Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Kat Got the most correct, ADHD Got #9 the suicide question. No one got them all. And no one even attempted the extra credit.

1. Robert Duvall played Boo Radley in To Kill A Mockingbird.
2. Traveller (KAT).
3. Tecumseh (Kat).
4. A warehouse with 80,000 pairs of shoes (Kat, partial credit).
5. The 101st Airborne Division. The Battle of the Bulge.
6. Arizona. Texas vs. California.
7. the estate of the family of Robert E. Lee's wife Mary Anna (Custis) Lee. (Kat)
8. Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California AND Hawaii.
9. Suicide (Kat and ADHD).
10. ROSS (Kat).
extra credit: Elton John; "Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting"

Monday, September 28, 2009

Trivia Tuesday...

Put on your thinking caps. and lay off the Google search. I don't ask questions I don't know the answer to. Please don't post answers you had to look up.

1. Robert Duval, the actor who uttered the phrase;
"I love the smell of napalm in the morning..." Has played many great
movie roles. What was his first?

2. The confederate General Robert E. Lee. What was the name of his horse?

3. The Union General who authored the scorched earth policy to defeat the south
was named William T. Sherman. What was his middle name?

4. The Battle of Gettysburg, ended up being the turning point of the war
between the states. What was the original military objective that led the
Confederates to this place in Pennsylvania?

5. My uncle Richard was in the army during WWII. His division was surrounded
by the nazi army, in a small town in Belgium, called Bastogne. What division
was my uncle assigned to?

6. In what state was the farthest west battle of the civil war fought in?
And what two states were involved?

7. Who owned the land that became Arlington National Cemetery?

8. How many States have a Pacific Shore-line?

9. What is the only action punishable for attempting. But, not for actually

10. What is Ross Perot's middle name?

Extra credit: Who sang the lyrics: "Of all the sounds that I really like, are the sounds of a switchblade and a motorbike"?

Manic Monday.

If it sounds to good to be true. It ain't true. Especially, if it is someone you know.
Rather than drag this out I'll take the "Joe Friday" approach (Just the facts ma'am).
For Mother's Day, my wife and I wanted to send flowers to her mother. This woman has been a true blessing to me from the day I first met her. She is a life long Christian, with a heart of gold. I love her so much, I haven't told a "Mother-In-Law" joke since I met her. And believe me I know a bunch of them. But none of them apply to our relationship.
So off to PROFLOWERS I went. I had used their services many times in the past, weddings, Birthdays, Funerals and just "I'm thinking of you's". Their prices were always very low for the product and service they provided. But Mother's day was different. There were many extra charges tacked on. An extra charge for "specific day"delivery, an extra charge for Week-end delivery (mother's day is always on a Sunday) and a few others. When all the extras were added up the deal wasn't very reasonable anymore. But I only have one mother-in-law, she's the best, and it's only money. So, I made the order. Since, I was home bound by my condition, I would have to imagine the surprise in her eyes when she opened the box.
So when the big day arrived, we called my mother-in-law, to tell her how special she was to us. When the conversation was over there had been no mention of the flowers. This was very uncharacteristic, so I asked "What did you think of the flowers?" She replied "What flowers?"
I told her the story I told here, with the money details left out. She said she had been home all day, and no one had come to the door. But if we would wait she would look out front just to be sure. "Yes. There was a box." and it had flowers in it. But the box had not been near the door. And the bell had never rang. If we had not asked, the box would possibly have been there for days. Customer no-service, was something I have dealt with and become used to getting. But when PROFLOWERS sent me an email to find out my level of satisfaction, I gave them an unvarnished kick in the teeth. But I was tactful. I had always gotten great products from these people in the past. Maybe this was an aberration.
A day later they sent another email. This one was very apologetic, and included a link to their page where I could register for a $15.00 deduction on my next order from PROFLOWERS. The link was genuine. It went to PROFLOWERS, was a secure link to an encrypted page. Everything appeared legit. So I registered for the discount. It never even crossed my mind again until last Friday. My ever alert wife, asked me about a charge card purchase I had made to a company I never heard of. The charge on the bill had a 1-800-xxx-xxxx number. So we called it. An answering system came on line. But none of the options were for fraudulent charges. So we pressed zero. and the computer told us to wait while it connected us to a customer rep. A very pleasant (fortunate for her) woman came on the phone. We explained the situation, without giving any of our personal information. She did need some info, and asked the amount of the charge. The date of the charge, and my last name. All info that would be okay to disclose to a stranger, and so I told her. She said the charge had come through PROFLOWERS. And that she would approve the refund.
Lessons learned:
1. A discount on a future purchase, should be in the form of a number given to you by the company. You should never have to register for it.
2. Read you credit card bill. Question everything.
3. Don't be afraid to confront the people trying to take your money.
4. If it sounds too good. It is.
5. Even hackers can get hacked.
6. No matter how careful you are, someone can gert you when your guard is down...
Happy computing. Be blessed and be a blessing to others.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Music for your soul...

My favorite Long-Haired, Country-Boy

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Have you ever been to France?

Although I found the people of France to be the rudest on the planet. The Navy took me there. So rather than sit and mope I went exploring.
I have been to several very interesting cities in France. Cannes, San Tropez, Monte Carlo and of course Paris. Paris has a rich cultural heritage, and an intriguing, world class history. "The City of Lights" is a tourist's dream if you're into that kind of thing. The Eiffel Tower, The Parisian art museum known as the Louvre, The Arch de Triumph, The Champs-Élysées is known in France as La plus belle avenue du monde ("The most beautiful avenue in the world"). But, I wanted to see something different. Something unique. I told my taxi driver I wanted something normal tourists don't look for. My French was very poor. And his English was non-existent. So our first stop was at a bar full of prostitutes. I smiled and said no thank you. "Quelque chose d'étrange pour les yeux." (something strange, for the eyes). He nodded and away we went. Next stop was 1. Avenue of Colonel Henri Rol-Tanguy, The catacombs of Paris.
Back in the middle 1700s, Paris ran out of burial plots. That didn't stop the Churches from accepting payment for the burials of the newly dead. And just piling them into mass graves. When the earth could hold no more, the bodies literally spilled into the streets. Disease and pestilence were rampant. The City government passed a resolution to move all the bodies from all the current cemetaries into the quarry under the city. The re-interment took 70 years to complete. And when it was done 6 million bodies had been moved. Let me show you the city under the City of Lights:

The sign reads: "STOP. This is the empire of the dead."

Thi sign is telling you that the bones in this area are from The Cemetery Of The Innocent Ones. In April, 1786

Next time you do the tourist thing. Find something new. Oh yea, unattended children are not allowed in here. Next time I'll show you something equally as interesting in the city of Prague.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Have you ever had a broken heart?

You can't answer yes, if you've never been in love. This is a story about love. Not romance, passion, infatuation or lust. Just love. There's this girl. It seems I have known her forever. We were introduced in the 5th grade. We were pals all through grade school and into high school. But then we drifted apart. We would bump into one another. But only in passing. But she would tell me the things that were bothering her. And I would listen but she never let me help. Her parents didn't like me. No! That's being mild. They hated me. They never took the time to learn anything about the real me. And they would fill her head with non-sense every time she mentioned my name.
When she went away to college, we lost touch. But I would run into her occasionally. Spring break, Christmas,, New Years. But when graduation time arrived, I was specifically told to stay away. It wasn't her decision. But the school didn't want my type present. MY TYPE. Can you imagine someone not wanting me around? So as per the request, I stayed my distance. She went on, to be a very successful marine biologist. Many of my friends are intelligent, skilled, capable people. But for some reason every time I would visit this friend, her collegues, would give her a hard time about me being around. Finally we lost touch for many years. I never stopped thinking of her. I was in love. Madly, totally, head over heels in love. Nothing would ever change that. There was something special about this woman. It was our destiny. To spend eternity together. She just didn't know it. Yet. But how do you make some one love you? You can't. See, God gave all of us free will. All I could do was to try to show her how much I loved her. And then she would come around. Our mutual friends would tell her how much I loved her. But she would scoff, that no one could love her that much. Was this girl stupid? How could she not see that I would do anything for her? I would throw myself in front of a bus for this girl.
Then one night she called me. I was surprised. But very pleased. She asked me to meet her in one hour, at a downtown cafe. I arrived early. Grabbed a table near the door, and waited. Anticipation made the time drag. It seemed like days. But it had only been hours. Two hours. After another hour she was still a no show. And I had very important things to do. So I left.
Two weeks later she called again. I asked why we failed to meet the last time, and she told me her friend got sick and needed her. I started to tell her that I could have helped in that situation. But she interrupted and asked me to meet her at "BENNEY'S" a local biker hang out. I knew the place. But I had no idea that she would be caught dead in there. Well, yes I really did. Because she always had a little rebel in her. And was attracted to the bad boys. So I mounted up on wings and headed for BENNEY'S. I may look like I belong with those guys. But we really have very little in common. Well, most of them either know me or know of me. But they stay clear of me. I have a reputation that most of these pseudo tough guys want nothing to do with.
This time she's a no show again. But I managed to meet some new friends, so this night was not a total waste. This situation repeats itself for months on end. She calls and says she needs to talk. I show up. And she doesn't. Dozens and dozens of calls and an equal number of broken dates. How many more times must this situation play itself out? How many more times will I fall for this ploy? Just as many times as it takes. You see, She's on the list. And I have all the time in the universe. Unfortunately she does not. But even if her last date with me is on her dying breath. I'll be there for her. She's on the list.

Are you on His list? Stop breaking dates. And stop breaking His heart.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Wordless Wednesday...

I'm following a theme I found on some other blogs...
But be forewarned. My taste are different at best and strange at least. Things that make me double take. There won't be anything offensive. But I may have to explain it later.
And now; on with the shoe. Ps. no photoshop enhancements, ever.l

Trivia Tuesday answers.

Great job everyone.
Edie, Blase, Kat, KC. Move to the head of the class and start a bible study. You all get it. Even when you tried to find a hidden trick in question 1, you all gave exacting answers. But #1 was not a trick question. But 11 was.
1. 66.
2. 1, Esther.
3. 4, Philemon, 2john, 3john, jude.
4. "Jesus wept" Jn11:35
5. So the chief priests made plans to kill Lazarus as well, Jn 12:10
6. Jesus wins... But all the entries are great and counted. You guys get it,
7. The world's greatest homerun hitter is Sadaharu Oh. He played in the
Japan Pro league for the Yomiuri Giants. His career stats include:
2,170 RBIs, a lifetime batting average of .301, and 868 home runs.
8. Pyroclastic Flow or Debris. Kat watches the Discovery channel.
9. Magma. Go Kat, go.
10. Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens(valenzuela), The Big Bopper.
Kat and Blase were all over this one.
11. No one even came close. The proper pronunciation of the
capital city of Kentucky is Frankfort.
The acrostic T.U.L.I.P. is in reference to Calvin's view of the Gospel message of
Total Depravity
Unconditional Election
Limited Atonement
Irresistible Grace
Perseverance of the Saints

Thanks for playing.

Monday, September 21, 2009


Please remember the RULEZ! I won't ask questions I don't already know the answer to. Please don't post answers you had to look up. Of course this is the honor system. So I'm relying on your personal integrity...

1. How many books in the King James Bible?
2. What is the only book in the bible that does not mention God?
3. How many books in the bible are only one chapter long? Name them...
4. What i the shortest verse in the bible?
5. After Jesus raised Lazerus from the dead. Who plotted to kill Lazerus?
6. Summarize the book of REVELATION in 5 words or less (I can do it in 2).
7. Name the professional baseball player who currently holds the world record
for the most home runs in a career?
8. What is the super heated gas and ash flow that comes
down a volcano prior to lava flow called ?
9. Underground Lava is called ____.
10. The day the music died. Who actually died? (There were 3 of them).
11. The correct pronunciation of the capital of Kentucky
is:(a) Lewis ville. (B) Lewie Ville. (C) LU-Vull.
For extra credit What Does the acrostic T.U.L.I.P. mean?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Manic Monday...

Who owns the computer are you using?
Blasé. I'm not talking to you or any other home computer user. I'm making reference to the PC you have at work... Do you share one with another user? Or are you fortunate enough to have one just for you? I know you believe the company paid for it. So they own it. But who owns the files you produce with it? Further, who owns the E-mails you send and receive on it? This is not a rhetorical question, or an ethics quiz. It's serious business.
The owner of your computer is the same entity that owns the data produced on it. Your employer. But the e-mail came with my name on it! You protest. But the email address has the company's name on it also. You can be held liable for the messages you generate from your company address. And E-mail is provided to you for the convenience of your company. This is not just my opinion. It has been upheld in numerous court cases nation wide. Please read this legal info.
Most, if not all companies use a software or hardware solution to protect employees from pornographic or other offensive material while you are at work (They would be liable if they didn't provide a safe work place) often referred to as an E-mail Firewall. This very same device that filters out unwanted inbound content gives your employer the ability to filter all messages, Inbound and Out. I have evaluated, tested, installed, configured and monitored many of these systems. And every single one of them has this capability. All of them. BlueCoat, Ironport, Tumbleweeds, Symantec, McAffee, Barracuda and Cisco. And all of the Intrusion Detection and Intrusion Prevention Systems can monitor traffic inbound and out also. Why would they be interested in traffic inside the perimeter of the protected network and on it's way out? The FBI estimates that 75% of all computer break-ins originate inside the company's network. That is an astounding statistic. But true. Granted, some of the damage maybe unintentional. But most is intentional. The security adage "Trust. But, verify." is applicable and appropriate. Be a part of the solution. Find out what your company defines as "Inappropriate Use" and follow the policy. If your company does not have such a policy, recommend one.

I met my match...

A very nice friend of mine was asking for some assistance with a computer problem. We exchanged emails to cover the issues. And after I thought I had supplied the necessary information, I wanted to make sure I had covered all the situational requirements. But rather than say"If you have any more questions, just ask." Like the smart mouth I am. I wrote "If you have any more questions, just write them down on the back of a twenty." And a short while later I received this twenty in the next message. Color me out-smarted. Mentally. And technically. I would love to tell you the name of my new superior.
The lesson for today: Be careful what you ask for.
Like when you pray and say "Dear Heavenly Father. Please protect me from evil. And let me win the lottery." Make up your mind!!!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Just so you know...

I am not a warhawk. I am no peace freak either. War is so terrible that it boggles the imagination. No sane person can witness warfare and be enamored of it. Soldiers or warriors do not start wars. We end them! Under the US Constitution, only the Congress can declare war. Unless they turn yellow and sign a "WAR POWERS ACT" giving that power to the president. That way they can avoid re-election headaches.
But I digress. My post today is to let you know that the men and women who go to the military service of The US, are not mindless machines, programmed by the Military-Industrial complex. They are not low-minded people who couldn't make it on the civilian world. Or did not have the smarts to go to college. I have had my IQ tested several times (Bragging Alert) and it was continually marked between 148 and 162, depending on whose test you take. When I got my first college degree in Electronics, I CLEP tested out of all the classes. Physics, Chemistry, Biology, World History, Algebra and Sociology. Just to make sure they weren't graduating a competent illiterate, I had to write a term paper for English 301. I aced it too. But I am not the lone ranger boys and girls. No, not by a long shot. I have heard many times during my career, "What is such a smart, or talented, person like you doing in the military?" Implying that I must be a paradox or an enigma of some sort. There are many people in the military today, who are much smarter than I. And you better be darn glad they are there. But the one thing we all have in common is a deep abiding love of this country and the people in it.
So hate the WAR. It's Okay. You should hate war. It is a terrible thing. I hate war also. But don't hate the warriors. We didn't go and start war. You sent us. Please remember: The next time you cry "HAVOC" and set loose the "Dogs of war." Those brave men and women who answer the call to duty are some of the best America has to offer. Make sure the end justifies the sacrifice they lay on the alter of America's freedom. God bless America. And God bless you as well.
See this site:____
Much thanks to Chatty Kelly , a very smart and lovely woman,for bringing this film to my attention.

Friday, September 18, 2009

How many times must I tell you?

I have always be a brutally honest person. If you don't want to hear the un-varnished truth, then don't ask me. I won't sugar coat it and you might get your feelings hurt. Oh sure! I can lie. But to what avail? You'll either find out the truth later and resent me. Or you just wanted your ego stroked in the first place. And you'll keep coming back for more, and the vicious cycle continues. Even though all lies are not equal (in the bible; two examples of lies rewarded are the Hebrew mid-wives in exodus. And Rahab the harlot of Jericho). Why start out a friendship, with me trying to recover my inner peace? All of my best friends in life, either appreciate my candor, and/or, share the same type of truthful attitude. I take no joy from telling people what they don't want to hear. So later in my life I began asking people if they were sure they wanted my opinion. Some would lie and then regret it later. But people who really want to know, actively seek me out to get my opinion. From drinking buddies to deacons. From lonely seaman to Rear-Admirals. From the newbie in the IT deparment to the CEO.
I have also been a very curious person. All the way back to my earliest childhood.
For example; Scientists believe things with black and yellow, or black and orange stripes are universally recognized as dangerous. Tigers for example, and banded sea-snakes. Both are very dangerous and brightly contrasted by stripes. And until recently they were considered to have no natural predators. The Tiger is endangered, by man. the ultimate predator. And banded sea-snakes are a culinary delight for south pacific sea eagles.
I think Tigers are beautiful, and Banded sea-snakes are graceful and hypnotic in motion. What about the lowly honey bee?
How did you find out they were ill tempered little stingers? Did you always know? Was there a primordial warning bell in your head when you first saw one? To my young eyes they appeared like little flying candies. And when I gently plucked one from my mother's Gardenias. I got stung. I didn't know any sailor words back then. So I just yelled. A big red whelt, my mother's love and my father's chide are my vivid memories. "If you leave the Bees alone they'll leave you alone." It's like I heard it just yesterday. Did I leave the Bees alone? Certainly not. I had to get even. So a few days latter I returned to the scene of the crime. But this time I brought a weapon. When my victim lit on the aromatic flora, I smacked it as hard as I could with a stick. The blossom exploded in a shower of fragmented white petals. With a smashed bee in their midst. But some how I had been found out, and another little bugger stung me. Another whelt and another dose of "If you leave the bees alone. They'll leave you alone." My mom was sympathetic. But I had devestated her bush. There must have been more stings. But the next one I remember was by a yellow-jacket.
A colonony of these brilliant bees had taken up residence under the eaves of our house. I had learned a lesson. But my education was incomplete. So instead of ignoring them. I choose a new weapon. A stand-off weapon. A daisy bb gun. It was perfect. It would certainly kill bees. It was a Bee Bee gun. Get it? I had bigger guns to choose from. But I didn't want to damage my home. So I backed off about twenty paces, and began my assault. The marine shooting lesson was: Aim little. Miss little. Meaning don't aim at the nest. Aim at a bee. If you miss the bee, the nest is a sure hit. Three direct hits and the nest was a bee-hive of activity. The forth salvo had a new consequence. Did you ever hear of something making a Bee-line towards an object. Well I had not. But I witnessed the event. A lone hornet, followed the path of my last projectile. Right back to my face. And stung me repeatedly on my upper lip. To stop the assault I grabbed the jacket and smashed it in my hand. When I opened my hand the bee lay in my palm, dead. But still stinging me. These bugs were way more persistent than I was. And once more I heard the "Leave the bees alone..." lecture. All the world IS a stage. And I have been "ON" since day one. It's not Turrets, or any mentally diagnosed problem. I just have a smart mind and what I think comes out of my mouth.
When my father would ask me "How many times must I tell you?" I would say "Three." It was the truth. He had told me about the bees three times. It was much later in life when I learned the concept of a "Rhetorical question." But all my encounters with my father did not all start in the form of a question. Take the line "I'll teach you to smart off to me." If a six foot two hundred pound career marine said that to you, how would you respond? As a skinny toe-headed 10 year old I responded with such witticisms as "Oops, someone beat you to it." or "get inline." I took way less punishment than was deserved because I was a very fast runner. I loved to run. I was also a very quick starter, and was seldom in second place behind the fittest adult. The only thing faster than my hands and feet was my mouth. I wasn't disrespectful. I started and ended every sentence to my elders with "Yes Sir or Mam." And I never uttered the disrespectful, "With all due respect."
I wasn't a class-clown either. I was way too smart to ever be considered a clown, by my peers or my teachers. It was not a need for attention. I know that bad attention is better than no attention. I just love to laugh. And even when I'm not smiling on the outside. There is usually a riot going on in my head. I'm not a comedian. I just play one in life. I am still a very smart mouthed guy. But my hands and foot aren't nearly as quick as they used to be. I no longer have a generalized dislike of people either. So in closing I would like to say that you are all very dear friends, and I love you all, unashamedly. But if zombies start chasing us. I'm gonna trip you.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Cars, wheelies and cops. Oh, my!

Studies have shown that motorcycling requires more decisions per second, and more sheer data processing than nearly any other common activity or sport. The reactions and accurate decision making abilities needed have been likened to the reactions of fighter pilots! The consequences of bad decisions or poor situational awareness are pretty much the same for both groups too.

Occasionally, as a rider I have caught myself starting to make bad or late decisions while riding. It is a mark of experience that when this begins to happen, the rider recognizes the situation, and more importantly, does something about it. A short break, a meal, or even a gas stop can set things right again as it gives the brain a chance to catch up.

Good, accurate, and timely decisions are essential when riding a motorcycle…at least if you want to remain among the living. In short, the brain needs to keep up with the machine.

I had been banging around the roads of southern California and as I headed back into LA, found myself in very heavy, high-speed traffic on the freeways. Normally, this is not a problem, I commute in these conditions daily, but suddenly I was nearly run down by a cage that decided it needed my lane more than I did. This is not normally a big deal either, as it happens around here often, but usually I can accurately predict which drivers are not paying attention and avoid them before we are even close. This one I missed seeing until it was nearly too late, and as I took evasive action I nearly broadsided another car that I was not even aware was there!

Two bad decisions and insufficient situational awareness…all within seconds. I was behind the power curve. Time to get off the freeway.

I hit the next exit, and as I was in an area I knew pretty well, headed through a few big residential neighborhoods as a new route home. As I turned onto the nearly empty streets I opened the visor on my full-face helmet to help get some air. I figured some slow riding through the quiet surface streets would give me time to relax, think, and regain that “edge” so frequently required when riding.

Little did I suspect…

As I passed an oncoming car, a brown furry missile shot out from under it and tumbled to a stop immediately in front of me. It was a squirrel, and must have been trying to run across the road when it encountered the car. I really was not going very fast, but there was no time to brake or avoid it—it was that close.

I hate to run over animals…and I really hate it on a motorcycle, but a squirrel should pose no danger to me. I barely had time to brace for the impact.

Animal lovers, never fear. Squirrels can take care of themselves!

Inches before impact, the squirrel flipped to his feet. He was standing on his hind legs and facing the oncoming Cruiser with steadfast resolve in his little beady eyes. His mouth opened, and at the last possible second, he screamed and leapt! I am pretty sure the scream was squirrel for, “Banzai!” or maybe, “Die you gravy-sucking, heathen scum!” as the leap was spectacular and he flew over the windshield and impacted me squarely in the chest.

Instantly he set upon me. If I did not know better I would have sworn he brought twenty of his little buddies along for the attack. Snarling, hissing, and tearing at my clothes, he was a frenzy of activity. As I was dressed only in a light t-shirt, summer riding gloves, and jeans this was a bit of a cause for concern. This furry little tornado was doing some damage!

Picture a large man on a huge black and chrome cruiser, dressed in jeans, a t-shirt, and leather gloves puttering maybe 25mph down a quiet residential street…and in the fight of his life with a squirrel. And losing.

I grabbed for him with my left hand and managed to snag his tail. With all my strength I flung the evil rodent off the left of the bike, almost running into the right curb as I recoiled from the throw.

That should have done it. The matter should have ended right there. It really should have. The squirrel could have sailed into one of the pristinely kept yards and gone on about his business, and I could have headed home. No one would have been the wiser.

But this was no ordinary squirrel. This was not even an ordinary mad squirrel.

This was an evil attack squirrel of death!

Somehow he caught my gloved finger with one of his little hands, and with the force of the throw swung around and with a resounding thump and an amazing impact he landed square on my back and resumed his rather anti-social and extremely distracting activities. He also managed to take my left glove with him!

The situation was not improved. Not improved at all. His attacks were continuing, and now I could not reach him.

I was startled to say the least. The combination of the force of the throw, only having one hand (the throttle hand) on the handlebars, and my jerking back unfortunately put a healthy twist through my right hand and into the throttle. A healthy twist on the throttle of a Cruiser can only have one result. Torque. This is what a Cruiser is made for, and she is very, very good at it.

The engine roared as the front wheel left the pavement. The squirrel screamed in anger. The Scooter screamed in ecstasy. I screamed in…well…I just plain screamed.

Now picture a large man on a huge black and chrome cruiser, dressed in jeans, a slightly squirrel torn t-shirt, and only one leather glove roaring at maybe 70mph and rapidly accelerating down a quiet residential street…on one wheel and with a demonic squirrel on his back. The man and the squirrel are both screaming bloody murder.

With the sudden acceleration I was forced to put my other hand back on the handlebars and try to get control of the bike. This was leaving the mutant squirrel to his own devices, but I really did not want to crash into somebody’s tree, house, or parked car. Also, I had not yet figured out how to release the throttle…my brain was just simply overloaded. I did manage to mash the back brake, but it had little affect against the massive power of the big cruiser.

About this time the squirrel decided that I was not paying sufficient attention to this very serious battle (maybe he is a Scottish attack squirrel of death), and he came around my neck and got IN my full-face helmet with me. As the faceplate closed partway and he began hissing in my face I am quite sure my screaming changed tone and intensity. It seemed to have little affect on the squirrel however.

The rpm’s on The Dragon maxed out (I was not concerned about shifting at the moment) and her front end started to drop.

Now picture the large man on the huge black and chrome cruiser, dressed in jeans, a very ragged torn t-shirt, and wearing one leather glove, roaring at probably 80mph, still on one wheel, with a large puffy squirrel’s tail sticking out his mostly closed full-face helmet. By now the screams are probably getting a little hoarse.

Finally I got the upper hand…I managed to grab his tail again, pulled him out of my helmet, and slung him to the left as hard as I could. This time it worked…sort-of. Spectacularly sort-of, so to speak.

Picture the scene. You are a cop. You and your partner have pulled off on a quiet residential street and parked with your windows down to do some paperwork.

Suddenly a large man on a huge black and chrome cruiser, dressed in jeans, a torn t-shirt flapping in the breeze, and wearing one leather glove, moving at probably 80mph on one wheel, and screaming bloody murder roars by and with all his strength throws a live squirrel grenade directly into your police car.

I heard screams. They weren't mine...

I managed to get the big motorcycle under directional control and dropped the front wheel to the ground. I then used maximum braking and skidded to a stop in a cloud of tire smoke at the stop sign at a busy cross street.

I would have returned to fess up (and to get my glove back). I really would have. Really. But for two things. First, the cops did not seem interested or the slightest bit concerned about me at the moment. One of them was on his back in the front yard of the house they had been parked in front of and was rapidly crabbing backwards away from the patrol car. The other was standing in the street and was training a riot shotgun on the police cruiser.

So the cops were not interested in me. They often insist to “let the professionals handle it” anyway. That was one thing. The other? Well, I swear I could see the squirrel, standing in the back window of the patrol car among shredded and flying pieces of foam and upholstery, and shaking his little fist at me. I think he was shooting me the finger…

That is one dangerous squirrel. And now he has a patrol car…

I took a deep breath, turned on my turn-signal, made an easy right turn, and sedately left the neighborhood.

As for my easy and slow drive home? Forget it. Faced with a choice of 80mph cars and inattentive drivers, or the evil, demonic, attack squirrel of death...I’ll take my chances with the freeway. Every time.

And I’ll buy myself a new pair of gloves.

I wish I had written that one but I must give credit where credit is due...

Hope you enjoyed it none the less.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

World-wide Wednesday: Have you ever been to...?

I'm not your typical Carolina redneck. I have pine-tar in my veins, and I believe God is a Tarheel fan. Why else would He have made the sky "Carolina Blue"? During March Madness, I cheer for all the Carolina home teams: Carolina, NC State, Duke, Wake Forrest, UNC Wilmington, UNC Greenville. NC... anything. Except for a few funerals, I haven't been to the old North State since I left for the Navy in 1973.
But, after spending 16.5 years on sea-duty in the US Navy. I'm am a qualified world traveler. My usual answer to the above question is more than likely "YES." The next question that follows is "What's your favorite place to visit?" I'm usually saying to myself "Home." But I understand the question, and answer "HONG KONG." I've been to the "NEW YORK of Asia" more than 20 different times. Then the ineveitable "WHY?" To which I respond "Hong Kong has everything." If "it" isn't in Hong Kong, "it"doesn't exist. Orca teeth, Scrimshawed Sperm whale teeth, Elephant ivory, Tiger skins, claws, and teeth. Cameras, Computers, Custom made shoes and designer suits. A McDonalds , next to an exotic French Restaurant, across the street from a Thai food eatery. Bruce Lee's home and interment place? Jackie Chan? How about a left-handed, Rhine-stone studded belly-button brush? Seen one. But those are so mundane. Let me show you a good example of "IT" __________________________________________________

This 24 kt solid gold Bathroom is in the Hang Fung Gold Technology Building. It weights approx 0.9 metric tons and is valued at around $35,000,000.00 US. The owner has threatened to melt it down if the price of gold goes high enough. Though this item may no longer exist. It shows that you can find anything in Hong Kong.
From the Floating City of Aberdeen, to the Shopping centers of the Wan Chai. From the Walled City of Kowloon with an authentic Australian pub called Ned Kelly's Last Stand" to the spectacular views from the top of Victoria Peak. Not just a meeting point between East and West but also a meeting of antiquity and modern. Extreme Affluence an abject poverty. Capitalism and Communism. Vagabonds and Billionaires. Nomads and homebodies. Five star hotels to flophouse accomodations. You can find anything in Hong Kong. From the latest video games to black tar heroin. You may have to look hard to find some things, and others you shouldn't be looking for at all. A word to the wise: If you can't tell a diamond from a moonstone, buy in the big stores. The street vendors may look honest but you really can't judge. and if you get ripped-off, you'll never re-find the person to report the incident. Oh yeah! There is no such thing as a $100.00 Rolex. Not even in Hong Kong. But you also must know the laws of your homeland. Just because you legally bought a Rhinoceros Horn in Hong Kong, doesn't mean you may own it when you get back home.
So, if you find time to take a vacation. But can't decide on where. May I suggest HONG KONG?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Rules? We don't need no stinkin rules...

I must admit that I abhor the limitations imposed by arbitrary rules. But every game has rules. In the age of instant access, the answers to thse questions can be easily found by Googling. And while that search will help to make you a smarter person for the experience. It violates the purpose of the term "Trivia." I don't ask questions that I don't already know the answer to. So resist the temptation to seek outside assistance. Just because someone posted an answer please don't assume they got it right. I'll give kudos to everyone who got it right. Not just the first correct entry.
1. Palindrome. (KC)
2. Buttermilk. (SusanD)
3. Nellybell (SusanD)
4. The SongBird (SusanD. Spent a lot of time in front of the tube as a kid)
5. Onions (KC, Gigi, Edie. glad to see so many epicurean connoisseurs in the crowd).
6. 206 unless the count includes the sternum as three pieces, then 208.
7. same as six above.
God took a rib from Adam and created woman from it. Not added it to her. Even so the
theory of trait transfer. where the offspring carry the inflictions of the parents was
abandoned long ago. Just because Adam lost a rib is no reason to infer that Cain, Able
Seth and any of us would be missing the same rib.
8. 10 points ( SusanD, Edie, Gigi)
9. 8 minutes.
10. 3.5 million Square miles (3-4 million would have been accepted).
Extra credit: Joe Biden is correct. ( Gigi, SusanD, KC. Kat go the the head of the class).
Thanks for playing...

Monday, September 14, 2009

Tuesday Trivia...

I have always enjoyed a good game. Hopefully you will also. How about Global Themo-nuclear war?
Just kidding...

1. Words like "NOON, MOM, DAD and RACECAR" are known as what?
2. What was the name of Dale Evans' horse?
3. What was the name of Roy Rogers' jeep?
4. What was the name of SKY KING's airplane?
5. 2 all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles on a sesame seed bun...
What ingredient is missing?
6. A male human body has ___ bones.
7. A female human body has ___ bones?
8. In the game SCRABBLE, the letter "Q" is worth __ points.
9. If the sun suddenly stopped shinning, it would take
___ minutes before the Earth went dark.
10. +or- 500,000 miles; How big is the Sahara desert?
Extra credit: what is the name of the current vice president of the USA?

Manic Monday...

Beware the public computer. Whether it is in a public library, Or a local coffee house, internet cafe or government kiosk. It's like having unprotected sex with a paid professional. You never know what the last guy left behind. And it could be fatal to your personal finances. Treat the Internet with the same suspicion you would in any unfamiliar neighborhood. You wouldn't walk into a bar and drop your visa card on the table and leave it there when you go to the restroom. Would you?
You don't have to be a mechanic or an engineer to drive a car. But you must know the rules of the road before you hit the freeway...
Learn the rules of the road for the Information freeway. Learn to be suspicious. Don't trust everything on a computer. A good virus won't do anything to make you notice a problem. Until your bank account is empty. If you aren't sure, err on the side of caution. Look up from the keyboard and check the address window of your browser. Are you really at Amazon? or your favorite on-line retailer? Check before you enter your credit info. NOT, JUST AFTER.
You wouldn't run into a BIKER-BAR and shout "HARLEY RIDERS SUCK" (you won't do it twice). So why would you visit internet sites without a back-up buddy. Get a virus scanner.
A great free one is AVG. This site and software are malware and virus free.
And it is free for home use. And cheap if you want deluxe versions.
THIS IS AN UNPAID Recommendation.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Why History?

Often people chide "There is no need to live in the past." History is of no value today. We have learned and must move on. Children in school today don't have "History" lessons as we had in our youth. It has been replaced with Politically Correct varnish that tries to remove the heritage of American pride. Presidents and founding fathers were all corrupt slavers, or wealthy landowners, and they're not to be emulated. We are even chastised if we remember Columbus Day. There is much to be proud of in America. Sure there were tragic events and poor judgment. But don't throw out the baby with the bathwater.
So, how far back in history must we go to realize where we came from and what made it possible for America to be the "Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave?" The American Revolution? The American Civil War? Columbus discovering San Salvador? Great topics, full of interesting facts and figures. But we need to tune the way-back machine, back, back, all the way back to Ancient Greece. The foundations of democracy and representative senate government were laid. But not just the teaching of Socrates and Plato. The ancient Athenian City state enjoyed great freedom and liberty. They expanded the mind and the arts. Athletic perfection and competition were prized. And body-building became the ideal. Masters of poetry and architecture. Their contributions still exist today. Even the ancient ruins challenge modern day scientists to ponder HOW? Consider the reconstruction of the Parthenon in Athens. Why not just pick up the puzzle pieces and put them back together? The Greeks were also masters of illusion. The Parthenon was not perfect. It was intentionally built to give the illusion of perfection. So that when viewed from a distance it appeared perfect. See THE PLAN.
This vast amount of leisure time came at a great cost. And so do the liberties we enjoy today. But we, Americans and the Athenians owe a debt of gratitude to the same ancient tribe. The warrior culture known as SPARTA. When Sister Mary Elizabeth taught my 4th grade class the history lesson of the Spartans, She never intended for anyone to become enamored of their lifestyle. When I returned from school that day and told my mother about the Spartans. She said "Why on earth are they teaching that to children?" Today when you think of a "Spartan" existence, you think sparse, sacrificing and doing without.
The men and women of Sparta did without many things. Comfort things. But they were a ruthless, merciless culture. So far removed from what is considered civilized, that an admiration of Sparta is called laconophilia. Like it is a mental disorder. Some people put the Spartans in the same catagory as King Arthur or Robin Hood. Great stories. But, no proof of actual existence. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Although Trojan horses and warriors like Achilles are legends or more accurately myths. The Spartans were real. And all the things you may have heard about them were true. They practiced a form of eugenics, where the weak and sickly were disposed of shortly after birth. From early youth all males were trained for warfare. The ideal of the phalanx was taken to the extreme. Individuals were taught to sacrifice everything for the betterment of Sparta. Kind of like when Spock said "The good of the many outweighs the good of the few." Everyone knows the Romulans were modeled after the Romans. But almost no one knows that the Vulcans were modeled after the Spartans.
Legendary strength. Legendary warriors. Legendary courage. And a legendary wit. The term Laconic wit, comes from the terse remarks Spartans used to reply to threats. When the father of Alexander the Great, Philip II sent a message to Sparta saying "If I enter Laconia, I will level Sparta to the ground," the Spartans responded with the single, terse reply: "If."
Neither Philip II nor his son Alexander the Great even attempted to conquer Sparta: by that time, it was too weak to be a major threat that needed to be eliminated, but Spartan martial skill was still such that any invasion would have risked potentially high losses.
During the legendary battle of Thermopylae, the Greek historian, Herodotus writes that when Dienekes, a Spartan soldier, was informed that Persian arrows would be so numerous as "to block out the sun", he retorted, unconcerned; "So much the better...then we shall fight our battle in the shade."
Now that's attitude. That's bravado. That's Spartan. But it wasn't just the men. The women shared a similar attitude. Plutarch's Moralia contains a collection of "Sayings of Spartan Women", including a laconic quip attributed to Gorgo, the wife of Leonidas I (king of Sparta): when asked by a woman from Attica why Spartan women were the only women in the world who could rule men, she replied "Because we are the only women who are mothers of men."
At the fore mentioned Battle of Themopylae, Free men stood against a Tyrant. Vastly out numbered, 4,000 Greeks lead by 300 Spartans, faced off against Xerxes of Persia's army. The exact number of Persians, in attendance, is still debated. But historical records indicate between 800,000 and 2.5 million. In the end the Spartans were undone by Greek treachery. And not the superior numbers of the enemy. But they had held the Persians at bay for three days. The Persians killed in battle was between 20-30,000. The numbers of sick and deserters is unknown. Fearing that the Greeks might attack the bridges across the Hellespont and trap his army in Europe, Xerxes retreated with much of the army back to Asia.
The fame of Thermopylae is thus principally derived, not from its effect on the outcome of the war, but for the inspirational example it set. Thermopylae is famous because of the doomed heroism of the rearguard, who facing certain death, remained at the pass. Ever since, the events of Thermopylae have been the source of effusive praise from many sources.
The example it set of free men, fighting for their country and their freedom was recorded and reported world wide. Almost immediately, contemporary Greeks saw Thermopylae as a critical moral and culture lesson. In universal terms, a small, free people had willingly outfought huge numbers of imperial subjects who advanced under the lash. More specifically, the Western idea that soldiers themselves decide where, how, and against whom they will fight was contrasted against the Eastern notion of despotism and monarchy — freedom proving the stronger idea as the more courageous fighting of the Greeks at Thermopylae, and their later victories at Salamis and Plataea attested.
The plaque erected to commemorate these valiant heroes starts "GO TELL THE SPARTANS..."
I say "Go tell about the Spartans." Colonel Sam Houston echoed this sentiment when he said "Remember the Alamo." Put history back in the schools. Current events and social studies don't inspire people to strive to protect their heritage and freedoms.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Your tax money. OFF DUTY...

One of my many talents is music. At the tender age of 10, I taught myself to play the guitar. By the time I was 14 I was playing in bars for money. I didn't start drinking. But I lied about my age until I was old enough to get in legally. My friends and I would practice on my mother's front porch during the summer evenings. We were all very talented and despite our rather non country-western repertoire, very few complaints ever arose. If someone would call to complain my mother would say "At least you know where they are. Would you prefer they were out breaking into cars?"
It was true. Music provided an outlet for my energies. And kept me out of trouble. For the most part.
While stationed in Japan, I was fortunate enough to have joined up with three other shipmates who were exceedingly talented musicians. We formed a band, named it "UNCLE JAM" and we toured the western Pacific rim. Where ever the ship went. We played Yokosuka, Japan, Hong Kong, Chin-Hai and Pusan, South Korea. Taipei, Taiwan. Olongapo, Philippines. Geraldton, Darwin and Brisbane, Australia. Our Commanding Officer requested us to play his favorite rock tune "Johnny B. Goode" when the ship would leave ports.
We were American good will ambassadors. And the money from the bars didn't hurt either.
My house is full of musical equipment. My wife has and plays a piano and an Accordion. My daughter has a Fender Dreadnought. My son owns three guitars, a Dreadnought, a Stratocaster and another I don't know the name of. I now only have a Pearl White Stratocaster, down from a life-time high of 6, that I will play again when my fingers work again.


It can be an infuriating question. Especially, when you perceive the person asking, to be questioning your authority, and not merely on a quest for knowledge. (You spoiled, rotten, little smart aleck. I'll show YOU why). Don't rush to a snap decision. Find the motivation for the question. Ask "WHY? What?" You have not turned the tide. But, you are going to learn something about the person who started it. And be be preared if another question is fired back in chain-gun staccato.
If the new question "Why do I need to know Trigonometry?" Is fired at you. Be prepared to respond. But you need to know what interests your inquisitor. Or you will get caught in a Quagmire of Vietnam proportions. A teacher is not an entertainer. Humor is a viable teaching tool. But it is not required. And when someone asks you a question. Like it, or not. They have placed you in the teacher position.
Okay? Let's proceed...
"You need trig, so you can figure the height of the flag pole in front of the school, with out climbing it."
"But, the flag pole has a plaque with the height on it." (Don't be tempted to say "What if it isn't accurate?" Quagmire alert).
Change the subject to something that may appeal to your student and the others in attendance. Give an interesting fact of how a real-life person used trig to solve a real-life problem. Of course this tool is not available to the specialized teacher. A general practitioner is more capable of diagnosing the flu, than a cardiac-surgeon. But, before you can mention the name "Eratosthenes". If you think George Washington is the dollar bill dude. Or The proper way to address Jeanne d'Arc is "Hello miss 'Of Arc". You may want to find another profession.
You will have had to know the historical background of trigonometry. 5 centuries before Christ, and 1900 years before Columbus, a man, a brilliant man, a man so brilliant that his Greek contemporaries nick-named him BETA, because his knowledge was second only to god, whio was named Eratosthenes lived. And he used trigonometry to prove the earth was round and exactly how big it was. (Eratosthenes knew that on the summer solstice at local noon in the Ancient Egyptian city of Syene (the modern day Aswan) on the Tropic of Cancer, the sun would appear at the zenith, directly overhead. He also knew, from measurement, that in his hometown of Alexandria, the angle of elevation of the Sun would be 1/50 of a full circle (7°12') south of the zenith at the same time. Assuming that Alexandria was due north of Syene he concluded that the distance from Alexandria to Syene must be 1/50 of the total circumference of the Earth. If we assume that Eratosthenes used the "Egyptian stadium"of about 157.5 m, his measurement turns out to be 39,690 km, an error of less than 1%.). He used trigonometry to find the third side of a cosmic triangle.
Maybe Columbus could have saved himself grief if he had this knowledge before setting sail. But what if your student doesn't give a fury little rats rear-end about history? How about ballistics? or rockets? Every kid loves bullets and bombs. Well, you need trig to solve for aim point when trying to hit a target in motion and for wind deflection when your target is stationary. It wasn't until Napoleon taught the world that bullets followed an arc in flight, and did not fly in straight lines.That we learned about the ballistic curve. To hit a target at distance. You must aim high.
Of course there still exist one more possibility. Your authority is actually being challenged.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Triva answers

Good guesses all round. Close on some. Others not so much. They don't get easier. And I will try to word them so look-ups won't be easy, next time.
1. Errol Flynn
2. Mt. Everest
3. Hawaii (Extra credit for Edie's explanation).
4. Olympus Mons (on Mars, Jupiter is a gas giant. No known mountains).
5. Bicycle
6. C= CONSTANT. The speed of light in a vacuum never changes.
7. fibonacci sequence
8. Water. It is the only substance that expands when chilled. (Unique Covalent bonding).Steve BZ.
9. Luna. Or The Moon. (check the definition of satellite).
10. Ovine.



It was built with 24 tons of scrap steel from the
World Trade Center.
It is the fifth in a new class of warship - designed for missions that include special operations against terrorists. It will carry a crew of 360 sailors and 700 combat-ready Marines to be delivered ashore by helicopters and assault craft.
Steel from the World Trade Center was melted down in a foundry in Amite, LA to cast the ship's bow section. When it was poured into the molds on Sept 9, 2003, 'those big rough steelworkers treated it with total reverence,' recalled Navy Capt. Kevin Wensing, who was there. 'It was a spiritual moment for everybody there.'
Junior Chavers, foundry operations manager, said that when the trade center steel first arrived, he touched it with his hand and the 'hair on my neck stood up.' 'It had a big meaning to it for all of us,' he said 'They knocked us down. They can't keep us down.We're going to be back.'
The ship's motto? 'Never Forget'
She will be arriving in NY harbor on Nov 1, 2009 and commissioned to the US Navy Nov. 7.
If you are planning a trip to NY, you will be able to tour the ship during that week.
the USS New York will be commissioned in New York on November 7, 2009.

Shall we play a game?

I may look weird. However, I'd kick your butt on Jeopardy....

1. What actor played the title role in "Captain Blood"?
2. What is the highest mountain on Earth?
3. What is the tallest mountain on Earth?
4. What is the tallest mountain in our solar system?
5. 152.2 MPH is the land speed record for __. (a) Motorcycle (b) Bicycle (c) VW BUG?
6. In The Energy Equation: E=MC2. What does the "C" stand for?
7. (1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13) is called a _____ Sequence.
8. Which is more dense? ICE or WATER?
9. What is the name of the first satellite to orbit the Earth.
10. A dog is a canine. A cat is a feline. A cow is a bovine. What is a sheep?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

I Believe in Miracles.

I have always been a "SHOW ME" kind of guy. If you ask me "What color is this RED Cube?" I would most likely respond "The parts I can see are red. So turn it over if you want my complete opinion." I know the gambit. Have you ever seen a million dollars? Yes. Have you ever seen the wind? Again, "Yes, when it is filled with dust or water spinning wildly in the sky." Don't toy with me...
What is the worst tragedy you can imagine? For me it would be to survive the loss of one of my children. And while I have not personally suffered this. I have seen others that have. I watched my mother bury both of my younger brothers, the youngest one, Eric, at age 2. the older, Sean, when he was 27. I was 7 when Eric passed, and 33 when Sean went home. On March 5, 2001 Santana High school in Santee Ca. Where I lived, became world famous when a kid trying to impress his peers with how tough he was, opened fire, with a stolen handgun and killed two very great young men. The two students that were killed were 14-year-old Bryan Zuckor and 17-year-old Randy Gordon. Brian attended Church youth group with my children, and Randy was the older brother of my daughter's best friend. Brian was a home schooled youth whose Grandparents are both medical doctors, church elders and grieving grandparents. Brian had plead with his mother to allow him to attend public school with his friends. She acquiesced and blames herself to this day.
Randy was a brilliant gentle soul who had already signed-up to join the Navy and was planning his career. Our previous experiences are given so that we may help others get through what we have already survived. But, "tough it out," or, "the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away." are both hollow platitudes that offer no hope or assistance. Usually the best thing you can do for a grief-stricken friend is just listen. A hug helps also. But remember after the shock wears off and other's attention has GONE ELSEWHERE. Your friend may still need to talk to someone. Even more than before. When they ask "Why would God let this happen?" What will you say? Who will you blame? What passage from your bible will explain this? PSALMS? PROVERBS? REVELATION? Matthew, Mark, Luke or John? PETER? JAMES? None of these great books answers or addresses this question directly. But the bible is not silent on this issue.
Isaiah 57
1 The righteous perish,
and no one ponders it in his heart;
devout men are taken away,
and no one understands
that the righteous are taken away
to be spared from evil.
2 Those who walk uprightly
enter into peace;
they find rest as they lie in death.
Previously I had encountered a similar situation when my sister had her baby. The little girl had a tough time from the very start. She was born prematurely, undersized and under weight. A tiny little thing who conveniently fit into her grandmother's palm. But, she was a fighter! She, Allison, grew quickly and things looked normal for awhile. But things were dramatically wrong. This beautiful little girl had no immune system, and her body did not make red-blood cells. Doctors scrambled to discover the underlying cause. And little Al visited every pediatric specialist in America. She required a blood transfusion almost monthly. But only adults may donate blood. Adult blood has far too much iron for a child's system to cope with. So the one thing keeping her alive, was sure to be the death of her, eventually. Chelation therapy to remove the iron would help some (Chelation therapy is the administration of chelating agents to remove heavy metals from the body). But it would not be enough in the long run. I was not a Christian at this point in my life, and I was mad about God doing this to my family, and my sister, and my mom. I wanted to spit in His eye. I had read parts of the bible before but mostly in the same way as WC Fields. Looking for loop-holes. Or ways to rebuke fools with their own weapon. I was not an atheist. Not even an agnostic. But I was sure that God had spun us off into the universe and sat laughing at us as we fumbled through life.
Well Allison lived much longer, years in fact, than all the medical prognosticators had predicted. Her life was hard. But she had a life. And touched many lives as she went through hers. Then one night I got a phone call from my mom. She called me weekly, as I was never back to NC. very often. She would keep me updated on family issues. This time was different. She had been crying. I could hear it on her voice. I asked what was wrong. She took a breath to compose herself and began to tell me about Allison's visit to neurology that day. Apparently this little darling now had a brain abscess. All I remember after that word, was surgery. Fully expecting to be asked to come home on leave. I asked "What can I do?" My mother said one word. "PRAY." I protested that I didn't even remember how to pray. It had been 25 years since I prayed as a grade schooler. It wouldn't do any good. I was going to waste my time and my breath. I had no tongue for it. She insisted "If you ask, He will hear."
So I agreed and we hung up the phones.
Now I was in deep dip. Did I just lie to my mother? In her time of despair? I pondered the ramifications for several hours, and finally decided to honor my promise. But this wasn'rt gonna be any old prayer. This was gonna be a Show Me God, prayer. Don't give me the don't test the Lord speech now. Where were you back then? When I needed a lesson?
So I broke out the bible. Tossed it unopened on the table, and began the most blasphemous tirade God had ever heard. I accused him of every wrong I had ever experienced or heard about. World wars. Earth quakes. Murder. Rape. Drug addiction. You name it I blamed Him for it. I was not cussing. But there was no doubt we were on opposite sides of the fence. When my anger was satiated, I threw in a reprieve. I said "God, if you take this abscess away from Allison. I will read your book and spend my life telling the world how great you are." Then I hung up and stomped off to bed. All went well. I didn't burst into flames. And no brimstones landed in the yard.
Two weeks later my mom called again. And boy when this call ended I was gonna tell God what train to get on and what station to get off at...
Mom asked "Did you pray?"
I said "Yes." Boy God was gonna get both barrels.
She said "Well, it worked. Allison had a CAT scan to determine the surgical procedure and the abscess was gone. Not even a scar remained.
You could have pushed my over with a wet noodle. God had honored my request. There was only one thing left to do. So I boke out the bible, and haven't looked back since.
Next time: The Good Shepherd.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Heart Of Gold...

The Ruby throated sparrow.
An oldie goldie.

A simple case of logic?

If you look at my sidebar picture and try real hard. Do you see a Presbyterian deacon, who doubles as a junior high Sunday school teacher? Those Leathers are my church clothes. And while I held those titles, no one moved their children out of my class. In fact, adults would occasionally attend also. But at the junior high level, these aren't cute little kids anymore. Most of them, probably all of them, attend public school. So they came to class on Sunday prepared to challenge everything I said. One Sunday morning one particularly bright young man asked a question. No, it was more of a trap. He asked "if God is all powerful, can He create a rock so big that He can't lift it?"
Was I trapped? Had this little smart aleck tacked my hide to the wall? The twinkle in his eye, and smirk on his lips said "yes." He was not a regular attender. Had he underestimated the leather clad bumpkin sitting in front of him. The youth of today do not recognize the fact that "OLD Guys" didn't get old by being dumb. And most, no, all of the tricks they come up with, us "OLD Dudes" invented, used and discarded before their parents were a couple.
Rather than glower at him like a cat about to pounce. Which would build sympathy from his peers, for this renegade inquisitor. I just smiled. Like the friendly old guy that I am. In a gentle, non threatening baritone, I told him he had made an incorrect syllogism. The smirk was gone. But it was replaced by a question mark in his eyes. I had not won the battle. But I was now on the offensive. This was a small adversary, and there was no need to bring out the big guns on this one. But I did need to make sure the onlookers understood my choice of weapons. So, I calmly explained that a syllogism is a series of steps that leads to a logical ending. Everyone, including the instigator nodded in understanding. Then I told him his syllogism had a flaw in it's logic. Mr. Spock would have said "I don't see the logic." The Lost In Space robot would have said "That does not compute." I said "Let me explain!"
"You see you assume that there is nothing God can't do. So when you assume that God could create something He had no control over. You were incorrect." He responded "God can do all things."
This was now a chess match. But his queen was in jeopardy and his king was in check. I said there are a lot of things God can't do." His queen was off the board and he was about to move his king into a corner. "Oh yeah! Name one???" he shot back. Checkmate!
God can't die. God can't lie. God can't stop being God or Change his nature. God can't do evil. God can't break a promise. And he can't create anything that is not under His control. To do any of those it would require God to stop being God. The children all understood. But a few of the adults in the back thought it was wrong to put limitations on God. I asked them to join me in a bible study next week, and we would cover this topic in detail. I spent the week in a concordance and the NIV, preparing. But when the appointed time arrived only one 82 year old lady named Sandy showed up. She told me the group had agreed and gave in. But they still didn't like to think of God with limits. I told her it was the limits that make Him God. She held her hand up, palm extended, and said "I'm in the choir."
I got a hug and a prayer. Does your God have limits?
Check these references:
101 things God can't do.
2. 10 things God can't do.

Be blessed and be a blessing to others.
Or as Bill & Ted would say "Be excellent to each other. Dudes."

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

EX Post Facto...

Ex Post Facto is a legal term referring to a law that was enacted after a specific action was committed. Litterally, "After the fact".
So far my story has mostly highlighted my life EX POST FACTO, my Changed heart (with a few details from before). I was a highly intelligent and challenging student. I attended a Catholic school and church through the 7th grade. In 1963 when M. Murray O'hare's case ("School Prayer" (Murray v. Curlett, 1963) was decided in the US Supreme Court, and prayer was silenced in public schools, we prayed for them in our classrooms. As it turned out, that was one of the last prayers I uttered for over 25 years.
As a student I was fascinated with science. Things like physics, astronomy, biology, zoology, physiology, geography, kinetics, inertia and advanced theory quantum mechanics came easy to me. I was one of the smaller kids in class until the summer between 7th and 8th grade. When school started in September I was 6 feet tall and owed a lot of people a hard time. As I progressed through my studies, I was enamored of everything scientific. With the single exception of Darwin's "The Origin Of Species." Not so much for what it said as much as for what it implied. From his simple examination of several Finches, he surmised that the finches just appeared because a food source was available, that no other finches were adapted to take advantage of (real science has since proven that all seven species of finches are actually one species. They all inter breed and produce viable offspring).
From his hypothesis, others took it to the hyper-extreme and came up with the big bang theory. Today many people believe that all scientist are atheists. That is not true today or ever in the past. See these links: don't take my word for anything
Proof #1.
Proof #2.
Proof #3. (if you read this link don't stop at page 1. It gets really good on page 2).

The one Scientist who believed in God you may know of was Albert Einstein. But there was an evern bigger brain that was not only a believer in God, but a Christian too. And the then foremost scientist in the world. He invented Calculus, and made observations that were so profound they are termed "LAWS" not "THEORIES." Not only that. He also wrote one of the world's most interesting commentaries on the book of Revelation. His mind was legendary and the English Crown Knighted him for his skills and accomplishments. Sir Issac Newton.
Even though I could understand the mechanics of light wave and particle theories, and the physics of sound in water, the big bang sounds like VooDoo magic, or pseudo intellectual babble to me. The theory states (in simple terms): At time 0.00, all matter in the universe was condensed in one sphere (forget about "Why not a disc?" for now) so dense that a teaspoon full would weight close to infinity, and KERFLEWIE! Ah, er, I mean, BANG! Existence And 13.7 billion years later, you're reading my blog. Ther BIG hole in this theory is the question "What existed at time T -10 seconds?" The answers offered are either Cyclic Redundancy (the universe continually collapses on itself and then re-Bangs every so often [current theories state between 3-6 times so far]) or they state "Nothing." The latter ignores the scientific and logic principle of "EX NIHILO, NIHIL FIT."(Out of nothing, comes nothing) and the former is silly in its avoidance of the question. If the big bang happened it was because God said "Let there be..." That is the simplest and only logical conclusion. I always believed in God. But I wasn't always a Christian. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder (JAMES 2:19).
I am fortunate to live a few blocks from this place. TheInstitute for Creation Research.
Next time: I believe in miracles.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Ever wonder...

Why people send chain e-letters to you and ask you to forward it to everyone you know? And sometimes they ask that you also send it back to them for some reason?
Usually they have a bazaar threat, warning, promise of good fortune, monetary reward or some irresistible plea for assistance (spiritual or physical). Without exception, every single one of these messages I have seen in the last 25 years has been fraudulent. How can someone asking for prayers be fraudulent? You ask. It is the fact that they want you to send it out to everyone in your address-book that cakes it. Is every one in your address book a prayer warrior? Eventually your message will fall into a mail box of the person who originated it. And inside that message will be a legitimate e-mail address for everyone you know. This has been a favorite ploy used by people to sell lists of addresses to spammers since email first started. It pre-existed the internet. The original meaning of email spam, was to send so many messages to someone (2 or 3 thousand big numbers back then), that it would freeze the then speedy 1200 baud modem every time they tried to down-load email. Today, in the cable modem, highspeed access arena, that number is laughable, it means any unsolicited message you receive that annoys you. And does not provide a legitimate way to opt-out of the loop. But, my friend would never do that to me. You say. Either you are right, they didn't send it, someone who has a bounce server sent it with your friends name as the sender. Or your friend may have a mass mailer virus and doesn't know about it. Or maybe they aren't really as friendly as you think.
If you get a message that tells you Bill Gates, or anyone else, will pay you for every time you send out an email. Think about it! Neither Microsoft, the CIA, NSA nor the FBI can track every email flying through cyber-space. Period! If you come up with a way, I'll help you patent it. Just tell me first.
So now what do you do if you get one of these? What would you do if someone told you to delete the contents of your hard drive? (If you answered "Do it." I can't help you.)
If you are at home. Laugh to yourself and delete it. At work, Report it to your security team. They want to hear about the latest trends going around. It helps them defend your network.
And in answer to some e-mails I have received: No I will not teach you how to hack...


Raise up a child in the way he should go...
Prov. 22:6

It just ain't a concert until these three show up...

Say What you mean, Mean what you say...

If a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. Then logically, it follows that a lot of knowledge can be downright lethal.
For example what do you think of when you hear the word MARTYR?
Some poor soul who lays down their life to further a cause? A person persecuted for a belief?
The word has a fascinating etymology. And today, it depends on who you ask.
(If you need a quick and accurate definition of any word; go to GOOGLE.COM, and TYPE
"define: and the word to be defined" without the quote marks but with the colon(the colon is important), and hit enter.)

The term martyr (Greek μάρτυς martys "witness") originally signified a witness in the forensic sense, a person called to testify in legal proceedings. Today, the term is most commonly used to describe an individual who sacrifices his or her life in order to further a cause or belief for others.

In its original meaning, the word martyr was used in the secular sphere as well as in both the Old Testament and the New Testament of the Bible. The process of bearing witness was not intended to lead to the death of the witness, although it is known from ancient writers (e.g. Josephus) that witnesses, especially of the lower classes, were tortured routinely before being interrogated as a means of forcing them to disclose the truth.

During the early Christian centuries, the term acquired the extended meaning of a believer who is called to witness for their religious belief, and on account of this witness, endures suffering and/or death. In the English language, the term is a loanword, and is often used with the extended meaning of someone who has been killed for his religious beliefs. The death of a martyr or the value attributed to it is called martyrdom.

In the context of church history, from the time of the persecution of early Christians in the Roman Empire, being a martyr indicates a person who is killed for maintaining a religious belief, knowing that this will almost certainly result in imminent death (though without intentionally seeking death). Martyrs sometimes declined to defend themselves at all, in what they see as a reflection of Jesus' willing sacrifice. However, the definition of martyrdom is not specifically restricted to the Christian faith.

Some Christians view death in sectarian persecution as martyrdom. This view is typified by the accounts in Foxe's Book of Martyrs.

Usage of "martyr" is also common among Arab Christians (i.e. anyone killed in relation to Christianity or a Christian community), indicating that the English word "martyr" may not actually be a proper equivalent of its commonly ascribed Arabic translation.

Martyrdom in Judaism is one of the main examples of Kiddush Hashem, meaning "sanctification of God's name" through public dedication to Jewish practice.

Martyr (shahid)
In Arabic, a martyr is termed "shaheed" (literally, "witness," as in the Greek root of the English word). The word shaheed appears in the Quran in a variety of contexts, including witnessing to righteousness (Quran 2:143), witnessing a financial transaction (Quran 2:282) and being killed, even in an accident as long as it doesn't happen with the intention to commit a sin, when they are believed to remain alive making them witnesses over worldly events without taking part in them anymore(Quran 3:140). The word also appears with these various meanings in the Hadith, the sayings of Muhammad.

Despite the promotion of ahimsa within Sanatana Dharma, there is also the concept of righteous or religious war in Hinduism known as Dharmayuddha, where violence is used as a last resort after all other means have failed. Examples of this include in the Mahabharata, where Krishna instructs Arjuna to carry out his duty as a warrior and fight, and in the Ramayana where Ravana is defeated by Rama. Martyrdom in battle is seen as highly noble in Hinduism, which is evident in the Bhagavad Gita where Krishna states

Either being slain you will attain the heavenly worlds or by gaining victory you will enjoy the earthly kingdom; therefore O Arjuna, rise up and fight.

Therefore, it is implied that death in battle will result in the person attaining svarga or the heavenly planets. This is in contradiction to the somewhat erroneous beliefs of many Hindus which regard all violence as abhorrent.

Bahá'í Faith
In the Bahá'í Faith, a martyr is one who sacrifices their life serving humanity in the name of God. However, Bahá'u'lláh, the founder of the Bahá'í Faith, discouraged the literal meaning of sacrificing one's life, and instead explained that martyrdom is devoting oneself to service to humanity.

Martyrdom, in Sikhism, is a fundamental concept, and represents an important institution of the faith.


10 Immutable Laws of Computer Security

10 Immutable Laws of Computer Security:

Law #1: If a bad guy can persuade you to run his program on your computer, it's not your computer anymore

Law #2: If a bad guy can alter the operating system on your computer, it's not your computer anymore

Law #3: If a bad guy has unrestricted physical access to your computer, it's not your computer anymore

Law #4: If you allow a bad guy to upload programs to your website, it's not your website any more

Law #5: Weak passwords trump strong security

Law #6: A computer is only as secure as the administrator is trustworthy

Law #7: Encrypted data is only as secure as the decryption key

Law #8: An out of date virus scanner is only marginally better than no virus scanner at all

Law #9: Absolute anonymity isn't practical, in real life or on the Web

Law #10: Technology is not a panacea

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Born to be mild

There's a rebel born everyday...


My Favorite minstrel poet...

I'm no hero...

I never wanted to be a hero. I did want to be a tough-guy. But after I had matured and experienced enough of the real world, I found out that the man who worked 50+ hours a week to feed and clothe his wife and children, were the true tough guys. All I had really been was mean. Not tough.
Three quick details of my past...
Summer of my junior year in High school, at the beach. A friend challenges me to swim out past the end of a 200 yard fishing pier. I was a strong, experienced ocean swimmer. I lived within a stones throw of the ocean all my life. So I took up the challenge, and we dashed into the surf and once past the breakers, we began to sprint to the end of the pier. The pier was full of fishermen. They didn't look happy to have us there, scaring away the next big catch. One of them began shouting and pointing at us. We strained to hear what profanity he may have been directing at us. When the crystal clear words "Look behind you." came through. Fully expecting to either see nothing, a bluff, or a dorsal fin knifing through the surface, I turned. Much to my astonishment, I saw a young girl dog-paddling. I asked if she was okay. She said "Yes." Then for some reason I asked if she needed help getting back to shore, and she said "Yes." I had her grab around my neck and we swam back into the surf with the girl in tow. I moved her in front of me and carried her through the breakers, Ducking under the boomers to avoid being toppled and loosing the child. Once we reached knee deep surf I put her down and her parents came running to meet us at the water-line. The reunited family said thanks, And Larry C. and I walked off to join a dry sand, tackle football game already in action.
Fast-forward 20 years.
Sitting on my front porch watching the afternoon go bye. A young boy from the neighborhood is walking down the opposite side walk. Moving from my right to left. A man driving a car in the opposite direction, stopped and motioned the boy to approach him. Always expecting the worst of people, and rarely being wrong, I rose from my seat and walked to the car. The man was telling the boy to come closer, and did not see me until I said "Hey kid! Stay where you are." The boy froze and the man tried to interrupt. But I ordered him in a very threatening tone to "Shut up." And then I asked the boy if he knew the man in the car? The man and the boy were both frightened. The boy said "He's my Dad."
I tipped my hat walked back to my porch and resumed my former position. Feet up, beer in hand. Like I said, I'm no hero. I just do what I would like others to do for my family.
The third episode took place while on liberty in Everette, Washington. A national politician, on some military money committee called Everette home at that time. So we were on orders of BEST BEHAVIOR, OR ELSE...
So following the rules of survival, I left in a group of five. Big men each and all. Rick S., Rich J., Ruben R., Mick L. and myself. I had learned long before this night that drunks can't defend themselves. So as a self defense mechanism, all my drinking was done in moderation. We were walking down the street when the night air was broken by screams for help. It was very surreal. But I turned on my heels and began running up the street in the direction of the sound, with four other patriots at my side. After a short distance, we encountered a woman being forced into a car by two men. Everybody had heard the then recent story of the woman in New York who had been brutally murdered and raped while screaming for help. All the while local residents ignored the pleas for 30 minutes, and no one even called the police. Ya gotta love Yankees. That was New York. This was Washington. We must have been a very imposing sight. The men froze and lowered the woman to the sidewalk. Rick S. began asking questions and I watched for a weapon. The woman was trying to explain that these people were taking her somewhere she did not want to go. But the older, yet smaller man kept interrupting. I warned him "Shut up. Or the next thing you're going to see is the ground rushing up at your head!" That's when the younger guy, but bigger guy said "Come on mom. This is getting serious." The woman was obviously inebriated and apparently very much looking forward to seeing her husband take a serious whoopin. She finally fessed up, and we went on our way. We were not about to apologize for our actions. As we were about to turn the corner, one of the male voices, shouted "thank you." We never knew or cared if they were thanking us for a rescue attempt, or for not beating them up!
As I stated before, I'm no hero. But there is a hero in my story. It's not a band of fellow warriors. Or a Bunch of leather clad bikers. Not Conan, or Superman, or Captain America or even The Batman. No, My wife is my hero. The Bible calls women, the weaker vessel. I believe this is a poor translation. Rather than weaker, I think more delicate would be more appropriate. A fine Crystal glass as opposed to a clay mug. My wife is more delicate. But she is not weaker. She is the strongest, most courageous, biggest hearted person I have ever known. Male or female. She single-handedly raised our children while the Navy kept me away. She managed the entire household and finances in my absences. And unselfishly turned over the helm when I returned. She keeps an immaculate house. And when I fell ill to cancer, she put her life on hold to take care of me. Her work, strength and determination are the drving force that keeps us going as a family. If not for her, there would be no story. It has been three years and counting and I'm still her first priority. Even her own medical emergencies take a backseat in her mind. Yes there is a hero in my story. But it is not me.