Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Lost in Translation - Boo Got Shot!

I outright stole this from Neil Boortz; just too funny not to share.

When I first posted this I forgot to include why it hit me as so funny. I had to wonder how the police officer included this statement in the criminal investigative report; that had to be a real challenge.

Boo Got Shot - Animation - video powered by Metacafe

Yakity Yak Don’t Talk Back

There’s a story on the wire coming out of Izola, Slovania, about a human tongue being served up for lunch at the hospital’s canteen. I’m sure this happens all the time; just nobody talks about it. ( bada boom! )

Last summer doctors removed part of my liver along with my gall bladder. I told my wife there’d better not be liver and onions on the hospital menu or I was calling my lawyer. Of course, that was all said tongue in cheek. ( bada bing! )

The chef at the canteen was at a loss as to how the item in question was served up. He was unable to answer questions posed by the local authorities, “What’s the matter, cat got your tongue. ( rim shot and cymbal crash )

The doctor who found it wasn’t quite sure what it was; sure it wasn’t a piece of chicken was seen scratching his head, quite certain he knew what it was, “It’s on the tip of my tongue.” ( awwwwww! )

I could go on like this all night, as Arlo Guthrie would say while singing a few extra bars from Alice’s Restaurant; “I’m not tired…(extended pause)…or proud….” This story reeks for additional puns; please jump right in.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Selling Off Pieces of America

I read an AP article this morning, one which bothered me enough to where I paused from my regular routine of checking today’s weather or even looking at the rest of the headlines.

“NEW YORK - A state archivist was charged Monday with stealing hundreds of artifacts — documents representing "the heritage of all Americans," according to the history buff who found some of them on eBay — to pay his household bills.”

My own twisted sense of humor kicked in, wondering if they put the suspect in a line up with Sandy Burger. “Is that a grocery list stuffed down your trousers or the minutes of a national defense meeting from the oval office?” I guess you really can buy “IT” on eBay, as their slogan suggests.

I have some really neat history books which contain replications of historical documents, not to be confused with the “historical documents” mentioned in the movie, Galaxy Quest. Turning the pages reveal translucent pockets which contain copies of letters, fragments of time etched on parchment in such a way as to convey ownership of history. I’ve posted on this twice before; here and here.

I suspect deep down in my heart were the opportunity to present itself, a chance to own an actual piece of early American history, something I could hide away in my desk, bring out for viewing whenever I wanted; that selfish instinct might exist in the back of my mind. However, and I’m pretty sure starting a sentence with However isn’t grammatically acceptable; a much stronger sense of citizenship which demands a reverence of the documents of American history for what they are, the property of every American and not just one individual, that would win out.

Stealing a six pack of beer from the local 7/11 store deprives the owner of his rightful investment; selling off pieces of America which were appropriated from archives intended to safeguard them for all to see is horrendous. Maybe the judge sitting on this case will have a sense of history, along with a sense of humor while asking the jury for their decision; instead of “guilty or not guilty”, glare at him across the courtroom and query, “Give him liberty or give him death.”

Monday, January 28, 2008

A Moment In Time

I thought about rambling this evening, letting whatever came into my mind be the focus of my thoughts, or as the case may be, the absence of thought. I sat looking at the latest wallpaper photograph on my monitor and wondered why it had been my choice over all the others. At the risk of being redundant I’m posting this picture once again. Click on the image, save it to file and then make it your wallpaper design for the purpose of testing my idea; just go along with me; won’t cost you a dime.

I should explain that by increasing the size of this photograph, making it proportionally larger so as to fill the screen and be larger than the original dimensions, something happens which I am unable to explain rationally. Time stands still as long as I look into that mirrored image with the fog hanging just as it was Sunday morning on the way to my meetings, the red light half a mile behind me remains at its center. I feel myself sitting on the side of the country road with a mild chill in the air looking across the interior of my car, peering into the passenger side mirror preparing to take the photograph and time means nothing. My finger hovers over the button on top of the camera as I gather the image in the view finder. If the photograph is brought back to normal size time resumes its relentless march. I’m back in the present, sitting at my computer with only a photograph; how is that possible?

I wonder how that schism works or is it truly a mechanism by which time was altered? I know my daughter can explain, in mathematical terms, why it is centrifugal forces align in relation to a presumed center in such a way as to be an exact formula. The language of physics is most precise and while I am not schooled in that area I am comfortable knowing that certain rules are followed throughout the universe, a universe which I’m part of.

I watched the movie, Star Trek Insurrection, which had some interesting moments which tie in with my thoughts, Moments in Time. Picard was talking with a woman whose planet offered a unique life regenerating force enabling them to live in youthful appearance for centuries. The conversation permitted a glimpse of how life might be in the eternities; given the opportunity to live for the moment rather than plan the next day, the next year or plan at all.

The visual extrapolation used in the movie showed a hummingbird suspended above a flower, nothing spectacular about that; except upon careful observation it was clear the beating wings of the hummingbird now appeared much slower, as if time had been altered. The idea of freezing a moment in time for as long as was desired, or as long as required, as was the case later in the movie when life was hanging in the balance, often enters human consciousness.

Last week I wrote and posted an article, Image Restoration and included a reference to something called the Bose-Einstein effect, or more properly Bose-Einstein Condensation. Theoretically the natural rules of time and space can be altered at extremely low temperatures permitting light to alter its speed just as energy at the atomic level drops to such a degree at to make all atoms appear to be identical and without distinction. I’m in way over my head as they say, but the idea of being able to alter the natural laws which we take for granted, such as how the speed of light is perceived, slowed even just a little, permits our minds to operate in wild abandon toward realities which might be possible.

Harry Potter had a huge wall mirror which permitted him to stand next to his parents, to be a family as if they had not been destroyed by “him who is not to be named”. It was dangerous to stand with the forces which were set in motion, that mirror which halted progress for the individual, pleasant as it might be to remain embraced by those strong feelings; individuals were not intended to remain in such a state but ever moving, ever progressing through this mortality.

Alice entered her looking glass and found all manner of interesting anomalies. Perhaps if we focus with pure intent, as a child unsullied by the rules of physics which will take away such unrestrained ramblings, focus blissfully at that point in the photograph, permitting the image to engulf our sensibilities and overcome those barriers which lock us into normal time with all the cares of the world chomping at our flanks; then maybe we can escape and jump through our own looking glass, if only for short periods it would be worth the effort.

Somewhere the child within screams out and tells us that time travel is possible, that we need only believe in our dreams. Were this not so we couldn’t enjoy fantasy tales which permit characters like Peter Pan to remain a boy while Wendy grew up to be an mother and then a grandmother. Our trips into the future or the past require minor breaks from reality, or at least the known rules of science as have been accepted and understood. The wonderful experiences which are possible when our minds recognize potential variations in those known rules and laws make for dreams and the ability to perpetuate moments in time.

Now, go away and let me sit here on the side of the road, the engine of my green Z-3 coupe purring away while I’m enjoying the quiet natural sounds next to this hay field with the mist, which seems to permeate everything around me, is forming droplets on the top most edges of my mirrors. I wish to remain here, suspended in time a little while longer and not wonder who won in Florida or what information was given during the State of the Union address.

Another Reason to Avoid Government Run Health Care

I’m sure the doctors in Great Britain are very proud of the many folks they are able to help given the work load and strain placed on the purse strings since the entire system is socialized. A story hitting the news wires this morning shed light on the quality of care given, pardon my sarcasm. An eleven year old boy who’d grown up being partially deaf was surprised when a piece of cotton popped out of his ear and he “miraculously” was able to hear.

"I had always suspected Jerome had stuck something in his ear when he was little and that was causing the problem. But the doctors and hearing specialists said it was wax and he would probably grow out of it."

Maybe I shouldn’t be so hard on the top professionals who said he would grow out of it; after all, they were right and he did grow out of it, kind of sort of; if having a foreign object lodged in your ear that had been missed by exhaustive and thorough medical tests and exams by the finest health care providers Great Britain has to offer counts for anything. Thank goodness he didn’t need life saving medical help or it may have fallen on deaf ears.

Harry Reid to Lead Mormon Church

In a surprise announcement expected to be issued later this afternoon, the governing body of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints purportedly will announce to the world that Harry Mason Reid will become the 16th President and leader of the Church. This announcement comes only hours after the death of Gordon B. Hinckley who lead the Church for over 12 years.

Sources close to Senator Reid have leaked information which would indicate that he plans to continue as Senate Majority Leader while holding down his new Church position. Senator Reid has long suggested, at least by his actions, that the Ten Commandments should never have included anything about stealing or bearing false witness. A little bird who wished to remain anonymous reported Harry Reid as saying, “Where else but the Senate can a man line his pockets and attain such power? Why would I want to give up a gold mine for a job that hardly anyone gives a hoot about?”

In other breaking news, Mitt Romney was instructed to drop his candidacy bid for the Republican nomination for President of the United States of America. This serves as validation to the well known supposition by the evangelicals that Romney has always gotten his marching orders directly from Salt Lake, headquarters for the Mormon Church.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Gordon B. Hinckley Has Died

I got a telephone call from a friend a few moments ago to inform me that the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Gordon B. Hinckley had reportedly died this evening. I immediately looked to find any information on the major news sources, CNN, MSN, Fox. There was nothing at all so I went to the official site, where the official announcement had just been posted.

SALT LAKE CITY 27 January 2008 President Gordon B. Hinckley, who led The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints through twelve years of global expansion, has died at the age of 97.
President Hinckley was the 15th president in the 177-year history of the Church and had served as its president since 12 March 1995.

The Church president died at his apartment in downtown Salt Lake City at 7:00 p.m. Sunday night from cause’s incident to age. Member of his family were at his bedside. A successor is not expected to be formally chosen by the Church’s Quorum of the Twelve Apostles until after President Hinckley’s funeral within the next few days.

A Drive to Church

There was a light fog hanging in the air as I left for my meetings this morning so I grabbed the camera on the way out the door. I took a couple of pictures of the golf course on the way out the back of the neighborhood and then a couple more after turning off on Hafer, the road which leads to the church building.

Hafer doesn’t look like a metropolitan thoroughfare as it holds firm to its farming community past with hay fields, barbed wire fences and old houses that defy the newer cookie cutter dwellings which have surrounded and engulfed this bastion of nature. I didn’t take a picture of the dead deer on the side of the embankment which had wandered into the path of a vehicle during the night. There are signs warning to slow down; but those signs go unheeded, folks not sure how there could possibly be deer roaming around in the suburbs of Houston.

The fog had begun to lift, looking more like a low hanging cloud by the time I got to an open meadow within a stones throw of our building. I have seen as many as eight deer cautiously going about their business some mornings as they forage at the edges of the meadows. This morning I could find none; but thought I’d seen one dart back into a hedge of bushes as I approached. Sometimes the fog will look surreal at this location as it flows across Hafer, several times thicker at this one location than any other place along the road.

Looking into the passenger side view mirror I caught a glimpse of the traffic light back at FM 1960 through the mist, the mist which was condensing on the cool surfaces of my little green Z-3 coupe. I haven’t figured out, at least not entirely, why I like taking so many pictures through the mirror, maybe I should seek help. I’ll post only four of the pictures with explanations; make sure to click on each photograph to bring them to full size.

1. A look at the golf course on my way out of the neighborhood; this is Northgate just before it intersects with FM 1960.

If you like, try looking the intersections up on Yahoo Maps or Mapquest to get an idea of where in the city they are; or maybe even Google Earth for a view from above.

2. Looking south on Hafer road just past some apartments and instantly transformed back to a country road with a small vegetable farm on the right with the hay meadows ahead just beyond the trees on the left. You can see the reflection from my headlights on the yellow lane marker; the other odd rectangular shapes are the vents which keep my windshield clear reflected off the glass as I'm driving. Our church building is about a quarter of a mile ahead on the right side; can’t be seen as yet.

3. This is a hay meadow, cut down in the fall but will be as high as the lone surviving stalk in the foreground in a few months after it warms up. This is where the deer come out in the mornings to feed as they remain close enough to the safety of the trees. Just beyond that stand of trees, looking eastward, is Interstate 45; close enough to hear the traffic going but out of view.

4. Looking back you can just make out the faint glow of the red light at FM 1960 through the mist. I love the curve of the rear fender in the mirror as it reflects the power lines from off to the side. You can also see one of the older farm houses in this picture with its barbed wire fence along the edge of the drainage ditch. You can also see beads of condensation on the top edge of the mirror.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Some Interesting Reads January 26 2008

I was up early going over the news of the day and catching up with some of my regular blogs. I noticed there was a robbery that took place a couple of blocks from where I did a locksmith job yesterday half an hour before I showed up; glad I wasn’t there at 3:30pm to hear the excitement. I guess the fire truck that went by me was a first responder since both the suspect and the store owner exchanged gun fire and both went to the hospital. My locksmith job wasn’t without bloodshed either; one of the owners dogs got loose while I was fitting a key for his 2001 Mustang and nipped my arm before the beast could be restrained.

Moving along, there were some articles, I’ll link to Rhymes With Right’s version, to remind us of what happened on This Day in History, a reference to Bill Clinton’s denial of having sex with Monica in front of the entire nation. Hillary stood beside him the entire time knowing the truth and so she is just as culpable for having lied to the American public; or is that pubic?

Never Yet Melted continues the open book education on Hillary, or as he put it, Hillary Peron. There’s a quote in there from conservative Andrew Sullivan:

“Wow. A proud defense of nepotism over feminism. Or rather, as is the Clintons’ wont, a total conflation of feminism with nepotism. I remember similar
Clintonian feminists in the 1990s trashing, smearing and sliming women who dared to complain about the sexual harassment and abuse of women that Bill Clinton - with his wife’s full knowledge - engaged in for years. This couple really do corrupt everything they touch.”

David at Third World County, not Country, explained about the frenzy to ward off a recession by our faithful government, “Mugger” Plegdes: Will Give Money Back. There was a comment left by “KentC” to yet a different article on Wayne’s Dirty Lab which explained the story of the Highwayman; not so different now is it?

While visiting Wayne’s Dirty Lab this morning Col. Hogan did a nice job of shooting down the environmental whacko movement; you’d think with as many mortal wounds as that group has sustained they stay down and hold up the white flag. There’s a really good link to an article written by Michael Crichton, Environmentalism as Religion, which should be a must read for anyone trying to understand why reason doesn’t work with these whackos. Just lie there and wave the white flag, the ambulance is on the way; make that the funeral wagon.

Stephen at Fearless Philosophy For Free Minds has a piece that should scare the bejebbers out of you, Free Market Organs; all about the idea that once you’re dead the body that you thought belonged to you actually belongs to the government. There are so many issues worthy of serious debate; however, rather than rewrite my concerns I would instead point you to a piece of fiction in short story form; I called it,
The Organ Donor Program.

On the lighter side and guaranteed to draw a smile, Brad the Unrepentant Individual tells about his wife having car trouble, She’s no mechanic, folks. So, the car only heats up during acceleration; but cools off just as quickly?

Last on this list of interesting stuff to be aware of came via email, thanks to Darlene even though she was sending this to Lucy; the facts have been verified. …And I thought the Republican candidates were a sad representation of conservatism with Fred Thompson dropping from sight; look what the Democrats have to pick from, Hillary Peron or Sheik Hussein Obama.

Who is Barack Obama?

Very interesting and something that should be considered in your choice.

If you do not ever forward anything else, please forward this to all your contacts...this is very scary to think of what lies ahead of us here in our own United States...better heed this and pray about it and share it. We checked this out on "". It is factual. Check for yourself.

Who is Barack Obama?

Probable U. S. presidential candidate, Barack Hussein Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, to Barack Hussein Obama, Sr., a black MUSLIM from Nyango ma-Kogel, Kenya and Ann Dunham, a white ATHEIST from Wichita, Kansas.

Obama's parents met at the University of Hawaii. When Obama was two years old, his parents divorced. His father returned to Kenya.

His mother then married Lolo Soetoro, a RADICAL Muslim from Indonesia.

When Obama was 6 years old, the family relocated to Indonesia. Obama attended a MUSLIM school in Jakarta. He also spent two years in a Catholic school.

Obama takes great care to conceal the fact that he is a Muslim. He is quick to point out that, "He was once a Muslim, but that he also attended Catholic school." Obama's political handlers are attempting to make it appear that he is not a radical.

Obama's introduction to Islam came via his father, and this influence was temporary at best. In reality, the senior Obama returned to Kenya soon after
the divorce, and never again had any direct influence over his son's education.
Lolo Soetoro, the second husband of Obama's mother, Ann Dunham, introduced his stepson to Islam.

Obama was enrolled in a Wahabi school in Jakarta. Wahabism is the RADICAL teaching that is followed by the Muslim terrorists who are now waging Jihad against the western world.Since it is politically expedient to be a CHRISTIAN when seeking major public office in the United States, Barack Hussein Obama has joined the United Church of Christ in an attempt to downplay his Muslim background.

ALSO, keep in mind that when he was sworn into office he DID NOT use the Holy Bible, but instead the Koran.

Barack Hussein Obama will NOT recite the Pledge of Allegiance nor will he show any reverence for our flag.

While others place their hands over their hearts, Obama turns his back to
the flag and slouches.

Let us all remain alert concerning Obama's expected presidential candidacy.The Muslims have said they plan on destroying the US from the inside out, what better way to start than at the highest level - through the President of the United States, one of their own!!!!

Please forward to everyone you know. Would you want this man leading our country?...... NOT ME!!!

Note from Marshall - The pastor of Obama's church in Chicago is a black separatist.

Also, Obama is the same guy who said that nuclear weapons "are off the table"
concerning the Middle East. In other words, he would refuse to the the firepower at his command. HE IS UNFIT TO LEAD!

That should make your weekend reading enlightening and enjoyable once you get through puking and clean up the mess. See you at church…

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Who’s Behind the Mask?

I got an email this morning pointing the way of enlightenment; an article produced to “prove” that Bush lied regarding the facts in order to get the United States of America into a war with Iraq. I read the article and then did some research; I wanted to find out who these folks were, these folks who were hiding behind the mask of non partisan investigational journalism.

“A study by two nonprofit journalism organizations found that President Bush and top administration officials issued hundreds of false statements about the national security threat from Iraq in the two years following the 2001 terrorist attacks.

The study concluded that the statements "were part of an orchestrated campaign that effectively galvanized public opinion and, in the process, led the nation to war under decidedly false pretenses."

The study was posted Tuesday on the Web site of the Center for Public Integrity, which worked with the Fund for Independence in Journalism.”

So, who are these folks that are called the Center for Public Integrity and the Fund for Independence in Journalism; after all, their title makes them sound as pure as the driven snow and they both claim to be non partisan in nature. I looked them up on Google and followed the smell, pardon that slip, I followed the trail.

The Center for Public Integrity has as Chairperson, Geneva Overholser. I’d heard the name before; but had to do some more investigating to locate where. Overholser is a full fledged left leaning liberal who has written articles for the New York Times and the Boston Globe. Overholser wrote about her negative feelings for President Bush back on April 12, 2001, long before the events of 911.

“For one thing, you're not seeing how unsure of himself George W. Bush appeared to be -- how guarded, how tense, even programmed. Or how uncertain about important issues.”

I’m not the first to pick up on Overholser’s lack of journalistic integrity. Brent Bozell III observed back on February 5, 2004:

“The latest sad anti-Fox outburst came when the National Press Foundation
decided to honor respected Fox news hound Brit Hume with its "Broadcaster of the Year" award, Geneva Overholser, a former ombudsman of the Washington Post and a whining liberal windbag if there ever was one, resigned in protest since she felt Hume and Fox practice "ideologically committed journalism."

How controversial was the Hume selection?

Consider the previous winners of this award: "moderate" Dan Rather, fired New York Times editor Howell Raines, loopy leftist Ted Turner, tiresome PBS propagandist Ken Burns, and NPR bias legend Nina Totenberg, who tried to destroy conservative hero Clarence Thomas with phony-baloney sexual allegations and wished AIDS on conservative hero Jesse Helms in a TV appearance.

No one, including Overholser, resigned over any of them.

But wait, there’s even more phoniness in this take-my-ball-and-go-home protest. In the November 28, 1992 edition of Editor & Publisher magazine, Overholser complained that there wasn’t enough ideologically committed journalism out there. "All too often, a story free of any taint of personal opinion is a story with all the juice sucked out. A big piece of why so much news copy today is boring as hell is this objectivity god," she complained. "Keeping opinion out of the story too often means being a fancy stenographer."”

So much for Overholser’s claim to be non partisan; who else has the mask of non partisan journalism on while in fact desires to promote a specific ideological form of journalism? Mark Reading – Smith is the Senior Research/Editor of The Fund for Independence in Journalism.

“In 2002, he served as an intern at the Center for Public Integrity and conducted research for their national best-selling book, The Buying of the President 2004.”

Isn’t that convenient, I mean; the two non partisan organizations responsible for calling George W. Bush and his administration liars just happen to come from the same bolt of cloth. I guess anyone can call themselves non partisan and parade it around as if it meant something.

In case you might have forgotten some of the “other players” with sound reasons for the United States of America to become involved in an extended war with Iraq, may I refresh your memory?

"Together we must also confront the new hazards of chemical and biological weapons, and the outlaw states, terrorists and organized criminals seeking to acquire them. Saddam Hussein has spent the better part of this decade, and much of his nation's wealth, not on providing for the Iraqi people, but on developing nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and the missiles to deliver them." President Clinton, Jan. 27, 1998.

Perhaps I should quote from a different source, one more reliable or trustworthy.

"He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten times since 1983." Sandy Berger, Clinton National Security Adviser, Feb, 18, 1998.

Perhaps I should quote from a different source, one more reliable or trustworthy; but I already used that line a moment ago, maybe some other influential Democrat will have something worth the effort.

"In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda members.... It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons." Sen. Hillary Clinton (D, NY), Oct. 10, 2002.

I guess the only reason the facts are now called lies is because the wrong person won the presidency, and we all know that the real president should have been Al Gore; he got cheated by Bush and his cronies. All I can say is that around where I come from, if it stinks like it and looks like it you don’t want to step in it.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Image Restoration

One of the challenges of converting old photograph slides into digital images which can be stored in my computer has to do with the fact that the slides had been stored in the garage for several years. The exposure to the humidity, dust and mold has taken a toll on some of the images; some to the point of wondering if it was worth the effort of transferring them at all.

Enter “ArcSoft PhotoImpressions 6”, a softwear program which came with the VuPoint scanner I’ve been using to convert slides to digital images. I’ve been working on restoring a couple of the more relevant photographs, some which showed seemingly irreparable damage. Before scanning these slides I used a spray duster to get rid of accumulated dust; but there were other small embedded spots from mold or mildew which I was afraid would detract from the original image.

I’ll post a before and after on one I call “Wow 1a”, a picture of Lucy when we were visiting my grandmother in Florida back in 1972. I learned how to edit, some might use the term “photoshop”; but that leaves the connotation the original image was altered to make it look better than reality, fact is the image couldn’t come close to the beautiful young woman I took the picture of. I was attempting to restore a photograph by removing spots which had cankered the once near perfect image.

There’s a wonderful short story written by Bob Shaw, Light of Other Days, in which a product called Slow Glass is able to slow the speed of visible light from light speed to a much slower speed. This magical property actually has a scientific name, Bose-Einstein; although the manner used in the story is purely science fiction, or at least it is for now. I’d planned to link to that story but the link wouldn’t work. ( see link in title bar which now works ) The basic idea was to take an image, one that meant a great deal to the viewer, place a piece of slow glass in front of it and make that moment last well beyond normal parameters. The thicker the piece of glass the longer the image would last.

While taking some extra efforts to restore some of my favorite photographs; going over small sections, cloning and grafting specs of colors to replace damaged areas and then repeating the process to include the entire photograph I was able to reconstruct, as best I could, a memory from long ago. In a manner of speaking I had found a piece of slow glass and relived a moment from the past as if it had never faded.

Monday, January 21, 2008

In line with the theme of Martin Luther King Day…

I went back into my files and found another photograph taken via the side view mirror, this time with a spot mirror which reflected the intensity of the skies above while permitting a view of Big Bend Country. If you look very closely, click on the image to enlarge, you can see Lucy in the passenger seat; my companion for time and all eternity.

The idea occurred to me, thinking of how much it means to have love in my life, to include this particular video by Foreigner, “I wanna know what love is”. This reminded me of the Coke commercial video, I want to teach the world to sing”, where a diverse cross section of people can be seen enjoying themselves without regard for race. Isn’t this the way we were intended to get along?

“I Have A Dream” - Revisited

This year we have Monday off to honor Martin Luther King as a national holiday. I’m sure lots of folks look at it as a day where they get paid not to show up at work, or for those working, a chance to pick up time and a half for producing nothing more than they do any other day of the week; except today the employer must fork out extra money because it’s a holiday.

Being a business owner, I don’t share a warm fuzzy feeling for nationally calendared items; holidays means the banks are closed along with the post office and other non essential government services. I’m sure Mark Twain or Will Rogers would’ve had something to say about my use of non essential and government services being placed in the same sentence. Have I painted a bleak enough picture or should I continue by quoting from the lead article in the Houston Chronicle?

“Snaking north to south from the University of Houston to its dead end at Almeda-Genoa Road, the street named for Martin Luther King Jr., transects some of the city's poorest neighborhoods. A third of the residents live below the poverty level, and the harshness of their lives is chronicled by the rap lyrics of South Park Mexican, Scarface and Z-Ro.

Look and you'll see a street lined with a shabby procession of barber shops and grocery stores. Look again, and you'll see mom-and-pop businesses, flourishing churches and even headquarters for national companies. The boulevard is a street of dreams; a street of dreams broken.”

The story had bright moments; however, for the most part the article left the impression that nothing had changed or even gotten worse with crime and drugs keeping poor black neighborhoods living in fear. I believe the mass media is most happy when members of our community are divided, particularly when the chance to play the race card might improve their cash flow.

I don’t think Martin would approve of how the race card is played by such notable figures as Louis Farrakhan, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton as they go about puffing up their own status at the expense of the black community; all under the guise of pointing out racial injustice. There’s a line in the movie, Oh God, where George Burns explained how these folks had been preaching and bringing in big bucks, but had stopped using God’s words a long time ago; if the shoe fits…

“We shall overcome”, remains a faint echo in the background and is not reserved for Black Americans; it being a rally cry for all races to hearken to the voice of our Savior, to obey the commandments and live as brothers. I wrote my thoughts on this a couple of years back, I Have A Dream – The Challenge where I explained the importance of knowing the true and living God in order to appreciate the fact that we are His children.

If only we could learn how to see each other as brothers and sisters, children of our Father in Heaven; then we might learn how to properly serve one another. This is the Dream which Martin Luther King wanted to see fulfilled.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Sorry I’ve Not Written Lately

Years ago while on night shift with the PD and visiting the nurses at the Emergency Room at one of the hospitals in my beat I happened to notice a young nurse writing a letter in a language I was unfamiliar with; turned out to be Czechoslovakian. She didn’t mind my looking over her shoulder as she explained it was a letter to her grandmother.

I pretended to read the first line of her letter as if I understood each word, “Dear Grandmother; Sorry I’ve not written lately…” The young nurse turned around with a huge smile on her face, “So, you can read Czech?”, believing I had translated rather than guessed what was on that first line. I thought it was standard in any language to apologize for having neglected those you care about by not keeping in touch.

I haven’t written much this week other than a few comments here and there to other blogger’s articles. I’ve kept informed on some of the news items, political and other, which normally I’d put in my two cents worth; but for one reason or another lacked the internal spark necessary to do a proper rant.

I posted a picture, one recovered from my collection of old slides taken on a trip to Big Bend back in the early 1970’s. I find a certain fascination looking in the side mirror and taking a picture; a clarity and focus not offered any other way; a little like hind sight and foresight perhaps. This particular photograph shows the road to Boquillas around sunset, the vehicle is my old 1974 Chevy truck which served as our living quarters while on vacation and my locksmith shop the rest of the time.

I found an interesting read this past week, some internal memos from the Clinton White House were made public by Judicial Watch; having verified that which I had suspected for quite some time, those who hold an opposing view to the Clintons will be dealt with through character assassination or any other means which will invalidate and destroy them publicly.

“Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said, “These documents paint a disturbing picture of how Hillary Clinton and the Clinton administration approached health care reform – secrecy, smears, and the misuse of government computers to track private and political information on citizens.” I ask anyone with half a brain to consider what’s at stake as the next presidential election looms in the not too distant future, “Do we really want to turn the White House over to these Machiavellian jackals?”

Col. Hogan at Wayne’s Dirty Lab listed A Few Pithy Quickies, hope you recognize the wisdom shared. I liked the warning from Thomas Jefferson, “A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have.” There was another, “Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner”, but I’ve talked about the Clintons already; no reason to repeat myself.

Dana at Principled Discovery asks the question, “Do we need a parental rights amendment?” and I would hope you consider the information provided prior to blurting out a quick yes or no response. There is a line included in her article which addresses my concerns nearly to the letter, “This issue is a difficult one for me, because I find within myself two opposing view points. I am leery of amendments. Regardless of their wording and intended purpose.”

Jay at Stop the ACLU posted, “Fred Thompson: The Constitution is Not a Living, Breathing Document.”. Once again pointing to the fact that some who claim to be conservatives while running for the Republican presidential nomination sure do seem to be on the wrong ballot. Fred Thompson responded to an interview by one of the other presidential candidates:

“This morning I heard that one of the other candidates commented that the Constitution is a “living, breathing document.”

Frankly, I assumed this came from Senator Clinton or Senator Obama. It is identical to what Al Gore said when he was running for President in 2000, when he said he would look for judges “who understand that our Constitution is a living, breathing document, that it was intended by our founders to be interpreted in the light of the constantly evolving experience of the American people.”

Imagine my surprise when I learned that this statement actually came from my opponent, Governor Huckabee, in an interview with CNN this morning. Now I know Governor Huckabee was talking about amending the Constitution, but I don’t think he understood that he was using code words that support judicial activism.”

Go read the rest of the article and tell me Fred Thompson isn’t the most qualified conservative. The polling numbers don’t seem to match the characters running; I’ll never understand politics, but then again neither does anyone in the polling business. I have a novel idea, when it comes time to vote; pull the lever and then wait until the next day to determine who won.

That should do for now, sorry I took so long getting a new article out for you. I got tired of looking at the stupid Cheshire Cat and had to put something in its place.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Give Them an Inch...

One of the places I like to visit for a good “police” take on things is written by an articulate fellow goes by the moniker, Cerberus. Today’s was a fun read, ”On Contempt for Authority…”, where he pointed to the importance of having a good attitude when dealing with cops and/or judges. I won’t spoil it for you, just go enjoy what’s there and see if you don’t agree.

I’ll chime in now; a chance to share a couple of my own traffic experiences. This is the kind of stuff usually reserved for the police parking lot after gassing up the city ride when officers have a chance to play, “top this”.

A fellow of Middle Eastern heritage was doing a poor job of fleeing, an assumption on my part, as he continued to run stop signs and red lights while I was behind him with my emergency equipment on. When he finally pulled over I noticed several wrecker drivers setting up for a sure thing, having listened to the police frequencies as I explained to my dispatcher what had been going on.

The violator knew he was about to visit the jail house for running from a cop so he starts off apologizing for having driven a car with bad brakes; never would he consider running from a law enforcement officer. I smiled and looked over at the wrecker drivers parked half a block away and I began writing traffic tickets for each and every stop sign and red light he’d run through.

“You’re still going to write me tickets after I explained that my brakes were bad?” He thought his lame excuse would exempt him from the consequences of his actions.

“Yes, Sir; and to show how much I care for your safety and rest of your fellow citizens I’m going to keep you from having to drive an unsafe vehicle.” I nodded in the direction of the wrecker drivers who’d already done their “ritual of the tokens”, a form of drawing straws to see who got the job.

“I think it will be okay if I keep the speed down…” I could hear him sputtering as it dawned on him that he was now a pedestrian.

“I can’t take that chance, knowing your vehicle has bad brakes; what if you had a wreck? I could get sued all because I tried to be nice; no, the car gets towed.”

I offered him a ride to the nearest bus stop; but I don’t think he wanted anything to do with the back seat of my police car. I left him standing on the side of the street several blocks from the nearest telephone; this was before everyone and his brother had a cell phone.

I may have stopped a relative of his downtown, a similar accent; Iraq, Iran or maybe Syria, they all sound the same to me. I observed the vehicle run a red light and, after writing the ticket, the violator tore it up and threw it on the sidewalk. I wrote him a second ticket, littering. He tore it up as well. I explained that he might wish to at least look at the court date in order to avoid my showing up at his door once it became a warrant. I must have had a convincing smirk as he studied my demeanor and was quite certain I would do just that; he picked up the fragments and stuffed them in his shirt pocket.

A month later I was in court for those particular violations; the fellow showed up with his language interpreter and pretended not to speak English. I should point out that during my original “interview” I learned the violator was working on his doctorate in English at the University of St. Thomas; he spoke better English than I did.

I explained this to the prosecutor, one I’d gotten to know over the years, and he told me to “sit back and enjoy the show”. I was able to answer the requirements of law and then listened to the mock third party question and answer session put on by the defendant and his translator. I wondered how long he could keep it up as the prosecutor started to get under his skin with each passing question. It took all of five minutes before the defendant blew up and left a trail of insults, all in perfect English, toward the entire court system, the prosecutor and myself in particular.

The judge was no idiot and had been enjoying the “show”. “I think the court has heard enough…guilty on both charges.” I can’t recall how much the fines were; I was having too much fun doing my Cheshire Cat Grin. Of all the things I miss the most about police work since I retired, those types of interchanges rank high on the list.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

If You Were President

CNN asks for help; maybe they figured out that the rubes they’ve been backing just don’t have what it take, in any case take your best shot.

“The race for the White House is underway -- and the field is wide open. Let's say YOU were going to toss your hat into the ring. What kind of campaign promises would you make? What kind of president would you be? And what are you looking for in a candidate?”

I filled out one of these a long time ago; but my 5th grade teacher didn’t like the fact that a presidential candidate couldn’t spell and took points off; that and the fact that I turned it in late didn’t help. Just getting warmed up, give me a break…

The biggest problem I see with asking the Average American what they want in a president is they have no idea what the job requires. It’s a great job if you don’t mind getting second guessed by a news media with the scruples of a pack of jackals who not only go after whatever scraps you might have; but your family as well. If I wanted to be an open book, willing to have everyone take pot shots at me I’d start a blog; come to think of it I already did. Look out New Hampshire, here I come and I’ve got a bus load of backers from all over to make it look like I’m popular too; okay, so it’s a Ford Windstar van with only four regular followers. Big deal; I don’t hear that applause yet...

Seriously folks, sounds like a stand up lead in, I don’t want the job. I wouldn’t mind being a Supreme Court Justice; a job for life where my word trumps that of all you common folk running around thinking your vote really counts for something. No, give me a seat in one of those leather chairs and a black robe if you please; that’s where the real power lies. I don’t think it’s proper to use the word “lies” in that sentence; gives the wrong impression regarding the quest for truth, justice and the American way. Bada bing!

The American public has the idea their Commander in Chief should be some kind of photogenic movie star first and foremost. Get me some staff writers, plenty of them out there looking for work due to the guild strike. Make it look like I know more about the oil industry than folks who’ve spent an entire career, just so I can convince the public how bad big oil is for making a profit. Let’s not forget how bad oil is for the environment, so rather than become energy dependent let’s continue funding terrorist states, heaven forbid we alter the Lilliputian rules and regulations preventing the drilling, refining and consumption of oil. Make a note, I want all internal combustion engines to get at least 75mpg by the year 2047 or we’ll cut funding. Bada bang!

No more water boarding of prisoners unless they smell really bad. Rim shot!

I sent off for Spanish on CD and it should be here in time for me to learn what Cinco De Mayo means. I ordered that at Casa Ole and they brought me another bowl of chips. I don’t think anyone will mind my flying the Mexican flag next to the Red White and Aqua. Another rim shot if you will… They laughed at that one on the Letterman show; come on now…

That about covers my qualifications for President of these here United States of America. I promise not to cry at coffee shop pep rallies, spend more on a hair cut than I do for a tank of gasoline, pretend I’ll represent all Americans while attending a church which promotes bigotry toward one race and only one race. I’ll bring Change to the White House along with vast experience; just don’t ask me to elaborate. My first act upon raising my hand up to the square will be to put a lien on everything Bill Gates owns and begin redistributing all that excessive wealth to you ninnies. Vote For ME! Bada boom!

Monday, January 07, 2008

Crank Up the Volume

I wanted to relax a bit as I read a few articles, left comments here and there and generally wound down for the evening. I put my iTunes on in the background, found a favorite selection of Bach as performed by Ton Koopman and cranked up the volume; first having isolated myself from the rest of the house with a good set of headphones. I’m sure the decibel range is well within the danger zone for persons wearing headphones; truth be known, I’d prefer to be sitting in the den with my surround sound speakers hooked up to our really awesome stereo watching the walls bend as the music flowed through at levels which might cause seismic tremors as far away as California.

I find order in the universe through the music of Bach, deep trembling melodic structure coupled with dexterity and creative harmony. Some poor freshman is sitting in Music Appreciation 101 wondering how much longer he/she must endure and here I sit in my easy chair wallowing hip deep in Bach.

Here are some interesting reads, places I found informed and thoughtfully gathered facts or discussions worth pondering. Dana over at Principled Discovery, not her “fluff blog” site; the other site where she gets heavily into Home Schooling and Parental Rights. She has a good discussion going about defining things like education, home schooling and vouchers.

Tony who writes A Red Mind in a Blue State has a political Geiger Counter of sorts, one which might be helpful for those yet to align themselves with any particular presidential candidate. The article is called, Who Do You Really Like? I already knew my leanings were toward Hunter or Thompson; this information was verified by the test offered.

Jay at Stop the ACLU posted regarding Rush Limbaugh’s “quiet” and as yet unconfirmed support for Thompson with a video/article, …If You Are Looking For A True Conservative….

The kinks in my neck are getting a good work out now; oh that feels soooo good, thirty minutes into this wonderful keyboard smorgasbord by Koopman at the Orgelwerke. There is something about the grandeur of mankind which can only be brought out by a cathedral organ. Is it any wonder the Mormons built their Tabernacle in the middle of the Wasatch Mountains after being evicted from Missouri under threat of death and made sure to include such a magnificent instrument? Heaven and Earth can be combined with the help of a good organist.

A Billion

I got this in my email, think it’s been around the horn a couple of times; all the same it should make you sit up and take notice. Thanks to my friend Bricks Corbin for sharing it.

The next time you hear a politician use the word 'billion' in a casual manner, think about whether you want the 'politicians' spending YOUR tax money. A billion is a difficult number to comprehend, but one advertising agency did a good job of putting that figure into some perspective in one of its releases.

A. A billion seconds ago it was 1959.
B. A billion minutes ago Jesus was alive.
C. A billion hours ago our ancestors were living in the Stone Age.
D. A billion days ago no-one walked on the earth on two feet.
E. A billion dollars ago was only 8 hours and 20 minutes, at the rate our government spends it.

While this thought is still fresh in our brain, let's take a look at New Orleans. It's amazing what you can learn with some simple division. Louisiana Senator, Mary Landrieu (D), is presently asking Congress for $250 BILLION to rebuild New Orleans. Interesting number, what does it mean?

A. Well, if you are one of 484,674 residents of New Orleans (every man, woman, child), you each get $516,528.
B. Or, if you have one of the 188,251 homes in New Orleans, your home gets $1,329,787.
C. Or, if you are a family of four, your family gets $2,066,012.

Washington, D.C. HELLO!!! ... Are all your calculators broken??

Tax his land, Tax his wage, Tax his bed in which he lays. Tax his tractor, Tax his mule, Teach him taxes is the rule. Tax his cow, Tax his goat, Tax his pants, Tax his coat. Tax his ties, Tax his shirts, Tax his work, Tax his dirt. Tax his tobacco, Tax his drink, Tax him if he tries to think. Tax his booze, Tax his beers, If he cries, Tax his tears. Tax his bills, Tax his gas, Tax his notes, Tax his cash. Tax him good and let him know that after taxes, he has no dough. If he hollers, Taxhim more, Tax him until he's good and sore. Tax his coffin, Tax his grave, Tax the sod in which he lays. Put these words upon his tomb, ‘Taxes drove me to my doom!’ And when he's gone, we won't relax, we'll still be after the inheritance TAX!

Accounts Receivable Tax
Building Permit Tax
CDL License Tax
Cigarette Tax
Corporate Income Tax
Dog License Tax
Federal Income
Tax Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)
Fishing License Tax
Food License Tax
Fuel Permit Tax
Gasoline Tax
Hunting License Tax
Inheritance Tax
Inventory Tax
IRS Interest Charges (tax on top of tax),
IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax),
Liquor Tax,
Luxury Tax,
Marriage License Tax,
Medicare Tax,
Property Tax,
Real Estate Tax,
Service charge taxes,
Social Security Tax,
Road Usage Tax (Truckers),
Sales Taxes,
Recreational Vehicle Tax,
School Tax,
State Income Tax,
State Unemployment Tax (SUTA),
Telephone Federal Excise Tax,
Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax,
Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Tax,
Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax,
Telephone Recurring and Non-recurring Charges Tax,
Telephone State and Local Tax,
Telephone Usage Charge Tax,
Utility Tax,
Vehicle License Registration Tax,
Vehicle Sales Tax,
Watercraft Registration Tax,
Well Permit Tax,
Workers Compensation Tax.

STILL THINK THIS IS FUNNY? Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago, when our nation was the most prosperous in the world. We had absolutely no national debt, had the largest middle class in the world, and Mom stayed home to raise the kids. What happened? Can you spell 'politicians!', and I still have to 'press 1' for English. I hope this goes around THE USA at least 100 times. What the hell happened?????

The list does not include taxes disguised or called something else such as occupational license fees, registration fees to include property owner association assessments for enforcing deed restrictions, garbage removal and other community requirements such as street lighting, sewer and general maintenance, vehicle inspection add on fees which are nothing more than wealth redistribution taxes. Is there any doubt in your mind what direction we are headed?

Finger Pointing Gone Berserk

I read on CNN’s website where Benazir Bhutto's assassination was her own fault; this line from Pakistan’s President Musharraf begs to be filed under “Go figure”.

“For standing up outside the car, I think it was she to blame alone -- nobody else. Responsibility is hers," the former general told CBS' "60 Minutes" on Sunday.”

This comes right out of the same play book which states the World Trade Center victims brought on the attack which killed them. Serves them right for being capitalists flaunting their wealth as some would have us believe. I think this is one of the defense strategies, or “strategories” if you listen to the Limbaugh radio talk show, taught to up and coming attorneys while attending law school on the left coast.

Anyone standing for something worthwhile is guilty of their own demise because we live in a world where kooks and terrorists have gained such prominence as to alter rational thinking. The main stream media points to suicide bombings which take out multiple victims rather than a more accurate description of murder; too harsh a word which might bring the masses to their senses and realize that we really are at war with forces of evil who will do anything to bring civilization to its knees.

Sorry Ms. Bhutto, Dan Rather has undeniable faxed evidence showing where you and George W. Bush purchased the weapon and handed it to the terrorists who shot you down. Dan also has a back up fax showing where you neglected to respond to the vehicle call back notice to repair a faulty sun roof. Give it up, just admit you screwed up and get over it.

Sunday, January 06, 2008


We are reminded to show gratitude for what we have been given; this time of year especially as we express thanks for gifts given, either vocally or by way of a note which conveys to the giver some form of acknowledgment. As a child I was taught to write a short letter, lessons to be learned on how to properly thank those who’d spent time and money in my behalf; a formality which has for the most part fallen by the way side as a phone call or email seem to have taken its place.

Ingratitude, while closely associated, being the opposite of gratitude, is largely overlooked since very little thought goes into such a mindset. Things which were taken for granted when received make little if any impression on those individuals and no such acknowledgement is rendered the giver. Instead of making an issue out of the lack of gratitude, the gift giver simply severs the connection or reduces the amount given the next time; having come to the conclusion that the gifts hold little if any value as indicated.

Today’s Sunday School lesson was an introduction into this year’s course of study, The Book of Mormon. We finished up the New Testament which was last years focus and the year before that was the Old Testament. Every four years the cycle repeats; I think the other year is Church History, so as to complete the set. We were asked to turn in our scriptures to Doctrine and Covenants 84:54:

“And your minds in times past have been darkened because of unbelief, and because you have treated lightly the things you have received.”

The text was aimed at those who hadn’t bothered to give a proper amount of attention to that gift which had been held aside for centuries, a book of wisdom intended to act as a second witness to the divinity of Jesus Christ. The information which can be found through a prayerful and ponderous course of study often times is unopened or treated in such a casual manner as to render it a thing of naught.

Recognizing the intended meaning of that particular line as it pertains to the Book of Mormon, I couldn’t help thinking of other “things” which have been received and treated lightly. Family members, job opportunities and simple daily blessings come to mind; but especially close family members.

How guilty are we all, at least to some degree, of treating lightly our most precious gifts? Do we acknowledge our eternal mate in such a manner as would have them desire our company all over again or do we toss them in the corner like a pair of old blue jeans; used past our desire or interest? Our children, the apple of our eye when first we held them in our arms; are they ever in our hearts and minds? I fear too many of us have made poor choices when applying the limited amount of time here in mortality, spending precious moments on that which has no value beyond the grave while treating lightly that which is most important in the eternities.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Things Don’t Just Happen

I’ve been enjoying an abundance of presentations on the Discovery Channel, the History Channel and others showing how the Universe, the Solar System and Earth were formed or came about. Much of the information is based in theoretical speculation developed after careful analysis by our finest scientists through countless hours studying facts gathered by specialized equipment. I don’t claim to understand most of the physics, calculus or other scientific data which supports the theories presented; however I am willing to accept their findings with the stipulation that for all their accumulated details these findings all remain in the realm of theory and supposition rather than cold hard proven facts.

The Big Bang Theory is the starting point for most of the scientific community; an event which spontaneously explains how “it” all got started, a finite explanation which requires considerable bending of the known rules of math and physics from what I was able to gather. I don’t believe, not for even a miniscule portion of a nanosecond that anyone has the ability to explain the “beginning”; at least not “scientifically”. Theorize all day long something as grand and omnipresent as the Creation; however, once all that matter was released, galaxies with billions of stars expanding at phenomenal speeds in all directions, dark matter, quarks and anything else out there; the scientific data became measurable and to some degree, even predictable. I can thank these fine folks for the efforts used to illuminate that which truly is science; as long as they remember which is science and which is speculation.

Our own Solar System’s beginnings have been explained and shown as naturally occurring phenomenon of randomly gathered matter floating about in space which happened to come together, a fly speck among the universe around it; its formation explained as a natural occurrence of spontaneity happening without a dedicated plan or direction from a supposed Intelligent Designer. Little “red flags” are raised in my mind while entertaining these scientific theories, pieces which seemingly fit, or nearly fit and yet the gaps between what is known and what is supposed fails to satisfy my curiosity.

I own a magnificently engineered mechanical device, an antique pocket watch ( click on the picture to enlarge ). I marvel at the creative design, the finished product which reflects the intricate completion of thought by the maker of the watch; a means of measuring time precisely while at the same time provide an art form worthy of equal appreciation. My watch didn’t spontaneously manifest itself on my desk; the result of natural forces at work in the cosmos, it was created after careful thought and consideration of purpose.

John Pratt, an astronomer who enjoys comparing ancient calendars and making various computations based on observable astronomical events wrote an interesting article, The Planets Testify of the Creator, where he showed our Solar System as one immense time piece; a clock if you will. In a section called, A Miniature of History he explained:

“It turns out that 7,007 days is exactly seven periods of 1,001 days, each of which is in turn divisible by 7 (1,001 = 7 x 143). Evidence for design is suggested when the intervals divide exactly into units which the Lord seems to prefer. For example, we have been told the temporal existence of the earth will be 7,000 years, or 7 days of the Lord (D&C 77:6). We also know that the Lord divides periods into 12 parts, such as 12 hours in a day (John 11:9) or 12 months in a year. We know that all of history is also divided into 12 "hours" and that we are living in the eleventh hour (Mat. 20:6-9, D.C. 33:3).
Thus, the earth's temporal history of 7,000 years is divided into 12 periods, just as are the cycles of Venus.

This is the kind of order which argues most strongly that the solar system was created to be a precise timepiece. The atheist can continue to claim that all such alignments are chance coincidences, but such a posture becomes extremely unlikely, and much harder to believe than simply accepting that it was designed.”

Then again, some folks might suggest that my antique pocket watch could have been put together by a chimpanzee were there an infinite number of parts available and time enough to randomly assemble them; kind of like the room full of typewriters and monkeys, with enough time, could create Shakespeare’s, Romeo and Juliet. As John Pratt pointed out, “such a posture becomes extremely unlikely, and much harder to believe than simply accepting that it was designed”.

There are some who claim an artistic approach to the Creation, that everything happened with spontaneity. I like the way that word comes off the tongue, spontaneity; a one word poem which makes the spirit soar; however, its meaning becomes problematic with each passing dictionary.

1. proceeding from natural feeling or native tendency without external constraint.
2. arising from a momentary impulse
3. and directed internally ( self acting )
4. produced without being planted or without human labor ( indigenous )
5. developing or occurring without apparent external influence, force, cause, or treatment
6. not apparently contrived or manipulated ( natural )

If those clear and concise definitions don’t blur the words meaning, try some of these on for size; lifted from various “gifted individuals”.

“Spontaneity is the quality of being able to do something just because you feel like it at the moment, of trusting your instincts, of taking yourself by surprise and snatching from the clutches of your well-organized routine a bit of unscheduled pleasure.”

“Spontaneous’ means occurring as a result of unplanned impulse or without any apparent external cause. It is derived from Latin ‘sponte’ i.e. of one’s accord. It is instinctive and unpremeditated. It is a feeling that arises without any thought behind it. It is completely natural and does not involve any sort of planning. It can also be interpreted as an reflex action. It is self generated and it happens without any external reason. It is sudden and not manipulated. For example, “The hypnotist directs the man to spontaneously change his behaviour” or “Buying a car was a spontaneous act which he regretted later.” The word ‘spontaneous’ applies to what comes naturally rather than resulting from a forethought or promoting. Synonyms for ‘spontaneous’ are impulsive, involuntary, automatic. These adjectives mean acting or reacting without giving a conscious thought. ‘Spontaneous’ in a sentence: “We are all born charming, fresh and spontaneous and must be civilized before we participate in society”

“Spontaneity is the ability to act without thinking. It is the raw immediacy of action.”

Apparently I’m not alone in thinking the word Spontaneity’s meaning may be unclear, Raymond S. Ochs, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, St. John's University in a paper entitled, Thermodynamics and Spontaneity, came to the following conclusion after observing derivations obtained by various students in Chemistry who had applied the laws of Thermodynamics, especially as they relate to biology and biochemistry:

“Mathematics is hard, not because of the actual mathematical part of the problem but because of the semantics.”

I keep coming back to that word Spontaneity as I ponder the information being force fed regarding the origins of our Universe. The problem lies in semantics, the use of words which mean different things to each who hears or uses the language. If you listen to some folks they tell you the Earth, the Solar System and the Universe were the result of Spontaneity; the Big Bang. It’s convenient to toss away common sense and the laws of physics in order to prove a theory which cannot be proven while at the same time discount the possibility of a Creator, one who carefully organized and used matter and energy according to existing laws in order to provide an environment capable of sustaining all that was “created”.

David wrote in Psalms 53:1,2; “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: there is none that doeth good. God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek God.” Sounds about the same as John Pratt’s line, “…The atheist can continue to claim that all such alignments are chance coincidences, but such a posture becomes extremely unlikely, and much harder to believe than simply accepting that it was designed”.

I prefer to believe, oh, there’s that faith based word which automatically discounts any discourse which follows; I prefer to believe in an infinitely intelligent Father in Heaven whose knowledge of the laws of science far exceed our limited understanding, a Creator who thought long and hard regarding the necessary environment in which to have His children demonstrate their desires to be obedient to Him. I believe the Earth, the Solar System and the Universe around them are His Creation; prove me wrong if you can.

Edited 1/08/08

I've linked with in order to share the photograph of my pocket watch with a larger audience. I've also added them to my sidebar to facilitate visiting their site.

Edited 1/12/08

On behalf of the editing team here at Photography Laureates, we would like to congratulate you for being selected for publication as part of our highly acclaimed photography anthology. As such, you are a finalist for the $6500 prize. As a laureate and talented photographer, you will have access to several networking opportunities aimed at exposing you to the photography community.

Your photograph was selected out of hundreds of competing entries and you will be published along with other talented photographers. Kyrta Reeve and John Warton, our 2 editors, have reviewed your photograph Pocket Watch Detail 01 and have selected it for its structure and composition:

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

When a Mouse was a Mouse

I grabbed this picture out from the past, Lucy with her high school friend Phyllis standing behind a table full of goodies on New Year’s Eve. We’d invited a few folks over to have a quiet evening to bring in the New Year after which we planned to jump in our Triumph GT-6 sports car and drive to San Antonio to watch the sun rise, grab breakfast on the River Walk and drive back home; young kids at heart with no reason not to.

The party was quietly flat until one of the cats brought a mouse from outside to play with under the table. Lucy was mortified watching what she thought would be the destruction of our festivities; instead everyone bolted upright and took in the event. The mouse proved that versatility along with sheer panic will prolong life. The chase sequence didn’t last that long; but everyone had a great time cheering for the mouse to win.

The other pictures were taken from the 5th floor Men’s Jail where I worked a short rotation in 1972. The parking lot where my green Triumph GT-6 sat once belonged to the Dr Pepper bottling facility and served as part of the employee parking area across the street from 61 Reisner where the Houston Police headquarters building was located.

The uniform of that period was a slate blue long sleeve shirt with silver detachable buttons. Lucy would “prepare” my shirts each afternoon before I got ready for work. These shirts were custom fitted and had to be dry cleaned but looked great in spite of their being rather warm to wear year round. About a year later the Department switched to the light blue polyester and cotton uniform shirts.