Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Slimed!, Meow!, -and- Miracle Births

Slimed! - Tennessee sludge spill grows to 1 billion gallons
Meow! - man claims Phoenix police officer wouldn't let him rescue cat
Miracle Births - mother on pill has triplets

On this day in history: December 31, 1985 - Rock musician Ricky Nelson dies in an airplane crash in De Kalb, TX at age 45.

Born on this day in history: December 31, 1937 - Anthony Hopkins (1937 - ) Born in Port Talbot, Wales, actor Anthony Hopkins made his stage debut in 1960, and went on to appear in numerous plays and films, including "The Elephant Man" (1980). He gained worldwide fame for his Oscar-winning performance as serial murderer Hannibal Lecter in "The Silence of the Lambs" (1991). Hopkins was knighted in 1993, and became a U.S. citizen in 2000.

Scripture of the Day: "But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well." - Luke 12:31

Video of the Day: Electrabel - Happy New Year (2009)

Happy New Year Everyone! Click to enlarge.

Recommended Site: David Louis Harter Photography - a showcase for the photography of David Louis Harter

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I wish everyone a very Happy New Year and pray that through the coming year you will enjoy good health, joy, and prosperity.

To those of you who plan to be away from home this evening—traveling to spend New Year's Day with friends or relatives or going out this evening to attend New Year's celebrations—I pray that your travel will be safe and without incident.

To those of you who plan to stay home this evening, I pray that your evening is joyous.

- David

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Don't Flush!, Sneaky, -and- Somebody's Watching You

Don't Flush! - detective finds missing gun in toilet by accident
Sneaky - PE teacher fired for wearing gym shoes in class
Somebody's Watching You - Oregon eyes mileage tax using satellite technology

On this day in history: December 30, 1977 - Ted Bundy escapes from a jail in Aspen, Colorado by using a hacksaw. He moves to Chicago, then Michigan, Atlanta, and finally Florida, where he commits a series of grotesque murders.

Born on this day in history: December 30, 1975 - Tiger Woods (1975- ) Born in Cypress, California, golfer Tiger Woods shot to fame after winning the U.S. Masters in 1997, with a record score of 270, becoming the first African-American and the youngest player to do so. In 2003, Woods was voted PGA Tour Player of Year for the fifth successive year.

Scripture of the Day: When the priests and Levites had purified themselves ceremonially, they purified the people, the gates and the wall. - Nehemiah 12:30

Video of the Day: New Aptera Tour By Founder Steve Fambro - submitted by Jim

This is a still from the movie, "The Hell Patrol," that was shot, in part, in Corning earlier this year. Click to enlarge.

Recommended Site: David Louis Harter Photography - a showcase for the photography of David Louis Harter

Corning Goes Hollywood! - Movie "The Hell Patrol" shot, in part, in Corning!

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Monday, December 29, 2008

Bad Vibrations, The Visitor, -and- The Armed Citizen

Bad Vibrations - alternative healers blame Wi-Fi for health problems
The Visitor - man burglarizes house, lives in family's attic for a week
The Armed Citizen - more gun shows = fewer murders

On this day in history: December 29, 1997 - Male nurse Orville Lynn Majors is charged with six counts of murder at Vermillion County Hospital in Newport, MD. He is suspected of many other murders, likely over 100. Majors would apparently inject older patients with potassium chloride or other drugs, and frequently he expressed a dislike for the elderly. When off duty, hospital deaths occurred once every 551 hours; but on duty, once every 23 hours.

Born on this day in history: December 29, 1936 - Mary Tyler Moore (1936- ) Actress, born in New York City, USA. Trained as a dancer, she became the Happy Hotpoint Pixie in a series of television commercials in 1955. Small acting roles followed, and she made her film debut in 1961.

Scripture of the Day: "Or again, how can anyone enter a strong man's house and carry off his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man? Then he can rob his house." - Matthew 12:29

Video of the Day: IndyCar Series Tribute to Paul Newman

I took the long way to my office this morning and encountered this scene at the lake. Some people simply do not know how to drive in water. Click to enlarge.

Recommended Site: David Louis Harter Photography - a showcase for the photography of David Louis Harter

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Friday, December 26, 2008

The Fat of the Land, Found!, -and- Somebody's Watching You

The Fat of the Land - doctor powered SUV with fat from liposuction
Found! - woman buried in snow for three days found alive
Somebody's Watching You - Web footprints leave easy trail

On this day in history: December 26, 1980 - Richard Chase, the "Vampire of Sacramento" who drank the blood of two of his six victims, commits suicide on death row by overdosing on hoarded medication.

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

Scripture of the Day: "Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me." — John 12:26

Video of the Day: "Get Smart" - Bloopers and Outtakes

Here is Mr. Pig, slowly roasting on the grill. Click to enlarge.

Laura took this photograph of the remains of Mr. Pig, following our gluttonous assault upon him. Click to enlarge.

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I hope everyone had a glorious and festive Christmas. I hope everyone celebrated the birth of Christ with loved ones, family, and friends. I hope everyone who traveled reached their destinations safely.

Laura and I had a wonderful Christmas day. We watched several DVDs—including "Resurrection" and "The Gospel of John." We enjoyed an excellent meal of pork loin, stuffed with hot Italian sausage dressing; mashed potatoes; Brussels sprouts; cranberry sauce; and gravy. Today, we shall rest and dine with considerably greater restraint.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Where Do Babes Come From?, Park It!, -and- Dear Santa

Where Do Babies Come From? - woman who did not know she was pregnant gives birth 10 minutes after entering hospital for stomach pains
Park It - world's messiest car banned from road
Dear Santa - man arrested for flashing gang signs on Santa's lap

On this day in history: December 24, 1997 - It is revealed that actor Woody Allen (age 62) was married to his adopted daughter Soon-Yi Previn (age 27) in Venice, Italy yesterday. She becomes her own stepmother, and Woody his own neurotic son in law.

Born on this day in history: December 24, 1971 - Ricky Martin (1971-) Born Enrique Jose Martin Morales IV in San Juan, Puerto Rico, pop singer Ricky Martin auditioned three times for teen group Menudo before earning a spot in 1984. He released a solo album in 1988, then acted in TV soaps and on the Broadway stage. His album 'Ricky Martin' (2000) debuted at No. 1. Martin is credited with bringing Latin cultural influences into the mainstream.

Scripture of the Day: I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. -John 12:24

Video of the Day: Give Me Jesus

Merry Christmas! Click to enlarge.

Recommended Site: David Louis Harter Photography - a showcase for the photography of David Louis Harter

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Homeland Security, Homeand Insecurity, -and- Brave New Schools

Homeland Security - clown finds airport security no laughing matter
Homeland Insecurity - guilty verdicts in Fort Dix attack plot trial
Brave New Schools - bus driver accused of pulling knife on students over cookie crumbs

On this day in history: December 23, 1995 - Bodies of 16 members of the Solar Temple cult who had committed suicide are found on a plateau in the French Alps. Their bodies are charred and arranged in a star formation. Causes of death included stabbing, asphyxiation, gunshot, and poisoning. In 1994, 53 other members had suicided in similar fashion.

Born on this day in history: December 23, 1948 - Susan Lucci (1948-) Born in Scarsdale, New York, actress Susan Lucci won the part of Erica Kane on daytime soap opera "All My Children" when she was 21, and has portrayed Erica for 30 years. Lucci became famous for 18 Daytime Emmy Award nominations before finally winning in 1999.

Scripture of the Day: Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. - Luke 12:23

Video of the Day: Police vs. Street Racer

Click to enlarge.

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When I arrived home yesterday afternoon at 4 PM, I put away the goods I had purchased at the market and perched in my recliner with my laptop and sent Laura an email. I told her the weather report was predicting a rain storm that night and that she should park in the front of our house to avoid the dismal walkway that would result from such a rain. She parked in the carport at the rear of our house. It is good that she did! It was damp last night, yet there was no rain. It was, however, sufficiently cold that all was covered with a chitinous carapace of rime! Mr. Nitro was fully encased in ice. By parking in the carport, Laura's Yaris was saved this cryogenic fate.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Don't Take Your Guns to Town, Return to Sender, -and- Crash!

Don’t Take Your Guns to Town - cops charge unarmed man with 80 bank robberies
Return to Sender - Intuit faces court over spam attack
Crash! - judge’s daughter sues man she hit while drunk

On this day in history: December 22, 1984 - Bernhard Goetz shoots 4 teenage boys on the NYC subway after one of them asks him for money.

Born on this day in history: December 22, 1945 - Diane Sawyer (1945– ) Born in Glasgow, Kentucky, broadcast journalist Diane Sawyer began as a weathergirl in 1967, then became a Nixon press aide (1970), staying on after Watergate to help with Nixon's memoirs. Returning to TV news, Sawyer was the first woman correspondent on "60 Minutes" (1984–9). In I989, she joined ABC News.

Scripture of the Day: For the sake of his great name the LORD will not reject his people, because the LORD was pleased to make you his own. — 1 Samuel 12:22

Video of the Day: Futuristic Japanese Cars - submitted by Cap'n Jack

Zeus was the first subject on which I used my new Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8 macro lens. Click to enlarge.

Recommended Site: David Louis Harter Photography - a showcase for the photography of David Louis Harter

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For dinner Saturday, I made an Oriental salad: I sliced six large white mushrooms and cooked in boiling water for 10 minutes. I turned off the heat and combined four packages of ramen noodles. After 5 minutes, I strained the noodles and mushrooms and placed them in a large stainless-steel bowl. I added chopped green onions, diced red bell pepper, frozen peas, frozen kernel corn, and shredded chicken breasts that I had grilled earlier in the week. I made a dressing with extra-virgin olive oil, rice wine vinegar, ground ginger, crushed red peppers, ground black pepper, and lime juice. It was delicious. Leftovers followed both Laura and me to work this morning.

For dinner Sunday, I grilled ahi steaks and filet mignons. Laura dry-rubbed the filet mignons with a special mixture I had previously prepared. She encrusted the ahi steaks with sea salt, ground black pepper, and sesame seeds. It was entirely too foul to grill outdoors, so I used our small indoor grill. We also had baked potatoes with sour cream and chives and an excellent bottle of Clos du Bois Cabernet Sauvignon 2003. It was an incredible meal.

Fog! It is foggy this morning! The path leading to the rear yard and carport, where Laura parks her Yaris, was so wet and nasty that I offered to drive her around the block and down the alley to her car so that she could avoid all the path. The fog is clearing nicely now and should be fully gone by 9 AM or so.

I recall many years ago experiencing the worst fog I have ever encountered: My rock band was performing in a club in Chico, CA, and I was living in Paradise, CA—a drive of approximately 25 minutes. It was so foggy when I began my journey home at 2:30 AM, that when I came upon a large semi and trailer as I began driving the Skyway toward Paradise, I decided to simply follow the rig and take advantage of his superior lighting system. As I followed him, when he turned, I turned; when he slowed, I slowed; and so on. In due course, he stopped. I stopped. Suddenly, there was a rapping at my side window. I lowered the glass, and I heard, "I'm home. Where are you going?" As it happened, the semi driver's house was only about two miles from my house, and I found my way home with relative ease.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Fighting Back, Brave New Schools, -and- Fly the Friendly Skies

Fighting Back - concealed-carry permit comes in handy for woman
Brave New Schools - 9-year-old called drug dealer over cough drops
Fly the Friendly Skies - pilot tells passengers he’s not qualified to land plane

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

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

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

Video of the Day: A Hole in the Hand - submitted by Danica

Imagine my surprise when I saw this surfer displaying his skill—without the use of water or surfboard! Click to enlarge.

Recommended Site:
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Heat Wave! Well, it is not quite a heat wave, but 41° I (relatively) enjoyed this morning, while journeying to my office, is certainly significantly warmer than the 29° it was yesterday at that time!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Cool Cool Sand, Pay the Piper, -and- Look Out!

Cool Cool Sand - Dubai hotel to have world’s first refrigerated beach
Pay the Piper - German politician says poor should catch rats for the bounty
Look Out! - Chico woman drives car into eye doctor’s office

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

Born on this day in history: December 18, 1963 - Brad Pitt (1963-) Born in Shawnee, Oklahoma, actor Brad Pitt got noticed in a bit part in "Thelma and Louise" (1991). Stardom followed with later films, including "Interview with the Vampire," "Seven," and "Ocean's Eleven."

Scripture of the Day: But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body. — 1 Corinthians 12:18-20

Video of the Day: Funny Crazy Dog - submitted by Darin

Click to enlarge.

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BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR! It is COLD! The low last night/early this morning was 25°! When I arose this morning at 5 AM and began researching news articles for today's blog, the temperature had crept up only to 28°! When I arrived at my office at 7 AM, the temperature had reached 32°. Yikes! Fortunately, it is very dry, so frost is not an issue. It is definitely cold, however, and it appears that this cold will continue for the next several days.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Grinch, How Ironic!, -and- Surf's Down

The Grinch - man steals Christmas decorations from 16 neighbors
How Ironic! - spelling bee champion honored with misspelled sign
Surf's Down - China said to be blocking Web sites again

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

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

Scripture of the Day: Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. — Romans 12:17-18

Video of the Day: Cute Animal Christmas Song - submitted by Cindy

I encountered this imaginative use for a Mac this morning while driving to my office. Click to enlarge.

Recommended Site:
David Louis Harter Photography - a showcase for the photography of David Louis Harter

COLD! It is 29° at the moment! The weatherpeople predicted it would reach a low of 24°, but it did not. I wonder, however, whether one can actually notice the difference between 24° and 29°. I rather doubt it. All I know is it is cold!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Fighting Back, Stupid Criminals, -and- Due Process

Fighting Back - pizza deliveryman lobs pizza to escape from teen robber
Stupid Criminals - man lies to cop about his name, but it’s tattooed on his neck
Due Process - couple served legal documents via Facebook

On this day in history: December 16, 1977 - The pinnacle of the Disco era attained with the release of the polyester-clad film "Saturday Night Fever," starring John Travolta.

Born on this day in history: December 16, 1770 - Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 - 1827) Born in Bonn, Germany, composer Ludwig van Beethoven studied under Haydn and possibly Salieri. His music is usually divided into three periods: the first, including his first two symphonies (1792–1802); second, including the "Eroica" symphony (803–12); and third, including the Mass (1813-26).

Scripture of the Day: Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. — Romans 12:16

Video of the Day: Singing Kitty - submitted by Cindy

This looks like a bad neighborhood! Click to enlarge.

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David Louis Harter Photography - a showcase for the photography of David Louis Harter

New reality show "Smile, You're Under Arrest"

Fox's new reality show pilot called "Smile, You're Under Arrest" features people with outstanding warrants getting tricked for the audience's amusement before being arrested.

Fox President of Alternative Entertainment Mike Darnell calls it "a reverse Punk’d. Instead of the worst day of your life and then a joke at the end, this is the reverse. This is the best day of your life, and then we arrest you.”

One of three set-ups just shot in Arizona features the cops luring a criminal to a movie set with the promise of making him an extra and paying him a couple hundred dollars. An elaborate film set is staged and filming begins on a faux movie. The set-up continues as the director then gets mad at the lead actor, fires him and replaces him with the law-breaking extra.

The scene escalates with the fake director introducing the mark to a supposed studio mogul and continuing to create this dream-comes-true sequence. Finally, all the participants are revealed as officers of the law, and the criminal is apprehended (before signing waivers to let the footage be used in the show).

Fox is working with the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office on this show, which is no surprise. Sheriff Joe Arpaio of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office is famous for his "tent city" jail and his no-nonsense treatment of inmates.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Book 'em Dano!, Faith Under Fire, -and- Insufficient Funds

Book 'em Dano! - U. S. shuts down "scareware" vendors
Faith Under Fire - atheists may sue to preside over Las Vegas weddings
Insufficient Funds - woman sentenced to 55 years for writing bad checks

On this day in history: December 15, 1944 - En route to Paris, "swing" big band leader Glenn Miller vanishes over the English Channel. Miller, listed as Missing In Action, was serving as a Major in the Army Air Force Band when his plane went down.

Born on this day in history: December 15, 1979 - Adam Brody (1979-) Born in San Diego, California, actor Adam Brody is best known for his role as Seth Cohen on the hit series "The O.C."

Scripture of the Day: Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. — Romans 12:15

Video of the Day: The Best of Trampboarding Online - submitted by Darin

The moon on Friday evening--near and full. Click to enlarge.

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David Louis Harter Photography - a showcase for the photography of David Louis Harter

The Weatherpeople Were Mistaken! Although it did sprinkle slightly yesterday afternoon, the rain storms that were forecast for Saturday and Sunday did not materialize. I was not displeased. It was cold, yet it was dry.

Saturday, I grilled boneless, skinless chicken breasts that I had seasoned with Monterey Chicken Seasoning. Laura baked fries in the conventional oven, and we also had slaw.

Following dinner, we watched "The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian" (2008 - PG) [One year after the incredible adventure of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, Peter, Edmund, Lucy and Susan Pevensie return to Narnia to aid a young prince whose life has been threatened by the evil King Miraz. Now, with the help of a colorful cast of new characters, including Trufflehunter the badger and Nikabrik the dwarf, the Pevensie clan embarks on an incredible adventure to ensure that Narnia is returned to its rightful heir.] We thoroughly enjoyed the movie, and we recommend it to all.

Sunday, we enjoyed a DiGiorno Ultra Supreme pizza early in the day. We watched "WALL-E" (2008 - G) [In a futuristic world, human beings have destroyed Earth and evacuated the planet, leaving the cleanup to an army of robots they've programmed to do their dirty work. Due to a mishap, the dutiful WALL-E is the only one left. But with the arrival of a female probe named EVE, the monotony of WALL-E's existence is broken -- and he experiences love for the first time. Andrew Stanton (Finding Nemo) directs this Pixar tale with a sci-fi twist.] This movie was entertaining, and the graphics and special effects were incredible. We enjoyed it a great deal and highly recommend it to all.

Laura must stay late at her work this evening, since she shall be part of the team that takes photographs of children with Santa. She does this each year at this time and thoroughly enjoys seeing the bright smiles on the children's faces. It does, however, make a long day for her, and she shall be weary when she arrives at our home this evening.

I have approximately 8 to 10 hours of Web design to do today, so I shall be arriving home late and weary also.

Friday, December 12, 2008

While You Were Sleeping, Fire!, -and- It's Not an Act!

While You Were Sleeping - scientists develop new software that maps dreams
Fire! - NYC firefighter arrested for calling in false alarms to his own firehouse
It’s Not an Act! - stage prop replaced with sharp knife, actor injured during scene

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

Born on this day in history: December 12, 1915 - 1915 - Frank Sinatra (1915 - 1998) Born in Hoboken, New Jersey, singer and actor Frank Sinatra rose to prominence with Tommy Dorsey's orchestra (1940?2). He quickly emerged as a teen idol, and grew into a global superstar, expanding in film roles, including an Oscar-winning performance in "From Here to Eternity" (1953). Marriages to film stars Ava Gardner and Mia Farrow were widely publicized. Sinatra is the only singer in history to have hit records in five consecutive decades.

Scripture of the Day: Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. — Romans 12:12

Video of the Day: Dream State - submitted by Amber

Say, "Hello" to Mr. Butterfly! Click to enlarge.

Recommended Sites:
David Louis Harter Photography - a showcase for the photography of David Louis Harter

How Italians do business

Luigi (the father) says to his son, "I want you to marry a girl of my choice." The son says: "I will choose my own bride!" Luigi says, "But the girl is Bill Gates’ daughter." Son answers, "Well, in that case, okay."

Next Luigi approaches Bill Gates and says, "I have a husband for your daughter." Bill Gates answers, "But my daughter is too young to marry!" Luigi says, "But this young man is a vice-president of the World Bank!" Bill Gates answers, "Ah, in that case, okay."

Finally, Luigi goes to see the president of the World Bank. Luigi says, "I have a young man to recommend as a vice-president." The president answers, "But I already have more vice-presidents than I need!" Luigi says, "But this young man is Bill Gates’son-in-law." The president answers, "Ah, in that case, okay."

And that is how Italians do business!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Lost, Number One with a Bullet, -and- To Serve and Protect

Lost - 75-year-old woman returns $100,000 found in restaurant
Number One with a Bullet - Musicians protest use of their song as weapons
To Serve and Protect - Border security official employs illegals to clean home

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

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

Scripture of the Day: Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. — Romans 12:11

Video of the Day: Crazy Cat - submitted by Cindy

Imagine my surprise when I saw this custom Rolls Royce at 7-Eleven this morning! Click to enlarge.

Recommended Sites:
David Louis Harter Photography - a showcase for the photography of David Louis Harter

We watched two episodes of "Shatner's Raw Nerve" last evening. I recorded these programs when they initially aired, but we had not previously found the time to view them. "Shatner's Raw Nerve" is William Shatner's own edgy and off-beat celebrity interview series. In each episode Shatner will attempt to probe his guest's most sensitive subjects and touch upon a raw nerve to explore life's most intriguing questions and unearth his guests' strange and unknown stories that are most surprising, revealing, funny, touching or bizarre.

Guests include fascinating figures from the pop culture universe such as Valerie Bertinelli, Tim Allen, Jenna Jameson, Jimmy Kimmel, Kelsey Grammer, Judge Judy and many, many more.

We were very impressed with Shatner's wit and interviewing style. We eagerly anticipate future episodes and highly recommend this new series.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Heat of the Moment, Bang Bang, -and- Cluck Cluck

Heat of the Moment - more than 650 international scientists dissent over man-made global warming claims
Bang Bang - group asks states to track citizens' ammo
Cluck Cluck - Saddam Hussein hawks spicy chicken wings

On this day in history: December 10, 1967 - Soul singer Otis Redding plus four members of the Bar-Kays are killed in an airplane crash near Madison, Wisconsin.

Born on this day in history: December 10, 1830 - Emily Dickinson (1830 - 1886) Born in Amherst, Massachusetts, poet Emily Dickinson published only two poems during her lifetime. After her death, sister Lavinia Dickinson published several more collections. Dickinson has now gained a cult-like following.

Scripture of the Day: Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. — Romans 12:10

Video of the Day: "Boston Legal" - Little People - submitted by Darin

Sometimes, one's head is simply too large for a helmet! Click to enlarge.

Recommended Sites:
David Louis Harter Photography - a showcase for the photography of David Louis Harter

I had anticipated with great glee going on a safari Saturday and hunting elusive creatures and capturing them photographically. The weather forecasts have been indicating that temperatures will rise gradually throughout the week and that the weather would be sufficiently warm on Saturday that creatures would find it an attractive notion to leave their nesting places and explore their environs. Yikes! Today's forecast shows temperatures of 61° today, 63° tomorrow, 64° Friday, and 49° on Saturday! Surely, there will be no creatures about on that day. Perhaps the cats—Zeus and Thor—shall pose for me.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Animal Kingdom, Weapons of Choice, -and- Clean Your Plate

Animal Kingdom - puppies save lost 3-year-old from freezing
Weapons of Choice - ban on loaded firearms in national parks lifted
Clean Your Plate - restaurant charges 3% surcharge for wasted food

On this day in history: December 9, 1997 - Actor Christian Slater sentenced to 90 days in jail for battery and being under the influence of a controlled substance. He was arrested August 11 after a cocaine and heroin binge ending with him assaulting an officer.

Born on this day in history: December 9, 1934 - Dame Judi Dench (1934 - ) Born in York, England, actress Judi Dench made her stage debut as Ophelia in "Hamlet" (1957). A member of the Old Vic Company (1957?61), she became one of Britain's most distinguished classical actresses, as well as a popular film and TV performer. She played M in several James Bond movies.

Scripture of the Day: Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. — Romans 12:9

Video of the Day: The World’s Most Effective Speed Bump – submitted by Jeffrey

Here is Laura's granddaughter, Parker. She is growing so quickly that soon she will be 6' tall and driving! Click to enlarge.

Recommended Sites:
David Louis Harter Photography - a showcase for the photography of David Louis Harter

When your hut is on fire

The only survivor of a shipwreck was washed up on a small, uninhabited island. He prayed feverishly for God to rescue him. Every day he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming. Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect him from the elements, and to store his few possessions.

One day, after scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, with smoke rolling up to the sky. He felt the worst had happened, and everything was lost. He was stunned with disbelief, grief, and anger. He cried out, "God! How could you do this to me?"

Early the next day, he was awakened by the sound of a ship approaching the island! It had come to rescue him! "How did you know I was here?" asked the weary man of his rescuers. "We saw your smoke signal," they replied.

The Moral of This Story:

It is easy to get discouraged when things are going bad, but we should not lose heart, because God is at work in our lives, even in the midst of our pain and suffering. Remember that the next time your little hut seems to be burning to the ground, it just may be a smoke signal that summons the Grace of God

Monday, December 08, 2008

Pricey Pasta, Heat of the Moment, -and- Never Too Old

Pricey Pasta - bitter wife allegedly used $1000 bottle of wine to make sauce
Heat of the Moment - climate scientists say 2008 coolest year of decade
Never Too Old - 70-year-old woman gives birth

On this day in history: December 8, 1980 - Beatle John Lennon shot by a lunatic, Mark David Chapman, outside Lennon's apartment in New York City mere hours after receiving the Beatle's autograph.

Born on this day in history: December 8, 1943 - Jim Morrison (1943–71) Born in Melbourne, Florida, rock musician Jim Morrison and keyboard player Ray Manzerek formed rock band, The Doors (1965). With songs like "Light My Fire" (1967), the group hit it big in the 1960s. A controversial figure, Morrison died of a heart attack in Paris

Scripture of the Day: I tell you, whoever acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man will also acknowledge him before the angels of God. — Luke 12:8

Video of the Day: Fat Cat Watching TV, Sitting on the Couch - submitted by Cindy

Skateboarders honing their skills. Click to enlarge.

Recommended Sites:
David Louis Harter Photography - a showcase for the photography of David Louis Harter

The fog returned over the weekend; but thankfully, it did not visit us today. It was cold all weekend—although it did not freeze. Temperatures were below 40° Saturday and Sunday morning. Reader Chris made me feel warmer when he spoke in an email communication of the snow and freezing weather he is experiencing in Michigan. I was reminded of one of the several reasons I live in California.

I took a walking tour of our yard Saturday morning—searching for creatures of which to make photographic studies. It was too cold, however: All the creatures were apparently sheltered.

Friday evening, we enjoyed huge baked Burbank Russet potatoes (a large brown-skinned, white-fleshed cultivar of potato), topped with cheddar cheese, chili, chopped white onion, and diced Jalapeños. They were excellent.

Saturday afternoon, I grilled three large T-bone steaks. Laura dry-rubbed them wonderfully with a variety of herbs and spices. I grilled them over a high flame—charring the exteriors, while leaving the centers rare. I baked two large Burbank Russet potatoes and finished them on the grill. That morning, I made slaw with sliced cabbage, grated carrots, mayonnaise, and rice wine vinegar. The meal was a delight, and the third T-bone remains for a future meal.

Sunday evening, we attended a Christmas party at the home of pastors Mike and Stephanie Sharp of Harvest Christian Center. The party was hosted by the Sharps for the leadership staff and department heads and coordinators. The party was wonderful. The Sharps are generous and gracious hosts.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Matters of Life and Death, Their Government at Work, -and- Media Matters

Matters of Life and Death - Planned Parenthood counsels teen to hide felony
Their Government at Work - Australian politicians may be breath-tested before voting
Media Matters - more than 30 daily newspapers for sale, buyers scarce

On this day in history: December 5, 1928 - In order to protect United Fruit Company employees from striking banana workers, the government declares martial law in Santa Marta, Colombia. Over the next three weeks, Colombian troops kill between 500 and 600 strikers.

Born on this day in history: December 5, 1932 - Little Richard (1932 - ) Born Dec. 5, 1932, Macon, Ga., U.S., flamboyant American singer and pianist whose hit songs of the mid-1950s were defining moments in the development of rock and roll.

Scripture of the Day: And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons: "My son, do not make light of the Lord's discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you ..." — Hebrews 12:5

Video of the Day: Cheetos Pet - submitted by Amber

Imagine my surprise when I encountered this cat family living in the woods behind my office! Click to enlarge.

Recommended Sites:
David Louis Harter Photography - a showcase for the photography of David Louis Harter

The Fog Has Gone! Thankfully, the fog that has plagued us during the week has gone from here! It is a clear day and forecasts indicate the weekend should be free from fog. It is, however, cold! The temperature hit a low of 32° during the early morning today, and it is now a frosty 35° at 7:30 AM. Brrrrrrr! Mr. Nitro's windshield had a patina of frost and required engaging the defroster for the first time this winter.

For dinner last evening, I made game hen soup, and Laura made cornbread muffins. I simmered the carcasses of four game hens, strained the resulting broth, picked the bones clean of meat, and added the meat to the pot, along with a can of chicken stock, two diced chicken breasts (boneless and skinless, of course), four stalks of celery (chopped), two white onions (diced), 16 baby carrots (chopped), six large white mushrooms (sliced), two zucchini (sliced), and half a head of cabbage (chopped). I added Tony Chachere's More Spice, granulated garlic, and dried parsley flakes and simmered for three hours. It was delightful. A quantity followed Laura to Chico this morning for lunch—along with two cornmeal muffins. A goodly quantity resides in the freezer for later use.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

To Serve and Protect, Animal Kingdom, -and- Media Matters

To Serve and Protect - 15 cops charged in FBI sting, drug-dealing probe
Animal Kingdom - 176-year-old tortoise discovered
Media Matters - "several cities" could have no daily newspaper by 2010

On this day in history: December 4, 1978 - Dianne Feinstein named mayor of San Francisco after the assassination of Mayor Moscone.

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

Scripture of the Day: Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. — Romans 12:4-5

Video of the Day: Guiness Penguins

It has been cold of late—in the low 60s! Imagine my surprise, nonetheless, when I encountered penguins near the lake behind my office! Click to enlarge.

Recommended Sites:
David Louis Harter Photography - a showcase for the photography of David Louis Harter

The Return of the Fog The vile fog that plagued us earlier in the week has returned. This is a good time to avoid graveyards, lonely country lanes, docks, and dark alleyways. I have postponed a walking tour of the Corning Catacombs that I had planned for this morning.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

The Reason for the Season, Weapons of Choice, -and- Fly the Friendly Skies

The Reason for the Season - Utah legislator tells retailers to say "Merry Christmas"
Weapons of Choice - Texas gun law battle brewing over "open carry" proposal
Fly the Friendly Skies - drug could cure jet lag

On this day in history: December 3, 1974 - Civil aviation authorities in England issue a warning to pilots to avoid a 40 foot long inflated pig. The aeropork had escaped its tether during a Pink Floyd photo shoot. Radar contact was lost at 18,000 feet.

Born on this day in history: December 3, 1948 - Ozzy Osbourne (1948 - ) Born in Birmingham, England, musician Ozzy Osbourne is known as lead singer of Black Sabbath, which recorded metal anthems like "War Pig"” (1971). He went solo in 1978, cultivating a social misfit image, then struggled with substance abuse. Osbourne regained popularity with reality TV show "The Osbournes," which featured his family.

Scripture of the Day: Therefore I tell you that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, "Jesus be cursed," and no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit. — 1 Corinthians 12:3

Video of the Day: Budweiser Rocky Horse SuperBowl Commercial - submitted by Jay

The eyes have it! Click to enlarge.

Recommended Sites:
David Louis Harter Photography - a showcase for the photography of David Louis Harter

I had a peculiar dream last night: I dreamed that a woman came to my office and inquired about engaging me to photograph her "...daughter and friends." I asked if this were a birthday party, and she replied, "No. They're practicing for a musical presentation at their school." We agreed upon the fee and a date and time. She gave me a deposit and departed. At the appointed date and time, I met the woman at a local park. She had over a dozen children with her. They appeared to be approximately 12 years of age. The children began performing, and I began photographing them. They danced and sang—performing the musical, "Oklahoma!" Their performances were stunning. I was amazed by their dancing and singing talents. Without benefit of music, they sang perfectly and danced flawlessly. When the shoot was completed, I said to the woman, "I am amazed by the incredible talent of these children." She said, "Well, they're just a bunch of kids playing around." I did not understand her attitude. When I arrived at my office and viewed the images on my computer, the costumes the children had worn were not displayed! Their attire was ordinary daily wear. Gone, also, was the performing grace and skill they had exhibited! Their poses were ungainly and child-like. I awakened.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Playing Around, Once Bitten, -and- Animal Kingdom

Playing Around - boy collapses after playing computer game for 24 straight hours
Once Bitten - man awakens wife from coma by biting her toe
Animal Kingdom - wounded deer attacks hunter who shot him

On this day in history: December 2, 1994 - Heidi Fleiss, the "Hollywood Madam," is convicted of three counts of felony pandering. She provided prostitutes to Hollywood celebrities.

Born on this day in history: December 2, 1973 - Monica Seles (1973 - ) Born Dec. 2, 1973, Novi Sad, Yugoslavia. Yugoslav-U.S. tennis player. She went to the U.S. to train in 1985. She developed quickly and became one of the dominant women stars of the 1990s, achieving multiple wins in all grand-slam tournaments (French Open, 1990–92; Australian Open, 1991–93, 1996; U.S. Open, 1991–92) except Wimbledon, which she lost in 1991 and 1992 to her rival Steffi Graf. In 1993 she stopped competing temporarily after being stabbed by a Graf fan on a court in Hamburg, Germany.

Scripture of the Day: Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. — Romans 12:2

Video of the Day: "Boston Legal" - Jerry wants his job back

Little dogs are so aggressive! Click to enlarge.

Recommended Sites:
David Louis Harter Photography - a showcase for the photography of David Louis Harter

The Fog "The fog comes on little cat feet. It sits looking over harbor and city on silent haunches and then moves on." Carl Sandburg understood the nature of fog. The fog was so dense at 6:30 AM this morning that it was not altogether unlike walking through a light rain—walking from the house to Mr. Nitro. With all three wipers engaged, the headlights and fog lights on, and the windshield and mirror defrosters warming the glass, I made the brief, 4-block journey to my office. By 7 AM, the fog had lifted sufficiently that the view in my Web cam was unobstructed, and I sat—sipping hot green tea with honey and watching the early-morning traffic move about on Solano Street.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Armed and Dangerous, Animal Kingdom, -and- The Kids Are Alright

Armed and Dangerous - police chief teaching gun safety shoots himself in leg
Animal Kingdom - woman covers herself with 50 cats to stay warm
The Kids Are Alright - supermarket bag boy finds, returns $10,000

On this day in history: December 1, 1997 - Member of the Georgia Senate Ralph Abernathy attempts to smuggle marijuana into the US from Jamaica in his underwear. He is caught by a drug-sniffing canine and fined $500. Abernathy is the son of the famous civil rights leader of the same name who was Martin Luther King's lieutenant. In January he is censured by the Georgia State Senate.

Born on this day in history: December 1, 1939 - Lee Trevino (1939 - ) Born Dec. 1, 1939, near Dallas, TX. U.S. golfer. Of Mexican American descent, Trevino received a grade-school education, served in the U.S. Marine Corps, and worked as an odd-job man and assistant professional at golf courses in his native Texas. In 1967 he unexpectedly came in fifth in the U.S. Open, then won it the next year. In 1971 Trevino became the first player to win the U.S., British, and Canadian Open championships in a single year. He won the British Open in 1972 and the U.S. PGA Championship in 1974. He then underwent several back surgeries but returned to win the PGA again in 1984.

Scripture of the Day: Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship. — Romans 12:1

Video of the Day: What Is Scientology? - from "Boston Legal"

Imagine my surprise when I encountered this scene while driving past the lake behind my office this morning! Click to enlarge.

Recommended Sites:
David Louis Harter Photography - a showcase for the photography of David Louis Harter

It was a bit difficult returning to the office, following a four-day hiatus! I quickly acclimated myself to lounging and napping. I accomplished very little over those four days, but I certainly did lounge and nap well!

It is December suddenly. This year will soon be ended, and it seems to me that the year has passed quickly. It does not seem all that long ago that doomsayers were predicting that when the clocks struck midnight on 12-31-1999, worldwide computer issues would cause the world as we knew it to somehow become irreversibly ineffectual technologically. I doubted this sincerely and eagerly awoke on the morning of January 1, 2000 to find things very much as they were when I had gone abed.

It seems as time passes, the more quickly it appears to pass!