Friday, May 30, 2008

Arf!, Homewrecker, -and- Brainscan

Arf! - cops: driver was high on pet meds
Homewrecker - girl's Facebook party destroys parents' $8.8 million home
Brainscan - computer trained to read minds

On this day in history: May 30, 431 - Joan of Arc is burned at the stake in Rouen, France for relapsing into heresy. After having signed a confession a week earlier, Joan appeared in court wearing difformitate habitus—degenerate apparel—or more precisely, men's clothing.

Born on this day in history: May 30, 1972 - Manny Ramirez (1972-) Born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and raised near Yankee Stadium, baseball player Ramirez, a right-handed outfielder, is one of the best hitters in the league. He played with the Cleveland Indians (1993-2000) and then the Boston Red Sox, helping them end an 86-year losing streak to become World Champions in 2004.

Scripture of the Day: The God of our fathers raised Jesus from the dead -- whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree. - Acts 5:30

Video of the Day: Adventures in Masai Mara - submitted by Cindy

Cave canem mosaics ("Beware of the Dog") were a popular motif for the thresholds of Roman villas. Click to enlarge.

It appears that today will be considerably warmer than recent days. It is already noticeably warmer than it has been, and the sun is shining brightly. It is forecast to be in the mid-to-high 80s today—approximately 10 degrees warmer than it has been on prior days this week.

For dinner last evening, I made chicken breasts and baby red potatoes in gravy and steamed broccoli. I cut Tyson boneless, skinless chicken breasts that I had previously grilled into 2-inch-wide strips and arranged in a large sauté pan. I cooked baby red potatoes for 4 minutes in the microwave oven, halved, and arranged with the chicken strips in the sauté pan. I poured chicken gravy over the chicken and potatoes, seasoned with Tony Chachere's More Spice, ground black pepper, and garlic powder, and turned the burner to low. I cleaned two large heads of broccoli, cut into sections, and placed in a covered casserole dish. When Laura arrived home, she tended to the chicken. When it was time to eat, she steamed the broccoli in the microwave for 4 minutes. It was an excellent meal. Leftovers will follow Laura to Chico on Monday.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Somebody's Watching You, The Naked Truth, -and- Mind Control

Somebody's Watching You - investigators raid German telcom in spy probe
The Naked Truth - nude woman crashes car into men looking for lost cat
Mind Control - monkeys control robot arm with thoughts

On this day in history: May 29, 1999 - Hikers discover the skeletal remains of Philip "Taylor" in his Ford Aerostar at the bottom of a 200-foot ravine in Malibu, California. The onetime bassist for the band Iron Butterfly had disappeared four years prior.

Born on this day in history: May 29, 1958 - Annette Bening (1959- )Actress, born May 5, 1958, in Topeka, Kansas, to A. Grant Bening, an insurance salesman, and Shirley Bening, a church singer. The youngest of four children, Bening has two brothers and one sister.

Scripture of the Day: Peter and the other apostles replied: "We must obey God rather than men!" - Acts 5:29

Video of the Day: Come on down to the Farm - submitted by Frank

Korean War film to be shot in Red Bluff A Sacramento State University philosophy professor and his brother are filming a documentary about the Korean War in Red Bluff. Michael Epperson and his brother, Christos, named the movie "Outpost Harry." The production crew is shooting the battle scenes in Red Bluff this summer. Initial funding of $200,000 for "Outpost Harry" came from the movie's executive producer, Mike Pagomenos. Another $400,000 has been contributed by Robert Baker, one of the battle's veterans. The battle being reenacted began June 10, 1953, when about 3,600 Chinese forces attacked the Korean hill held by about 100 American soldiers.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Fighting Back, Going off the Deep End, -and- Bad Parenting

Fighting Back - homeowner shoots would-be burglar
Going off the Deep End - lifeguard mandated for 2-foot wading pool
Bad Parenting - baby put up for sale on Craigslist

On this day in history: May 28, 1998 - Talented comedian Phil Hartman dies at the hand of his crazy wife Brynne, who then commits suicide after the police arrive. Hartman's corpse is found in bed with multiple gunshot wounds to the head.

Born on this day in history: May 28, 1944 - Rudolph Giuliani (1944 - ) Born in New York City, former Mayor of New York Rudolph Giuliani (1993–2001) was U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York (1983–9), before being elected New York mayor. Giuliani is best known for his leadership in the aftermath of the terrorist attack on New York on September 11, 2001. He was awarded an honorary knighthood by the UK in 2002.

Scripture of the Day: But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. - Matthew 5:28

Video of the Day: Honda ASIMO Conducts The Detroit Symphony Orchestra - submitted by Amber

A family that lives on the outskirts of Anchorage, Alaska decided to build a sturdy, colorful playground for their 3- and 4-year-old sons. They lined the bottom with smooth-stone gravel all around to avoid knee scrapes and other injuries. They finished building it one Friday evening and were very pleased with the end product. The following morning, the mom was about to wake up the boys and have them go out to play in their new play center. This is what she saw from the upstairs window: Click to enlarge.

No storm! The thunderstorm that was forecast for yesterday did not materialize! Thank you, Lord, for the glorious day you gave us in place of the one predicted by man!

It appears that today will be a beautiful day. The sun is shining brightly, the sky is blue and clear, and the birds are singing merrily.

For dinner last evening, I made beef stir fry, with grilled top sirloin, sliced mushrooms, sliced red bell pepper, sliced garlic, sliced white onion, and sugar snap peas—stir-fried in extra-virgin olive oil and seasoned with Tony Chachere's More Spice, curry powder, crushed red pepper, cumin, and ground black pepper. To accompany this, I mad fried rice, with cooked Calrose rice, minced garlic, grated ginger, eggs, and baby peas—stir-fried in extra-virgin olive oil and seasoned with Tony Chachere's More Spice, curry powder, saffron, and crushed red peppers. It was a delightful meal.

I recorded the second half of "The Andromeda Strain." We shall watch it later in the week.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Stars and Stripes, Internet Itch, -and- EEK!

Stars and Stripes - vet faces lawsuit for displaying American flag
Internet Itch - group wants public Wi-Fi banned, claims allergy
EEK! - FAO Schwarz shoppers spot real mice among pricey toys

On this day in history: May 27, 1993 - Five are killed and 37 wounded when a Fiat Fiorino explodes outside the Uffizi museum in Florence, Italy.

Born on this day in history: May 27, 1923 - Henry Kissinger (1923 - ) Born in Fuerth, Germany, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger (1971–6) gained national attention with his first book, Nuclear Weapons and Foreign Policy (1957). He was an adviser to Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy and Johnson, and served as Secretary of State in the Nixon and Ford administrations.

Scripture of the Day: After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector by the name of Levi sitting at his tax booth. "Follow me," Jesus said to him, and Levi got up, left everything and followed him. - Luke 5:27

Video of the Day: Defective - Awesome Robot Animation

A cop's worst nightmare! Click to enlarge.

Thundershowers forecast! Thundershowers are forecast for today! Yikes! The weather over the Memorial Day weekend was not particularly warm, and wind plagued much of the weekend, but it appears that the weather is quickly worsening today!

Thursday, I made pasta with marinara sauce. I sautéed ground sirloin, diced white onion, sliced white mushrooms, and minced garlic in extra-virgin olive oil. I seasoned with Tony Chachere's More Spice, ground black pepper, and Italian seasoning. When this was fully cooked, I added a jar of Classico Tomato and Basil marinara sauce. Laura cooked a package of Barilla Thick Spaghetti until al dente and incorporated into the sauce. At the table, we added DiGiorno Parmesan cheese and crushed red peppers. It was wonderful.

Friday evening, we had a Red Baron Special Deluxe pizza. I chopped a large Jalapeño pepper, and Laura scattered this atop the pizza prior to baking it. It was delightful.

We grilled top sirloin steaks and giant shrimp on Saturday. I marinated the shrimp in extra-virgin olive oil, minced garlic, grated ginger, rice wine vinegar, Tony Chachere's More Spice, and lime juice. Laura put a spicy dry rub on the steaks. I grilled the steaks and shrimp. It was an excellent meal.

Sunday, I marinated Tyson boneless, skinless chicken breasts in extra-virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, Tony Chachere's More Spice, ground black pepper, sea salt, garlic powder, ground cayenne pepper, and lime juice. I grilled the chicken, using indirect heat, for an hour—turning and brushing with the marinade every 15 minutes. I seasoned a head of cauliflower and a head of peeled garlic with Tony Chachere's More Spice and ground black pepper and steamed in the microwave for eight minutes. Laura added I Can't Believe It's Not Butter and grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese and mashed. It was a delightful meal.

We had intended to toss a large rack of baby back ribs onto the grill yesterday, but we were both lazy and decided to postpone this until next weekend. We enjoyed leftover pasta with marinara sauce.

On Saturday, we watched "The Guardian" on Blu-ray. [Appointed to teach at an elite Coast Guard school, legendary rescue swimmer Ben Randall (Kevin Costner) is compelled to skillfully train and inspire cocky upstart Jake Fischer (Ashton Kutcher). Applying unorthodox coaching methods, Ben helps the young hotshot build his strength -- and character -- in this powerful tale of courage and endurance of the human spirit from director Andrew Davis.] We enjoyed this movie a good deal. We were surprisingly impressed with Ashton Kutcher's acting. Kevin Costner, as always, was excellent. It is a very powerful movie. I highly recommend it to all.

Yesterday, we watched "War" on Blu-ray. [FBI agent Jack Crawford (Jason Statham) is out for revenge when his partner is killed and all clues point to the mysterious assassin Rogue (Jet Li). But when Rogue turns up years later to take care of some unfinished business, he triggers a violent clash of rival gangs. Will the truth come out before it's too late? When the dust settles, who will remain standing? Directed by Philip G. Atwell, this taut action thriller also stars John Lone.] This movie is really exciting, and the chase scenes and special effects are first rate. I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys action/adventure movies.

We watched "Invincible" on Blu-ray yesterday. [Average Joe and devoted Philadelphia Eagles fan Vince Papale (Mark Wahlberg) manages to land a spot on his favorite NFL team in open tryouts. He's just lost his wife and his job as a substitute teacher, but by impressing the coach and winning a place on the field, Papale turns a terrible year into a winner in this inspiring film (based on a true story) from the producers of the similar, baseball-themed The Rookie.] This is an amazingly powerful movie that is based on a true story. Mark Wahlberg turns in an excellent performance, the story is wonderful, and the action scenes are extremely well done. I am not a football fan (Laura is), but I thoroughly enjoyed the movie nonetheless. I highly recommend it.

We watched the first half of "The Andromeda Strain" last evening. [Based on the bestselling book from Michael Crichton (Jurassic Park), and from executive producers Ridley Scott and Tony Scott comes a four-hour miniseries adaptation of The Andromeda Strain. The story follows a team of scientists investigating a deadly disease from an alien world that threatens to destroy mankind. Directed by two-time Academy Award® nominee Mikael Saloman (Cinematographer on Backdraft, The Abyss), and featuring a cast which includes: Benjamin Bratt (“Law & Order”), Christa Miller (“Scrubs”), Eric McCormack (“Will & Grace”), Ricky Schroder (“NYPD Blue”), Andrew Braugher (“Homicide: Life on the Streets”), Christa Miller (“Scrubs”), Daniel Dae Kim (“Lost”), and Viola Davis (“Traveler”).] It was very good—particularly for a made-for-television movie. We are eager to see the conclusion this evening.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Our Father, The Kids Are Alright, -and- Flip this House

Our Father - pilots run out of fuel, pray, land near Jesus sign
The Kids Are Alright - 10-year-old boy honored for saving choking classmate's life
Flip this House - $230 million house world's most expensive

On this day in history: May 23, 1934 - A group of FBI agents and police officers from two states ambush Bonnie and Clyde on a highway near Gibsland, Louisiana. The men open fire as the bank robbers drive past the concealed posse, unloading hundreds of rounds into the car.

Born on this day in history: May 23, 1974 - Jewel (1974- ) Singer, songwriter. Born Jewel Kilcher on May 23, 1974, in Payson, Utah. A popular recording artist, Jewel grew up in Alaska. She began her musical career at the age of six, joining her parents, singer-songwriters Atz Kilcher and Nedra Carroll, on stage. After her parents divorced, Jewel continued to tour with her father for several years. When Jewel was fifteen, she made a major change in her life. She starting performing as a solo act and won a vocal scholarship to Interlochen, a private school in Michigan dedicated to the arts. While there, she began writing songs and took up the guitar. Jewel later moved to San Diego, California, to live with her mother. But she eventually branched out on her own, ending up living in a van for a time as she tried to make as a performer.

Scripture of the Day: May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. - 1 Thessalonians 5:23

Video of the Day: Hillary Cackle

Politics 2008 - the candidates. Click to enlarge.

The wind continues! The fierce wind that has plagued us for days continues! The temperatures are considerably lower than last week—in the mid-to-high 70s only! This is certainly not good weather for Memorial Day weekend and will not provide a pleasant environment for the fairs and many Memorial Day events. Hopefully, the wind will soon abate, the temperatures will rise, and this will become a warm, calm, and festive weekend!

Of course, it could be worse! One of my brothers and his family live in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Here are some photographs he took of the current fire-fighting activity near his home! Click to enlarge.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Somebody's Watching You, Animal Kingdom, -and- Go Tell Al!

Somebody's Watching You - "Big Brother" database for phones and emails planned
Animal Kingdom - lost parrot tells veterinarian his address
Go Tell Al! - snow to meet Memorial Day hikers in Vermont

On this day in history: May 22, 1954 - 400 people attend the Bar Mitzvah for Bob Dylan (Robert Allen Zimmerman) in Hibbing, Minnesota. He later converts to Christianity in 1979.

Born on this day in history: May 22, 1970 - Naomi Campbell (1970-) Born in London, model and actress Naomi Campbell is one of the most renowned supermodels. She was the first black woman to appear on the covers of French and British Vogue. Campbell has also appeared in several music videos and films. She has been linked with high-profile love interests Mike Tyson, Robert De Niro and Usher.

Scripture of the Day: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. - Galatians 5:22-23

Video of the Day: Redneck Art Made with BBQ Ribs

This redneck seafood platter is the special at a local fine-dining
establishment. Click to enlarge.

The wind continues! The wind that has plagued us for the last few days continues. shows the wind currently at 17 MPH. Gusts, however, are 30-45 MPH. It is hideous. Hopefully, this wind will abate prior to Memorial Day weekend!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

You Want Fries with That?, The Kids Are Alright, -and- Crime and Punishment

You Want Fries with That? - NY restaurant offers $175 burger
The Kids Are Alright - teen saves 5-year-old boy from drowning
Crime and Punishment - city to jail people who do not cut lawns

On this day in history: May 21, 1979 - A judge gives Dan White only seven years for the premeditated murders of Harvey Milk and Mayor Moscone, prompting thousands to march on San Francisco's City Hall. In what will come to be known as the White Night Riots, the demonstration takes a violent turn, resulting in significant property damage and the torching of twelve SFPD cruisers. Police respond with brutal beatdowns at gay bars in the Castro district.

Born on this day in history: May 21, 1917 - Raymond Burr (1917–93) 1957–66 Television actor, born in Westminster, Canada. Coming from Canada to study at Stanford University, he began as a stage actor, appearing in regional theatre before moving into television dramas and films. He starred as the burly detective in the "Perry Mason" (1957–66) and "Ironside" (1967–75) series, winning two Emmys. He went on to appear in several TV mini-series and in extended versions of Perry Mason.

Scripture of the Day: God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. - 2 Corinthians 5:21

Video of the Day: What Matters to You? - submitted by Amber

I saw this campaign button on a teller at the bank yesterday afternoon!

It is windy today! Today, we are plagued with a wind such as this part of the world has never previously experienced. It was all I could do to remain upright while walking from the parking lot behind my office to the front door of my office. Yikes! Hopefully, this wind will abate prior to the Memorial Day weekend. Also, it is forecast to be a relatively chilly 79 degrees today! This does not inspire the cavorting generally associated with Memorial Day weekend!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Hot Air, So Sue Me, -and- The Kids Are Alright

Hot Air - 31,000 scientists reject "global warming" agenda
So Sue Me - personal injury attorney slammed by fire tuck
The Kids Are Alright - twins to graduate as valedictorians

On this day in history: May 20, 1960 - Music DJ Alan Freed, originator of the term "Rock and Roll," is indicted in New York in the Payola scandal. Freed had accepted $30,650 from five record companies to play their records, although to be fair "pay for play" was the accepted practice up to that point.

Born on this day in history: May 20, 1946 - Cher (1946– ) Born Cherilyn La Piere Sarkisian in El Centro, CA, singer and actress Cher originally paired in a singing act with then-husband Salvatore "Sonny" Bono (1935-98), and was known for rock anthem "I Got You Babe" (1965). Cher found greater success on her own, as a singer and a stage and film actress, winning an Academy Award for "Moonstruck" (1987).

Scripture of the Day: Remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins. - James 5:20

Video of the Day: Dagon the Leopard Gecko - submitted by Danica

Our IRS incentive check arrived yesterday. Thank you, Mr. Bush!

It is forecast to be considerably cooler today. Yesterday the high was 95 degrees. Today, it is predicted to reach a relatively cool 83 degrees.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Got Milk?, Grave Injustice, -and- Animal Kingdom

Got Milk? - 14 tons of spilled Oreo cookies snarl Illinois traffic
Grave Injustice - Former head of UCLA cadaver program indicted for alleged body parts trafficking
Animal Kingdom - Ohio university awards degree to dog

On this day in history: May 19, 1536 - In the first public execution of an English queen, Anne Boleyn is beheaded.

Born on this day in history: May 19, 1925 - Malcolm X (1925–65) Born Malcolm Little in Omaha, NE, activist Malcolm X spent 10 years in prison for burglary (1946), where he discovered the anti-white Black Muslims. He came to national attention via writings and a TV documentary (1959) that portrayed him as a threat to white people. Breaking with the Muslims (1964), he worked to internationalize the Afro-American struggle, forming the Organization of African American Unity. Assassinated in New York City, Malcolm X remains a powerful influence and transformed a generation of African-Americans.

Scripture of the Day: Jesus did not let him [the man from whom he had cast out demons] come with him, but said, "Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you." - Mark 5:19

Video of the Day: Obama Claims He Has Visited 57 States - submitted by Jeffrey

Friends! Click to enlarge.

The weather was very warm over the weekend: Temperatures reached highs of 103 degrees on Saturday and 102 degrees on Sunday.

Saturday, I made Pacific ebi rolls—sushi rolls, made with ebi, green onion, and avocado. They were wonderful. Laura and I both declared that I must make sushi more often, since we both enjoy it a great deal.

Sunday, we had cheeseburgers and fries. I thinly sliced, poached, and dried four large white mushrooms. I finely chopped a quarter of a large red onion. Laura added the mushroom slices and onion to a quantity of Sierra Nevada ground beef. She added minced garlic, ground black pepper, crushed red pepper, Tony Chachere's More Spice, and teriyaki sauce and molded this into four large patties. I thinly sliced a large tomato and a large red onion. I cut four large slices of extra-sharp cheddar cheese. I placed a quantity of Ore-Ida fries in the oven and fired up the grill. I toasted some Oroweat onion rolls on the grill while the burger patties cooked. I took the onion rolls to the table, and Laura and I prepared them while waiting for the fries and burger patties to cook. When the patties were nearly done, I placed the cheese slices atop them and turned off the gas. I left the patties in the grill for five minutes. The cheese melted beautifully. I removed the fries from the oven, and took the burger patties and fries to the table. It was a delicious meal. Two burger patties remain for a dinner later in the week.

Friday, May 16, 2008

How Do You Feel?, The Kids Are Alright, -and- Do You Want Fries with That?

How Do You Feel? - over-the-phone lie detector catches "sick" employees
The Kids Are Alright - Michigan teen sells 17,328 boxes of Girl Scout cookies
Do You Want Fries with That? - Philly's $100 cheesesteak

On this day in history: May 16, 1995 - After receiving an anonymous tip that a runaway teen was hiding there, police in Coral Gables, Florida search Jennifer Capriati's motel room and uncover 20 grams of marijuana. The 18-year-old professional tennis player winds up diverted to a drug treatment program, avoiding a court trial.

Born on this day in history: May 16, 1966 - Janet Jackson (1966-) Born in Gary, IN, singer and songwriter Janet Jackson grew up in the show business family that included her five brothers, or The Jackson Five. She scored success with album "Control" (1986), which sold eight million copies, and went on to release several bestseller albums, developing a suggestive style of performing that fueled popularity.

Scripture of the Day: In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. - Matthew 5:16

Video of the Day: Cats on a Treadmill - submitted by Chris

Open wide! Click to enlarge.

For dinner last evening, we had BLTs. I broiled pre-cooked deli bacon in the oven, spread out on paper towels, in a large Pyrex baking dish. I thinly sliced a large tomato and a large red onion. Instead of the traditional Romaine lettuce, we used baby spinach. I toasted sourdough bread. At the table, Laura slathered mayonnaise on her bread, and I used Sierra Nevada Stout mustard and a bit of mayonnaise. The BLTs were delightful.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Come to the Cabernet, The Plane Truth, -and- Flip this House

Come to the Cabernet - music can enhance wine taste
The Plane Truth - Paul McCartney "horrified" as his eco car is flown 7,000 miles from Japan
Flip this House - Palm Beach estate sells for $100 million

On this day in history: May 15, 1972 - Hoping to gain everlasting infamy, Arthur Bremer pumps five bullets into Democratic presidential candidate George Wallace during a campaign stop in Laurel, Maryland. In his haste, the gunman forgets to yell his carefully-chosen catchphrase, "Penny for your thoughts!" And when Wallace survives the assassination attempt, albeit confined to a wheelchair, Bremer's name is soon forgotten.

Born on this day in history: May 15, 1923 - Richard Avedon (1923- 2004) Born in New York City, photographer Richard Avedon began shooting fashion for "Harper's Bazaar" (1945-65), and became known for stark portraits of people in unusual poses. He published his first book of celebrity portraits, "Observations," in 1959. In 1963, Avedon photographed aspects of the Civil Rights and Anti-War movements, then became famous working for "Vogue."

Scripture of the Day: Be very careful, then, how you live -- not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. - Ephesians 5:15/

Video of the Day: Would You Eat This? - submitted by Amber

A new seller appeared at the local farmers market last evening. Click to enlarge.

May Madness Slide Show: A slide show of photographs from last weekend's May Madness 2008 awaits your viewing pleasure. From the Local Events Photo Gallery choose May Madness Car Show.

Warm Weather! Warm weather has arrived! It was in the high 80s last evening at 6:45 PM, when Laura and I traveled in Mr. Nitro to Bible class at Harvest Christian Center. Mr. Nitro's outside temperature display indicated that it was 78 degrees this morning as I drove to my office at 6:15 AM. It is forecast to be 101 degrees this afternoon. The warm weather has arrived!

Yesterday afternoon, at 12:35 PM, the telephone rang:
ME: California Technologies.
CALLER: Hello. Do you do computer repairs?
ME: Yes. I would be pleased to test your computer and give you an estimate for repairs at no cost. Time constraints, however, do not allow me to schedule this earlier than Monday after 10 AM.
CALLER: That's no good. I need it fixed today. Right away. I've got stuff I need to do.
ME: What is the nature of the problem you have encountered? Perhaps I can assist you without the necessity of your bringing your computer here.
CALLER: Whoa! You need to come here.
ME: I do not make on-site repairs. You would need to bring your computer here, and Monday morning would be the earliest that I could diagnose it.
CALLER: I've got a big sale going on eBay. I've got to get back online and deal with it. I need you to come and fix my computer asap.
ME: What is the nature of the problem you have encountered? Perhaps I can assist you without the necessity of your bringing your computer here.
CALLER: You don't get it, do you? I'm not unhooking all this stuff. My brother borrowed my car 'cause his is in the shop. I need this thing fixed asap.
ME: I can offer the use of a kiosk system here that has nigh-speed Clearwire Internet access. You may use this system at no cost to finalize your eBay auction. I will be here until 3:30 PM. You may use this system until then.
CALLER: You don't get it, do you? My brother's got my car. His is in the shop.
ME: I understand. If you find someone who can provide you transportation to my office, you may use the kiosk system until 3:30 PM. In order to avoid having to return on Monday, you may bring your computer here today. If I find that I have time to diagnose it earlier, I shall do so, but at present, it would be Monday morning before I will have the time to test it.
CALLER: I'm not going anywhere. My brother's got my car, and I don't have anybody to drive me. You'll have to come here and fix it asap.
ME: What is the nature of the problem you have encountered? Perhaps I can help you without necessitating physically inspecting your computer.
CALLER: It won't go on the Internet. It says "no dial tone."
ME: That would indicate there is no dial tone. Ensure that your computer is connected to a working telephone jack. Try restarting the computer. When you do this, shut the computer down, unplug the power cord for 5 minutes, reconnect the power cord, and restart the computer. If this does not solve the problem, I would need to test the computer. It sounds as if your modem has stopped working. First, however, try the suggestions I have made.
CALLER: You're telling me to do YOUR job for you?
ME: Excuse me. I have a client here who has just brought her computer in for service. I must excuse myself and consult with her. She has an appointment. Good bye.

I replaced the receiver. I began a fresh game of Mah Jongg on my HP iPAQ. A few minutes later, the telephone rang. Caller ID indicated it was the recent caller. I let it go to voice mail. No message was left. This happened three additional times. I have had no further communication from this person.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Stupid Criminals, No Kidding, -and- Neither Rain nor Sleet...

Stupid Criminals - college student jailed for throwing M&Ms at cops
No Kidding - parents fly away, leave toddler at airport
Neither Rain nor Sleet... - postal worker accused of taking 100,000 pieces of mail home

On this day in history: May 14, 1976 - Keith Relf, former vocalist of the Yardbirds, is electrocuted in his London home while either tuning or playing a guitar belonging to either him or his son, in either the basement or the bathtub. Details are sort of sketchy, resulting from the family's reticence to describe the death scene.

Born on this day in history: May 14, 1944 - George Lucas (1944-) Born in Modesto, CA, director, writer and producer George Lucas hit it big with low-budget "American Graffiti" (1973), which is considered one of the most successful low-budget features ever made. He then created fantasy adventure "Star Wars" (1977). Made for $11 million, the film grossed over $513 million worldwide in its original release alone. Lucas continued the story in sequels, setting up a special effects company, Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) and a sound studio, Skywalker Sound. A single parent, Lucas has adopted three children.

Scripture of the Day: Seek good, not evil, that you may live. Then the LORD God Almighty will be with you, just as you say he is. - Amos 5:14

Video of the Day: Challenger 2.0 - Dodge's New Muscle Car

Here is a photograph from last weekend's May Madness car show. I shall soon
produce a slide show and will post the URL here when I have done so. Click
to enlarge.

Each weekday morning, I awaken at approximately 5 AM. Sometimes, I awaken a few minutes earlier, and sometimes I awaken a few minutes later. I always awaken within 5 or 10 minutes of 5 AM, however. Imagine my surprise this morning when I awakened, looked at the alarm clock on Laura's side of the bed, and saw that it was 6:05 AM! Yikes! I scurried about—showering and dressing. Generally, I have 30 minutes or more each morning during which I read scripture. This morning, there was no time for this. I bade Laura a good morning and scurried off to Mr. Nitro. As I drove to work, I thought that it appeared very dark. Lately, it has been daylight during my morning drive to my office.

Imagine my surprise when I looked at Mr. Nitro's time display and saw that it was FIVE-THIRTY AM! Apparently, Laura had incorrectly set the time on the alarm clock. Oh, well, it is quiet here at 5:30 AM. I should be able to get some things accomplished before the rush of clientele descends upon me!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Fighting Back, Parking Wars, -and- You Talk Too Much

Fighting Back - 77-year-old man sends intruder out on a stretcher
Parking Wars - man saws car in half after it's booted in his driveway
You Talk Too Much - man arrested for refusing to hang up cellphone during flight

On this day in history: May 13, 1913 - The latest brainchild of Russian aircraft design genius Igor Sikorsky embarks on its maiden flight. The Grand, easily the world's most luxurious passenger plane, includes such innovations as upholstered seats, a balcony, and even a lavatory.

Born on this day in history: May 13, 1950 - Stevie Wonder (1950– ) Born in Saginaw, MI, musician superstar Stevie Wonder, a premature baby, was blinded by receiving too much oxygen in the incubator. In 1963, at 12, his single, "Fingertips - Pt. 2" became his first million seller. On his 21st birthday, Wonder renegotiated his contract to gain artistic control. In the 1970s, he released a series of innovative, commercially successful albums that fused progressive rock and soul, social commentary and ballads. Wonder was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1989.

Scripture of the Day: I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. - 1 John 5:13

Video of the Day: Bill Clinton: Voodoo Doll - submitted by Amber

Yikes! Click to enlarge.

Unsafe at any speed! Click to enlarge.

The wind that howled fiercely yesterday has abated a good deal. Hopefully, it shall soon be gone entirely. It is forecast to be 90 degrees today, 94 degrees on Wednesday, and 101 degrees on Thursday. A gentle breeze of an evening would be welcomed, certainly, yet this wind serves only to annoy.

Monday, May 12, 2008

The Name Game, Weapons of Choice, -and- Crime and Punishment

The Name Game - biologist honors Neil Young with new variety of spider
Weapons of Choice - Dennis Farina arrested at LAX for carrying loaded handgun
Crime and Punishment - dad jailed when 18-year-old daughter fails math test

On this day in history: May 12, 1797 - Following Napoleon's conquest of Venice, Ludovico Manin reluctantly steps down as its last Doge. Thus ends the Most Serene Republic's 820-year history of national sovereignty.

Born on this day in history: May 12, 1907 - Katharine Hepburn (1907–2003) Born in Hartford, CT, actress Katharine Hepburn made her stage debut in 1928, and from 1932 on, attained international fame as a strong character actress. Among her outstanding films is "Woman of the Year (1942)," which was the beginning of a 25-year relationship with co-star Spencer Tracy. She won several Oscars, notably for "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?" (1967) and "On Golden Pond" (1981). In 1991 she published "Me: Stories of My Life."

Scripture of the Day: Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you. - 1 Thessalonians 5:

Video of the Day: Baby Back Ribs Recipe - from the Barbecue Web

Laura's granddaughter, Parker, enjoys baby back ribs for the first time! Click to enlarge.

May Madness—the annual Corning Car Show— was held last weekend. It was a great success. Soon, I shall have a slide show created from selected photographs I took of the event. I shall publish the URL here when it is ready for viewing.

Saturday, we watched "Into the Blue" in HD on the USA Network. [A group of divers discovers a dangerous deep-sea treasure in this thriller starring Paul Walker, Jessica Alba, Josh Brolin, Ashley Scott and Tyson Beckford. While diving in the deep blue waters off the Bahamas, the team finds a sunken plane with an illegal cargo worth millions. But ruthless drug kingpins are also after the plane's illicit booty, and the divers wind up in hot water as they quickly go from the hunters to the hunted.] We were very pleasantly surprised. Neither of us expected the movie to be as well-acted and entertaining as it was. It was actually highly entertaining and well-acted. I recommend it. The photography (particularly in HD) was awesome.

Later that day, we watched "The World's Fastest Indian" on Blu-ray Disc. [Based on a true story, this drama follows 67-year-old grandfather and New Zealander Burt Munro (Anthony Hopkins) as he flies across Utah's Bonneville Salt Flats and blazes into the record books at 183.586 mph on his customized Indian Scout motorcycle. Set in 1967.] This movie was absolutely wonderful and heartwarming. Anthony Hopkins' acting was (as always) flawless, and the story was fascinating. I highly recommend this movie.

For dinner Sunday, we had linguine with giant shrimp. I marinated giant shrimp in extra-virgin olive oil, minced garlic, Tony Chachere's More Spice, and rice wine vinegar. I cooked a package of Barilla linguine until al denté, drained, and set aside. Laura sautéed the shrimp in the marinade. When the shrimp were cooked, she incorporated the linguine, added more extra-virgin olive oil and Tony Chachere's More Spice, stirred, and took the dish to the table. At the table, we added DiGiorno shredded Parmesan cheese and crushed red peppers. A bottle of Robert Mondavi 2004 Private Reserve Chardonnay accompanied the meal. It was wonderful. Leftovers followed Laura to Chico this morning, to be enjoyed for lunch.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Fighting Back, Crime and Punishment, -and- Heat of the Moment

Fighting Back - business owner kills suspected burglar
Crime and Punishment - cop shoots, kills man who gunned down his K9 partner
Heat of the Moment - coolest April in 11 years

On this day in history: May 9, 1950 - L. Ron Hubbard publishes the first edition of "Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health." This follows on the heels of a feature article in the pulp sci-fi magazine "Astounding Science Fiction." A book review in the "The New Republic" describes the work as "a bold and immodest mixture of complete nonsense and perfectly reasonable common sense, taken from long-acknowledged findings and disguised and distorted by a crazy, newly-invented terminology." The subsequent movement goes on to become one of the scariest, most powerful pseudo-religious cults in modern history.

Born on this day in history: May 9, 1946 - Candice (Patricia) Bergen (1946-)
Born in Beverly Hills, CA, daughter of ventriloquist Edgar Bergen, actress Candice Bergen began her career alongside her father's puppets Charlie McCarthy and Mortimer Snerd. She modeled as a teen, then moved into acting, gaining success with "Carnal Knowledge" (1971). In 1988, she launched her most-famous role in sitcom "Murphy Brown" (1988-1998), which won her five Emmys. Bergen published her memoir, "Knock Wood," in 1984.

Scripture of the Day: For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. - 1 Thessalonians 5:9-10

Video of the Day: Old Muscle Car Show

Good Morning! Click to enlarge.

The May Madness Car Show is finally here. Corning Ford will kicked off the event with a Car Show Mixer last night. Today, the registration begins at 4 PM at the Transportation Center, and the Burnout Eliminations start at 5 pm. There will be food and other vendors operating from 5 PM to 9 PM, and the Cruise begins at 7 PM.

Saturday morning registration takes place at the Transportation Center from 7 AM to 10 AM, and the Pancake Breakfast at the Corning Volunteer Fire Hall will be held at the same time. There will be more vendors throughout the day. The Hydraulic Show begins at 10 AM, and the Burnout Finals are at 11 AM. Starting at 12 PM, the Raffle Drawings will begin, and the Awards Presentation will start at 3 PM.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Fighting Back, Heat of the Moment, -and- Don't Let the Bed Bugs Bite!

Fighting Back - robber fatally shot by Miami jewelry store owner
Heat of the Moment - cold water thrown on Antarctic warming predictions
Don't Let the Bed Bugs Bite! - NY subways invaded by blood-sucking insects

On this day in history: May 8, 1999 - Actress Dana Plato, who played Kimberly Drummond on Diff'rent Strokes, dies in Oklahoma of an overdose of Valium and Loritab. Just the previous day, Plato had appeared on the Howard Stern syndicated radio program claiming to be clean and sober.

Born on this day in history: May 8, 1884 - Harry S Truman (1884–1972) Born in Lamar, MO, 33rd President Harry Truman (1945–53) was elected to the U.S. Senate (1935–45), and gained national attention heading "The Truman Committee," which investigated wartime production. That gained him a spot as Franklin D. Roosevelt's new vice-president in 1944. When Roosevelt died, Truman became president, going on to win the close 1948 election. The "everyday American" surprised everyone by dropping the atom bombs on Japan, forming the post-war Marshall Plan and proposing the "Truman Doctrine" of Communist containment.

Scripture of the Day: But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. - Romans 5:8

Video of the Day: Baraky - Barak Obama and Hillary Clinton in their own words! - submitted by Jeffrey

The many face of Hillary Clinton. Yikes! Click to enlarge.

Last evening, at Harvest Christian Center, a graduation ceremony for those who had completed The Lord's Table program supplanted the Bible class which is generally held on Wednesday evenings. Laura and I were among those who gave testimonies and received diplomas. It was a beautiful ceremony.

This weekend is the annual May Madness Corning Car Show. Friday evening, there will be burnouts (in front of the police station!) and a cruise. Saturday will feature burnout finals and a car show. It is an excellent event. If you find yourself near this area, I highly recommend that you attend this event.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Other Charges May Apply, Calling All Carbs, -and- Animal House

Other Charges May Apply - dirty tricks credit card companies play
Calling All Carbs - dietitian hired to arrest LA cops' obesity
Animal House six fraternities suspended in drug probe at San Diego State University

On this day in history: May 7, 1959 - Small-time boxing promoter Don King is arrested in Cleveland on suspicion of drug dealing. His criminal record includes a 1955 arrest for arson, a 1954 arrest for murder, and others.

Born on this day in history: May 7, 1901 - Gary Cooper (1901–61) Born in Helena, MT, actor Gary Cooper became a star as the laconic cowboy in "The Virginian" (1929). Initially known for off-screen romances, he came to personify the archetypal American, winning Academy Awards for work in "Sergeant York" (1941) and "High Noon" (1952).

Scripture of the Day: Cast all your anxiety on him [God] because he cares for you. - 1 Peter 5:7

Video of the Day: 400-way Skydiving World Championship - submitted by Amber

For dinner last evening, I made a potato and sausage sauté: I pre-cooked quartered baby red potatoes by boiling them for 10 minutes. I sautéed a sliced white onion, sliced red bell pepper, three sliced Jalapeño peppers, and a head of peeled garlic cloves in extra-virgin olive oil. I seasoned with Tony Chachere's More Spice, ground black pepper, and ground cumin. I sliced three Johnsonville hot Italian sausages (previously grilled for Sunday's dinner) into 1/2-inch slices. When the onions became translucent, I added the sausage. Our new GE microwave oven is still in the service center, awaiting a part, so I used a "trick" that impressed Laura greatly: I warmed two flour tortillas by folding them and placing them in the toaster. The meal was delicious. The leftovers will follow Laura to Chico today for her lunch.

We watched "Rattouille." [Brad Bird (The Incredibles) co-directs this Oscar-winning Pixar offering, following the antics of a passionate rat named Remy (voiced by Patton Oswalt) who yearns for a sip of the good life. Growing up beneath a five-star Parisian restaurant owned by a famous chef (Brad Garrett), Remy inherits a taste for fine food. But his culinary ambitions only anger his practical father, who wishes his son could just eat garbage like everyone else.] We had seen this movie before (at the theatre, actually--a very rare thing indeed), but the viewing experience was considerably enhanced by viewing the movie in Blu-ray Disc on our HD system. It is a wonderfully entertaining movie. I highly recommend it.

This weekend is the annual May Madness Corning Car Show. Friday evening, there will be burnouts (in front of the police station!) and a cruise. Saturday will feature burnout finals and a car show. It is an excellent event. If you find yourself near this area, I highly recommend that you attend this event.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Fighting Back, Stupid Criminals, -and- Hold the Salad

Fighting Back - store clerk shoots would-be robber
Stupid Criminals - motorcyclist flips off cops, slams into cruiser
Hold the Salad - Switzerland grants unprecedented rights to plants

On this day in history: May 6, 1937 - Zeppelin Hindenberg explodes at Lakehurst NJ, leaving 36 dead and others seriously burned. Official cause of the explosion is listed as "St. Elmo's Fire."

Born on this day in history: May 6, 1961 - George Clooney (1961– ) Born in Lexington, KY actor, producer and director George Clooney became known as Dr. Doug Ross in TV series "ER" (1994?9), and went on to fame in such hits as "Batman and Robin" (1997), "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" (2000) and "Oceans Eleven" (2001). In 2003, Clooney made his directorial debut with "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind."

Scripture of the Day: "I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me." - Deuteronomy 5:6-7

Video of the Day: The Revival Hymn - submitted by Laura

1. You have to be against capital punishment, but support abortion on demand.
2. You have to believe that businesses create oppression and governments create prosperity.
3. You have to believe that guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens are more of a threat than nuclear weapons technology in the hands of Chinese and North Korean communists.
4. You have to believe that there was no art before federal funding.
5. You have to believe that global temperatures are more affected by soccer moms driving SUVs than by scientifically documented cyclical changes in the earth's climate.
6. You have to believe that gender roles are artificial, but being homosexual is natural.
7. You have to believe that the AIDS virus is spread by a lack of federal funding.
8. You have to believe that the same teacher who can't teach fourth graders how to read is somehow qualified to teach those same kids about sex.
9. You have to believe that hunters don't care about nature, but loony activists who have never been outside of San Francisco do.
10. You have to believe that self-esteem is more important than actually doing something to earn it.
11. You have to believe that Mel Gibson spent $25 million of his own money to make "The Passion of the Christ" for financial gain only.
12. You have to believe that the NRA is bad because it supports certain parts of the Constitution, while the ACLU is good because it supports certain parts of the Constitution.
13. You have to believe that taxes are too low, but ATM fees are too high.
14. You have to believe that Margaret Sanger and Gloria Steinem are more important to American history than Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Edison, and Alexander Graham Bell.
15. You have to believe that standardized tests are racist, but racial quotas and set-asides are not.
16. You have to believe that Hillary Clinton is normal and is a very nice person.
17. You have to believe that the only reason socialism hasn't worked anywhere it's been tried is because the right people haven't been in charge.
18. You have to believe that conservatives telling the truth belong in jail, but a liar and sex offender belonged in the White House.
19. You have to believe that homosexual parades displaying drag, transvestites, and bestiality should be constitutionally protected, and manger scenes at Christmas should be illegal.
20. You have to believe that illegal Democratic Party funding by the Chinese Government is somehow in the best interest of the United States
21. You have to believe that it's okay to give federal workers the day off on Christmas Day, but it's not okay to say "Merry Christmas."
22. You have to believe that this message is part of a vast right wing conspiracy.

Ready to vote?

Monday, May 05, 2008

Fighting Back, Law of the Land, -and- Mommy Dearest

Fighting Back - gunman shot, killed with own gun by store manager
Law of the Land - judge gives offenders choice: pay fine or donate blood
Mommy Dearest - woman shoots 8-year-old daughter in leg to win $1 bet

On this day in history: May 5, 1982 - Secretary Janet Smith in the computer science department at Vanderbilt University is injured when she opens a package from the Unabomber.

Born on this day in history: May 5, 1959 - Brian Williams (1959-) Born in Elmira, NY, TV news anchor Brian Williams began his career in Kansas before moving to local CBS outlet in New York City, where he won an Emmy for reporting on the stock market collapse. Climbing the ranks, he took over from Tom Brokaw as anchor of NBC Nightly News in 2004. Williams at first drew criticism for being stiff, but his acclaimed coverage of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 improved his image.

Scripture of the Day: And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. - Romans 5:5

Video of the Day:

David Gallo: Underwater Astonishment - submitted by Laura

Laura took this photograph of Sunday's grilled chicken and hot Italian sausage. Click to enlarge.

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

The Weekend: The weekend was warm and sunny. We enjoyed leftover fettuccine with marinara sauce Friday evening. For Saturday's dinner, I grilled New York strip steaks, Jalapeño peppers, yellow squash, white mushrooms, and baby red potatoes. The steaks were excellent, and I grilled them perfectly—charring them nicely on the exterior and leaving them rare in the center.

Sunday's dinner was a mixed grill and rice with tomato, corn and peas. Laura grilled seven large Tyson boneless, skinless chicken breasts and five Johnsonville hot Italian sausages. She charred the chicken and sausages nicely then moved them away from the flame. She brushed the chicken and sausages with spicy barbecue sauce and turned several times. I placed a cup of Calrose rice, 2 cups of water, a handful of frozen corn kernels, a handful of frozen peas, 2 diced Roma tomatoes, ground black pepper, and Tony Chachere's More Spice in the rice cooker. The rice was wonderful. We shall make this tasty, easy-to-prepare side dish again soon.

Friday evening, we watched "Walk the Line" [2005) PG-13 Among the pantheon of great country singers, Johnny Cash (played here by Joaquin Phoenix) may just be the most enigmatic. James Mangold's film distills Cash's transformation from man to icon -- from his hardscrabble days on an Arkansas farm to Sun Records in Memphis, Tenn., where Cash finally found a way for his talent to come into its own. Reese Witherspoon plays his beloved June, alongside co-stars Robert Patrick and Shelby Lynne.] We had seen this movie previously, but we had not seen it in HD. I recorded it previously with our DVR. It is a wonderful movie, and I highly recommend it. Joaquin Phoenix gives an incredible performance as Johnny Cash, and Reese Witherspoon is stunning as June Carter.

Sunday evening, we watched "The Bourne Supremacy" [2004) PG-13 When a CIA sting in Berlin turns murderously wrong, everyone suspects it's the handiwork of Jason Bourne (Matt Damon). As the CIA hunts for their lost ex-killer Bourne, Bourne himself is pursued by a ruthless cartel bent on framing him up -- and leaving him dead. Franka Potente returns as Marie Helena Kreutz alongside Joan Allen as Agent Helen Landy.] We had seen this movie previously, but we had not seen it in HD. It is an exciting, well-produced movie, and I highly recommend it.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Animal Cruelty, Jaws of Death, -and- The Fats of Life

Animal Cruelty - trooper beats, kicks K9 partner
Jaws of Death - huge alligator on loose outside Florida elementary school
The Fats of Life - judge holds court in parking lot for 500-pound man

On this day in history: May 2, 1946 - Six prisoners attempt to escape the federal prison on Alcatraz island. They take over their cellblock but fail to gain access to the outside. One guard held hostage is executed by prisoners, and another dies in the attempt to retake the cellblock. The Battle of Alcatraz ends only after the deaths of three prisoners, and two others are subsequently executed at San Quentin.

Born on this day in history: May 2, 1985 - Sarah Hughes (1985-) Born in Great Neck, NY, figure skater Sarah Hughes was surprise gold medalist at the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City. She is currently skating professionally and attending Yale University.

Scripture of the Day: Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few. - Ecclesiastes 5:2

Video of the Day: Back in the days of the Soviet Union, the Soviet Red Army had an official choir composed of male soldiers and musicians. It still exists. The Red Army Choir performs throughout Russia to this day. Now consider the Finnish rock band called The Leningrad Cowboys. A little while ago, they held a concert in Russia, in which - to the screaming applause of Russkie teen-agers - they got the Red Army Choir to join them on stage for a performance of "Sweet Home Alabama." In English. You couldn't make this up. We are talking seriously off-the-wall here. Better have that Stoli ready when you watch it! - submitted by Frank

Yikes! No caption needed! Click to enlarge.

It is warmer today! Yesterday morning, as I drove to my office a 6:30 AM, Mr. Nitro's exterior temperature display registered 46 degrees. This morning, a half-hour earlier, at 6 AM, the display registered 54 degrees. This is a significant increase, and it was very noticeable! The air is calm, the sky is blue and clear, the sun is shining brightly, and the birds are singing! It appears that this will be a particularly beautiful, warm weekend!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Follow the Evidence, Stupid Criminals, -and- Brave New Schools

Follow the Evidence - "CSI" star, Gary Dourdan, charged with drug possession
Stupid Criminals - bank workers recognized alleged robber as colleague
Brave New Schools - ban on bowing for prayer challenged

On this day in history: May 1, 1942 - The 215th and final hanging occurs at California's San Quentin maximum security prison. Subsequent executions utilize the facility's gas chamber, and ultimately, inmate's choice of that or lethal injection.

Born on this day in history: May 1, 1939 - Judy Collins (1939-) Born in Seattle, WA, singer Judy Collins was a piano prodigy but switched to guitar, releasing her first album in 1961, at 22, and a gold album in 1967, "Wildflowers." Later albums, like 1968's "Who Knows Where the Time Goes," produced by then-boyfriend Stephen Stills, established her reputation. Collins wrote a memoir, "Trust Your Heart," two novels, and directed 1974 documentary "Antonia: A Portrait of the Woman."

Scripture of the Day: Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ... - Romans 5:1

Video of the Day: National Day of Prayer - May 1, 2008

John Jacobs' Next Generation Power Force: View slide show of images from John Jacobs' Power Force presentation

The wind has abated! The wind that has plagued us for the last several days appears to have abated. While not significantly warmer than yesterday morning, it is considerably more comfortable because the wind has gone.

Laura brought two Sierra Nevada gourmet pizzas home from work last evening. We enjoyed them following Bible class at Harvest Christian Center. She brought a Mediterranean pizza (pesto sauce, artichoke hearts, red onion, olives, etc.) and a Brewery Employees' Favorite pizza (red sauce, four cheeses, mushrooms, several meats, etc.). They were delightful. Some of the leftover pizza followed Laura to work for lunch, and the balance followed me to my office and was enjoyed as breakfast this morning.