Wednesday, November 30, 2005

A Christmas Quiz

Following are Christmas carols by initials only. See how many you can figure out. Give yourselves 10 minutes total and don't use the internet. That's cheating! Have fun.

2. GCM,R
3. WCIT?
5. OC,OC,E


Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Random Thoughts Tuesday

I’m sitting in front of the wrong computer for this time of night-I should be sitting at my work computer, but here I am at home, attempting to get over the cold that has knocked me sillier the past few days. I’ve been looking back over the posts, and I noticed that we haven’t had a ‘fun’ post since le’s last Quizilla. Yes, the world is kind of harsh right now, and there’s a lot going on...but I don’t want my Joy to be hindered by giving in to the ‘doom and gloom’ bad news found all over the World.
Years ago I started a ‘good news scrapbook’-only good news items would be saved. I didn’t keep it up for very long, but I found it the other day when cleaning and it made me smile. One of the items was of Shirley Temple Black being the Grand Marshall for the 100th Tournament of Roses parade. She is standing in front of a picture of herself at about age 5, when she held the same honor. No one can watch a Shirley Temple movie and not smile. She charmed the world, and her films were instrumental in bringing an end to the Great Depression-it’s been said that Shirley kept people smiling and singing her songs, single-handedly buoying up the Nation when it was going through dark times. If you want to smile, find some of her movies and be charmed again.
Besides the movies she made as a small child, there is one movie from her teen years which is a joy, thanks to Shirley and also thanks to the excellent Myrna Loy, and Cary Grant, playing what can only be a ‘Cary Grant role’-
“The Batchelor and the Bobbysoxer”. It is pure lighthearted fun, and just mentioning it makes me want to go put it in the machine and watch it again. You don’t even need a synopsis-Shirley, Cary and Myrna are reason enough to seek it out. Time to pop some popcorn.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

French Echoes or Get A Grip, part 2

While France and other parts of Europe burned in the weeks before Thanksgiving, some Americans no doubt scoffed and thought they had it coming. Although to anyone with one eye, one ear, and half a brain it was obvious that people were rioting, French authorities referred to it as unrest, presumably so as not to instigate more of the same. Well, there was some unrest in Oakland, California Thanksgiving night. A dozen black youths dressed in suits, white collar shirts, wearing bow ties entered a liquor store, terrorized the clerks, and smashed up the place to the tune of thousands of dollars. They repeatedly ordered the clerks to not sell liquor to blacks and Muslims in the neighborhood.

Still not satisfied they had done all they could to eradicate sin from their community, they proceeded to another liquor store where they engaged in similar terrorist behavior. The full story is here, thanks to Shawn Wasson.

The MSM is, of course, downplaying it even though surveillance video of the entire incident is available. Videos, including the story as originally broadcast on KRON-TV in San Francisco, can be found here.

A complete and unembedded (unattached to a story) video is here.

Is this a sign of things to come? Could it be that those who wish to bring jihad to this country have taken lessons from those in Europe and elsewhere? We'll never know unless people demand that the media stop its posturing as unbiased observers and cease using the language of political correctness. If you don't know what I mean by that compare the coverage of Kamou Kambon and that of Pat Robertson. Kambon called for the extermination of the white race whereas Robertson suggested that the U.S. might have a plan to assassinate Hugo Chavez and should probably do it. I'll leave you to guess which received the most coverage.

Make no mistake, those who vandalized these liquor stores are terrorists in all respects save one, they killed no one...yet. Otherwise, they are no different than those who blow up pizza parlors, hotels, discoteques, and buses. They are no different than the Nazi brown shirts who terrorized German Jews and others in the 1930's. They are no different from the Chechenyan terrorists who murdered more than 150 school children along with some 200 others in Beslan. The MSM will not make such comparisons, calling them hyperbole, war-mongering, hate speech and they are wrong. If these had been men wearing white sheets. Would the media have remained so silent?

If the light of truth had been shined on Germany in the 1930's perhaps the ensuing world war could have been avoided or at least contained. If the light of truth exposes this for what it is, pure religiously and racially motivated terrorism, perhaps it can be stamped out before it becomes truly dangerous and widespread.

It's time to wake up America! Stop casting blame on the victims and put it where it belongs, on those who see themselves as agents of a greater good even if it means engaging in great evil to acheive it.

Nuda Veritas

Monday, November 21, 2005

Get A Grip

Hey, Democrats and all others calling our incursion into Iraq illegal, calling our President a liar and a murderer, listen up.

In 1917 President Woodrow Wilson, a Democrat, sent American forces into the European 'Great War' against the Central Powers of Germany, Austro-Hungary, Bulgaria, and Turkey. None of those nations had attacked the U.S.. 126,000 Americans were killed with another 234,000 wounded and maimed in just over a year, an average of about 245 a day.

In 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, a Democrat, sent American forces into the war against Germany and Italy, neither of which had attacked the United States. Japan had. In the three and a half years it took to defeat the European enemies about 298,000 Americans died, an average of about 239 a day.

President Harry Truman, a Democrat, finished that war and promptly started another against North Korea which, again, had not attacked the United States. About 34,000 Americans were killed in the three year Korean War, an average of roughly 30 a day.

President Lyndon B. Johnson, a Democrat, although he didn't start American involvement in Vietnam, sent increasing numbers of military forces into that conflict. North Vietnam had not attacked the United States. In just over eight years more than 59,000 Americans were killed, an average of about 19 a day.

In 1995, President Bill Clinton, a Democrat, ordered the bombing of Serbia and Kosovo. Neither had attacked the United States. Fortunately, no Americans died in the incursion since there were no American troops on the ground, but the conflict had not received the blessing of the United Nations.

In 1991, shortly after taking office, this same president changed the purpose of the American forces in Somalia from a humanitarian mission to one of policing. The result was 19 dead Americans. The Clinton administration withdrew American forces from Somalia.

In February, 1993, the World Trade Center was severely damaged by a truck bomb. The perpetrators were traced to a shadowy figure named Osama bin Laden and a terrorist group called al Qaeda. 6 Americans were killed and a thousand injured. The Clinton administration prosecuted the perpetrators as though they were criminals rather than as enemy combatants.

In 1998 this same bin Laden declared war on the United States by ordering a 'fatwah' or death sentence on all Americans. The Clinton administration, Democrat, fired a few cruise missiles into the desert. During this same period bin Laden was offered to the administration on at least three separate occasions. Each time the offer was refused by the Clinton administration.

In 2000, the USS Cole was attacked in Yemen by al Qaeda operatives, killing 17 American sailors and nearly sinking the ship. The Clinton administration, Democrat, did nothing.

On September 11, 2001 four airplanes were hijacked by al Qaeda operatives. Two were flown into the World Trade Center towers one and two, one into the Pentagon, with the fourth crashing into a field in Pennsylvania. The number of Americans killed in these attacks was just under three thousand. Less than a month later President George Bush, a Republican, ordered American forces into Afghanistan. So far 248 Americans have been killed there, an average of about one every four and a half days.

In March of 2003 the United States sent military forces into Iraq to remove Saddam Hussein. To date 2,091 Americans have been killed, an average of about two a day.

If one of those killed is your son or daughter, father or mother, husband or wife, it is a personal tragedy and you deserve the sympathy of an understanding and grateful nation. However all deaths, whether on the battlefield, on the highway, or on the operating table, are tragic. During the same period that fewer than 2,400 Americans have been killed on the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq combined, over 100,000 Americans have been killed on the nation's highways, some 80,000 have been murdered, and untold numbers have died from killer diseases.

The president didn't lie, he did what a president should do when the nation is attacked. He called for an attack on Afghanistan which was protecting the architect of 9/11. When further intelligence was unearthed about Iraq, our attention was turned on it. Every intelligence agency in the world believed that Iraq possessed WMD's. Saddam had used such weapons twice before, had invaded two of his neighbors, had been supporting terrorism against Israel and had been housing terrorists in Baghdad. Iraqi forces had repeatedly violated the no-fly zones and had fired on American planes enforcing that zone. Saddam had violated every United Nations resolution since 1992 and the extent of the corruption of the oil-for-food program is still not fully known. Every Democrat believed Iraq possessed WMD's and said as much.

Without going into all the details of Iraq's WMD's, its attempt to acquire nuclear materials, its extensive support of terrorism, let me close with this. Democrats, leftist complainers, liberal whiners, general malcontents, get a grip and pay attention.

Freedom of speech guarantees you the right to criticize your government. However, the art of criticism demands that you also provide a workable alternative to what it is you wish to change. But you do not provide such alternatives. All I hear from you is 'Bush lied, people died', 'War is not the answer', along with insults, innuendo, accusations, lies, distortions, outrageous characterizations, and a whole litany of mind-numbing drivel. Read the foregoing again and get some perspective and realize that you are in a war for your lives.

Its time for the Bush administration to mobilize the nation onto a war footing because we are at war only half of us don't know it. We need to feel wanted and needed in the effort to defeat the enemies of freedom. Right now those enemies are most prevalent in Iraq and they will be defeated unless we lose our will to resist, to fight. We must not allow that to happen. The result would be disaster for Iraq, for the Middle East, for the United States.

I cannot predict whether Afghanistan and Iraq will emerge as successful democracies. They never have been and maybe they can never be. But I also don't know whether the sun will come up tomorrow, but I believe it will because I have faith in the continuing natural movements of the planets. Similarly, I have faith in the higher desires of the human spirit. We want to be free. My hopes and prayers are that the Afghanis and Iraqis do too, enough to fight for it.

Nuda Veritas

Sunday, November 20, 2005

I've been there

I have a Christian friend who is going through tough, tough times right now. Sometimes God has to shake up our lives a bit to make room for what He’s going to do next. Sometimes shaking up is hard to take, but we need to trust God wouldn’t do it to us if it weren't going to help us on our journey. The scripture that comes to mind is one that I never get tired of sharing, one that has helped me often in my walk: Lamentations 3:21-26
21This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. 22It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. 23They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. 24The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. 25The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. 26It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.

We are called to lift each other up, edify and support each of our brothers and sisters in Christ, and leave the Judging to God. Chuck Girard has a great song that I want to share here-look to his website: for more of his music and ministry. Those of us older than dirt remember Chuck from his group “Lovesong” and his solo career-those of you too young may know of Zoegirl, the group Chuck’s daughter Alisa is in.


Don't shoot the wounded, they need us more than ever.

They need our love no matter what it is they've done.

Sometimes we just condemn them, and don't take time to hear their story.

Don't shoot the wounded, someday you might be one.

It's easy to love the people who are standing hard and fast.

Pressing on to meet that higher calling.

But the ones who might be struggling, we tend to judge too harshly, and refuse to try and catch them when they're falling.

We put people into boxes and we draw our hard conclusions, and when they do the things we know they should not do,

we sometimes write them off as hopeless, and we throw them to the dogs.

Our compassion and forgiveness sometimes seem in short supply, so I say...Don't shoot the wounded!

We can love them and forgive them when their sin does not exceed our own. For we too have been down bumpy roads

before but when they commit offenses outside the boundaries we have set,we judge them in a word and we turn them out,

and we close the door. Myself I've been forgiven for so many awful things. I've been cleansed and washed and bathed so

many times that when I see a brother who has fallen from the way I just can't find the license to convict him of his crimes.

So I say... Don't shoot the wounded!

That doesn't mean we turn our heads when we see a brother sin and pretend that what he's doing is all right.

But we must help him see his error, we must lead him to repent. Cry with those who cry, but bring their deeds into the light .

For it's the sick that need the doctor, and it's the lame that need the crutch. It's the prodigal who needs the loving hand. For a

man who's in despair, there should be kindness from his friends. 'Lest he should forsake the fear of Almighty God and turn

away from God and man, So I say...Don't shoot the wounded!

�1982 Sea of Glass Music/ASCAP

Don't give up, friend.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Going to My Happy Place

There’s a comedic bit where someone who is super-stressed out is told to “Go to his Happy Place”-he shuts his eyes and imagines he is on a sunny beach, or in bed, comfortable and relaxed, miles from the neck deep doo doo he faced just a moment earlier. My variation, which I’ve done at work: “I wanted to go to my Happy Place, my favorite place in the whole world, I opened my eyes, and I was right here! At Work!”
My co-workers then tell me to shut up.
Going to a Happy Place...a dose of momentary unreality (a spoonful of sugar) to help one cope with a harsh reality (helps the medicine go down) is fine in moderation-but dangerous if one becomes addicted to Finding His Happy Place. Some crank the music louder, or ‘get into’ Nascar/NFL/movies/TV/uh...blogging...--others go where the only bill they have to think about is the bar tab, and that’s not due till they have to go home and face reality again.
You see, Reality happens, whether you’re ready or not. Being comfortable with Reality makes wherever you are your Happy Place. Avoiding Reality makes wherever you are the Unhappy Place you want to be gone from.
I love my Happy Place. I also enjoy remembering other days, but not as an escape, but because I enjoyed my Reality, my Happy Place then, also.
I just sent a Thanksgiving card to a friend who was with me when I took the picture above-December 31, 2001. I included the URL for here, and hope that she stops by {Hi Vaida! Hi David!}. It was a wonderfully cold time, but it is one of my favorite memories, also; I’ve been waiting for Winter to come so I could post this picture. I hope that as you read this, you remember a great time in your life, and then look around and see that where you are right now, the Reality you face at this moment, can be your Happy Place. Today can be the great day you will remember fondly years from now. Go make it happen.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Senate Wants to Run the War

The ridiculous Warner Amendment passed today with a yea vote from FORTY Republicans. This is simply a travesty. We are now moving in the same direction we did before losing the Vietnam War. We have no Republican leadership. Mr. Frist, you ought to be ashamed.

We absolutely CANNOT lose this war. The following is a quote by Major General Vernon Chong:

"So, how can we lose the war?

Again, the answer is simple. We can lose the war by "imploding." That is, defeating ourselves, by refusing to recognize the enemy and their purpose, and really digging in and lending full support to the war effort. If we are united, there is no way that we can lose. If we continue to be divided, there is no way that we can win!"
Read the Major General's full article here. It is a wake-up call. We need to get serious or America is on its way out as surely as Rome was during its downfall.

Europe will soon become a haven for those who wish to destroy the infidels (translation: you and me). Who will defend liberty and freedom, if not America?

Update: 11-17-05
Honestly, I am sickened by our Congress and most particularly by our capitulating and weak-kneed Republican Senators. Where are the brave? Where are the principled? Are they all over in Iraq fighting? WE STINKETH. Asbestos!!?? Something has got to change in Washington. I'm irate.

Update 2: 11-18-05
Okay. This might be the beginning of a trend. I can only hope.


Monday, November 14, 2005

More Quizilla Fun

Calliope, Muse of epic poetry
You are 'Latin'. Even among obsolete skills, the
tongue of the ancient Romans is a real
anachronism. With its profusion of different
cases and conjugations, Latin is more than a
language; it is a whole different way of
thinking about things.

You are very classy, meaning that you value the
classics. You value old things, good things
which have stood the test of time. You value
things which have been proven worthy and
valuable, even if no one else these days sees
them that way. Your life is touched by a
certain 'pietas', or piety; perhaps you are
even a Stoic. Nonetheless, you have a certain
fascination with the grotesque and the profane.
Also, the modern world rejects you like a bad
transplant. Your problem is that Latin has
been obsolete for a long time.

What obsolete skill are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Found this at Notes in the Key of Life. I like how this one turned out too. I do like the classics. And I took a few years of Latin in high school. I don't remember any of it, but I got an A. Plus this chick dresses like me.


Thursday, November 10, 2005

No Greater Love

"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."
John 15:13

It was a Sunday evening and all was relatively quiet. Everyone knew that it would only last until about six the next morning when the big guns would begin their barrage again. The artillery on both sides would lob shells toward each other which would explode with the deafening boom that could be heard miles away. For five hours it would continue like that even though a truce had been reached between the warring parties the day before. It had been decided that the armistice would go into effect only at 11am the next day, Monday, November 11, 1918. The Great War To End All Wars ended as ignominously as it had begun. But the day it ended, November 11, has been commemorated ever since.

In 1954 Congress recognized that there were other veterans of other wars who did not have a day set aside for such recognition. As a result, Congress expanded Armistice Day to include all American veterans, past, present, and future, and changed its name to Veterans' Day.

It is a day to remember, to honor, to salute all veterans of all American wars. It is a time to remember that "All gave some, some gave all." They are the reason America remains, and will remain, free.

Nuda Veritas

She Who Practices Inattention Fritters Away Treasure and Wisdom

I wish I had paid more attention to my mom when she told me not to go barefoot all the time, that some day I would regret it. My feet are killing me today.
I wish I had paid more attention to the songs on my grandma’s phonograph player so that I could sing one right now. How does that go? “ In 1814 we took a little trip, along with Colonel Jackson down the mighty Mississip…” Funny but forgotten.
I wish I had paid more attention to my algebra teacher when he told me I should be a math major, instead of a music major. It just sounded like so much more work.
I wish I had paid more attention in U.S. history class so I wasn’t spending so much adult time learning about things I should already know.
I wish I had paid more attention to my future husband on my first date, instead of worrying so much about how I looked. I think he wore a knee-length yellow corduroy coat. Is corduroy still a fabric?
I wish I had paid more attention at my wedding so I could remember what song was sung by the soloist. Weddings weren’t videotaped back then. And I was so nervous.
I wish I had paid more attention to my children’s funny comments when they were little, and had written them down so that I could have a nice laugh tonight. I have the funniest kids. Once I walked into the room and Rachel was sitting there with a different color crayon between each toe. I think she had a good explanation.
I wish I had paid more attention to my children’s education. In some ways they are nuts that fall far from the tree, and I think I could have done something about that if I had realized that public education was filled with liberal thinking.
I wish I had paid more attention to my doctor when he told me to lose weight and get more exercise…40 pounds ago and pre-high blood pressure.
I wish I had paid more attention to all my husband’s birthdays for the past 31 years. Who will pay attention if I don’t?
I wish I had paid more attention so that I could recall the smell of tall grass and snapdragons and a gentle summer breeze outside my bedroom window. Well, maybe snapdragons don’t really smell. I can’t remember. I guess we have some good smells here in Phoenix--citrus blossoms and ozone. But I seem to recall that smells outdoors when I was young were better.
I wish I had paid more attention to my pastor’s teaching for the past twenty years. Why haven’t I been taking notes? I guess some of it has sunk in. Maybe I’ll pull out a pen this Sunday. At least that one is not too late.

And I suppose I could still lose weight.


Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Cue the Music -- I Feel Good!

It's a good day. Today I only paid $2.48 a gallon for gas! A month ago I was paying over $3.00 per gallon. Who would have ever thought that over two dollars a gallon would feel so good?


Monday, November 07, 2005

The Past Should Be

I had the opportunity awhile back to visit a part of my past. I was on the Mackinaw for nearly three years. It was during my tour of duty, back in 1979, that I accepted Christ, right onboard the ship. My life changed dramatically that day, and God has blessed me more abundantly than I have had any right to expect.
It reminds me of the difference between Grace and Mercy: Grace is God’s giving is the good things we do not deserve, Mercy is His not giving us the bad that we Do deserve. Both are evidence of His love for us.
The Mackinaw will be decommissioned next year, so when it opened for tours near here, my Dad and I made a quick trip to see it. I have mixed feelings about the experience, which is why it’s taken me a while to write this.
It was great to see the boat again, the scars and repairs welded in, all covered with red, white and spar paint. Spar is the brownish yellow color found on the smokestack. The tour was only of the outer areas and the bridge; I pointed things out to my dad, spoke with the crew directing tourists, took pictures and generally it was a nice experience.
What was unsettling for me was talking to the crew; there was an air of desperation and cynicism
that I remembered very well from my days in the Coast Guard. A young Coastie guiding tours, wearing a jacket not just because he was cold, but to cover up the fact that he was missing a few ribbons on his dress uniform. That would have been me in 1979. On the day in 1980 when I was supposed to appear in full dress uniform for the ceremony where I was awarded my “crow”-(see the cynicism?) where I was to be awarded my 3rd Class Petty Officers chevron (with an eagle, not a crow)-I was called from the galley in the middle of preparing lunch, wearing no insignia at all, and my ‘ceremony’ lasted about 10 seconds, long enough for the OOD to hand me my chevron, shake my hand, and then I went back to finish the meal.
During my recent visit I flagged down a cook who was passing by and introduced myself. She was doing my old job, in the galley where I had worked so many, many hours. She seemed bitter and stressed, and she had no good words for the school she had recently returned from, which I had gone through in 1978. What was unsettling was talking with someone going through the same routine, working the same job, having the same stresses and problems that I left behind over 20 years ago. I am now so far removed from military life that I hardly remembered what it was like. My visit reminded me of how happy I was to leave the Service. I am proud of having served, but am very grateful to God for setting me on a different path.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

President George W. Bush

Imagine President George Bush standing before the full Congress, reading these verses selected from Psalm 35:

Let those be ashamed and dishonored who seek my life;
Let those be turned back and humiliated who devise evil against me.
5 Let them be like chaff before the wind,
With the angel of the LORD driving them on.
6 Let their way be dark and slippery,
With the angel of the LORD pursuing them.
7 For without cause they hid their net for me;
Without cause they dug a pit for my soul.

Malicious witnesses rise up;
They ask me of things that I do not know.
12 They repay me evil for good,
To the bereavement of my soul.
13 But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth;
I humbled my soul with fasting,
And my prayer kept returning to my bosom.

But at my stumbling they rejoiced and gathered themselves together;
The smiters whom I did not know gathered together against me,
They slandered me without ceasing.
16 Like godless jesters at a feast,
They gnashed at me with their teeth.
17 Lord, how long will You look on?
Rescue my soul from their ravages,
My only life from the lions.
18 I will give You thanks in the great congregation;
I will praise You among a mighty throng.
19 Do not let those who are wrongfully my enemies rejoice over me;
Nor let those who hate me without cause wink maliciously.
20 For they do not speak peace,
But they devise deceitful words against those who are quiet in the land.
21 They opened their mouth wide against me;
They said, “Aha, aha, our eyes have seen it!”
22 You have seen it, O LORD, do not keep silent;
O Lord, do not be far from me.
23 Stir up Yourself, and awake to my right
And to my cause, my God and my Lord.
24 Judge me, O LORD my God, according to Your righteousness,
And do not let them rejoice over me.
25 Do not let them say in their heart, “Aha, our desire!”
Do not let them say, “We have swallowed him up!”
26 Let those be ashamed and humiliated altogether who rejoice at my distress;
Let those be clothed with shame and dishonor who magnify themselves over me.

Let them shout for joy and rejoice, who favor my vindication;
And let them say continually, “The LORD be magnified,
Who delights in the prosperity of His servant.”
28 And my tongue shall declare Your righteousness
And Your praise all day long.