Sunday, December 31, 2006

Goodbye 2006 Hello 2007

Celebrating the end of one year while ushering in yet another gives us all a chance to take inventory, a chance to redirect our efforts to achieve goals, to repair damages and get on with life. Our hymnbook has a somber selection that we close the year with; although instructed to be sung “fervently”, perhaps “funereal” would better describe the mood.

I’d like to take a moment to wish all my friends a Happy New Year, one that will enlighten their minds, touch their souls and lead them toward an improved version of their eternal spirit. Find the time to express your love to those around you in such a way as to imprint their heart with lasting moments, enough to help take them past any challenges that are placed before them.

Learn to appreciate the tender mercies that are furnished by the Lord, as Elder Bednar so beautifully explained, “. . . as you and I face challenges and tests in our lives, the gift of faith and an appropriate sense of personal confidence that reaches beyond our own capacity are two examples of the
tender mercies of the Lord. Repentance and forgiveness of sins and peace of conscience are examples of the tender mercies of the Lord. And the persistence and the fortitude that enable us to press forward with cheerfulness through physical limitations and spiritual difficulties are examples of the tender mercies of the Lord”.

Ring Out, Wild Bells ( Hymnbook version linked via title bar )

by Alfred, Lord Tennyson.

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light;
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind,
For those that here we see no more,
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Ring out the want, the care the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes,
But ring the fuller minstrel in.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease,
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.

Special thanks to Esther Anna Lombardi for having posted this poem and making it more accessible on the internet. I found this quote from James Baldwin on Esther’s page, ”You write in order to change the world, knowing perfectly well that you probably can't, but also knowing that literature is indispensable to the world...” Perhaps that explains why most of us blog when we could be sitting down watching television. I look forward to reading, to learning and to improving as 2007 presents new challenges. Have a safe and a Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

It’s the End of the World! Again / Still

In the morning news I was reading Rob Gillies’ AP article, “Ancient ice shelf breaks loose” (linked via title bar). “A giant ice shelf has snapped free from an island south of the North Pole, scientists said Thursday, citing climate change as a "major" reason for the event.”

I glanced over the satellite image supplied and came up with multiple possibilities; other than, “A satellite image of the Ayles Ice Shelf in 2005 shows the collapse in the center. Scientists believe climate changes caused the shelf to break and form a new ice island in the Canadian Arctic”. The article failed to mention that NASA was on a tax payer funded mission to discover Santa’s toy factory to prove the “fat man” was in violation of child labor laws through repeated use of sweat shops filled with underage slave labor.

The easy way out would be to accept that the photo actually is a picture of some godforsaken wasteland that could have been used to film Star Wars. That lent itself to the next option; instead of it being a satellite image taken from space, it’s actually a picture of an Empire Storm Troopers helmet left out in the snow years after the filming of Star Wars. Lastly, and consistent with the Star Wars theme; it’s the charred remains of Darth Vader’s head piece. “Luke, you …already… h.. .a. . .v . . . . .e.”; gasping for a last breath before his eyes rolled up in what remained of his head.

Who do they think they’re fooling? Come on guys, next you’ll be telling us that Al Gore’s making another movie, “Unhappy Feet”; all about a bunch of penguins who got their funny looking feet covered with spilled crude oil that destroyed the environment when the pipe line sprung a leak, washed up on their beaches, after all the ice melted, while they were ordering Pina Coladas with those funny looking paper umbrellas hanging over the edge of the glass. May the farce be with you.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

If you aint Texan you aint sheet

Big White Hat posted an article “Above and Beyond” (linked via title bar) where he mentioned the fact that Texans tend to show their pride abundantly, more so than most. I have friend who has fun with the language, transforming simple words like “sheet” into challenges that can only be completed by stepin’ out back; if you get my drift.

My daughter had the bathroom in her apartment saturated with Texas; the floor mat, the shower curtain and even the little hooks that hold the shower curtain on the rod. It was awesome; made me remember ‘bout the feller moved to Texas from Oklahoma. “Okay, so I wern’t born in Texas; but I got here quick as I could.” You don’t hear folks up in New Jersey sayin’ things like that; heck, most folks in New Jersey are lookin’ fer a way to get out of there; no disrespect intended, just facts.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Come Fly With Me

What kind of grandparent would I be if I didn’t post pictures? JJ was a perfect gentleman as he made sure to thank everyone who gave him a gift, showing jubilation and excitement with each tear of the wrapping paper. The only pictures of JJ were blurred as he bolted back and forth in the middle of the action. Jocelyne was in awe of the proceedings, not sure what was going on; at least until dinner time. I shared my plate with her and we enjoyed turkey, ham, yams, green beans, dressing, olives, raspberry jelly with pineapple chunks and a roll.

Bonnie taught Jocelyne how to pretend fly, putting on a show for everyone. Lucy’s sister Pat, the “Grand P-Nanner”, called from Hawaii where they were wrapping up a vacation. Jocelyne asked the flight attendant if the new ruling permitting the use of cell phones had gone into effect and then had a brief conversation while in flight.

“Come fly with me, let’s fly let’s fly away. . .

Let’s float down to Peru…

Let’s take off in the blue…

We’ll just fly starry eyed…

Weather wise it’s such a lovely day…

Once I get you up there where the air is rarified…

You may hear Angles cheer ‘cause we’re together…

Let’s fly, pack up let’s fly away.”

Fill in the blanks, change the order and use Frank Sinatra’s voice.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Almost Christmas 2006

It’s almost Christmas, only a couple of hours to go. I spent the evening reviewing articles I’d posted previously and decided to link with them rather than write something new tonight. May the gifts you give be received well, may gratitude surpass greed as opportunities present themselves.

"For God so loved the world that he sent His only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life". John 3:16 If this is the one gift you ever receive you have all you need. Merry Christmas!

The Broken Nutcracker Ornament

The Night Before Christmas, GOA

The Truth About Santa Claus
(author unknown)

Two Babes In A Manger
(Author Unknown)

Zuzu’s Flower! Well, Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Faux Fur Not Faux

Shoppers were shocked to find that Cuddles, “The Stinky Dog of China”, as it has been advertised, may not be the perfect Christmas gift after all as the rush for unusual gift items reaches its peak. US law leaves loopholes for importing many items made in China and other barbarian nations. Apparently some animals are protected while human beings, which are property of the State, are not. Imported clothing items claiming to be ornamented in faux fur are in fact made from raccoons or dogs that have the appearance of raccoons ( link via title bar ). Chinese clothing manufacturers have recently been exposed for the inhumane manner in which animals are destroyed to obtain their skins.

A watchdog agency tested Cuddles and found that the toy pet’s skin, which officials claimed to be made from the intestines of tortured political prisoners, was in fact made from the entrails of whimpering sniveling humanitarian watchdogs. There have been reports that watchdog members, those who complain about inhumane treatment to animals, disappear and are never heard from again; that is until now. Chinese government officials refused to comment and calls left at the local embassy were not returned.

The hairless mongrel has been sold successfully, primarily in cities where Pit Bulls have been outlawed. A survey of paroled convicted felons established that professional burglars avoided breaking into homes that smelled like they might have a Pit Bull and targeted other unsuspecting homes. Cuddles skin has a slimy feel accompanied by the odor of spoiled hamburger meat left out of the refrigerator too long. Those purchasing the product claim that Cuddles is the perfect pet because it never needs feeding, it’s hairless body never sheds and is easy to find in a cluttered apartment since, as advertisers claim, “Cuddles smells like a Mongolian clogged sewer system”.

The break came during testing when pieces of an ACLU membership card were found in the seams of one toy. Urine from the card was matched to an ACLU attorney’s urine sample left on the Constitution during a recent attempt to subpoena documents that had been shared with terrorist groups, documents that had been classified as Top Secret.

Friday, December 22, 2006

How to deal with telemarketers

A tip of the hat to my friend Andy Ricker for sharing this one.

Turn on your sound and laugh along. Now, click on this link:

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Hey, Look Up!

Ha, ha; made you look; and anyway, hay is for horses. I can remember pulling pranks like that as a kid. When I was working as a vendor at the Astrodome we would point to an imaginary object on the roof just to see how many folks would stop and fall for the gag.

“Hey, Look Up!” would never work were it not for the remote possibility that something might actually be worth looking at. You might hear the music of Peter and the Wolf playing in your mind; a cautionary reminder never to cry “Wolf” unless there really is one.

Mom used to get us ready for school early in the morning in order to facilitate her getting out the door and on the road to be at work on time. We would postpone and drag our feet while trying to make those last few minutes of comfort under the covers last. One morning in particular she was excited to the point of bursting over as she rustled and jostled us awake. It was even earlier than normal, the skies still dark outside as I reluctantly obeyed the voice jabbering away, something about meteors in the back yard.

It took a while to rub the sleep from my eyes; but I put on some jeans and shoes so I could go outside and “look up”. The sky was unusually clear for Houston and it became obvious why mom wanted to share the experience with us. Meteors were cascading, not dropping here and there, cascading from the sky, not one or two every hour; but so many at a time that it was hard to believe. I’d heard that a good meteor shower would make it appear as if they were falling off an invisible umbrella; that about covers what I was seeing.

I brought that memory forward, having been prompted by my daughter. I get interesting calls from Bonnie every once in a while; this was one of them. “Dad, what year did you see all those meteors; was it November of 1966?” I had to think for a few moments, 40 years having gone by. I’d shared my recollections of the event on more than one occasion, Bonnie having a keen interest in such things.

“That’s about right, why do you ask?” Bonnie went on to explain that she met a fellow who’d taken pictures of “The Great Leonid Meteor Shower of November 17, 1966”. He told her how extraordinary that meteor shower had been; recording 10-15 meteors per second on average and as many as 40 per second at its peak. That’s a phenomenal number when you consider how excited most folks get if they see a single shooting star streak across the night sky.

I took the time to Google ( link via title bar ) that date and read several articles which confirmed my memories as having been note worthy. One article mentioned the Tempel-Tuttle comet that had everyone looking up as it impacted on Jupiter. Telescopes around the world aimed and focused to capture the event, a spectacular splash of color as celestial objects collided for all to see. I suppose it’s not so foolish after all, looking up.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

JJ Has a Credit Card

Justin, my son in law, bought a new wallet and gave the old wallet to JJ. The first thing JJ needed was a credit card so he set about obtaining one. I guess it must be a joint account for his computer game friends Mario and Luigi.

A few weeks ago I helped out by picking JJ up at school where he’s in kindergarten. I’d met his teachers on Grandparent’s Day and they had been told I was authorized. The children were not in their classroom; instead having been on the playground around back. I mentioned that I was there to pick up JJ and the teacher jumped in, “You mean Mario, Luigi or JJ?” as she smiled, knowing how much JJ was enjoying the computer game.

When I was JJ’s age a penny, maybe a nickel or a dime would have been fine. I can see that the world has changed just a bit; five year olds know about credit cards. I better not show him any folding money; he’s pretty good at drawing and the Fed has rules about things like that. I can see the arrest blotter, JJ, counterfeiting, AKA Mario, AKA Luigi. JJ knows his numbers and would be all smiles when they took his mug shot.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Saturday Movie Critic Corner

When I was supposed to be growing up, something I've avoided over all these years, my mom would have us help clean the house on Saturday. Depending on which multiple personality displayed for our benefit, we either listened to great music from the old masters or watched poorly done Sci-fi movies while dusting, putting things away and washing dishes. Mom was a big fan of Godzilla and all the funky characters that made up the whole mutated Japanese film genre, a constant reminder of how the world would never be the same after having unleashed the horrors of atomic weaponry. Somewhere between Grieg and Godzilla a movie begs to be made.

This morning I found a movie that mom would have watched while cleaning the house. I joked with Lucy that we might have found somebody’s Master Thesis, “How to make a really bad Sci-fi movie for under a thousand dollars”. The movie’s name, “Out There”, in case you have a friend who owes you money and you want to inflict some extra damage as a warning to other dead beats.

I started watching while eating a bowl of cereal, trying to figure out why the main character looked familiar. It was the same fellow who’d played the lead role in “The Rocketeer”, and so I dismissed the terrible beginning of the movie expecting a turn for the better; I was wrong, it only went down hill from there.

This is the fun part, having invested 15-20 minutes in a bad movie; do you quickly find another, remembering that Saturday programming is marginal at best, or do you stick it out ‘till the end? I hadn’t noticed any swearing, excessive violence or naked bodies that would offend my sensitivities and it would be terrible to wonder how the plot turned out; giving quite a bit of latitude to the definition of “plot”. We watched as big screen actor’s names appeared in odd cameo spots; Rod Steiger, Jill St. John and even June Lockhart, as if Lost in Space hadn’t damaged her enough.

I don’t want to spoil it for die hard Sci-fi movie fans, those who may want to endure 98 minutes of toss salad scripting and plot development; but you might want to have some polka music playing to help get you through this one. As a side note, there are 8 used copies for sale on ( link via title bar ), and the movie was rated with 4 ½ stars by the two folks who took the time to rate the movie. I was afraid to read the comments, lest I see my mom’s name attached, “Great movie to watch while doing the wash” or something close.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Christmas Meme

I saw this on the Tigersue’s Jungle ( link in title bar ) and I thought I would do it! Please enjoy it.

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Hot Chocolate, but I won't turn down eggnog either!

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just set them under the tree? Wraps them absolutely!

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? Colored!

4. Do you hang mistletoe? If I ever find it, yes.

5. When do you put your decorations up? About the first or second week of December; but, when I was a kid we bought our tree on Christmas Eve and Santa decorated it after we all went to bed.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? Turkey!

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child? Getting a brand new bicycle.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? I can still hear my bell ring.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? No.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? With Old fashioned style glass ornaments mostly. Right now as many unbreakable at the bottom of the tree!

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it? I love to see the Snow, it happens about once every 10 years here in Houston.

12. Do you ice skate? No.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? I wrote a special journal to give each of my grown children that took several months to compile and then have printed and bound.

14. What's the most important thing about the Holidays for you? Being with my family, and the MUSIC!

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? Charlotte Rouse

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? We used to write our letters to Santa and place them on a plate with some cookies and milk. The next morning, after Santa had read our wish list, the paper was burnt by Santa’s magic gloves and curled in the middle of the plate.

17. What tops your tree? A star on the small tree and an angel on the big tree.

18. Which do you prefer, giving or receiving? I think I enjoy giving more now, watching in anticipation as the gifts are received.

19. What is your favorite Christmas Song? Mary
Did You Know ( Donnie Osmond )

20. Candy Canes! Yuck or Yum? Yum, but I don't eat them much anymore.

Now I would love to see what others of you say! Let me know!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Terrorism Closer to Home

I got this video ( linked via title bar ) from my friend Bricks. I consider it a must see for all planning to fly during the holidays; things to be on the watch for at the airport.

Taste Rike Chicken

I read an AP article ( linked via title bar ) where scientists searching for a rare Yangtze River dolphin ended Wednesday without a single sighting have concluded, "We have to accept the fact, that the Baiji is functionally extinct. We lost the race," Pfluger said in a statement released by the expedition. "It is a tragedy, a loss not only for China, but for the entire world. We are all incredibly sad."

Interviews with villagers may shed light on the subject, living primarily on a diet of rice grown locally and seafood obtained from the Yangtze. Apparently the White Dolphin, called Baiji, and the Finless Porpoise have been a common meal for years. “They taste rike chicken”, one man responded tongue in cheek but declined to be photographed.

"The situation of the finless porpoise is just like that of the baiji 20 years ago," Wang, the Chinese scientist, said in the statement. "Their numbers are declining at an alarming rate. If we do not act soon they will become a second baiji."

Monday, December 11, 2006

Oh Rob!

It seems that fiction and reality mimic each other once again; taking note of a story about Prime Minister Blair’s wife having posed for a nude painting at one time. (link in title bar) The news is what they make of it, grin and bare it.

I remember an old Dick Van Dyke Show where Laura had posed for a picture. The artist took considerable liberties as I recall; painting her in the nude, as he’d imagined she might look were she to have posed in the buff. The painting ended up in a gallery around the corner from Rob’s office and there was no mistaking the face that went with the rest of the body. That episode was aired many years ago and the details of the comedy skit are shadows at best; all the same, it made for some interesting television at the time.

I wonder how Eve feels, glancing down from the other side of the veil, with all the renditions, some rather embarrassing, hanging in museums around the world covered only by a fig leaf or totally exposed in the artist’s imagination. Adam thinks for a few moments and tries to console her, “At least this one by Michelangelo’s up on a ceiling where nobody will ever look at it.”

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Tough Being Peapaw

Here’s a glimpse of what I have to put up with as a grandparent.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Permanent Entitlement Status

Somebody smarter than I am must have the answer to why a Federal Judge has ordered FEMA to continue paying rent for some 11,000 Hurricane Katrina and Rita evacuees. Mike Snyder of The Houston Chronicle wrote:

“U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon in Washington denied FEMA's request for a stay of his Nov. 29 order. He instructed lawyers for FEMA and for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, which sued the federal agency, to answer a series of questions and attend a conference in his courtroom Wednesday to discuss compliance plans.”

The problem with imposing mandates such as Judge Leon’s is it creates permanent entitlement status, or at least an open window of opportunity to drain the account of FEMA until it can no longer provide assistance to anyone. It now has becomes possible for those requesting assistance or aid to elevate that request into demands from those offering the assistance.

Were this an individual begging on the street it could be compared to a vagrant standing on the corner holding a sign, “Wil Werk 4 Fod” becoming dissatisfied and walking over to the fellow who just handed him a dollar out of kindness or generosity and putting a knife to his throat, “Hand me your wallet”. Am I wrong or is my brief comparison on the money? (link provided in title bar)

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Earn This

Saving Private Ryan was on cable this evening, running through surround sound so it sounded like WWII in the den. I don’t believe in coincidence; instead accepting that those things which I experience have been placed or arranged in order that I might better understand life and all that is associated and pertinent to my eternal progression.

David Fraser was buried this afternoon ( link via title bar ); did we earn the terrible price he paid, the grief his family is going through? Should we as a nation consider how we live our lives and strive to balance the price that has been paid with righteous efforts each day?

In the movie there is a letter read aloud by a compassionate general, the letter was originally written by Abraham Lincoln to console a family for the loss of a son. If you have a chance to listen, those words are as relevant today as they attempt to explain the cost of life and liberty. Private Ryan returned to his family while they grieved for the other brothers killed in combat. I could not help but wonder how the scales of liberty and justice must be weighed at such a heavy cost as David was laid to rest.

I avoided watching a good portion of Saving Private Ryan; the extreme end of realism that they were able to accomplish with modern movie making methods. That having been said; the movie presented those scenes with a purpose that justified having to endure the graphic trials of combat. I made sure to watch the last part where Private Ryan observed the mortally wounded Captain struggle to get his attention, leaning close to hear his dying words, “Earn this”.

The next scene is fifty years later as Ryan visits the grave yard and stands there in humility for the sacrifice of so many making his life possible. I’d written on this a while back; contemplating Ryan’s question, “Am I a good man?” and extending that to my own life. ( I can't hide a link when it is to one of my own blog articles; go figure )

Christ was born on Christmas Day to take up the sins of the world, to become our mediator with the Father. As we celebrate His birth, His life and His death; may we have the conviction of character to understand all that has been done for us.

There are many who would have us believe that because Jesus died for us that all we need to do is leave the loose ends up to Him, that by Grace we will be redeemed and return to our Father in Heaven. While it is true, that not one of us is without sin and that the Grace supplied will bridge the gap between us and God; there is no reason to believe that we should not keep that gap to a minimum. I’m of the opinion that if we listened, really listened, up close to our savior as he hung there bleeding, close enough where we could feel his breath on our ears, we might hear, “Earn this”.

Monday, December 04, 2006

The Antikythera Mechanism

The Antikythera Mechanism was in the news recently; the results of several years of study and conclusions based on those studies. I watched an hour long special several months ago which sparked my interest; photographs and x-rays that attempted to pinpoint the intended purpose for such an intricate mechanical device created over 2000 years ago and found at the bottom of the sea off the coast of Greece. I’ve included a link via the title bar.

There must be some ancient maritime code regarding ship wrecks; a standard operating procedure intended to put those ships near interestingly spelled locations. Have you ever heard of a ship wreck found near Fred’s Inlet or Bob’s Peninsula; never, they always go under near a place that only can be pronounced by some guy with a heavy European accent working for PBS network television. He stands in front of the camera holding a piece of barnacle encrusted rust wearing his Gloucester woolen sweater pondering and postulating for a few minutes, wondering what might have happened prior to the catastrophe.

“Captain, the main mast is shattered and it’s only a matter time before all is lost. What say we beach her over there on Smith’s Island?”

“No, that won’t do at all. I’ve checked the charts and with any luck we can be lost for time and all eternity near Antikythera.”

“Antikythera, isn’t that the same place those sailors picked up some plague?”

“I don’t think so, that was Diphtheria off the coast of Syphilis.”

Diptheria, Antikythera; what’s the difference, we’re all gonna’ drown? Maybe if we lighten the load a bit we can make it into port. How about that game boy box you’re playing with?”

“I waited in line for twelve hours to buy this at Homer’s Mart, nobody’s gonna’ Ptolemy to toss it overboard.”


“Bless you.”

“Suit yourself, you’re the Captain; second moon of Mars coming into view, good move! Now all you need is a Solar Eclipse and a planetary alignment to win.”

“Oenoe, in all this excitement I tore a hole in my trousers.”

“Euripides, where?

“Here, right here; Eumenides?”

What’s that line Arlo Guthrie used in his Thanksgiving Day classic, Alice's Restaurant Massacree; “I could sing it for another twenty five minutes. I'm not proud... or tired.” One thing’s for sure; in the slimmest of chances that I ever go on a cruise ship vacation, and that’s not high on my list of things I plan on doing, you can bet I will check all the ports of call for odd sounding names prior to boarding.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

I Love To See The Temple

This time of year it’s fun to drive through the neighborhood and enjoy the efforts of those who have placed colored lights among the bushes and along the edges of their houses; a Christmas celebration in lights. The childlike state of mind that returns is hard to explain; not quite as spectacular perhaps as the star above a stable so many years ago when wise men came to see a babe born to Mary and Joseph and angels filled the heavens with song, worthy of comparison all the same.

Liberal Common Sense has a post today showing a favorite place she likes to visit, a special moment of reflection awaits each time a candle is lighted there. I noticed she had a link to something called “Grab the Scavenger Hunt Code”; a fun way to share a thread among bloggers. Today’s theme has to do with lights.

Each Wednesday I have a chance to visit the Houston Temple as an ordinance worker. There’s an opportunity for me to appreciate the beauty, both inside and out as lights showcase the structure each night when I leave, having performed some small service for the Lord. Those who enter the House of the Lord learn how important it is to serve one another, to extend the blessings that we may receive, ordinances that improve our lives here and into the eternities and to provide those same ordinances vicariously to our kindred dead. Is it any wonder that we as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints place such a high priority to finding who our ancestors are, to appreciate the eternal links we have with them? May the light of Christ shine within each of us as the spirit of service to others becomes more important than our individual desires during this Christmas Season is my humble prayer, in the name of Jesus Chris, Amen.

I’ve included a link (via the title bar) to a Primary song, a simple thought set to music. I recommend listening to it by clicking the option of “words and music” as children teach basic truths of the Gospel.
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Friday, December 01, 2006

Signs of Getting Older

I’m always breaking unwritten rules of society, talking to strangers while in line at the grocery store and things like that. The other day I was picking up a check for work done at one of my regular car dealerships talking to the young lady in the office. I mentioned that if she ever wanted to get adopted into a family I knew just the one. Her eyes and the shape of her face reminded me of a fellow; old enough to be her father, who just happen to own a different car dealership up in Spring. We had a good laugh as I suggested that she could do a number on him by showing up and calling him Dad.

I happened by that other car dealership this afternoon and mentioned that he might have a daughter running around that he was unaware of; catching him off guard with such a off the wall comment. I explained where she worked and with the close knit family of the car business he knew who she was right off.

On a similar vein, I was shopping at a clothing store a few years back and noticed the young lady ringing up our purchases had a resemblance to a fellow at our church. “If you ever want to get adopted into a family I know just the one. You could easily fit in with the Murphy’s.”

“I am a Murphy!” She looked at me a little bewildered; turns out she was his oldest daughter home from college and working for the holidays. I’d never met her before so it made for an interesting introduction. Every now and again I get lucky.

Last week I was at Subway Sandwich shop for lunch as the young lady put my selection together; the roast beef followed by the Swiss Cheese on whole wheat. She then pointed to something and asked, “Do you want that toasted, Sir?”; but that’s not what my half deaf ears heard as I did a double take and started to laugh.

“Do I want a Soul Sister? What is this; a revisit to the 60’s?” I knew she had to have asked something else as I inquired; still laughing and noticing that the fellow down at the cash register couldn’t contain his laughter either.

The young lady pointed to the toaster oven and made it a point to speak clearly and enunciate each word, “ Do…you…want… your…sandwich…toasted…Sir?” Hearing aids can only do so much; makes for some interesting conversations that never happened.

Lucy and I were at Fry’s Electronics last Saturday and happened to see the movie, Grand Prix, on DVD. The movie came out in 1966 and instantly became one of my favorites. I had wanted to add it to my collection for quite some time; but for years had only been available in VHS format, so when I saw it on DVD on the way to the cash registers I couldn’t resist.

There should be some kind of warning affixed to the movie, “Caution, Do Not Operate Any Motor Vehicles Within Two Hours After Having Watched This Movie!” or some such advice. The 16 year old adolescent rises to the surface and automatically wants to emulate the adrenaline junkies shifting gears and hurling themselves into hairpin turns at breakneck speeds.

We put the movie on and thrilled to excessive noise as all the special effects exploded into our den; the advantage of having a large HD home entertainment center with surround sound stereo. Try as we might, we couldn’t stay awake through the end of the movie; nine o’clock and we were both up past our bedtime, geeze-a-louisa! No wonder my kids make fun of us getting old, hair thinning, can’t see without my Varilux lenses and I think I’ve already mentioned that I can’t hear; even with my hearing aids. The following day we made sure to watch it as a matinee; even taking advantage of the additional special extras included on the 2 disk set.

Last on my list of mind wanderings is a short story that will get this holiday season off properly. Thanks and a tip of the hat to Richard Sutton for sending this to me via email.

A man went to his dentist because he felt something wrong in his mouth. The dentist examines him and says, "That new upper plate I put in for you six months ago is eroding. What have you been eating?"

The man replies, "All I can think of is that about four months ago my wife made some asparagus and put some stuff on it that was delicious...Hollandaise sauce. I loved it so much I now put it on everything --- meat, toast, fish, vegetables, everything."

"Well," says the dentist, "that's probably the problem. Hollandaise sauce is made with lots of lemon juice, which is highly corrosive. It's eaten away your upper plate. I'll make you a new plate, and this time use chrome."

"Why chrome?" asks the patient.

To which the dentist replies, "It's simple. Everyone knows that there's no plate like chrome for the Hollandaise!"
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