Monday, December 31, 2007
I found this video while searching for clips from the film, "On Borrowed Time". I have always liked this song. It's one of those songs that, once you hear it, kind of sticks in your head for days.
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Here is a Thanksgiving story which could just as well be a Christmas story:
When I was living in Kansas City, I was in the midst of a long drawn out (and what I considered unnecessary) process of taking custody of my only daughter from my previous marriage. She had been moved out of her mother's home in another town, and temporarily placed in a group home for girls in my town, while the authorities struggled through mounds of red tape, attempting to ascertain whether I would be a fit parent for my own child.
This enabled me to visit her and even take her for day trips while the custodial determination process was processing. A long and tedious process.
We had to go to her group home to visit and pick her up. Most of the other girls, who were between 10 and 15 years of age, were there for other, primarily legal reasons. Many were runaways, and many had been removed from dysfunctional homes. Some had been arrested or had other kinds of legal trouble. Some had been abused physically, mentally, and sexually, by their parents or other family members.
Practically all were lonely, frightened, apprehensive, and suspicious of authority.
One day, shortly before Thanksgiving, my wife and I arrived to take Crystal out to spend a day with us, I noticed several of the other girls looking at us with what can only be described as envy. One of the girls boldly approached me and said, in the most heart rendering voice, "Can I go with you?"
It was at that moment that my heart went out to these girls, almost all of whom rarely had any visits or interaction with their own families, if any at all.
On Thanksgiving day, instead of spending the day with family, eating a sumptuous meal and watching football, My family showed up at the girls home with a complete Thanksgiving dinner, and every girl in the home was presented a small inexpensive gift. Needless to say, the girls were overwhelmed with gratitude. We enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving day with a whole house full of grateful, happy young ladies, who, at least for that one day, experienced true Christian charity and love.
It was the most wonderful and rewarding holiday I ever experienced.
Incidentally, some of the ladies in our church continued with weekly visits after I won full custody of my daughter, and the last I heard, the ministry is still thriving.
Sometimes, we get so involved in shopping, travel plans, cooking, and cleaning for the Holidays that we forget what's really important about Christmas. It isn't so much what we give to others at Christmas time, but that we simply give. Give our time. Give our love. Give ourselves.
It is the spirit of Christmas. It is the meaning of Christmas.
Today, while you celebrate the birth of Christ, take a few minutes to ponder the significance of it all, and enjoy Christmas.
And now, as my gift to all who happen to visit my humble blog, some videos:
MERRY CHRISTMAS, and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
Monday, December 24, 2007
Sunday, December 23, 2007
It's been a while since I posted a meme, But Abouna has tagged me for a Christmas meme, so here goes:
1. Wrapping or gift bags?
Gift bags. I am lazy.
2. Real or artificial tree?
Artificial. I hate pine needles all over everything.
3. When do you put up the tree?
After my birthday, which is December 5. One "holiday" at a time.
4. When do you take down the tree?
After New Years day, or when I feel like doing the work.
5. Do you like eggnog?
I love egg nog, but it is extremely high in calories so I have to take it a little at a time. Left to my own, I would drink a whole half gallon in an hour, easily.
6. Favorite gift received as a child?
My parents bought my brother and I a bicycle that we had to share. First bicycle either of us ever had. I can't remember if my brother (2 years older than me) already knew how to ride a bike but I had to be taught. Oh, the memories of bruised everything!
7. Do you have a nativity scene?
Yes. It represents the true meaning of Christmas, so it is in the front yard, lit up by a spotlight, and prominently displayed front and center.
8. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?
Two Christmases ago, I received one western style shirt from my mom and nothing else from anyone. I don't wear western shirts.
9. Mail or email Christmas cards?
10. Favorite Christmas movie?
"The Cheaters" Little known film, and I never see it anymore, anywhere, but I'll never forget it. Second Place is "It's A Wonderful Life" and third would have to be the Musical version of "Scrooge". (starring Albert Finney to distinguish it from the thousands of others)
11. When do you start shopping for Christmas?
About two to three days before Christmas usually, not that I like doing it that way, it just happens.
12. Favorite thing to eat for Christmas?
I always have turkey and/or ham, and all the trimmings, but truth be told, I would be happy with a burrito from Taco Bell. (and I don't really like Taco Bell very much)
3. Clear lights or colored on the tree?
14. Favorite Christmas song?
"O Holy Night"
15. Travel at Christmas or stay at home?
I love to travel anytime, but usually there's a never a good time due to finances.
16. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer?
Um, Is it Slasher, Flasher, Pansy and Bitchin', Vomit and Stupid and Bummer and Nixon? Oh, and Rudolph, the Disco reindeer.
17. Angel on the tree top or star?
Always an angel.
18. Open gifts on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?
Christmas morning for me. As soon as I buy then for the kids.
9. Most annoying thing about this time of year?
Navigating through rude Christmas shoppers and trying to find a parking place somewhere within a mile of the store entrance.
20. Do you decorate your tree in any specific theme or color scheme?
21. What do you leave for Santa?
Nothing. I can't remember ever believing there was a Santa.
22. Least favorite holiday song?
"Jingle Bells" It's not a Christmas song, and it annoys me that it is the most played of all, because it's a Winter song.
23. Favorite ornament?
Hmm. That would have to be the fiber optic angel on the top of the tree.
Paying it forward, I tag:
I don't know who to tag, really. If any reader would like to participate, leave your answers in my comments.
1. Link to the person who tagged you, and post the rules on your blog.
2. Share Christmas facts about yourself.
3. Tag random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.
4. Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Who never to himself has said,
This is my own, my native land!
Whose heart hath ne'er within him burned,
As home his footsteps he hath turned
From wandering on a foreign strand!
If such there be, go, mark him well;
For him no Minstrel raptures swell;
High though his titles, proud his name,
Boundless his wealth as wish can claim;
Despite those titles, power and pelf,
The wretch, concentrated all in self,
Living, shall forfeit fair reknown,
And doubly dying, shall go down
To the vile dust, from whence he sprung,
Unwept, unhonoured and unsung." ~ Sir Walter Scott
I received this in an e-mail this morning from blogger buddy Poison Pero:
Everyone says they support the troops, because saying otherwise would make them look like complete SOB's........But we all know there are many who not only don't support our military missions, they also don't support our troops.
Personally, I'd have more respect for people to come out and say they hate the troops......It would be refreshing to hear them speak the truth for a change.
That said, NBC has decided it can't run a few ads. Go to the links below (Note: You don't have to go to the links Pero provided because I have embedded the videos) to see the "horrific" ads which were turned down by NBC.......And then ask yourself if NBC "supports the troops."
WARNING: These ads are very controversial and hateful!!
If it is true that NBC is refusing to run these ads, perhaps we should contact NBC and ask them why they seemingly do not support the troops.
If enough Americans send messages to them, perhaps NBC will relent and run the ads. I already contacted NBC to express my feelings. I urge all patriotic Americans to do the same.
Monday, December 17, 2007
The above quotation (which I thought I had coined myself many years ago, but as it turns out, was coined by Mr. Karr first) is often used as a truism, but apparently, isn't always true, to wit:
While I was driving my son to school this morning (after he missed the bus for the umpteenth time this year), I questioned him about a startling revelation I had received a couple of weeks ago in a conference with his school counselor. The counselor told me the boys in the school don't take showers in P.E.
I don't know how the kids can stand going to the rest of their classes smelling of perspiration.
Well, maybe I can see that, but how can the other students stand them?
I then wondered aloud why the kids don't shower after all that physical activity, and my son said the idea of showering in gym was "gross".
"Not", I replied, "as gross as going to the rest of your classes stinking".
Then, after I dropped him off, I reflected on why they stopped showering, and also if other schools across the country have the same non-policy.
Do they? Does anyone reading this know? And if so, why?
I have my own uneducated, unresearched, and uninformed hypothesis:
Could it be the ever increasing acceptance of the gay lifestyle in our schools perhaps?
Think about it for a minute. Society, the schools, and public opinion have come together in the last 30 years or so to make all of us more sensitive to the plight of the poor, persecuted gay minority in this country. We have, for the most part, as a people, accepted the fact that gays live among us, and have successfully assimilated themselves into polite, moral society. So much so, in fact, that now, we who consider the lifestyle abhorrent have been forced to sit on the sidelines and pretend to approve.
Oh, sure, there is still some unrepentant and unabashed gay bigotry around. There always will be, I suspect.
As for myself, although I believe the lifestyle is perversion, I nevertheless treat any gay I meet as an equal. It is not, after all, the sole indication of their character. I can honestly say I have never known a homosexual, male or female, that I didn't personally like.
But has the gay lobby and activists been as successful at removing the stigma as we think?
I suggest they haven't. It would seem to me that the army's policy of "don't ask, don't tell" might work to lessen the amount of open discrimination against gays, but it does little to erase the bigotry that is still very much prevalent, particularly among high school boys.
I'm not suggesting that bigotry isn't somewhat deserved. After all, most right thinking people still consider homosexuality an abomination, as God pronounced it in Leviticus. There are those, (me included) who believe homosexuality is a choice, and not genetic.
But I digress.
When I was in high school, we took showers. We didn't want to attend the rest of the days classes stinking of perspiration. If we suspected any boy in our gym class was a "sissy", we took pains to not let that particular student see us naked, and, Heaven forbid, don't drop the soap in front of him.
Perhaps that attitude was ignorant but it was, nevertheless, the way we felt.
I know I wouldn't want some homo ogling me while I shower.
If any student ever got an accidental erection while showering with the other boys, his reputation within the school was effectively ruined for as long as students memories lasted.
So, to tie this all together, could it be that in their efforts to assure gay students are not discriminated against in high schools, the school administrators believe it necessary to ban showering in the boys locker room in gym class? Could they be merely protecting straight students against gay sexual harassment?
Is not taking showers in gym class a voluntary inaction by the students themselves or is it school policy? Are high school students more modest than students in my day?
Considering the breakdown in morals in the last 30 years, I find that scenario extremely unlikely. If anything, students would be more likely to parade around naked in the halls during school hours than to dive into lockers to hide their shame.
And the school administrators would be less likely to hand out any significant punishment for that singular behavior than they would have 30 years ago.
Ah, probably the only reason they don't take showers anymore is time constraints.
Friday, December 14, 2007
So Dan says, "No One says Global warming is a myth".
I say, "I do".
And so do a lot of other people, including actual climatologists, geologists, and meteorologists.
Many scientists concur with my common sense conviction that Global Warming is a myth. The following videos (which I, the only living global warming denier, according to Dan, didn't create) demonstrates this fact:
Then there's this one:
And then, this:
And, if you have time and/or are so inclined, click on the videos and you will be directed to the youtube pages on which they are found, and there you will find several links to web sites with further information from real actual scientists who agree that Global Warming is indeed a myth.
Just for starters, though, check out this interview with Dr. Timothy Ball.
One video I watched referenced a petition that was signed by 19,000 scientists who all agree Global Warming is a myth. That's a little more than the 928 scientists or so AlGore claims agree with Global Warming.
As I say. Global Warming is a myth.
Sunday, December 09, 2007
Today, I was going to create a post debunking the theory of Global warming, but Lone Ranger beat me to it, by posting a youtube video of actual objective scientists explaining why AlGore and that illustrious consensus of Global Warming so-called scientists are not telling us the truth.
Here is the video, for those who are unwilling to visit LR's blog:
The scientists in his video made two of the points I was going to bring up. One, the fact that the rise in temperature causes the rise in CO2 levels, not the opposite, as AlGore states.
The graph ALGore uses in his film, "An Inconvenient Truth" , to provide positive evidence of our impending demise via Global Warming, actually shows just the opposite. Using the same graph, the scientist in LR's video pointed out that CO2 levels followed, not preceded, the rise in Global temperature by as many as 800 years. If the CO2 levels don't rise before the temperature levels, it stands to reason that CO2 emissions are not the cause of Global warming.
Incidentally, a previous post by Lone Ranger explains that CO2 is an essential element to life on this planet. Humans breathe in oxygen, and expel carbon dioxide. Plants breathe in Carbon Dioxide and expel oxygen.
I suppose if the levels of CO2 in the atmosphere was significantly higher than the amount we need to maintain life on this planet, it might create a serious problem, but remember, there are many more trees, plants, flowers, weeds and blades of grass on this planet than there are humans.
As Lone Ranger eloquently puts it, "It's a perfect symbiosis, brought about by the totally random effects of the Big Bang."
Heh heh heh.
As I always say, the myth of Global Warming can be easily debunked by the use of simple common sense and logic.
The other point is the lie that water levels will rise by 20 feet if the polar ice caps melt. The scientists in the aforementioned video say the oceans water level would rise by no more than 23 inches.
The point I was going to make was this:
Fill a glass with water and ice and measure the water level before the ice melts and then again after it melts. The water level in the glass would remain virtually unchanged.
Then, calculate how much water levels would actually rise if the polar ice caps did indeed melt. Considering the oceans, seas, lakes and rivers make up 2/3 of the world, and the ocean is miles deep, the possibility that melting ice caps would raise the collective water level of the earth's waters significantly defies logic and common sense.
And yet, ALGore and friends insist the water levels would rise 20 feet or more. Where does AlGore say all this excess water will come from?
As it happens, it was a point I didn't need to make as the scientists in the video more than adequately make the point for me.
Here is a point I was going to make that wasn't made in the video:
AlGore's consensus of Scientists say that the average mean Global temperature year round, has risen 7/10 of 1 percent in the last century. That means if the average temperature was 65 degrees in 1907, it would be 65.7 degrees now in 2007. (I don't know exactly what it is, that's an example)
For all you Global warming believers out there, here is a little mathematical exercise for you:
Calculate for me, please, how long it will take for the average mean temperature on the planet to get so hot that it seriously endangers man's existence on this planet. Be sure to take into account that the average temperature on the polar ice caps is around 30-40 degrees below zero year round (the lowest recorded temperature of Antarctica is -126 degree F), and humans can withstand temperatures of over 90 degrees indefinitely, even without air conditioning. You may even include ALGore's position that the water level will rise 20 feet if the polar ice caps melt if that will help you skew your results better.
Then explain to me again how Climate Change is a more imminent threat to us than international terrorism.
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
It is approximately 7:05 AM. At this precise moment fifty-six years ago, I was making my mother scream for drugs.
I hate getting old.
On the plus side, there's gifts.
This happens this same time every year. It's no big deal. If it didn't happen, it would be a big deal. At least for me.
Sunday, December 02, 2007
I discovered David Bromberg way back in 1970 or 71 at a concert in Wichita, Kansas, at Henry Levitt arena on the WSU campus. He was one of the opening acts for a mega show starring the Earl Scruggs Review and The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. (Known as simply "The Dirt Band" now) The featured artists gave predictably great performances, but in my mind Bromberg stole the show.
Incidentally, the other opening act was an obscure, unknown comedian billed as "Banjo Funny Man Steve Martin". Yes, the same Steve Martin who is now a super star comedian, actor and director. And yes, he was hilarious then, too.
Bromberg is one of the best guitarists I've ever heard. He has a horrible voice, but somehow it lends itself well to ballads. At the time of the concert, he had one song that actually made it to the top forty charts, a rock and roll song of sorts called "Sharon".
His music can't be categorized as country or rock or blues or jazz or bluegrass, because frankly, he does them all and he does them well.
Anyway, after the show, I went right out and bought my first David Bromberg album. There was is an amazing solo acoustic guitar piece on it, a medley of Irish fiddle tunes.
Bromberg rarely performs anymore. He lives is Wilmington Delaware where he owns a Violin store, but sometimes he travels to some music festival someplace where he often gets together with more famous musicians, such as Arlo Guthrie, Jerry Jeff Walker, and John B. Sebastian.
Somewhere within the last 30+ years, I lost the album, and was never able to find a copy of that medley since. Until last weekend, when I ordered a CD of the same album online. Apparently, the only way to hear the medley is to get the CD.
The Title of the CD is "Demon In Disguise" and the following Youtube video is the title cut, from a performance at Iowa State in 1985, which has a pretty darn good solo guitar piece in it as well:
In case you hadn't noticed, John Sebastian plays harmonica in this clip.