Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Friday, December 31, 2004

In Buenos Aires, 175 people died and at least 700 are injured when a fire broke out in a nightclub full of teenagers. It seems four of the exits were padlocked, and when the foam ceiling caught fire by a flare (!), no one could use those exits. Around 4,000 kids were there to hear a popular music group, Los Callajeros. Frankly it's a miracle more kids weren't killed. The building's capacity is 1,500. Police want to talk to the owner of the club, who, amazingly, has disappeared. When they find him, they should let the parents of the dead kids have him. Then they could execute any parts that were left when they were done.

We got an e-mail from a man in Maplewood, New Jersey, who is a leukemia survivor. He's spreading the word about a woman named Wendi Friesen. She operates an internet company, which I will not link to, which sends out $29 CDs, claiming these CDs will cure leukemia and chronic illnesses. Here's a quote from her website:
"One of our best selling CDs. Designed for those with cancer, chronic or other serious illness, this program inspires you to choose LIFE, stimulates your immune system to fight, and some say ... creates miracles. Three sessions, one will access your ability to heal, the second will strengthen your immune system, another will cleanse your body of bacteria, viruses and toxins. This process can help to speed the healing of surgery, illness, or even a cold or sore throat."
This is preposterous. Listening to a CD will not cleanse your body of a virus. I don't care how good the content is. Of course, she very carefully words her website. She's very good; her words can be taken more than one way, especially by someone with no medical knowledge.
Physicians around the country refer their patients to me to help resolve the emotional issues connected with illness. When I work with a client, we resolve the emotional causes for the illness, restore the immune system to a healthy balance and speed healing of injuries or surgery.

Your subconscious mind has tremendous healing power. You already know that. Know you can learn how to use it. The stories I hear are miraculous. I have received wonderful letters from all over the world- people who have used my healing hypnotherapy CDs, find that they heal faster after surgery, release chronic pain, get rid of headaches, balance immune function- which you know affects arthritis, fibromyalgia, Irritable Bowel syndrome, cancer and just about every illness we suffer from.
This does seem to imply that positive thinking (and her CD) can cure diseases. Penn & Teller debunked her "practice" recently, and here's what she had to say in reply:
OK, so the cure thing- NO, I NEVER, EVER tell anyone that I can heal or cure cancer. I work hand in hand with doctors when I have a client with cancer. Their doctor's love what I do, and are very supportive. Yes, the word cancerous cells is used on the CD, but only in the imagery with these words-
"any harmful cells, harmful bacteria, viruses or cancerous celles are swept from your body and collected in the disk of light, leaving healthy and vibrant cells.... " and so on.
I think I know where Bill Clinton learned to parse sentences now. The only good thing here is that she's advertising on Air America; how many people could she really be reaching? However, anyone who has one of the cancers she can supposedly affect should really go to a physician for help. It might cost a little more than a CD, but it will be worth it.

The last Carnival of the Recipes is up now. Get 'em while they last! Last chance this year! Hurry!

Hi everybody! I'm back from a couple of days of forced vacation from telephone lines. Believe it or not, I missed you guys. I really missed being able to read the news online, and had to depend on the MSM, which threw me about two days behind. The news on the tsunami just keeps getting worse. The last count I heard was over 150,000, with some reporting they estimate it will reach 400,000. I pray they're wrong.

On a bright spot, ABC News has declared bloggers the 2004 People of the Year. Most credit goes to the bloggers who broke the Dan Rather "memogate" story; the bloggers who are covering first-hand the devastation in Asia are also getting credit. I'd like to give a little of the credit to those little bloggers, without whom the big guys would vanish, since they depend on us the way whales depend on tiny fish to clean their teeth. I know that sounds stupid; I don't care. Here's praying that 2005 will be a much better year for all of us.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Is it just me, or is "stingy" really a strange word? I mean, it can be pronounced stin-jee, as in cheap, penny pinching, miserly; or it can be pronounced stin-gee, as in how a bee acts. All in all, a very strange word.

Officials in Thailand had a meeting after the initial earthquake as to whether to issue warnings to the coastal areas, but they decided against it. This was partially because of bad information (they thought the earthquake was of a lesser magnitude), and partially because the tourism industry could be hurt by an evacuation. (The same thing happened in "Jaws". The business owners didn't want to close the beaches, and look what happened.)

Anyway, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration sent out warnings when the quake registered, but we weren't really sure who to send the warnings to. After all, it was on the other side of the world.

Naturally, the moonbats are out in force on this story. By this time Friday, President Bush will have caused the earthquake. How do these people get through the day?

I was just reading this story on the various ways different cities in Pennsylvania ring in the New Year. For those of you who are afraid of clicking a link lest your computer should fry, here's a brief rundown from the story:

Mechanicsburg - dropping a wrench.

Harrisburg - dropping a strawberry.

Lancaster - raising a red rose.

York - dropping a white rose into a giant vase.

Elizabethtown - dropping a huge M&M.

Falmouth - lowering a stuffed goat.

Manheim - raising an orb.

Dillsburg - lowering a pickle.

Red Lion - raising a cigar.

Middletown - dropping a ball.

Hummelstown - dropping a lollipop.

Lebanon - dropping a 7 1/2 foot long bologna.

Cleona - dropping a pretzel from the fire station tower.

Shippensburg - dropping an anchor.

Newville - dropping a big spring.

New Bloomfield - dropping a large huckleberry.

Duncannon - dropping a sled.

Blain - dropping a wooden cow from a silo.

Liverpool - dropping a canal boat.

Here in the Ozarks, we don't do anything quite so exciting. Springfield has what they call "First Night", which starts about 5 p.m. All the center city pubs, restaurants, theaters, gyms, etc., open and have special programming all evening with dances, plays, many kinds of music, and so on, for all ages. Then at midnight, there is a fireworks display in the park. Here at Grandma's House, we watch the ball drop on Times Square on television, say "Happy New Year" to each other, and finish whatever we were doing before midnight. Sounds boring to you, but we like it.

Matt at Overtaken by Events has a special bleg going right now, to raise money to help an orphanage hit hard by the tsunami. If you can spare a couple of bucks, click on the link and help the kids. It's bad enough to lose your parents, but to lose absolutely everything is harder on kids than adults. Kids don't have as many options for coping as adults do, not that adults always use them. Let's help these little ones.

The most beautiful mornings of winter are the ones when a fog has frozen on all the trees, plants, and fence lines in view. Then when the sun comes up, it's like a crystal wonderland has appeared overnight. That's what happened to this tree, which is backlit by the city lights in Billings, Montana. The photo is called Fire And Ice. Enjoy it. There aren't that many good things about winter. You've got the crystal mornings (only good when you don't have to go out), the bugs all die off, the kids are in school, you get to wear really soft, woolly sweaters. That's about it.

At least for me. I manage to get through winter by counting off the special days: Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years Day (rose parade), (then a long wait), Daytona 500, then March Madness. Then it's Spring. Yes, I did leave out Valentine's Day. We don't celebrate it. My husband gives me special gifts throughout the year for no particular reason. Plus, we both feel like Valentine's Day is a ripoff. Who wants to force a guy to buy you a gift? I'd rather get it without asking, thank you.

The British radio station Planet Rock took a survey as to the top ten greatest rock and roll songs of all time (!). Of course, your list will probably differ; I know I would have left off one or two of these. Here's their list:











Okay, that's their list. What about yours? And remember, we're talking rock and roll, not hip hop or rap or any of that stuff. Some of that's not really music.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

One last Christmas post. Here are the lyrics to a song you never hear at Christmas anymore, and I don't really understand why. It was written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow during the Civil War:
I heard the bells on Christmas day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along the unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

Till ringing, singing on its way
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

And in despair I bowed my head
“There is no peace on earth,” I said,
“For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.”

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
With peace on earth, good will to men.”
Especially at times like today, with all the death and destruction, we need to remember the words to this song, and hang on to the hope therein.

Week 16 of the NFL season is over; one week left in the regular season. Here are the standings here at the old grandfolks' house:

Sir Mugley 1186 points
Me 1316 points

I really made progress this week, thanks to Jacksonville not scoring a single point. Go Jaguars!

This guy needs to learn the "reason for the season":
A man angry that he got no presents for Christmas burned down his parents' house early the next morning, police said.
Fortunately, no one was injured. What do you want to bet he doesn't get any presents next year either?

You know, what applies to children should probably also apply to dogs.
Michael Henson, whose truck had a sticking throttle, brought his dog along for company when he drove to O'Reilly Auto Parts store in Springdale on Sunday.

"He'd left the truck running — I guess to show the people at O'Reilly's — and the dog jumped over and knocked the truck into gear," Springdale police Sgt. Billy Turnbough said.

The truck raced into the building, stunning Henson and clerk Josh Hopper.

"The guy said he was standing there, looked up, and saw his dog driving his truck through the building," Turnbough said.
I'm sorry, but picturing that in my head makes me laugh. Does this mean I'm a bad person (chortle)?

Several notable persons have passed away lately:

Richard Beckman, a well-known sculptor, died at the age of 47 of an apparent suicide.

John Deardourff, political consultant to President Ford, died of cancer at the age of 61.

Hank Garland, very well-known guitarist, died at 74 of a staph infection. Mr. Garland played guitar with the likes of Elvis Presley, Everly Brothers, Roy Orbison, Patsy Cline, Charlie Parker, etc.

Jane Muskie, wife of the late Presidential contender Edmund Muskie, died of Alzheimer's disease at 77.

Samuel Roseberry, World War I veteran, died at the age of 106. He was awarded the National Order of the Legion of Honor by France for his service, even though he lied about his age so he could enlist.

Susan Sontag, activist and intellectual, died of leukemia at 71.

Doug Ault, former Toronto Blue Jay, died at 54 of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

And the death toll from the earthquake/tsunami combo is now more than 52,000.

I think that's enough death for one day. I'll try to write something cheerful now.

This is absolutely outrageous! If you're going to be in Houston, or live there now, for pity's sake don't get on the freeway if there's the slightest chance you could have a flat tire or run out of gas. It will cost you a fortune. The city's new towing ordinance forbids changing your own tire on the side of the road, or walking down the road to get some gas. You can't even call your own tow truck. The city has signed contracts with towing companies who will be patrolling the freeways.
The 11 companies that have the new city towing contracts are required to respond to all disabled vehicles within six minutes and promptly get them off the highway once authorized by a police officer at Houston TranStar, the region's traffic-control center.
Now this is where it bites you in the butt.
Drivers will be able to say where their cars should be taken, within 30 miles. They'll be charged $75 for the first five miles and $1.50 per mile thereafter.
So even if they just push you down the off ramp, it's gonna cost you $75. That's pathetic! But don't worry, the tow truck driver will show some compassion.
"We are going to attempt to move those vehicles immediately, even if it's just off the freeway to a safe location," said Ken Ulmer, president of A-1 Towing, which holds the towing contracts for parts of the Katy Freeway. "For that towing fee of $75, we would change the tire for the consumer."
Isn't that just the sweetest thing you've ever heard? What's that you say? What if you don't have that kind of cash on you?
Tow trucks participating in the freeway towing program, dubbed "Safe Clear," will be required to accept credit cards and checks. Typically wreckers only accept cash and impound vehicles if motorists don't have it.

Motorists still face temporary seizure of their vehicle if they lack any form of payment. They will have to pick up their cars from storage lots, paying a storage fee in addition to the standard towing rate. Or a car can be sent to a mechanic, who will add the towing charge to the invoice for repairs needed.
So, to recap, if you have a flat, rather than take five minutes to change the tire yourself, you have to let someone not of your choosing tow your car off the freeway at a cost of $75 (or more if it's over five miles to the exit), and if you don't have the money, you'll have to watch them impound your car, which will cost you even more money. But what if you belong to AAA? It doesn't matter. You won't be allowed to wait for them. You'll just have to hope they will reimburse you for the tow. But the city doesn't want you to think they're completely heartless.
The $75 base tow fee is a reduction from the Houston Police Department's current $115 authorized charge.

Larry Svoboda is a very lucky man. At his retirement, he received a gift from a coin-trading friend who'd picked them up for a small amount of money in China. One of the coins was an 1804 silver dollar, of which only 15 were ever made. It's estimated to be worth about 4.5 million dollars. Why can't I be that lucky? Mr. Svoboda plans to split the proceeds of the sale with the gift giver, as well as share the wealth with his family and some charities.

At last count, more than 22,000 people have lost their lives in the earthquake/tsunami/tidal waves in Indonesia. If you want to help, and God knows they need help, Michele at A Small Victory has a list of the various organizations that are collecting money to help the victims and their families. Give if you can, pray if you will. They need all of both they can get.

Monday, December 27, 2004

The king of the whitetails is no more: A 7 1/2-year-old monster buck named Goliath, allegedly stolen in 1999 and then returned to the ranch where he was raised, has died. The massive deer died Dec. 6; tests will determine the cause. The life span of a deer is 10 to 15 years.

George Carlin is checking himself into rehab to break his addiction to wine and painkillers. He's doing it voluntarily, which is a good thing. He has had two heart attacks in the past, so he really shouldn't be drinking anyway. But that's beside the point. The point of this post is that the press will praise him for this move, even though they have villified Rush Limbaugh for the same thing. But that's different, right?

Looks like Teresa Heinz Kerry wants her son Chris Heinz to run against Rick Santorum in the next Pennsylvania House election. She thinks Rick Santorum will be easy to beat. Let's try to show her she's wrong.

The Military Times took a survey of the average soldier-on-the-street, so to speak. Amazingly, the majority of the soldiers polled don't blame President Bush or Donald Rumsfeld for their armor woes.
Sixty percent blame Congress for the shortage of body armor in the combat zone, reports USA Today in its coverage of the Times survey.

In more bad news for congressional Iraq War critics, 63 percent of active duty personnel said they approve of the way President Bush is handling the war. Further confounding media attempts to demoralize the troops, 66 percent of soldiers surveyed say the war is worth fighting.

In addition, 87 percent of soldiers say they're satisfied with their jobs and, if given the choice today, only a quarter of troops surveyed say they'd leave the service. The latter number is particularly impressive, considering that nearly half say they expect to be there more than five years.
Now why don't the mainstream media feel the same way? They seem to think the numbers should be the other way around!

Sondra K's got a brand new puppy! He's so cute, but he hasn't got a name yet. Go on over and help her come up with a good one for a Republican dog.

Congratulations to Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts, who broke Dan Marino's record by passing 49 touchdown passes in one season. Great Job!

They've banned pencil sharpeners, some schools won't let you have scissors. Now, some schools in Florida have banned rubber bands, since they can be used to shoot papers wads at people. What's next? Why haven't they banned pencils and pens? Surely an eye could be put out with one of those. And what about paints? They're bound to be used to inflict graffiti on someone or someone's property. People, grow up! Kids are not going to learn how to handle these things if they aren't taught. They can't be taught if they are not available.

Sunday, December 26, 2004

When children are left to their own devices, they will inevitably find a way to get into trouble. This is what happened to an 11 year old boy in Kansas City. He and his friends were riding their bikes, and got bored. So they climbed up on the roof of a shopping center. Unfortunately, the boy stepped in the wrong place, and fell through a skylight.
Police said the 11-year-old boy suffered several fractures to his head and face and lost at least one tooth. He also had a broken pelvis, broken arm, broken leg and broken wrist. He was at a Kansas City hospital Saturday night.
Merry Christmas to his family, right?

It's been a hard day mortality-wise. The 8.9 magnitude earthquake has killed more than 12,000 people in Indonesia, while here at home we've lost two well-known personalities. In today's Obituaries in the News, former Green Bay Packer Reggie White passed away at the age of 43. Since his retirement from football, he worked day in and day out with inner city children, and will be sorely missed. In the medical field, Dr. Jonathan Drummond-Webb, a cardiac and pediatric surgeon, committed suicide at the age of 45. Dr. Drummond-Webb had an excellent reputation in the surgical field, with a mortality rate of only 2%. That is phenomenal, considering the high-risk patients he dealt with. His skills cannot be replaced. Our condolences go out to all of the families of the lost in this post. Any time of year it's hard to lose someone; around Christmas seems especially tough.

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Today just wasn't a very good day for the airline industry. An airliner in Richmond, Virginia was trying to make a u-turn and got stuck in the mud, delaying about 100 other flights. But that was nothing, compared to the kerfuffle at Delta's Comair airline. A computer glitch grounded 1,100 flights, leaving people stranded all over the country. In addition, US Airways had people and luggage stranded in Philadelphia for the third straight day. Are we sure Norm Mineta was the right person to head the FAA? I think not.

I had a very quiet Christmas after all. We slept late, and then were supposed to go to my daughter's house for dinner. I didn't get to go; for some reason, my lunch didn't set right and I spent the afternoon in the bathroom. However, Sir Mugley went and the kids had a wonderful time. And I didn't have to cook dinner. My daughter sent a present home for me. I got a stocking full of Almond Joy mini-bars, a big can of French Vanilla capuccino, and an orange. That was, frankly, more than I expected. I got to talk to my grandson's this evening (see pic below). They all love me and miss me and when are they gonna get to see me? That's a hard question to deal with. But I love them. Both my daughter and son are sick right now, so it's a good thing I didn't go to her house. I decided to sit back and watch "Sound of Music" this evening, after that beautiful football game. Did you see the Chiefs beat Oakland? I tell you, Oakland is my favorite team to see beaten by the Chiefs, with Denver coming in second. I don't know why I don't like Denver, I just don't. But Oakland has been a nasty team for many many years. I'm always glad when they lose.

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas, and everyone traveled without incident. I plan on having a silent night now. I might blog a little, but there's not much news out there.

Do you think the folks in south Texas and Louisiana enjoyed the snow they got for Christmas? We were supposed to get some snow the other day, but it all went to the south. Y'all are welcome to it. I won't miss it at all. We'll get more than our fair share over the next couple of months.

Be sure you go over and check out Doc's Office, as he's written a superb rebuttal to Gena Caponi-Tabery who feels like she should only pray in church. He's also started a new feature in his blog. He'll be posting some of the beautiful lyrics to hymns which are, for the most part, no longer in hymnals. Look for his weekly hymn to remember.

Theh bloggers novella is finally finished. You can read chapters 1-4 here. Velociman penned Chapter 5, and Mr. Helpful wrote Chapter 6. I'm looking forward to seeing if they try this again.

For some reason there seems to be a lot of stories about cars going into rivers, canals, etc. today. In Baton Rouge, a McDonald's employee pulled a drunk driver from his car about 10 feet before it plunged into a canal.
"He saved that man's life," fellow McDonald's employee Priscilla Morgan said of co-worker Tonio Harris.

The pair were working early Thursday morning when driver Brian Broussard, 20, pulled up to the drive-thru service window. "He was blacked out, leaning over the steering wheel," Morgan said.

East Baton Rouge sheriff's deputies say when Broussard's foot slipped off the brake, the car began to roll toward a canal across the street from the McDonald's. Harris took off after it, pulling Broussard from the still-moving car just before it plunged into the canal.
The driver was arrested for drunk driving.

Military guys are the best. An Airman on leave had just proposed to his girlfriend, when he took time out and saved the lives of a woman and her two-year-old son when her car crashed into the Arkansas River. Airman Joshua Johnson, 18, jumped out of his car and dove into the water to get them out. After getting the mother out, he had to dive two or three more times to get to the little boy. Other than a few bumps and bruises, and being colder than the North Pole, Detura Bills and her son are just fine. And for the record, Brittany Danielle Campbell accepted the proposal. And why wouldn't she? Who wouldn't want to marry a certified hero?

Here's a merry catmas from Denny over at Grouchy Old Cripple. So weird!

Friday, December 24, 2004

How's this for absolutely pathetic? The BBC has had to give instructions to their staff on how to go through a revolving door. Seems some of the employees were getting injured trying to negotiate the turning monster.
An email, sent to 800 staff -- complete with matchstick man diagrams for ease of understanding -- comes after one worker trapped her foot in the new doors at the BBC's offices in Britain's second city, cracking a toenail, The Sun said.
But this isn't the first time the BBC has had to issue detailed instructions to their staff.
Employees at BBC Radio Sheffield in the north of England had previously been instructed on how to get through the often confusing and peril-laden task of boiling a kettle. The Sun quoted the edict as saying: "Remove lid from kettle and fill kettle with water."
Like I said, pathetic.

When you tell your children they must behave or else, they really shouldn't dare you to follow through on your threats. That's exactly what happened to this Houston man, who told his three sons to behave or they'd lose their Christmas gifts. The oldest boy called his bluff. So he put their Nintendo sets and video games up for sale on eBay. He's taking the Christmas tree down tomorrow.

I can't say I agree with his solution to the problem, but they're his kids. He's not causing them any physical or mental pain, and perhaps they'll think twice before pushing their parents to the brink of insanity again.

Some forensics specialists took the image on the Shroud of Turin, and computer generated what they think Jesus would have looked like as a boy. It's an interesting picture. The Bible tells us that Jesus was an ordinary looking person. The picture looks like any other child about 12 years of age. It works for me.

These are my son's boys: Anthony, Austin (crying), and Marcus. Aren't they adorable?

May the love of God fill your homes this Christmas. Have a glorious day, filled with family and friends, remembering always that God loves each and every person on this planet, no matter what they have done or will do in the future. Sometimes it's hard to remember that, but it's true. Christ came to Earth to purchase our salvation; he knew what we would be doing with our lives, and he loves us anyway.

Well, it's early morninng on Christmas Eve, the temperature is 5 degrees, the wind chill is -8 degrees. Brrr. I'm going to sign off now. I'll probably blog a little tonight, but not much since it's Christmas. I don't expect there will be a lot of news. I'll see y'all later. I'm gonna crawl under my electric blanket and hibernate until the sun warms the room. That should be about noon or so.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

And now, for your Christmas amusement, Denny presents The 12 Cats of Christmas. Drink alert applies.

It won't quite be the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, but it will be almost as good, when the Senate reconvenes in January.
When the 109th Congress convenes on Jan. 4, Bush intends to re-nominate the following 12 individuals for the U.S. Court of Appeals:

Terrence W. Boyle, 4th Circuit; Priscilla Richman Owen, 5th Circuit; David W. McKeague, 6th Circuit; Susan Bieke Neilson, 6th Circuit; Henry W. Saad, 6th Circuit; Richard A. Griffin, 6th Circuit; William H. Pryor; 11th Circuit; William Gerry Myers III, 9th Circuit; Janice Rogers Brown, District of Columbia Circuit; Brett M. Kavanaugh, District of Columbia Circuit; William James Haynes II, 4th Circuit; and Thomas B. Griffith, District of Columbia Circuit.

Bush also intends to nominate again the following eight people to less controversial U.S. District Court positions:

James C. Dever III, Eastern District, North Carolina; Thomas L. Ludington, Eastern District, Michigan; Robert J. Conrad, Western District, North Carolina; Daniel P. Ryan, Eastern District, Michigan; Peter G. Sheridan, New Jersey; Paul A. Crotty, Southern District, New York; Sean F. Cox, Eastern District, Michigan; and J. Michael Seabright, Hawaii.
With only 55 Republicans in the Senate, a filibuster will still be possible, but are the Dems strong enough? I'm not so sure.

Using a sauna in Finland is pretty much a national pastime. For some firefighters in Helsinki, however, this could be a problem. The sauna which the firefighters used caught fire, and the firemen were unable to put out the fire, despite their best efforts. It was a total loss.

Hampton Academy Junior High School is in desperate need of educators with brains. A seventh-grade student, Bryan Lafond, wore a Santa Claus costume to a school "holiday" dance. Turns out, that was the wrong thing to do.
A seventh-grade student who thought a Santa Claus outfit might add cheer to a "holiday" event at school was sadly mistaken when he was ordered to remove the red suit and white beard due, according to the principal, to concern about the so-called "separation of church and state."

The academy's principal, Fred Muscara, told a Hampton newspaper, "It was a holiday party. It was not a Christmas party. There is a separation of church and state. We have a lot of students that go to Hampton Academy Junior High that have different religions. We have to be sensitive to that."

Nancy Serpis, chairman of the Hampton School Board, told the Manchester paper when asked about the costume, "It's nice if we can respect one another's religious beliefs."
Somebody please tell me where in the Bible I can find any mention of Santa Claus. I've been reading that Book for many, many years, and I haven't found it yet.

According to the latest Gallup poll, people are using the internet for their news source 33% more often than they used to. People just don't want to use network news, local new, National Public Radio, etc., anymore as a news source. Imagine that!

Eric at Fireant Gazette hooks us up with a chaplain who was on the scene when the mess tent was destroyed by the suicide bomber in Mosul.

Here's to Sgt. Eric Lee, of the Louisiana National Guard, who is a real hero today. Sgt. Lee was leading his unit on his very first day of patrols in a new region. Here's what happened:
On his unit's first day of patrols in a newly assigned area in western Baghdad, near farmland once owned by Saddam Hussein's son Uday, Louisiana National Guard Sgt. Eric Lee thought it odd that a luxury car was parked next to a farmhouse. Then several other cars fled the property, heightening suspicion that the building was more than a farmhouse.

The unit, part of the 256th Enhanced Separate Brigade of the Louisiana National Guard, deployed to Iraq in October, moved closer, until Sgt. Paul Truscinski could see through a window.

What he saw inside was a weapons cache capable of killing scores of people. The weapons seized by the Guardsmen included 1,000 pounds of explosives, including an Italian-made anti-ship bomb, three artillery rounds, rockets, mortars, anti-tank weapons and industrial chemicals.
Thank you, Sgt. Lee. You've saved Christmas for a great many families.

Police in Grand Island, Nebraska were attempting to serve a federal warrant on a felon in possession of a firearm. When they arrived, the man refused to let them in. After a seven-hour standoff, they attempted to arrest him. At that point, he committed suicide by holding a chainsaw to his neck and letting 'er rip, so to speak. Why does this kind of stuff happen in Nebraska so often? My husband told me Nebraskans were crazy... I guess he was right.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Here's a little Christmas cheer for fans of WKRP in Cincinnati: As God is My Witness. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Just a word to the wise: Never mess with a woman in Savannah, Georgia:
Police are looking for two women they say sexually assaulted a man with a pair of cooking tongs in a drug-related attack.

Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan police say the victim, a 25-year-old man, awoke Saturday morning with a metal object protruding from his body. The victim, who police say was using cocaine at the time, told police he does not remember much of what happened.

The victim's cousin took him to Memorial Health University Medical Center Saturday after he complained of pain. Doctors surgically removed an object identified as "one half of a pair of food tongs," and turned it over to police.

Here's the latest on the murder of Bobbie Jo Stinnett:
The woman accused of strangling a mother-to-be and cutting the baby from her womb often faked being pregnant to get attention, even though she had her tubes tied 14 years ago, according to her ex-husband.
It looks like her current husband didn't know anything about the tubal, but he also believed she was pregnant. He must not have been very close to her over the past year.
Investigators have said Montgomery confessed to the crime, and she is scheduled to make a second appearance in a federal court on Thursday.
In other news, Montgomery's ex-husband was granted custody of their four children today. Apparently he filed for custody six days before the killing took place.

A new pastor was visiting in the homes of his parishioners. At one house it seemed obvious that someone was at home, but no answer came to his repeated knocks at the door. Therefore, he took out a card and wrote "Revelation 3:20" on the back of it and stuck it in he door.

When the offering was processed the following Sunday, he found that his card had been returned. Added to it was this cryptic message, "Genesis 3:10." Reaching for his Bible to check out the citation, he broke up in gales of laughter. Revelation 3:20 begins "Behold, I stand at the door and knock." Genesis 3:10 reads, "I heard your voice in the garden and I was afraid for I was naked."

I just read this article by Gena Caponi Tabery, and I've gotta say I'm more than a little upset. I'm not going to say Mrs. Tabery is not a Christian, because that's judging. Her salvation status is between her and God. However, she only wants to worship inside the church, surrounded by other Christians? How is that right?

What's wrong with saying grace before you eat in a restaurant? My husband and I do it all the time, and quite often the waitress will stop and silently pray with us. We do not say a silent grace; we verbally ask God's blessing on the food and on those who prepared the food. We taught our children to do that as well.

If the only time you reveal your Christianity is inside the church, how will that help unbelievers or those who have "strayed" from the church? You will look and act just like everyone else around you. We are supposed to be "in the world, but not of the world." That's a lesson I take to heart.

By "hiding her candle under a bushel", she is setting a bad example for her children. She's teaching them to act one way at church, and act like a different person when you're in the world. That is just wrong.

I've admired Jesse Peterson, head of the Brotherhood Organization for a New Destiny, for quite some time now. He's got a good head on his shoulders, plus he's like the anti-Jesse Jackson. Now he's speaking out against Kwanzaa.

Why in the world are people so sue-happy these days? Shayla Stewart was a diagnosed manic-depressive and schizophrenic, who purchased her medications at Wal-Mart near her home. She went to a different Wal-Mart and purchased a shotgun, which she used to kill herself. Her mother is suing Wal-Mart.

The store did the required background check, and she filled out the forms, stating she had no mental disability. Mom seems to think they should have known she was lying, how I have no idea. Texas law says pharmacy records are confidential, as were her mental health records.

This is not new. I heard a case last week where a driver's accelerator got stuck in the local Wal-Mart parking lot, and the car hit and killed a child riding those little rides in front of the store. The parents sued Ford and Wal-Mart.

I don't think I'll ever understand why people think they should get a big payoff when something tragic happens. I can understand legitimate cases, such as a legitimate malpractice suit, but there's got to be some personal responsibility in there somewhere. When I went to the doctor in 1968 and he diagnosed roto-scoliosis, I remember asking him if there was a brace that would help. He said no. Should I have sued him for being wrong? A brace specifically for scoliosis had been available for about 10 years at that time. The answer is NO. Oh, I'm sure we could have convinced a jury that poor widdle me would spend the rest of her life crippled. They probably would have forked over a bundle. But it would have been wrong. The brace would not have cured me; it would only have slowed the progression. But to some people, that doesn't matter.

People need to take responsibility for their own actions. Shayla's mother has to stop trying to blame other people; the fault lies with her daughter. Suing Wal-Mart won't bring her back.

This is just too funny. John Kerry got 31 fewer electoral college votes than he expected, because some idiot who typed the official "certificate of vote" typed the name John L. Kerry. It wasn't caught until it reached the federal archives. Corrected forms are being filed as we speak. Isn't that like rubbing salt into an open wound?

I like this woman in Texas City, and I've never met her. She discovered a burglar going through her things in her bedroom on Sunday, so she grabbed a fireplace poker and beat the crap out of him. When he tried to get away, she started ripping at his clothes. He finally did get away, but left behind a hooded sweatshirt, a shoe, and his shirt. Maybe he'll think twice before breaking in to a woman's home again.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Little Rumaisa Rahman and her twin sister are miracle children. They were born in Chicago September 19th, at 25 weeks, some 15 weeks early. Rumaisa weighed a mere 8.6 ounces, and her bigger sister Hiba weighed 1 pound 4 ounces. It was a miracle they survived at all, but now Hiba is preparing to go home at the end of this month, weighing 5 pounds. Little Rumaisa now weighs 2.2 pounds, and is expected to go home next month. God works in mysterious ways, His wonders to perform. I can't imagine how difficult it would be to raise a preemie that small. What would you use for a diaper, a Kleenex? I can't imagine they make diapers that little. And dressing the child. How difficult would that be? I'm glad my preemie weighed 4 pounds 12 ounces. That's a manageable size.

The World Wide Fund for Nature has issued a list of the Ten Things Not to Buy for Christmas. They say this will provide you with a guilt-free holiday season. Frankly, I think the January credit card bills will provide enough guilt for everyone. Who needs to add to it?

You Are "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer"

Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer
Had a very shiny nose.
And if you ever saw him,
You would even say it glows.

For you, Christmas is a mix of tradition and fun.
You're not above strapping on a red blinking nose for a laugh.

What Christmas Carol Are You?

MSNBC Breaking News:
Democrats claim victory in Washington governor's race - The head of the state Democratic Party says that recount results from King County give Democrat Christine Gregoire an eight-vote victory in the closest governor's race in Washington state history.
I guess if you count and count and count and keep adding ballots each time, eventually you get the results you want. I wonder if the Republican candidate will now ask for another recount.

What could I possibly say about this? Nothing, except, "Go get 'em, guys! We'll not take this lying down!"

This is the best story I've read in a while. The city of Los Angeles has spent a lot of money trying to delete the cross from their seal. It isn't working:
Supervisor Don Knabe stated: "The cross has resurrected itself on the county seal. County employees just covered the old seal on Friday afternoon, and, in three days, the original cross has begun to bleed through to be visible again. I don't think we should spend another dollar of taxpayer money to replace the seal to eliminate that cross.

"It is very symbolic that the cross has reappeared on the new seal directly above the new icon of a mission, which does not have a cross. It is only appropriate."
Oh, I think it's more than appropriate. I think somebody's trying to tell them something (nudge nudge).

Check out the educational absurdities over at BMEWS. But be careful, you may want to hurt someone just to alleviate the stress.

I've noticed many bloggers talking about the weather today. Well, I guess I'll join in. We had above average temps today of about 50 degrees. Not too bad for December. Unfortunately, the good times are over for the rest of the week. Tomorrow it will be about 40, then the Canadian weather monster attacks. We've been told that in our part of the Ozarks we're going to get between 1-3 inches of snow starting tomorrow night through Wednesday. That's the good news. Then the mercury is going to try to find a way out the bottom of the thermometer, as the temperatures plummet. They're saying highs in the teens, lows around zero or less. Thanks again sis, for the electric blanket. You can be sure it will be used frequently. And the dogs love it too. Their widdle feets get cold you know. They both have to sleep with their mommy on cold nights, preferably under the blankets. They don't always get what they hope for, but usually they do. Anyway, I went to the store today and bought enough groceries to last until the snow is gone. Lots of comfort food; beans and cornbread, chili fixins, potato soup ingredients, oatmeal, hot chocolate mix, etc. I did forget to get more bread, but Sir Mugley is good at navigating snowy roads so if we run out he can go get some more. It's only 11 miles.

This video was shown at Johnny Cash's private funeral service. It has just been released for public viewing. Sit back and watch, and prepare to be awed.

Looks like Rob over at Llama Butchers found out the hard way that sometimes playing tickle monster can be hazardous to your comfort. Aren't children precious?

You know those Cashew Nougat cookies that Archway sells this time of year? I love those things. But they've added an extra ingredient I'm not really crazy about.
Archway is recalling some holiday cookies that may contain pieces of glass.

The Battle Creek company says it's voluntarily recalling a limited quantity of its ten-ounce packages of Archway Holiday Cashew Nougat Cookies sold nationwide
I understand glass is really hard to digest.
The recalled packages with 2005 dates are: February second, 28th, and 29th; and March third, fourth, fifth and 24th. The product code is two-seven-five-zero-zero-zero-two-zero-five-four.
Check those packages before you eat them. We don't want anybody bleeding all over the Christmas presents.

There's one less ice rink in Minnesota today.
An ice resurfacing machine exploded Sunday night inside Peterson Arena, starting a fire at the ice rink and sending one broomball player to the hospital, witnesses said.

About 30 people - including two broomball teams and a handful of fans - were inside the building when the explosion happened at about 9:40 p.m. A small blast was followed by a larger explosion, the Duluth News Tribune reported in its Monday editions.
Amazingly the driver of the Zamboni machine was not injured. No idea yet why the new Zamboni blew up.

John Hawkins over at RightWingNews has posted his annual 20 Most Annoying Liberals list for 2004. Try making your own list, then compare it to John's list and see if you match up. Of course, #1 is no surprise.

Rocket Jones gives us a list of the 25 things men shouldn’t find sexy, but they do. Fascinating. Strange, but fascinating.

According to Australian researcher Michelle Lia Lewis, George W. Bush is a better flirter than John Kerry. Lewis says that during the 2004 campaign, Bush may have won more votes because his naturally flirtatious nature helped him connect with people better than Kerry, who came across as stodgy by comparison. She says the president gets an "A" for flirting and says his technique of making pet names for journalists and coworkers is an effective way at making them feel noticed and acknowledged Of course, I could tell by the twinkle in his eyes. Kerry could never be a flirt; you’ve gotta be able to smile without grimacing.

Is your dog bored with his meals? Well, Iams has the answer for you. The so-called Iams Savory Sauce is a steak sauce for dog food that improves the taste and gives pups needed vitamins and minerals. The sauces come in chicken, bacon and beef and ingredients include pork broth, chicken fat and meat flavoring along with vitamins. A spokeswoman for Iams says the sauce is meant for pet owners to spoil their dogs, but also to motivate pooches who need to eat more to put on weight. No, we don’t spoil our widdle doggies, now do we?

Dean Esmay feels that, now that the election is over, each blogger “has to make their own decision about what they want to write about.” Just for the record, I always have. I did write a lot about the election, but there was a lot of strange stuff going on, and I felt people should hear it. But I have always tried to keep this blog a lot more eclectic than just politics. I really prefer to write about strange and weird stories in the news, stories everyone else ignores. Of course, I’ll write about the big stuff as well, but how many people out there are writing about cows falling through roofs, or bridges collapsing because too many people pee on it, or even a fish stick with the face of Jesus on it. I have never claimed to be a journalist; just the opposite, I can’t write this stuff on a deadline. Nothing would get written. I do spend about six hours every day reading and searching for odd stories for you to enjoy, or for you to get mad about. I write what I think people want to read. If there is anything you want me to write about, just let me know. I’ll give it a shot. Like I said, I’m no journalist, but I am a credible blogger. And if I make a mistake, I’ll own up to it. Out in the open. Of my own free will

Harrison Ford (swooon) is planning to star in a movie about the taking of Fallujah. The drama is based on the book “No True Glory”, by Bing West, a former U.S. Assistant Defense Secretary and Marine veteran, now serving as a correspondent in Iraq. Ford would play Maj. Gen. James Mattis, the U.S. Marine commander who lead the assault on Fallujah after four contractors were butchered there last March.

Southern Baptists are moving more steadily toward removing their children from public school systems, where they are being taught material opposed to the teachings of the church.
"What has happened is not so much that the Christians are leaving the public schools as that the public schools have left the Christians," said Ed Gamble, executive director of the Southern Baptist Association of Christian Schools. The group, based in Orlando, Fla., supports the more than 600 Southern Baptist chools created in the past eight years.

The number of conservative Christian schools grew nearly 11 percent from 1999 to 2000 and 2001 to 2002, to 5,527, according to the U.S. Department of Education's latest statistics. At that rate, Christian schools are growing faster than private schools as a whole and have increased their share to nearly one in five private schools in the country.
And is it any wonder? You can’t even sing “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” in school these days, because the word “Christmas” is in the lyrics.
Earlier this year, a resolution proposed at the national meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention -- which guides the nation's largest Protestant denomination -- urged parents to withdraw their children from "officially Godless" "government schools" in favor of religious education.

While the measure was rejected, interest in faith-based schools has continued to spread among Baptists at the state level, particularly in Tennessee, Missouri, Florida, South Carolina, Illinois, Texas, Virginia, North Carolina, California and New England, according to Exodus Mandate, a Columbia, S.C., group that promotes private, Christian and home-school education.

A recent resolution promoting Christian schooling easily passed the Missouri Baptist Convention but was quashed in committee at the Tennessee Baptist Convention meeting in Sevierville last month. The Missouri resolution talked about the "inherent dangers of secular educational philosophies that now permeates America's public education system" and affirmed "the importance of systematically training ourselves and our children in the ways of authentic, biblical Christianity." That means teaching creationism over evolution, that life begins at conception, and that homosexuality is immoral, as is sex outside marriage.
All radical ideas in today’s society. I only wish this option had been available to our children when they were in school.

Here is the ultimate in irony. A man in New Jersey was pulled over on suspected drunk driving charges. Then his luck ran out.
As the officer was giving Grieb a field sobriety test on the side of the road a tractor-trailer driven by Shane Gildersleeve of Baiatie, N.Y., crashed into the police car which then struck Grieb's vehicle, Bernardi said. The officer was able to get out of the way but was unable to move Grieb, who died instantly in the collision. The driver of the semi was arrested just up the road from the wreck.

For those of us keeping track (and I think that's most of us), little Victoria Jo Stinnett is doing very well in the intensive care unit of the Topeka hospital where she's staying with her daddy. The woman who gutted her mother, Lisa Montgomery, has apparently confessed to the crime and is in federal custody, charged with kidnapping which resulted in death.

There was one interesting sentence in the article which jumped out at me.
Todd Graves, the U.S. Attorney in Kansas City, Missouri, said on Monday it was too early to say whether Montgomery suffered from mental illness.

He said the crime underlined how the Internet both brought crime into the victim's home in a small rural town but also allowed investigators to solve the case and recover the baby a day later.
This is not the first reference I've seen to the internet being responsible for bringing victim and killer together. Let's hope they don't forget the internet also helped solve the case.

First it was Vioxx, then Celebrex. Now the shadow of heart problems is hovering over Aleve, also known as naproxen.
A study testing whether Celebrex or naproxen would reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease was halted Monday after researchers noted an increase in heart attack and stroke among participants who were taking naproxen, an over-the-counter pain reliever on the market for nearly 30 years.

Officials at the National Institute of Health said the study was stopped after three years when it was noticed that patients taking naproxen, sold under the brand name Aleve, had a 50 percent greater incidence of cardiovascular events — heart attack or stroke — than patients taking placebo.
I guess we can expect to be inundated with another round of lawyers advertising for clients to build a class-action suit against the manufacturer. You know it's going to happen.

I guess everybody's in the Christmas spirit these days. This polar bear at the San Diego Zoo is having a blast with his snowman.

Monday, December 20, 2004

In Twin Falls, Idaho, a couple of heifers got a Christmas reprieve. They were on the way to the livestock market, when they decided to pull a "trailer break". They jumped over the guard rail and split up, one heading to ShopKo and the other heading to Taco Bell (I guess she had a death wish). They were corralled and examined. They weren't injured in the escapade, but their owner did decide to hang on to them a little longer. He took them back home.

There's a new board game on the market in Canada, in which you learn to operate your very own marijuana farm. The game, called The Grow-Op Game, is a lot like Monopoly.
Players roll the dice, move around the board, renting properties, buying lights and equipment, planting and harvesting crops. Moving in an opposite direction on the cylinder shaped board is the "GrowBuster." He lands on the unsuspecting player's property, rips out the plants and sends the player directly to jail.
Doesn't this sound like fun? They say it's an educational game, showing people the perils of getting involved in pot production. But couldn't it also be used to teach people what to avoid to become successful pot producers? This doesn't sound like a very good idea to me.

I'm sorry I didn't post anything last night. I've been going through something weird since Saturday. Kind of a post-Christmas slump if you will. A quick side-note though: To Judy, thank you. You were right about your hands. My son's car blew an engine, so we were concerned about that; he got another car today. My daughter has been sick all weekend, so she postponed her ultrasound until January 5. Unfortunately, she took the initiative to schedule a mammogram for me at the same time. She's so considerate. I think she could have at least asked me, don't you? I had planned to do that in the spring. So, I'm back now, and I'll be getting back up to speed over the next couple of days. Bear with me, gentle readers, I'm not done yet.

There's going to be another BlogBurst in January. Here are the details:

Remembering the Wannsee Conference and the Liberation of Auschwitz

January 27, 2005, marks the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz in 1945. On January 20th, we marked the anniversary of the 1942 Wannsee Conference. In the course of that Conference, the Nazis formalized the Nazi plan to annihilate the Jewish people. Understanding the horrors of Auschwitz requires that one be aware of the premeditated mass-murder presented at Wannsee.

This announcement is aimed primarily at bloggers: if you wish to join, please contact IsraPundit@yahoo.com.
83 websites, including LGF, joined the first BlogBurst (at least, I know of that number, but there may be more). We would like to surpass this number for January: we currently have 77 participants. You can see posts concerning the November BlogBurst here and here. The list of the January participants is shown at BlogBurst Info.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Well, our Christmas get-together was a blast! Everybody made it this year, except for a brother-in-law and a brother-in-law-to-be. One was missing for unknown reasons, the other one had to do a contract hit. Before you jump to the wrong conclusions, he's an exterminator, and he had to work today. That's a shame because I was looking forward to meeting him. I did get to see his picture, though. Very nice looking man.

Anyway, we shot the breeze for a while, and opened our presents to each other. I am very happy to report that I got everything I asked for, except the car. Oh, well, maybe next year haha. Everyone seemed very pleased with the gifts I picked out for them. I think one of the highlights was a wooden crate my younger sister received. Unfortunately, neither she nor I realized the significance of the wooden box. It was stenciled on the outside "Sheffield Steel Co". Our grandfather retired from Sheffield Steel. But he died when I was four and she was two, so we really don't remember him. But it is still a great gift, one to pass on in the family for posterity.

After all the gifts were opened, we had a wonderful meal together. Much joking and laughing ensued. All too quickly it was time to go home. The five of us only get together twice a year now. When Mom died it was four or five times a year, but life has a way of getting too busy for your own good sometimes.

But we had a glorious time today, and I'm already looking forward to the fourth of July so we can get together again. Sometimes having a close family is great!

From Urban Legends, we get the Top Ten Hoaxes/Legends for 2004. Hope nobody fell for any of these this year, and if you did, next year you'll know better, right?

Now this is bizarre. During a drug raid in Dallas, police officers found some Kennedy assassination artifacts.
Among the finds: a police card bearing Jack Ruby's nine fingerprints (he lost a finger in a fight); photos of Ruby shooting alleged assassin Lee Harvey Oswald; what appears to be a drawing of a map containing important assassination-related locations and a photo inventory of Oswald's belongings
Police also recovered autopsy photos of Bonnie and Clyde.

Here's the gift for that special someone who's so hard to buy for: A candle that smells like Jesus. That right, that's what I said. According to the couple making the candles, the Bible says Jesus's garments will smell of "myrrh, aloe, and cassia", so they combined those scents into a candle.
The candle's creators and fans say even if you're not religious, the scent just gives you a warm, fuzzy feeling. They said, "If you're not religious at all, it's just a subtle scent. I think it can be shared by all."

It sells for $17.99 and burns for 80 hours. You won't be able to get one in time for Christmas, but you can get on a waiting list at Interiors Plus in Waseca. You can call Interiors Plus at 1-800-310-1512.
If you decide to buy one, email me and let me know how it smells. It sounds fascinating to me.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

This is Mikey. He's had quite an adventure.
Two years ago, Matt Strong's ex-wife gave their dog, Mikey, to the Placer County Animal Shelter when neither could keep him. Strong said he couldn't get over his guilt of letting Mikey go. So, he decided to use technology to go in search of his friend.
Matt decided to Google Mikey, and lo and behold, he was still at the shelter where they dropped him off. He immediately reclaimed him and took him home. And, as they say, they will live happily ever after.

You gotta admire the spunk of the congregation of the Bartow First Baptist Church in Polk County, Florida. After a prayer meeting, several of the parishioners snuck onto the County Administration building and erected a nativity scene.
The "vigilante" action occurred following the recent midweek prayer meeting at the Bartow First Baptist Church. Morning saw a nativity scene, a snowman and a disclaimer notice saying the county commissioners who had voted against the display were not responsible for its sudden appearance. According to Barbara Pittman, a Sunday School director at the church, the display is a "gift to Polk County."
Needless to say, some people disagree with the "gift" being out in public where anybody and their kids can see it. (I swear sometimes people act like Jesus is radioactive material.)
According to County Attorney Joe Jarret, who sympathizes with the church members, the nativity scene isn't unconstitutional but their actions constituted a trespass on public property. The county has to regulate displays on public property, he told Polk County's News Chief, otherwise they "would soon turn into forums for various groups, many of whom [possess] agendas contrary to prevailing community mores, morals and attitudes."
Now the county officials are facing a dilemma; they may not be able to dismantle the scene.
"It's an unresolved issue at this point," Jarret says. "The Supreme Court has essentially said that once it becomes a public forum, it's a public forum. So it could prove to be difficult to restrain or otherwise regulate content."

In short, Jarret is unsure the county can take the display down without violating the constitutional rights of the church members who placed it there. And with no further commission business scheduled for the remainder of the year, any action would require a special board meeting.

Thank God not all media outlets have gone off the deep end of the secular pool. The Colorado Springs Gazette is including a free New Testament in each and every copy of this week's Sunday edition, to commemorate the reason for the season.
Included in the version being mailed are testimonials from two local residents who, after living vicarious, secular lives, have turned to the word of God.
I salute their courage in standing up for Christian principles. I'm sure they will catch a lot of flak for their stand, but they feel it's the right thing to do. Too bad more people don't feel that way.
"If I were the editor I would want everyone in my community to feel that the pages of my newspaper are there for them," Kelly McBride-- the ethics group leader at the Poynter Institute, an organization that promotes responsible journalism-told the Independent.

"I would want nonbelievers and Muslims and Jews to feel this was their paper as well," he said.

And Mary Simon, administrator of Temple Shalom in Colorado Springs, told the Independent some of her members will cancel their subscriptions to protest the decision.
If you want to let the editors know you appreciate what they're doing, their contact information is here.

Ready, set, eat! Carnival of the Recipes is up and running over at Mountaineer Musings. Don't forget the silverware.

Friday, December 17, 2004

I would really love to see this building. It is eleven stories tall, with one $300,000 condo on each floor. The main selling point is that each apartment can rotate, independently of the others, a full 360 degrees. It takes about an hour for one revolution. I'd really like to know how it works.

According to a survey done by Scripps Howard News Service, 900 children have lost a parent in Iraq. Somebody, for the love of all that is holy, tell me what good a story like this does. It certainly won't boost morale for the troops, or for those supporting them back home. We have no way of knowing if this is a high number or low number compared to other wars. But we do know that innocent people die in wars; it's the nature of the beast. That's why good people (like us) try to avoid war unless it's absolutely necessary. Which leads me to this: This war was absolutely necessary. If we hadn't responded the way we did in 2001, in 2005 there probably would not be a recognizable United States. We as a people are rapidly losing our moral and ethical centers; we need to work on that immediately. If our nation were to fall, nations all over the planet who depend on us for food, technology, etc., will also fall.

As we enter tha Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Year season I think it's very imiportant for everyone to take a step back and remember that we can all have fun without getting dangerous. I've posted this rather graphic picture of an overdose victim, not for
it's shock value, but in the hope that everyone remains aware of his or her limits. When you look at this picture, remember that this did not have to happen.

Tomorrow is Christmas number one for our family. My sisters and brother will be congregating at my older sister's house in the morning, where we will exchange gifts, eat lunch, and act like total loons (my favorite part). Family if you're reading this (and I hope you are) you better like your gifts. Especially since I had no idea what anyone wanted. But I spent a whole two hours today shopping for just the right presents (yeah right). For everyone else who reads this blog, thank you for visiting my humble website. Here's a Christmas Card for each and every one of you. May you all have a glorious Christmas, filled with reminders of what the season is really all about.

Stolen from Rambling's Journal. What more needs to be said?

I think this is about the shortest franchise in the history of major league baseball. The Washington Nationals have closed the only memorabilia store they had in operation, and have stopped hiring personnel to run the operation. This is in response to the city council's reluctance to act on building a new stadium for them. Ah, boo hoo! Build your own stinkin' stadium. Considering how much these teams charge for admission, parking, snacks, etc., they should be able to build a new stadium with no problem. And don't tell me they have to spend all their money on the players. As far as I'm concerned, the players can take less money, or they can find a real job and let someone come in to play who cares about the game and the fans, not the paycheck. The games may not be quite the same, but attendance would go up, not to mention morale.

Nurses at the second largest hospital in St. Louis walked off the job today over a union dispute regarding their pay. Now I'll grant you nurses don't get paid enough for what they have to cope with; however, they should never walk off the job. Those patients depend on them, sometimes for their very lives. When you are in that type of situation you shouldn't have the right to strike. The management and the union should be forced into arbitration instead. When you hold someone's life in your hand, how can you just walk away and leave them to the mercy of whoever might walk into the room in your place? I wouldn't want anyone's health complications on my hands.

Barbra Streisand had a polyp removed from her colon recently, and is recovering nicely. Amazingly enough, the polyp was the same size and shape as her head.

Mount St. Helens is starting to show off again.
"Something extraordinary is happening at Mount St Helens. We are scratching our heads about it," says Dan Dzurisin of US Geological Survey's Cascades Volcano Observatory (CVO) in Vancouver, Washington, US. The new dome has grown so quickly - almost four cubic metres every second - that it has bulldozed a 180-metres-thick glacier out of its way.

If this rapid growth rate continues, there is a growing risk of a dome collapse which could trigger a major eruption, researchers warned at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco.
I hope every one out there has their lava umbrella and galoshes ready. This could be a doozy.

Michelle Bates, a Queensland, Australia woman got the shock of her life when she took her kids down to the watering hole on her property so they could play in the water. Her toddler Liam found something unusual in the ditch and was playing with it along with his two sisters and two friends' children. She didn't recognize it, so she took it away from the child and notified authorities. When they arrived they also were astonished: The child had been playing with a 3.5 inch anti-tank rocket a mere 30 meters from their home. An Army bomb disposal team removed the rocket from the property.

People are congregating at Matilda Munoz's home to visit Jesus. That's right, Ms. Munoz claims markings on her front door look like Jesus. How she knows that is beyond me since there are no Polaroids of Him on the planet. The Catholic Church is staying out of this so far. I think they're still working on the grilled cheese sandwich.

JibJab, creators of the amazing "This Land" video, have a new one out, just in time for Christmas. Enjoy!

If you need a sacrificial sheep in the near future, be advised that the price for a Sacrificial Sheep Coupon is going to be SR75 higher than last year. This story was amazing to me, in that I'd never really considered the procedures of modern-day animal sacrifice. Of course I'd studied the Old Testament and the rituals the priests had to follow. But I didn't know about "coupons" for today's sacrifices. Oh, yes, the price for camels is negotiable this year. These coupons are available through the Islamic Development Bank, who also oversees the distribution of the meat after the sacrifice.
This year more than 18,000 butchers will be employed along with 700 veterinarians and 600 Shariah students. The animals will be examined at all stages until they are skinned and refrigerated.

The IDB undertakes the distribution of sacrificed meat among the poor in the Makkah area. Large quantities are transported by land, air and sea for distribution to member countries and Muslim communities worldwide. This year some 629,600 animals will be distributed in 23 countries as opposed to 593,000 last year.

This is too funny! I stole this from Rodger. Thanks, Rodg.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Little Lisa Marie Presley has decided to sell off 85% of her father's estate, including rights to his name and management of Graceland mansion. She also relinquishes rights to his photographs, and revenues from his music, TV shows, and films. Impresario Robert Sillerman is getting the buy of a lifetime for a mere 100 million dollars.

The Scottish people are crazy about deep fried Mars bars. But it seems they will eat just about anything if it's deep fried.
Pizza is one of several items that customers have asked shops to deep-fry, along with bananas, pineapple rings and creme eggs, a highly sweet confectionery.
It's a wonder they don't all drop dead. Wait, they are!
Scotland is already ranked as the country with the highest rate of chronic heart disease in Western Europe, a position that owes itself to cigarettes and alcohol as well as a poor diet and a love of sugary foods.
And they say we have bad eating habits in this country!

Here, for your amusement, is this year's White House Christmas Film starring Barney the Terrier.

I'm posting this story because it's really really gross. So if you get queasy easily, don't read this story. I will not be responsible for any bodily fluids which land on your keyboard.

A-ha! Mullah Omar's security chief wasn't as secure as he thought he was. He was captured, along with a satellite phone and important documents, on Monday evening.
The senior Kandahar official said eight more Taliban fighters were arrested in Kandahar after the two men were caught, unarmed, on Monday evening. A cache of remote control bombs, time bombs and several other explosive devices and radios was also seized.
It's party time!

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Authorities in Melbourne, Australia claim the landscapers had no intent of offending anyone with their geometric design, even though the flowers were planted just before Hannukah. What do you think?

Researchers at Rutgers University think they may have found a drug to beat HIV. It would be one pill, instead of the combination called a "drug cocktail" that HIV patients have to take now. Let's hope it works, and we can put a stop to the scourge infecting our planet.

Now this is just pathetic. According to a survey of Britons by YouGov, nearly 1/3 did not know where Jesus was born, that He was Jewish, and that Adam was the first man. Where have these people been? Under a rock? In solitary for life? You don't have to read the entire bible to get this information, people. One chapter in the New Testament gives the info on Jesus, and One chapter in Genesis gives you Adam. It's just so frustrating that, with all the missionaries and ministers and laypersons in this world, people don't know the basics of the Bible. It's not that hard to get. You don't need an interpreter to understand. The hardest thing to get about Jesus is that, despite the miserable wretches that we are, he still died for us! Once that fact is fast in your heart, and you accept His forgiveness, the rest of the Bible is fairly easy to understand (with the exception of the prophetic books). People tend to try to make it more complicated because they can't accept that salvation is so easy.

Pauline Gore, mother of former Vice President Al Gore, passed away Wednesday at the age of 92. She was one of the first Vanderbilt law school graduates in 1936. Condolences to Al and Tipper and their children in their time of grief.

Allan over at BMEWS really had an exciting and terribly infuriating trip home from work today. Fortunately, no bones were broken, but his blood pressure may not come down for days! I don't blame him at all. Of course, I'm sure his car insurance will go up now, even though he wasn't at fault.

You Are a Seeker Soul

You are on a quest for knowledge and life challenges.
You love to be curious and ask a ton of questions.
Since you know so much, you make for an interesting conversationalist.
Mentally alert, you can outwit almost anyone (and have fun doing it!).
Very introspective, you can be silently critical of others.
And your quiet nature makes it difficult for people to get to know you.
You see yourself as a philosopher, and you take everything philosophically.
Your main talent is expressing and communicating ideas.

Souls you are most compatible with: Hunter Soul and Visionary Soul

What Kind of Soul Are You?

Baldilocks really outdid herself, writing about the importance of mathematics. I recall having to memorize the times tables and flash cards for addition and subtraction. Once those were memorized, the rest seemed to come easy. But they don't do the memorization in school anymore. It's a wonder kids learn anything about math, when it should be the easiest subject to learn. Math is constant. The principles of mathematics will never change. Angles are always measured the same way. And 3 + 3 is always going to be 6, no matter how you write it. Kids in this country should be excelling in math, but they're not. And it's a crying shame. I enjoyed math classes, right up until I finished algebra. Then, instead of taking geometry (the next logical step), I tried to skip over to algebra 2 and trigonometry. Big mistake. But I knew enough of the basics to pass, albeit with a lousy grade. And we use math every single day of our lives. Even if it's just to determine how long until the workday is done. Or to figure if you have enough money to buy your lunch. We've got to get kids interested in math, if not excited about the world of numbers. From there, they can go anywhere their hearts desire.

Will Collier gives us his thoughts on who should and shouldn't be Time's Man/Woman/Person of the Year for 2004. I like the way he thinks, but I don't expect it to happen. They'll pick someone much more liberal to "honor".

Here's the Christmas Special you've all been waiting for. It's a Wonderful Life, in 30 seconds, re-enacted by bunnies. Woo Hoo!

UPDATE: Other movies available at the link are Titanic, Alien, Jaws, The Shining, and The Exorcist. All by bunnies. All in 30 seconds. If you don't laugh, there's something seriously wrong with you.

For those of you with a Christmas village setup, StephenEsque has some additions to your village which would be greatly appreciated if you are a fan of Vincent Price movies or Stephen King novels. Oh, what fun....

Rachel Lucas has set up her new website now, and she's ready to hunt for bear. She will be pulling no punches when it comes to knocking down some moonbats. I've been told I'm very opinionated; she makes me look like a milquetoast. Check her out... if you dare. MUUWHAAHAAHAAHAAAA!

You would think a grown man would know better than to put on a bin Laden mask and try to scare drivers. I guess he'll know better next time. He's just lucky there can be a next time.

How about a nice Nativity set made from little smokies, egg, cheese and toast? Of course, after a few days of sitting around, I wouldn't eat it. But if you have a death wish, feel free! It just amazes me what people will buy these days.

Here's a definition of karma for ya: Man throws brick at double decker bus, then is run over by same. Darwin wins again!

Be glad you don't live in Mink, Louisiana. They don't have telephones yet. They have had to make do with those bag phones like you see in the war movies. But SBC is on the job now, boy. The citizens of Mink will have telephone service by March. Of course, it's only taken 30 plus years to accomplish this feat. Some small towns like Shaw, Mississippi don't have phones, either. You really don't think about that fact; it's just assumed that everyone has a telephone nowadays.

Looks like they've found another mass grave in the Kurdish region of Iraq. The Professor has the details.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

MSNBC Breaking News:

A bus is being held hostage in Athens, Greece, and is surrounded by police. The number of passengers on board is unknown, but the bus driver did run away. There have been shots fired, but no one knows by whom.

George Michael and Elton John are not getting along these days at all. Will it degenerate into a slap fight? Let's wait and see, shall we?

Well, if you can believe this story, Donald Trump says he hasn't decided who will be chosen as the new "Apprentice" Thursday night. He's planning to wait and see how they handle themselves in front of an audience.

You Were Nice This Year!

You're an uber-perfect person who is on the top of Santa's list. You probably didn't even *think* any naughty thoughts this year. Unless you're a Mormon, you've probably been a little too good. Is that extra candy cane worth being a sweetheart for 365 days straight?

Were You Naughty or Nice This Year?

Hillary may want to think twice before throwing her hairnet into the ring. Rasmussen put her up against a "generic" Republican candidate, and she didn't do so well.
The survey, conducted by Rasmussen Reports, has the New York senator holding a narrow lead among women, 45 to 42 percent, while trailing by 17 points among men.

Conducted Dec.3-5, the survey of 1,500 likely voters had a margin of sampling error of +/- 3 percentage points with a 95 percent level of confidence.
She's going to have to totally remake herself if she wants a chance at winning.

This is so cute. I stole it from Denny at Grouchy Old Cripple. I must have a morbid sense of humor.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Rusty Shackleford has great news about the recent Romanian election. Check it out. And while you're there, read the rest of his blog. He's very good.

Wonderbra has issued a recall of their Deep Plunge Clearly Daring bra, after receiving complaints about the connecting strap between the cups suddenly breaking. I don't imagine the complaints were coming from men.

A police officer in Pearland, Texas, gave a lecture to the high school students about anti-gang activities. He then passed out a calendar to the students. Unfortunately, the calendars had Satanic holidays and ritual dates printed in every month of the year. Parents were seriously angry about this.
"September 20th is a 'midnight host' whatever that is," said one unidentified parent reading from the calendar. "You should have a blood-type ritual. September 23rd is the fall equinox – you should have an orgy. Activity group sex, any age, any sex."

At least in this situation the school officials did apologize.
"It clearly was a mistake," said Renea Ivy, Pearland ISD spokesperson. "We don't want it to happen again and so – it was not done with malice, it was not done to promote satanism in any way on the campus. It was just a mistake."

The officer said he got the packets from a anti-gang training course he took. Officials say he neglected to take out the adult material. The police officer remains on duty pending the outcome of an internal investigation.

Here's your news briefs for today:

The Golden Globe nominations came out today. The best movie of the year was not nominated in any category.

The French have passed a law saying it's okay for doctors to help terminal patients die if that's what they want.

Scott Peterson got the death penalty today. Do you think he's glad the trial's over?

Last month, I wrote about Lance Corporal Justin Cook, and his wife Julia. Julia, who is expecting a baby in February, was shot in the head by a nutjob in the parking lot of the grocery store where she shops. The Corporal was granted emergency leave to be with her, as her condition was critical. Here's the latest news: Julia has been discharged from the hospital, and the baby is fine. Justin got home safely to be by her side while she recuperates. Don't ever try to tell me God doesn't answer prayer!

I want to take a moment to say "Thank You" to everyone who voted for me in the 2004 Weblog Awards. Although I came in sixth in my category, it showed me that I do have loyal readers who would take the 20 seconds out of their busy lives to vote in a contest that has no prizes, other than the knowledge that you're number one. Again, thank you from the heart of my bottom. Next year we'll do much better, right?

Have you heard about the blognovella? Several bloggers are each writing one chapter, and it's turning out pretty good. Here's the links so you can get up to speed:

Chapter One written by Feisty Repartee.
Chapter Two written by Straight White Guy.
Chapter Three written by Rob at Gut Rumbles.
Chapter Four written by Jack at Random Fate.

That's as far as they've gone, but I'll keep you posted on where the rest is coming from. Who knew bloggers could work so well together?

Rambling's Journal has the latest on our newest threat from Iran. Seems the missiles they're developing would be capable of reaching the Eastern Seaboard. But I guess we're not supposed to worry about that. They wouldn't attack us, would they?

It's that time again. Carnival of the Dogs is up and barking. Come see what all the noise is about.

Here's a spunky old man for ya. An 87 year old man in California tried to build a fence in the middle of the street, claiming the city improperly took the land in the first place. Of course, that was back in the 1940's, while he was fighting WWII. I think he might have had a shot at getting the land back if he'd tried a little bit sooner.

Have you ever wanted to see a snake swallow a pig? Here's your chance!
UPDATE: Sir Mugley wonders what the snake's cholesterol levels are after eating that porker.

Alec Nystrom is a very enterprising young man. This 11 year old has set up a stand in front of his house, and he's selling lumps of coal for 50 cents each. So far he's made around a hundred dollars. Must be a lot of bad kids in California who are gonna find surprises in their Christmas stockings.

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