Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Eyes Have It, Show and Tell, -and- Disarmed

The Eyes Have It - bionic contact lens may create tiny personal displays
Show and Tell - man exposes himself, blames restless-leg syndrome
Disarmed - major credit card company disallows firearm purchases

On this day in history: January 31, 1961 - The United States sends its first monkey into space, Ham the chimpanzee. His Mercury/Redstone 2 achieves an altitude of 158 miles, a 19-minute ride that subjects Ham to a force of 16 times gravity. The space ape splashes down safely, his capsule is plucked from the ocean by the USS Donner.

Born on this day in history: January 31, 1919 - Jackie Robinson (1919–72)Born in Cairo, GA, baseball player Jackie Robinson was the first African-American to play in the major leagues, becoming a star for the Brooklyn Dodgers (1947-56). Robinson was Rookie of the Year in 1947, and league batting champion and Most Valuable Player in 1949.

Scripture of the Day: Since they hated knowledge and did not choose to fear the LORD ... they will eat the fruit of their ways and be filled with the fruit of their schemes. - Proverbs 1:29,31

Video of the Day: Monkey Cowboy Rides Dog - submitted by Laura

Monkey turns cowboy
Monkey turns cowboy

Here is a photograph I took of Mr. Nitro with my new Nikon D3 DSLR. I took this photograph with a Nikkor 24-120mm lens, at 24mm, from a distance of 18" from the vehicle. Click to enlarge.

The rain has returned! The wind has returned, also. It began sprinkling lightly while I was on my way to the office. It is now raining in earnest. The weatherpeople have been wrong all week, but their forecast for today appears to be correct.

It is difficult to imagine that it has been nearly a year since we purchased Mr. Nitro and Mr. Yaris, but the evidence cannot be disputed: The registration renewals and 2008 license-plate stickers arrived (I renewed the registrations online—something I highly recommend doing.), and I received a letter from Sirius Satellite Radio alerting me that I have only a few days during which to renew my Sirius satellite radio subscription. When I purchased Mr. Nitro, a one-year subscription to Sirius was included. The free ride will soon end. I enjoy Sirius a good deal, so I shall renew the subscription. Laura and I have our favorite channels, and reception is excellent nearly everywhere. Tunnels, car washes, indoor parking structures, and trees can sometimes affect reception, but this is a mere temporary inconvenience. In remote areas and mountainous regions where FM signals are inaccessible, Sirius is available. Also, the necessity to search for stations while traveling—as one exits the broadcast area for a station—is not an issue with Sirius.

I finally employed Mr. Nitro's remote start function last evening. I left the heater controls set when I exited Mr. Nitro yesterday afternoon at our home. When we were nearly ready to depart for Bible college at Harvest Christian Center, I activated Mr. Nitro's remote start function from the warmth of our house. When we entered Mr. Nitro, he was comfortably warm. I repeated this procedure when we were departing the church. The remote start function—as well as the alarm arm/disarm functions operate from a distance of up to 300 feet—so long as there is a clear path for the signal from the key to the vehicle.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

To Serve and Protect, Hic!, -and- Disco Inferno

To Serve and Protect - bicyclist tased when he runs for minor infraction
Hic! - man arrested for DUI on mower
Disco Inferno - radio volunteer sets fire to station

On this day in history: January 30, 1972 - British troops kill 13 unarmed marchers in Londonderry, Northern Ireland. This incident becomes known as "Bloody Sunday" and marks the beginning of a new extended round of violence.

Born on this day in history: January 30, 1931 - Gene Hackman (1931– ) Born in San Bernardino, CA, actor Gene Hackman made it big in "Bonnie and Clyde" (1967). He went on to win an Oscar for "The French Connection" (1971), and has been making blockbuster movies ever since.

Scripture of the Day: are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God -- that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord." - 1 Corinthians 1:30-31

Video of the Day: Anonymous on Fox 11 - submitted by Laura

The fishing has been particularly good in the pond behind my office! Click to enlarge.

Brrr! It was very cold when I left the house this morning at 6:45 AM. Mr. Nitro's windshield had a chitinous carapace formed of ice. Several minutes of defrosting was required prior to his exit from his parking spot. Once yet again, I missed an ideal opportunity to pre-set Mr. Nitro's defroster and start him remotely from the warmth of our house.

Interestingly, today's lead story took place in Hamilton City (mid-way between here and Chico). This news story is on Fox News, the Drudge Report, World Net Daily, and certainly many other online news sites this morning.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Brave New Schools, Never Too Old, -and- Homeland Insecurity

Brave New Schools - teacher roughs up special-ed student, resigns
Never Too Old - 109-year-old woman gets first passport
Homeland Insecurity - official sneaks fake bomb past TIA security

On this day in history: January 29, 1919 - Prohibition begins, and with it the rise of organized crime.

Born on this day in history: January 29, 1885 - Huddie William Ledbetter (Leadbelly) (1885-1949) Musician, born near Morringsport, Louisiana, USA. A legendary singer and guitarist, he was raised near Shreveport, LA, worked on farms in Texas, and began performing in Dallas, TX as a protégé of Blind Lemon Jefferson in the 1910s. (Leadbelly got his nickname because of his deep bass voice.) In 1917 he was sentenced to prison on a murder conviction; eight years later he literally sang a plea of mercy to the Texas governor and was pardoned. In 1930 he was sentenced to 10 years for wounding a group of men with a knife, and in 1934 he composed a song for the Louisiana governor. With the intervention of the folklorists John and Alan Lomax, he won a reprieve in 1935. Over the next year, he travelled with John Lomax and recorded hundreds of songs that formed a cornerstone of the Library of Congress folklore archives. In 1938 he moved permanently to New York City where he recorded for Columbia Records and became a celebrated figure in literary and political circles. His best-known songs include "Irene, Good Night," "Rock Island Line," and "Midnight Special."

Scripture of the Day: Then I said to you, "Do not be terrified; do not be afraid of them. The LORD your God, who is going before you, will fight for you, as he did for you in Egypt, before your very eyes." - Deuteronomy 1:29-30

Video of the Day: Subaru DC Mountain Lab 1.5 - submitted by Frank

Here is a crop of an available-light photograph of my cat, Zeus, taken with my new Nikon D3 DSLR. This lens was a Nikkor 24-120mm at 120mm. Click to enlarge.

No frost today! It is not warmer today; it is drier, however, and there was no frost on Mr. Nitro's windshield this morning. The frost has a great psychological effect—making it seem much colder than it is. The lack of frost has the opposite effect.

Laura and I always vote using absentee ballots. I have completed my ballot, and Laura shall complete hers this evening. They shall go out in tomorrow's mail.

For dinner last evening, I grilled chicken breasts and steamed cauliflower. I dry-rubbed four large Tyson boneless, skinless chicken breasts with Tony Chachere's More Spice seasoning and ground black pepper. I sprayed the chicken breasts with olive oil Pam and placed (sprayed-side down) on the indoor grill. I covered the chicken breasts with a tent of aluminum foil. After ten minutes, I sprayed the tops of the chicken breasts and turned them. I repeated this procedure twice. I separated the florets from a head of cauliflower, placed in a covered casserole dish, and seasoned with Tony Chachere's More Spice seasoning. I placed two tablespoons of water in the bottom of the casserole dish and cooked the cauliflower on high for three minutes in the microwave. Laura declared it was the most delicious food that had emerged from the indoor grill to date. It was delightful. The two leftover chicken breasts shall be shredded and used to make burritos Thursday.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Ground Control to Major Tom, Don't Pay the Piper, -and- It Doesn't Pay to Advertise

Ground Control to Major Tom - hackers post YouTube video declaring war on Scientology
Don't Pay the Piper - download 25 million songs legally
It Doesn't Pay to Advertise - woman sought hit man on Craigslist

On this day in history: January 28, 1978 - "Vampire of Sacramento" Richard Chase is arrested. Miscellaneous human organs are found in his refrigerator. He managed to kill six people, drinking the blood of two of his victims.

Born on this day in history: January 28, 1968 - Sarah McLachlan (1968-) Born in Halifax, Canada, singer-songwriter Sarah McLachlan had her debut album in 1988, gaining a following for her atmospheric folk-pop music. In 1993, her single "Possession" broke the Top 100. In 1997, McLachlan founded the successful Lilith Fair, an annual tour of women musicians.

Scripture of the Day: We proclaim him [Christ], admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. - Colossians 1:28

Video of the Day: Live Time-lapse Art - submitted by Danica

What is this? It is a Hill-Billy! Click to enlarge.

It almost snowed last evening! The wind howled all day yesterday and into the evening. At approximately 9 PM, there was a sudden sleet storm. The sleet fell relentlessly for approximately 20 minutes. If it had been a few degrees colder, the sleet would certainly have taken the form of snow! When the sleet ceased, the wind was gone as well. This morning, there is no wind, and the streets are dry. It is cold, however. Mr. Nitro's windshield required defrosting. Mr. Yaris was parked in the carport and avoided the frost.

Laura received recognition and an award yesterday during service at Harvest Christian Center. She was named "Ministering Member of the Month" for her word as a teacher in the nursery! Although this was a complete surprise to her, Laura maintained her composure and gave a very spirited and emotionally charged acceptance speech.

We enjoyed a wonderful visit from Assemblyman Doug LaMalfa at Harvest Christian Center yesterday. Doug LaMalfa is a fourth-generation rice farmer who has lived in Northern California all of his life. He and his wife, Jill, have four children and make their home on the family farm in Richvale, California. He was first elected the Legislature in 2002 to represent the sprawling 2nd Assembly District covering nine counties in Northern California.

Assemblyman LaMalfa spoke of his faith (He is a devout Christian. His wife was unable to accompany him, because she is on the worship team at their home church in Richvale.) and his dedication to serving the people of his district.

A staunch believer in reducing the tax burden on working families, Assemblyman LaMalfa says that, "taxpayers know better than bureaucrats and politicians how to spend and invest their own hard-earned money." He is a leader in opposing new taxes to cover the fiscal blunders by spendthrift politicians.

Doug LaMalfa supports strong law enforcement and returning state tax dollars back to counties to put more sheriff's deputies and firefighters in our communities. Since being elected in 2002, Doug LaMalfa has led the fight to restore millions in funding for our rural sheriffs.

As an active political leader in his community, LaMalfa championed the "3-Strikes" law to lock up repeat violent criminals. In 2005, Assemblyman LaMalfa teamed-up with Senator Tom McClintock to sponsor the Homeowner and Property Protection Act to stop the abuses of government taking private property using Eminent Domain. This issue is likely to be placed on the November 2006 statewide ballot for the people to decide. LaMalfa believes that marriage is a sacred union between one man and one woman and that it must be protected. As an Assemblyman, LaMalfa continues to fight hard to defend the Protection of Marriage Act, Proposition. 22 from those who would violate the legal authority of the people of California.

Assemblyman LaMalfa firmly believes that government should first do no harm, and that government should provide, in the most efficient manner possible, only those essential services that individuals and families cannot provide for themselves.

LaMalfa praised the leadership and congregation for their political activism and encouraged us that it is perfectly legal for a church to be politically active regarding issues, and only the endorsement of candidates is unacceptable.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Heat of the Moment, Avast!, -and- Never Too Young

Heat of the Moment - critique mounts against biofuels
Avast! - sailor convicted on 10 counts of wearing unearned medals
Never Too Young - teen arrested for plane hijack plot

On this day in history: January 25, 1971 - Charles Manson and three of his followers are convicted in Los Angeles of the Tate and LaBianca murders. All were sentenced to the gas chamber, with sentences commuted to life imprisonment when the death penalty was temporarily abolished.

Born on this day in history: January 25, 1981 - Alicia Keys (1981-) Born Alicia Augello Cook in New York City, musician Alicia Keys blends pop, gospel, R&B and soul, and burst onto the music scene in 2001 with her debut album "Songs in A Minor," which racked up 5 Grammys.

Scripture of the Day: The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.
- Philemon 1:25

Video of the Day: Very Funny Cats Part 9 - submitted by Cindy

Got beer! Click to enlarge.

Light Bulb Comparison Excel spreadsheet shows cost comparison between incandescent, CFL, and LED light bulbs.

The rain continues! It rained throughout the night and continues today. The forecast for the next five days: Rain! While the rain has been relatively light (albeit continuous), and there is no immediate threat of flooding, this weather is certainly uninviting. I am eager to put my new Nikon D3 DSLR to use, but I certainly have no desire to take it out into the rain!

There was an armed robbery at Valero early Monday morning. There was an armed robbery there last year. The robbers were apprehended within minutes. The suspect in Monday's robbery has not been found. This is particularly disturbing, since Valero is only a block from our house. Thankfully, we enjoy the protection of God's angels! (We also have a Sig Sauer P229 .357 Sig and a Smith & Wesson .357 Magnum.) We shall remain secure from scofflaws!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Blast Off!, Homeland Insecurity, -and- Somebody's Watching You

Blast Off! - rocket at museum found to be live
Homeland Insecurity - loaded gun slips through airport security
Somebody's Watching You - AT&T looking at Internet filtering

On this day in history: January 24, 1986 - Crackpot and founder of the fraudulent Scientology movement, L. Ron Hubbard dies. His bad science fiction writing has grown alarmingly prolific in the years since his death.

Born on this day in history: January 24, 1949 - John Belushi (1949–82) Born in Chicago, IL, comedian John Belushi appeared with the Second City comedy troop in the 1970s, and gained fame on "Saturday Night Live" (1974–9). He died of a drug overdose in California.

Scripture of the Day: To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy—to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen. - Jude 1:24-25/

Video of the Day: Dog vs. Balloons - submitted by Darin

The rain continues! While it was dry (albeit cold, gloomy, and windy) most of the day yesterday, it began raining late last night and continues now. While it is a light rain, it is constant, and the ground is becoming saturated. Puddles abound, and the water levels in local creeks and streams are rising. Rain is forecast for the next several days.

I am daily marking off the days on my Nikon World calendar, waiting impatiently for March 20—the first day of spring!

During Bible college class last evening, we were instructed to choose a partner—someone we did not know well—and ask each other three questions. This was an interesting and informative exchange. Interestingly, the answer to the first question, "What is something that the congregation does not know about you?" was the same for me and my partner: "I am very sensitive."

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Fighting Back, Matters of Life and Death, -and- Sue Me!

Fighting Back marathon runner chases down burglar
Matters of Life and Death - Missouri must take inmates to abortion clinic
Sue Me! - German newspaper compares Cruise to Goebbels

On this day in history: January 23, 1998 - Montana hermit Ted Kaczynski admits to four Unabomber attacks, pleading guilty in in a federal plea bargain that spares him the death penalty, but denies him the right of appeal.

Born on this day in history: January 23, 1957 - Princess Caroline of Monaco (1957-) Princess Caroline Louise Margueritte, eldest daughter of Prince Rainier III of Monaco and Grace Kelly, the American actress who died in a car accident in 1982, is considered the most stable of the Grimaldi children, including brother Albert and younger sister Stephanie. Caroline still made headlines with various romantic relationships, including three difficult marriages, which resulted in four children. Caroline serves as Monaco's de facto first lady since her mother's death.

Scripture of the Day: For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. - 1 Peter 1:23

Video of the Day: First Day Jitters

The mystery of the disappearing ducks in the pond behing my office was solved yesterday! Click to enlarge.

Rain! The rain has returned. It appears that it rained throughout the night and early morning. The rain is relatively light, but it is constant. It is a bit warmer than it was yesterday, however. It is a toasty 38 degrees currently, and the low during the night was 35 degrees--significantly warmer than yesterday's low of 31 degrees.

Laura attended the annual Employee Appreciation Dinner at Sierra Nevada last evening. She received an award commemorating five years with the company. It does not seem as if it has been five years already that she has worked there. Time seems to be passing more quickly of late. Yesterday, I renewed the registrations for Mr. Yaris and Mr. Nitro online. It has been nearly a year since we purchased these vehicles. In fact, the 5th of February will be one year for Mr. Nitro, and Mr. Yaris will celebrate his birthday two days prior to that.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Heat of the Moment, Taxman, -and- Stupid Criminals

Heat of the Moment - Sweden to study belching cows
Taxman - pastor asks IRS to investigate his own church
Stupid Criminals - burglar called taxi from victim's home phone

On this day in history: January 22, 1918 - Manitoba, Canada film censor board decides to ban comedies, on the grounds that they make audiences "too frivolous."

Born on this day in history: January 22, 1965 - Diane Lane (1965-) Born in New York City, actress Diane Lane began her film career at age 13, opposite Sir Lawrence Olivier in "A Little Romance" (1979). She caught the attention of director Francis Ford Coppola, who cast her in a number of films including "The Outsiders" (1983), opposite Matt Dillon. Lane has gone on to star in films ever since.

Scripture of the Day: Once you were alienated from God ... but now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation. - Colossians 1:22

Video of the Day: Model Rocket Crashes into Own Builder's Car

I spotted this bumper sticker on the way to the office this morning. 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

Cold but dry! It is very cold this morning, but it is dry. There is no moisture, hence there was no frost on Mr. Nitro this morning. It rained heavily throughout the night Sunday and continued through mid-morning yesterday, but it is dry today. It is cold, and the wind accentuates the cold greatly.

The television in my office appears to be expiring: The last several days, the picture has faded several times. This morning, it faded and refuses to return. Whatever shall I do? Only time will answer this question.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Fighting Back, To Serve and Protect, -and- The Fats of Life

Fighting Back - woman with black belt tackles burglary suspect
To Serve and Protect - grandmother arrested for not pulling forward at McDonald's drive-through
The Fats of Life - 500-pound NYPD cop loses pension bid

On this day in history: January 21, 1992 - Former child star Dana Plato ("Diff'rent Strokes") arrested on charges of armed robbery for holding up a video store in Las Vegas. She served 200 hours of community service as sentence.

Born on this day in history: January 21, 1957 - Geena Davis (1957– ) Born in Wareham, MA, actress Geena Davis was a model before making her film debut with a small role in "Tootsie" (1982). She won acclaim for playing Thelma in the controversial "Thelma and Louise" (1991). Davis also appeared on several TV series, including the 2005 debut of "Commander in Chief," playing the first woman president.

Scripture of the Day: See, the LORD your God has given you the land. Go up and take possession of it as the LORD, the God of your fathers, told you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. - Deuteronomy 1:21

Video of the Day: When Cobras Attack - submitted by Frank

Hazardous materials alert! Be careful out there! 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

RAIN! The weatherpeople failed miserably at forecasting today's weather: They predicted sunshine and 61 degrees. It is raining and cold! When I looked outside this morning, it appeared dry, so I shod myself with sandals. Later, when I took cans and bottles to the recycle bin, I discovered it was raining and appeared to have rained throughout the night! Yikes! I slithered out of my sandals and replaced them with running shoes. I ran to Mr. Nitro and engaged the wipers and defogger—wishing I had been provided the benefit of an accurate weather forecast and had, therefore, set the heater/defogger controls in order to allow starting Mr. Nitro remotely from the warmth of the house. Oh, well, I am up, dressed, drying, and nested at my office. I am enjoying a large mug of hot tea with Splenda and daydreaming of spring.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Slither, Jury Duty, -and- Heat of the Moment

Slither - man arrested after stroll with python
Jury Duty - court orders passers-by to serve
Heat of the Moment - global-warming protest frosted with snow

On this day in history: January 18, 1991 - The United States admits that the CIA paid Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega over $300,000 during his career as undercover narc.

Born on this day in history: January 18, 1955 - Kevin Costner (1955– ) Born in Compton, CA, actor Kevin Costner gained fame in "Bull Durham" (1988) and "Field of Dreams" (1989). He directed and starred in epic film "Dances With Wolves" (1990), which won seven Oscars. Costner has gone on to starring roles in numerous films.

Scripture of the Day: For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. - 1 Peter 1:18-19

Video of the Day: Nikon D3 Preview!

Mr. D3 has arrived! He is wonderful well beyond the limits of the human imagination! 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

The Saga of the Nikon D3: (NOTE: The following took place yesterday.) On September 12, 2007, I pre-ordered a Nikon D3 Digital SLR body to replace my Nikon D1 Digital SLR body (available in the For Sale Forum on this board). Because I am a certified Nikon Professional Services member, my order was prioritized by Nikon. Nikon would ship a D3 body to the seller (Ritz Camera) under my name, when the camera became available. The camera began shipping in late December, and my position on the NPS list arose this week. Nikon shipped a D3 body to Ritz Camera, and Ritz Camera shipped it to me two days ago.

So far, so good, you are thinking. Ah!

I tracked the shipment and was understandably upset when tracking this morning resulted in the status showing "no one at home - delivery not made"! I raced to my house and retrieved the FedEx door tag. Yikes! Apparently, Ritz Camera was unable to differentiate between "billing address" and "shipping address" and was further unable to read the shipping directions from the NPS directive.

I scanned the FedEx door tag and emailed it to Laura. She called a few minutes ago to say that she had successfully retrieved the 8-pound (!) package from the FedEx depot at the airport in Chico on her way home from her position as Executive Assistant to the owner of Sierra Nevada.

I am now able to relax for the first time since 10 AM this morning, when I received the abhorrent status report.

I told Laura how relieved I was, and she said, "Look on the bright side. They could have left it on the doorstep, and somebody could have grabbed it." That certainly made me appreciate the way things took place. The thought of some scofflaw selling my $5,000 camera body to buy meth conjured an image that I shall not soon forget.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Oh Brother!, Law of the Land, -and- It's Alive!

Oh Brother! - siblings divide house with barbed wire
Law of the Land - judge sues his own courthouse
It's Alive! - first animal-human embryo trials to go ahead

On this day in history: January 17, 1977 - After refusing appeals and demanding his death sentence, double murderer Gary Gilmore is given a hood and shot by a Utah Firing Squad in the first U.S. execution in ten years.

Born on this day in history: January 17, 1917 - Betty White (1917-) Actress. Born January 17, 1917 in Oak Park, Illinois. White moved with her family to Los Angeles at the age of two, and got her start in television in the 1950s, performing in a variety of comedic sketch acts for local TV programs. She starred in her first sitcom in 1953 called "Life with Elizabeth," which was a spin-off of a sketch she performed earlier in her career. In 1954, the actress headlined her own variety show, joining forces with co-star Bill Williams a few years later for Date with the Angels. After spending more than a decade making guest appearances, including stints on such TV game shows as Password and Hollywood Squares, White landed a regular role on the Emmy-winning series The Mary Tyler Moore Show. She stayed with the show until its final episode in 1977. White spent two years on the Carol Burnett spin-off "Mama's Family" until it was cancelled by NBC in 1984. She then joined the ensemble cast of the sitcom "The Golden Girls" as grief counselor Rose Nylund. The show lasted seven seasons. Throughout the 1990s, White continued appearing on television series and made-for-TV movies. In 1996, she won an Emmy award for her guest appearance on NBC’s "The John Larroquette Show." White has been married three times; to Lane Allen from 1947 until 1949, to Dick Barker in 1945, and to Allen Ludden from 1963 until his death in 1981.

Scripture of the Day: Learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow. - Isaiah 1:17

Video of the Day: Carrot Pan-flute - "Old Casti's Moon" - submitted by Danica

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

The Wind The wind appears to have abated! The gale-force wind that has plagued us for days did not greet me this morning when I exited our house. Hopefully, it will not soon return. It was fierce indeed, and I greatly enjoy its departure.

For dinner Tuesday evening, we made tri-color rotini with chicken breast: I cooked a package of tri-color rotini until al denté and set aside. I sliced white onion, red bell pepper, white mushrooms, and two large Tyson boneless, skinless chicken breasts. I added four tablespoons of minced garlic, Tony Chachere's More Spice Seasoning, and ground black pepper. Laura sautéed the chicken and vegetables in extra-virgin olive oil. When done, she incorporated the rotini and took the dish to the table. We added DiGiorno Parmesan cheese and crushed red peppers at the table. It was a delightful meal. Leftovers followed Laura to work this morning.

Last night, following Bible class, we had intended to have a Freschetta pepperoni pizza. It was late, and we were tired, so I had a deli ham and pepperjack cheese sandwich on whole-wheat bread and a Pepsi Max. Laura nibbled on pepperjack cheese.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Stupid Criminals, Vacation, -and- Ah Wilderness

Stupid Criminals - robber shoots self in groin
Vacation - family completes trip with dead grandma in RV
Ah Wilderness - federal ruling allows back-country trails to stay open

On this day in history: January 16, 1942 - Raising money for the war, actress Carol Lombard and her mother are killed along with a score of others in a Las Vegas airplane crash.

Born on this day in history: January 16, 1932 - Dian Fossey (1032-85) Primatologist. Born on January 16, 1932, in San Francisco, California. Dian Fossey enriched our understanding of gorillas through her intense study of these animals from the 1960s to 1980s. She was interested in animals from childhood, but changed college courses from pre-veterinary studies to occupational therapy.

Scripture of the Day: Ruth replied, "Don't urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God." - Ruth 1:16

Video of the Day: The Cruise Indoctrination Video Scientology Tried To Suppress - This is a MUST-SEE! Submitted by Laura. (NOTE: A few minutes into the video, the YouTube screen goes blank for a few seconds. Do not despair: It quickly returns.)

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

[While I slept] I received a call from a friend who said the roof had blown off his house during the recent storm. He said he was hosting a barbecue and roof-mending party and invited me. When I arrived, there were several people at work on the roof, using a very unsafe-looking ladder to gain access to the roof. I told my friend that heights bothered me, and he suggested I make guacamole and grill the chicken wings. I eagerly agreed to do so. There was a huge avocado tree in the yard, and each time I suggested that I had produced sufficient guacamole, my friend said more was needed. I filled five 5-gallon buckets with guacamole. He said that would be enough.

[While I was awake] The friend who had appeared in my dream visited my office. I told him of my dream. He said that he had lost a portion of a roof during the storm (albeit the roof of a storage building) and that his sister had a huge avocado tree in her yard!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Send in the Clones, Eat Your Vegetables, -and- Somebody's Watching You

Send in the Clones - FDA says food from replicants safe
Eat Your Vegetables - PETA requests meat-free diet for cannibal
Somebody's Watching You - FCC asks Comcast about Internet filter

On this day in history: January 15, 1919 - In Boston, an immense storage tank alongside a rum distillery suddenly explodes, producing a flash flood of 2.3 million gallons of sticky molasses. Whole buildings are knocked off their foundations and reduced to rubble by an eight-foot wall of liquid traveling 35 miles per hour. 21 killed and 150 injured as a result of this industrial accident.

Born on this day in history: January 15, 1913 - Lloyd Bridges (1913-1998)Actor. Born Lloyd Vernet Bridges, Jr. in San Leandro, California. Bridges, who began his film career with B-grade movies for Columbia in the 1940s, starred in more than 150 films in his fifty year Hollywood career. After memorable roles in Home of the Brave and High Noon, Bridges career was interrupted when he was blacklisted by the FBI during Hollywood's infamous Red Purge. He rebounded with a starring role in the television series "Sea Hunt," which ran from 1958-61 and continued to star in films through the 1980s, including "East of Eden" and "Airplane." Of his four children, two, Jeff and Beau, also embarked on careers in Hollywood.

Scripture of the Day: To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted. - Titus 1:15

Video of the Day: Office Fight - submitted by Frank

Recommended Sites:
Nikon Photographer Forum - a free forum for photography enthusiasts
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ICE! Mr. Nitro was sheathed in ice this morning! Obviously, it became very cold during the night! It is clear, however, and there is no wind. The fog that plagued us yesterday morning is gone, and this promises to be a beautiful, sunny day.

Chuck Norris invites voters to Huckabee fundraiser
Visit ranch barbecue through Internet streaming - © 2008

Martial arts champion and television and movie star Chuck Norris is inviting voters to see a fundraiser for GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee on his Texas ranch.

When Chuck Norris endorsed Huckabee in his WND column, support for the former Arkansas governor rocketed by 50 percent within days. A few more days, and a report came out that the endorsement sparked a 66 percent hike in Internet posts about Huckabee. Even other GOP candidates have noted the Chuck Norris endorsement.

Now voters across the country are being invited to "attend" a fundraiser for Huckabee at WND columnist Chuck Norris' private ranch, via the Internet.

Norris will act as host to an old-fashioned Texas-style barbecue fundraiser for Huckabee Jan. 20 at Lone Wolf Ranch. Voters across the country can join them by logging to the Chuck 4 Huck website, and following a link to the Huckabee campaign site, where for a donation they will be given a password that provides live online access to the event.

Among the highlights will be a performance of Huckabee's rock band, Capitol Offense, as well as a martial arts demonstration, according to a spokesman for Chuck Norris.

The band, led by the bass-playing candidate, is an eight-man musical group formed in 1996. "Not your average garage band, they have been an opening act for musical headliners such as Willie Nelson and Grand Funk Railroad," Chuck Norris said.

"Mike Huckabee is a gifted leader and a man of the people and he will change politics in this country," Chuck Norris said in his announcement. "Given his unprecedented success in this primary season, he already has.

"But the job is not finished by a long shot. He still needs our help as well as our vote. That's why I am calling upon my friends and people in my community to joint me on Jan. 20 in support of 'The People's President' – Mike Huckabee," he said.

"I am tremendously honored and grateful for Chuck Norris' support – and I am pleased that we can provide an opportunity for the online community to join us via the Internet," Huckabee said during a campaign stop in Michigan.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Ahoy!, Little People, -and- Hic!

Ahoy! - Atlantic sailor sends mayday to pub
Little People - hobbits not different species, say scientists
Hic! - school-bus driver DUI, 4 times legal limit

On this day in history: January 14, 1998 - Jewish extremists Avigdor Eskin and Haim Pakovich are charged in a plot to catapult a pig's head containing the Koran into Jerusalem's Dome of the Rock mosque, in order to spark tensions between Jews and Arabs.

Born on this day in history: January 14, 1968 - LL Cool J (1968-) Born James Todd Smith in Bayshore, NY, hip hop artist LL Cool J (or, Ladies Love Cool James) released his first hit, "I Need a Beat," while still a teen. His fourth album, “Mama Said Knock You Out,” was a mainstream success, popular with mid-America and urban kids. LL Cool J has also pursued an acting career and, in 1996, launched a clothing line, FUBU (For Us, By Us).

Scripture of the Day: [You were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit,] who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession—to the praise of his glory. - Ephesians 1:14

Video of the Day: Snoring Maggie - submitted by Laura

Monster Fish! The monster sun fish caught by W.N. McMillan of E. Africa, at Santa Catalina Island, California on April 1, 1910. The weight was estimated at 3,500 lbs. Click to enlarge.

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Be Careful How You Vote in 2008!
Morals! (Before 1960)

OLD VERSION: The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house, and laying up supplies for the winter.

The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away. Come winter, the ant is warm and well fed.

The grasshopper has no food or shelter, so he dies out in the cold.

MORAL OF THE STORY: Be responsible for yourself!



The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house, and laying up supplies for the winter.

The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.

Come winter, the shivering grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know why the ant should be allowed to be warm and well-fed while others are cold and starving.

CBS, NBC, PBS, CNN, and ABC show up to provide pictures of the shivering grasshopper next to a video of the ant in his comfortable home with a table filled with food. America is stunned by the sharp contrast.

How can this be, that in a country of such wealth, this poor grasshopper is allowed to suffer so?

Kermit the Frog appears on Oprah with the grasshopper, and everybody cries when they sing, 'It's Not Easy Being Green.'

Jesse Jackson stages a demonstration in front of the ant's house where the news stations film the group singing, 'We shall overcome.' Jesse then has the group kneel down to pray to God for the grasshopper's sake.

Nancy Pelosi & John Kerry exclaim in an interview with Larry King that the ant has gotten rich off the back of the grasshopper, and both call for an immediate tax hike on the ant to make him pay his fair share.

Finally, the EEOC drafts the Economic Equity & Anti-Grasshopper Act retroactive to the beginning of the summer.

The ant is fined for failing to hire a proportionate number of green bugs and, having nothing left to pay his retroactive taxes, his home is confiscated by the government.

Hillary gets her old law firm to represent the grasshopper in a defamation suit against the ant, and the case is tried before a panel of federal judges that Bill Clinton appointed from a list of single-parent welfare recipients.

The ant loses the case.

The story ends as we see the grasshopper finishing up the last bits of the ant's food while the government house he is in, which just happens to be the ant's old house, crumbles around him because he doesn't maintain it.

The ant has disappeared in the snow.

The grasshopper is found dead in a drug related incident and the house, now abandoned, is taken over by a gang of spiders who terrorize the once-peaceful neighborhood.

MORAL OF THE STORY: Be careful how you vote in 2008

Friday, January 11, 2008

Past Due!, Watch Where You Step!, -and- Double Trouble

Past Due! - FBI wiretaps cut over unpaid bills
Watch Where You Step! - dog-doo footprints lead to DUI arrest
Double Trouble - twins marry by mistake

On this day in history: January 11, 1962 - In the Peruvian Andes, an avalanche buries 3,000 people alive as the volcano Huascaran erupts.

Born on this day in history: January 11, 1946 - Naomi Judd (1946-) Born Diana Judd in Ashland, KY, singer Naomi Judd and daughter, Wynonna are considered the most successful country duo of the 1980s, earning four Grammy Awards. In the early 1990s, Judd contracted chronic hepatitis, forcing her to retire. She returned to performing 10 years later. In 1993, Judd published bestselling autobiography, "Love Can Build a Bridge."

Scripture of the Day: "And a voice came from heaven: 'You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.'" - Mark 1:11

Video of the Day: Amazing Coordinated Samsung Dance - submitted by Jay

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It is dry today. The rain has abated for now, but it is forecast to return tomorrow. There is no wind, and it is not particularly cold. This could well be a nice (given the season) day!

I grilled Tyson boneless, skinless chicken breasts on the indoor grill last evening. I seasoned the chicken with Tony Chachere's More Spice Seasoning and ground black pepper. While the chicken grilled, I brushed it with a mixture of extra-virgin olive oil and butter. The chicken was delightful—beautifully charred on the outside and moist and tender on the inside. Baked red potatoes and steamed sugar snap peas accompanied the chicken. Two chicken breasts remain. They shall be shredded and made into chicken quesadillas.

Tonight, we shall have the leftover beef enchiladas. I shall make guacamole and refried black beans to accompany the enchiladas.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Weapons of Choice, Mommy Dearest, -and- Beep! Beep!

Weapons of Choice - court rules against San Francisco handgun ban
Mommy Dearest - woman sells teen son's car after finding booze
Beep! Beep! - Tata Nano, $2,500 car, unveiled in India

On this day in history: January 10, 1998 - German psychologist Heidi Fittkau-Garthe was charged in the Canary Islands with a plot of murder-suicide in which 31 cult followers, including five children, were to ingest poison. After the suicides they were to be picked up by spaceship for an unspecified destination.

Born on this day in history: January 10, 1945 - Rod Stewart (1945– ) Born in London, singer-songwriter Rod Stewart began as a soloist, then joined The Faces (1969-75). In 1971, he topped both UK and U.S. music charts with album, "Every Picture Tells a Story" and single "Maggie May." Stewart has gone on to numerous hits. His 1975 song "Sailing" has become the unofficial British Navy anthem.

Scripture of the Day: "My son, if sinners entice you, do not give in to them." - Proverbs 1:10

Video of the Day: The Death and Life of Ice Cream - submitted by Danica

Great Scott! It is Frankenhillary! Run for the hills! Click to enlarge.

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More rain! It is raining once again—albeit very gently. It began raining lightly as we left Bible class at Harvest Christian Center, and it appears (based upon the quantity of standing water) that it rained throughout the night. It is not particularly cold, however, there is almost no wind, and the rain is very light. There are still many thousands in the area without power, and the damage to buildings and trees was great during the recent storm. I pray that the rain continues to fall gently and that the 70+ MPH wind does not reappear!

For dinner last evening, we had the enchiladas and guacamole I described in yesterday's blog entry. It was a delicious meal. Leftovers from this delightful repast shall entertain us Friday evening. A quantity of enchiladas remains, but the guacamole was completely consumed. I shall make more guacamole. The local market (Sav-Mor Foods—a mere block from our house) is featuring beautiful, ripe avocados for $ .88 each. This is a great bargain, and I intend to take full advantage of it. Avocados are wonderfully nutritious and delicious!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

No More Classes, Stupid Criminals, -and- Bad Hair Day

No More Classes - boy glues hand to bed to escape school
Stupid Criminals - man hiding knives in pants stabs self
Bad Hair Day - Texas students suspended for refusing haircuts

On this day in history: January 9, 2002 - The DOJ confirms reports that a criminal investigation of mega-corporation Enron has begun. The Texas energy profiteers gave loads of cash to the Republican party before accounting fraud and insider trading caused thousands of Enron employees to lose their savings and pensions.

Born on this day in history: January 9, 1913 - Richard (Milhous) Nixon (1913–94) Born in Yorba Linda, CA, 37th President Richard Nixon (1969–74) was Eisenhower's vice-president in 1952. After several political setbacks, he won the presidency in 1968, and was re-elected by a landslide in 1972. He was then brought down by the scandal known as "Watergate." Facing certain impeachment, in August 1974, Nixon became the first U.S. president to resign.

Scripture of the Day: "Since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding." - Colossians 1:9

Video of the Day: Le Cadeau du Temps – submitted by Cindy

Here is this morning's poll from World Net Daily. Click to enlarge.

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Dry Streets! The streets are dry this morning. While it sprinkled during the night, the heavy rains that plagued us yesterday appear to be gone, for now. The weather forecast is for clear weather for the next several days. More rain is certain to be on the way, but for now, at least, we can enjoy a break.

I produced beef enchiladas last evening. Laura had a large lunch and was not sufficiently hungry to properly enjoy the enchiladas, so we shall dine upon them following Bible class this evening.

I simmered a pound of Sierra Nevada ground beef, a large white onion (sliced very thin), three large Jalapeño peppers (diced), four tablespoons of minced garlic, a liberal shaking of Tony Chachere's More Spice Seasoning, two tablespoons of Gebhardt's Chili Powder, a tablespoon of ground black pepper, and a cup of red chili sauce for an hour. I set this aside to cool. When it had cooled sufficiently, I filled ten Mission flour tortillas with the mixture, rolled them, and placed them in a Pyrex baking dish that was first coated with red chili sauce. I covered the enchiladas with sauce and placed eight squares of sliced Colby-jack cheese atop them.

I made some guacamole to accompany the enchiladas. I am eager for them.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Crime and Punishment, Brave New Schools, -and- Armed and Dangerous

Crime and Punishment - child molester chokes on hot dog, dies
Brave New Schools - pregnant high schoolers seek maternity leave
Armed and Dangerous - 6-year-old girl sleeps with gun under pillow

On this day in history: January 8, 1991 - Guitarist Steve Clark from Def Leppard found dead from a drug and alcohol overdose. He was 31.

Born on this day in history: January 8, 1935 - Elvis Presley (1935–77) Born in Tupelo, MS, pop singer Elvis Presley caused a national sensation on Ed Sullivan's Talk of the Town in 1956 because of his ‘scandalous’ pelvic gyrations. That same year, he released his first million-selling single, ‘Heartbreak Hotel,’ and starred in the first of 33 films. After 1974, Presley became drug-dependent, spending his last years living reclusively at his Memphis home, Graceland.

Scripture of the Day: "Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful." - Joshua 1:8

Video of the Day: The Masks - submitted by Cindy

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RAIN! The rain has returned. Yesterday was beautiful, sunny, and warm. Today is windy, cold, and wet. Hopefully, this storm will soon pass. There are still many in this area without power, and the streams, creeks, and rivers are dangerously high.

For dinner last evening, I made grilled pork loin chops and a red potato, mushroom, red bell pepper, and onion casserole. I seasoned three very thick pork loin chops with Tony Chachere's More Spice Seasoning, ground black pepper, and ground sage. I grilled them on our indoor grill until the outside was charred and crispy. The inside was moist and juicy. We used Tony Chachere's Cajun Power Garlic Sauce as a dipping sauce for the pork. It was a delightful meal.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Heat of the Moment, Drive My Car, -and- Hot!

Heat of the Moment - warning: vacate room when CFL bulb breaks
Drive My Car - GM predicts driver-less cars in 10 years
Hot! - Chicago tavern makes wings with Red Savina peppers

On this day in history: January 7, 1961 - Young hoodlum Al Pacino arrested for carrying a concealed weapon. He and his compatriots were driving around a suburb of Providence RI, in the middle of the night, wearing masks and gloves.

Born on this day in history: January 7, 1964 - Nicolas Cage (1964-) Born Nicholas Coppola on January 7, 1964, in Long Beach, California, to choreographer Joy Vogelsang and literature professor August Coppola. Cage has two older brothers, Marc and Christopher. He is the nephew of film director Francis Ford Coppola and, as a youth, visited his uncle often at his San Francisco home. At age 15, Cage fell in love with acting during a summer class at the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco. He dropped out of Beverly Hills High School to pursue an acting career, making his debut on television in 1981. He changed his name to Nicolas Cage as a way to separate his identity from that of his famous uncle. He chose the name "Cage" as a tribute to comic-book superhero Luke Cage.

Scripture of the Day: "Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world: But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ." - Galatians 4:4-7

Video of the Day: Gumball 3000 - submitted by Frank

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Return to the Office: I returned to my office this morning, following a power outage that affected most of downtown Corning around 7:30 AM last Friday. All appears to be well. When I arrived here, the the Fox News Channel was on the video system and Phaedra (my main system) was running—awaiting my log-on. All seems well. The other systems are functioning well. The sky is clear, the streets are dry, and birds are singing. Now, I must accomplish all that I was unable to do Friday because of the power outage.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Just Punishment, Heat of the Moment, -and- Watch It!

Just Punishment - Supreme Court weighs death penalty for child rape
Heat of the Moment - frozen iguanas fall from Florida trees
Watch It! - man blames bad GPS directions for crash with train

On this day in history: January 4, 1997 - Rumors run rampant through Israel, particularly over talk radio, that a UFO will land at Tel Aviv on the following day. The predictions are purported to have been made by spoonbender Uri Geller. Thousands flock to the beaches, but no saucers.

Born on this day in history: January 4, 1642 - Sir Isaac Newton (1642–1727) Born in Lincolnshire, England, physicist and mathematician Isaac Newton studied at Cambridge and is one of history's foremost scientists. After discovering the laws of gravity in 1665-6, Newton studied the nature of light and, in 1687, wrote his famous "Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy."

Scripture of the Day: "And he said unto them, 'When ye pray, say...give us day by day our daily bread.'" - Luke 11:2-3

Video of the Day: The Original Human Tetris Performance - submitted by Cindy

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Today's blog is late! The power went off throughout downtown Corning this morning, around 7:30 AM. I read the Bible on my HP iPAQ Pocket PC, played several games of Mah Jongg, and shivered until noon. The power was still off, and I could take no more. I came home and made this blog post on Phoebe, my HP 9500t laptop.

This storm is fierce! Everywhere, there is flooding. Trees are down throughout the area. The rain has been falling continuously since yesterday, and the wind is incredible—gusts up to 70 MPH have been reported.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Fighting Back, Stupid Criminal, -and- Stay

Fighting Back - shopper pulls gun, stops robbery cold
Stupid Criminal - alleged bank robber didn't notice cop behind him in line
Stay - mayor loses re-election, refuses to leave office

On this day in history: January 3, 1990 - Manuel Noriega surrenders at the Papal Nunciature. He is brought to Miami and charged with drug trafficking and money laundering.

Born on this day in history: January 3, 1956 - Mel Gibson (1956-) Born in Peekskill, NY, producer, director and actor Mel Gibson grew up in Australia. His first success was in "Mad Max" (1979), and he went on to international fame in blockbuster hits such as "Lethal Weapon" (1987) and "Braveheart" (1995). Gibson bankrolled and directed the controversial, "The Passion of the Christ" in 2004.

Scripture of the Day: "For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say 'No' to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age," (Titus 2:11-12)

Video of the Day: Gone in Four Seconds - submitted by Jay

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From the Local News: Burglary Suspect Found in Biohazard Trash Can

By E-R Staff - Chico Enterprise Record

A burglary suspect hiding inside Chico Immediate Care Medical Center was ultimately found inside a trash can marked for biohazards.

When an alarm sounded at 1:37 a.m. Tuesday at the clinic on Vallombrosa Avenue, Chico Police officer Kevin Bartine found a broken window, according to a press release from Sgt. Scott Franssen.

A suspect could be seen inside the building, but he reportedly refused to come out or talk to officers when they called to him. He appeared to be looking for somewhere to hide, then moved out of sight.

Since surrounding police didn't know if the suspect was armed, canine officer Jeff Durkin and his partner Ray were called to help search the building.

The dog alerted on a covered biohazard trash can in a back room and officers reportedly pulled the lid off the can to reveal Michael Bywater, 33.

Bywater refused to come out and officers Frank Deshler, Neil Simpson and Rob Sheridan had to remove him.

Property belonging to the clinic was reportedly found in Bywater's possession and he was booked in Butte County Jail on a burglary charge.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Heat of the Moment, Cold Case File, -and- Inked

Heat of the Moment - Daytona Beach, Florida braces for snow
Cold Case File - FBI to re-examine D.B. Cooper skyjacking
Inked - men shoot themselves while tracing gun for tattoo design

On this day in history: January 2, 1995 - Marion Barry inaugurated as mayor of Washington, D.C., four years after leaving the office in disgrace to serve a six-month sentence for smoking crack.

Born on this day in history: January 2, 1969 - (1969-) Born in Walnut Creek, CA, model Christy Turlington got her start by chance when a photographer snapped a photo of her on horseback and it landed at a modeling agency. Today, she has appeared on more than 300 magazine covers and is best known for work for Calvin Klein and Georgio Armani. Turlington is married to actor-filmmaker Edward Burns and has two children.

Scripture of the Day: "Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom." (Psalm 90:12)

Video of the Day: Adaptability

Here is an available-light photograph taken with a Nikon D3 DSLR camera. I did not take this photograph. I wish I had taken this photograph! Click to enlarge.

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Well, good morning! Welcome to 2008! I hope this is a glorious year for everyone!

Cell Phone Distraction: I have long railed against people who talk on their cell phones while driving. I have seen several written reports and one television program which documented the findings regarding the distraction cell phones cause to those who use them while driving. I have personally experienced many instances of people using cell phones while driving and appearing to focus more on their conversations than their driving. I have had one near collision because of my proximity to a cell-phone-using driver.

I am pleased to see the new DMV regulations regarding cell-phone use while driving. I posted three threads in the Main forum today regarding this. HOWEVER, this afternoon I experienced a cell-phone user that easily out-distances all others I have encountered--IN THE MARKET! I use my cell phone perhaps once a month, and I turn it on only when I intend to make a call. It is difficult for me to imagine such a burning desire--let alone a NEED--to use a cell phone while driving, unless one is lost or late for an appointment, of course. I do not recall EVER using my cell phone in the market. I suppose it could prove helpful for asking a spouse's opinion regarding dinner plans, for example, but I have never used my cell phone in the market.

As I was shopping at Sav-Mor Foods shortly after 2 PM today, I rounded an aisle with my cart, saw a woman headed in my direction with her cart, and moved to the far right of the aisle so she would have room to pass. I saw that she was talking on her cell phone. She was absorbed in conversation and pushed her cart along, seemingly oblivious of the items shelved in that aisle. As she neared me, she suddenly began to fling her free hand about--gesticulating and cursing loudly into the cell phone. She reapplied her hand to the cart, pushed it ahead violently, swerved to her left, crashed solidly into my cart, and gave me a scowling glance! As if the collision were MY fault! She did not apologize. She simply swung her cart about, disentangling it from mine, and continued, still chatting on the cell phone.

"Excuse me," I said. She stared at me, obviously wondering why I was talking to her. She gave me a blank stare, and I continued, "What make, model, and color vehicle do you drive?" "Why?" she asked. "I wish to be ever-vigilant for this vehicle. I wish to ensure that I never occupy the same roadway as you. You have demonstrated your inability to successfully maneuver a shopping cart. I have no desire to fall victim to your lack of ability to maneuver a motor vehicle." She cursed at me. I continued, completing my shopping.

[While I slept] I drove to Harvest Christian Center at 8:15 AM. Laura had been there since 7:30 AM, rehearsing with the worship team. I sat in the seat adjacent to the seat where Laura had positioned her Bible and notebook. I took my HP iPAQ from my pocket and opened QuickVerse, in anticipation of using it during the service. I then opened Mah Jongg and played while listening to the worship rehearsal.

Suddenly, I was aware that it was no longer worship rehearsal. Worship had begun, and everyone was standing, except me. I returned my iPAQ to my pocket and stood. As worship was ending, a stranger to me appeared at the podium, placed a Bible on the podium, opened the Bible, and looked out into the audience. The stranger wore a dark, three-piece suit. The coat was much longer than that of a standard suit. It seemed in the tradition of coats favored by traditional evangelists of the early 1900s. The stranger gave a powerful sermon--the basis of which was the necessity for Christians to spread the Good News.

I awakened, thinking this to be an unusual dream. I forgot the dream, as I went about my morning. Laura left for her worship rehearsal. I showered and dressed and drove to the church.

I sat in the seat adjacent to where Laura had placed her Bible and notebook. I took my HP iPAQ from my pocket and opened QuickVerse. There was no time for game-playing. I placed the iPAQ back in my pocket. Pastor Nick opened the service. Worship followed. Pastor Rob came to the podium, without the wireless microphone he generally uses. Following an award to Matt, who is leaving to begin studies at a Christian college in Texas, a slide show of photographs of Matt began. During this slide show, I noticed a stranger in the front center row. He was wearing a wireless microphone. He was dressed in a dark, three-piece suit. The suit coat was long--like that worn by evangelists in the early 1900s.

Pastor Rob introduced the stranger as Rev. Bobby Nott and said that he had started Harvest Christian Center. Rev. Nott gave a very spirited sermon. He spoke of the necessity for Christians to disciple those who had not heard the Good News.