Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Grounded, Back to School, -and- Somebody's Watching You

Grounded - after morning coffee, woman finds dead bat in filter
Back to School - MI law requires GED for parole
Somebody's Watching You - homeowner links cameras to city cops

On this day in history: September 30, 1955 - Heading westbound on Highway 466 just outside Cholame, California, movie star James Dean is killed in a head-on collision with another driver. University student Donald Turnupseed was driving home in his Ford when he swerved into the oncoming lane, smashing into Dean's Porsche 550 Spyder.

Born on this day in history: September 30, 1924 - Truman Capote (1924 - 1984) Born in New Orleans, writer Truman Capote moved to New York City in 1942, working as an office boy at The New Yorker. His first novel, "Other Voices, Other Rooms" (1948), launched a literary career that’s best-known for "Breakfast at Tiffany's" (1958). Capote cultivated celebrity status and was famous for his jet-setting lifestyle.

Scripture of the Day: For many years you were patient with them. By your Spirit you admonished them through your prophets. Yet they paid no attention, so you handed them over to the neighboring peoples. — Nehemiah 9:30

Video of the Day: Cats vs. Dogs - submitted by Danica

Break a leg, Sarah. Click to enlarge.

Click here to see yourself onscreen!

The United Way

The United Way realized that it had never received a donation from the city's most successful lawyer. So a United Way volunteer paid the lawyer a visit in his lavish office.

The volunteer opened the meeting by saying, "Our research shows that even though your annual income is over two million dollars, you don't give a penny to charity. Wouldn't you like to give something back to your community through the United Way?"

The lawyer thinks for a minute and says, "First, did your research also show you that my mother is dying after a long, painful illness and she has huge medical bills that are far beyond her ability to pay?"

Embarrassed, the United Way rep mumbles, "Uh... no, I didn't know that."

"Secondly," says the lawyer, "did it show that my brother, a disabled veteran, is blind and confined to a wheelchair and is unable to support his wife and six children?" The stricken United Way rep begins to stammer an apology, but is cut off again.

"Thirdly, did your research also show you that my sister's husband died in dreadful car accident, leaving her penniless with a mortgage and three children, one of whom is disabled and another that has learning disabilities requiring an array of private tutors?"

The humiliated United Way rep, completely beaten, says, "I'm so sorry, I had no idea."

And the lawyer says, "So . . . if I didn't give any money to them, what makes you think I'd give any to you?"

Monday, September 29, 2008

Fighting Back, All Wet, -and- Hot Stuff

Fighting Back - homeowner kills naked sex offender caught in daughter's room
All Wet - Utah man billed for using 1.4 million gallons of water
Hot Stuff - chef dies after eating hot chile on bet

On this day in history: September 29, 1989 - Zsa Zsa Gabor, a person famous for no apparent reason and with no visible means of support, is convicted of slapping a Beverly Hills police officer. Gabor later complains that she was denied a jury of her peers, saying "It was not my class of people, There was not a producer, a press agent, a director, an actor."

Born on this day in history: September 29, 1907 - Gene Autry (1907-1998) Born in Tioga, Texas, actor Gene Autry was a popular radio figure in the early 1930s. Credited with creating the musical Western, Autry is the only entertainer who boasted five stars on Hollywood's Walk of Fame.

Scripture of the Day: Moses replied, "When I have gone out of the city, I will spread out my hands in prayer to the LORD. The thunder will stop and there will be no more hail, so you may know that the earth is the LORD’s." — Exodus 9:29

Video of the Day: Talking Cat - submitted by Cindy

Separated at birth? Click to enlarge.

The hot weather returned over the weekend. It was in the low-to-mid 90s throughout the weekend. It is forecast to be 94 degrees today.

We had a Scrabble tournament Saturday. It resulted in a tie. We snacked upon guacamole, made with salsa I made earlier in the week, and Mission tortilla chips. For dinner, I grilled 24 enormous prawns, steamed some cauliflower, and made toasted garlic bread. I have no idea how we managed to eat all those prawns, but we did! They were indescribably succulent and delightful. They marinated in a mixture of extra-virgin olive oil, rice wine vinegar, powdered wasabi, Tony Chachere's More Spice, sea salt, granulated garlic, and ground ginger.

Sunday morning—following the early service at Harvest Christian Center—I produced a wonderful frittata. Laura taught in the nursery during the late service, and she was very pleasantly surprised to find the frittata awaiting her.

For dinner, I grilled two large top sirloin steaks and steamed whole kernel corn, peas, and salsa. It was excellent.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Rocketman, Animal Kingdom, -and- Daddy Dearest

Rocketman - jetpack pilot flies over English Channel
Animal Kingdom - woman held captive by pony-sized pig
Daddy Dearest - man dumps 9 kids at hospital and leaves

On this day in history: September 26, 1960 - Kennedy and Nixon face off in the first televised presidential debate. Nixon had been recuperating from illness yet refused to wear makeup for the camera, looking haggard and gray. Radio viewers gave positive opinions for Nixon's performance but so many people saw the debate televised that Kennedy gained the lead in the polls, ultimately winning the election.

Born on this day in history: September 26, 1981 - Serena Williams (1981– ) Born in Saginaw, Michigan, and sister of Venus, tennis player Serena Williams won the U.S. Open singles title in 1999. Further successes include the French Open (2002), Wimbledon (2002, 2003), the U.S. Open (2002), and the Australian Open (2003).

Scripture of the Day: "If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels." — Luke 9:26

Video of the Day: Woman Lives with 130 Cats - submitted by Cindy

It is simple, really! Click to enlarge.

For dinner last evening, I made Chicken Alfredo. I sliced six large white mushrooms and poached in boiling, salted water for 30 minutes, drained, and placed in a large sauté pan. I added three large sliced, previously-grilled Tyson boneless, skinless chicken breasts and a jar of Classico Alfredo sauce. I simmered this on low for 30 minutes. I cooked Barilla thick spaghetti until al denté. Laura incorporated the thick spaghetti into the chicken, mushrooms, and Alfredo sauce. At the table, we added crushed red peppers and DiGiorno grated Parmesan, Romano, and Pecorino cheeses. We also had toasted garlic bread.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Meow!, He's Alive!, -and- Somebody's Watching You

Meow! - man fined for tossing wife's cat out of house
He's Alive! - man told he cannot get ID card because he's been dead for 14 years
Somebody's Watching You - Homeland Security tests mind-reading system

On this day in history: September 25, 1980 - After spending the whole day drinking, Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham dies from alcohol poisoning.

Born on this day in history: September 25, 1969 - Catherine Zeta-Jones (1969 - ) Born in Swansea, Wales, actress Catherine Zeta-Jones became known in the BBC TV series "The Darling Buds of May" (1991). She went on to international stardom in "The Mask of Zorro" (1998) and "Traffic" (2000), in which she co-starred with Michael Douglas, whom she later married.

Scripture of the Day: What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self? — Luke 9:25

Video of the Day: Baby Porcupine Eats a Banana and Has Hiccups!

Hillary is bored! Apparently, being a Senator is not as exciting as (almost) being a Presidential candidate! Click to enlarge.

The Power Outage

I departed my office, stopped at Sav-Mor Foods to purchase grocery items, and arrived at our house. I placed my purchases on the dining room table and flipped the switch for the evaporative cooler to "on." There was no response. I quickly determined that the power was out throughout the house!

I scurried to Mr. Nitro, retrieved my Razr cellular telephone, and called Laura at her office. I apprised her of the situation and asked her to call Pacific Gas & Electric and report the power outage. I explained that the house was dark and oppressively hot and felt that she could better address the problem. She soon called and told me PG&E said they would send a repair technician at once. It was 3:45 PM.

At 5:25 PM, the power was still off, the house had become hotter, and no PG&E service truck was visible in the area. I called PG&E. The representative assured me that a repair order had been made. She said that the problem should be fixed "very soon."

Laura arrived at 5:55 PM. At 6:25 PM, the telephone rang, and Laura answered it. It was an automated call from PG&E. The call stated that the power would be returned sometime between 6:30 PM and 8:30 PM.

At 6:45 PM, we departed to attend Bible class at Harvest Christian Center.

We returned to our house at 8:30 PM. The power had not been restored. Laura called PG&E. The representative told her that the repair technician was "working on the problem" and should have it fixed soon.

At 10 PM, a PG&E repair technician appeared at our door. He asked where the meter was, and I told him it was on the back of the house. Soon, he told Laura that another technician had disconnected our power that afternoon! He returned to his truck to communicate with headquarters. He returned to say that apparently the service technician who had disconnected our power had done so in error. He apologized greatly and restored our power.

Whew! I hope never to live through such a nightmarish experience again!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Fighting Back, To Serve and Protect, -and- Animal Kingdom

Fighting Back - homeowners kill intruder
To Serve and Protect - cops revive lifeless 13-month-old baby
Animal Kingdom PETA urges Ben & Jerry's to use human milk

On this day in history: September 24, 1988 - High on PCP and brandishing a shotgun, James Brown interrupts an insurance seminar next door to his business office in Augusta, Georgia and accuses the attendees of using his private restroom. The resulting 90-minute interstate pursuit ends only after police shoot out his truck tires. The Godfather of Soul ends up serving two years in prison.

Born on this day in history: September 24, 1896 - F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896 - 1940) Born in St Paul, Minnesota, writer F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote his first novel, "This Side of Paradise," in 1920. He married Zelda Sayre, an aspiring writer, and the two lived a legendarily extravagant life in New York City. They moved to Europe in 1924, becoming friendly with Ernest Hemingway and other expatriates, while Fitzgerald wrote "The Great Gatsby" (1925). In later years, Zelda was confined to a mental hospital and Fitzgerald wrote screenplays.

Scripture of the Day: "I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight," declares the LORD. — Jeremiah 9:24

Video of the Day: The Long Dog - submitted by Darin

Dolphin chatter. Click to enlarge.

Chicago War Zone Information

Body count: In the last six months 292 killed (murdered) in Chicago; 221 killed in Iraq.

Senators Barack Obama and Dick Durbin, Representative Jesse Jackson Jr., Governor Rod Blagojevich, House leader Mike Madigan, Attorney General Lisa Madigan, and Mayor Richard Daley: The leadership in Illinois and Chicago are all Democrats.

Thank you, all of you, for the chaos and the combat zone in Chicago.

Of course they are all blaming each other. Cannot blame Republicans; there are none!

State pension fund: $44 Billion in debt—the worst in country.

Cook County (Chicago) sales tax: 10.25%—the highest in the country.

Chicago school system: one of the worst in the country.

So this is the political culture that Obama comes from in Illinois, and he is going to 'fix' Washington politics?


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Sleep Tight, The Armed Citizen, -and- Brave New Schools

Sleep Tight - bedbugs make a return via low-cost flights
The Armed Citizen - under anonymity, gun licenses soar in Florida
Brave New Schools - 5th grader suspended for anti-Obama shirt

On this day in history: September 23, 1952 - Responding to accusations that he diverted $18,000 in contributions into his pocket, Senator Richard M. Nixon rescues his candidacy for Vice President by insisting that he had never accepted any money. Although Nixon does admit he accepted a cocker spaniel named Checkers for his daughter Tricia. The televised monologue rescues his political career.

Born on this day in history: September 23, 1949 - Bruce Springsteen (1949– ) Born in Freehold, New Jersey, rock musician Bruce Sprintsteen began performing with local groups in Asbury Park, New Jersey, before forming his own band in 1971 and signing with Columbia Records. Promoted as the new Bob Dylan, Springsteen hit it big with "Born to Run" (1975). He has performed at numerous rock benefits, such as Live Aid and Amnesty International.

Scripture of the Day: "If you can?" said Jesus. Everything is possible for him who believes. — Mark 9:23

Video of the Day: The Terror of Killer Dumpling - submitted by Amber

"Joe Biden said you weren't good enough to shine my shoes. I told him he was wrong!" Click to enlarge.

Saturday morning, while Laura was at the salon, I produced two marinades. I made a marinade of extra-virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, minced garlic, Tony Chachere's More Spice, ground black pepper, and honey. I placed two huge New York strip steaks in a Glad bag, poured the marinade over them, and placed in the refrigerator. I made a marinade of extra-virgin olive oil, rice wine vinegar, ground ginger, minced garlic, and Tony Chachere's More Spice. I placed Tyson boneless, skinless chicken breasts in a Glad bag and poured 2/3 of the marinade over them. I placed giant prawns in another Glad bag and poured the remaining marinade over them.

Saturday evening, I grilled the New York strip steaks and prawns and steamed some sugar snap peas. The steaks were perfect: Charred on the outside, and rare in the center. The giant prawns were delightful. I removed the tails prior to placing in the marinade. The butcher had slit the backs deveined them. The meat popped out of the shells easily. They were succulent beyond description.

Sunday morning—following the early service at Harvest Christian Center, Laura cooked OreIda potatoes O'Brien, fried eggs, and two lovely pieces of leftover New York strip steaks. It was a wonderful brunch.

Sunday evening, Laura grilled the chicken breasts, red bell peppers, yellow squash, and potatoes. The chicken was moist, tender, and delicious. The vegetables were wonderful. A quantity of chicken remains for another meal later in the week.

When I returned home from the office yesterday, I produced an enormous batch of salsa, using 12 large cluster tomatoes, 4 huge Jalapeños, two large habaneros, a large white onion, three stalks of celery, a large quantity of minced garlic, Tony Chachere's More Spice, cumin, ground black pepper, sea salt, and parsley. For dinner, Laura cooked New York-style pork sausage (cut into 1/2-inch pieces), Eggland's Best large eggs, leftover potatoes O'Brien, Tony Chachere's More Spice, sea salt, and ground black pepper. She warmed flour tortillas, and we made burritos—liberally adding fresh salsa. It was a delicious meal.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Fighting Back, ET Phone Home, -and- A Girl's Best Friend

Fighting Back - 8-year-old boy rescues babysitters from robbers
ET Phone Home - woman thinks husband is an alien, attacks with hammer
A Girl's Best Friend - Lesotho mine yields nearly 500-carat diamond

On this day in history: September 22, 1975 - In front of the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco, Sara Jane Moore pulls out a Smith and Wesson .38 revolver and points it at Gerald Ford. Before she can assassinate the President, a bystander named Oliver "Bill" Sipple grabs Moore's arm.

Born on this day in history: September 22, 1958 - Andrea Bocelli (1958– ) Born in Lajatico, Italy, tenor singer Andrea Bocelli became blind at the age of 12 after a sports injury, and later studied law, but decided on a singing career. His break came in 1992 when star opera singer Luciano Pavarotti recorded with him. International success followed.

Scripture of the Day: "To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some." — 1 Corinthians 9:22

Video of the Day: Scuba Cat - submitted by Danica

Go, Sarah! Click to enlarge.

Dear Abby,

I am a crack dealer in Beaumont, Texas, who has recently been diagnosed as a carrier of HIV virus. My parents live in Fort Worth. One of my sisters lives in Pflugerville and is married to a transvestite. My father and mother have recently been arrested for growing and selling marijuana. They are financially dependent on my other two sisters, who are prostitutes in Dallas. I have two brothers: one is currently serving a life sentence at Huntsville for the murder of a teenage boy in 1994. My other brother is currently in jail awaiting charges of sexual misconduct with his three children. I have recently become engaged to marry a former prostitute who lives in Longview. She is a part time 'working girl.'

All things considered, my problem is this: I love my fiancée and look forward to bringing her into the family. I certainly want to be totally open and honest with her.

Should I tell her about my cousin who supports Barack Obama for President?


Worried About My Reputation

Friday, September 19, 2008

Got Juice?, Mystery Diagnosis, -and- They're Here!

Got Juice? - Vegas cops talk of "getting O. J." on recording
Mystery Diagnosis - doctor prescribed painkillers for broken neck
They're Here! - VA town tries to prove existence of "ghost cats"

On this day in history: September 19, 1995 - The New York Times and the Washington Post publish the Unabomber's rambling, 35,000-word anti-technology screed, "Industrial Society And Its Future." In exchange, he promises to halt his bombing campaign.

Born on this day in history: September 19, 1964 - Trisha Yearwood (1964-) Born in Monticello, Georgia, country singer Trisha Yearwood began as a back-up singer, and won a recording contract in 1991. Her first album went double platinum, selling two million copies. Yearwood was named Top New Female Vocalist by the Academy of Country Music, and went on to win the Academy's Top Female Vocalist awards in 1997 and 1998.

Scripture of the Day: Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. - 1 Corinthians 9:19

Video of the Day: Talking Cat - submitted by Cindy

The socialist brain of a liberal Democrat! Click to enlarge.

Don't be afraid of the dark. Robert Cray said that. I agree: We should not fear the dark. We should fear only the Creator—not the creation.

While I do not fear the dark, I do dislike the dark! Summer is my favorite season. I like the warmth, the long days, and the short nights. I enjoy rising early and staying up late. As summer fades into fall, the days shorten significantly, and the nights become longer. Rising early loses its allure: It is dark!

The days are becoming shorter, the nights are becoming longer, and the warmth of summer is quickly mutating into the cool mornings and evenings of fall. I am reminded once again of my disdain for cold air and darkness.

I shall survive: Next summer is a mere 276 days away!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Drink Up!, Taxman, -and- Keep Your Hands on the Wheel!

Drink Up! - NYC tap water bottled, sold for $1.50
Taxman - Biden calls paying higher taxes a patriotic act
Keep Your Hands on the Wheel! - texting while driving "more dangerous than drugs or alcohol"

On this day in history: September 18, 1946 - Harry S. Truman signs the National Security Act of 1947 thus establishing the CIA.

Born on this day in history: September 18, 1971 - Lance Armstrong (1971-) Born in Plano, Texas, cyclist Lance Armstrong began competitive cycling and triathlons at 13, setting early records. By 1998, Armstrong was winning the grueling Tour de France and went on to win it an unprecedented seven times.

Scripture of the Day: Wisdom is better than weapons of war, but one sinner destroys much good. - Ecclesiastes 9:18

Video of the Day: Pussy versus Printer - submitted by Cindy

Be afraid, Mrs. Butterworth. Be very, very afraid!

Photographs from last Sunday’s Harvest Christian Center softball tournament await your viewing pleasure.

From the index page for Photo Gallery of Local Events, choose Harvest Christian Center Softball Tournament – September, 2008.

You may view the images individually, or you may view them as a slide show. To view as a slide show, click on “start slide show” on the left beneath the first image.

Beware the Darktime
As summer nears its end and fall approaches, the mornings remain in darkness increasingly longer. Recently, it has been dark when I arrive at my office at 6 AM. I have never mused upon this, however, and have simply tread with caution as I traverse the dark passage.

I park at the rear of my office and walk to the alley, down the alley to the sidewalk, to the front of my office, and into the front door—whereupon I disengage the alarm system.

Yesterday morning, as I strode down the dark alley, I came very suddenly upon another creature! Because of the darkness, I remained unaware of this creature until it was very near. It was too dark to determine specifics, yet I assumed that the creature was human, since by the silhouette of the creature I was able to discern that it was walking upright. Since there are no gorillas here, and since bears rarely travel into the city, I was further convinced that it was human.

The creature was, most likely, a harmless derelict. Nonetheless, the encounter gave me great pause, and I determined that—in order to travel my morning path in greater safety—I should henceforth delay my arrival at my office sufficiently to ensure that the journey from Mr. Nitro to my office be made not in darkness but in light. So it shall be—until such a time that the daylight arrives earlier.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Don't Be So Critical!, Stormy Weather, -and- Un-Godly

Don't Be So Critical! - fellow critic hits Ebert during film festival
Stormy Weather - freak conditions cause "upside-down rainbow"
Un-Godly - scientist fired for suggesting creationism be taught too

On this day in history: September 17, 1908 - Thomas E. Selfridge becomes the world's first airplane fatality when the craft he's co-piloting with Orville Wright crashes near Fort Meyer, Virginia. An untested propeller ripped apart the plane's structure, causing it to nosedive from an altitude of 75 feet.

Born on this day in history: September 17, 1923 - Hank Williams (1923 - 1953) Born in Mount Olive West, Alabama, singer-songwriter Hank Williams began recording for MGM Records in 1949, and caused a sensation at the Grand Ole Opry with "Lovesick Blues," which hit No. 1 on the country charts. Called the "hillbilly Shakespeare," Williams left a legacy of 100 classic country songs.

Scripture of the Day: [Moses is reminded the Israelites of his reaction to seeing the golden calf by saying] "So I took the two tablets and threw them out of my hands, breaking them to pieces before your eyes." - Deuteronomy 9:17

Video of the Day: The Most Amazing Dog Ever - submitted by Darin

I encountered Scuba Dog at the community swimming pool. Click to enlarge.

Michael Reagan on Ronald Reagan:

Ive been trying to convince my fellow conservatives that they have been wasting their time in a fruitless quest for a new Ronald Reagan to emerge and lead our party and our nation. I insisted that wed never see his like again because he was one of a kind.

I was wrong!

Wednesday night I watched the Republican National Convention on television and there, before my very eyes, I saw my Dad reborn; only this time hes a she. And what a she! In one blockbuster of a speech, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin resurrected my Dads indomitable spirit and sent it soaring above the convention center, shooting shock waves through the cynical medias assigned spaces and electrifying the huge audience with the kind of inspiring rhetoric we haven't heard since my Dad left the scene.

This was Ronald Reagan at his best the same Ronald Reagan who made the address known now solely as The Speech, which during the Goldwater campaign set the tone and the agenda for the rebirth of the traditional conservative movement that later sent him to the White House for eight years and revived the moribund GOP.

Last night was an extraordinary event. Widely seen beforehand as a make-or-break effort either an opportunity for Sarah Palin to show that she was the happy warrior that John McCain assured us she was, or a disaster that would dash Mccain's presidential hopes and send her back to Alaska, sadder but wiser.

Obviously un-intimidated by either the savage onslaught to which the left-leaning media had subjected her, or the incredible challenge she faced and oozing with confidence she strode defiantly to the podium and proved she was everything and even more than John McCain told us.

Much has been made of the fact that she is a woman. What we saw last night, however, was something much more than a just a woman accomplishing something no Republican woman has ever achieved. What we saw was a red-blooded American with that rare, God given ability to rally her dispirited fellow Republicans and take up the daunting task of leading them and all her fellow Americans on a pilgrimage to that shining city on the hill my father envisioned as our nations real destination.

In a few words she managed to rip the mask from the faces of her Democratic rivals and reveal them for what they are a pair of old-fashioned liberals making promises that cannot be kept without bankrupting the nation and reducing most Americans to the status of mendicants begging for their daily bread at the feet of an all powerful government.

Most important, by comparing her own stunning record of achievement with his, she showed Barack Obama for the sham that he is, a man without any solid accomplishments beyond conspicuous self-aggrandizement.

Like Ronald Reagan, Sarah Palin is one of us. She knows how most of us live because that's the way she lives. She shares our homespun values and our beliefs, and she glories in her status as a small-town woman who put her shoulder to the wheel and made life better for her neighbors.

Her astonishing rise up from the grass-roots, her total lack of self-importance, and her ordinary American values and modest lifestyle reveal her to be the kind of hard working, optimistic, ordinary American who made this country the greatest, most powerful nation on the face of the earth.

As hard as you might try, you wont find that kind of plain-spoken, down-to-earth, self-reliant American in the upper ranks of the liberal-infested, elitist Democratic Party, or in the Obama campaign.

Sarah Palin didn't go to Harvard, or fiddle around in urban neighborhood leftist activism while engaging in opportunism within the ranks of one of the nations most corrupt political machines, never challenging it and going along to get along, like Barack Obama.

Instead she took on the corrupt establishment in Alaska and beat it, rising to the governorship while bringing reforms to every level of government she served in on her way up the ladder.

Welcome back, Dad, even if you're wearing a dress and bearing children this time around.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Animal Kingdom, Run of Bad Luck, -and- It's Me Or the PDA

Animal Kingdom - dog calls 9-1-1 after owner has seizure
Run of Bad Luck - man loses millions, sues casinos
It's Me Or the PDA - 35% of users would choose Blackberry over spouse

On this day in history: September 16, 1985 - Art Scholl, Hollywood's greatest aerobatics pilot, loses control of his Pitts S-2A biplane over the Pacific Ocean during the filming of "Top Gun."

Born on this day in history: September 16, 1925 - B. B. King (1925 - ) Born into a sharecropper family in Itta Bena, Mississippi, musician B. B. King made his first recording in 1949, and toured the nightclub circuit for 30 years. In 1969, he released his biggest hit, "The Thrill is Gone." A model for rock guitarists, King was inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.

Scripture of the Day: "Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth." - Genesis 9:16

Video of the Day: American Express - Tina Fey - submitted by Darin

The photo below captures a disturbing trend that is beginning to affect
wildlife in the USA.

Animals that were formerly self-sufficient are now showing signs of belonging to the Democratic Party... as they have apparently learned to simply sit and wait for the government to provide for their care and sustenance

Laura swooped upon Home Depot yesterday and snagged a Dyson DC17 Absolute Animal vacuum. She called from the Home Depot parking lot and effused her eagerness to "...get home and vacuum"—something I had not previously imagined hearing her say. Zeus and Thor produce an inordinate amount of hair and deposit a good deal of it on carpets, furniture, and drapery. Laura and I did a great deal of research and settled upon the Dyson DC17 Absolute Animal as the vacuum best suited for the task of removing the hair left behind by our boys.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Heat of the Moment, Back to School, -and- Where's the Beef?

Heat of the Moment - AccuWeather: global cooling on the way
Back to School - woman poses as daughter to practice with cheerleaders
Where's the Beef? - new culinary craze: eating with blindfolds

On this day in history: September 15, 1998 - Rap artist Coolio is arrested in Lawndale, California after being pulled over for driving a 1996 Hummer on the wrong side of the road. He was carrying an expired license, a loaded 9mm semiautomatic firearm, and a small quantity of marijuana.

Born on this day in history: September 15, 1946 - Tommy Lee Jones (1946-) Academy-Award-winning actor, director, and screenwriter born September 15, 1946, in San Saba, Texas.

Scripture of the Day: [In talking about others having the right to be supported in their ministry, the apostle Paul says] But I have not used any of these rights. And I am not writing this in the hope that you will do such things for me. I would rather die than have anyone deprive me of this boast. - 1 Corinthians 9:15

Video of the Day: Origami Frog - submitted by Danica

Yikes! Say it is not so! Click to enlarge.

Following the early service at Harvest Christian Center yesterday, I produced a delectable Oriental salad: I poached sliced white mushrooms for 20 minutes. I added a package of Oriental noodles to the boiling water and continued to cook for 3 minutes. I then added a package of snow peas and turned off the burner. I allowed the mushrooms, noodles, and snow peas to remain in the water for another minute then drained into a colander. I shook the colander vigorously to further drain and emptied the contents into a large stainless-steel mixing bowl. I added a quantity of chopped green onions and sliced water chestnuts. I sliced leftover grilled London broil into thin strips and added to the salad. I grated a large quantity of fresh ginger onto the salad and seasoned with Tony Chachere's More Spice, garlic powder, parsley flakes, crushed red pepper, and celery salt. I dressed the salad with a mixture of one part teriyaki sauce, one part extra-virgin olive oil, and three parts rice wine vinegar. I tossed the salad, covered with a paper towel, and placed in the refrigerator. It was a delightful evening meal.

Sunday afternoon, I photographed the Harvest Christian Center softball tournament—the second of the year. I shall produce a slide show from these photographs and share them soon.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Fighting Back, Fighting Back Too, -and- Dress Code

Fighting Back - female karate champion defeats mugger
Fighting Back Too - homeowner holds burglar at gunpoint until cops arrive
Dress Code - Florida baggy-pants law nets 11 more perps

On this day in history: September 12, 1966 - NBC television premieres "The Monkees," a sitcom about four guys in a rock band. When the show becomes a hit, the fictional Monkees somehow release a string of albums, even though three of the actors can't even play their instruments.

Born on this day in history: September 12, 1913 - Jesse Owens
(1913 - 1980)
Born in Danville, Alabama, track and field athlete Jesse Owens set three world records and tied another in the span of about an hour in 1935. At the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, Germany, he achieved the finest one-day performance in track history with four gold medals, forcing Hitler to leave the stadium to avoid congratulating an African-American. In a belated gesture, Owens was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1976.

Scripture of the Day: On hearing this, Jesus said, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick." - Matthew 9:12

Video of the Day: Giant Snails - submitted by Cindy

Go, Sarah! Click to enlarge.

Who Am I?

I am 42 years old.
I love the outdoors.
I hunt.
I am a Republican reformer.
I have taken on the Republican Party establishment.
I have five children.
I have a spot on the national ticket as vice president with less than two years in the governor's office.

Did you guess?

I am Teddy Roosevelt in 1900.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Fighting Back, Meow!, -and- If You Say So Joe!

Fighting Back - man protects family, blasts intruder with shotgun
Meow! - firefighter saves cat with mouth-to-mouth resuscitation
If You Say So Joe! - Biden: Hillary a better pick than me

On this day in history: September 11, 1991 - Boxer Mike Tyson is arrested for raping Desiree Washington in an Indianapolis hotel room. After his conviction and three years spent behind bars, Tyson continues to maintain his innocence.

Born on this day in history: September 11, 1885 - D.H. Lawrence (1885 - 1930) Born in Eastwood, England. The son of a miner, novelist D. H. Lawrence found success with Sons and Lovers (1913). In 1915, he published The Rainbow, and was prosecuted for obscenity. His novel Lady Chatterley's Lover was privately published in Florence, and copies were confiscated in England. Many films have been made from his fiction.

Scripture of the Day: You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. - 2 Corinthians 9:11

Video of the Day: Sarah Palin Acceptance Speech, Part 5 (end)

Sarah Palin when she was a young girl. Click to enlarge.

Sep 11 2001: The single largest terrorist attack in history occurs when four commercial jetliners are hijacked. Two of which slam into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York. Another plane is crashed into the Pentagon. 2,915 people are killed in the attacks, coordinated by Saudi terrorist Osama bin Laden. The civilized world is horrified—especially after seeing footage of Palestinians celebrating in the streets. For the first time in U.S. history, all flights are grounded throughout the country. All major government facilities are evacuated as well as many local facilities.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Lost!, Brave New Schools, -and- Not on the Menu

Lost! - American Airlines sued over missing body
Brave New Schools - teacher fights to post Declaration of Independence quote
Not on the Menu - chef finds 26 pearls in single oyster

On this day in history: September 10, 1977 - Convicted torture-killer Hamida Djandoubi, an immigrant from Tunisia, becomes the last person executed by France when he is guillotined in Marseilles.

Born on this day in history: September 10, 1929 - Arnold Palmer (1929 - ) Born in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, golfer Arnold Palmer was instrumental in popularizing the sport. He won 91 tournaments in his career, playing in six Ryder Cups (1961 – 1973).

Scripture of the Day: The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. - Proverbs 9:10

Video of the Day: Sarah Palin Acceptance Speech, Part 4

What a doll! Click to enlarge.

Cool(er) Weather! The last several days have been progressively cooler. Yesterday, it was nearly 1 PM before I determined it necessary to activate the air conditioning! It is forecast to be a mere 92 degrees today. Global cooling has begun!

I have made available a collection of nearly 100 of my favorite photographs. You may view the images individually or as a slide show (click on "start slide show" at the bottom left of the first image). From the Photo Gallery of Local Events, choose "Favorite Photographs." Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Brave New Schools, The Pits, -and- Come in from the Cold

Brave New Schools - campaign launched to liberate "speling"
The Pits - woman charged in scam over broken teeth from eating olives
Come in from the Cold - father and son rescued after treading water in ocean for 15 hours

On this day in history: September 9, 1971 - 1,300 inmates riot inside the Attica Correctional Facility in western New York state, commandeering the prison and taking 40 guards hostage. The national guard stages an assault five days later, killing 42 people in the process (10 of them being captives).

Born on this day in history: September 9, 1941 - Otis Redding (1941 - 1967) Born in Dawson, Georgia, soul singer Otis Redding was inspired by Little Richard. His 1967 appearance at the Monterey pop festival led to success, but he died in a plane crash soon afterward. His biggest hit, "Dock of the Bay," was released posthumously.

Scripture of the Day: He answered me, "The sin of the house of Israel and Judah is exceedingly great; the land is full of bloodshed and the city is full of injustice. They say, 'The LORD has forsaken the land; the LORD does not see.'" - Ezekiel 9:9

Video of the Day: Sarah Palin Acceptance Speech, Part 3

John McCain and Sarah Palin - the next President and Vice President of the United States! Click to enlarge.

Sarah Palin is Commander of the Alaska National Guard. Consider this:

Alaska is the first line of defense in our missile interceptor defense system.

The 49th Missile Defense Battalion of the Alaska National Guard is the unit that protects the entire nation from ballistic missile attacks. It is on permanent active duty, unlike other Guard units. As governor of Alaska, Palin is briefed on highly classified military issues, homeland security, and counter-terrorism. Her exposure to classified material may rival even Biden's and certainly by far exceeds Obama's. She's also the Commander in Chief of the Alaska State Defense Force (ASDF ), a federally recognized militia incorporated into Homeland Security's counter-terrorism plans. Palin is privy to military and intelligence secrets that are vital to the entire country's defense. Given Alaska's proximity to Russia, she may have security clearances we do not even know about. According to the Washington Post, she first met with McCain in February, but nobody ever found out. This is a woman used to keeping secrets.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Catch Me If You Can!, Something's Fishy, -and- In God We Trust

Catch Me If You Can! - police seek skateboarding daredevil
Something's Fishy - DeNiro's restaurant chain sells endangered tuna
In God We Trust - Scientologists charged with fraud in France

On this day in history: September 8, 1935 - Dr. Carl Austin Weiss confronts Senator Huey Long in a narrow corridor of the State House in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Weiss draws a .32 caliber pistol and fires one slug into Long's abdomen. The Senator's bodyguards immediately make Swiss cheese out of Weiss, riddling him with 61 bullets. Long is rushed to the hospital, where he dies two days later.

Born on this day in history: September 8, 1932 - Patsy Cline (1932 - 1963)
Born Virginia Patterson Hensley in Winchester, Virginia, country singer Patsy Cline won the Arthur Godfrey Talent Scouts contest in 1957, and went on to record such hits as "I Fall to Pieces" (1960) and "Crazy" (1961). She died in a plane crash.

Scripture of the Day: And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. - 2 Corinthians 9:8

Video of the Day: Sarah Palin Acceptance Speech, Part 2

Barak and Sarah - worlds apart! Click to enlarge.

The hot weather returned last weekend. Temperatures reached 110 degrees, keeping us indoors much of the time. It was perfect weather for watching movies and lounging in the coolness of the living room. The theatre black-out drapes greatly enhance the visibility of the 47" Vizio LCD HDTV and considerably restrict heat from entering the room.

We did manage to do some grilling, however! Saturday, Laura put a dry rub on a huge (over 4 pounds!) London broil and grilled it flawlessly—along with some asparagus, large white mushrooms, and red bell peppers. We ate a quantity, and a good deal remained for future meals. It was delicious.

Sunday morning—following service at Harvest Christian Center—Laura made potatoes O'Brien, fried eggs, and sautéed London broil steaks. It was a delightful meal.

Sunday afternoon, I cooked chicken wing drumettes on the grill. I marinated the drumettes Saturday morning in Crystal Louisiana Hot Sauce. I placed the drumettes on the grill, over a high flame, and poured the marinade into a Pyrex measuring cup. When the drumettes were seared well, I turned off the front burner, left the rear burner on high, moved all the drumettes to the front, and continued cooking over indirect heat—brushing the drumettes with the marinade every 15 minutes—for 90 minutes. I baked some OreIda onion rings in the conventional oven. It was a delicious feast, and leftover drumettes and onion rings will follow Laura to Chico today for her luncheon delight.

Friday, September 05, 2008

A Star Is Born, Fighting Back, -and- Stupid Criminals

A Star Is Born - the world fell in love with Sarah Palin
Fighting Back - couple fights off shotgun-wielding intruders
Stupid Criminals - alleged thief uses his own signature with stolen credit card

On this day in history: September 5, 1975 - Manson Family member Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme almost assassinates President Gerald Ford with a .45 automatic in Sacramento, California. But Fromme is tackled by a Secret Service agent before she can remember to rack a round into the firing chamber.

Born on this day in history: September 5, 1847 - Jesse James (1847–82) Born in Centerville, Missouri, Wild West outlaw Jesse James fought in the Civil War. Then, with brother Frank (1843 – 1915), he led numerous bank, train and stagecoach robberies in and around Missouri. Robert Ford, a member of the gang, murdered James for the reward.

Scripture of the Day: "Stand up and praise the LORD your God, who is from everlasting to everlasting. Blessed be your glorious name, and may it be exalted above all blessing and praise." - Nehemiah 9:5b

Video of the Day: Sarah Palin Acceptance Speech, Part 1

Okay, let's work this out logically without a lot of emotion.

If you vote for Obama,

You get this:

But if you vote for McCain,

You get this:

Looking at this in a logical manner, McCain appears to be the better candidate.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Fighting Back, Armed and Dangerous, -and- Caught with His Pants Down

Fighting Back - 108-pound woman tackles would-be purse snatcher
Armed and Dangerous - 39 bullet holes found in man killed by cops
Caught with His Pants Down - man arrested for violating baggy trouser ordinance

On this day in history: September 4, 1991 - 25 workers are killed when a fire breaks out at the Imperial Foods food processing plant in Hamlet, North Carolina. Most of the victims—predominantly single mothers—die of smoke inhalation. The facility's rear exit had been padlocked by management to deter employee pilferage. The Imperial plant had never once in its 11-year history been inspected by the state. The owner, Emmet Roe, later receives 19 years in prison for the 25 counts of involuntary manslaughter.

Born on this day in history: September 4, 1981 - Beyonce Knowles (1981-) Born in Houston, Texas, Beyonc" Knowles is the lead singer of R&B group Destiny"s Child. After appearing on Star Search, the group was signed to Columbia Records, and their first release, "Destiny"s Child" (1997), was a huge success. In 2004, as a solo artist, Knowles won five Grammy Awards, and has also moved into acting. She married long-time boyfriend Jay-Z in April 2008.

Scripture of the Day: He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. - Acts 9:4-5

Video of the Day: The Gentle Attack

The next President and Vice President of the United States! Click to enlarge.

Laura was unduly fatigued last evening, so I attended Bible class alone. I set the DVR to record Sarah Palin's speech and departed for Harvest Christian Center. When I returned home, Laura excitedly urged me to play the recording.

Assuming the role of Republican Rottweiler, former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani—in his keynote address—dismissed Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama as a "celebrity senator" without leadership experience or significant accomplishment, ridiculing his years as a community organizer in Chicago. Giuliani's speech was powerful and invoked considerable cheering and applause—along with a goodly amount of laughter. His speech was an outstanding lead-in to Sarah Palin's speech.

When Sarah Palin stood before the audience, the ovation was thundering, and it seemed that it would be endless—prompting Brit Hume to humorously question whether the audience would allow Palin to speak. It was reportedly the longest and most enthusiastic ovation ever given a political figure.

Sarah Palin's sensational performance at the Republican Party Convention may turn out to be the turning point of the election. Barak Obama enthusiasts hoping she would fall flat on her big night were in for a nasty shock. Her speech turned the election upside down. It was simply stunning. Democrats and their left-wing media backers had been sneering that she was a small town nobody—a hick from the Alaskan sticks put into a job well beyond her capabilities. Believe me, you will not hear that inanity repeated! Sarah Palin emerged as an electrifying mix of intelligence, passion, energy, optimism and plain speaking.

When Sarah Palin concluded her speech, the audience approval was thundering. It continued as her son, daughters, baby, husband, parents, and her oldest daughter's fiancé joined her.

When the roar from the crowd began to subside, an unexpected appearance by John McCain brought the audience to a frenzied state of roaring approval of what will most likely be the next President and Vice President of the United States!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Matters of Life and Death, Never Too Old, -and- Animal Kingdom

Matters of Life and Death - YouTube censors criticism of Planned Parenthood
Never Too Old - woman gets first driver's license—at 73
Animal Kingdom - cat survives 70-mile trip under owner's car

On this day in history: September 3, 1971 - The office of Daniel Ellsberg's Beverly Hills psychiatrist is burglarized by Nixon's plumbers, led by CIA operative E. Howard Hunt. Watergate investigators later uncover a memo about the burglary addressed to White House domestic affairs adviser John Ehrlichman, predating the actual crime.

Born on this day in history: September 3, 1965 - Charlie Sheen (1965-) Born Carlos Irwin Estevez in New York City, son of Martin Sheen (Ramon Estevez), actor Charlie Sheen got his break in "Platoon" (1986). Notorious for battles with drugs and alcohol, Sheen was star witness in the Heidi Fleiss Hollywood madam trial in 1995. He currently stars in the hit sitcom "Two and Half Men."

Scripture of the Day: "Neither this man nor his parents sinned," said Jesus, "but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life." - John 9:3

Video of the Day: Hands Free: It's the Law in California - submitted by Jeffrey

Sarah Palin - the next vice president of the United States! Click to enlarge.

The Elderly Man

An elderly man suffered a massive heart attack. The family drove wildly to get him to the emergency room.

After what seemed like a very long wait, the E.R. Doctor appeared, wearing his scrubs. He said, "I'm afraid he is brain-dead, but his heart is still beating."

"Oh, Dear God," cried his wife, her hands clasped against her cheeks with shock.

"We've never had a Democrat in the family before."

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Stupid Criminals, Hungry?, -and- Took My Chevy to the Levee

Stupid Criminals - fingerprints on death certificate foil faked death
Hungry? - DUI suspect tries to bribe cop with sandwich
Took My Chevy to the Levee - hurricane Gustav claims Corvette

On this day in history: September 2, 1945 - On the shelter deck of the USS Missouri in Yokohama harbor, 11 representatives of Emperor Hirohito sign the Instrument of Surrender.

Born on this day in history: September 2, 1966 - Salma Hayek (1966-) Born in Veracruz, Mexico, actress Selma Hayak got her break opposite Antonio Banderas in 1995's "Desperado." In 2002, Hayak produced and starred in "Frida," which made her the first Latin actress to be nominated for a Best Actress award. She is executive producer of the hit television series "Ugly Betty."

Scripture of the Day: The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned. - Isaiah 9:2

Video of the Day: McCain Pick Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin - the next Vice President of the United States!

The wind that plagued us for most of this past Labor Day weekend is gone. It was a fierce wind that attempted to thwart our weekend grilling. I did not allow this, however!

Friday, I made shrimp étouffée, using Tony Chachere's jambalaya rice mix, Tony Chachere's étouffée sauce, and medium shrimp. It was delicious.

Saturday, I grilled thick top sirloin steaks (that Laura marinated earlier in the day), asparagus, and red potatoes. Laura produced a delightful accompaniment of sliced mushrooms and white onions, which she sautéed in extra-virgin olive oil, granulated garlic, ground black pepper, and Tony Chachere's More Spice.

Sunday, I sautéed rock fish fillets, seasoned with Tony Chachere's More Spice, lemon pepper, granulated garlic, and ground ginger and topped with thin slices of cluster tomatoes and chopped green onion.

Yesterday, I grilled two huge pork tenderloins, which I marinated in a mixture of extra-virgin olive oil, apple cider vinegar, Tony Chachere's More Spice, ground ginger, granulated garlic, ground black pepper, molasses, brown sugar, and Gebhardt's chili powder. I made a pot of Cajun beans, using sliced white onion, sliced garlic, diced Jalapeños, diced cluster tomatoes, red beans, ground black pepper, ground cumin, Tony Chachere's More Spice, and Gebhardt's chili powder. I charred the tenderloins on all sides and grilled the them for two hours—turning and mopping every 15 minutes with the marinade. I grilled three Tyson boneless, skinless chicken breasts and mopped them as they cooked with the marinade. The chicken breasts shall be used in an Oriental chicken dish this evening. This was a particularly delightful meal. Laura exclaimed that it was the best pork she had ever enjoyed. That speaks volumes, since we have produced many extraordinarily tasty pork meals over the years!