Tuesday, August 31, 2004

HOW LONG, O LORD. For those of you who think I may have taken somewhat of a long time to get through the Bible Studies in Isaiah, consider this about John Calvin. He began a series on the book of Acts on August 25, 1549, and ended on March of 1554, preaching it every Sunday.

IS KERRY'S BOAT SINKING? Tradesport.com shows Bush ahead 58 percent to 42 percent. The Iowa Electronic Market has Bush at 55 percent to 45 percent. The same survey showed them even two weeks ago. I know it is still early in the game, sincer there are still September and October to go. It will be interesting to see if the President gets any bounce from the convention to increase this lead.

Speaking of the convention, isn't Rudy Guliani a great speaker? He seems so comfortable and even happy while speaking. He reminded me of Hubert Humphrey, whom they used to call the Happy Warrior.

Friday, August 27, 2004

TWO SIDES OF A COIN. A fine is a tax for doing wrong. A tax is a fine for doing well.
BEING THERE. I had a really good time the other night, and have not written about it. The College Daughter came through town and spent the night. She was, unfortunately, on the way home from a funeral. Nonetheless, she was home for the first time in several weeks and I was grateful for the opportunity.

A friend from school met her at our house and we all had dinner and lots of fun. I don't have a nick name for this friend at this point. You have to love him, however. In addition to being a great guy, he brought me two, count them, two bags of coffee from his trip to Costa Rica.

Opera Boy was there, also, having come by to mow my yard again. God's grace is abundant! We asked him to stay for dinner, also. He needles the College Daughter a bit, but I think it was all ok. The Baby was there, having just returned from her trip. We all sat around the dining table. The Little Woman cooked a big meal. It was wonderful.

We then made the ritual trip to Starbucks and introduced everyone in our group to all our friends working at Starbucks.

I wish we could do it all more often. As the weeks blow by and we all attend to our business, it is harder and harder to connect, especially in person. Yet, I find my heart yearns for it. I could change the words to the old Neal Sedaka song to "growing up is hard to do". It is so, both for the grower, and the growee.
THE KILLING FIELDS. U.S. District Judge Richard C. Casey has declared the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act unconstitutional. He is the second district judge to do so. Louise Melling, director of the ACLU Reporductive Freedom Project said they were thrilled. Judge Casey said the procedure is gruesome, brutal, barbaric, and uncivilized. Attorney General Ashcroft said he will appeal.

It is interesting to see the word play here. The Washington Post put the words "partial birth abortion" in quotation marks and said it was the term used by opponents. The medical term is intact dilation.

The other fun phrase is the ACLU's "reproductive freedom". That would imply freedom to reproduce, wouldn't it. Instead, it is freedom from reproduction for the mother. And that sounds better still than free to die on the first day outside the womb, for the baby.

In addition to killing for sexual convenience, we have killing for political gain. Augusto Pinochet lost his immunity from prosecution today as the Supreme Court of Chile ruled against him. Pinochet ruled from 1973 to 1990, and was known to "disappear" his enemies. There was also some miscellaneous torture and kidnapping of dissedents.

More current, in the killing, is the Islambouli Brigade, which claims credit for downing two Russian airliners full of civilians. They used Hexogen evidently. Hexogen is one of the most powerful military explosives. It looks like flour or sugar.

In 2003, Nikita Sergeevich Chekulin, the former acting director of the Scientific Research Institute of Russia alleged systematic theft and resale of 5 tons of Hexogen from the military.

Two young Russians have been detained in Gorny for trying to sell 8 kilograms of Hexogen for $50.00. That is enough to blow up a multi-story building or a city block.

So, when folks say it is important to take custody of weapons and chemicals when governments fall, we know it is true.

Edmund Burke said "There is no safety for honest men but by believing all possible evil of evil men."

I believe.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

KASUAL KIBBITZ OF THE KERRY KAMPAIGN. The Los Angeles Times poll shows President Bush ahead. That is a big one for a strongly Democrat paper.

Is it my imagination, or is John Kerry laying low (seeking out the poorer quarters where the ragged people go?)? The whole Vietnam strategy has become a mess for him. I do not know why someone who opposed the war publicly and vehemently, and for political capital, would run on a platform of having fought in the war. Nonetheless, it has become a quagmire for him. I thought he was doing well in representing himself until this issue exploded. Even without much support in the big newspapers, the story has made the rounds and left him looking like someone who manufactured his service and his story.

It also appears that anothe flip flop has occurred. Mr. Kerry voted against the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996. This was not a popular move, as both houses of Congress overwhelmingly passed it and President Clinton approved it by signing it into law. That put Mr. Kerry in a very small minority.

Mr. Kerry later came out against the Federal Marriage Amendment. He is counted as a big supporter of the homosexual lobby. But, he recently visited Missouri and had his finger in the air. You know, to check which way the wind is blowing. Missouri recently passed a law defining marriage as a heterosexual event. Mr. Kerry told people in one speech that he would have voted for the Federal Marriage Amendment if it had made it to a vote.

This is a silly thing to do. Everyone knows his stance on the issue. Why pretend otherwise? Missouri might have a few voters that will not hear his real views, but surely the "show me" state has newspapers that will point out the inconsistency.

This kind of stuff makes Mr. Kerry very vulnerable to attack by the Republicans. It also makes his credibility sink in regard to other statements (Christmas in Cambodia) and policy positions (fighting terrorism).

It appears that Mr. Kerry is still shooting himself in the foot. The question is whether America will give him another award for it.
THERE'S NO BUSINESS LIKE SHOW BUSINESS. Whenever a big campaign starts, the Democrats always accumulate show business people to help them. I think this shows a preference for style of substance. I think it also shows they think Americans are superficial and will care what an actor or musician thinks about the economy or national defense. I guess they think singing and analyzing world events are transferable skills. I think most Americans, excluding permanent Leftists, some kids, and celebrity worshippers think it is funny.

Evidently, shock rocker Alice Cooper agrees. He said, "If you are listening to a rock star in order to get your voting information on who to vote for, you are a bigger moron than they are. Why are we rock stars? Because we're morons."

Thanks to Mike for the quote.

I remember a good example. The Little Woman always thought Val Kilmer was very attractive. One night he was scheduled for the Late Show. She had to watch. Well, old Val came out and sat down. The poor fellow cannot even speak in complete sentences or follow a train of thought. He is so used to speaking from a script, a spontaneous conversation was just too taxing. The Little Woman was disappointed, and won’t watch Val in a movie any more.

Maybe Val will show up soon at a Democrat rally, just after Bruce Springsteen sings, and tell us who to conduct world affairs.

Hopefully, it will be from a script.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

ARE YOU SUFFERING? Here is what Martin Luther said about it. “Trials teach you not only to know and understand but also to experience how right, how true, how sweet, how lovely, how mighty, how comforting God's word is: it is wisdom supreme."

"The devil will afflict you, will make a real doctor of you, and will teach you by his temptations to seek and to love God's Word. For I myself . . . owe my papists many thanks for so beating, pressing, and frightening me through the devil's raging that they have turned me into a fairly good theologian, driving me to a goal I should never have reached". What Luther Says, Vol. 3, Concordia Publishing House, 1959, p. 1360.

Suffering is not fun (or we wouldn’t call it suffering, would we), but it is a tool of instruction. Don’t dismiss it lightly. They things you learn during suffering will be learned deeply and remembered thoroughly.
GEORGE MUELLER. I had been much opposed to the doctrines of election, particular redemption, and final persevering grace; so much so that . . . I called election a devilish doctrine. . . . But now I was brought to examine these precious truths by the word of God. . . . To my great astonishment I found that the passages which speak decidedly for election and persevering grace, were about four times as many as those which speak apparently against these truths; and even those few, shortly after, when I had examined and understood them, served to confirm me in the above doctrines. As to the effect which my belief in these doctrines had on me . . . by the grace of God, I have walked more closely with Him since that period. . . . Thus, I say, the electing love of God in Christ (when I have been able to realize it) has often been the means of producing holiness, instead of leading me into sin. ( Narratives and Addresses , Vol. 1, pp. 46, 40)

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

JOHN KERRY: SHOOTING YOURSELF IN THE FOOT. Kerry's campaign now says his "First Purple Heart" may have come from an "unintentionally" self inflicted wound. If that is true, John, you gotta send it back. Plus, you have to wonder if it was unintentional. A common practice for guys who wanted to go home from Vietnam was to shoot themselves in the foot with a pistol. That is bad enough. But those guys didn't accept Purple Hearts for it.

The bigger shot to the foot might be Kerry's decision to tout his record in Vietnam to begin with. I guess he felt it necessary to combat the President's image as a decisive commander in chief for the Iraq war. Since most of the Far Left opposed the war and really are stuck in a time warp that keeps them from knowing this is not the 60s and Iraq is not Vietnam, it is amazing he would adopt such a strategy. It is further amazing that he thought 4 months in Vietnam worth touting as a make or break qualification. But it is truly astonishing that he thought he could pull that off knowing he was lying about his record.

It was not uncommon for rich boys to get special passes for Vietnam. If they went, they got special assignments. That was especially true for the sons of politicians. Remember Al Gore, who spent the war as a "reporter", kept out of harm's way?

Kerry's service is even more pathetic in its own way, for it is obvious that he, or his family, tried to duplicate the service of the first JFK. Whereas Kennedy was a PT boat captain, and hurt his back in service, Kerry had to become a boat captain also and get injured. Give us a break!

On top of that, Kerry had to lie about being under fire, when his own diary says he did not come under fire at that time.

I suggest that Kerry hire Three Dog Night to join the rock tour supporting him, so they can open the concert with "Liar!"

Rare Good News For Baylor. Jeremy Wariner won the 400 meter gold in 44 seconds.

Monday, August 23, 2004

MORE GOOD NEWS. The Baby comes back tonight from Greece. We pick her up at the airport tonight. Yea! Of course, Tall Boy is coming with us. (And she has called him more than she has called us, even though I bought the international phone for her. Such is life.)
GALLOPING AHEAD. The Gallop poll said the President's job approval rate is now at 51%. (This is a net increase of 6 points since August 1). This is after the Democratic convention and after Kerry's cross country campain (not Cambodia, the Midwest of America).

Compare: President Clinton's 52% in August 1996, President Reagan's 54% in August 1984.

"No president who has been at or above 50% at this point in an election year has lost." USA Today.

As Captain Picard says "make it so".
CATHOLICS ARE KILLING THEIR WOUNDED. President Bush’s chief Catholic advisor resigned in the face of publicity concerning 10 year old sexual misconduct charges. Deal Hudson publishes “Crisis”, a conservative, Catholic magazine. He is also an unpaid advisor to the President. His job was to court conservative Catholics for the President, whose views on abortion and homosexuality are much closer to their own that Senator Kerry’s. Deal quit as the National Catholic Reporter, a liberal Catholic newspaper published a report of sexual misconduct allegations that evidently drove Hudson to resign from a tenured professorship. The allegations involve sex with a female student. The allegations surfaced in 1994 and a settlement was reached.

The Catholics have been playing rough in politics lately. The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights drove the Reverend Brenda Peterson from her job as the Democratic Party’s first ever director of religious outreach with press releases on her past stands. Peterson was not Catholic. She was a very liberal member of the Disciples of Christ. You have to wonder why she was picked, as she opposed the “under God” phrase in the pledge, which a large majority of Americans support. That was as unpopular than Dean opposing the Iraq war in the face of 70-80 percent support for it.

Mara Vanderslice is the religious outreach director for John Kerry, who is Catholic, but not a Catholic candidate. The Catholic League called her a radical leftist who associates with anti-Catholics.

Then there was Ono Ekeh, the moderator of the Catholics for Kerry web site. People said “Oh no, Ono” when they learned that he was also an employee of the U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The Conference fired Ekeh for using his computer to post on the web site.

The person who “outed” Ekeh: Deal Hudson.

What comes around, goes around.

I appreciate the Catholics filling the embarrassment void so my beloved Southern Baptists are not making their quota. I do note, however, that Hudson used to be a Southern Baptist before docking with the mother ship. That’ll teach you to proselytize!

I do admire Hudson for how he reacted. Unlike other public figures, Hudson admitted that he sinned and hurt his family, said he had sought and obtained forgiveness, and moved on.

Several things are learned from this incident. First, sin has consequences. Even though you obtain forgiveness, the consequences can be brutal. I remember an evangelist telling a story about a mother that would drive a nail into the doorpost every time her son stayed out late partying. He later repented and she removed all the nails. He was upset, however, when he saw that the holes would always remain. It may be maudlin, but it illustrates the point.

Second, Christian men should avoid temptation. Here’s a tip: don’t get drunk and be alone with a younger, troubled woman. In fact, don’t be alone with a younger, troubled woman. In fact, well you get the picture. Remember that former President Clinton will always be remembered for young Monica Lewinsky.

Third, Catholics are high profile this year. The clash between conservatives and liberals is in the forefront. The clash between Rome and the fruited plains is public. The disparity between Catholic faith and practice, especially among politicians, is under the lens. I remember when Clinton and Gore ran, and were Southern Baptists who did not act or believe Southern Baptist. I must tell you: it’ll get worse before it gets better.

P.S. - if you want to convert more Southern Baptists, I have a list of suggested names.
HOW LOW CAN YOU GO? A 42-year-old Washington state man pleaded guilty in federal court this week to wrongful disclosure of individually identifiable health information for economic gain. The U.S. Attorney's Office in Seattle, which is prosecuting the case, said the plea agreement represents the first criminal conviction under the health information privacy provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. The defendant obtained a cancer patient's name, birth date and social security number from the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, where the defendant worked. He used the information to get credit cards in the patient's name, charging more than $9,000. The plea agreement is for 10-16 months of prison restitution to the credit card companies and patient.

Friday, August 20, 2004

BAD NEWS. According to the San Francisco Chronicle (July 28, 2004), three Oakland boys beat at 55 year old homeless man to death because they were bored. Two were 16 years old and one was 15. They were wandering the streets in the early morning when they stumbled upon the man sleeping in an abandoned warehouse. They admitted hitting and kicking the man and shooting him with a BB gun.

The Oakland Police Chief said “Something has gone terribly wrong when anyone, especially young people, can even conceive of such acts. He is right that something has gone terribly wrong. It began long ago and continues to get worse. That something is the entrance of sin into the world.

In Romans 1:29-31, Paul explains the condition of human kind. It says “they have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless.”

Thursday, August 19, 2004

I'M A BAAAAD BOY. I know blogging has been sparse. Those ogres at work have been running me around so much, I cannot write. I took yesterday off to celebrate the 31st anniversary of talking the Little Woman into marrying me. It was my first great act of persuasion. The longevity of the marriage is a tribute to her character and forebearance.

We went off Tuesday night to the Mansion At Turtle Creek in Dallas. Wow. It is beautiful. It is tucked away off the main street. The hotel is beautiful, the service wonderful, the food beyond belief. The Little Woman told them it was our anniversary, so every staff member we met wished us a happy anniversary. The manager upgraded us to a suite. He said, call me when you get to your room. We went in to this suite bigger than our first few apartments. It even had two bathrooms. We called and he said it was our anniversary gift from the hotel. Thanks!

They brought up a pitcher of iced tea and four chocolate covered strawberries. Yum. Then we went to dinner. This is the restaurant of Dean Fearing, who made "Texas Cuisine" famous. Wow, was it good. I had pheasant with cherry and rosemary sauce. The plate was a work of art.
They brought the dessert out on plates that the chef had written "Happy Anniversary" in chocolate on the rim. It was a wonderful experience.

Wednesday, we got massages in their health center. This was my first. It was great. The only problem is, you have to get up off the table and leave. I needed a hydraulic table to lift one end and slide me off. I was too relaxed to move. (I'm sure being back at work today will fix that!)

I've decided. If I ever get filthy rich, I'm moving into the Mansion.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

LAWYER JOKE ALERT. Publius, I don't know if you are still reading, but, if so, close your eyes. Here comes a lawyer joke.

A guy phones a law office and says, "I want to speak to my lawyer."

The receptionist replies, "I'm sorry but he died last week."

The next day he phones again and asks the same question. The receptionist replies, "I told you yesterday, he died last week."

The next day the guy calls again and asks to speak to his lawyer. By this time the receptionist is getting annoyed and replies, "I keep telling you that your lawyer died last week. Why do you keep calling?"

The guy responds, "Because I just love hearing it."

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT. Reuters reports that a federal court in San Fran-I Kid You Not-cisco required a defendant to wear a signboard stating "I stole mail”.

The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a lower court's order, stating that the public humiliation was to "break him of an illusion he had committed a victimless crime.” The defendant is also to write apologies and lecture at a high school.

Thieves steal mail in order to get credit card applications and financial information from their victims. It pays better than soliciting for raffle tickets for a church. I guess he could have just been looking for Playboy or something, but I doubt it.

If he had done this in Botswana, it would have been more painful than embarrassing. Botswana intends to institute floggings in lieu of jail time. It saves a lot of money for housing, feeding, and medicating prisoners like we do in the U.S.

Minor offenses in Botswana already merit caning for minor crimes. Botswana just wants to increase the number of offenses for which you can be paddled.

The thing is, it will probably be effective. It is not that great a punishment for a misdemeanor to spend 10 days in jail watching t.v. and eating candy. Often, misdemeanor offenders are ordered to pay fines and probation fees they never pay. This way, punishment is administered, there is little cost, no record, and everyone goes on its way. Just like when my dad switched me all the way home after he found me down at a little girl’s yard without permission. (There’s always a woman involved, isn’t there?)

Finally, if flogging is not enough to satisfy your appetite for justice, how about cannibalism? In the Philippines, a man and his two sons have been arrested for murder of a neighbor. The police believe the men got mad after the neighbor bumped into a family member at a dance. So, they stabbed him, roasted him over a fire, then ate his ears, tongue and arms. Talk about your self help justice. I’m going to be a lot more careful about bumping into people. I may even call that guy who was selling raffle tickets and ask for a second chance. I don’t want to be singing “I’m Burning For You”.

(Thanks to Mike for the news stories!)
KERRY LIED, PEOPLE CRIED. Several times in the campaign, John Kerry has used Mary Anne Knowles as a sympathy piece for his complaints about the health care system. He said "What does it mean when Mary Ann Knowles, a woman with breast cancer I met in New Hampshire, had to keep working day after day right through her chemotherapy, no matter how sick she felt, because she was terrified of losing her family's health insurance."

The fact is, she did not have to work through chemotherapy to avoid losing her health insurance. Her employer, Elderhostel, had health and disability benefits. M.A.T. had 26 weeks of disability with pay.

You can dry your eyes now.

By the way, over 40 percent of health care in America is paid for by you, the taxpayer.
YOU'RE FIRED! If Donald Trump were one of his own apprentices, he'd say those magic words to himself. Trump Hotels & Casinos are going into chapter 11 bankruptcy to refinance his debt. It is the second run at bankruptcy for his gambling operations. He took 3 casinos into bankruptcy in 1992. I guess gambling is not a sure bet.

Speaking of gambling, I had a weird experience last night. A young man came to my door selling raffle tickets and said he was from Hallmark Baptist Church. That suprised me, as HBC is very conservative, and most conservative Christians consider raffles to be a form of gambling, something they strictly oppose. I asked him why and he said it was to raise money for a needy family. He had a big plastic bag full of money and a roll of those pre-printed tickets you can buy at the store. He showed me a piece of construction paper with cut out pictures of two of the three prizes. One supposedly did not come out.

It is hard for me to resist a needy family, so I was pulling money out of my pocket at the first, but began to slide it back in as he talked. My suspicions aroused, I asked him where the church was. He could not tell me. He said he actually did not go there, his cousin did, and he was helping her. I should have such good cousins.

I declined his offer, shut the door, and called an aquaintance who is on the board at HBC. He was shocked and said they would never do that. So, I called the police. They came out, found the guys, and spoke to them. Unfortunately, I do not know what happened to them.

So, it will be interesting to see: did I foil a crime or did HBC succomb to the ways of the world to raise money? Wanna bet?

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

CABIN PRESSURE. I know I often accuse Belgium of being like France, you know, surrender at the drop of a hat. Well, now it appears it is the drop of a cat. A Belgian airliner turned back to the airport after a cat got loose in the cabin and became "agitated". They should just have given it chocolate. Then, when the press asked "how did you subdue the agitated feline", they could say "we just sweetened the kitty".

Monday, August 09, 2004

SUPER FREAK. Rick James died Friday. Now they have funk music in eternity. I hate it when famous people about my age die. Then I have to think about it. I guess that is why older people read the newspaper. They want to see if their friends are there. They want to see if they beat the odds.

Fay Wray also died. She is famous for King Kong, the original movie, you know. Can you imagine her in line at the pearly gates next to Rick James. She was 96, he was oh lets say 50 something. She made black and white movies. He made funk music for Motown. I guess, if she didn't move fast enough, he could sing "No Parking On The Dance Floor".

Friday, August 06, 2004

ARE YOU JOWLING? I caught a story on the radio last night about a postal worker who was attacked by three pit bulls. He was in the hospital with severe dog bites and was considered lucky to be alive. What caused me to snap to attention, however, was the fact that he killed one of the dogs WITH HIS BARE HANDS!!! That is what I call keeping your appointed rounds. Even Kim duToit would be impressed by this guy.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

OK, Michelle, where did the titles of the last four posts come from? (Play Jeopardy theme here while she thinks.) OK, here is the answer. They are all lines from "Love Among The Ruins" by 10,000 Maniacs. I originally intended to post something with a title from each line, but they made me work. Slave Drivers!
WE SEALED OUR BOND FROM THE BEGINNING. Lawrence Wright's article, "The Terror Web," is in The New Yorker this month. Here is an interesting quote: "Muslim immigration is transforming all of Europe. Nearly twenty million people in the European Union identify themselves as Muslims. This population is disproportionately young, male, and unemployed. The societies these men have left are typically poor, religious, conservative, and dictatorial; the ones they enter are rich, secular, liberal, and free.”

Gilles Kepel, the Arabist scholar, is quoted as saying: "The future of Islam is in Europe. It has a huge Muslim population. Either we train our Muslims to become modern global citizens who live in a democratic, pluralistic society, or, on the contrary, the Islamists win, and take over those Muslim European constituencies. Then we're in serious trouble."
ROSE FROM THE ASHES. Guess who is out of jail and looking for love? Mary Kay Letourneau, the sixth grade school teacher who had a sexual relationship with one of her students is out of prison. She has served seven and a half years for child rape. Letourneau has two children by the young man. He, by the way, is now 21.

Letourneau is not exactly repentant or, in correctional terms, rehabilitated. She said “We had a beautiful relationship, and I value it for what it was.” She was 34 and he was 12. She was originally only sentenced to six months for second-degree child rape and ordered to stay away the young man. She was pregnant at the time with his first child. A month later, she sex with him in her car. She was then sentenced to 7½ years. Talk about looking for love in all the wrong places. She had the second daughter in prison.

A friend of Letourneau says she wants to be a responsible member of society. I have a suggestion where she could start. Move far away and do not let this kid know where you live! It is a condition of her release that she cannot contact the young man. We’ll take votes in the comments as to how many of you think she will obey that restriction. For his part, the young man said he would like to reunite with Letourneau. I wonder why? Letourneau said their love is eternal and endless. I think there was a song and movie about that and somebody ended up getting burned.

I can’t wait to see how Letourneau explains to her two daughters who their father is and how this happened. The cries of “Ewww, gross!” will be heard for miles. Letourneau, by the way, has four older children in Alaska thankfully living with her ex-husband. How would you like to be them? A friend has described the children as feeling “enormous pain”.

Somehow I doubt either this awfully messed up woman or this hormonal young man will care much about how much pain anyone else is in.
IT’S A LIFE NOT MADE FOR RELIVING. Jack Kerouac said “The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars…”

This describes the Little Woman. She truly has a zest for life. She is always late because she always plans more things to do than can be done in the amount of time she has. She is always up for an adventure, a trip, a job, or an activity. She will cook a huge meal if anyone says they are hungry, especially the Baby’s boyfriend (hereinafter known as “Tall Boy”). She will take food to anyone in need, always home made. She still likes to go to Six Flags Over Texas. She will drive to see the College Daughter at the drop of the hat. And she will bring the hat.

She has passed this active gene on to our daughters. The Oldest Daughter is a performer and will go anywhere anytime to perform. She sings, she dances, she is funny and she is beautiful. She is in Utah now. My only fear is some polygamist clan would grab her and keep her. Can you imagine those guys sitting around the community room with multiple wives watching my kid sing and dance? Maybe she could write a musical about Joseph Smith!

The College Daughter has always gone at full speed until she is absolutely out of energy and falls asleep wherever she happens to be. In high school she was in the top ten percent of the class, she was in band, student council, drama, and church. She organized a city wide youth campaign. She is now financial officer of a Christian organization on campus and an intern at her church in women’s ministry.

The Baby is following in their footsteps. This summer she has been to church camp, church mission trip, drum major camp, band camp, student council camp, our vacation, and is now in summer band.

They are all “mad to live”.

My job is to love them. So I do.

I love them madly.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

THE SKY WAS FALLING. Ben Domenech is off the air. Color me sad. He has run an excellent blog since 2001, and was one of the first I discovered. At least we can read him at Redstate. Godspeed, Ben.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

FROM JOHN STOTT. The followers of Jesus are optimists, but not utopians. It
is possible to improve society; but a perfect society awaits the return of Jesus Christ.
--From "What is Man?" (London: National Prayer Breakfast Committee, 1989).
KERRY KOMPLIMENT II. I do not do it often, but here it is. John Kerry disagreed with Howard Dean's comment that raising the terror alert is politically motivated. Kerry stated: "I don't care what he said. I haven't suggested that and I won't suggest that. I do not hold that opinion. I don't believe that.'' This is one reason Dean did not make it. He was so predictable. If the President did anything, Dean was against it. Kerry is smart enough to know Americans care about terror threats, the Administration has to do something about it, and, unless you have hard evidence that something fraudulent is going on, you win no points by doing a knee jerk criticism.

Monday, August 02, 2004

COMPUTER PROBLEMS. My County computer is down for the third straight day. I have hooked up the laptop the hospital gave me so I can do some work. But, I cannot get my county e-mail on this one. Aaargh. It is frustrating. The County people cannot find the problem and often blame the hospital people. The hospital people always blame the county people. I am about ready to defect and tell the County I am moving off their system and onto the hospital's so I will always have service. That will cause coordination problems with the rest of my office, though.

It is funny. I can run a mile a minute, attending meetings, giving opinions, solving problems and generally taking care of business, then be stopped cold by this bizarre computer connection. I am not even sure what it is. The hospital network is connected to the county network by a "VPN" connection. That stands for virtual private network. I told them it stood for very poor network.

If that weren't enough, the IT department is divided into groups. There is the "network" group. I cannot contact them. They are like a black ops group, only certain people can reach them. The people assigned to my office can fix the pc and help with software installation, but not the network. Plus, I have to call a help desk number to leave a message about the problem.

I am supposed to get a new computer, but that will not help this problem. It will just look prettier when it is not working.

OK, enough venting for today.