Friday, December 28, 2007

Goodbye Hollywood, Stop Thief!, -and- Hot Air

Goodbye Hollywood - Wal-Mart abandons online movie downloads
Stop Thief! - grocery worker fired for nabbing shoplifter
Hot Air - French scientist calls Gore a "crook"

On this day in history: December 28, 1991 - Jack Ruby's pistol, used to kill Lee Harvey Oswald, sells at auction at Christie's for $220,000.

Born on this day in history: December 28, 1954 - Denzel Washington (1954– )
Born in Mount Vernon, New York, actor Denzel Washington appeared in off-Broadway productions and TV movies, gaining a starring role in TV drama "St. Elsewhere" (1982?8). He went on to films such as "Malcolm X" (1992), and won Oscars for "Glory" (1989) and "Training Day" (2001).

Scripture of the Day: "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28)

Video of the Day: The Man of Another 100 Voices - submitted by Amber

This is the smallest baby of 2007! Actually, it is the smallest baby ever born! Actually, it is smaller than Tom Thumb was at birth! Click to enlarge.

Recommended Sites:
Nikon Photographer Forum - a free forum for photography enthusiasts
Corning California Message Board - a free message board for Corning
Olive Hut Blog - specials, olive news, recipes, and more

Happy New Year! I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a very Happy New Year! The next blog entry will be Wednesday, January 2, 2008. Until that time, have a great New Year's weekend, New Year's Eve, and New Year's Day!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Forget Paris, Don't Try This at Home, -and- Home Alone

Forget Paris - Grandpa Hilton to donate 97% of his wealth to charity
Don't Try This at Home - skydivers hope to land without parachute
Home Alone - 9 kids left alone for nearly a week

On this day in history: December 27, 1992 - Harry Connick, Jr., was arrested at Kennedy Airport in New York City after telling authorities he had an unloaded 9mm pistol in his luggage, which he said he had forgotten that his sister had given to him.

Born on this day in history: December 27, 1904 - Marlene Dietrich (1904–92)Born in Berlin, Germany, actress and singer Marlene Dietrich gained international attention in The Blue Angel (1930) and moved to Hollywood with its director, Josef von Sternberg, who starred her in six films that emphasized her persona of enigmatic sexuality. Resisting requests by the Nazis to return to Germany, she became a U.S. citizen in 1939.

Scripture of the Day: "Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits." (Psalm 103:1-2)

Video of the Day: Disappearing Car Door - submitted by Jay

That bites! I encountered this scene as I passed the pond behind my office this morning. Ouch! Click to enlarge.

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Nikon Photographer Forum - a free forum for photography enthusiasts
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Olive Hut Blog - specials, olive news, recipes, and more

32 Degrees! What a difference 4 degrees makes! While it is still very cold, it seems much warmer than yesterday—particularly since there was no frost on Mr. Nitro this morning. When I saw the frost on him yesterday, I shivered. When I saw "28 degrees" on his temperature display, I shivered more! This morning, it is certainly cold, and I was eager to get to the office and engage the heating system. It does not seem, however, nearly as cold as it seemed yesterday morning at the same time. In actuality, I seriously doubt that one can physically differentiate between 28 and 32 degrees, but psychologically, one can certainly imagine he is colder!

Interestingly, Mr. Nitro has a remote-start feature, which allows me to start him from up to 300 feet away. This would be great on these cold mornings: I could simply start Mr. Nitro from the comfort of our house and enter him once he is warm inside. The problem is I never think to set the heater controls when I park him upon arriving home in the afternoon. Obviously, without having the heater controls set properly, there is no value in starting him remotely. Perhaps a Post-it note, applied to Mr. Nitro's dash, would serve as a reminder for me to do this.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Praise God!, Watch This!, -and- The Kids Are Alright

Praise God! - 80% of Americans say they are Christians
Watch This! - man arrested after shooting self with nail gun
The Kids Are Alright - 11-year-old painter shares earnings with sick

On this day in history: December 26, 1996 - The body of Jon Benet Ramsey is found beaten and strangled in the Boulder, Colorado home of John and Patsy Ramsey. The case remains unsolved.

Born on this day in history: December 26, 1940 - Phil Spector (1940– ) Born in New York City, record producer and songwriter Phil Spector produced 20 hits in three years, working with artists like the Crystals and the Righteous Brothers. Spector is credited with creating a trademark "wall of sound."

Scripture of the Day: "Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: 'Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.'" (Luke 2:28-32)

Video of the Day: How to Break up a Cat Fight - submitted by Phillip

Here is a photograph of the bridge over the Sacramento River near here. The bridge was filled with shoppers on their way to the mall to take advantage of after-Christmas sales. Click to enlarge.

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BRRR! I became cold when I left the warmth of our house and walked to Mr. Nitro. I became colder yet when I saw the ice covering Mr. Nitro. When I boarded him, started his engine, and saw "28 degrees" displayed on his external temperature display, however, I very nearly returned to the house! Good sense prevailed, however, and here I am!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Heat of the Moment, Not Welcome, -and- Dive!

Heat of the Moment - over 400 prominent scientists dispute global warming
Not Welcome - couple forced to take in criminal lodger
Dive! - cocaine kingpins have submarine fleet

On this day in history: December 21, 1970 - President Nixon meets with prescription drug addict Elvis Presley at the White House to discuss The King's becoming a special drug enforcement agent. He presents Nixon with a pistol, and receives a special DEA badge in return.

Born on this day in history: December 21, 1940 - Frank Zappa (1940–93) Avant-garde rock musician and composer, born in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. He played guitar in a high school blues and rock band and briefly studied music theory in college. He led the satirical "underground" band The Mothers of Invention (with varying line-ups) in the 1960s and 1970s, making inventive and often scabrous albums such as "Freak-Out!" (1966) and "We're Only in it for the Money" (1967, a parody of the Beatles' Sergeant Pepper album). Influential solo albums included "Lumpy Gravy" (1968) and "Hot Rats" (1969); and from various new groupings of Mothers came "Just Another Band from LA," "Over-Nite Sensation," and more. He created and scored the film "200 Motels," and composed serious music, performed by Zubin Mehta, Pierre Boulez, and others.

Scripture of the Day: "While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn." (Luke 2:6-7)

Video of the Day: Creation - submitted by Laura

Here is an amazing photograph of the Orion Nebula, taken with a Nikon D3, at ISO 1600 for 70 seconds! Click to enlarge.

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Merry Christmas! I wish everyone a glorious Christmas! May your Christmas be filled with family, friends, joy, and happiness. Happy Birthday, Jesus!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Driving Force, Animal Kingdom, -and- Don't Call

Driving Force - Oregon to require proof of residency for driver's licenses
Animal Kingdom - monkeys match humans in arithmetic tests
Don't Call! - UK drivers who use cell phones face jail time

On this day in history: December 20, 1971 - Talk show host Larry King, host of CNN's "Larry King Live," arrested in Miami on charges of grand larceny.

Born on this day in history: December 20, 1923 - Nadine Gordimer (1923– ) Born in Springs, South Africa, writer Nadine Gordimer takes on issues of race and repression in such works as "The Conservationist" (1974) and "The Pickup" (2001). She won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1991.

Scripture of the Day: "In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child." (Luke 2:1, 4-5)

Video of the Day 1: Louie Giglio - Universe Comprehension

Video of the Day 2: Louie Giglio - Laminin

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The Wal-Mart Driver: A Wal-Mart driver was passing a rest stop and saw a little girl of about 5 years of age, standing alone near the entrance to the rest stop. The driver turned his truck around at the next exit and returned to the rest stop. He stopped, exited his truck, and walked to the little girl.

"Are you all alone, little girl?" he asked.

"I can't talk to strangers," she replied.

"Where are your parents?" he asked.

"I can't talk to strangers," she replied.

"Do your parents know you're here all alone?" he asked.

"I can't talk to strangers," she replied.

"Do you know your parents' phone number?" he asked.

The little girl removed her right shoe and held it up so the Wal-Mart driver could read the telephone number written inside the shoe. He called the telephone number, and the little girl's mother answered. The telephone number was the woman's cell phone number, and she and her husband and their other two daughters were 30 miles away, unaware that one of the girls had gotten out of the car while they were at the rest stop. The family quickly returned to the rest stop, reunited with the little girl, and thanked the Wal-Mart driver.

This is a true story.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Can You Hear Me Now?, The Kids Are Alright, -and- White Wedding

Can You Hear Me Now? - new device allows you to "speak" through your ear
The Kids Are Alright - referee owes life to quick-thinking teen
White Wedding - bride to tie knot in toilet-paper dress

On this day in history: December 19, 1991 - Yankee's pitcher Steve Howe arrested for criminal possession of cocaine. It's merely one of NINE TIMES this has happened (and seven suspensions, plus one drunk-driving arrest.)

Born on this day in history: December 19, 1980 - Jake Gyllenhaal (1980-)
Born in Los Angeles, Jake Gyllenhaal has been acting since childhood, and got noticed in "The Good Girl" (2002). Gyllenhaal has also appeared on the London stage.

Scripture of the Day: "And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven." (Luke 1:76-78)

Video of the Day: Louie Giglio - Universe

Nikon Photographer Forum - a free forum for photography enthusiasts
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Tony Chachere's: I used Tony Chachere's More Spice Seasoning for the first time last evening. I used it to season a rice dish and as a dry rub for some salmon fillets. When sprinkled onto my hand and tasted, the seasoning seemed very salty and very hot. When it is used as a seasoning, however, the heat and saltiness dissipate, and I found that it was easy to use without fear of over-seasoning.

I made a rice dish with 1 1/2 cups of brown rice, six large white mushrooms (quartered), two celery stalks (sliced), green beans (whole), a head of garlic (peeled, cloves left whole), two chicken bouillon cubes, four cups of water, and a liberal seasoning with Tony Chachere's More Spice Seasoning. I dry rubbed two lovely salmon fillets with Tony Chachere's More Spice Seasoning and grilled atop aluminum foil on the indoor grill—spraying the aluminum foil with cooking spray prior to placing the salmon, skin-side down, on the foil. I covered the grill with a tent made from aluminum foil and grilled, without turning, until the fillets were done. I toasted some garlic bread in the conventional oven. At the table, Laura used teriyaki sauce as a condiment for her salmon, and I used wasabi paste. It was a delightful meal.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Animal Kingdom, Just Say "No!," -and- Call Me!

Animal Kingdom - giant rat species found in Papua forest
Just Say "No!" - "gay" plans to target 2-year-olds
Call Me! - cell phone spending surpasses land lines

On this day in history: December 18, 1940 - Hitler formulates plans, issued today as Directive 21, for the invasion of Russia. The intent of Operation Barbarossa was to destroy the Red Army. Fighting on two fronts eventually caused Germany's defeat.

Born on this day in history: December 18, 1963 - Brad Pitt (1963-) Born in Shawnee, Oklahoma, actor Brad Pitt got noticed in a bit part in "Thelma and Louise" (1991). Stardom followed with later films, including "Interview with the Vampire," alongside Tom Cruise, and thriller, "Seven." Pitt's personal life has been widely publicized, including divorce from actress Jennifer Anniston and romance with actress Angelina Jolie.

Scripture of the Day: "Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come and has redeemed his people. He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David (as he said through his holy prophets of long ago)," (Luke 1:68-70)

Video of the Day: Louie Giglio - Stars

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Nikon Photographer Forum - a free forum for photography enthusiasts
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Today is a SHOE DAY! I rarely wear shoes. Throughout the warm months, I wear sandals. When it becomes uncomfortably cold, I wear thick, white cotton socks with my sandals. Today, however, it is raining! Large puddles dot the landscape, the rain that fell throughout the night continues, the sun is hiding, the wind is howling, and no birds are singing. It is, indeed, a SHOE DAY!

Tony Chachere's: Our order from Tony Chachere's Famous Creole Cuisine arrived yesterday. We got two 14-ounce containers of Tony Chachere's More Spice Seasoning and two large bottles of Tony Chachere's Cajun Power Garlic Sauce. I am eager to put these items to use. I have heard wonderful things about Tony Chachere's spices and sauces and will soon determine if all that I have heard is true. I shook some of the seasoning into my hand and found it delightfully spicy and tasty. I am eager to use it on some chicken, pork, or beef!

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Check's in the Mail, Offline, -and- Brave New Schools

The Check's in the Mail - thousands of postal workers not paid due to glitch
Offline - Iran shuts down 24 Internet cafés
Brave New Schools - teens punished over sex-offender alert

On this day in history: December 17, 1969 - The US Air Force terminates Project Blue Book, which investigated reports of UFO's.

Born on this day in history: December 17, 1929 - William L Safire (1929– )Journalist, born in New York City, New York, USA. A former speechwriter and public relations writer, he also took on a weekly column devoted to verbal oddities.

Scripture of the Day: "But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, 'Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.'" (Matthew 1:20-21)

Video of the Day: Logan the Sky Angel Cowboy - submitted by Jay

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Nikon Photographer Forum - a free forum for photography enthusiasts
Corning California Message Board - a free message board for Corning
Olive Hut Blog - specials, olive news, recipes, and more

Brrr! It has been particularly cold for the last several days, and today is no exception! Fortunately, there is almost no wind, so the cold is still and does not penetrate one's clothing unduly. It sprinkled briefly yesterday afternoon, but it is dry today and does not appear to have rained during the night. AccuWeather shows rain for the next 5 days. We shall see.

Saturday evening, we had lemon chicken with large pasta shells. I sautéed sliced chicken breasts, mushrooms, white onion, chopped garlic, and red bell pepper in extra-virgin olive oil. I cooked large pasta shells and set aside. When the chicken and vegetables were cooked, I added a mixture of fresh lemon juice, sugar, cornstarch, sea salt, and ground black pepper and stirred while this thickened into a sauce. I placed the shells in a large pasta bowl, poured the chicken mixture over the shells, and Laura stirred this and took it to the table. We also had spinach, mushroom, and grape tomato salads, toasted garlic bread, and an excellent Woodbridge Zinfandel. It was a delightful meal.

Sunday morning, Laura sang in the worship team at Harvest Christian Center. She arrived at the church at 7:30 AM for rehearsal. I avoided the cold morning as long as possible and arrived at church at 8:15 AM. Laura sang with the worship team during the 8:30 AM service and 10:30 AM service and had a meeting for the annual children's Christmas program following the second service. She is designing and creating some of the costumes that will be used in the program. I braved the frigid weather and shopped at Sav-Mor Foods. When Laura arrived home, it was mid-afternoon, so we decided that a snack would be in order. We had pizza rolls. They were wonderful. We do not eat such things often, so they are a treat when we do have them.

Laura used the indoor grill for the first time last evening. She grilled some thick, juicy pork loin chops and red potatoes. The potatoes were halved and steamed in the microwave for four minutes prior to being tossed onto the grill. I cooked green beans in the microwave. It was a delightful meal—accompanied by Woodbridge Zinfandel.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Let's Talk, Animal Kingdom, -and- Getting the Word

Let's Talk - cellphone user shocked by charges of $85K
Animal Kingdom - bomb-sniffing dog granted early retirement
Getting the Word - church fined for using own building for Bible study

On this day in history: December 14, 1944 - Lupe Velez, Hollywood's "Mexican Spitfire" of the 1940's, commits suicide with an overdose of sleeping pills.

Born on this day in history: December 14, 1946 - Patty Duke
(1946-) Actress. Born Anna Marie Duke on December 14, 1946 in Elmhurst, New York. Patty Duke started off in commercials, a few movies and some bit parts. Her first big role came in 1951 when she was cast as Helen Keller in the Broadway version of "The Miracle Worker." In 1962, the play was turned into a feature film, and Patty won an Academy Award for best supporting actress. At 16, she was the youngest person ever to win the award.

Scripture of the Day: "In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin's name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, 'Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.'" (Luke 1:26-28)

Video of the Day: Quadruple Kickflip - submitted by Amber

This morning's poll on World Net Daily is very interesting. Click to enlarge.

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Nikon Photographer Forum - a free forum for photography enthusiasts
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Initially, I thought it was warmer this morning than it was yesterday morning. I based this concept solely upon the fact that Mr. Nitro was covered with frost yesterday and wore no frost this morning. Imagine my disappointment when I saw Mr. Nitro's temperature display show that it was actually 29 degrees—3 degrees colder than yesterday morning! A half-hour later, the temperature has climbed to 31 degrees. Yikes! Fortunately, it is 70 degrees in my office!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Kids Are Alright, Animal Kingdom, -and- It's Only Rock 'n' Roll

The Kids Are Alright - Christian homeschooler wins Heisman Trophy
Animal Kingdom - cat survives encounter with deadly copperhead
It's Only Rock 'n' Roll - teacher calls police over Guns N' Roses on PA

On this day in history: December 13, 1973 - The Reverend Jim Jones is arrested in a cruisy movie theater bathroom in Los Angeles. Unfortunately, Jones had the bad luck to hit on an undercover LAPD vice officer.

Born on this day in history: December 13, 1948 - Ted Nugent (1948-) Musician. Born December 13, 1948, in Detroit, Michigan. Although Nugent would take formal guitar lessons later in life, he was largely a self-taught musician who began playing at the age of six. At the age of 14, he formed his first band, the Lourds. On the strength of their 1964 performance at the Michigan State Fair, the Lourds were given the opportunity to open for the Beau Brummels and the Supremes. Later that year, Nugent moved to Chicago, where he fronted the band the Amboy Dukes. Upon his high school graduation, in 1967, Nugent returned to Detroit, where he began recruiting new members for the Amboy Dukes. Within three months, the band signed with Mainstream Records and released their self-titled debut album. The following year, they achieved national recognition with the single, "Journey to the Center of the Mind," which reached No. 8 on the pop charts. In the early 1970s, the Amboy Dukes continued to record while averaging more than 300 concert dates per year. With the aid of props, wardrobe, pyrotechnics, and live animals, their concerts approached operatic dimensions. Nugent’s popularity, coupled with his expanding stage presence, surpassed that of his fellow band members. The Amboy Dukes were soon renamed Ted Nugent and the Amboy Dukes. In 1975, Nugent had disassociated himself with the Amboy Dukes and decided to pursue a solo career. Now recording with the Epic Records label, he released his first solo album, Ted Nugent, featuring the hit singles "Strangle Hold" and "Hey Baby." In 1977, Nugent recorded his most successful album to date—"Cat Scratch Fever." Eventually selling more than three million copies, the LP included the now-classic rock anthems "Cat Scratch Fever," "Workin' Hard, Playin' Hard," and "Out of Control." In the early 1980s, Nugent’s popularity began to dwindle. He retreated from the spotlight for a few years before releasing two relatively successful albums, "Penetrator"(1984) and "Little Miss Dangerous" (1986).In 1989, he joined forces with rock veterans Tommy Shaw and Jack Blades to form the heavy metal band Damn Yankees. An avid hunter and political activist, Nugent’s outspoken commitments to gun ownership and right-wing politics took a toll on his success in the 1990s. In 1995, he resumed his solo career with the critically panned album "Spirit of the Wild," in which he expressed his deeply held political views and his unique relationship with nature and hunting. In the summer of 2000, Nugent opened 79 sold-out concerts on the KISS Farewell Tour. That same year, he published a book of essays titled "God, Guns and Rock-N-Roll." In addition to recording, Nugent currently serves on the boards of more than two dozen political and charitable associations, including the National Rifle Association and Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

Scripture of the Day: "When he had called together all the people's chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born. 'In Bethlehem in Judea,' they replied, 'for this is what the prophet has written:' "But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel."'" (Matthew 2:4-6)

Video of the Day: Big Spider - submitted by Cindy

Unicorns are endangered! Click to enlarge.

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Nikon Photographer Forum - a free forum for photography enthusiasts
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BRRR! Each weekday morning, I open the front door of our house and peer outside to determine the state of the weather, in order to better determine how to dress for the day. This morning, there was no wind, no rain, and it did not appear particularly cold. When I settled into Mr. Nitro and saw the frost on his windshield, however, I felt cold! When I started him and saw 32 degrees reported by his exterior temperature probe, I shivered!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Fighting Back, Occupied, -and- Hot Air

Fighting Back - victim shoots, kills home invader
Occupied - man locked in restroom for four days
Hot Air - skeptical scientists urge world to "do nothing" at UN climate conference

On this day in history: December 12, 1989 - Leona Helmsley fined $7 million and sentenced to jail for 21 months for tax evasion. She was also made to serve 900 hours of community service.

Born on this day in history: December 12, 1915 - Frank Sinatra (1915–1998)Born in Hoboken, New Jersey, singer and actor Frank Sinatra rose to prominence with Tommy Dorsey's orchestra. He quickly emerged as a teen idol, and grew into a global superstar, expanding in film roles, including an Oscar-winning performance in "From Here to Eternity" (1953). Marriages to film stars Ava Gardner and Mia Farrow were widely publicized. Sinatra is the only singer in history to have hit records in five consecutive decades.

Scripture of the Day: "But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons." (Galatians 4:4-5)

Video of the Day: The Vegetable Orchestra - submitted by Amber

LED ZEPPELIN returned to the stage Sunday night with their first full set in 19 years — and younger members of the crowd had heard nothing like it. Click to enlarge.

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For dinner last evening, I made a very delightful meal: I baked two medium, quartered red potatoes in the microwave oven and set aside. I sliced a large white onion and coarsely chopped a head of peeled garlic cloves. I sautéed the onion and garlic in extra-virgin olive oil until caramelized. I tossed in a package of baby spinach. As the spinach cooked down, I moved the spinach, onion, and garlic to the side of the sauté pan and placed the potato quarters on the open surface of the pan. After 3 minutes, I added thick slices of leftover grilled London Broil and cooked for 2 minutes. The meal was wonderful. Nothing remained when the final bite was chewed.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Fighting Back, Fighting Back Too, -and- Flying High

Fighting Back - hero guard: "It was me, the gunman, and God"
Fighting Back - off-duty constable kills robbery suspect
Flying High - man sets record for flight after being hit by car

On this day in history: December 11, 1985 - Computer rental store owner Hugh Scrutton is killed outside his Sacramento business when he investigates a package left by the Unabomber. It's his first confirmed kill.

Born on this day in history: December 11, 1944 - Brenda Lee (1944– ) Born Brenda Mae Tarpley in Atlanta, Georgia, pop singer Brenda Lee recorded over five decades, beginning to sing at age 10 with Country & Western star Red Foley, and touring with stars like Patsy Cline and Mel Tillis. In 1959, Lee hit No.1 on rock charts with "Sweet Nothings." At 18, nicknamed "Little Miss Dynamite," she became a worldwide star.

Scripture of the Day: "Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel." (Isaiah 7:14)

Video of the Day: Ninja Dance Party - submitted by Darin

Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, AZ, has a new Web site! Sheriff Joe Arpaio Click to enlarge.

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Willy the Tortoise RIVERSIDE, California - It was not exactly a high-speed chase. Willy the tortoise made a crawl for freedom this week, getting half a mile from the fenced yard where he lives in a doghouse.

Shelley Larsen figures the 200-pound shellback escaped after her 18-year-old son, Aaron, left a gate open Thursday.

"I don't think the public realizes how big and how very strong tortoises are," Welsh said. "The whole shelter was abuzz. Willy is the size of a small bathtub."

The department posted photos of Willy on its Web site and he was recognized by Shelley Larsen's 21-year-old daughter, Lisa. Willy was back home after fewer than six hours of freedom.

It was the third time Willy has gotten out since the family bought him at a pet store for $130 for Lisa's 10th birthday.

At the time, Willy could fit in the palm of a person's hand.

"We had no idea he'd get so big," said Shelley Larsen's husband, Robbie.

Willy is now so strong that he sometimes knocks down tables when he lumbers around their house in Rubidoux. And he can easily give rides to the Larsen family's nieces and nephews.

Given a tortoise's long life span, Robbie Larsen expects Willy will someday be giving rides to the sons and daughters of those nieces and nephews.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Fighting Back, To Serve and Protect, -and- A Very Redneck Christmas

Fighting Back - home-invasion suspect fatally wounded by resident
To Serve and Protect - Parole Commissioner in state car nabbed at DUI checkpoint
A Very Redneck Christmas - man accused of running over neighbor’s Christmas decorations, shooting him

On this day in history: December 10, 1993 - Adolf Hitler is baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in a ceremony performed inside their London temple. Mormons use this strange retroactive baptismal ritual to ensure ancestors or other relatives may join them in heaven.

Born on this day in history: December 10, 1830 - Emily (Elizabeth) Dickinson
(1830–86) Born in Amherst, Massachusetts, poet Emily Dickinson published only two poems during her lifetime. After her death, sister Lavinia Dickinson published several more collections. Dickinson has now gained a cult-like following.

Scripture of the Day: "The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers. You must listen to him." (Deuteronomy 18:15)

Video of the Day: Ferrari Drive - submitted by Frank

Here are some photographs I took this weekend of the native American gathering at the Sacramento River near here. Click to enlarge.

Recommended Site: Corning California Net - A free forum for Corning, California!

Recommended Site: Nikon Photographer - A free forum for all photographers (NOT just Nikon users!) and anyone interested in photography!

Saturday, Laura and I journeyed to Chico to Home Depot to replace the exploded microwave oven. I attempted to purchase the oven upon which we decided online but received a message that shipping to our Zip Code was unavailable. I felt that Corning was being slighted. When I entered the Zip Code for the Home Depot store in Chico, the same message appeared. Apparently, shipping is not available anywhere. That is interesting.

As we passed the Chico Mall, we noticed that the parking lot was completely filled. Not a single parking space was available. Yikes! When we reached Home Depot, however, there were several good parking spaces available. I parked Mr. Nitro in a secure area, and we strolled into the store. The microwave we desired was on display. There was none in inventory, however. We took the display oven and received a 10% discount. It is a beautiful 2.1 cu ft GE Profile oven with black body and stainless-steel front. It has enormous capacity and many features that were not present on the previous oven.

Last evening—following a delightful dinner of grilled London Broil, white onion, red potatoes, Jalapeños, and red bell pepper, we settled into our recliners and watched a Johnny Cash DVD. The new microwave made a wonderful batch of popcorn.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Child Labor, Animal Kingdom, -and- That Stinks!

Child Labor - longshoreman puts 4-year-old son on payroll
Animal Kingdom - studies show no limits to intelligence of animals
That Stinks! - NYC doorman fired for having bad breath

On this day in history: December 7, 1941 - Pearl Harbor, Oahu bombed by Japanese planes

Born on this day in history: December 7, 1932 - Ellen Burstyn (1932 - )Actress. Born Edna Rae Gillooly in Detroit, Michigan. Burstyn left home at the age of 18 to work as a model. In the late 1950s, she landed her first regular acting gig, as a dancer on television's The Jackie Gleason Show, billed as Erica Dean.

Scripture of the Day: "Jesus said to her, 'I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies;'" (John 11:25)

Video of the Day: Terry Fator, Part 5 of 5 - submitted by Frank

Here is the graphic that appears on my new T-shirt.

Recommended Site: Corning California Net - A free forum for Corning, California!

Recommended Site: Nikon Photographer - A free forum for all photographers (NOT just Nikon users!) and anyone interested in photography!

The microwave exploded! I made a casserole of celery, white onion, baby carrots, and red potatoes. I placed the casserole dish in the microwave, set it for 5 minutes, pressed the power button, and the microwave exploded! Flames appeared inside the oven, smoke emanated from the vents, and the acrid stench of burning electronics permeated the air. I jerked the microwave's power cord from the wall, extricated the casserole dish, and tossed the smoldering, reeking carcass that was once a GE Profile microwave oven onto the front steps.

I sautéed the vegetables. When they were nearly done, I added two large boneless, skinless chicken breasts to the sauté pan. It was a delightful meal.

Later that evening, while watching "Bait Car" on Court TV, Laura asked, "Would you like some popcorn?" "Yes," I said—snickering quietly. It did not take Laura long to determine that it would be impossible to make microwave popcorn without a microwave oven!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Lockdown, Mommy Dearest, -and- Fiddling Around

Lockdown - jailers fired for encouraging fashion show
Mommy Dearest - 7-year-old girl shot 6 times saving own mother
Fiddling Around - Toyota's new robot can play the violin

On this day in history: December 6, 1969 - A concert by the Rolling Stones at Altamont ends in the death of a fan at the hands of the Hells Angels, who were hired for security.

Born on this day in history: December 6, 1896 - Ira Gershwin (1896–1983) Born in New York City, lyricist Ira Gershwin began his long collaboration with brother George in 1918, creating classics like "The Man I Love" (1924). He also contributed lyrics to "Porgy and Bess" (1935). Later, Gershwin collaborated with composers such as Kurt Weill, Jerome Kern and Harold Arlen.

Scripture of the Day: "I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me; just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep." (John 10:14-15)

Video of the Day: Terry Fator, Part 4 of 5 - submitted by Frank

I happened upon this scene on my way to the office this morning. Some might consider this fox lazy, but I think he is sly! Click to enlarge.

Recommended Site: Corning California Net - A free forum for Corning, California!

Recommended Site: Nikon Photographer - A free forum for all photographers (NOT just Nikon users!) and anyone interested in photography!

It is raining! Yesterday was beautiful and sunny, but today is dark, dreary, and wet. I am pleased that I went shopping yesterday. Shopping in the rain is a most unpleasant task.

[While I slept] I arrived home from my office and was greeted by my cat, Zeus. He generally greets me by rubbing against my legs as I walk into the house and leaping onto the dining room table as I near it, where he then positions himself to receive petting. He did not do this, however. He pressed himself tightly against my leg and would not move. His body shook. At first, I imagined that he was ill, but touching his nose indicated that he was not. I looked into his eyes and saw fear! Zeus had been frightened by something! "Zeus," I said, "what has frightened you?" Zeus lifted his paw and pointed at the monitor for Laura's computer. Onscreen was a local news story with the headline, "Cat Burglar Strikes Again!" I bent down, took Zeus into my arms, stroked his soft fur, and said, "Zeus, fear not! A cat burglar is a thief who uses stealth while stealing. It is not someone who steals cats!" Zeus looked up at me and meowed. The fear was gone from his eyes!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Controlling the Substances, Bad Deed, -and- Law of the Land

Controlling the Substances - couple to sue cops for killing pot plants
Bad Deed - Boy Scouts selling Christmas trees robbed at gunpoint
Law of the Land - judges endorse faith-based prison program

On this day in history: December 5, 1933 - Fourteen years of Prohibition end when Utah ratifies the 21st Amendment.

Born on this day in history: December 5, 1935 - Little Richard (1035 - ) Musician, born in Macon, Georgia, USA. One of the early and most flamboyant stars of rock 'n' roll, he sang and played piano in church choirs and with gospel groups throughout his childhood, performing in medicine shows on the Southern vaudeville circuit. He made his recording debut with RCA in 1952 in Atlanta, and continued to record in a blues style for independent labels in Houston and New Orleans over the next four years. In 1956 he had a breakthrough single, "Tutti Frutti," which sold three million copies and established his basic style of histrionic singing and manic piano playing. Over the next three years he sold over 18 million records and appeared in several motion pictures, but in 1960 he became a minister in the Seventh Day Adventist church and renounced rock 'n' roll and his own homosexuality. He returned to rock in 1963, touring England with the Beatles and Rolling Stones, and he straddled the worlds of pop music and evangelism over the next 30 years. In 1986 he became an inaugural member of the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame. "Tutti Frutti" was named the official rock song of the state of Georgia in 1989.

Scripture of the Day: "Therefore Jesus said again, 'I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.'" (John 10:7, 9-10)

Video of the Day: Terry Fator, Part 3 of 5 - submitted by Frank

Recommended Site: Corning California Net - A free forum for Corning, California!

Recommended Site: Nikon Photographer - A free forum for all photographers (NOT just Nikon users!) and anyone interested in photography!

A Baby's Hug

We were the only family with children in the restaurant. I sat Erik in a high chair and noticed everyone was quietly sitting and talking. Suddenly, Erik squealed with glee and said, 'Hi.' He pounded his fat baby hands on the high chair tray. His eyes were crinkled in laughter and his mouth was bared in a toothless grin, as he wriggled and giggled with merriment.

I looked around and saw the source of his merriment. It was a man whose pants were baggy with a zipper at half-mast and his toes poked out of would-be shoes. His shirt was dirty and his hair was uncombed and unwashed. His whiskers were too short to be called a beard and his nose was so varicose it looked like a road map.

We were too far from him to smell, but I was sure he smelled. His hands waved and flapped on loose wrists. 'Hi there, baby; hi there, big boy. I see ya, buster,' the man said to Erik. My husband and I exchanged looks, 'What do we do?' Erik continued to laugh and answer, 'Hi.' Everyone in the restaurant noticed and looked at us and then at the man. The old geezer was creating a nuisance with my beautiful baby. Our meal came and the man began shouting from across the room, 'Do ya patty cake? Do you know peek-a-boo? Hey, look, he knows peek- a-boo.' Nobody thought the old man was cute. He was obviously drunk. My husband and I were embarrassed. We ate in silence; all except for Erik, who was running through his repertoire for the admiring skid-row bum, who in turn, reciprocated with his cute comments. We finally got through the meal and headed for the door. My husband went to pay the check and told me to meet him in the parking lot. The old man sat poised between me and the door. 'Lord, just let me out of here before he speaks to me or Erik,' I prayed. As I drew closer to the man, I turned my back trying to sidestep him and avoid any air he might be breathing. As I did, Erik leaned over my arm, reaching with both arms in a baby's 'pick-me-up' position. Before I could stop him, Erik had propelled himself from my arms to the man.

Suddenly a very old smelly man and a very young baby consummated their love and kinship. Erik in an act of total trust, love, and submission laid his tiny head upon the man's ragged shoulder. The man's eyes closed, and I saw tears hover beneath his lashes. His aged hands full of grime, pain, and hard labor, cradled my baby's bottom and stroked his back. No two beings have ever loved so deeply for so short a time.

I stood awestruck. The old man rocked and cradled Erik in his arms and his eyes opened and set squarely on mine. He said in a firm commanding voice, 'You take care of this baby.'

Somehow I managed, 'I will,' from a throat that contained a stone. He pried Erik from his chest, lovingly and longingly, as though he were in pain. I received my baby, and the man said, 'God bless you, ma'am, you've given me my Christmas gift.'

I said nothing more than a muttered thanks. With Erik in my arms, I ran for the car. My husband was wondering why I was crying and holding Erik so tightly, and why I was saying, 'My God, my God, forgive me.' I had just witnessed Christ's love shown through the innocence of a tiny child who saw no sin, who made no judgment; a child who saw a soul, and a mother who saw a suit of clothes. I was a Christian who was blind, holding a child who was not. I felt it was God asking, 'Are you willing to share your son for a moment?' when He shared His for all eternity.

The ragged old man, unwittingly, had reminded me, 'To enter the Kingdom of God , we must become as little children.'

Sometimes, it takes a child to remind us of what is really important. We must always remember who we are, where we came from and, most importantly, how we feel about others. The clothes on your back or the car that you drive or the house that you live in does not define you at all; it is how you treat your fellow man that identifies who you are.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Come Fly with Me, School Daze, -and- Net Loss

Come Fly with Me - man steals airplane to impress girlfriend
School Daze - pair cite tuition as reason for bank robbery
Net Loss - going online helps woman lose 500 pounds

On this day in history: December 4, 1988 - Actor Gary Busey seriously injured in a near-fatal motorcycle crash, which he states also caused an out-of-body experience. Busey was not wearing his helmet, but after the accident told the press he would continue pursuing his out-of-helmet experiences. [Update 1997: Busey found God and now wears a helmet.]

Born on this day in history: December 4, 1973 - Tyra Banks (1973-) Born in Inglewood, California, model and TV personality Tyra Banks signed with Elite modeling agency at age 17, launching an international career. Banks is also host and executive producer of reality series "America’s Next Top Model" (2003).

Scripture of the Day: "When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, 'I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.'" (John 8:12)

Video of the Day: Terry Fator, Part 2 of 5 - submitted by Frank

Here is a poll that is currently running on World Net Daily. There is hope for the world! Click to enlarge.

Recommended Site: Corning California Net - A free forum for Corning, California!

Recommended Site: Nikon Photographer - A free forum for all photographers (NOT just Nikon users!) and anyone interested in photography!

It is raining! It was predicted, and it has come. The rain began yesterday afternoon, around 5 PM, continued throughout the night, and continues yet. At the moment, it is a gentle mist. It rained fiercely throughout the night. More rain is predicted for the next several days.

For dinner last evening, I made Barilla thick spaghetti with 58 medium shrimp in Alfredo sauce. It was delightful. Leftovers followed Laura to work this morning.

Monday, December 03, 2007

True South, Police State, -and- Monkey Business

True South - Chuck Norris blasts "The Golden Compass"
Police State - cops test surveillance system at tree lighting
Monkey Business - young chimp beats college students

On this day in history: December 3, 1974 - Civil aviation authorities in England issue a warning to pilots to avoid a 40-foot-long inflated pig. The aeropork had escaped its tether during a Pink Floyd photo shoot.

Born on this day in history: December 3, 1930 - Jean-Luc Godard (1930 - ____) director. He was a founder of French New Wave cinema; his controversial films include "Breathless," 1960 and "Hail Mary," 1985.

Scripture of the Day: "Then Jesus declared, 'I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.'" (John 6:35)

Video of the Day: Terry Fator, Ventriloquist - Part 1 of 5 - submitted by Frank

Here is a photograph of the new Nikon D3 professional digital SLR. I am impatiently awaiting mine to arrive. Click to enlarge.

Recommended Site: Corning California Net - A free forum for Corning, California!

Recommended Site: Nikon Photographer - A free forum for all photographers (NOT just Nikon users!) and anyone interested in photography!

Friday evening, we had six-cheese ravioli for dinner. Laura brought this treat home from Sierra Nevada. It was delicious. We also enjoyed some of Sierra Nevada's fresh bread and wonderful dipping oil.

Saturday morning, I arose at 7 AM. It was 28 degrees when I started making a giant batch of chili. AccuWeather is a Sidebar Gadget on my Vista Ultimate Desktop, and I checked my email just before I began preparations for making the enormous batch of chili. I used 6 pounds of ground sirloin, 4 white onions, 12 Jalapeños, 4 stalks of celery, 2 Habaneros, 8 Roma tomatoes, 1 red bell pepper, 2 packages of Carroll Shelby's chili seasoning, 8 tablespoons of Gebhardt's chili powder, 4 tablespoons of ground Cayenne pepper, 2 tablespoons of ground black pepper, and 2 bottles of Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale. The chili simmered all day, and we enjoyed it for dinner. At the table, we added fresh cilantro, chopped green onions, grated cheddar cheese, and sour cream.

Sunday morning, Laura sang in the choir at Harvest Christian Center. We attended the early service. Laura stayed to sing in the choir at the late service. I scurried home and made a scrumptious frittata, with five small white potatoes, two small white onions, two heads of whole, peeled garlic, six Jalapeños, six jumbo eggs, a package of New York-style link sausage, and cheddar cheese. It was a treat, and half remains for a future meal.

For dinner that evening, we enjoyed some beef tamales. These tamales were produced by a lady who attends Harvest Christian Center. She and her daughters produced 48 dozen authentic, traditional tamales for a fundraiser for one of the young members of the congregation. He will soon leave to attend a Christian college in Texas. The church has been holding fundraisers to help defray the costs he will encounter. We are having a large yard sale for this purpose on the 15th.

Tell Wal-Mart, "Thank you"!

- for ending corporate contributions to national homosexual activist groups.

- for resisting pressure to treat homosexual partners the same way as married couples for purposes of giving employee benefits.

- for not censoring the word "Christmas" in marketing materials during the Christmas-shopping season.

- for supporting the Salvation Army's Red Kettle campaign by allowing their bell-ringers to solicit contributions on Wal-Mart property--and for throwing a $1 million donation in the kettle.

No corporation as large as Wal-Mart will ever be perfect in all of their corporate practices. But in the last year and a half, Wal-Mart has shown that it will listen to the concerns of its customers who hold to traditional values and that it has the backbone to resist at least some of the demands of "political correctness."

So when you shop at Wal-Mart this season, tell your local store manager, "Thank you and Merry Christmas!"

Family Research Council
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Family Research Council