What It's About

Welcome to my blog! I ruminate on random thoughts rattling around in my brain. Subjects range from reality TV to current events and everything in between. Whether you agree with me or not, I welcome your comments. God gave you the ability to think for yourself, and this country was founded based on the right to have your own opinion. Who am I to question that? Hope you enjoy! And, if you like to shop on the internet, or have always wanted to try, please feel free to click on one of the banners on the left. Do admit I get a small commission for anything you buy through the links. Appreciate it if you do decide to buy something!
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Monday, August 31, 2009

Vacation Rerun

In honor of my upcoming vacation, thought I would repost one of my first blogs. Will be interesting to see how the upcoming vacation compares to this one:

Vacations are all about creating memories. Sometimes the memories are good. Sometimes they are bad. Sometimes what seems like a bad memory turns in to a good one as time goes by. The best part about memories is they are what you make of them. You don't even have to remember all the details to enjoy them.

The family went to Orlando, FL last week and it was one of the best trips I have ever taken! I have lots of memories from this trip which will remain with me forever. I would like to share some with you and hope they bring back your pleasant memories.They include (in no particular order):

  • The kids' reactions every time they saw a Disney character
  • Watching the space shuttle launch at dusk and feeling proud to be an American
  • Hearing people around me clap because they were proud, too
  • My daughter's excitement the first time she saw Shamu
  • My daughter getting more excited seeing a lizard (which she sees just about every day at home) outside the gorilla compound in Animal Kingdom than seeing the gorillas inside the compound
  • My son slapping high-fives with everyone around him after he got a game ball at the Braves' spring training game
  • My son running the bases and getting autographs after the game
  • My wife getting excited collecting Disney pins
  • Getting kissed on the cheek by Minnie Mouse
  • The whole family getting soaked by 52 degree water at the Shamu show and loving every minute of it (well, I did , anyway)
  • Being happy the wife took the cheaper camera that day (it seems to be working now) (UPDATE - it is now kaput. At least that's what she claims. Could have been a ploy just to get a new camera, but will take her word for it.)
  • My daughter wishing for and getting twin pearls out of an oyster at Sea World
  • Diving (s0rt of) with the sharks at Sea World
  • The kids hating Splash Mountain as much as they loved the Haunted Mansion
  • My wife beating my score in the Buzz Lightyear ride
  • Noticing how the light everywhere we went made my hair look gray in all of our pictures but not my wife or kids (how strange)
  • Seeing an older gentleman wearing a t-shirt which said "Growing old is mandatory; Growing up is optional"
  • Going to bed every night thinking there's no way tomorrow can be any better
  • Being wrong about that every day and loving it!
  • Being grateful God gave me the opportunity to enjoy this trip with my family!

So many memories. So little time and space.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Short Attention Span

Have some more random thoughts tonight. Seems like I have an awful lot of them as I don't expound on just one subject most of the time. Just get easily distracted, I guess. Makes me think of Jeremy from The Rats of NIMH. He was easily distracted, usually by shiny objects, though. Read the other day Geminis generally lose interest pretty quickly a lot of times. What a bunch of hocus poc...ooh, flashing lights on TV. Wait, what was I talking about?

Anyway, here we go:
  • All this healthcare reform talk is getting old. The only thing either side seems interested in is calling each other names. Truth be told, neither side seems able to tell it like it is. The Right Side of the Aisle calls the other side socialists. The Left Side of the Aisle calls the other side hate-mongers. As I've said before, if you have to resort to name calling, you probably don't have much else to stand on. Supporters also claim they can pay for all of this without increasing the national debt by "taxing the rich." They are already paying for the bailouts, the stimulus package and probably some other things, too. Even the rich only have so much money. If this passes somehow, think their definition of "the rich" will expand to "if you ain't on welfare, you're rich" before it's all said and done. Have a feeling a lot of them will be looking for lobbyist positions if this edition really passes. We shall see...
  • Along those lines, see where the White House hired a third party to send out e-mails on this whole mess. Turned out they sent them to a lot of people who didn't ask for it, i.e. - spam mail. Read today our tax money paid for this. What a great way to spend our money...NOT!!!
  • Last comment on this whole mess for now. Saw where the White House set up an e-mail address for people to send them anything that "seems fishy" from people against this healthcare stuff. Supposedly so they could correct any misinformation. My head chooses to believe that. Not sure my heart does, though. Had the potential to evolve into Nixon's enemy lists. Glad they finally decided to get rid of that.
  • Saw the other day where people are getting fired over their blogs. Most had been trying to do them anonymously. Once their identity was released, they got fired from their jobs. Somehow, that just seems un-American to me. Now, there are several things I'm not sure of in this whole mess: 1. What exactly were they writing about?; 2. Were they writing bad things about their employers?; 3. Were they doing it when they were supposed to be working? If the answer to either of the last two is "yes," might could agree with the firings, emphasis on MIGHT for # 2. My biggest question is why shouldn't they be allowed to write anonymously? Some of the most influential writings in our country (The Federalist Papers) were written by unknown authors. Historians think they know who wrote them, but nobody knows 100% for sure. Anyway, IF they were not bad-mouthing their employers, and IF they were not writing on company time, they shouldn't have been fired from their jobs just because they were blogging anonymously. That's all I have to say about that...
  • Read several articles about people openly carrying weapons outside of President Obama's town halls in New Hampshire and Colorado. Most tried to put a spin on it of white folks not liking a black president. What those articles failed to mention was the guy in Colorado was black. Some did post pictures of him, but the photo was cropped to where all you saw was him from behind with a close-up of the AK-47. Goes to show the state of mind of the writers and that their opinion may also be in the article rather than just "reporting the facts." Write all this to caution you to always be wary of the source and what they may be trying to prove. It's one thing if they are writing an op-ed piece. It's another when they claim to just be "reporting the facts."
  • Give the Secret Service credit for not making more out of these situations than they did. Said there is no law against the people carrying the weapons openly so they weren't going to ask them to leave. Now, if they would have entered the buildings, that would have been something else. See where Congress is now considering passing a law against carrying weapons in the vicinity of the president. Am one of the biggest Second Amendment supporters you will ever meet, but can't say I necessarily disagree with a law like that. Just hope there are specific guidelines spelled out and things aren't left for interpretation.
  • Irritates me that Britain released that Libyan bomber. You want to be compassionate to folks, but this guy was responsible for killing almost 200 innocent people. Think that should outweigh just about everything else. Then the Libyans greeted him as a hero. Wish Reagan was still around to rattle their cages again. Saw one of those turn of the century shows which touched on Reagan's decision to bomb Libya. Most of the show had a pretty liberal slant, but the narrator's comment on this, "For all the controversy that decision caused, you have to admit terrorist activity out of Libya dropped to nothing after the bombs fell."
  • Read where the Taliban cut fingers off a couple of people who voted in the recent Afghanistan election. No reason other than because they chose to vote. The Taliban warned everyone there would be violence towards folks that voted. You have to admire the courage of those people who still voted even with this threat hanging out there. Should also make you grateful we don't have to worry about such things when we vote. (Thank you, Veterans!) Hope it also makes you think twice the next time you decide not to vote in an election.
  • Anybody else watching Big Brother this year? Have had some interesting people in the house this season. They claim to give everyone a psych evaluation before accepting them as contestants. Based on this year's cast, Charles Manson might could pass that test. Speaking of Charlie, thought of him the other night while those ladies were crying over Jessie's eviction. Their devotion to him was just downright spooky.

Well, thanks for making it to the end. Guess had more to say than I realized. Apologize for not being more witty. Hope to get back to that next time.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Food for Thought

Some more random things:

-- Sad to see Les Paul passed away, but he definitely lived a full life. By inventing things such as the Les Paul Gibson guitar and multi-track recording, his influence will be felt as long as music is recorded. My prayers go out to his family for comfort during this time.

-- Speaking of music, as odd as this sounds, think The Police are underrated, at least when it comes to their lyrics. They've always been regarded as great musicians, but never really hear anyone talk about their lyrics. Just a thought that passed through me noodle while listening to the iPod today.

-- Saw where Andy Kessler also passed away. Never heard of him but he was supposed to be an innovator of skateboard tricks. What intrigues me about this is he died from an allergic reaction to an insect sting. He had to have wiped out many times on his skateboard. Sure some of them probably should have killed him. And, he ends up dying from something most of us wouldn't think twice about. Just shows the fragility of life and how we shouldn't just take things for granted.

-- On a related note, my useless info above said the color blue attracts mosquitoes. It also said mosquitoes have killed more people than all the wars in the world combined. Don't freak out, though. Just some "gee whiz" info.

-- Was driving through north Mississippi today and noticed a lot of signs advocating teen abstinence. Reminded me of all the anti-abortion/pro-life signs I saw while driving through Kansas last year. Anyway, just found it interesting. By the way, now that I'm a parent, I support teen abstinence.

-- Have to give the politicians credit for continuing to have town halls on the health care reform issue. Disappoints me to hear Congressional leadership talk about how people who are against health care reform are "anti-American." Probably didn't think folks who protested Bush's policies were "anti-American." Not sure the protesters are being organized by Republicans. Just think most people realize this particular cure is something our country will not be able to afford. Agree something needs to be done. Just don't think this is it.

-- Just in case you think a free press is not important to freedom, Hugo Chavez, the South American dictator, is shutting down all media who present points of view in opposition to him. Very scary. Once again, thanks to all you veterans (and your family members) for making sure our country is truly the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave!

-- Joyful, been praying for your nerve pain. Hope it's been helping.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

And Now for Something Completely Different...

Well, not really. I just like saying that. Just have some more random gapses in the synapses to get out of me brain. Having Deadliest Catch withdrawals tonight so no telling what might come out:

  • So, the Feds set aside money for the Cash for Clunkers program which was supposed to last for several months and it ran out after one weekend. And, they want us to believe they can handle health care?

  • Was reading today that liberals are up in arms because someone has put up posters in Los Angeles depicting President Obama as Heath Ledger's version of The Joker. Funny how they didn't think anything of it when Vanity Fair did the same thing to W. Now, ain't saying either one is good or bad. Personally, think The Joker would be upset being compared to either one of them. What I'm trying to point out is the hypocrisy of the thinking. Just another example of agreeing with the freedom of speech until someone says something you don't agree with.

  • Funny how you actually have to learn things when you get older. When I was younger (and SEVERAL pounds lighter), could run without worrying about my technique. Now that I've gained a few years (and pounds), actually have to pay attention to how I'm using my legs, knees, and feet. Funny how that happens.

  • In case you're wondering, started the Couch to 5K program last week. Purty neat program. Downloaded the app onto my iPhone but think there's a book out there, too. It tells you when to run, when to walk, when you're at the halfway point, and when you are done. Ain't killed me...yet. First night was pretty rough, though.

  • Shark Week on Discovery is pretty good, but it ain't Deadliest Catch.

  • Honestly think this year's Deadliest Catch was the best, yet. A lot of drama and emotions this year. When this show first came on, thought it was one of the silliest premises for a show I'd ever heard of. Now think it's the best show on television.

  • Anybody else watching Big Brother this year? Don't like many of the people on it this year. But, much like a bad wreck, just can't make myself quit watching it. Not only that, read a blog on it every day about what is going on in the house CBS won't (or can't) show you.

  • In the spirit of my last post, if you have a concern you would like someone to pray for, please feel free to leave me a comment. Won't promise your wish will come true, but can promise I will pray for you and your concern. Other people who read this blog may pray for you, too. They may tell some folks and, before you know it, there may be lots of folks praying for you and/or your concern. Never know what might happen then. If you prefer to keep it anonymous, you can send me an e-mail using the link in my profile. Could then post it on my blog as either an "Unspoken Request" or "Unknown Concern" if you want. God will know what you want the prayer for. We'll just be letting him know we are praying for it, too, whatever it is.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Power of Prayer

Had the opportunity to hear Don Piper speak at my church last Sunday. His story has made me think a lot about the power of prayer this week. Prayer is truly powerful! It can change things!

Don Piper was in a horrific car accident and was dead for 90 minutes before he came back to life. He was going back to his church from a minister's workshop and was literally run over by an 18-wheeler. Every bone in his body was broken except for his right forearm and he was impaled on the steering wheel. The paramedics worked on him for a long time but eventually determined there was nothing they could do to bring him back to life.

One of the other preachers at the conference came up to the scene and heard God tell him to pray for the man in the car. After much discussion with a police officer, he crawled into the car, placed his hand on Don's right forearm, and began praying for him. In the meantime, the police had called Don's church looking for his wife. (This was in the days before cell phones.) The police told them Don was in a bad accident but would not tell them anything more than that. They immediately began praying for him. They also called other churches in the area, who called even more churches. Soon there were people all over the world praying for a man they had never even heard of, much less knew. After 90 minutes, the preacher in the car began singing What a Friend We Have in Jesus and Don joined him. The preacher got out of the car and told the remaining paramedics, "The dead man is singing!"

You might be thinking, I've heard this story before. That's because Don Piper wrote a book about the ordeal called 90 Minutes in Heaven. If you have not read it, I highly recommend it. He talks about how he went to Heaven during that time. He also talks about his struggle to recover from the accident after he came back. It's very powerful and inspirational.

Anyway, hearing him speak Sunday made me think about other miracles I've seen and heard about as a result of prayer.

Would like to share one example I witnessed:

Several years ago, there was couple in our Sunday school class who was pregnant. She went to the doctor, who ran some test and told her the baby would most likely not make it. Naturally, this news upset her. When she announced it to the class, the teacher said we were going to pray for her. At that time, we all gathered around her and began to pray. After her next doctor's visit, the doctor told her she had had a dramatic turnaround and it looked like everything would be OK. She went on to deliver a healthy baby.

Now, some folks may say it's all a coincidence. My answer would be the same as the Latter Day Saints have for a miracle which happened for them. If you've ever been to Salt Lake City, you may have seen a monument to seagulls. When the Latter Day Saints first relocated to Utah, their crops were attacked by locusts. They prayed for a miracle. Shortly thereafter a huge flock of seagulls appeared and ate the locusts. Scientists have explained it happened because the offshore winds in California have been known to blow seagulls into Utah before. The LDS response is: yes, that might be true, but you can't argue with the timing of it coming after they had prayed.

There are many stories in the Bible where miracles have happened as the result of prayer. Jesus says if you have the faith of a mustard seed, you can move mountains (Matthew 17:20-21). I truly believe that. The Bible also has several stories where God has changed his plans after talking with people (see Genesis 18 just to name one example). That's all prayer really is: us having a discussion with God.

I also believe God answers all prayers. Sometimes the answer is not what we want. But, we get an answer. It's hard for us to understand that God's plans are not always the same as ours. There've been several times when my prayers have not been answered like I wanted them to. But, when everything was said and done, things turned out better than I expected and/or I received a new inspiration for my life.

Now, I'm not one of those people who thinks we should put prayer back in public schools. If it was, the prayers would be so watered down there would be no reason for it. (Will say I believe the old axiom: prayer will never be removed from schools as long as there are tests.) But, do believe in its power and feel great comfort knowing God cares enough to listen to what I have to say. It's up to me to listen for His answer and accept whatever it may be. God will listen to your prayers, too, whether they are long, eloquent, Billy Graham-type prayers, or one that's not so much. Encourage you to try it out.

Thanks for listening.