Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

Two little words with such baggage! Merry Christmas means so many things. I suppose that for each person Christmas and the emotions and thoughts even the word conveys is as unique as that individual is.

I wish each of you a Merry Christmas, and hope that you are filled with the joy that knowing the Christ brings - for this is truly a reason to celebrate. Christmas is the commemoration of the day that God laid aside His majesty and was born a human in a dirty, smelly stable so that He could make a way for us to know Him. The beauty is that even today He isn't afraid to come into the dirty and smelly to save a life.

If you know the Christ of Christmas I pray that you will find time today in the midst of the bustle of our celebrations and reflect on Him. If you don't know Jesus I hope that you will meet Him today.

Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Home For Christmas

My Grandfather died today around lunch time. He went pretty quickly, and that is something I had always hoped for. He got to live in his home on his own right up until the end even though dementia was starting to take its toll. It is a mercy that he succumbed to something other than the dementia. I only wish that he had been able to be home when he died.

My Grandfather lived to be 88 years old. He had a good life. He was married to my Grandmother for 63 years before she died 5 years ago. I told them on their 60th anniversary that if I ever lived to be married 60 years I was going to be OLD. Even more so now.

My Grandfather taught me so much about being a man when I was growing up. He was always so virile and positive and active. He was the most manly man I have ever known - although my Uncle Jim was a close second. John Wayne had nothing on my Grandfather.

He taught me how to work and how to live. He taught me alot about marriage and relationships. I will always cherish the times that I had with him. Thank God I have those memories. I will remember all of the times that I helped him working in the bees, or putting up corn or honey. I will remember quail hunting with him and the many fishing trips that we had together. Our last fishing trip together was less than two months ago. It was the best one that I can remember in years. He had such a good time. God is so good to have given that to him - to us. God, I'm going to miss him.

Yet, in the midst of the loss that I feel right now I know beyond even the merest glimmer of a doubt that his joy is full right now. He was a Christian. He believed in Jesus Christ and had accepted His sacrifice for his sins. Today my Grandfather is with the Lord and my Grandmother and so many other saints in paradise. He is no longer plagued by weakness, but is completely whole again - whole for the first time and amazed by the things that he is beholding for the very first time. I wouldn't take him away from that now if I could. It reminds me of a really poignant song written by Steven Curtis Chapman called Going Home For Christmas. Thank God for this hope that all believers share - goodbye between those in Christ is never forever, for we will one day be reunited for all eternity.

Going Home For Christmas

Her house was where the family gathered
every Christmas eve;
A feast was set on the table and
gifts were placed beneath the tree.
Everything was picture perfect,
Grandpa would laugh and say,
That woman spends the whole year
getting ready for this day.

One year the leaves began to fall
and her health began to fade;
We moved her to a place where
they could watch her night and day.
But she kept making plans for Christmas
from her little room;
She told everyone, I’ll miss you
but I’ll be leaving soon.

I’m going home for Christmas
and I’m going home to stay;
I’m going home for Christmas
and nothing’s gonna keep me away.
I’ll be with the ones I love
to celebrate the Savior’s birth;
This gift will be worth more to me
than anything on earth.
I’m going home, home for Christmas.

All the leaves outside have fallen
to be covered by the snow;
The family comes with food and gifts
and Grandpa comes alone.
There’s a sadness in our silence
as the Christmas story’s read,
And with tears, Grandpa reminds us
of the words that Grandma said.

I’m going home for Christmas
and I’m going home to stay;
I’m going home for Christmas
and nothing’s gonna keep me away.
She’ll be face to face with Jesus
as we celebrate His birth,
And this gift will be worth more to her
than anything on earth,
‘Cause she’ll be home.

And as we sing ‘Joy to the World’
I can’t help thinking
Of the joy that’s shining in her eyes right now.
And though our hearts still ache,
we know that as we celebrate,
She’s singing with the herald angels
and heaven’s glowing on her face.

And now she’s home for Christmas
and now she’s home to stay;
She’s home for Christmas,
and nothin’ could’ve kept her away.
She’ll be face to face with Jesus,
as we celebrate His birth,
And this gift will be worth more to her
than anything on earth.
She’s home, she’s home for Christmas.
She is home, she’s home for Christmas.

Steven Curtis Chapman

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Good News!

My Grandfather seems to be doing much better. Thank you for the prayers, but by all means do not stop praying for him. He still has a long way to go before they will release him from the hospital. I am hoping and praying that he will be able to be home in time for Christmas. Ambitious? Yes, but is anything impossible for God? Absolutely NOT!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Moving Forward

Well, I have been making some great progress this week. I discovered a website that is chocked full of tutorials that will help me to fill in the gaps in the knowledge that I have. These gaps it turns out were big enough to drive a C-5 through! However, I am glad that I am learning this material and even more glad to have discovered this web resource.

Right now I am working my way through the html tutorials. So far, I have learned how to do the things that Blogger has automated, but I have also learned how to tell you that the temperature is a brisk 36° and I can tell you that 3² = 9.

I have learned some other fun tricks too. For instance, I have learned how to justify a paragraph. I will endeavor to type long enough for this to be evident by the way that this paragraph displays. I sure hope this is long enough.

I Can Also Now Do Headers

And I have also learned how to use anchors to do lots of fun things. For instance, I can give you the link to the website I have been using to learn this stuff by clicking HERE. Yes, I am sure that you are all thoroughly bored impressed. Well it is a very good site where I can learn html, xhtml, xml, css, javascript, sql and lots of other useful stuff.

It is astonishing how many people publish stuff to the internet without any editing whatsoever. I am amazed at some of the things that I have read that were written by obviously intelligent people who didn't know the difference between there, their, and they're. I used to be a big advocate of supporting the validity of usage in language, but if things continue at the pace they are going now, in 50 years what passes for written English will be unintelligible to people born before 1980. It is darn close now. I consider it a failing of the modern educational system. In trying to keep from hurting Johnny or Betty's feelings by forcing them to learn how to write, we simply let them go with the flow. This dumbing down has to stop.

I just read Dickens' A Christmas Carol for the first time and I dare say that there are very few 12th graders who would have been able to understand it - yet in Dickens' day his writings were very widely read even by children. How far we have fallen! Granted, I would have liked to have a copy of Cliff's Notes to have understood the references to cultural things that I didn't understand.

It has been an interesting week. My 88-year-old Grandfather has had a very rough time of it. He fell repeatedly last week and managed to crack his skull. On top of that he had a heart attack. On top of that he lost a lot of blood from bruising from his falls. On top of that he has dementia. When I saw him on Saturday he looked like he had been in a bar fight. He has been in the hospital since Friday. He is one tough customer. Still kicking. I doubt that I'd still be hanging on if I'd been through all that. But he has always been tough. When he was 13 his appendix ruptured and he survived that somehow. (When he was 13 it was 1932. No antibiotics - especially for a sharecropper's son in po-dunk Salisbury, NC.) I was in the midst of a Church Christmas party when I got the news.

So that is what is going on in my world at the moment. Most everything is revolving around getting the education (Thank God it is free!) that I need to build the website. Now to persevere on... Your prayers are appreciated.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Man, Christmas Time Is Busy!

I'm sorry I have been absent again. I have some really good stuff to write about, but I just haven't had the time. I am sponsoring a Christmas party/community outreach at my house tomorrow night, and it has been a major undertaking. Saturday I should be able to get caught up - at least some if I am not in a catatonic state.

I am still working on the website. I think that I am actually starting to figure out how this thing works. Of course, STARTING is the operative word here. I did find a good free template and have been fiddling around with it. I think that I know where to look to change colors and stuff like that. Now all I need to figure out is how to load new modules to Joomla. It is always something.

Thanks for reading and for checking to see what I have to say. It is nice to know that folks actually read my ramblings! Fresh stuff for you this weekend if at all possible! Thanks for your patience.

Monday, December 10, 2007

I'd Like To See You Blame This On Global Warming

Quake Hits Bali Climate Conference
"An earthquake on Friday rattled Indonesia's resort island of Bali, where thousands of people were gathering for a U.N. climate change conference. There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries."
Hmmm. Wonder how they will blame that on global warming? I am so over this stupidity. I still say that they signs all point to Divine displeasure, but to properly respond to something like that requires prayer and fasting and not a two-week jaunt and a world class resort.

I read another report today about some heathen in Australia who thinks there ought to be an international cap on the number of children a family can have. Those who have more would be taxed for the future pollution the little buggers will be creating, those who have less will get tax breaks. Not quite as Machiavellian as the Chinese, but the same general idea. People, if you are feeling guilty for being a human being, try turning to God, don't try to singlehandedly wipe out the species! Talk about a darkened mind.

The crazy thing is that from what I see in the Bible, God is more than willing to rescue mankind if they will only repent of their denial of Him. That is one thing that I don't expect the folks in Bali to do.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

I Just Love This Headline

Hot Air Emitted by Climate Summit Equals 20,000 Cars

That really just about says it all. The delegates traveling to this summit are basically hot air balloons.

More nuttiness from the article:

"The delegates each will produce an average 4.07 metric tons of carbon dioxide, or CO2, to reach the resort island..."

In today's world of modern communication is there a valid reason why they couldn't have had a big teleconference? Oh, yeah, no resort.

``It's very hard for the public to understand that you come together with so many people to a very distant place and cause a lot of emissions, and at the same time talk about emission reductions,'' Artur Runge-Metzger, head of climate strategy for the European Commission, said yesterday in an interview in Bali, adding that he had offset his own emissions.

Well, duh! That's because it makes no sense at all! It proves that either the whole thing is a sham or that the people hosting and attending this summit really aren't serious about personally suffering any inconvenience or discomfort for the sake of saving the planet.

Here's the way the Socialist/Elitist/Liberal mind works: the sacrifices are for the little people to make, but the big, important people deserve these perks because of all the pressures they are under making sure the proles toe the line. Do you think that any of the world leaders supporting this fallacy are riding around in electric cars or taking a bike or, God-forbid a subway instead? No. Do you think they will suddenly change if they manage to get these stupid treaties passed? Don't be stupid.

They are now and always will be riding around in the biggest gas-guzzler that they can get their hands on. Meanwhile you and me and all the other peons will lose half our trunk to grain storage to power our new kangaroo powered carts. (Horses produce too much methane.)

Here's another doozy from the article.

Carbon dioxide is the main greenhouse gas responsible for the higher temperatures that are causing a surge in sea levels and an increased risk of droughts and floods, according to UN reports.

Rising sea levels? Last I checked, Florida was still there. Lies, lies, lies. Hell will be full of bureaucrats.

Only liberals could take a fairytale and create a bureaucracy.

A Positive Story About the War

Hi, all. Yesterday I was up to my eyes in an Advent blog, but I did find an interesting article for you over at Bear Creek Ledger. You and I know that there is a dearth of news items about positive things being done by our troops in Iraq. Well here is one that shows how a soldier took it upon himself to do something that is making a big difference in how he and his unit are being received.

Nashville Native Learns Arabic To Help With Mission in Iraq

Perhaps there is something Christians can learn from this soldier. Maybe if we try to "learn the language" of the lost around us we'll have more success in helping them to find the truth.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

More Enviro-asininity

Just when you think you have read the dumbest thing ever someone goes and sets a new mark:

In a campaign that has spread like wildfire across the Internet, a group of Israeli environmentalists is encouraging Jews around the world to light at least one less candle this Hanukkah to help the environment.

The founders of the Green Hanukkah campaign found that every candle that burns completely produces 15 grams of carbon dioxide. If an estimated one million Israeli households light for eight days, they said, it would do significant damage to the atmosphere.
Oh my gosh! 15 g of carbon! What WILL we do?! Does it feel warmer to you? I think I feel warmer.

If you are really concerned about carbon emissions, why not just forgo the menorah? While we are at it, perhaps we should each hold our breath for one minute in every five. But darn it, that doesn't really reduce carbon dioxide emissions 'cause we just bottle up all that CO2 in our lungs before we breathe it out.

When are these people going to realize that humans cannot live without producing CO2? We require external heat to cook and to keep us warm in the winter. We make it when we breathe. Animals make it when they breathe. CO2 is a part of life. Plants need it to photosynthesize. WARMING TRENDS ARE NOT CAUSED BY SO-CALLED GREENHOUSE GASSES!

In response to the enviro-ninnies:

United Torah Judaism MK Avraham Ravitz called the environmentalists "crazy people who are playing with the minds of innocent Jewish people." He said the campaign would only convince people who do not light candles anyway.

"They should encourage people to light one less cigarette instead," Ravitz said
My favorite quote from THIS ARTICLE was, "Tikkun olam [fixing the world] must be done by adding more light and not by adding more darkness." A truer statement could not be made. Happy Hanukkah!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

No Excuse For This

"Donnell Williams had just gotten out of the bath tub, wearing only a towel around his waist, when he turned the corner to see guns pointing right at him."

Police officers had broken into his home to respond to a false alarm about a shooting.

"I ain't never been so scared," said Williams.

They had no idea at the time the call wasn't real and that Williams is hearing impaired. Without his hearing aid he is basically deaf.

"I kept going to my ear yelling that I was scared. I can't hear! I can't hear!"

Officers were worried about their own safety because at the time it appeared Williams was refusing to obey their commands to show his hands. That's when they shot him with a Taser.

What a bunch of over-eager, Barney Fifes.

Once the facts were all sorted out, officers repeatedly apologized to Williams. Police wish it never happened, but with the information they had at the time, their choices were limited.

Yeah, I'll bet they do wish it never happened, and I bet they hope they don't get sued. They deserve to. With the information they had at the time their choices were limited? Hmmm. Lets review the information they had. Reported shooting. They forcibly entered the man's home. They encounter a man wrapped in a towel, shocked to see them, who points to his ear saying, "I can't hear! I can't hear!" Somehow from that set of data, I don't see how you come up with "Taze him, bro!" What did they think, that he was hiding a pistol up his bottom?

"Do I wish there would have been some way they were notified in advance this gentleman was hearing impaired? I certainly do. No one is happy with the way it worked out," said (Deputy Chief Robert) Lee.

Um. Forgive me if I'm wrong, but the victim's own testimony was that he told the police he couldn't hear repeatedly. Should he have had a doctor's note? Perhaps he could have stored it with the pistol.

Williams was not hurt in the incident. Police say the shooting call came from a cell phone but they still don't know who made it or why.

The case is being reviewed by the department.

I'll bet Mr. Williams would beg to differ that he wasn't hurt. You can read the rest of the article HERE (although I have basically quoted the whole thing.)

I understand that the police have a tough job and they live on adrenalin, but I have personally run into yahoos like this. If they are that afraid, they might want to think about another line of work. They should have to make restitution to Mr. Williams.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Words Have A Way Of Coming Back To Haunt You

"The truth is, Barack Obama doesn't need lectures in political courage from someone who followed George Bush to war in Iraq, gave him the benefit of the doubt on Iran, supported NAFTA and opposed ethanol until she decided to run for president."
- Bill Burton (Barack Obama spokesman)
I'm guessing the Republicans can hardly wait to take a whack at this statement.

Glass Houses...

"So you decide which makes more sense: Entrust our country to someone who is ready on day one ... or to put America in the hands of someone with little national or international experience, who started running for president the day he arrived in the U.S. Senate,"

- Senator Hillary Clinton
I always heard that those living in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. Seems to me that the pot is calling the kettle black. Of course, she could be getting good mileage from that statement. It applies equally well to John Edwards and Barack Obama (not to mention herself.)

Congratulations and Condolances

Congratulations to the people of Venezuela who told Hugo Chavez to stick his Socialist/Marxist Constitutional amendments in his ear. Bravo to you for standing up for freedom and democracy. I will admonish you to not give up. Chavez won't give up. He'll keep pushing for the changes that will allow him to set himself up as the new Joseph Stalin to your country. Be strong and courageous!

Condolences to the people of Russia who seem to be slipping back under the heel of totalitarianism. I predicted months ago that Vladimir Putin would not leave office at the end of his term, and my suspicions seem well founded. I pity you truly, for I have no confidence that the voting results in Russia are valid. If they are then you deserve no pity. Freedom has a cost. I feel certain that you cannot have forgotten already!

My charge to the people of America: observe and learn.

Sorry I've Been Away

Sorry I haven't posted in a couple of days. I'm sure that you are all glad to know that they didn't keep me in the jail on Friday. Things have been a little nutty around here. Alot has been going on since Friday.

I guess I'll start with my trip to the Alexander County Correctional Facility. The prison is new. I think that they just opened it within the past couple of years. It was my first time to go into a prison. It was a pretty strange experience at first. Fortunately we didn't have to go too far to get to the prison's furniture plant.

It was an amazing operation. There within the prison was a fully operational furniture plant. It had new high quality equipment and everyone was busily working at their assigned tasks. We got a full tour of the facility. I was very impressed with the quality of the workmanship and the materials that they were using. The vast majority of the pieces that they were making were solid wood. They even use dovetail joints in the construction of the drawers. The spray booths were awesome. It was a very well appointed facility. Next door was an upholstery plant. The inmates working there were assembling and upholstering office chairs.

In my discussions with the administrators there I learned that the prisoners that work in the unit are extremely conscientious - many working harder and with a better attitude than people on the outside working in the same jobs. I asked Randy (one of the administrators) what he attributed that to and after some thought he told me that for most of the guys working in the plant this was the first job that they had ever held and the first thing that they could point to with any pride at all. I also learned that the inmates have to go through a hiring process to get into the program. They have to apply and be interviewed just like they would for a "real" job.

At this stage in the inmates' incarceration most of them aren't given the job hunting training that they will need later, but as they get closer to their release dates this training will be given. I learned a couple of other things about the program that I wish could be addressed. One involves the procurement practices. At present NC is a low bid state which means that the materials that they are purchasing could come from anywhere. I wish they had it set up to be more favorable to NC businesses. I also wish that the operations could expand so that the products made by the inmates could be sold to a wider market. At present these goods can only be sold to the government and not-for-profit organizations like churches, etc. I realize that with the loss of manufacturing jobs in the state this could be some unwelcome competition, but with a little thought I believe that it is a problem that could be overcome.

When you realize that North Carolina's entire Correction Enterprises is totally self-sufficient due to the revenue generated by these products, and when you realize that the recidivism of the inmates involved in the program is 35% lower than the state average, it is hard to understand why anyone would not want to expand the scope of this operation and its market to gainfully employ every inmate whose behavior would allow them to participate. I can envision a scenario that would be profitable to domestic industry and provide enough revenue to make the prisons themselves self-sufficient. It would also generate enough revenue to fund restitution for the inmates and generate a nest-egg that would allow them to get off to a good start when they re-enter society. I'm guessing recidivism numbers would plummet.

You really wouldn't believe all of the products made through Correction enterprises. They make everything from stainless steel serving lines to full color outdoor banners. And if their rules were a little different they could make even more products. So that was my trip to jail.

Saturday I spent the day going through my blog archives and trying to get the labels updated on the posts that I made before such things existed. I got about halfway through the old blogs. I'll wait for another rainy day before I do the last 83.

I also had to do some cooking for two community-based Christmas parties thrown by families in my church. You can check out Conspiracy of Kindness to find out more about this. I made date balls and sausage balls for he parties. They turned out pretty good, if I do say so myself!

Saturday night was band practice for church. That is always a 2 or 2 and 1/2 hour deal. We usually go ahead and set up for the service on Saturday night, which takes 30-45 minutes depending on how many people we have to help. I had thought Saturday night would be a good time to have the practice because we could set up and actually practice with the instruments that we use on Sunday, but it really hasn't turned out that way. By the time that the week is over and we have set up all the equipment, everyone is tired and no one feels like practicing! Oh well, I was trying to save us a night. OK. I say save US a night, but it just ends up saving ME a night. I still end up going over to set up on Saturday night anyway.

Oh yes, I almost forgot, I also wrote an Advent post for the church blog over at Conspiracy of Kindness on Saturday. I can see that trying to keep up with writing an in depth devotion every day between now and Christmas isn't going to be an easy task. If you find that I'm not posting enough over here to keep you satisfied this month, go and check out the other blog. It should have new material every day.

Sunday was church, of course. We had a really good worship time I thought. I really sensed the Lord's presence on the song Consuming Fire. I believe He answered the prayer contained in that song for us Sunday morning.

There must be more than this -
O breath of God come breathe within.
There must be more than this -
Spirit of God, we wait for You.
Fill us anew we pray.
Fill us anew we pray.

Consuming Fire, fan into flame
A passion for Your name!
Spirit of God, fall in this place.
Lord, have Your way,
Lord, have Your way with us.

Come like a rushing wind;
Clothe us with power from on high.
Now set the captives free -
Leave us abandoned to Your praise.
Lord let Your glory fall!
Lord let Your glory fall!

Consuming Fire, fan into flame
A passion for Your name!
Spirit of God, fall in this place.
Lord, have Your way,
Lord, have Your way with us.

Tim Hughes © 2002 Thankyou Music CCLI # 3818569
License # 2647180
Anyway, it was a great service.

Then, just a couple of hours later, the party began. As guitar player for the StillWaters Jazz Band, I had my first gig. It was pretty fun. We were set up on the balcony of my pastor's house playing for the party goers in the living room below. We play a Dixieland New Orleans old school jazz style. It is a lot of fun and my first experience with the style. I have already begun to learn alot and I think that my playing has kicked up a notch or two since we started practicing. I'm still not BB King (a long way from it), but my horizons have definitely broadened. I actually soloed in front of people. What was funny was the solos that I felt the best about when I was practicing were the ones that I totally messed up live, and then I nailed several attempts that I made soloing on songs that I hadn't worked anything up for. Go figure. We have another gig next week.

So, that was my weekend.

Today I got back to work on the old Joomla tutorials. I finished them up and then went looking about to see what else I could find. I did find another tutorial site, but just wasn't in the mood to deal with it right now. So instead I went and looked at template sites. Well, actually site. I found a site that has some professionally designed templates that already look very similar to what I am trying to create. Why re-invent the wheel using my head as the hammer? $50 sounds pretty reasonable right about now to get something that I won't have to fiddle with very much to make it work. Of course, I am not such a great fool as to believe that this will solve all of my problems, but I do hope that it will shorten my development cycle by at least 2 weeks (more likely 2 months.) I would really like to have something marketable by the new year. More and more I realize that is probably an ambitious goal, but you have to have a target or nothing gets done. There is also a 2 hour Joomla seminar going on at the local community college on Thursday that I might check out. Based on what I've seen I can't imagine someone being able to teach me much in 2 hours, but if it is free (or at least cheap) it may be worth the time investment. Every day I'm learning something new!

So that is what's happening in my neck of the woods. Hope everything is going great in yours!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Robert Craig 'Evel' Knievel October 17, 1938 - November 30, 2007

"If you don't know about pain and trouble, you're in sad shape. They make you appreciate life."
- Robert Craig 'Evel' Knievel

Going To Jail

Yep, you read that right. Today I have to go to jail. It's not really as dramatic as it sounds (I hope), though it may be fun to imagine up some great and tragic story about how trying to develop a web page sent me over the edge....

Actually, I will be going to take a look at the inmates' furniture manufacturing operation in Taylorsville for another venture that I am a part of. Did you know that the NC Correctional System has numerous inmate operated manufacturing facilities around the state? Their products are available to government agencies and not-for-profit entities. It turns out that these facilities generate millions of dollars of revenue for the correctional system and even pay into a restitution fund for the victims. I think it is a great idea.

Thursday, November 29, 2007


I am starting to realize that hardball political activism has a cost conservatives don't think enough about. It costs you a lot of quality liberal acquaintances. And the reverse is true for liberal agitators. Liberals may be wrong about everything, but there are a lot of wonderful people who are way out on the left, and if you're constantly ridiculing liberals and the left, you make it hard to have those people in your life. Reaming out moonbats is fun, I know, but maybe the cost is too high. The more you abuse and humiliate people, the harder it is for them to agree that you're right. If we really care about winning converts, maybe we need to focus on effective persuasion instead of just trying to score points. What's the real, fundamental goal? Making liberals look silly, or helping people believe the truth? I know what you're all thinking. "Making liberals look silly." But somewhere deep down in your heart, you don't really believe it.

Steve Graham @ Hog On Ice

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Well, things MAY be moving forward again on the website... MAY. My friend DavidP sent me a link to a good Joomla tutorial today that is proving to be very informational. (And he also sent me a link to the mental hospital at Broughton just in case that doesn't work!)

I must say that I do feel vindicated somewhat after working through some of the tutorial. There is absolutely NO WAY that I would have been able to figure out what I was doing on my own. If Joomla is the most user-friendly CMS software available I certainly don't want to see or use any of the rest of it. I wonder if part of the difficulty is that I am familiar with Windows programming standards. Perhaps this software is adhering to Unix standards? Regardless, the software is not intuitive at all.

I come back to my earlier lament that this would be so much easier if I knew HTML. But I don't, so I have to make do with what I do know, and I'm learning new stuff every day. I even learned a couple of new Windows tricks today.

DavidP, I already owe you at least a case of Little Debbie Nutty Bars and a gallon of whole milk. It may be a truckload and a cow by the time this project is finished! Thanks for your help.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Yet One More Reason I Don't Want To Live In Massachusetts

"Lawmakers To Consider Spanking Ban - Boston News Story - WCVB Boston"

Click HERE for the story.

According to the article a Massachusetts nurse has decided that the practice of spanking should be outlawed. I sure hope this misguided piece of legislation doesn't pass. I am sure that the intent was good. This nurse is most likely trying to prevent child abuse and save someone's life. But the problem is that banning spanking isn't the answer. (Besides the fact that such a law would be a gross violation of parental rights.) The physical discipline of a child is a very useful tool in the behavioral development of that child.

I have seen this play out in both my niece and my nephew. When my niece was little she was just plain mean, but as spanking was applied not only did she become more obedient, she also became sweeter. My nephew learned to obey through the discipline he received.

Following are several Scriptures about spanking:

He who withholds his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him diligently. Proverbs 13:24

Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; The rod of discipline will remove it far from him. Proverbs 22:15

Don’t fail to discipline your children. They won’t die if you spank them. Physical discipline may well save them from death. Proverbs 23:13-14

The rod and reproof give wisdom, But a child who gets his own way brings shame to his mother. Proverbs 29:15

You KNOW that last one is true. I can't tell you how many times I have seen a child acting out somewhere and the mother is the one who gets the blame for that child's misbehavior. There was one child at one of my Thanksgiving celebrations that needed a spanking some kind of bad.

Spanking works. Spanking helps a child to realize that there are consequences for his actions. Spanking helps to establish who is in authority when a child inevitably challenges that authority - and through that establishment of authority the child is made more secure because he knows that there are boundaries that are defended by his parents, the ones that he is counting on to protect him. When spanking is used, the effectiveness of less stringent forms of discipline increase many fold.

Many people are afraid of the potential for abuse with spanking. Well, the potential for abuse is even greater from people who yell at their children and belittle them. That abuse is FAR worse than the momentary pain a child will feel when being spanked. Many people who would never DREAM of spanking a child will crush that same child's self image with their words.

The problem that most parents run into with any form of discipline is that they are not consistent with the administration of that discipline. Since the child is going to try to find and test the boundary for his own security (and to satisfy his own fallen nature,) inconsistent parents find that they are pushed beyond the point of their ability to render a calm and impartial judgment and become angry or even enraged at the behavior of their child.

I once heard a pastor describe this as the difference between godly discipline and worldly spanking.

Godly discipline helps a child to recognize that disobedience and misbehavior leads to negative consequences. This is a good lesson that our culture seems to have rejected. Disobedience = punishment without any 2nd or 22nd chances that end up leading to the parent's loss of temper. This allows the parent to spank the child without any anger or malice built up by the child's rebellion. They can truly punish and instantly restore the relationship.

On the other hand worldly spanking allows disobedience to continue to the point that the parent's temper is lost and the child is spanked in anger. The anger causes a separation between the parent and the child, and the child is left with the fear of witnessing the parent's loss of control exacerbated by the distance felt between the two. Reconciliation is difficult.

While I do not have children of my own, as I have helped to raise my niece and nephew I have witnessed first hand how spanking helps a child to modify his behavior for the better, and if applied correctly, it doesn't instill an unhealthy fear for the disciplinarian in the child. I have found it to be quite the contrary. A child who knows that a parent loves them enough to punish them when they need it is far more affectionate, trusting and respectful of the parent than the child that is allowed to have his own way.

While You Are Shopping This Holiday Season...

Did you know that Sears supports the troops? You may not be aware of it, but Sears pays its active duty National Guard and Reserve employees the difference between their Sears salary and their military pay while they have been called up. They also maintain the employee benefits for these patriots. You can read about it at Snopes HERE. According to the article at Snopes they aren't the only ones who do this. HERE is a link to the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve website. They maintain a list of the other employers who maintain the same policy.

I am still on the warpath with Target stores over their ouster of the Salvation Army during the Christmas season. They won't be getting any of my money, but I will do whatever possible to spend some money at Sears. I hope you will too.

Back In The USSR...

It looks like Putin is playing things "old school" over in Russia:

Bush 'Deeply Concerned' About Russian Political Arrests

Apparently they arrest you in Russia if you campaign against the incumbent. It's a good thing that it hasn't gotten that bad here. I'd NEVER get out of jail with all the stuff I have posted here! Putin has been warning President Bush to not interfere in their "elections." Ah, 'democracy' at work!

More Wonderful Welcome Wet Weather

Like my alliteration? Give me a break! It's after 3:30 in the morning!

We've had more wonderful rain. I wish it could have been for longer, but it has once again been a good, soaking rain. The verdict is in - looks like prayer works. No apologies to the Atlanta Freethought Society. God is real. God controls everything. Deal with it.

I know I'm busting AFS's chops a little bit, but I really want them to see how good God is. Life is tough and then you die. It's that way for everyone Christian and pagan alike, but it certainly isn't equal.

I've tried life without God and life with God, and WITH is infinitely better. If I could get over myself and my hangups and fears and unbelief there is this incredible ABUNDANT life that is available to me. I hope that I am able to achieve that place before I die! LONG before I die. But even if I don't, what is waiting for me afterwards as a Christian is ASTOUNDINGLY GOOD.

Not so much for non-Christians. It is sad that some will actively choose to reject God and His great gift to us and choose to suffer God's justifiable wrath. Others will apathetically follow the herd down the path of least resistance right over the cliff. If you're on the "wrath" side of the coin right now, don't be offended. God is extremely patient and is offering the chance for you to be whole and free and joyful. All you have to do is accept the gift. You don't have to clean yourself up first - He takes care of that later, you just come. I cannot understand how someone could turn such a great deal down, but the Bible says that many will. It's tragic really.

If you haven't accepted God's gift of salvation, please do. I assure you that you'll be glad you did.

In the meantime, I'm gonna keep praying for rain!

This One's Gonna Be Short

Perhaps you are wondering why I am posting at 3 in the morning. Me too. I was busy working on the website and, well, you know how those things go. I finally got to a stopping place a few minutes ago and foolishly went to check out the blogs. It's not quite an addiction, but I want to make sure everyone has something to read with the morning coffee.

This whole website thing has really bogged down. I think that the technical documentation for the software that I am trying to use was written by savant chimpanzees on a banana-induced fructose buzz. I am beyond frustrated.

I have at least figured out how to make parts of the web page in one program. The problem is I am having a hard time figuring out a couple of things: #1 Why isn't the FTP transfer working correctly? #2 Why can't the design program that I am using find an internet connection? #3 How do I make the CMS software talk to my design software? and #4 Why didn't I go ahead and check myself into Broughton when I came up with this hair-brained scheme? Those are the basic questions as of now. I have loaded Joomla and a couple other programs on the server that I think will be of use, but I have no road map and, frankly, I may be trying to drive to Hawaii.

I think I am going to try to bribe all of my developer friends with pizza and beer - or if they're not into that, whole milk and Little Debbies! Heck, I might even go so far as to offer all four! Maybe not all at once, though. Ewww.

Too Funny

You have to check THIS link and look at the picture. Priceless...

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Least Of These

The past week has been a little disappointing. I had such high hopes for a spiritual feast on Thanksgiving. My heart was so full last Sunday night at the joint Thanksgiving service done by the three local PCA churches that I was eagerly anticipating Thanksgiving Day and some great connection with God. I had even been meditating on some scriptures that the Lord seemed to be bringing to my attention. Yet each day closer to Thanksgiving my soul felt drier and drier - like a turkey baked too long without being basted. In fact, even this morning on my way to church my attitude was so far from where I had hoped that it would be. When the time to worship started I was distracted and mildly frustrated. (Not a good place for the worship leader to be!)

I can't say that things got any better during my part of the service. My guitar strings were buzzing and sounded terrible. I couldn't get it positioned correctly and my arm and hand began to fatigue. It was some rough plowing. Thank God I have a great band behind me. Fortunately things picked up with the pastor's sermon. He has been challenging us as a church to reach out to our neighbors and used as his text the first half or so of Matthew 22.

God has truly called us to a great celebration. His party will blow all other parties away. He even provides everything that we need to be acceptable at His bash, and yet there are so many who refuse to come. Weird. And yet, how guilty are we - the invited - of acting like we are going to be scourged instead of going to a celebration? If we truly believed that God and His reward for us were all that, wouldn't we be eager to tell others? Wouldn't our lives be so full of joy and excitement that others would want to come? And then there are others who try to come but refuse His "party clothes." Thinking about this made me think of some of my loved ones who want to "come to the feast" but don't want to dress according to the code. It makes me shudder for them. Do I say that they aren't saved? I can't make that call, but I can't help but believe that they are in very dangerous waters.

Our church is at a place where I believe that God is calling us to reach out like most of us have never done before. I look at my sister's life and how God has strategically placed her in a neighborhood full of lost folk who love her to death. I look at my own neighborhood and realize that although there are some Christians living around me that there are many who don't know God at all living within a close walk of my house. This is what I am dealing with - breaking the inertia that keeps me from being a good neighbor and friend to the people who live close by. Dealing with the fear of sharing the gospel with anyone. I know it is an absurd fear - most fears are - but it is where I am.

I was talking with my good friend Bruce after the service and we were both feeling kind of low and worn out. We've both been taking a little time in the Lord's crucible lately, and I confessed to him how dry I had been feeling this past week - lonely for the Lord's presence. (Isn't it funny how being lonely for the Lord will often disguise itself as loneliness for other company? But I digress.) He suggested that it was perhaps the enemy's attack. We talked for a little bit longer and in the course of that discussion decided that we should do some servant evangelism together soon. (See Steve Sjogren's book Conspiracy Of Kindness.) As we left the church we passed a car broken down in the middle of the road. I stopped to ask if the guy driving needed help, and he could only answer me in Spanish. I went to park the car and looked up and there was Bruce! He was stopping to help too.

Now you need to understand, I am utterly NOT mechanical. I know next to NOTHING about what is going on under the hood of a car - especially if it isn't doing what it is supposed to be doing. However, Bruce is VERY mechanical. We helped the fellow to get his car out of the road and then Bruce went to work on the car. I used the little Spanish I knew to talk to Carlos and before you knew it Bruce had the car running again! We didn't say a word to Carlos about God or Jesus - I probably could have if I had been in practice - but as we went on our way I felt like I had just touched the Lord's fellowship for the first time in the past seven days. Is it possible that we met the Lord broken down on the road? Matthew 25:40 would seem to indicate that we did.

Perhaps God let me get dry and hungry for His presence so that I would sense it so clearly when I encountered it with Carlos this afternoon. If so, may He not let me forget to seek His presence even amongst "the least of these."

And God, please bless Carlos and help him to learn who You are!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

The Feasting Has Ended... (For A Bit)

Well, Thanksgiving went great again. Lots and lots of really good food. Dinner at my Grandmother's house made Rockwell's "Freedom From Want" look like a light mid-afternoon snack! The table was literally full of food. I didn't even get to taste everything. I was stuffed after one trip to the table. Prior to the meal the kitchen was as busy as a beehive - and just as crowded. There were so many family members there that there was hardly a place to sit - so many, that I was looking for a quiet place away from the madness.

As I have just finished writing this I can't help but think that it would be hard for some people to comprehend this extravagance and abundance. Perhaps my description sounds like arrogant boasting. If your experience this past week wasn't like mine, I am sorry, and I truly wish that it had been that way for you too. These thoughts humble me and cause me to reflect on the blessings that God has lavished on me and make me remember that the reason that God blesses us is that we can be a blessing to the world. I pray that He will help me to do a better job of that this year.

On a somewhat different note, I wasn't in much of a posting mood on Thanksgiving. For some reason words just didn't seem to be flowing very well, so although I did manage to post a Thanksgiving message, it really didn't come very close to what I had hoped to publish for you.

Here are a couple of good Thanksgiving Day Posts that I wish that I had written:

The Real Meaning Of Thanksgiving from over at the Bear Creek Ledger


Gratitude over at Conspiracy Of Kindness

I hope that your Thanksgiving was great.

And Another

I use recipes as general guides. I tasted the pie filling as I was mixing it, and I decided it needed a few more things, and I put them in. That's the difference between cooking and unskilled labor. If you refuse to be satisfied with what other people tell you to put in dishes, you'll eventually be a real cook.

-Steve H. Graham @ Hog On Ice

A Quote For Today

Republicans used to have leaders and role models like Ronald Reagan and Bob Dole. Now it's Rudy Giuliani and Britney Spears. Far better than Barbara Streisand and her idiot "Happy 911" husband. Far better than Al Sharpton and Dick Durbin. But not the kind of people a religious person can get excited about supporting. I may be a pretty weak Christian, but I would never help women hold onto the right to have convenience abortions, and I don't like knowing I may eventually have to vote for a person who did. Either him or a guy who belongs to a heretical cult. Or Fred Thompson, who will have to have a special Secret Service detail to roll him out of bed at noon. Thompson is a disgrace. I actually took his campaign seriously; it's too bad he'll never be able to say the same. A prominent conservative media figure used the word "pathetic" to describe Thompson to me in an email. I thought that was harsh, but as time passes, it seems more and more appropriate.

When politics and religion agree, it's purely coincidental, so I should have known a long time ago that my love affair with the GOP was not going to last. The GOP is by far the lesser of two evils, but it's not worth my full-time support.

- Steve H. Graham @ Hog On Ice

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope that all of you are enjoying time and good food with family and friends and that you have taken some time today to reflect on the things that you are thankful for. It is so easy to spend the day cooking, eating, talking, sleeping, watching TV, breaking up fights, etc and get to the end of the day and realize that you have neglected the very purpose of Thanksgiving - giving thanks.

E. P. Powell, a 19th century pastor once said, "Thanksgiving Day is a jewel, to set in the heart of honest men; but be careful that you do not take the day, and leave out the gratitude."

I have so many things to be thankful for. Have you ever taken time to list what you are thankful for? I'll admit that sometimes it comes off sounding trite. Of course we are thankful for friends and family, health, safety, our freedoms. It almost sounds silly to say it, but I encourage you to say it anyway. Thank God for the smallest things and for the big things too.

Here are just a few things that I am thankful for: God's forgiveness, abundant life, God's provision, God's protection, God's love, God's discipline, God's patience, my family, my friends, my home, the food I eat, my health, freedom to worship God without fear, my other freedoms as an American, the rain that we got this morning, transportation, the air I breathe, my guitar, music, my talents, our troops, the fall colors, victory over my adversary, the Bible, and you, my readers. I could go on and on, but I won't - not here anyway.

Have a very blessed Thanksgiving. I'm going to take a little break to enjoy the holiday, but should be back on Saturday.

I'll leave you with this quote by Tony Snow:

"If you think Independence Day is America's defining holiday, think again. Thanksgiving deserves that title, hands-down."

Monday, November 19, 2007

The Age Of Fantasy

I saw a headline over the weekend that nearly sent me through the roof:

Global Warming's Trillion Dollar Debate

TRILLION DOLLAR DEBATE?!!!!! I can feel my blood pressure getting up already.

The subtitle read, "UN scientists say climate change is happening faster than thought as politicians head to Bali to hammer out Kyoto's successor."

This is wrong on so many levels it is just hard to know where to start.

Let me remind you of the words of the founder of the Weather Channel, John Coleman, that I shared HERE last week:

In time, a decade or two, the outrageous scam will be obvious. As the temperature rises, polar ice cap melting, coastal flooding and super storm pattern all fail to occur as predicted everyone will come to realize we have been duped. The sky is not falling. And, natural cycles and drifts in climate are as much if not more responsible for any climate changes underway. I strongly believe that the next twenty years are equally as likely to see a cooling trend as they are to see a warming trend. (emphasis mine)
"Global warming" "man-made climate change" or whatever alarmist title you want to put on it is an utter, total, and complete sham.

First of all to use "global warming" and "debate" in the same sentence requires some fairly restrictive rules. It is OK to talk about the debate between gullible junk scientists about how long it will take for "global warming" to destroy all life on the planet. However, you cannot use "global warming" in conjunction with "debate" in a way that would indicate any meaningful dialog between scientists who support the fantasy of global warming and those scientists whose research indicates that the aforementioned scientists are full of beans. For example, you can say "Scientists who believe in global warming are afraid of scientific debate on the subject." But you couldn't legitimately say, "The facts of global warming have reached scientific consensus through the application of scientific method and open scientific debate."

Let it suffice for this portion of the rant to say that no consensus has been reached in the scientific community about catastrophic climate change as a result of application of the scientific method and scientific debate based on the data collected via objective observation. That's the truth no matter what Comrade Gore says. (I don't care if he DID invent the internet!) What a jerk.

OK, so I managed to look over this article (by liberal CNN) and see that the whole article is about an urgent reworking of the Kyoto treaty that the US never ratified. They're trying to make it even MORE restrictive.

Kyoto, the far-reaching agreement reached in 1997 intended to reduce global carbon emissions, is nothing compared to what could be coming next as the world's governments confront the ecological damage from global warming and debate what needs to be done to fix it.
I love it when journalists lie right off the bat, don't you? While many nations did buy into all of this nonsense, the US did not - of course the writer of this article didn't make it sound that way, did he? (He did, MUCH later in the article, acknowledge that President Bush wouldn't ratify the treaty.)

The fourth and final UN report on climate change, due Saturday, is expected to emphasize that the warming of the planet is "unequivocal" and that humans are the main cause. That report will act as a blueprint for the next crucial round of climate talks starting next month in Bali, Indonesia.
Thank God, it is the LAST report. We couldn't handle any more misinformation.

Scientists say up to an 85 percent cut in carbon dioxide emissions is needed to head off potential catastrophic changes that could lead to more floods and famine. How to best achieve those cuts is where the fight begins. (emphases mine)
Is it just me, or are these "scientists" being mighty vague? Even they don't have the gall to boldfaced lie! They are even hedging their words here so that when Mr. Coleman's prophecy comes to pass they will be able to back out of it and try to salvage a modicum of credibility. Weenies!

The Bush administration has so far resisted mandatory caps, and all eyes will be watching to see if White House negotiators hold up the Bali talks.
THANK GOD!!! I'm glad someone is finally giving President Bush credit for doing something smart. Oh wait, this guy (and apparently the rest of the world) blames President Bush for blocking the caps that will save us all from ourselves. History will vindicate him on this one. "Global warming" is the new "acid rain."

Our intrepid reporter goes on to say:

Previous versions of the report, written in the 1990s, said global warming was likely happening and likely caused by humans but acknowledged that the science was not yet certain. The latest report, released in three parts over the course of this year, took away practically all that uncertainty.

Written by over 2,500 top government-appointed scientists from around the world, the fourth report is a user-friendly version that will be used by politicians and bureaucrats as a blueprint during negotiations next month in Bali and beyond.

"Gawrsh, Mickey! It MUST be true then."

Reality check (with much thanks again to John Coleman):

I suspect you might like to say to me, "John, look the research that supports the case for global warming was done by research scientists; people with PH D's in Meteorology. They are employed by major universities and important research institutions. Their work has been reviewed by other scientists with PH D's. They have to know a lot more about it than you do. Come on, John, get with it. The experts say our pollution has created an strong and increasing greenhouse effect and a rapid, out of control global warming is underway that will sky rocket temperatures, destroy agriculture, melt the ice caps, flood the coastlines and end life as we know it. How can you dissent from this crisis? You must be a bit nutty.

Allow me, please, to explain how I think this all came about. Our universities have become somewhat isolated from the rest of us. There is a culture and attitudes and values and pressures on campus that are very different. I know this group well. My father and my older brother were both PHD-University types. I was raised in the university culture. Any person who spends a decade at a university obtaining a PHD in Meteorology and become a research scientist, more likely than not, becomes a part of that single minded culture. They all look askance at the rest of us, certain of their superiority. They respect government and disrespect business, particularly big business. They are environmentalists above all else.

And, there is something else. These scientists know that if they do research and results are in no way alarming, their research will gather dust on the shelf and their research careers will languish. But if they do research that sounds alarms, they will become well known and respected and receive scholarly awards and, very importantly, more research dollars will come flooding their way. (Don't pretend they don't. JDE)

So when these researchers did climate change studies in the late 90's they were eager to produce findings that would be important and be widely noticed and trigger more research funding. It was easy for them to manipulate the data to come up with the results they wanted to make headlines and at the same time drive their environmental agendas. Then their like minded PHD colleagues reviewed their work and hastened to endorse it without question.

There were a few who didn't fit the mold. They did ask questions and raised objections. They did research with contradictory results. The environmental elitists berated them brushed their studies aside. (Isn't this what Al Gore has done? JDE)

I have learned since the Ice Age is coming scare in the 1970's to always be a skeptic about research. (Remember that? I'm still bummed that didn't happen... JDE) In the case of global warming, I didn't accept media accounts. Instead I read dozens of the scientific papers. I have talked with numerous scientists. I have studied. I have thought about it. I know I am correct when I assure you there is no run away climate change. The impact of humans on climate is not catastrophic. Our planet is not in peril. It is all a scam, the result of bad science. (all emphases and asides mine)
The thing that really makes me mad is that this "scam" based on "bad science" is going to cost TRILLIONS of dollars. Let that word trill off your tongue. It incenses me that bureaucrats and politicians throw numbers like this around so carelessly about an utter prevarication.

Let me put this all in perspective. Let's consider just how much money is being wasted on this post-digestive male bovine silage. According to Compassion International it is possible to feed clothe and educate a child on $32 a month. That would be $384 a year and $6912 to raise a child from birth to age 18. If only 1 trillion dollars ($1,000,000,000,000) were wasted - and it will be FAR more - on global warming you could have fed, clothed and educated one hundred forty-four million, six hundred seventy-five thousand, nine hundred twenty six (144,675,926) children from birth until their 19th birthday. God will hold these liars accountable for their malfeasance.

Ever wonder why Al Gore has been such a crusader? According to THIS article, he has a vested interest in the global warming lie. Apparently, there is big money in global catastrophe.

Perhaps you wonder how I, with no Ph.D. in anything - a former English major, can be so confident that global warming is a hoax. I am certain it is a hoax because I know what the Bible says about mankind's (and the world's) end. If the increased temperatures shown in the data used by global warming's champions are to result in mankind's demise then there is nothing that can be done to avert disaster, and we might as well enjoy the air conditioning, warm heat, and fast cars that carbon-based energy has gotten us.

Once, back when Western Civilization's underpinnings were still Christian, mankind made huge strides in science and thought and the Age of Reason and the Age of Enlightenment were born. Now our atheistic scientists have sacrificed scientific method and objectivity on the altars of Darwinism, greed, and vanity, giving birth to the Age of Fantasy.

I think Steve Graham over at Hog On Ice said it best:

It just occurred to me: isn't Al Gore's idiotic theory the epitome of God-denying humanism? The ancients realized that the weather was something man could not control, so they appeased their heathen gods as well as the actual, correct God. Now a certain segment of society thinks God is unfashionable. So they're looking for a way to turn man into the shaper of storms and droughts. Man, who can barely program his clock radio...

Dude, This Just LOOKS Wicked

The Navy is testing a new weapons technology that is astounding.

Metal Storm Reaches Navy Test Range

Brisbane, Australia-based Metal Storm has delivered a four-barrel weapon to the Naval Surface Warfare Center for testing that uses a small electrical current instead a conventional firing pin to deliver stacked rounds at an astounding rate.

How astounding? Try 1 million rounds per minute. That's the rate, by the way, not the volume; still, there's no way you want to be anywhere near the wrong end of one of these puppies.

…The projectiles are stacked in-line in the barrel--nose to tail--so there are no magazines, no shell casings and no mechanical components.
There is footage of some of the testing embedded in the linked article. You really ought to watch it. It is mind blowing. It would be a bad day indeed to be downrange from this weapon. I would think that they would eventually be able to fire on simultaneous targets. The thought of being downrange is not pleasant at all.

Friday, November 16, 2007

US Pilots Forced To Undergo Hideous Genetic Experiments!!!!

No, not really. What you see above is not a minotaur recruited by the US Air Force (although that is exactly what it looks like to me.) It is a picture of a cool new helmet that could be gracing the heads of our pilots in the near future. The new helmet has some pretty cool features: it replaces the heads up display that has been in US fighter aircraft since WWII, it allows the pilot to "see" through the floor of the plane just by looking down, and it has infrared vision, and I think that it can read minds too... Maybe not, but you can read about it HERE.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Website Coming Along Nicely

Well, I have made some good strides forward on the website. I am learning a lot. The thing that seems to take the most time so far is the layout. There is really no way around it. You have to take the time to think it through and to think about how many layers deep you are going to go. I am realizing that this could be very time consuming... and that it will be easy to make mistakes that will leave buttons unlinked and stuff like that.

Yesterday I created the second-tier pages for the website and learned how to link them to the homepage. Today I did the layout for the second-tier page for Real Estate and created one set of the third-tier pages for that section. Tomorrow I'll be working on the second (and the much larger) set of third-tier pages for the Real Estate section of the website.

I started working on the news section of the site yesterday, but discovered that I didn't like the format of the newsreader that I have. I'm going to have to find one that has a better layout. I also have to find some search code to help people find what they are looking for - especially on the real estate part of the site. I have a module in the bundle that I got with my web hosting, but I don't know if it will do what I want. This would be so much easier if I knew HTML.

Of course, there is the concern that I may be doing all of this using much more memory and bandwidth than is necessary (or prudent). And there is the nagging conviction that I am probably doing some of this the hard way. That was definitely the case 2 days ago, when I had to manually lay out a grid on the worksheet to assist in my layouts. (I had to do it manually because there isn't an automated way to do it, but I ended up sticking with laying out every 10x10 pixel block far longer than I needed to.) I abandoned that approach today and things went a bit faster.

I showed the site design to my dad yesterday and he was really shocked by what I had accomplished. It was very gratifying to receive his praise for what I had created.

Well, I will be continuing on. My goal is to have a functional website done by the end of the month. Perhaps that is a little aggressive and optimistic. I hope not. I need some revenue!

Thanks for reading and thanks for your comments. Have a blessed day!

Just When You Think They Have Reached The Apex Of Stupidity...

More asininity, y'all...

Santas Warned 'Ho Ho Ho' Offensive To Women

Click HERE for the whole stupid story.

Perhaps the story about the emergence of two human species wasn't so far off after all. The people I know aren't this brain dead. It would seem that there is a whole Cro-Magnon subspecies still out there.

Anybody who could possibly be offended by Santa saying "Ho, Ho, Ho" needs the special white sweater with the extra-long sleeves that buckles in the back and some time in the padded play room.

Federal Grand Jury Indicts Barry Bonds

According to THIS article,

"Baseball superstar Barry Bonds was charged Thursday with perjury and obstruction of justice for allegedly lying when he said he did not use performance-enhancing drugs.

The indictment, unsealed Thursday by federal prosecutors in San Francisco, is the culmination of a four-year federal probe into whether he lied under oath to a grand jury investigating steroid use by elite athletes."
I guess it would be an understatement to say that he has probably had better days.

The consensus for a long time has been that Barry Bonds has been juicing, whether that is true or not I have no idea. Frankly, I really don't care. Don't get me wrong. I think that it is a travesty that professional athletes are using enhancement-performing drugs. In my opinion it cheapens their achievements. I am glad that Major League Baseball has finally started to open their closed eyes to the use of these drugs. If what they say about the effects of these drugs on the body is true MLB ought to clean up - if for no other reason than the influence these athletes have on the kids that want to follow in their footsteps.

I am also not a big Barry Bonds fan. I have heard so many stories about the man, and most of them haven't been that complimentary. All that to say that I've never met him. I know someone who has met him and talked with him at length. His report was good. So who knows? I might like the guy if I met him.

In a way I feel sorry for Bonds. With the allegations swirling around him for the past several years, his tremendous achievement in setting the career home run record (after setting the single season home run record a few years earlier) has been tainted. I wonder how much of the "consensus" is sour grapes? I am reminded of how "consensus" can be deceived as it has been with the whole global warming lie.

Do you know the part that jumps out at me? It was this line, "The indictment, unsealed Thursday by federal prosecutors in San Francisco, is the culmination of a four-year federal probe into whether he lied under oath to a grand jury investigating steroid use by elite athletes."

Is is just me or does it seem unreasonable to anyone else that they have been pursuing him for 4 YEARS? Were there no national security issues that this group could have been working on? Does it seem unreasonable to anyone else that the government is "investigating steroid use by elite athletes?" It isn't mentioned in these quotes, but this all started with the Congressional hearings on steroid use in baseball.

There really must not be much to do in Washington. Maybe I ought to get me a job there. Congress takes a week off for every holiday, over half the time they are out campaigning, another quarter of the time they are taking bribes, I mean, being wined and dined while listening to compelling reasons to vote in particular ways. (Funny, that SOUNDS like taking bribes to me...) And one eighth of the time they are busy righting the wrongs in the world of professional sports like making sure that athletes aren't using steroids and making sure that NASCAR has enough minority representation. I am actually amazed that they are able to pass as many asininely partisan bills doomed for death by committee or veto as they are.

The article seemed to indicate that some fairly Draconian measures were implemented to get this indictment. It would seem that perhaps there isn't so much difference between us here in the West and the former Soviets as I would like to think that there is.

The greatest travesty of all would be if Barry Bonds were to actually be sentenced for his perjury should he be convicted. It is the height of hypocrisy to go after Barry Bonds when the former President of the United States, Bill Clinton, was impeached for the same thing without consequence.

Another Reason Not To Live In Massachusetts

Local Boy Scouts Accused of Being Too 'Pro-War' In Cambridge, Massachusetts

Apparently the cradle of the American Revolution has taken a dovish turn. The descendants of the men that died at Bunker Hill and the Boston Massacre, the heirs of the Boston Tea Party have decided that Boy Scouts shouldn't be supporting the troops overseas. They're spinning in their graves. Secession is sounding better and better every day, y'all.

They were just trying to collect donations for American troops. But the Boy Scouts end up getting busted by the City of Cambridge. All their boxes were taken down at polling stations for being too "pro-war." FOX25's Ted Daniel reports from Cambridge with details.
You really ought to click HERE and watch the story if your blood pressure hasn't had a workout today.

Apparently, Ted Kennedy and John Kerry aren't the only lying bureaucrats in MA. (Yeah, yeah, I just KNOW you're shocked....) Anyway the lady in charge of pulling the plug claimed that they hadn't gotten permission before placing the donation boxes. LIE! According to the scoutmaster, they got permission TWICE before bringing out the collection boxes. Hmmm. I wonder which person I will believe. The politician? Or the Boy Scout? Hmmm...

Making matters worse is that only one person complained. One person brought about the end of the project. And even worse than that? The jerk was there to vote.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Here's Hoping...

Know what would make me happy? Joe Torre taking the Dodgers to the World Series in 2008 and defeating the New York Yankees in four games.

I am and will remain a Yankees fan, but I am not a Steinbrenner fan, and I'd like to see a little of that karma that they have been storing up bite them in the butt.

And yes, I am also still a Braves fan, but if they had to wait one more year so that this could happen it would be OK with me.


Arizona Biologist Likely Died of Plague

Man, pretty good reason to not be so tough and go on to the doctor when that cold comes on!

A wildlife biologist at Grand Canyon National Park most likely died from the plague contracted while performing a necropsy on a mountain lion that later tested positive for the disease, officials said Friday.

Eric York, 37, who worked in the park's cougar collaring program, became ill on Oct. 30 and called out sick from for a couple of days before being found dead in his home Nov. 2. Tests were positive for the pneumonic plague.
You can read the entire article HERE.

Did You Hear About This?

Weather Channel Founder: Global Warming ‘Greatest Scam in History’

Here is the lion's share of John Coleman's (John Coleman was the founder of The Weather Channel) article. If you want to see the whole thing you can read it HERE.

It is the greatest scam in history. I am amazed, appalled and highly offended by it. Global Warming; It is a SCAM....(What a great way to start an article! JDE)

Environmental extremists, notable politicians among them, then teamed up with movie, media and other liberal, environmentalist journalists to create this wild “scientific” scenario of the civilization threatening environmental consequences from Global Warming unless we adhere to their radical agenda. Now their ridiculous manipulated science has been accepted as fact and become a cornerstone issue for CNN, CBS, NBC, the Democratic Political Party, the Governor of California, school teachers and, in many cases, well informed but very gullible environmentally conscientious citizens....

This is my field of life-long expertise. And I am telling you Global Warming is a non-event, a manufactured crisis and a total scam. I say this knowing you probably won’t believe a me, a mere TV weatherman, challenging a Nobel Prize, Academy Award and Emmy Award winning former Vice President of United States. So be it.... (This guy is hilarious! JDE)

I have read dozens of scientific papers. I have talked with numerous scientists. I have studied. I have thought about it. I know I am correct. There is no run away climate change. The impact of humans on climate is not catastrophic. Our planet is not in peril....

In time, a decade or two, the outrageous scam will be obvious. As the temperature rises, polar ice cap melting, coastal flooding and super storm pattern all fail to occur as predicted everyone will come to realize we have been duped. The sky is not falling. And, natural cycles and drifts in climate are as much if not more responsible for any climate changes underway. I strongly believe that the next twenty years are equally as likely to see a cooling trend as they are to see a warming trend.
Even without a Ph.D. in meteorology, man-made climate change simply doesn't make sense. There are far too many naturally occurring greenhouse gas producers that exceed our own ability to produce these gases. I just can't believe how many people have fallen for this bold-faced lie. I guess we are back to the philosophies of the leaders of the Third Reich again:

Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it.
- Adolph Hitler

The most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly - it must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over.
- Joseph Goebbels

The great problem is that there are too few in the world who use the stuff between their ears for anything but padding to keep their heads from imploding.

I Wonder If It Rained Today In Georgia

The fool has said in his heart, "There is no God." - God

I really meant to write about this this morning, but I wasn't able to get to it before now. Today was the day that the Governor of Georgia, Sonny Purdue, lead a prayer for rain on behalf of the state of Georgia. I was praying right along with him (albeit from a several hours' drive away). I don't know if they got any rain in Georgia, but we got a little here.

There was an article about the impending prayer meeting last night that really ticked me off.

Ga. Governor Prays For Rain Amid Drought
By GREG BLUESTEIN, Associated Press Writer Mon Nov 12, 6:15 PM ET

The tone of the article was incredibly cynical and arrogant.

As Georgia descends deeper into drought, Gov. Sonny Perdue has ordered water restrictions, launched a legal battle and asked President Bush for help. On Tuesday, the governor will call on a higher power (emphasis mine).

He will join lawmakers and ministers on the steps of the state Capitol to pray for rain.

While public prayer vigils might raise eyebrows in other parts of the nation, they are mostly shrugged off in the Bible Belt, where turning to the heavens for help is common and sometimes even politically expedient (emphasis mine).

"Christianity has more of a place in the culture here than in some other region," said Ray Van Neste, a professor of Christian studies at Union University in Jackson, Tenn. "And it's only natural, in a way, for the public to pray for rain." (Emphases mine.)

First Mr. Bluestein refuses to acknowledge that they are praying to God. No, to him it is just some nebulous "higher power." Then he goes on to suggest that what Governor Purdue is advocating violates the mythical "separation of church and state." Then he suggests that the Governor is merely using this prayer as an opportunity to grandstand and win votes. (I wonder if he would lay this charge against Hillary Clinton and Barak Obama with their newfound religious zeal?) After all, in the poor little backwards South they aren't sophisticated enough to realize that rain doesn't come as a result of prayer, right? It's just a cultural thing. There's nothing to it. It means nothing.


Bluestein went on to say "In the U.S., public expressions of faith are often discouraged as a breach of the separation of church and state."

He makes it sound like it has always been thus. Down through our history Americans have had the good sense to know when they have run afoul of God's favor. Days of called fasting and prayer have been COMMON since the 1600s. Every single year there is a National Day Of Prayer, and every single year our nation celebrates Thanksgiving. That's right, THANKSGIVING, NOT turkey day. Don't get me started on that.

I find it telling that Bluestein didn't find any Christians to talk to. He did, however, manage to find a group of folks that were opposed to the prayer meeting, though.

The loudest opposition to Perdue's move has come from the Atlanta Freethought Society, a secular group that is expecting about a dozen of its 125 members to protest at the vigil.

"The governor can pray when he wants to," said Ed Buckner, who is organizing the protest. "What he can't do is lead prayers in the name of the people of Georgia."…

Well, I reckon he did anyway. Since the Atlanta "Freethought" Society didn't want any rain prayers offered on their behalf, I decided to pray that Governor Purdue's prayers for rain wouldn't benefit any of the Society's members one iota. I guess it might make an impression if everyone around them got rain but their land stayed parched and dry!

I didn't realize it, but the Governor of Alabama has also called for prayer to end the famine.

Perdue won't be the first governor to hold a call for public prayer during the epic drought gripping the Southeast. Alabama Gov. Bob Riley issued a proclamation declaring a week in July as "Days of Prayer for Rain" to "humbly ask for His blessings and to hold us steady in times of difficulty."

My hat's off to both Governors, who, at least in this case, have proven themselves courageous and wise enough to know from where rain comes. Good job, fellas. My prayers are with you. Oh yeah, and thanks, Lord, for the rain!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Coulter On McCarthy

Ann Coulter has an interesting article out about McCarthy sparked by a new book written on the subject. You can read the article HERE.

I was once talking with a friend about McCarthy and she stunned me by asking me what was wrong with Americans choosing to support Communism. The question struck me as absurd because there is nothing more antithetical to Democracy than Communism. The very pursuit of the one undermines the other. How could anyone pursue a communist agenda in America without committing treason?

Admittedly I need to learn a lot more about what happened during "McCarthyism," but my suspicion is that he was stopped too soon. I plan to read Coulter's Treason and the book Coulter referenced in her article, Blacklisted by History: The Untold Story of Senator Joe McCarthy and His Fight Against America's Enemies by M. Stanton Evans.

Ironic, no?

In Land of the Monkey God, a Primate Menaces

More from The Land Of Really Strange Notions... I just find this hilarious: men have allowed themselves to be ruled by monkeys. God has a funny sense of humor. It is as if He said, "OK, you want to worship a monkey? Fine, then I'll give the monkey dominion over you."

It is incomprehensible to me that people still worship literal idols and even more inconceivable that people would consider a monkey a god. There are some seriously messed up folk in this world. What gets me is that we are losing IT jobs to these folks at an alarming rate.

I wonder whatever happened with the menacing wild turkeys in Massachusetts? Remember? I posted about it HERE.

What a great picture!

That's Just Messed Up

Man In India Marries Dog As Atonement

Now I've heard of some beer-goggle inspired weddings, but this dude married an actual pooch. Bizarre just doesn't come close to describing this.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Nailing It On The Head

Phyllis Schlafly wrote a great article over at Townhall that absolutely nails what I am looking for in the next Republican candidate. So far I haven't seen it, but if I do, they are guaranteed my vote. Heck, if a DEMOCRAT could convince me that they feel this way and would act this way I'd vote for them!Click HERE to read the article.

An Amazing Picture

I saw this picture over at Babalu Blog. With the picture was a great post by Val Prieto about his experience in Washington. Val is a great writer and I think that you will enjoy it very much. The title of the post is, Gracias

More Bad News About China's Military

Check out this post from Bear Creel Ledger. I don't know how I missed it in the news.

The US Navy was conducting exercises in the Pacific. Apparently, so were the Chinese. Here is the article that she referenced: The uninvited guest: Chinese sub pops up in middle of U.S. Navy exercise, leaving military chiefs red-faced


Sunday, November 11, 2007

Thank You, Veterans

Thank you for your sacrifice. You are much appreciated. God bless our veterans and troops. America, bless God, and He'll bless us.