip to Nebraska. Joining us in my hometown of McCook was Senator Ben Nelson.

The honorable Mr. Nelson was there to dedicate a statue depicting him having his Eagle Scout Badge being pinned on him by his parents, which was being dedicated over the weekend. The statue was entitled "On My Honor".

You may remember Senator Nelson as the man who refused to sign the healthcare bill, on his honor, until certain restrictions on abortion were met and the state was promised extra medicare payments for the citizenry of Nebraska. The media dubbed this the "Cornhusker Kickback".

The kickback was later voided, but the healthcare bill was already signed. I never did hear Nelson complain about the kickback being voided.

The statue was dedicated in front of his childhood home, which was moved right next door to where Tammy Scarborough used to live. Tammy was always nice and so I always liked her house. And, her Dad worked at Ben Franklin and would always help us find the things we needed. I don't know whose house they had to kickback in order to put his old house in that spot.

Since this street, known as Norris avenue (named after the former Senator of the same name, George Norris), already has the old house of one previous senator, maybe the town thought that it would be good to let Mr. Nelson know that they thought he should be the next previous Senator to have his old house on this street.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Don't try this at home.

On our trip today, Diane was kind enough to drive for awhile, so did some reading in between Las Vegas and Truth or Consequences, both in New Mexico.

One of the selections I took in was from the book of 1st Samuel in the Old Testament.

Chapter 28 verses 7-20 has a particularly odd account of how Saul, the King, is so concerned about an upcoming battle that he sneaks off to see the local witch to get some news. Of course, God has prohibited his followers from looking to witchcraft, divination, etc., but Saul's favorite prophet had died and he had already shown on more than one occasion that he wasn't all that concerned with what God wanted.

So, he asks the witch to conjure up the spirit of the prophet Samuel and she starts doing her rattling, shaking, chanting thing or whatever she usually does when someone asks to talk with a dearly departed grandma or whomever.

The weird thing is, Samuel shows up and starts getting on Saul's case for bothering him in his eternal reward.

Does that not seem weird to you? Can witches really bring up the spirit of your dead loved ones, or trusted advisers or whomever?

When Samuel does show up, the witch seems genuinely surprised, so maybe that gives us some insight into her confidence in her own ability to actually talk to people on the other side of the curtain.

In case you are misreading my post, I do know you should not get involved with witchcraft......just thought I would throw that out for you.

If you want a more biblical answer beyond my thought provoking intro to the story, check this out:

Did the witch of Endor really summon Samuel from the dead (1 Samuel 28:7-20)?

Saturday, July 10, 2010

How the Mighty Are Fallen!

If you don't know, I spent a few years in Safford Arizona as the Pastor of a small Evangelical Free Church before we moved to Sacramento to start the SouthPort Community Church.

The Church in Safford was in a sad state when I arrived and things did not exactly improve after we arrived. After we were there about a year, the district superintendent let us know that the plan was to close the Church until we decided to come along. Then, they thought they would give it a go and let us ride the sinking vessel all the way to the bottom, which we did.

Although I have some gruesome memories of that place, there were some bright spots. One bright spot, actually more like a shining star, was my friend Richard Hughes. He was, as his son in law put it today, one of the best men I have ever known.

I just received word that Richard passed away this morning after dealing with years of illness. Although this was "expected", it still comes as a blow to hear. He was one of my favorite people from that town and from any of the places we have been since then. He was a man who was always loving and always firmly in your corner regardless of what had happened in the past, which made him one of the best friends a person could have.

One of my favorite memories is riding back with him from summer camp in one of his trouble prone vans. On this particular trip, the van sprung a radiator leak and we got to limp through the mountains adding water, which we picked up gallons of in water bottles along the way, and trying to patch the thing up.

Along the way, we stopped at some favorite spots of his, including La Casa Reynosa in Globe and some rivers and camping spots he said he hadn't seen in years. I also got to hear all about each of his kids and the love he had for each of them was palpable. He inspired me to be a better father and a better husband.

I don't remember if he got to meet my Dad when my Dad came to visit us while we lived in Safford, but I am sure they will get a chance to hang out now and talk about things that have gone on with their families and in their lives as they share the reward the Lord has for them.

Richard, we will miss you! Probably more than we even yet realize. I look forward to seeing you again!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

O.P.M. (Other People's Memories)

When we travel, for some reason we regularly end up browsing in some of the local antique shops. Last night, we hit the local Brass Armadillo in Golden, Colorado.

While browsing around in this enormous antique mall, I was struck by the number of old photographs that were for sale. You could get pictures of Army Units, like the one pictured here, photos with a note to friends and sweethearts, old men, babies, fashionable ladies, people in front of the homestead...all manner of old pictures really.

I thought this seemed a little sad. When does it come time for your family photos to end up fodder for an antique dealer? Shouldn't these pictures be in someone's home where they can point out what Uncle Harry looked like when he was in the war or the house that Great-Grandma May lived in?

I couldn't help but wonder what had happened to the families that should have cherished some of these pictures instead of leaving me to ponder other people's memories.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

I was sure no-one remembered that.

I think I have it. I saw that someone was coming to my old hometown and he was billed as a humorist. Apparently a humorist is someone who is not quite as funny as a stand up comedian and kind of rambles on with stories that are not really funny, but mildly amusing. I have only ever heard of them in the midwest, because they can't quite get the funny guys to come out there. I think I could do that.

From some of my earliest speeches, I have had the ability to make people laugh. Someone reminded me of a particular one the other day, in downtown McCook, Nebraska.

I was in a Speech and Drama class giving my speech, which we were supposed to take up to some other small Nebraska town for a school speech competition. Giving it in class was to be the dry run to show the teacher what we had prepared and to let her give us some critiques so we could shine over all the other Nebraska high school speech luminaries.

My speech was entitled "Poverty in America". Now, I know this is a serious subject and I really didn't mean to make light of it, but it somehow, light-making happened.

My opening included a story about when I was with my parents going to The Pantry, one of my dad's favorite restaurants in the L.A. area. As we were leaving, we saw a homeless guy rooting around for food in the dumpster. I think we turned over a piece of leftover garlic bread that I planned on eating later to the homeless guy. This was my introduction to both poverty in America and my speech of the same name.

For some reason, the guys in the class thought this was among the funniest things they had ever heard. After trying everything to get them to stop laughing, including having them turn their desks around backwards when I said that I was laughing because they were (Did this really seem like a good idea?), the teacher finally made me come back after school to finish my speech.

Our poor teacher wouldn't even come watch my speech at the competition. But, I did get a superior rating. Apparently they didn't find it as funny up there.

I'll tell you about some more of my notorious speeches later. But for now, I have to get on with my vacation.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Missed it by that much

You may or may not recognize the name Wes Studi, but surely you recognize him when you see his picture.

He is one of those guys that ends up being asked to play in all the Native American type movies and does an excellent job. I think my favorite is his portrayal of Magua in the epic Last of the Mohicans.

As we drove on our trip, we were ready to call an end to the first of driving right around the time we landed in Roswell, NM. Unbeknownst to us, this weekend is also the weekend of the celebrated Roswell UFO Festival.

I never would have known it, but Wes Studi also had a role in Avatar. I think I didn't recognize him because he was green and morphed by a computer. But, that role, and his fame, qualify him to be a celebrity guest at this year's festival.

Also appearing around town, Adrienne Barbeau, whom I know as having starred in Swamp Thing a very long time ago, Julian Sands, the recognizable and vaguely familiar thin British actor from odd movies and the Marvel Comic Book Characters.

Unfortunately, or some might say fortunately, we had to push on after an overpriced night's stay and missed the entire festival.