Friday, August 29, 2008

Fighting Back, Somebody's Watching You, -and- Hic!

Fighting Back - robber shot to death by intended victim
Somebody's Watching You - man found hiding in ceiling over women's restroom
Hic! - Pennsylvania professor charged with 3 DUIs in 8 days

On this day in history: August 29, 2005 - Category 3 storm Hurricane Katrina attacks the Gulf coast with 145-mph winds. Cities in Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi are declared disaster areas. Parts of New Orleans are submerged, some residents are left to scramble to their rooftops awaiting rescue.

Born on this day in history: August 29, 1915 - Ingrid Bergman (1915 - 1982) Born in Stockholm, Sweden, actress Ingrid Berman was a popular romantic star in films like "Casablanca" (1942) and "Notorious" (1946). In 1950, she gave birth to the illegitimate child of director Roberto Rossellini, which created a scandal. Bergman won Oscars for "Gaslight" (1944), "Anastasia" (1956), and "Murder on the Orient Express" (1974).

Scripture of the Day: "But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?" Peter answered, "You are the Christ." - Mark 8:29

Video of the Day: The Mentalist: Card Awareness Test - submitted by Amber

This creature is serious about nose picking! Click to enlarge.

BREAKING NEWS! - 8:30 AM - As I predicted!! John McCain has chosen Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate!

Christian One Liners:
Don't let your worries get the best of you; remember, Moses started out as a basket case.

Some people are kind, polite, and sweet-spirited until you try to sit in their pews.

Many folks want to serve God, but only as advisers.

It is easier to preach ten sermons than it is to live one.

The good Lord didn't create anything without a purpose, but mosquitoes come close.

When you get to your wit's end, you'll find God lives there.

People are funny; they want the front of the bus, the middle of the road, and the back of the church.

Opportunity may knock once, but temptation bangs on your front door forever.

Quit griping about your church; if it was perfect, you couldn't belong.

If the church wants a better preacher, it only needs to pray for the one it has.

God Himself does not propose to judge a man until he is dead. So why should you?

Some minds are like concrete thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.

Peace starts with a smile.

I don't know why some people change churches; what difference does it make which one you stay home from?

A lot of church members who are singing 'Standing on the Promises' are just sitting on the premises.

We were called to be witnesses, not lawyers or judges.

Be ye fishers of men. You catch them - He'll clean them!

Coincidence is when God chooses to remain anonymous.

Don't put a question mark where God put a period.

Don't wait for 6 strong men to take you to church.

Forbidden fruits create many jams.

God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called.

God grades on the cross, not the curve.

God loves everyone, but probably prefers 'fruit of the spirit' over a 'religious nut!'

God promises a safe landing, not a calm passage.

He who angers you, controls you!

If God is your Co-pilot - swap seats!

Don't give God instructions -- just report for duty!

The task ahead of us is never as great as the Power behind us.

The Will of God never takes you to where the Grace of God will not protect you.

We don't change the message, the message changes us.

You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage him.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Armed and Dangerous, Save the Last Dance for Me, -and- Nabster

Armed and Dangerous - cops issuing tickets for messy yards, unmowed lawns
Save the Last Dance for Me - man stabs woman for refusing dance invitation
Nabster - man arrested for leaking Guns N' Roses online

On this day in history: August 28, 1968 - U.S. Ambassador to Guatemala John Gordon Mein is shot to death after guerrillas force his car off the road in Guatemala City. It is the first assassination of a U.S. Ambassador in the line of duty.

Born on this day in history: August 28, 1965 - Shania Twain (1965-) Born Eileen Edwards, in Windsor, Canada, country singer and songwriter Shania Twain was performing by age 10. In 1987, her mother and stepfather were killed in a car accident, leaving Twain to care for three younger siblings. In 1993, she went to Nashville and released "The Woman in Me" in 1995, which sold 12 million copies, becoming the bestselling country album by a female artist in history.

Scripture of the Day: And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. - Romans 8:28

Video of the Day: 40ft Robot Elephant - submitted by Danica

Obama and his pals. Click to enlarge.

Hot and windy! That is the forecast. It reached 110 degrees yesterday, although the fierce wind that plagued us during the early morning subsided by late morning. Hopefully, the wind will abate similarly today. It is currently 86 degrees at 7:14 AM! It is predicted to be 108 degrees today, 110 degrees tomorrow, and drop to a relatively cool 99 degrees on Saturday and a frosty 89 degrees on Sunday.

I had an interesting photographic assignment yesterday: I was commissioned to photograph fraternal twins. I am not nearly as adept at guessing age as the people who do this on the midway at carnivals, but I estimate these twins were six months of age. The mother commissioned the shoot in order to have photographs to submit to a baby contest—the top prize for which is $50,000. It shall be interesting to see how these twins fare against the competition.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Let's Make a Deal, Armed and Dangerous, -and- Brave New Schools

Let's Make a Deal - wife sells DVD case with $1,200 inside for $10
Armed and Dangerous - cops accused of doing doughnuts with cruiser
Brave New Schools - cartwheels banned on playgrounds

On this day in history: August 27, 1990 - Blues guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan is killed when his Bell 206B helicopter crashes into a man-made ski hill near Elkhorn, Wisconsin.

Born on this day in history: August 27, 1910 - Mother Teresa (1910 - 1997) Born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu in Skopje, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, missionary Mother Teresa went to India in 1928, taking her final vows in 1937. In 1957 she began work with lepers and in disaster areas of the world. In 2003, she was beatified by Pope John Paul II.

Scripture of the Day: The men were amazed and asked, "What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!" - Matthew 8:27

Video of the Day: Advanced Yoga, Headstand - submitted by Amber

He hears nothing! Click to enlarge.

Images from Corning Olive Festival 2008 await your viewing pleasure. From the index page for - the Local Events Photo Gallery - choose Corning Olive Festival - Friday or Corning Olive Festival - Saturday. You may view the images individually, or you may view them as a slide show. To view them as a slide show, click on the "start slide show" link at the
left, below the first image.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Family Matters, Stupid Criminals, -and- Armed and Dangerous

Family Matters - majority voters bash Obama's "family" values
Stupid Criminals - hit-and-run suspect sues NYC over damaged car
Armed and Dangerous - police department arrests, jails, investigates 10 officers in 4 months

On this day in history: August 26, 1980 - Hotel workers discover a 1,000-pound time bomb at Harveys Resort & Casino in Lake Tahoe, Nevada. Attached to the device is a ransom note, demanding that $3 million be delivered to a remote location by helicopter. After the delivery goes bad, bomb squad personnel are left to defuse the gadget by robot. The resulting blast blows a five-story hole in the structure and causes $12 million in damage.

Born on this day in history: August 26, 1960 - Branford Marsalis (1960-) Born in Beaux Bridge, Louisiana, musician Branford Marsalis comes from a jazz musician family. He became a national celebrity in 1992 when he signed as musical director for Jay Leno’s "Tonight Show." A Grammy Award-winner, Marsalis is also a music producer, writer and performer of film scores.

Scripture of the Day: In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will. - Romans 8:26-27

Video of the Day: Sand Animation of Animals - submitted by Cindy

Obama and his pals. Click to enlarge.

Images from yesterday's Harvest Christian Center Baseball Tournament await your viewing pleasure. From the index page for - the Local Events Photo Gallery - choose Harvest Christian Center Baseball Tournament 2008. You may view the images individually, or you may view them as a slide show. To view them as a slide show, click on the "start slide show" link at the left, below the first image. I shall be creating slide shows from photographs of the Olive Festival-both Friday night and Saturday-and will announce when the slide shows are available.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Never Too Young, Marooned!, -and- Matters of Life and Death

Never Too Young - 8-year-old girl files for divorce
Marooned! - Nebraska law allows abandonment of teens
Matters of Life and Death - Fed protects doctors from being forced to perform abortions

On this day in history: August 25, 2001 - Rhythm and blues singer Aaliyah and 8 others die in a plane crash on the island of Abaco in the Bahamas. Excessive weight aboard the tail end likely caused the plane to go down.

Born on this day in history: August 25, 1930 - Sean Connery (1930 - ) Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, actor Sean Connery was cast in "Dr. No" as Ian Fleming's secret agent James Bond in 1963, which made him an international star. He won an Oscar as an aging Irish cop in "The Untouchables" (1987). Connery was knighted in 1999.

Scripture of the Day: But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. - Romans 8:25

Video of the Day: Joe Biden's Racist Slip - submitted by Darin

Hear no evil! Click to enlarge.

What a pair! Click to enlarge.

The Corning Olive Festival parade took place last Friday evening, and the Olive Festival events filled Woodson Park on Saturday. Slide shows created from photographs of these events will soon be available online, and I shall alert readers of their availability.

The Harvest Christian Center baseball tournament took place yesterday afternoon. A slide show created from photographs of this event will soon be available online, and I shall alert readers of this availability.

Laura tended the grill Saturday evening. She grilled huge top sirloin steaks, yellow squash, Jalapeños, red bell peppers, and white mushrooms. She marinated everything with a marinade that I prepared from extra-virgin olive oil, granulated garlic, ground ginger, rice wine vinegar, and Tony Chachere's More Spice. It was delicious.

Yesterday morning, I made a large frittata using leftovers from Saturday's dinner. I sliced leftover top sirloin, red bell pepper, Jalapeño, and yellow squash. I cubed red potatoes and steamed in the microwave with sliced white onion. I sautéed the onions and potatoes, and added the leftovers. Laura took over. She seasoned the mixture with Tony Chachere's More Spice, ground black pepper, and granulated garlic. She whisked six eggs and poured over the mixture. I sliced cheddar cheese. Laura added the cheese to the frittata when the eggs were done, took the sauté pan to the table, and allowed the frittata to rest for five minutes—allowing the cheese to melt perfectly. We enjoyed half of this delightful frittata, and the balance awaits our dining pleasure later this week.

For dinner last evening, I made grilled chicken wings. Laura made a batch of Fridays beer-batter onion rings. It was wonderful. I removed the wing ends from a dozen large chicken wings, placed the wings in a zip-lock bag, and covered with Louisiana hot sauce. The wings marinated in the sauce for 8 hours. I grilled the wings over a high flame until they were nicely charred on both sides, brushing with reserved marinade prior to turning. I then turned off the flame under the wings, left the flame high on the front burner, and continued grilling over indirect heat for 45 minutes—brushing with marinade each 10 minutes. It was wonderful. Three chicken wings remain and shall follow Laura to work this morning for her lunch.

Friday, August 22, 2008

To Serve and Protect, Mommy Dearest, -and- What's Your Age Little Girl?

To Serve and Protect - woman arrested for overdue library books
Mommy Dearest - woman arrested for filling baby bottle with wine
What's Your Age Little Girl? - hacker uncovers proof Chinese gymnast is underage

On this day in history: August 22, 1992 - FBI sniper Lon Horiuchi fires a rifle shot that kills unarmed Vicki Weaver, at the Ruby Ridge standoff. Horiuchi claimed he was trying to shoot another man in the back. The FBI also killed Weaver's fourteen year old son Sam, and the son's dog.

Born on this day in history: August 22, John Lee Hooker (1917 - 2001) Born in Clarksdale, Missouri, blues singer and guitarist John Lee Hooker began in Detroit in 1948 with the release of "Boogie Chillun," the biggest of several hits. He appeared in films and was inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame in 1991.

Scripture of the Day: "As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease." - Genesis 8:22

Video of the Day: Amazing Contortionist - Rubber Boy - submitted by Amber

Olympic panorama before 100m final shows photographers, Beijing National Stadium. A 360-degree, high-resolution panorama, shot by Kari Kuukka from a photographer's corral about 30 minutes before the start of the men's 100m final at Beijing National Stadium on Saturday, gives an up-close look at the working shooters in attendance and the Canon and Nikon gear they were using.

Click the image to view an auto-panning 360-degree panorama of Beijing Olympics Stadium. The Shift key will zoom in, the Command (Mac) / Control (Windows) key will zoom out. Click and hold down the mouse button inside the photo to navigate around. (If you pan down to track level you'll see many more photographers in position for the race as well.)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Fighting Back, Superboy, -and- Global Cooling

Fighting Back - man uses martial arts to stop alleged carjacker
Superboy - 12-year-old 7 feet tall, still growing
Global Cooling - 2008 so far coolest in 5 years

On this day in history: August 21, 1996 - Superfreak Rick James (prisoner J29237) is released from Folsom Prison after serving a two year sentence for drugs and assault. He had planned to marry his fiance, Tanja Anne Hijazi, upon release but she had been nicked for shoplifting a pair of boots two days earlier.

Born on this day in history: August 21, 1956 - Kim Cattrall
Born Clare Woodgate in Liverpool, England, and raised on Vancouver Island, Canada, actress Kim Cattrall was first noticed by director Otto Preminger in 1975. In 1998, Cattrall became an international celebrity playing Samantha Jones in HBO’s award-winning comedy series "Sex and the City."

Scripture of the Day: He replied, "My mother and brothers are those who hear God's word and put it into practice." - Luke 8:21

Video of the Day: "Wall-E" Final Trailer - submitted by Cindy

Michael Moore goes to Cuba - again! Click to enlarge.

My 1974 Maria Muldaur photograph was published in the Sacramento News & Review today! Not only is the photograph featured in an article about Maria Muldaur, it is featured on the front page of the online edition!

To view the front page of the Sacramento News & Review, Click Here -or- click the image below to enlarge!

To view the article, Click Here -or- click the image below to enlarge!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Fighting Back, To Serve and Protect, -and- Out of Step

Fighting Back - pistol-packin' woman, 85, stops thief
To Serve and Protect - sheriff and deputy drive 4,100 miles and pick up wrong prisoner
Out of Step - researcher says "Bigfoot" just a rubber gorilla suit

On this day in history: August 20, 1986 - Rather than submit to being fired, part-time letter carrier Pat Sherrill shoots 14 coworkers at his Edmond, Oklahoma post office.

Born on this day in history: August 20, 1954 - Al Roker (1954-) Born in Queens, New York, weatherman and TV personality Al Roker reported weather in Ohio and D.C. before becoming NBC’s "Today" show weatherman in 1996. He has won nine Emmys for shows he’s produced.

Scripture of the Day: We want to avoid any criticism of the way we administer this liberal gift [the money that had been given for the Christians in Jerusalem]. For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of men. - 2 Corinthians 8:20-21

Video of the Day: "Wall-E" Movie Teaser 1 - submitted by Cindy

Barak Obama is ready to meet with almost anyone! Click to enlarge.

Images from the Youth Fair are now available for viewing. From the Local Events Photo Gallery, click on Youth Fair. You may view the images individually or as a slide show. To view them as a slide show, click on "start slide show."

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Burning Down the House, The Kids Are Alright, -and- iBurn

Burning Down the House - Reno teen sets home ablaze trying to kill spiders
The Kids Are Alright - teen charity drive raises over $1 million
iBurn - overheated iPod nano caused fires

On this day in history: August 19, 1996 - After Miss Universe Alicia Machado gains 40 pounds in just 3 months, she is ordered to lose 27 pounds in two weeks or forfeit the crown.

Born on this day in history: August 19, 1919 - Malcolm Forbes Biography (1919 - 1990) Born Aug. 19, 1919, New York City, N.Y., U.S.—died Feb. 24, 1990, Far Hills, N.Y.) American business leader, owner-publisher of Forbes magazine, and promoter of capitalism known for his opulent lifestyle and lively self-promotion.

Scripture of the Day: When men tell you to consult mediums and spiritists, who whisper and mutter, should not a people inquire of their God? Why consult the dead on behalf of the living? - Isaiah 8:19

Video of the Day: Extreme Skydiving - submitted by Darin

Here is a photograph from last Saturday's Youth Fair. Click to enlarge.

MY PREDICTION: I have put a good deal of thought into this, and I am predicting that Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin will be John McCain’s choice for vice president. Palin is a bold, first-term Republican governor, a former beauty pageant winner, and a mother of five. She would bring an energy—a dynamism—to the campaign and could help McCain win several battleground states.

Here is her Web site: Governor Palin

Here is a good resource: Sara Palin on the Issues

Monday, August 18, 2008

To Serve and Protect, All Donations Are Final, -and- Mommy Dearest

To Serve and Protect - Buffalo Police batter their way into wrong house, traumatize family
All Donations are Final - Edwards' campaign backers want money back
Mommy Dearest - 70-year-old mother of twins pleased with son, says daughter a "burden"

On this day in history: August 18, 1590 - Sent to England to get supplies three years prior, John White finally returns to Roanoke Island and discovers his colony "strongly enclosed with a high palisade of great trees, with [curtain walls] and [bastions] -- very fort-like." There is no sign of the settlers or where they may have gone.

Born on this day in history: August 18, 1957 - Denis Leary (1957- ) Comedian, actor, writer, producer. Born on August 18, 1957, in Worcester, Massachusetts. After becoming popular as a fast-talking, sarcastic comedian in the 1990s, Denis Leary has demonstrated his ability to be a dramatic performer and creative force behind the camera. Born into a blue-collar Irish family, he did not consider an acting career until a teacher persuaded him to perform in a school production. Leary later attended Emerson College and was one of the founders of the Emerson Comedy Workshop. After graduation, he briefly taught acting and screenwriting at the school. All the while, Leary continued to develop his comic talents, doing stand-up at the local comedy clubs.

Scripture of the Day: I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. - Romans 8:18

Video of the Day: Kobayashi vs Giant Bear - submitted by Amber

Surf's up! Click to enlarge.

Cool weather! Today is significantly cooler than it has been of late. It is forecast to be a mere 90 degrees today and 88 degrees for the next few days. This is certainly cooler than the 110+ days we experienced last week.

Corning's annual Olive Festival takes place this week. This event will certainly benefit from cooler weather.

Update on News & Review publication of Maria Muldaur photograph: Apparently, I misunderstood that my 1974 photograph of Maria Muldaur would be used in last week's Chico News & Review. The photograph is set to appear in the next issue of the Sacramento News & Review—to be available this Thursday in print and online at Sacramento News & Review.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Faith under Fire, Jaws of Death, -and- Somebody's Watching You

Faith under Fire - atheists abandon attempt to ban baptisms
Jaws of Death - man fights off black bear with bare hands to save 8-year-old son
Somebody's Watching You - spy cam in Walmart sends credit card information to thieves

On this day in history: August 15, 1969 - Woodstock begins on Max Yasgur's farm in upstate New York. Tickets are $18 for three days of counterculture musical acts, including Jimi Hendrix, The Who, and Sha-Na-Na.

Born on this day in history: August 15, 1972 - Ben Affleck (1972-) Actor, screenwriter. Affleck grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts. His first acting experience was in "The Dark End of the Street" (1979), an independent film. At the age of eight, Affleck appeared in a PBS production, "The Voyage of the Mimi." That same year, he met his future best friend, Matt Damon, a 10-year-old who lived two blocks away.

Scripture of the Day: For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." - Romans 8:15

Video of the Day: Google Maps: Part 1 of "The Googling" - submitted by Laura

Mr. Fly came to have his portrait taken. He would not come inside my studio, so I met him outside. Click to enlarge.

Hot! It is going to be particularly hot again today, and it is forecast to be hotter yet for the weekend. The high here yesterday was reported as 110 degrees. It is expected to be that again today and reach 112 to 115 over the weekend!

Imagine my fear and loathing when I reached Mr. Nitro yesterday afternoon, in preparation to journey to my home, when I realized I had neglected to affix the sun shield! Great Scott! The leather seat seared the flesh on the backs of my legs. My hands quickly cooked and left large patches of skin on the steering wheel. Perhaps I exaggerate. I do not exaggerate much, however!

For those who feverishly ferreted the Chico News & Review for my Maria Muldaur photograph: Do not despair. I was not able to find it, either. I assume that was intended for next week's issue. I shall determine this and advise you.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Just Think, To Serve and Protect, -and- Free Ride

Just Think - future wars to be fought with mind drugs
To Serve and Protect - former border agent sentenced for checkpoint smuggling
Free Ride - man steals ambulance outside hospital

On this day in history: August 14, 1945 - Over the radio, Hirohito announces his unconditional surrender to Allied forces, thus bringing an end to World War II.

Born on this day in history: August 14, 1966 - Halle Berry (1966-) Actress, model. Born August 14, 1968, in Cleveland, Ohio. Berry garnered the most positive critical notice of her film career in late 2001, for her performance as the wife of a death row prisoner in the dark drama "Monster's Ball." The role earned Berry a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in a Drama and the Academy Award for Leading Actress.

Scripture of the Day: Israel has forgotten his Maker and built palaces; Judah has fortified many towns. But I will send fire upon their cities that will consume their fortresses. - Hosea 8:14

Video of the Day: Fast Sushi Eating - submitted by Darin

This will not end well! Click to enlarge.

I received an email request from the Chico News & Review yesterday to use one of my photographs—a concert shot of Maria Muldaur that I took in 1974—in an story in this week's issue. I was told that I would receive photographic credit and a link to my company Web site. I agreed, of course. The Chico News & Review may be viewed here.

Generally (during warm weather), each morning when I arrive at my office, I open the transoms over the front door and open the rear door—creating a good venue for cool morning air to pass through the building. Not this morning! This morning, it was far too warm to expect respite from the morning air. I engaged the air conditioning at 6:15 AM! Yesterday, the high temperature was 107 degrees. It appears that it will be warmer today!

Yesterday, I watched a new movie, "Experience Jimi Hendrix" via Netflix. As you may recall, my office television died. I now listen to Sirius satellite radio or watch movies from Netflix using my computer. My main office system has a 22" ViewSonic Professional series LCD monitor and a good surround sound system, with an amplified subwoofer. If you are a Hendrix fan, this movie must be viewed!

Buddy Guy, Mick Taylor and other masters of blues, rock and pop unite to salute the great Jimi Hendrix in this electrifying pair of tribute concerts: one in San Diego, the other in Hendrix's native Seattle. Tracks include Kenny Wayne Shepherd on "Come On (Let the Good Times Roll)," Eric Gales on "Purple Haze," Living Colour on "Crosstown Traffic," Guy and Andy Aledort on "Hoochie Coochie Man," and Taylor and Indigenous on "Red House."

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I Heard You Talking in Your Sleep, Stop Granny Stop!, -and- Somebody's Watching You

I Heard You Talking in Your Sleep - man unconsciously leaks affair
Stop Granny Stop! - woman arrested for giving granddaughter joy ride atop car
Somebody's Watching You - Google Street View captures drunk

On this day in history: August 13, 1521 - After an 80-day siege, Spanish conquistador Hernando Cortés captures Tenochtitlan, capital of the Aztec Empire. When the Spaniards fail to discover Montezuma's treasure, they torture Cuauhtemoc by pouring hot oil over his feet. The emperor responds by asking, "Am I on a bed of roses?" They hang him three years later.

Born on this day in history: August 13, 1899 - Alfred Hitchcock (1899 - 1980) Born London—died Bel Air, CA. Motion-picture director whose suspenseful films won immense popularity. The son of a London poultry dealer, Hitchcock attended St. Ignatius College, London, and the University of London, where he studied engineering. In 1920 he began to work in the motion-picture industry, designing title cards for the Famous Players-Lasky Company. Within a few years he had become a scenario writer and an assistant director, and he directed his first film ("The Pleasure Garden") in 1925. With "The Lodger" (1926), the story of a family who mistakenly suspect their roomer to be Jack the Ripper, Hitchcock began making the "thrillers" with which he was to become identified. "His Blackmail" (1929) was the first successful British talking picture. During the 1930s he directed such classic suspense films as "The Man Who Knew Too Much" (1934), "The Thirty-nine Steps" (1935), "Sabotage" (1936), and "The Lady Vanishes" (1938). In 1939 Hitchcock left England for Hollywood, where his first film, "Rebecca" (1940), won an Academy Award for best picture.

Scripture of the Day: For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. - Romans 8:13-14

Video of the Day: Dice Stacking: Basic Tricks - submitted by Jay

Click to enlarge.

For dinner last evening, I made burritos. I diced a leftover grilled pork loin chop and placed in a large sauté pan, with 1 1/2 cups of Calrose rice, 2 cups of water, and a cup of the salsa I made Sunday morning. When the rice was done, I drained a can of black beans and added the beans to the mixture. At the table, we spooned this into warm flour tortillas and added shredded cheddar cheese and salsa. It was a delightful meal. Leftovers shall follow Laura to Chico tomorrow morning.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Fighting Back, Law of the Land, -and- Did You Want Fries with That?

Fighting Back - clerk chases robbers from store with broom
Law of the Land - Ten Commandments poster inside courtroom approved
Did You Want Fries with That? - Burger King employee caught bathing in sink

On this day in history: August 12, 1969 - In San Francisco, Emperor Norton I issues a stern edict outlawing both the Republican and Democratic political parties. Violators face a prison term of five-to-ten years.

Born on this day in history: August 12, 1881 - Cecil B. De Mille (1881 - 1959) Born in Ashfield, Massachusetts, film director Cecil B. De Mille made the first Hollywood picture in 1914, directing more than 70 films. A master of the spectacle, De Mille triumphed in "The Ten Commandments" (1923, remake 1956) and "The Greatest Show on Earth" (1952).

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

Video of the Day: Tally Hall: Banana Man - submitted by Jay

"Just don't mess up my hair!" Click to enlarge.

Hot weather is returning! It has been relatively cool recently. Temperatures have been in the mid-to-high 90s. Today, it is forecast to be 103 degrees, and it is predicted to become warmer as the weekend approaches.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Creatures of the Night, Real Estate Slump, -and- Take the Money and Run

Creatures of the Night - 38 dead after being bitten by vampire bats
Real Estate Slump - man pays record $750 million for Riviera villa
Take the Money and Run - cash grab on 10 freeway creates hazardous situation

On this day in history: August 11, 1997 - Responding to reports of a domestic disturbance at the L'Elysee condominiums in West Los Angeles, LAPD officers encounter Christian Slater "swinging his arms and yelling incoherently" in the building stairwell. The movie actor reveals to police that "the Germans are coming and they will kill us." He also mentions that he has been awake for most of two days, and the last thing he remembers is "snorting a couple of lines of cocaine this morning." When officers attempt to put him in handcuffs, Slater knocks one of them to the floor and makes an unsuccessful grab for the cop's weapon. His punishment? 59 days in jail.

Born on this day in history: August 11, 1921 - Alex Haley (1921–92) Born in Ithaca, New York, and raised in Tennessee, writer Alex Haley was a journalist in the U.S. Coast Guard (1939–59). His acclaimed work, "Roots: The Saga of an American Family" (1976, Pulitzer), became a phenomenally successful TV mini-series in 1977.

Scripture of the Day: And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you. - Romans 8:11

Video of the Day: Iron Chef Sushi Battle 5/5 - Judgment and Final Score

Regardless of how bad things seem, there is always someone having a worse day! Click to enlarge.

For dinner Saturday, I grilled New York strip steaks and vegetables. I marinated two huge New York strip steaks, halved yellow squash, halved red bell pepper, and whole white mushrooms in extra-virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, grated ginger, minced garlic, Tony Chachere's More Spice, Italian seasoning, and lemon pepper seasoning for six hours in a zip-lock bag. Laura turned the bag each hour. I grilled the steaks and vegetables over a high flame—producing a nice char on the outside of the steaks and vegetables and maintaining a rare center on the steaks. At the table, Laura used teriyaki sauce as a dip for her steak. I used wasabi paste as a condiment for my steak. It was a delightful meal.

Sunday—following the early service at Harvest Christian Center—I shopped and bought some beautiful pork loin chops, Ruffles potato chips, bacon and cheese dip, and the ingredients to make salsa. I spent a bit over two hours producing an enormous batch of salsa, using two bunches of green onions (chopped), four center stalks of celery (thinly sliced), a large white onion (diced), half a bunch of cilantro (whole leaves, stems removed), 8 large Jalapeños (diced), 3 large habaneros (diced), 24 large Roma tomatoes (diced), fresh lime juice, Gebhardt's chili powder, Tony Chachere's More Spice, ground cumin, ground black pepper, and sea salt.

We played Scrabble and snacked on chips, dip, and salsa. It was a tasty snack.

For dinner, I made a pot of red beans. I simmered red beans, Gebhardt's chili powder, and a quantity of fresh salsa. I grilled three large pork loin chops over a high flame—spraying with a mixture of extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar every few minutes. When the chops were nicely charred on the exterior, I turned off the flame under them and continued to grill over indirect heat. I brushed the chops with a glaze made from catsup, molasses, brown sugar, Tony Chachere's Louisiana hot sauce, lime juice, Gebhardt's chili powder, and crushed red peppers. After 10 minutes, I turned the chops and applied the glaze to the side which had been facing the grill. Ten minutes later, I took everything to the table, and we enjoyed a festive meal.

Friday, August 08, 2008

California Schemin', Breaker Breaker, -and- Mommy Dearest

California Schemin' - CA legislators tell school kids to celebrate homosexuality
Breaker Breaker - mom says walkie-talkie picks up trashy trucker talk
Mommy Dearest - woman arrested for driving with small child on roof of car

On this day in history: August 8, 1963 - By tampering with railway signals, a 15 man team halts the Glasgow-to-Euston Royal Mail train in Buckinghamshire. The criminals make off with 120 sacks containing £2.6 million in cash. The incident goes down in history as "The Great Train Robbery."

Born on this day in history: August 8, 1937 - Dustin Hoffman (1937 - ) Born in Los Angeles, actor Dustin Hoffman made his Broadway debut in 1961. His first leading role, in "The Graduate" (1967), led to similar anti-hero roles. He went on to a wider range, winning Oscars for "Kramer v. Kramer" (1979) and "Rain Man" (1988).

Scripture of the Day: But food does not bring us near to God; we are no worse if we do not eat, and no better if we do. Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak. - 1 Corinthians 8:8-9

Video of the Day: Iron Chef Sushi Battle 3/5

Fairy tales. Click to enlarge.

It is amazing what numbers can do. They say you can do anything with them.

The Beauty of Math

1 x 8 + 1 = 9
12 x 8 + 2 = 98
123 x 8 + 3 = 987
1234 x 8 + 4 = 9876
12345 x 8 + 5 = 98765
123456 x 8 + 6 = 987654
1234567 x 8 + 7 = 9876543
12345678 x 8 + 8 = 98765432
123456789 x 8 + 9 = 987654321

1 x 9 + 2 = 11
12 x 9 + 3 = 111
123 x 9 + 4 = 1111
1234 x 9 + 5 = 11111
12345 x 9 + 6 = 111111
123456 x 9 + 7 = 1111111
1234567 x 9 + 8 = 11111111
12345678 x 9 + 9 = 111111111
123456789 x 9 +10= 1111111111

9 x 9 + 7 = 88
98 x 9 + 6 = 888
987 x 9 + 5 = 8888
9876 x 9 + 4 = 88888
98765 x 9 + 3 = 888888
987654 x 9 + 2 = 8888888
9876543 x 9 + 1 = 88888888
98765432 x 9 + 0 = 888888888

Brilliant, isn't it?

And look at this symmetry:

1 x 1 = 1
11 x 11 = 121
111 x 111 = 12321
1111 x 1111 = 1234321
11111 x 11111 = 123454321
111111 x 111111 = 12345654321
1111111 x 1111111 = 1234567654321
11111111 x 11111111 = 123456787654321
111111111 x 111111111 = 12345678987654321

Now, take a look at this:


From a strictly mathematical viewpoint:

What Equals 100%?
What does it mean to give MORE than 100%?

Ever wonder about those people who say they are giving more than 100%?

We have all been in situations where someone wants you to

How about ACHIEVING 101%?

What equals 100% in life?

Here's a little mathematical formula that might help answer these questions:



Is represented as:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26.


H-A-R-D-W-O-R- K

8+1+18+4+23+15+18+11 = 98%



11+14+15+23+12+5+4+7+5 = 96%



1+20+20+9+20+21+4+5 = 100%

THEN, look how far the love of God will take you:


12+15+22+5+15+6+7+15+4 = 101%

Therefore, one can conclude with mathematical certainty that:

While Hard Work and Knowledge will get you close, and Attitude will get you there, It's the Love of God that will put you over the top!

~~~ AMEN ~~~

Thursday, August 07, 2008

He's Alive!, Slap!, -and- The Midnight Cowboy Opens His Eyes

He's Alive! - "dead" man awakens before autopsy, asks for glass of water
Slap! - woman attacked husband with frozen lasagna
The Midnight Cowboy Opens His Eyes - Jon Voight praises McCain, repudiates his own Vietnam protests

On this day in history: August 7, 1882 - Ellison Hatfield is stabbed 26 times and shot in the back by Tolbert McCoy and two of his brothers. Two days later, the Hatfield clan captures the three McCoys and executes them by firing squad. Thus begins generations of bloodshed between the families, ultimately causing about 100 casualties.

Born on this day in history: August 7, 1975 - Charlize Theron (1975-) Born in Benoni, South Africa, actress Charlize Theron studied dance and moved to New York to join the Joffrey Ballet. In 1995, a knee injury led to acting. Her first starring role was in the Disney remake of "Mighty Joe Young" in 1998. In 2004, Theron won an Oscar for her work in "Monster."

Scripture of the Day: When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her [the woman caught in adultery]." - John 8:7

Video of the Day: Iron Chef Sushi Battle 2/5

This is not surprising. Click to enlarge.

The weather appears to have returned to "normal." It was a high of 102 degrees yesterday, and it is forecast to reach 99 degrees today. The rain that lasted a few seconds early yesterday morning did not return, the storm clouds disappeared, and the lightning strikes ceased. There were no reports of new fires from the lightning strikes. All appears well.

UPDATE: I was mistaken! SEVENTEEN new fires resulted from the lightning strikes! For the most part, these new fires are under control.

Maui, on the other hand, is suffering the worst cold spell in the history of that island!

For dinner Tuesday evening, I cut vegetables and made rice, and Laura stir-fried sliced chicken breasts and the vegetables. Laura dusted the chicken slices with cornstarch, Tony Chachere's More Spice, ground black pepper, and powdered ginger. She stir-fried the chicken until it was browned and added the vegetables—sliced white onion, sliced garlic, sliced mushrooms, sliced celery, and sliced Serrano peppers. When the vegetables were nearly done, she added a package of sugar snap peas and stir-fried for another minute. It was a delicious meal. I added Chinese hot sauce to my rice, topped with the stir-fry, and placed a dollop of wasabi paste on my plate. Laura added teriyaki sauce to her rice and vegetables.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Mommy Dearest, She's Alive!, -and- Keep Your Eyes on the Road!

Mommy Dearest - parents forget 4-year-old daughter at airport
She's Alive! - "dead" woman sues hospital
Keep Your Eyes on the Road! - man stopped doing 80 MPH in wrong lane, while texting

On this day in history: August 6, 1970 - 750 unkempt Yippies show up at Disneyland, hell-bent "to liberate Minnie Mouse, have free rein of the park and infiltrate Tom Sawyer's Island," according to Youth International Party leaflets. Instead, they wind up scuffling with Disney security and other patrons, eventually prompting Anaheim police to close the park early and forcibly eject the dirty longhairs.

Born on this day in history: August 6, 1928 - Andy Warhol (1928 - 1987) Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, enigmatic artist Andy Warhol was a founder of the 1960s Pop Art movement. His Campbell's Soup can paintings (1961) made him a celebrity, and his collaborative work, including underground films, was produced in a loft called “The Factory.” In 1969, he launched fashion and gossip magazine Interview, and then created best-selling silkscreen portraits of international personalities. The Andy Warhol Museum opened in Pittsburgh in 1994.

Scripture of the Day: But the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs [Those who served as priests in Old Testament times.] as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, and it is founded on better promises. - Hebrews 8:6

Video of the Day: Iron Chef Sushi Battle 1/5

Imagine my surprise when I discovered the new sushi section at the local market near our house! Click to enlarge.

Yikes! There was lightning throughout the night and morning, and it continues still! Rain fell during the night, but only a small amount—just enough to make Mr. Nitro look truly filthy. The sky looks threatening, and there may be more rain soon. Rain would certainly be preferable to wildfires started by lightning strikes! I pray that there are no more fires and that the rain falls and cleans and refreshes everything it touches!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Walk the Line, Irony Can Be So Ironic!, -and- Now that's HOT!

Walk the Line - man has .851 blood alcohol content
Irony Can Be So Ironic! - man steals truck, gets carjacked
Now that's HOT! - 2-acre piece of land in Ventura County reaches 812 degrees

On this day in history: August 5, 1962 - In her Brentwood, California home, Marilyn Monroe dies in bed. Her death remains shrouded in mystery to this day.

Born on this day in history: August 5, 1930 - Neil Armstrong (1930 - ) Born in Wapakoneta, Ohio, astronaut Neil Armstrong was a fighter pilot in Korea and later a civilian test pilot. In 1969, he, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins led the Apollo 11 expedition. Armstrong was the first man to set foot on the Moon.

Scripture of the Day: And they did not do as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God's will. - 2 Corinthians 8:5

Video of the Day: Stowaway Chicks

Apparently, Zeus was intent upon journeying to Tucson with Laura last weekend! As it happened, he remained home with me. Laura took these photographs of Zeus attempting to stow away in her luggage. Click to enlarge.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Fighting Back, Homeland Insecurity, -and- Garbage Police

Fighting Back - man kills 1 of 3 armed intruders
Homeland Insecurity - Hawaii man accused of helping China design missile
Garbage Police - San Francisco mayor proposes $1,000 fine for not sorting trash

On this day in history: August 4, 1994 - Howard Stern withdraws his candidacy for governor of New York, ostensibly to avoid complying with the financial disclosure laws.

Born on this day in history: August 4, 1901 - Louis Armstrong (1901 - 1971) Born in New Orleans, jazz trumpeter and singer Louis Armstrong began playing with local bands and on riverboats. In 1947, he formed the All Stars, a Dixieland-style sextet. Armstrong appeared in over 50 films, and had many hit recordings, including "Mack the Knife" and "Hello Dolly!" His autobiography, "Satchmo: My Life in New Orleans," was published in 1954.

Scripture of the Day: Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went. - Acts 8:4

Video of the Day: "Vanishing Point 2008"

My dreams are often strange. This morning's dream—following a return to sleep after a bathroom visit—easily qualifies as one of the strangest. I found myself on the stage of an outdoor amphitheatre. The stage had a full compliment of guitars, amplifiers, speaker boxes, microphones, keyboards, and drums. I was standing in the center of the stage, near the front. I was holding the Samick Stratocaster I recently purchased. The guitar strap hung across my chest and over my shoulder. One end of the Monster Cable was plugged into the guitar, and the other end of the 25' cable was plugged into the Crate amplifier I recently purchased.

(I find it interesting that elements of reality are often integrated into dreams.)

Musicians began taking their positions on the stage, and a great wave of people began filling the large open area facing the stage. Soon, the musicians were all in place and had completed the tuning ritual. All looked to me for a sign.

Suddenly, without hesitation or consideration, I began to play and sing a medley of rock anthems from the 1960s. It was a very young crowd—late teens and early 20s. As they moved to the music and mouthed the lyrics, they began aging noticeably! Gradually, with each song, they progressively aged.

The dream ended, and I awakened. It was not an unpleasant dream. In fact, I was smiling when I awakened. It was, however, a very strange dream.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Fighting Back, Whoa!, -and- Armed and Dangerous

Fighting Back - 88-year-old foils gun-bearing robber
Whoa! - 60-year-old man postpones marriage to 10-year-old girl
Armed and Dangerous - police taser boy with broken back 19 times

On this day in history: August 1, 1996 - Former Eagle Scout and United States Marine Charles Whitman carries a sniper rifle onto University of Texas at Austin. There he climbs to the top of UT tower and begins firing indiscriminately at dozens of people, killing 13. Whitman is finally taken out 96 minutes later by three Austin PD officers.

Born on this day in history: August 1, 1942 - Jerry Garcia (1942–95) Born in San Francisco, guitarist and songwriter Jerry Garcia began playing in local clubs. In 1965, he formed The Grateful Dead band, which performed psychedelic rock. Fans of the band, known as "Deadheads" would follow The Grateful Dead from concert to concert.

Scripture of the Day: O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. - Psalm 8:1

Video of the Day: "Vanishing Point" (1997) - submitted by Darin

Just when I thought I had "seen it all"! Click to enlarge.

For dinner last evening, we had grilled pork loin chops, steamed broccoli, and potatoes O'Brien. I steamed and chilled the broccoli. Laura made the potatoes O'Brien, using OreIda Potatoes O'Brien and adding Tony Chachere's More Spice and granulated garlic. I dry-rubbed three very thick pork loin chops with Tony Chachere's More Spice, granulated garlic, Italian seasoning, ground cumin, and Gebhardt's chili powder. After dry-rubbing both sides, I topped them with a generous amount of homemade salsa. I grilled them for 5 minutes over medium flamesnicely charring the bottoms. I then turned off the flame under the loin chops and continued to cook over medium indirect heat for 30 minutes. I did not turn the meat. The salsa juices oozed into the meat and flavored it and kept it moist. It was a wonderful meal.

Laura has departed and is driving to the Sacramento airport. She will fly directly from there to Tucson, AZ. The cats are resting—I have no doubt. They know well that there will be cavorting in store for them tonight!

As Carl Perkins once said, "Put your cat clothes on."