November 30, 2007

Disorder In The Court


The following are questions which were (allegedly) asked in court. Having had a few lawyer friends, myself, and based on conversations I've had with some of them, and the questions I've heard them ask, I'm not surprised. I think I am, also, acquainted with some people like the witnesses here, too.

Q. What is your date of birth?
A. July fifteenth.
Q. What year?
A. Every year.

Q. What gear were you in at the moment of the impact?
A. Gucci sweats and Reeboks.

Q. This myasthenia gravis - does it affect your memory at all?
A. Yes.
Q. And in what ways does it affect your memory?
A. I forget.
Q. You forget. Can you give us an example of something that you've forgotten?

Q. How old is your son - the one living with you?
A. Thirty-eight or thirty-five, I can't remember which.
Q. How long has he lived with you?
A. Forty-five years.

Q. What was the first thing your husband said to you when he woke that morning?
A. He said, 'Where am I, Cathy?'
Q. And why did that upset you?
A. My name is Susan.

Q. And where was the location of the accident?
A. Approximately mile post 499.
Q. And where is mile post 499?
A. Probably between mile post 498 and 500.

Q. Sir, what is your IQ?
A. Well, I can see pretty well, I think.

Q. Did you blow your horn or anything?
A. After the accident?
Q. Before the accident.
A. Sure, I played for ten years. I even went to school for it.

Q. Do you know if your daughter has ever been involved in the voodoo or occult?
A. We both do.
Q. Voodoo?
A. We do.
Q. You do?
A Yes, voodoo.

Q. Trooper, when you stopped the defendant, were your red and blue lights flashing?
A. Yes.
Q. Did the defendant say anything when she got out of the car?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. What did she say?
A. What disco am I at?

Q. Now, doctor, isn't it true that when a person dies in his sleep, he doesn't know anything about it until the next morning?

Q. The youngest son, the twenty-year-old, how old is he?

Q. Were you present when your picture was taken?

Q. Was it you or your younger brother who was killed in the war?

Q. Did he kill you?

Q. How far apart were the vehicles at the time of the collision?

Q. You were there until the time you left, is that true?

Q. How many times have you committed suicide?

Q. So the date of conception (of the baby) was August 8th?
A. Yes.
Q. And what were you doing at the time?

Q. She had three children, right?
A. Yes.
Q. How many were boys?
A. None.
Q. Were there any girls?

Q. You say the stairs went down to the basement?
A. Yes.
Q. And these stairs, did they go up also?

Q. Mr Slattery, you went on a rather elaborate honeymoon, didn't you?
A. I went to Europe, Sir.
Q. And you took your new wife?

Q. How was your first marriage terminated?
A. By death.
Q. And by whose death was it terminated?

Q. Can you describe the individual?
A. He was about medium height and had a beard.
Q. Was this a male, or a female?

Q. Is your appearance here this morning pursuant to a deposition notice which I sent to your attorney?
A. No, this is how I dress when I go to work.

Q. Doctor, how many autopsies have you performed on dead people?
A. All my autopsies are performed on dead people.

Q. All your responses must be oral, OK? What school did you go to?
A. Oral.

Q. Do you recall the time that you examined the body?
A. The autopsy started around 8.30 p.m.
Q. And Mr Dennington was dead at the time?
A. No, he was sitting on the table wondering why I was doing an autopsy.

Q. Are you qualified to give a urine sample?

Q. Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?
A. No.
Q. Did you check for blood pressure?
A. No.
Q. Did you check for breathing?
A. No.
Q. So, is it possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?
A. No.
Q. How can you be so sure, Doctor?
A. Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.
Q. But could the patient have been alive, nevertheless?
A. It is possible that he could have been alive and practising law somewhere.

Q. You were not shot in the fracas?
A. No, I was shot midway between the fracas and the navel.

COURT TRANSCRIPTS
Lawyer: What did the tissue samples taken from the victim's vagina show?
Witness: There were traces of semen.
Lawyer: Male semen?
Witness: That's the only kind I know of.

Lawyer: Did you ever sleep with him in New York?
Witness: I refuse to answer that question.
Lawyer: Did you ever sleep with him in Chicago?
Witness: I refuse to answer that question.
Lawyer: Did you ever sleep with him in Miami?
Witness: No.

Lawyer: So, after the anaesthetic, when you came out of it, what did you observe with respect to your scalp?
Witness: I didn't see my scalp the whole time I was in the hospital.
Lawyer: Was it covered?
Witness: Yes, bandaged.
Lawyer: Then, later on, what did you see?
Witness: I had a skin graft. My whole buttocks and leg were removed and put on top of my head.

Clerk: Please repeat after me: "I swear by Almighty God..."
Witness: "I swear by Almighty God.."
Clerk: "That the evidence that I give.."
Witness: That's right.
Clerk: Repeat it.
Witness: "Repeat it."
Clerk: No, repeat what I said.
Witness: What you said when?
Clerk: "That the evidence that I give.."
Witness: "That the evidence that I give.."
Clerk: "Shall be the truth and.."
Witness: It will, and nothing but the truth!
Clerk: Please, just repeat after me, "Shall be the truth and.."
Witness: I'm not a scholar, you know.
Clerk: We can appreciate that. Just repeat after me, "Shall be the truth and.."
Witness: "Shall be the truth and.."
Clerk: "Nothing.."
Witness: Okay.
(Witness remains silent)
Clerk: No! Don't say nothing. Say, "Nothing but the truth.."
Witness: Yes.
Clerk: Can't you say, "Nothing but the truth?"
Witness: Yes.
Clerk: Well? Do so.
Witness: You're confusing me.
Clerk: Just say, "Nothing but the truth.."
Witness: Is that all?
Clerk: Yes.
Witness: Okay, I understand.
Clerk: Then say it.
Witness: What?
Clerk: "Nothing but the truth.."
Witness: But I do! That's just it.
Clerk: You must say, "Nothing but the truth.."
Witness: I WILL say nothing but the truth!
Clerk: Please, just repeat these four words: "Nothing. But. The. Truth."
Witness: What? You mean, like, now?
Clerk: Yes! Now. Please. Just say those four words.
Witness: "Nothing. But. The. Truth."
Clerk: Thank you.
Witness: I'm just not a scholar.

November 29, 2007

What Do You Think?

Can a good Muslim be a good American? This question was sent to a friend who worked in Saudi Arabia for 20 years. The following is his reply:

Theologically - no. Because his allegiance is to Allah, the moon god of Arabia.

Religiously - no. Because no other religion is accepted by his Allah except Islam (Koran, 2:256)

Scripturally - no. Because his allegiance is to the
five pillars of Islam and the Quran (Koran).

Geographically - no. Because his allegiance is to Mecca, to which he turns in prayer five times a day.

Socially - no. Because his allegiance to Islam forbids him to make friends with Christians orJews.

Politically - no. Because he must submit to the mullah (spiritual leaders), who teach annihilation of Israel and Destruction of America, the great Satan.

Domestically - no. Because he is instructed to marry four women and beat and scourge his wife when she disobeys him (Quran 4:34).

Intellectually - no. Because he cannot accept the American Constitution since it is based on Biblical principles and he believes the Bible to be corrupt.

Philosophically - no. Because Islam, Muhammad,and the Quran do not allow freedom of religion and expression. Democracy and Islam cannot co-exist. Every Muslim government is either dictatorial or autocratic.

Spiritually - no. Because when we declare "one nation under God," the Christian's God is loving and kind, while Allah is never referred to as heavenly father, nor is he ever called love in The Quran's 99 excellent names.

*Many people assume that the God of the Bible and the God of the Koran are the same God—just with different names. However, up until the seventh century when Mohammed announced Allah as the only one true God, "Allah" was the name of the widely worshipped moon god throughout ancient Mesopotamia.

Allah is not a further revelation of the God of the Bible, but declared as the one and only greatest of the celestial pre-Islam gods of Arabia.

Islam is not only Arabia's major religion, but also the fastest growing religion in the world. In the United States there are now over 6 million Muslims, more than thirty times the number of a decade ago.

‘‘In Arabia, the sun god was viewed as a female goddess and the moon as the male god. The moon god was Allah! The crescent or half moon is in Arabic 'hilal' which is a perfect anagram of Allah." [Alfred Buillaume, Islam (london: penguinbooks,1954)]

According to the Quran, the Holy War, called Jihad, is in reality a holy campaign which uses the help of the Quran to bring about a spiritual revolution in the world, so I think it would be fair in saying that, in recognizing the Muslims' allegiance to their faith and to their Quran, that they, indeed, cannot be good Muslims and good Americans at the same time.

I think that most do not realize that whether we want to believe it or not, as circumstances now stand we are in a holy war, and it is going to be allowed to escalate as we stand around being politically correct.

November 28, 2007

My Favorite Things

Remember the movie, "The Sound of Music"? Remember the tune of "My Favorite Things," which Julie Andrews sang in the movie? If you do, hum the tune as you read the following lyrics.

Maalox and nose drops and needles for knitting,
Walkers and handrails and new dental fittings,

Bundles of magazines tied up in string,
These are a few of my favorite things.

Cadillacs and cataracts and hearing aids and glasses,
Polident and Fixodent and false teeth in glasses,

Pacemakers, golf carts and porches with swings,
These are a few of my favorite things.

When the pipes leak,
When the bones creak,
When the knees go bad,
I simply remember my favorite things,
And then I don't feel so bad.

Hot tea and crumpets, and corn pads for bunions,
No spicy hot food or food cooked with onions,

Bathrobes and heat pads and hot meals they bring,
These are a few of my favorite things.

Back pains, confused brains, and no fear of sinnin',
Thin bones and fractures and hair that is thinnin',

And we won't mention our short shrunken frames,
When we remember our favorite things.

When the joints ache,when the hips break,
When the eyes grow dim,
Then I remember the great life I've had,
And then I don't feel so bad.



* Several years ago, a story circulated saying that Julie Andrews, to commemorate her sixty-ninth birthday, sang these lyrics at Manhattan's Radio City Music Hall for the benefit of the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) and the story is still making the rounds today, but it is not true. Unfortunately, she lost her ability to sing due to a mishap which occurred while having a polyp removed from her vocal cords. She sued the doctors, and Mount Sinai Hospital for malpractice, and settled out of court for an undisclosed amount of money, which was, reportedly, in the millions.

"Will I ever come to terms with not singing? I don't know. I miss it very much, indeed."

Julie Andrews



November 27, 2007

Baby Grace

The news of the two year old girl, whose body washed up on shore in a blue plastic box, in Galveston Bay last month, is sad. Her body has been identified, now, and she was from here, in Ohio. It seems that her mother met a man on the Internet, and moved to Texas to be with him. I started to say, "sad and shocking," when I began to write, but I have to be honest and admit that I was not shocked, and that is really sad. Such things have become such a common occurence, that when a child is missing, we expect the worst because that is usually the outcome...the worst.

I don't know what has happened to society. I don't know what has become of the respect for human life. I don't know what has caused people to look upon their children as nothing more than a hindrance, and something to be gotten rid of--for what? Convenience?

I don't understand how anyone could intentionally, physically, hurt another, much less, a helpless child. For every single one that we hear of being harmed, or killed, how many others are there, that no one knows about? When I think about the horror that these helpless innocents must have endured, it becomes almost too much to think about.

I remember when I was about fourteen years old, there was a couple who lived next door. They had a couple of children, one of them being a little girl, about two or three years old. I'm not sure, but I think she had been married before, and the children were from that marriage. I could hear the two of them arguing, and the thing that I remember most, was how she would scream and curse him, and the children. The little girl was like a scared little mouse, and whenever she would see me outside, she would hold her arms out to me, and say, "Take me," and I would pick her up, and hold her, of course.

One morning, very early, I heard the mother fussing, and yelling. I looked out, and saw the little girl standing at the edge of the stone wall which edged their yard, which was a level up from ours. It was very cold out, and she was standing there in her little nightie, holding her arms out, in the direction of our house, saying, "Take me! Baby, take me!" I went out, and she jumped down, into my arms. Her little body was shivering, and her skin was blue-mottled from the cold. I sat on my porch with her, wrapped her up in something,( I have forgotten what by now) and she snuggled as close as possible to me, as the yelling and cursing continued. In a few minutes, the door slams, and he is leaving, going fishing, and as he walks across the yard to his car, she screams at him, calling him a name, saying, "I hope you never come back! I hope I never see you again!" Unfortunately, that is exactly what happened. He never came back, and she never saw him, alive, again. He was fishing at a dam, and fell into the rough waters, and drowned.

I'm sure you must be wondering what any of this has to do with what I started out writing about..the little girl from Ohio, and how anyone can mistreat a child, but I guess in my mind, somehow, it is all connected. I know that the little neighbor girl must have been abused, because I saw the marks and bruises on her body, and besides that, she certainly was verbally abused. But why? Did the mother take the frustration with her husband out on the little girl? I'm sure that she never went to the extreme of inflicting deadly harm on her child, but I do wonder if it had been in today's society, if it would have been different, because it seems that there are less boundaries set today, on a personal level, despite all the laws in effect to prevent, and to punish such behavior.

I don't know the reasons why Baby Grace (as the Texas authorities named her) was murdered and disposed of like so much refuse, but from what I see on the news here, she did have a daddy and a grandmother who loved her, and their hearts are broken. There is never a good reason for a heart that is broken.

November 24, 2007

Victoria Regia


A beautiful Indian girl grew up listening to stories told by her father, the chief of her tribe, about the native legend of the Warrior of the Moon. The Warrior of the Moon was a powerful god who was frightful, but beautiful, and lived in the moon. During her childhood she always watched the moon, remembering the stories her father told her. Eventually she fell deeply in love with the Warrior-God. Her devotion was so great that when she became of age she resisted the advances of potential husbands. Despite encouragement from her father and family she refused to marry, insisting that one day she would meet her true love, the Warrior of the Moon. When the moon was full, she would remain awake watching the sky, trying to see the face of her fantasy lover. Frequently she would run through the jungle, with her arms outstretched, attempting to catch the rays from the moon in order to hold her Warrior-God. However, she was never able to capture the lunar rays, and the great love of her life persisted being an impossible dream.

Her friends and family attempted with all their might to convince her that her Warrior-God was merely an illusion. The years passed but she continued searching for her lover in the rays of the moon, but always failed. However one clear night in which the full moon shined like never before, the young Indian maiden entered the jungle, this time determined to hold the Warrior of the Moon and to keep him for eternity. She arrived at a lake and she saw the reflection of the moon in it. She believed that finally her lover had descended to Earth to bathe in the lake. Convinced she had finally encountered the Warrior-God, she entered the water to find her lover. Unfortunately, the reflection of the moon was only an illusion and she drowned in the lake searching for her imaginary lover.

The Warrior of the Moon, according to the native legend, really did exist, and he grieved for the beautiful Indian girl who had devoted her life to loving him and gave up her life in an attempt to be with him. Without the power to bring her back to life he decided to reincarnate her into an earth-bound star. The Warrior-God changed her into a star of the Amazon waters. This star is the giant flower of the plant that reigns as the queen of all aquatic plant life. In other words, the young Indian girl was transformed into an enormous floating plant, the Victoria Regia, whose large blossoms only open during the night. The native legend says that the Victoria Regia will only fully open her gigantic flowers in all their splendor during a full moon and when the sky is cloudless allowing her to see her true love, the Warrior of the Moon.

The story of the Indian maiden in search of her Warrior of the Moon is only a legend of the Amazon, so I am not sure about these gigantic water lillies blooming only under a full moon and cloudless sky, but now the moon is full, and I hope that they are blooming somewhere, without all the tragic prerequisites.

"The first successful effort to bring the Victoria Regia into bloom in England was in the world-famous botanical gardens of the Duke of Devonshire, at Chatsworth House. Joseph Paxton, the duke's head gardener constructed the great glass house for its accommodation, which took the name of its gorgeous occupant. The idea for the construction of this fairy-like building was derived from a study of the structure of the Victoria's leaf."

WISCONSIN STATE HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY
1885, XV, p. 143-146

November 23, 2007

Eighth Wonder Of The World?

House of secrets: "Below this house is the Damanhurian temple which is one of the largest temple complexes in the world."


People, and their creativity never cease to amaze me--and this is truly amazing! Take a look and tell me what you think!

Eighth wonder of the world? The stunning temples secretly carved out below ground by 'paranormal' eccentric the Daily Mail

November 22, 2007

An Old Cheyenne Legend

In a summer long ago, the Cheyennes were camped near some lakes beyond the Missouri River. Awakening from their sleep one morning, Red Eagle and his wife saw a strange creature lying in their tepee. The woman was frightened and was about to cry out, but Red Eagle quieted her and went closer to the strange being which was slowly rising to a sitting position. Red Eagle saw that this creature was a man who looked something like a Cheyenne, but he had a white skin and hair on his face and spoke in a strange language.

The man was so thin that he had scarcely any flesh on his bones, and for clothing he wore only moss and grass. He was very near death. Red Eagle gave him something to eat, but at first the man was so weak and exhausted that his stomach would not hold it, yet after a little while he got stronger.

Red Eagle told his wife to keep the presence of the stranger a secret. He feared that some of his tribesmen would kill the man, believing that he might bring them bad luck. A few days later, the chiefs sent a crier through the camp, announcing that the Cheyennes would be moving camp the next day.

Knowing that the stranger could no longer be concealed, Red Eagle revealed his presence. “I have taken him for my brother,” he said. “If anyone harms him I will punish them. The Great Spirit must have sent this man to us for a good reason.”

And so Red Eagle clothed him, fed him, and led him back to life. After a time the man learned to speak a few words of Cheyenne. He also learned the sign language of the tribe. In this way he was able to tell Red Eagle that he came from the East, the land of the rising sun. “With five other men I started out to trap the beaver. We were on a lake in a boat when the wind came up suddenly, overturned the boat, and drowned all the others. After I struggled ashore, I wandered about, living on roots and berries until all my clothes were worn and scratched off. Half blind, and nearly dead with hunger, I wandered into your camp and fell into your tepee.”

For the hundredth time the man thanked Red Eagle for saving his life, and then he continued: “For many days I have watched how hard you and your wife work. To make a fire you must use two sticks. Your wife uses porcupine quills for needles in sewing. She uses stone vessels to cook in, and you use stone knives and stone points for your spears and arrows. You must work hard and long to make these things. My people, who are powerful and numerous, have many wonderful things that the Cheyennes do not have.”

“What are these wonderful things?” Red Eagle asked.

“Needles that keep their points forever for your wife to sew with. Sharp knives of metal to cut with, steel to make a fire with, and a weapon that uses a black powder and sends hard pieces of metal straight at any wild game you need to kill. I can bring you these things if you and your people will help me get beaver skins. My people are fond of beaver fur, and they will give me these wonderful things for you in exchange.”

Red Eagle told his tribesmen what the stranger had said, and they collected many beaver skins for him. The skins were loaded on several travois drawn by dogs, and one day the stranger went off toward the rising sun with his dog-train of furs.

Several moons passed, and Red Eagle began to wonder if the stranger would ever return. Then on a bright sun shiny morning, the Cheyennes heard a noise like a clap of thunder near their camp. On a bluff to the east, they saw a man wearing a red cap and red coat. Above his head he lifted a strange weapon that resembled a black stick, and then he shouted a greeting to them in their own language.

As he approached, they recognized him as the stranger who had taken away the beaver skins. He had brought the Cheyennes all the wonderful things he had told about–knives, needles and steel — and he showed the people how to use them. Then he showed them the black powder and hollow iron with which he had made the noise like thunder. And that is how the first white man came to the Cheyennes.


*The above photograph " Cheyenne Braves" was taken in 1910 by photographer Edward S. Curtis (1868-1952)

Well, Fancy That






The Rogers Indicator of Multiple Intelligences
created with QuizFarm.com
You scored as Verbal/Linguistic

You have highly developed auditory skills, enjoy reading and writing and telling stories, and are good at getting your point across. You learn best by saying and hearing words. People like you include poets, authors, speakers, attorneys, politicians, lecturers and teachers.


Verbal/Linguistic


100%

Intrapersonal


96%

Interpersonal


79%

Bodily/Kinesthetic


71%

Visual/Spatial


64%

Logical/Mathematical


64%

Musical/Rhythmic


57%


November 21, 2007

First Thanksgiving In America


The Pilgrims, shown here celebrating their first Thanksgiving, were a group of Puritans who landed at Plymouth Rock, in what is now Massachusetts, United States, in 1620. In 1621 Governor William Bradford of New England proclaimed a day of “thanksgiving” and prayer to celebrate the Pilgrims’ first harvest in America. United States president Abraham Lincoln, following the precedent of a number of states, designated a national Thanksgiving Day in 1863. Now Thanksgiving Day falls annually on the fourth Thursday of November.


There are only two contemporary accounts of the 1621 Thanksgiving: First is Edward Winslow's account, which he wrote in a letter dated December 12, 1621. The complete letter was first published in 1622, and is chapter 6 of Mourt's Relation: A Journal of the Pilgrims at Plymouth


"Our corn [i.e. wheat] did prove well, and God be praised, we had a good increase of Indian corn, and our barley indifferent good, but our peas not worth the gathering, for we feared they were too late sown. They came up very well, and blossomed, but the sun parched them in the blossom. Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together after we had gathered the fruit of our labors. They four in one day killed as much fowl as, with a little help beside, served the company almost a week. At which time, amongst other recreations, we exercised our arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and among the rest their greatest king Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five deer, which they brought to the plantation and bestowed on our governor, and upon the captain and others. And although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want that we often wish you partakers of our plenty."


The second description was written about twenty years after the fact by William Bradford in his History Of Plymouth Plantation. Bradford's History was rediscovered in 1854 after having been taken by British looters during the Revolutionary War. Its discovery prompted a greater American interest in the history of the Pilgrims, which eventually led to Lincoln's decision to make Thanksgiving a holiday. It is also in this account that the Thanksgiving turkey tradition is founded.


"They began now to gather in the small harvest they had, and to fit up their houses and dwellings against winter, being all well recovered in health and strength and had all things in good plenty. For as some were thus employed in affairs abroad, others were exercising in fishing, about cod and bass and other fish, of which they took good store, of which every family had their portion. All the summer there was no want; and now began to come in store of fowl, as winter approached, of which this place did abound when they came first (but afterward decreased by degrees). And besides waterfowl there was great store of wild turkeys, of which they took many, besides venison, etc. Besides they had about a peck of meal a week to a person, or now since harvest, Indian corn to that proportion. Which made many afterwards write so largely of their plenty here to their friends in England, which were not feigned but true reports."


The following is a fairly complete list of the foods available to the Pilgrims during the three-day, 1651 Thanksgiving harvest celebration. As can be seen in the above two quotations, the only foods specifically mentioned by the Pilgrims are: "corn" (wheat, by the Pilgrims usage of the word), Indian corn, barley, peas (if any where spared), "fowl" (Bradford says "waterfowl"), five deer, fish (namely bass and cod), and wild turkey.


FISH: cod, bass, herring, shad, bluefish, and lots of eel.

SEAFOOD: clams, lobsters, mussels, and very small quantities of oysters

BIRDS: wild turkey, goose, duck, crane, swan, partridge, and other miscellaneous waterfowl; they were also known to have occasionally eaten eagles (which "tasted like mutton" according to Winslow in 1623.)

OTHER MEAT: venison (deer), possibly some salt pork or chicken.

GRAIN: wheat flour, Indian corn and corn meal; barley (mainly for beer-making).

FRUITS: raspberries, strawberries, grapes, plums, cherries, blueberries, gooseberries (these would have been dried, as none would have been in season).

VEGETABLES: small quantity of peas, squashes (including pumpkins), beans

NUTS: walnuts, chestnuts, acorns, hickory nuts, ground nuts

HERBS and SEASONINGS: onions, leeks, strawberry leaves, currants, sorrel, yarrow, carvel, brooklime, liverwort, watercress, and flax; from England they brought seeds and probably planted radishes, lettuce, carrots, onions, and cabbage. Olive oil in small quantities may have been brought over, though the Pilgrims had to sell most of their oil and butter before sailing, in order to stay on budget.

OTHER: maple syrup, honey; small quantities of butter, Holland cheese; and eggs.


"Have you cut the wheat in the blowing fields,
The barley, the oats, and the rye,
The golden corn and the pearly rice?
For the winter days are nigh."

"We have reaped them all from shore to shore,
And the grain is safe on the threshing floor."

"Have you gathered the berries from the vine,
And the fruit from the orchard trees?
The dew and the scent from the roses and thyme,
In the hive of the honeybees?"

"The peach and the plum and the apple are ours,
And the honeycomb from the scented flowers."

"The wealth of the snowy cotton field
And the gift of the sugar cane,
The savory herb and the nourishing root—
There has nothing been given in vain."

"We have gathered the harvest from shore to shore,
And the measure is full and brimming o'er."

"Then lift up the head with a song!
And lift up the hand with a gift!
To the ancient Giver of all
The spirit in gratitude lift!

For the joy and the promise of spring,
For the hay and the clover sweet,
The barley, the rye, and the oats,
The rice, and the corn, and the wheat,

The cotton, and sugar, and fruit,
The flowers and the fine honeycomb,
The country so fair and so free,
The blessings and glory of home."
"Thanksgiving"
AMELIA E. BARR
1831-1919

November 20, 2007

Slavic Village


Slavic Village, in Cleveland, was at one time, a nice ethnic community, with many attractive old homes, restaurants and shops. It was not always known by that name. It was originally called Warszawa. It was first settled around 1799 as part of Newburgh township. It was higher than the "flats" areas nearer the Cuyahoga River and thus became popular. Over the next century, the neighborhood was peopled with hundreds of first Welsh and Irish, then Polish and Czech immigrants who arrived to work in the textile and steel mills nearby. Not so long ago, all this changed. Now it is a crime-ridden place from which many of its residents have fled, some of whom had lived there their whole lives, and their parents, and grandparents, before them. The following is an article which talks about the problem, as it now exists. It seems to imply that the problem has arisen from the multitude of foreclosures there, and maybe that is part of it, but the major population of that town is no longer of Welsh, Irish, Polish, and Czech descent, and the root of the problem goes much deeper than most want to acknowledge.


CLEVELAND (CNNMoney.com) -- When homeowners moved away after a wave of foreclosures in Cleveland's working-class neighborhood of Slavic Village, crime took off.
Slavic Village is known as the worst neighborhood in the nation for foreclosures. In a study for CNNMoney, RealtyTrac calculated that properties in its ZIP code recorded more foreclosure filings in three months than anywhere else in the United States.
According to Jim Rokakis, Cuyahoga County Treasurer, more than 800 houses now sit vacant and moldering in the area, which was founded in the 1840s by Polish and Bohemian immigrants who worked in area steel mills and factories.
The first thing that happened after owners moved out of foreclosed homes in Slavic Village was that squatters and looters moved in, according to Mark Wiseman, director of the Cuyahoga County Foreclosure Prevention Program. "In the inner city, it takes about 72 hours for a house to be looted after it is vacant," he said.
Walking around the neighborhood, Mark Seifert, director of the East Side Organizing Project pointed out a home he said was still occupied less than two weeks before. The gutters and downspouts were already gone, and trash covered the yard.

Long-time Slavic Village resident Joe Krasucki had celebrated his 78th birthday last spring, when, late in the evening, he heard some noise and went out for a look. Reports said he'd had run-ins with local gangs before. A neighbor's abandoned house had already been stripped of its aluminum siding and, according to Rokakis, Krasucki thought the looters were back, working on his home. Outside, he was attacked and badly beaten. He died some days later.
After stripping the siding, looters don't take long to make a vacant property nearly worthless.
"If someone takes the doors, moldings, appliances, it's bad enough," said Wiseman. "But once they pull the piping out, it's all over; they do it with a sledge hammer."
Putting a house back together takes money, more money than the restored home could bring on the market. And stopgap programs, such as razing derelict houses, aren't feasible - Cuyahoga County only has a few million dollars available for demolition work, and Wiseman estimates at least $100 million is needed.
Many houses in Slavic Village have had their siding stripped up to the roof lines. A few criminal masterminds even stripped vinyl siding, apparently unaware of the difference in wholesale scrap prices between plastic and metal.
When a house is derelict, people will dump garbage in the yard, rather than pay for haulage. Windows are broken, and doors are stolen, opening up the interior to the elements. In Cleveland's cold and damp climate, the houses deteriorate quickly. But some not badly enough to keep drug dealers out.
Asteve'e "Cookie" Thomas was just 12 years old this past summer when she was gunned down coming out of a Slavic Village candy store, caught in a crossfire from suspected dealers engaged in a drug war. Seifert said one of the alleged shooters was using an abandoned house in the neighborhood as a base.
According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, five people, including Thomas and Krasucki, have been killed in Slavic Village in the past two years: In July, Grady Smith, 27, was shot outside his home while working on his car. In Nov. 2006, Roman Grasela, 71, died of blows to his head after his house was broken into. And in October 2005, Therese Szelugowski, 76, died weeks after falling and hitting her head after she was mugged.

Some Slavic Village home owners, still hoping to salvage something out of houses they have vacated, have installed stout doors on entryways with thick locks. They board up windows with three-quarter-inch, exterior-grade plywood.
Others attempt to thwart looters by advertising the lack of anything of value inside. They paint signs saying: "No copper, No wiring, PVC."
Residents have tried to fight back, organizing neighborhood watch groups and lobbying the police, who, many feel, are too often missing in action.
Seifert pointed out an open, empty lot on one block that had been used by car thieves for months and months to store and strip parts from stolen cars. It took a concerted effort by a local group called "Bring Back the 70's" (which refers to the street numbers in the neighborhood) to get the police to clear the lot of the thieves.
But as the number of empty lots and abandoned houses grows where houses and residents were once packed in a tight community, there are fewer and fewer neighbors to fight the battle.


* The following information is found at Wikipedia, and also points out the problems now existing in the wonderful old community.

"Slavic Village is a former predominantly Central and Eastern European neighborhood in Cleveland, Ohio. It encompasses two ethnic sub-neighborhoods, the largely Czech Karlin and the old Polish Warszawa.
Warszawa was the primary area of settlement for the city's Polish immigrants who arrived in the 1880s. The lives of these immigrants were centered around their parish, St. Stanislaus Church at E. 65th St. and Forman Ave. and the thriving Polish commercial center along Fleet Ave. and E. 71st St. The population of Poles and other Eastern Europeans in the neighborhood peaked from about 1920 to 1940 and began to decline during the mass suburbanization the city suffered during the 1950s and 1960s.
An attempt to revitalize the neighborhood was undertaken with the organization of Neighborhood Ventures, Inc., in 1977. With Teddy and Donna Sliwinski, along with architect Kaszimier Wieclaw, the area began to come alive once again. In order to attract other groups, especially African-Americans, the name of the region was changed to "Slavic Village." Currently Slavic Village is a quagmire, and there has been an exponential increase in violent crime, much of it related to youth gangs, drugs, and prostitution. The fact that it also has the most housing foreclosures in the country has not helped its image. A reduced police force, and possible closure of the 3rd district police section has, and will not, help the struggling community with its immense crime problem."

What the community is now is a far cry from what it used to be, and it doesn't look as if there is much hope for its recovery. When the people on the steet are interviewed there by the local television journalists, which usually happens after some horrific crime, they express their hopelessness, and their feelings of helplessness, and what I see in their eyes is fear.

If Jim Hadn't Met With The Accident


November 17, 2007

When A Man Loves A Woman

It is important for men to remember that, as women grow older, it becomes harder for them to maintain the same quality of housekeeping as when they were younger. When you notice this, try not to yell at them. Some are oversensitive, and there's nothing worse than an oversensitive woman.

My name is Jim. Let me relate how I handled the situation with my wife, Peggy. When I retired a few years ago, it became necessary for Peggy to get a full-time job along with her part-time job, both for extra income and for the health benefits that we needed.

Shortly after she started working, I noticed she was beginning to show her age. I usually get home from the golf club about the same time she gets home from work.

Although she knows how hungry I am, she almost always says she has to rest for half an hour or so before she starts dinner. I don't yell at her. Instead, I tell her to take her time and just wake me when she gets dinner on the table. I generally have lunch in the Men's Grill at the club so eating out is not reasonable. I'm ready for some home-cooked grub when I hit that door.

She used to do the dishes as soon as we finished eating. But now it's not unusual for them to sit on the table for several hours after dinner. I do what I can by diplomatically reminding her several times each evening that they won't clean themselves. I know she really appreciates this, as it does seem to motivate her to get them done before she goes to bed.

Another symptom of aging is complaining, I think. For example she will say that it is difficult for her to find time to pay the monthly bills during her lunch hour. But, boys, we take 'em for better or worse, so I just smile and offer encouragement. I tell her to stretch it out over two or even three days. That way she won't have to rush so much. I also remind her that missing lunch completely now and then wouldn't hurt her any (if you know what I mean). I like to think tact is one of my strong points.

When doing simple jobs, she seems to think she needs more rest periods. She had to take a break when she was only half finished mowing the yard. I try not to make a scene. I'm a fair man. I tell her to fix herself a nice, big, cold glass of freshly squeezed lemonade and just sit for a while. And, as long as she is making one for herself, she may as well make one for me too.

I know that I probably look like a saint in the way I support Peggy. I'm not saying that showing this much consideration is easy. Many men will find it difficult. Some will find it impossible! Nobody knows better than I do how frustrating women get as they get older.

However, guys, even if you just use a little more tact and less criticism of your aging wife because of this article, I will consider that writing it was well worthwhile. After all, we are put on this earth to help each other.

Signed,
Jim

EDITOR'S NOTE:

Jim died suddenly on May 27 of some kind of internal perforation. The police report says he was found with a broken Calloway extra long 50-inch Big Bertha Driver II golf club, and a sledge hammer laying nearby.

His wife Peggy was arrested and charged with murder. The all-woman jury took only 15 minutes to find her Not Guilty, accepting her defense that Jim somehow, without looking, accidentally sat down on his golf club.

November 16, 2007

Liberals/Conservatives History Lesson


Humans originally existed as members of small bands of nomadic hunters/gatherers. They lived on deer in the mountains during the summer and would go to the coast and live on fish and lobster in the winter.

The two most important events in all of history were the invention of beer and the invention of the wheel. The wheel was invented to get man to the beer. These were the foundation of modern civilization and together were the catalyst for the splitting of humanity into two distinct subgroups:

1. Liberals

2. Conservatives

Once beer was discovered, it required grain and that was the beginning of agriculture. Neither the glass bottle nor aluminum can were invented yet, so while our early humans were sitting around waiting for them to be invented, they just stayed close to the brewery. That's how villages were formed.

Some men spent their days tracking and killing animals to B-B-Q at night while they were drinking beer. This was the beginning of what is known as the Conservative movement.

Other men who were weaker and less skilled at hunting learned to live off the conservatives by showing up for the nightly B-B-Q's and doing the sewing, fetching, and hair dressing. This was the beginning of the Liberal movement. Some of these liberal men eventually evolved into women. The rest became known as girliemen.

Some noteworthy liberal achievements include the domestication of cats, the invention of group therapy, group hugs, and the concept of Democratic voting to decide how to divide the meat and beer that conservatives provided.

Over the years conservatives came to be symbolized by the largest, most powerful land animal on earth, the elephant. Liberals are symbolized by the jackass.

Modern liberals like imported beer (with lime added), but most prefer white wine or imported bottled water. They eat raw fish but like their beef well done. Sushi, tofu, and French food are standard liberal fare.

Another interesting evolutionary side note: most of their women have higher testosterone levels than their men. Most social workers, personal injury attorneys, journalists, dreamers in Hollywood and group therapists are liberals. Liberals invented the designated hitter rule because it wasn't fair to make the pitcher also bat.

Conservatives drink domestic beer. They eat red meat and still provide for their women. Conservatives are big-game hunters, rodeo cowboys, lumberjacks, construction workers, firemen, medical doctors, police officers, corporate executives, athletes, Marines, and generally anyone who works productively. Conservatives who own companies hire other conservatives who want to work for a living.

Liberals produce little or nothing. They like to govern the producers and decide what to do with the production. Liberals believe Europeans are more enlightened than Americans. That is why most of the liberals remained in Europe when conservatives were coming to America . They crept in after the Wild West was tamed and created a business of trying to get more for nothing.

Here ends today's lesson in world history: It should be noted that a Liberal may have a momentary urge to angrily respond to the above before forwarding it. A Conservative will simply laugh and be so convinced of the absolute truth of this history that it will be forwarded immediately to other true believers and to more liberals just to tick them off.

*Hey, I'm just presenting this to you so that you can draw your own conclusions. Do with it what you will.

Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please.
Mark Twain (1835 - 1910)

November 15, 2007

This Too Shall Pass


Hebrew for "This Too Shall Pass," read, of course, from right to left.

The quote, in itself, is simple. The true wisdom to be found in its meaning is revealed in the story from which the quote originates. I have no idea if you know where this quote came from, but I shall tell the story here. I think you will find it incredibly wise, whether it serves as a reminder or this is the first time you hear it....

King Solomon, feeling blue, asked his advisors to find him a ring he had once seen in a dream.

"When I feel satisfied I’m afraid that it won’t last. And when I don’t, I am afraid my sorrow will go on forever. Find me the ring that will ease my suffering." he demanded.

Solomon sent out all of his advisors, and eventually one of them met an old jeweler who carved into a simple gold band the inscription, "this too shall pass." When the king received his ring and read the inscription, his sorrows turned to joy and his joy to sorrows, and then both gave way to equanimity.

You see, the great King found himself unable to be content.

He felt sorrow when he was happy, and sorrow when he was not, because he was unable to see his way forward. The ring served to cancel out his sorrow. By constantly having something to look forward to, he found himself content. What he previously thought was satisfaction was only a superficial feeling that was brought on by his great wealth, which was only temporary, thus his satisfaction could not last forever. True satisfaction could only be found when he recognized his wealth for what it was.

The preceding story is a condensed version, and there are other origins attributed to the phrase.

Abraham Lincoln said, in an address to the Wisconsin State Agricultural Society in Milwaukee, WI, on September 30, 1859:

It is said an Eastern monarch once charged his wise men to invent him a sentence, to be ever in view, and which should be true and appropriate in all times and situations. They presented him the words: "And this, too, shall pass away." How much it expresses! How chastening in the hour of pride! How consoling in the depths of affliction!

(The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume III, "Address Before the Wisconsin State Agricultural Society, Milwaukee, Wisconsin" (September 30, 1859), pp. 481-482.)

Another version of the story from The Way of the Sufi by Idries Shah:

A powerful king, ruler of many domains, was in a position of such magnificence that wise men were his mere employees. And yet one day he felt himself confused and called the sages to him. He said: 'I do not know the cause, but something impels me to seek a certain ring, one that will enable me to stabilize my state. 'I must have such a ring. And this ring must be one which, when I am unhappy, will make me joyful. At the same time, if I am happy and look upon it, I must be made sad.' The wise men consulted one another, and threw themselves into deep contemplation, and finally they came to a decision as to the character of this ring which would suit their king. The ring which they devised was one upon which was inscribed the legend: This, too, will pass.

Another origin of the phrase is the story of a Middle Eastern potentate and his sons.

Once there was a Middle Eastern potentate who wanted his two sons to become the most intelligent people in the world. In order to do this he called a meeting of all the wise men in the Kingdom and ordered them to gather all the world's knowledge together in one place so his sons could read it. The wise men returned in a year with twenty-five volumes of knowledge. The potentate told them that it was far too long and asked them to condense it. The wise men left and returned a year later, but this time with only a single volume. The potentate told them that it was still too long for his sons and ordered them to condense it further. The wise men left for another year and returned and gave the potentate a piece of paper with a single sentence on it. That sentence was "This too shall pass."

"Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need."
Phillipians 4:11-12 KJV

I'll just sum it all up by saying this: "Life has its ups and downs."

November 14, 2007

I've Been Tagged

Well, it seems that I've been tagged by granny j over at Walking Prescott, which I consider a real honor, but there is only one problem; that being, that I don't have the slightest idea what to write about myself. It is one of those memes where you have to tell seven things about yourself, and I can't even think of seven things about myself that would be interesting enough to want to know. Besides, I think that I've put just about everything there is to know about me in my blog. I'm wondering if this would be one of those "7 things you wouldn't know about me, unless I told you " kind of memes? Maybe, I will give that a try. Let's see how it goes.

1)I was born at home, in a little place in Georgia, called Buchanan , named after former President
James Buchanan. It is the seat of Haralson County, and had a population of 941 in the year 2000.

2) From about the age of two, I lived on Canal Street (I always loved that name) in Cedartown, and it was there, before starting school that I memorized my first poems, "The Night Before Christmas" by Clement C. Moore, and "Bed In Summer" by Robert Louis Stevensen. It is strange, but to this day, I still don't remember how, unless they were quoted to me by either my mother, or my grandmother. I never remember having books read to me.

3)About the age of seven, we moved a few miles away to Benedict, where I was in second grade, and won just about every contest there was in the little Olympics, because I could run faster, and jump higher than anyone else, including the boys.

4) After that, I became an Alabama girl, when my mother remarried, and we moved to the country. Before that, I was a city girl, and had never seen a real cow, chicken, or any other animal found on a farm, so here is my confession: I had seen pictures of cows, and their udders, with the various spiggots, so everytime that Mama milked the cow, I wanted to know if it was sweet milk, buttermilk, or chocolate, and was very disappointed to learn that the cow had only one flavor.

5) As a teenager, we lived in yet another town. In this town, I was walking down the street one day, at the age of sixteen, all dressed up in a pretty dress and heels, and it being an Army town, and all the National Guardsmen were in town, I, somehow, caused a traffic jam. I just kept walking toward my destination, until a motorcycle cop drove up beside me on the sidewalk, and told me that I would have to go inside a service station there, to get out of sight until he he got the traffic moving again. With face burning even more than it was before, I did as he advised. And just so you know, I was not immodestly dressed, or anything like that, it's just that they were young soldiers who were away from home, and were just being, well...young!

6) I was asked to pose, two different times, and years apart, by Playboy Magazine. The first time, Daddy said, "No," and the second time, I said, "No." I said it a lot nicer than Daddy did, though.

7)About five years ago, I was summoned for jury duty in Alabama, but it was postponed because the judge who was to try the case, was still involved in the civil suits against Monsanto Chemical Company, so I didn't get to fulfill that one desire of my heart, having always wanted to sit on a jury. My husband said that they should thank their lucky stars that it was postponed, with me on it, because it would probably still be going on because of my inherent desire to be a detective, and memory like an elephant, or as he so delicately puts it sometimes, "a mind like a steel trap."

I'm going to have to think about who I will tag, now. It may take me awhile to do that, because most of those I know have done so many, recently, that they may have to be talked into it.

Meanwhile, though, I offer you one of my favorite poems mentioned above. Even now, especially if the morning is particularly dark, the poem becomes vivid in my mind.

Bed in Summer
In winter I get up at night
And dress by yellow candle-light.
In summer quite the other way,I have to go to bed by day.

I have to go to bed and see
The birds still hopping on the tree,
Or hear the grown-up people’s feet
Still going past me in the street.

And does it not seem hard to you,
When all the sky is clear and blue,
And I should like so much to play,
To have to go to bed by day?

~Robert Louis Stevenson
November 13, 1850-December 3, 1894

November 13, 2007

Another Senior Moment


An elderly Florida lady did her shopping and, upon returning to her car, found four males in the act of leaving with her vehicle.

She dropped her shopping bags and drew her handgun, proceeding to scream at the top of her voice, "I have a gun, and I know how to use it! Get out of the car!"

The four men didn't wait for a second invitation.

They got out and ran like mad.

The lady, somewhat shaken, then proceeded to load her shopping bags into the back of the car and got into the driver's seat. She was so shaken that she could not get her key into the ignition.

She tried and tried, and then it dawned on her why.

A few minutes later, she found her own car parked four or five spaces farther down. She loaded her bags into the car and drove to the police station.

The sergeant to whom she told the story couldn't stop laughing.

He pointed to the other end of the counter, where four pale men were reporting a car jacking by a mad, elderly woman, described as white, less than five feet tall, glasses, curly white hair, and carrying a large handgun. No charges were filed.

If you're going to have a Senior Moment, make it a memorable one!

November 12, 2007

Sounds Like Eugene


A six-year-old boy told his father he wanted to marry the little girl across the street. The father, being modern and well-schooled in handling children, hid his smile behind his hand.
"That's a serious step," he said. "Have you thought it out completely?"
"Yes," his young son answered. "We can spend one week in my room and the next in hers. It's right across the street, so I can run home if I get scared of the dark."
"How about transportation?" the father asked.
"I have my wagon, and we both have our tricycles," the little boy answered. The boy had an answer to every question the father raised.
Finally, in exasperation, his dad asked, "What about babies? When you're married, you're liable to have babies, you know."
"We've thought about that, too," the little boy replied."We're not going to have babies. Every time she lays an egg, I'm going to step on it!"
* Eugene was my first love...remember?

November 11, 2007

Hmmm...

CINCINNATI — A lawyer for the man accused of raping a University of Cincinnati student says the encounter could have been consensual because the woman has a history of sleepwalking.

Dexter Ford, 52, is charged with raping the 23-year-old woman early Thursday morning near Interstate 71 in Cincinnati.

Ford’s lawyer, Jeff Adams, said prosecutors told him the woman takes prescription medication and has a sleepwalking condition, a fact that will likely be the core part of Ford’s defense.

“It goes to consent,” he said. “How is he to know she is sleepwalking, if it’s a dream ‘yes’ or a real ‘yes?’ ”

Adams has not said if Ford spoke to the woman and whether she consented to sex.

Messages seeking comment were left with Adams on Saturday.

Two passing motorists reported seeing Ford on top of a woman near a White Castle restaurant on Taft Road near I-71 and called police from their cell phones, Cincinnati police said.

When police arrived, the woman was still asleep, according to police reports.

She was taken to University Hospital for treatment.

Hamilton County Municipal Judge Fanon Rucker said he also was told the victim sleepwalked through the encounter.

Rucker set bond for $500,000 and ordered Ford to be tested for sexually transmitted diseases. Ford told police he is HIV-positive, Rucker said.

During the past 15 years Ford, who is currently homeless, has served time in the Hamilton County jail and state prisons on charges including aggravated arson, breaking and entering, possession of illegal drug paraphernalia, theft and trespassing, court records showed.

Sleep medicines such as Lunesta and Ambien have been reported to cause sleepwalking in patients, said Dr. James Knepler, who specializes in sleep disorders at the University of Cincinnati’s Comprehensive Medicine Center.

Sleepwalkers typically look like they are in a daze, and may not respond to outside stimuli, he said.

*Hmmm..I don't know, but my elderly Aunt, who takes Ambien, says that she has found her heater turned on in the morning, when she knows it was turned off the night before.

And that's all I have to say about it.

Anything is possible.

Thank You Veterans Past And Present


The average age of the military man is 19 years.

He is a short haired, tight-muscled kid who, under normal circumstances is considered by society as half- man, half- boy.

Not yet dry behind the ears, not old enough to buy a beer, but old enough to die for his country.

He never really cared much for work and he would rather wax his own car than wash his father's, but he has never collected unemployment either.

He's a recent High School graduate; he was probably an average student, pursued some form of sport activities, drives a ten year old jalopy, and has a steady girlfriend that either broke up with him when he left, or swears to be waiting when he returns from half a world away.

He listens to rock and roll or hip-hop or rap or jazz or swing and a 155mm howitzer.

He is 10 or 15 pounds lighter now than when he was at home because he is working or fighting from before dawn to well after dusk.

He has trouble spelling, thus letter writing is a pain for him, but he can field strip a rifle in 30 seconds and reassemble it in less time in the dark.

He can recite to you the nomenclature of a machine gun or grenade launcher and use either one effectively if he must.

He digs foxholes and latrines and can apply first aid like a professional. He can march until he is told to stop, or stop until he is told to march.

He obeys orders instantly and without hesitation, but he is not without spirit or individual dignity.

He is self-sufficient.

He has two sets of fatigues: he washes one and wears the other.

He keeps his canteens full and his feet dry.

He sometimes forgets to brush his teeth, but never to clean his rifle.

He can cook his own meals, mend his own clothes, and fix his own hurts.

If you're thirsty, he'll share his water with you; if you are hungry, his food.

He'll even split his ammunition with you in the midst of battle when you run low.

He has learned to use his hands like weapons and weapons like they were his hands.

He can save your life - or take it, because that is his job.

He will often do twice the work of a civilian, draw half the pay, and still find ironic humor in it all.

He has seen more suffering and death than he should have in his short lifetime.

He has wept in public and in private, for friends who have fallen in combat and is unashamed.

He feels every note of the National Anthem vibrate through his body while at rigid attention, while tempering the burning desire to 'square-away' those around him who haven't bothered to stand, remove their hat, or even stop talking.

In an odd twist, day in and day out, far from home, he defends their right to be disrespectful. Just as did his Father, Grandfather, and Great-grandfather, he is paying the price for our freedom.

Beardless or not, he is not a boy.

He is the American Fighting Man that has kept this country free for over 200 years. He has asked nothing in return, except our friendship and understanding.

Remember him, always, for he has earned our respect and admiration with his blood.


* This was written to honor our men in uniform, but as we remember them, let's not forget the women who are there with them, doing their part to defend the rights of every American.


Let us honor every U.S. Soldier, Sailor, Coastguardsman, Marine, and Airman, and in our hearts, let us say "Thank You!" to our brave men and women, past and present, who have given, and are giving, their best for our country.

November 09, 2007

Installing Love


Tech Support: Yes, ... how can I help you?

Customer: Well, after much consideration, I've decided to install Love. Can you guide me through the process?

Tech Support: Yes. I can help you. Are you ready to proceed?

Customer: Well, I'm not very technical, but I think I'm ready. What do I do first?

Tech Support: The first step is to open your Heart. Have you located your Heart?

Customer: Yes, but there are several other programs running now. Is it okay to install Love while they are running?

Tech Support: What programs are running ?

Customer: Let's see, I have Past Hurt, Low Self-Esteem, Grudge and Resentment running right now.

Tech Support: No problem, Love will gradually erase Past Hurt from your current operating system. It may remain in your permanent memory but it will no longer disrupt other programs. Love will eventually override Low Self-Esteem with a module of its own called High Self-Esteem. However, you have to completely turn off Grudge and Resentment. Those programs prevent Love from being properly installed. Can you turn those off ?

Customer: I don't know how to turn them off. Can you tell me how?

Tech Support: With pleasure. Go to your start menu and invoke Forgiveness. Do this as many times as necessary until Grudge and Resentment have been completely erased.

Customer: Okay, done! Love has started installing itself. Is that normal? Tech Support: Yes, but remember that you have only the base program. You need to begin connecting to other Hearts in order to get the upgrades.

Customer: Oops! I have an error message already. It says, "Error - Program not run on external components." What should I do?

Tech Support: Don't worry. It means that the Love program is set up to run on Internal Hearts, but has not yet been run on your Heart. In non-technical terms, it simply means you have to Love yourself before you can Love others.

Customer: So, what should I do?

Tech Support: Pull down Self-Acceptance; then click on the following files: Forgive-Self; Realize Your Worth; and Acknowledge your Limitations.

Customer: Okay, done.

Tech Support: Now, copy them to the "My Heart" directory. The system will overwrite any conflicting files and begin patching faulty programming. Also, you need to delete Verbose Self-Criticism from all directories and empty your Recycle Bin to make sure it is completely gone and never comes back.

Customer: Got it. Hey! My heart is filling up with new files. Smile is playing on my monitor and Peace and Contentment are copying themselves all over My Heart. Is this normal?


Tech Support: Sometimes. For others it takes awhile, but eventually everything gets it at the proper time. So Love is installed and running. One more thing before we hang up. Love is Freeware. Be sure to give it and its various modules to everyone you meet. They will in turn share it with others and return some cool modules back to you.

Customer: Thank you, God.

>

November 08, 2007

AAADD



I was reading one of my favorite blogs,The Torn Pages ,and the subject of that post reminded me of the following email I received a few days ago. This is not to imply, of course, that my friend is suffering from this affliction, but I thought it might, at least, give her some comfort.

Age Activated Attention Deficit Disorder.

This is how it manifests:

I decide to water my garden.

As I turn on the hose in the driveway, I look over at my car and decide it needs washing.

As I start toward the garage, I notice mail on the porch table that I brought up from the mail box earlier.

I decide to go through the mail before I wash the car.

I lay my car keys on the table, put the junk mail in the garbage can under the table, and notice that the can is full.

So, I decide to put the bills back on the table and take out the garbage first.

But then I think, since I'm going to be near the mailbox when I take out the garbage anyway, I may as well pay the bills first.

I take my check book off the table, and see that there is only one check left.

My extra checks are in my desk in the study, so I go inside the house to my desk where I find the can of Coke I'd been drinking. I'm going to look for my checks, but first I need to push the Coke aside so that I don't accidentally knock it over.

The Coke is getting warm, and I decide to put it in the refrigerator to keep it cold.

As I head toward the kitchen with the Coke, a vase of flowers on the counter catches my eye--they need water.

I put the Coke on the counter and discover my reading glasses that I've been searching for all morning.

I decide I better put them back on my desk, but first I'm going to water the flowers. I set the glasses back down on the counter, fill a container with water and suddenly spot the TV remote. Someone left it on the kitchen table.

I realize that tonight when we go to watch TV, I'll be looking for the remote, but I won't remember that it's on the kitchen table, so I decide to put it back in the den where it belongs, but first I'll water the flowers.

I pour some water in the flowers, but quite a bit of it spills on the floor.

So, I set the remote back on the table, get some towels and wipe up the spill.

Then, I head down the hall trying to remember what I was planning to do. At the end of the day: the car isn't washed the bills aren't paid, there is a warm can of Coke sitting on the counter, the flowers don't have enough water, there is still only 1 check in my check book, I can't find the remote, I can't find my glasses, and I don't remember what I did with the car keys.

Then, when I try to figure out why nothing got done today, I'm really baffled because I know I was busy all stinking day, and I'm really tired.

This is a serious problem, and just think -- if this isn't you yet, your day is coming!

Here's To More Fun

Working people frequently ask retired people what they do to make their days interesting. Well, for example, the other day I went down town and went into a shop. I was only in there for about 5 minutes and when I came out there was a cop writing out a parking ticket.

I went up to him and said, "Come on,man, how about giving a senior citizen a break"? He ignored me and continued writing the ticket.

I called him a Nazi. He glared at me and started writing another ticket for having worn tires. So then I called him a #%"#*. He finished the second ticket and put it on the windshield with the first. Then he started writing a third ticket.

This went on for about 20 minutes. The more I abused him, the more tickets he wrote. Personally, I didn't care. I came down town on the bus and the car that he was putting the tickets on had a bumper sticker that said"Hillary in '08." I try to have a little fun each day now that I'm retired.

*Well, I think that guy would have even more fun if he looked for stickers supporting Obama, Edwards, and Kucinich, too!


November 06, 2007

Precious

This is our little longhaired Daschund, Precious. We've had her since August of 1999, and we're not sure of her exact age. She was with her second family when we got her. She had belonged to a couple who had divorced, and somehow, ended up with the second family. They all worked, or were away from home, and she was left alone much of the time. We think that, perhaps, she had been abused when she was with the first family, having been in the husband's possession after the divorce My son Mike, who loves animals, begged the second family to sell her to him.

When he brought her home, she was skinny, and undernourished, but she took to us, right away, and of course, we fell in love with her. I think she must have been at least a year or two old. She was out in the backyard, not too long after she joined our family, and we heard this terrified cry, and when we ran outside, we discovered that Weenie Dog, the neighborhood canine Lothario, had ambushed her from behind the corner shrub! She was pathetic, and scared out of her wits! After we managed to send Weenie Dog packing, we had to carry her around in our arms for most of the day, while she whimpered and cried at her misfortune!

I guess I don't have to tell you what the consequences of that day happened to be--pretty soon, she was obviously very pregnant. She had a hard labor, which lasted the whole night, from about nine in the evening, until around seven-thirty the next morning. She had a difficult delivery, too, needing a lot of help from me. She delivered five babies, and the very last one took a long time, and just seemed to hang there. Ironically, it was during the Presidential election, when they were counting all the votes down in Florida, and talking about "hanging chads," so you can guess what we named that last puppy! Yep! Chad!

Precious was not very infatuated with any of her babies, but she was a good mama, allowing them to indulge their appetites whenever neccessary, but I don't think she was too happy about it. She fulfilled her motherly duties until they were old enough to wean, and to be given away to good homes, but I don't think it could have been too soon for her!

We told Weenie Dog's family that if it happened again, we were going to have to go for child support, and they promised not to let him out of the yard again! It's the least we could do for our girl!

Rainbow, Soon Snow

Today, we are having snow flurries, and it is about forty-six degrees, with lake effect snow expected later this evening, with an accumulation of one-to-two inches. Right now, it is rather cold, and blustery, but just look at the picture above. That was taken only a few days ago,at the edge of our back lawn. I think it is pretty, with colored leaves, and the prism of rainbow colors, but soon when we look back there we will see a winter wonderland of snow, and an occasional family of deer passing through, and it will be really cold. Since I started typing this, the temperature has dropped to thirty-seven degrees, so I'm thinking that right now would be a great time to go start a pot of spaghetti sauce, and penne pasta. Salad and thick slices of toasted garlic bread sound good, too...along with a pot of freshly brewed coffee. Before doing that, I will light all the good-smelling candles, including some balsamic pine ones that I just bought the other day, and several others, all over the house, just for the ambiance. I don't know, but I really do think that I'm a fall and winter person--there is just something so comforting about being all snug and warm, and cozy, shut away from the outside world, enjoying all the comforts of home. If only everyone could be so blessed. I certainly wish it for everyone. I think that I appreciate it so much more, because I didn't always have it. I am thankful for all my blessings, and I never want to take them for granted. I know that it is so easy to do at times, when things are going well. I guess the thing to remember is that sometimes things do change, so it is a good idea to savor the moment, whatever that moment may be.

November 04, 2007

I Miss The Good Old Days

McDonald's comes to Africa

We all get heavier as we get older because there's a lot more information in our heads. So I'm not fat, I'm just really intelligent and my head couldn't hold any more, so it started filling up the rest of me!

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it!

Besides, by the time I've finished eating all that Halloween candy that the sweet little hobgoblins didn't stop by for, my intelligence will be showing even more!

We bought enough stuff to fill up 100 plastic baggies, with an assortment of goodies, but we had very few little trick- or -treaters stop by. All of them were accompanied by adults, which was a good thing.

There was a time when 100 bags would not have been enough, but times have changed. Either parents have smartened up when it comes to not eating junk food, or they realize the dangers inherent in today's society.

I know that nothing stays the same forever, but I sure do miss the good old days when life was so much sweeter and simpler, and all that kids had to think about was just being kids.


November 03, 2007

I Know This Won't Win Friends, Or Influence People, But..

Have you ever just gotten to the point where you don't know what to think anymore? About people? What you thought you knew about them, but realize that their ideas, and ideals, are not the same as you thought they were? I realize that on here, in the blogworld, that you can only learn so much, or get to know a person only to a degree, but still, it is disappointing when you realize that you were completely wrong about it.

The more I read around on the myriad of blogs here, the more disillusioned I feel, especially when I see, sometimes, pure hatred for a person, or an official of the government. I know that we are all different, with different views of the world, and what is going on in the world, but I never knew just how profound it was, until I started reading the opinions expressed on some blogs, and some of the comments made on the different posts.

The amazing thing to me is, that you get an idea of a person, and their personality, and what you think is their general view of things, especially when it comes to politics, and particular issues. You can read that blog, and it will be general, creative writing, or poetry, or prose, or just general observations, or sharing of current events in the person's life. And then, there you are reading a blog with a subject which is not ordinarily anything you would find there, and not only does that rather shock you, but then there is a comment on the post from someone else which shocks you even more, because you had no idea in your wildest imagination that either of them felt such hatred toward an individual. I guess it is best not to mention religion or politics in blogs, or at least, best not to read them when you find them.

I don't like the way things are going, politically, in this country. I don't like the way that certain ethnic groups are behaving, and the direction that the politically correct crowd is trying take our country, but I do not hate anyone. I am disillusioned. Yes. I speak out about obvious injustices, and express my disgust about it, but I don't harbor any hatred in my heart at all--especially not against a president who is only human, and has done no worse things than other presidents, when you come right down to it. Not every president has been put into the position this one has, either...and who knows what anyone else would have done, in the same situation? It could have been worse, if certain other candidates had won the election--and therein, to my way of thinking, lies a lot of the discord. There are still too many who think, and want to believe, that the election was stolen, and until they see President Bush out of office, under any circumstances, they will not be satisfied.

No matter how high the ideals seem, of the politicians, and presidential candidates--it still comes down to the same thing--it is mostly about personal power, and as sad as it is to say--it is about greed. So, whether Republican, or Democrat, you really have no idea what you are getting, until they are actually in office. All you have to go on is what they SAY they will do, and that, very rarely, ever comes to pass.

Did I say that I'm disillusioned? Well, I am, and I hate the way it makes me feel.

November 02, 2007

Lord, Teach Me To Crochet


For all of these years, he had never thought about the box, but one day the little old woman got very sick and the doctor said she would not recover.

In trying to sort out their affairs, the little old man took down the shoe box and took it to his wife's bedside.

She agreed that it was time that he should know what was in the box. When he opened it, he found two crocheted dolls and a stack of money totaling $95,000.

He asked her about the contents. "When we were to be married," she said, " my grandmother told me the secret of a happy marriage was to never argue. She told me that if I ever got angry with you, I should just keep quiet and crochet a doll."

The little old man was so moved; he had to fight back tears. Only two precious dolls were in the box. She had only been angry with him two times in all those years of living and loving. He almost burst with happiness.

"Honey," he said, "that explains the dolls, but what about all of this money? Where did it come from?"

"Oh," she said, "that's the money I made from selling the dolls."

November 01, 2007

R-E-S-P-E-C-T...Not!


During rendition of the national anthem when the flag is displayed, all present except those in uniform should stand at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart. Men not in uniform should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart. -- United States Code, Title 36, Chapter 10, Sec. 171

The Star Spangled Banner

Oh, say, can you see, by the dawn's early light,

What so proudly we hail'd at the twilight's last gleaming?

Whose broad stripes and bright stars, thro' the perilous fight,

O'er the ramparts we watch'd, were so gallantly streaming?

And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,

Gave proof thro' the night that our flag was still there.

O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave

O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore dimly seen thro' the mists of the deep,

Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,

What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,

As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?

Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,

In full glory reflected, now shines on the stream:'

Tis the star-spangled banner: O, long may it wave

O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore

That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion

A home and a country should leave us no more?

Their blood has wash'd out their foul footsteps' pollution.

No refuge could save the hireling and slave

From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave:

And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave

O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

O, thus be it ever when freemen shall stand,

Between their lov'd homes and the war's desolation;

Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the heav'n-rescued land

Praise the Pow'r that hath made and preserv'd us as a nation!

Then conquer we must, when our cause is just,

And this be our motto: "In God is our trust"

And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave

O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Democracy Countdown



I have always heard about this democracy countdown. It is interesting to see it in print.
How Long Do We Have?
About the time our original thirteen states adopted their new constitution in 1787, Alexander Tyler, a Scottish history professor at the University of Edinburgh , had this to say about the fall of the Athenian Republic some 2,000 years earlier:
"A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government."
"A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury."
"From that moment on, the majority always vote for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship."
"The average age of the world's greatest civilizations from the beginning of history, has been about 200 years""During those 200 years, those nations always progressed through the following sequence:
1. from bondage to spiritual faith;
2. from spiritual faith to great courage;
3. from courage to liberty;
4. from liberty to abundance;
5. from abundance to complacency;
6. from complacency to apathy;
7. from apathy to dependence;
8. from dependence back into bondage"
Professor Joseph Olson of Hamline University School of Law, St. Paul , Minnesota , points out some interesting facts concerning the 2000 Presidential election:
Number of States won by:
Gore: 19
Bush: 29
Square miles of land won by:
Gore: 580,000
Bush: 2,427,000
Population of counties won by:
Gore: 127 million
Bush: 143 million
Murder rate per 100,000 residents in counties won by:
Gore: 13.2
Bush: 2.1
Professor Olson adds: "In aggregate, the map of the territory Bush won was mostly the land owned by the taxpaying citizens of this great country. Gore's territory mostly encompassed those citizens living ingovernment-owned tenements and living off various forms of government welfare..."
Olson believes the United States is now somewhere between the "complacency and apathy" phase of Professor Tyler's definition ofdemocracy, with some forty percent of the nation's population already having reached the "governmental dependency" phase.
If Congress grants amnesty and citizenship to twenty million criminal invaders called illegals and they vote, then we can say goodbye to the USA in fewer than five years.