Friday, March 29, 2013

Good Friday

Good Friday - Today is Good Friday. Good Friday is a religious holiday observed primarily by Christians commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death at Calvary. The holiday is observed during Holy Week as part of the Paschal Triduum on the Friday preceding Easter Sunday and may coincide with the Jewish observance of Passover. It is also known as Holy Friday, Great Friday, Black Friday, or Easter Friday.

Based on the details of the Canonical gospels, the Crucifixion of Jesus was most likely to have been on a Friday (John 19:42). The estimated year of the Crucifixion is AD 33, by two different groups, and originally as AD 34 by Isaac Newton via the differences between the Biblical and Julian calendars and the crescent of the moon. A third method, using a completely different astronomical approach based on a lunar Crucifixion darkness and eclipse model (consistent with Apostle Peter's reference to a "moon of blood" in Acts 2:20), points to Friday, 3 April AD 33.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Same-sex Marriage from a Biblical Perspective

Same-sex Marriage from a Biblical Stance - The Bible does not explicitly address same-sex marriage. The Bible has many references to homosexuality. The Bible condemns homosexuality as an immoral and unnatural sin. Leviticus 18:22 identifies homosexual sex as an abomination, a detestable sin. Romans 1:26-27 declares homosexual desires and actions to be shameful, unnatural, lustful, and indecent. First Corinthians 6:9 states that homosexuals are unrighteous and will not inherit the kingdom of God. Since both homosexual desires and actions are condemned in the Bible, it is clear that homosexuals “marrying” is not God’s will, and would be, in fact, sinful.

Whenever the Bible mentions marriage, it is between a male and a female. The first mention of marriage, Genesis 2:24, describes it as a man leaving his parents and being united to his wife. In passages that contain instructions regarding marriage (such as 1 Corinthians 7:2-16 and Ephesians 5:23-33), the Bible clearly identifies marriage as being between a man and a woman. Marriage is the lifetime union of a man and a woman—primarily for the purpose of building a family and providing a stable environment for that family.

The biblical viewpoint of marriage has been the universal understanding of marriage in every human civilization in world history. History argues against gay marriage. Modern secular psychology recognizes that men and women are psychologically and emotionally designed to complement one another.

Psychologists contend that a union between a man and woman is best. Both spouses serve as good gender role models. This is the best environment in which to raise well-adjusted children. Psychology argues against gay marriage. Men and women were designed to fit together sexually. Nature argues against gay marriage.

The Bible, history, psychology, and nature all argue for marriage being between a man and a woman. Why, then, is there such a controversy today? Why are those opposed to same-sex marriage labeled as hateful? intolerant bigots? Why is the gay rights movement so aggressively pushing for same-sex marriage?

The answer is found in the Bible: Everyone inherently knows that homosexuality is immoral and unnatural, and the only way to suppress this inherent knowledge is by normalizing homosexuality and attacking any and all opposition to it.

The best way to normalize homosexuality is by placing same-sex marriage on an equal plane with traditional (opposite-sex) marriage. Romans 1:18-32 illustrates this. God has made it very clear. The truth is rejected and replaced with a lie. The lie is then promoted, and the truth is suppressed and attacked. The vehemence and anger expressed by many in the gay-rights movement to any who oppose them is, in fact, an indication that they know their position is indefensible. Trying to overcome a weak position by raising your voice is the oldest trick in the debating book. There is perhaps no more accurate description of the modern gay rights agenda than Romans 1:31, "...they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless."

To give sanction to same-sex marriage would be to give approval to the homosexual lifestyle, and the Bible clearly and consistently condemns such a lifestyle as sinful.

Christians should stand firmly against the idea of same-sex marriage. Additionally, there are strong and logical arguments against same-sex marriage from contexts completely separated from the Bible. One need not have to be an evangelical Christian to recognize that marriage is between a man and a woman.

According to the Bible, marriage is ordained by God to be between a man and a woman (Genesis 2:21-24;Matthew 19:4-6). Same-sex marriage is a perversion of the institution of marriage and an offense to the God who created marriage. As Christians, we are not to condone or ignore sin. Rather, we are to share the love of God and the forgiveness of sins that is available to all, including homosexuals, through Jesus Christ.

We are to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15) and contend for truth with "gentleness and respect" (1 Peter 3:15). As Christians, when we stand for truth and the result is personal attacks, insults, and persecution, we should remember the words of Jesus: "If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you." (John 15:18-19).

The Supreme Court and Same-sex Marriage

The Supreme Court and Same-sex Marriage - The Supreme Court has two "same-sex marriage" cases before it currently:
1. Hollingsworth v. Perry: Seeking to overturn California's Proposition 8
2. United States v. Windsor: Seeking to ascertain the validity of an appeal court's determination that DOMA (The Defense of Marriage Act) is unconstitutional.

I shall address the two cases directly and individually herewith.

Hollingsworth v. Perry:
The Supreme Court heard arguments on Tuesday (March 26) in which's Dennis Hollingsworth advocated for California's Proposition 8. Proposition 8 overturned same-sex marriage in California. Kristin Perry represents the opposing position. Perry was denied a license to marry her longtime partner, Sandra Stier, with whom she has four children.

Hollingsworth's argument is that "traditional" marriage must be preserved so that children "...will be born and raised in stable and enduring family units by their own mothers and fathers."

Perry's attorneys argued that marriage is a fundamental right that has nothing to do with having children and that the current system creates a second-rate class of citizens.

It is my opinion that the Supreme Court will not issue a verdict on same-sex marriage that will formulate a global application. (Roe v. Wade is such a global application, for example.) They could present a verdict that narrowly appliesapply. Should they do this, Proposition 8 would be invalidated, and only California would be affected. In my opinion, however, the Supreme Court will make no judgment and will not strike down Proposition 8.

A verdict is expected in June

United States v. Windsor:
Edith Windsor, 83, is challenging the federal estate tax bill she incurred after her partner of 42 years died in 2009. The two were married in Canada in 2007. Had Windsor married a man, she would not have any estate tax bills. Under the Defense of Marriage Act, federal marriage benefits are available only to spouses in opposite-sex marriages.

The Obama administration announced in 2011 that it would not longer defend DOMA. An appeals court ruled in October that DOMA is unconstitutional as it violates the equal-protection clause. Their decision was that Windsor should not have had to pay the taxes.

Wednesday's (March 27) arguments in the DOMA case appear to indicate that the majority of the justices seemed skeptical about the constitutionality of DOMA. In particular, their concern is that it fails to federally recognize same-sex unions in the nine states that already allow gay marriage.

A verdict is expected in June.

Neither of these cases should be viewed as political positioning. The issue of constitutionality is not a political issue. If the basis upon which determinations are made in both cases is the constitutionality of the cases, the Supreme Court should find against neither Proposition 8 nor DOMA, since both are constitutionally grounded and represent the vox populi. The issue of constitutionality arises when the consideration is given to the concept that marriage is a right that allows participants to have full freedom over the choice of partners. In actuality, the Constitution clearly defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman. The position that marriage is a fundamental right applies only to unions of opposite-sex partners.

Ultimately, it is not the position of the Supreme Court to legislate. That is the purview of Congress.

For Christians, the issue is very clear: Same-sex unions are clearly defined as abominations in The Bible. Scriptural references to the physical coupling of men with men and women with women define such behavior as sins against nature. A Christian's postulate must of necessity align with Scripture. If it does not align with Scripture, it is not acceptable. There can be no grey area.

Homosexuality is clearly condemned in the Bible. It undermines the basis of God's created order where God made Adam and Eve—a man and a woman—to carry out his command to fill and subdue the earth (Gen. 1:28). Homosexuality cannot carry out that command. It also undermines the basic family unit of husband and wife, the God-ordained means of procreation.

Here are some Scriptural references to homosexuality:

Lev. 18:22, "You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination."
Lev. 20:13, "If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltness is upon them."
1 Cor. 6:9-10, "Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God."
Rom. 1:26-28, "For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. 28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper."

Jesus commanded us to love:

Love God
Matthew 22:36, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind."

Love Everyone
Matthew 5:43-48, "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor, and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you in order that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax-gatherers do the same? And if you greet your brothers only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect."

Love One Another
Matthew 22:39, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." John 13:34, "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another."
John 15:12, "This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you."

Love Your Neighbor
Matthew 22:39, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."

Love Your Wives Ephesians 5:22, "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her."

Stupid Criminals

Stupid Criminals - I have a routine I follow each weekday morning: I slither from bed prior to my Droid X alarm sounding. The alarm is set for 5:30 AM. I travel to the dining room and put out the daily vitamins that Laura and I take. I take mine and place hers in a travel container so that she can take them later in the morning. At 5:30 AM, I turn the LCD HDTV on the dining room table to the local news—switching from HDMI to the RCA digital antenna. I turn the display toward the recumbent cycle and watch the news while I ride.

This morning, I chortled upon viewing the story of a bumbling want-to-be burglar's attempt to break into a liquor store in Redding, CA—approximately 50 miles north of here. Imagine my surprise when I saw the story and surveillance video spotlighted in the national news while perusing Pulse on my ASUS Google Nexus 7!

Robbery Suspect Trips Alarm, Then Trips Himself
The video depicts a 5’11, 350LB man dressed in sweatpants attempting to rob a small liquor store by throwing a brick at the window. Unfortunately, the window did not break but rather, set off the alarm. The dude freaks out, runs away and trips over the parking block. And he is still on the run!

That will do it for now! I made the mistake of watching the video again and must now rest and regain my composure!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?

Where Have All the Cowboys Gone? - Paula Cole said,

"Where is my John Wayne
Where is my prairie song
Where is my happy ending
Where have all the cowboys gone"

Generally, Cole's lyrics are said to promote the concept of a glamorized male paradigm that does not exist outside Hollywood fantasy. While I cannot disagree that this analysis works on the surface level, I see the song as having a deeper, more global, message: By my interpretation, Cole is bemoaning the loss of innocence—her own, certainly, and that of the world at large. She sees the loss of her own childhood innocence as a metaphor for the decline of societal morality, in general, and of the decline of the amalgamation of family that necessarily follows.

Cole's lyrics paint a clear image of traditional family structure: "I will do the laundry if you pay all the bills." Again, conventional interpretation says this is Cole agonizing over the inequality of male and female roles in family life and how distinctly this inequality is highlighted by idealized life portrayed in films and television. It is simple enough to see her words as a declaration of the disparity between reality and the perfect family as seen in the movies and television of the 1950s and early 1960s: Cole is clearly stating that Dennis is not a menace by today's standards, June Cleaver does not exist, and father does not necessarily know best.

In the larger, more dynamic and global sense, I see the statements Cole makes in her song as a postulation that the world has changed, and the moral decline of the world at large is due to a great extent not to the idealization of family life as portrayed in movies and television from an earlier era but rather to the liberalization of society, in general, and the dramatic lowering of the standard by which accepted behavior is measured. In other words, I see Cole's words as placing the blame for the grossly declined societal standard on the removal of faith from the family, school, and government.

Sadly, the world today judges behavior as acceptable—even normal—that would have been fully condemned under earlier moral standards.

I lived in this small city where I now dwell (Corning, CA) while attending grammar school and high school. I graduated from high school in 1962. At that time, it was uncommon for people to lock their houses or cars. There was no need! Common decency ruled the airwaves and movie theatres: Foul language, nudity, drug references, and sexuality were never subjects for television programming, and the films that were considered racy by the standards of the day would be rated PG-13 in today's liberal world. The family structure was a husband, wife, and children—and, often, a pet or pets. There was no waver from this. There were no same-sex unions. There was no serious crime here. Dependence on government support was uncommon and brief.

I recall a fishing trip to Black Butte Lake (about 20 miles from here). I was fifteen or so. My father, my two brothers, and I found the fishing to be particularly good, and we decided we would return the following day. We left our gear at our campsite and returned home. The following day, we returned to find all as we had left it—with the exception of a five-gallon can of gasoline. The can had been full. Taped to the can was a brief note apologizing for taking a couple gallons of fuel from the can and explaining that it had been necessary to do so because the note-writer's car had unexpectedly been too low on fuel to drive home. Two dollar bills were included with the note—considerably more that the value of the purloined fuel.

Today, I would never consider leaving our house or cars unlocked, and the thought of leaving fishing gear unattended simply would never occur.

What has changed? God was removed from schools and government! Once the Bible is not an advisement by which one leads one's life, there is no credible moral signature extant. Once one negates the concept of living one's life as one imagines Jesus would have one live it, there is no path for one to take that leads one necessarily to a life of virtue and morality.

Where have all the cowboys gone?

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Roadkill, Today's Holiday, and Weird News

Roadkill - Without warning, a witty bit of humor, in the form of what Laura has termed a "Davidism," enters my mind, and I immediately add it to a list of Davidisms that I maintain on my Google Drive.

Fueled by yesterday's rant, no doubt, this Davidism popped into my head:

What do you get if you cross a comedic actor with roadkill?

Jim Carrion!

Today's Holiday - Today is National Make Your Own Holiday Day! This is always March 26th. National Make Your Own Holiday Day allows you to make today a special day for anything you want. The objective of today is to allow one day for any topic or event that has otherwise escaped recognition. Today, is your day to skip all of the red tape, bypass all of the effort, and create a special day of any kind. Simply declare your special day on National Make Your Own Holiday Day! This day appears to have been created by the Wellness Permission League.

Weird News - Here are some bizarre items from today's news:

  • William Shatner "appalled" by IRS Star Trek spoof
  • "Game of Thrones" actor has ear bitten off after asking two rowdy men outside his room at a Travelodge to be quiet
  • Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano doesn’t believe in using email
  • Alameda County rewards Administrator $400k per year for life
  • Man Vows To Kill All Squirrels After House Fire Interrupts Funeral Procession
  • Man Busted For Allegedly Missing Child Support After Posting Facebook Money Pictures
  • Woman Burns Down Home Setting Snake On Fire
  • "Ultimate Man Cave" Could Be Yours For $499,500
  • Tilda Swinton Sleeps In A Glass Box At The Museum Of Modern Art
  • West Point Worker Allegedly Stole Meatballs, Faces Military Prison Time
  • Monday, March 25, 2013

    Jim Carrey, Lindsay Lohan, and The ShamWow! Guy

    Jim Carrey - Jim Carrey—the star of Dumb and Dumber proves he not only plays a moron in films: He IS a moron in real life! In case you slept through news of the recent antics of this cretin, he has authored an anti-gun song. Not only does he mock Charlton Heston—one of the greatest actors and one of the finest men who of all time—he espouses the pure idiocy that if one feels unsafe one should simply hire a bodyguard! If he continues with this profession, and if his career continues to nose-dive into obscurity, he will undoubtedly find himself unable to follow his own dictum. Bodyguards, after all, expect to be paid. The last performance of Carrey that I found remotely humorous was when he played Fire Marshall Bill on "In Living Color." This was ion the early 1990s. The movies in which Carrey appeared following this failed to draw my attention. The trailers generally curbed my enthusiasm sufficiently that viewing the movies was never seriously considered.

    Lindsay Lohan - Speaking of career nose-dives: Lindsay Lohan's movie, InAPPropriate Comedy débuted over the weekend. This was a true box-office disaster—averaging a miserable $625 average per theatre!

    The ShamWow! Guy - It would seem that the dismal failure of InAPPropriate Comedy is not fully Lohan's fault: The movie was directed by The ShamWow! Guy! REALLY! Vince Shlomi (a.k.a. Vince Offer) is better known as as The ShamWow! Guy—the ubiquitous television pitchman who has been phenomenally successful peddling absorbent towels and food choppers. The movie also stars Michelle Rodriguez and Adrien Brody. The movie must be an embarrassment to them, and Brody most certainly does not anticipate InAPPropriate Comedy leading to his second Oscar!

    Why am I wasting valuable blog-post space on these idiots? I really have no credible answer to offer!

    Upon reflection: Carrey's spewing annoys me on several levels: First, I am annoyed by all celebrities who use their recognizability to advance agendas. Carrey has no legitimate grounding as a Constitutional scholar, certainly, and he fails fully as a resource for credible societal studies and proposals. His dismissal of Charlton Heston is, in my mind, proof positive that his real-life persona easily exceeds the inanity of his film roles.

    Happy Monday, however!

    Friday, March 22, 2013

    Friday Thoughts

    Friday Thoughts - Weatherpeople forecast today to be dry, warm, and sunny. They also predict a continuance of the wind that plagued us yesterday—with expectations that the wind will reach 40 MPH and above. Wind serves no useful purpose—at least none of which I am aware.

    Pop-ups are controlled nicely by settings in Chrome. I generally use only Chrome as my Web browser (on all Windows and Android devices) and Google as my search engine. Both are produced by Google, and I find them to work well together.

    This is an amazing story: Pilot Impersonator Reaches Cockpit

    I am watching The Delinquents Here is the IMDB listing. This movie was intended to serve as a guide for teenagers in the 1950s. It is a HOOT! I recommend it.

    The Delinquents (1957)
    72 min - Drama - 1 March 1957 (USA)
    5.6 Your rating: -/10 Ratings: 5.6/10 from 244 users
    Reviews: 11 user | 4 critic
    A frustrated young man, separated from his younger girlfriend, gets involved in a juvenile gang.
    Director: Robert Altman
    Writer: Robert Altman
    Stars: Tom Laughlin, Peter Miller, Richard Bakalyan

    Robert Altman is famous for his films MASH (1970), McCabe and Mrs. Miller (1971), and Nashville (1975)

    Tom Laughlin is famous for his Billy Jack films.

    Thursday, March 21, 2013

    Facebook, Stupidity in the News, and Cats and Dogs and Other Animals

    Facebook - I was unprepared for the response to yesterday's blog post regarding deleting one's Facebook account. As of this morning, I have received six emails and two telephone calls from people thanking me for making such deletion a simple mouse click away. I did receive one email that espoused the position that I should "...mind my own business and not try to tell people what to do..." This is (thus far) the sole pro-Facebook message.

    Obviously, the majority of visitors here agree that Facebook is the spawn of Satan!

    Interestingly, those who displayed an anti-Facebook position did so pleasantly and tastefully. The pro-Facebook cretin, however, raged with vehemence, ill-humor, and a total disregard for email etiquette.

    I am pleased to have provided a means whereby one may quickly and easily delete one's Facebook account—eschewing the necessity to take drastic measures to do so!

    Stupidity in the News - Pennsylvania Man, 90, Jailed On Charges He Punched Trooper

    Big Sis Refuses To Answer Congress On Bullet Purchases

    DHS questioned over decision to let Saudi passengers skip normal passport controls

    For the latest entry in the dumb criminals department, we have a woman who stole an Arkansas-based businessman's iPad and proceeded to take a gallery of goofy selfies with it. Unbeknownst to her, the device synced all of her photos to the man's facebook page. Naturally, he's spreading the photos everywhere in the hopes of locating the thief, who has not yet been identified.

    Cats and Dogs and Other Animals - PETA is a vile entity.

    PETA killed more than 1,600 cats and dogs at its Virginia headquarters last year - almost 90% of the animals handed over to the charity's American shelter.

    Hunters will NOT be fooled!

    Dog Dies In 'Ritualistic Execution,' Nearly 40 Others Mysteriously Vanish in Idaho

    Wednesday, March 20, 2013

    Facebook Is Evil! and Deleting One's Facebook Account!

    Facebook Is Evil! - Facebook is evil on several levels:

  • Facebook logs users' searches and tracks their real-world purchases.

  • Facebook exploits users' personal data by selling it to marketing firms.

  • Facebook archives users' search histories. Anything for which one searches will be logged. There must be an ad or data-mining payoff; else, there would be no reason for doing this.

  • Facebook has partnered with Datalogix—a company that uses Facebook users' data to track which users bought products after seeing ads for them on Facebook. Datalogix uses information from loyalty card and online purchases—among other things—and ties this data to users' Facebook identities by using users' email addresses and other personal information.

  • Datalogix partners with data mining giant Acxiom, which collects users' data regarding social networks, purchasing histories, and public records databases.

  • Datalogix works across a broad spectrum of industries, but its Web site does not disclose the names of its actual customers. Datalogix, then, respects the privacy of the multi-billion-dollar corporations from which Datalogix receives payment for data but does nothing to protect the sanctity of users' personal information.

  • The companies profess that they anonymize the identities before matching up users' Facebook email addresses. The emails and other identifying information are made anonymous and collected into groups of people who saw an ad and people who did not. Datalogix compiles a report for Facebook and its advertisers to measure which creative approaches and demographic targeting persuade people to buy specific products. How anonymous is that anonymization, who is doing it, and who could conceivably undo it? Security expert Bruce Schneier said, "Anonymity is really, really hard -- but we knew that already."

  • Facebook users can opt out of having their social networking activities married to real-world purchases. On the surface, this sounds good. Users cannot, however, do this on Facebook. In fact, it require one to search exhaustively to find anything about this type of data collection on the social network regarding sharing of data. If a user wishes to opt out, he must go to Datalogix, fill out a form, and wait 30 days. And this must be done for every member of one's household.

    Add to the above issues the fact that Facebook is a virtual breeding ground for Trojans, viruses, and malware—as well as an open source of pirated work, and Facebook must be considered to be a paradigm of evil!

    Ultimately, it is a matter of whether users can reasonably trust Facebook and its advertising partners to keep users' names and other personal information inviolate.

    My recommendation is that Facebook and their advertising partners should never be trusted with users' real information! My overall recommendation is that one should not join Facebook, and if one has joined, one should delete one's Facebook account.

    Deleting One's Facebook Account!! - I am often told by clients that they have been unable to delete their Facebook accounts. The procedure is not for the easily-discouraged or faint-of-heart user!

    Rather than supply the circuitous methodology Facebook requires one to take in order to delete one's account, I offer the following simple method! Simply click on the link below to quickly and simply delete your Facebook account!

    Delete Facebook

  • Tuesday, March 19, 2013

    Here Comes Spring!

    Here Comes Spring! - Spring begins tomorrow!

    Unfortunately, the weatherpeople predict RAIN for the first day of spring!

    The weather has been sunny, warm, and very spring-like for over two weeks, and it is certainly inauspicious that the first day of spring should be wet!

    Our cats enjoy the rain: They look out the window and watch it! I envy them. I would enjoy staying indoors and watching the rain. I much prefer sunshine!

    Fortunately, the following days are forecast to be dry, sunny, and warm, and the weekend is predicted to see temperatures of 80° and above.

    On the way to my office this morning, I encountered this tiny horse.

    Monday, March 18, 2013

    Celebrating St. Patrick's Day

    Celebrating St. Patrick's Day - Laura and I did not celebrate St. Patrick's Day traditionally. Saturday, Laura mowed the lawn with her new lawnmower.

    Wait! That was not her new lawnmower! She opted to eschew power mowers and chose this reel mower. First, she assembled it:

    It was then ready to assail the lawn!

    The beautiful weather we have enjoyed for the last two weeks caused the lawn to grow to a frightening height. Laura enjoyed her new lawnmower, however, and soon had the lawn well under control!

    Here is the lawn as it now looks:

    Laura embarked upon a fitness program several weeks ago. She has been using an Android app called "Lose It" to track her progress. She is doing very well, and she is looking great. She found that mowing the lawn provided an excellent workout. She spent nearly two hours mowing the lawn, and she decided to eschew riding the recumbent cycle. I agreed that she had fulfilled her exercise needs for the day.

    I cautioned her, however, that she should continue her fitness program with great care in order to ensure she does not become too skinny!

    This is the point I suggested she stop!

    Friday, March 15, 2013

    Happy Anniversary Blog

    Happy Anniversary Blog - Today is the 11th anniversary of this blog! It is really difficult for me to believe it has been ELEVEN years since I began this blog, but gazing at the visitor counter and seeing the date, March 15, 2002, indicates that it has indeed been eleven years!

    I wish to thank all visitors for making this blog popular, and I shall strive to make the next eleven years equally entertaining and informative!

    Thursday, March 14, 2013

    Blenders, the Weather, and Pirates

    Blenders - Our new Hamilton Beach 56221 Smoothie Smart Blender arrived yesterday. It is a beauty. The build quality is very high, and the ease of cleaning is an unexpected bonus. Time was not on our side last evening, and we did not have an opportunity to press it into service. We shall do so this evening. I thoroughly cleaned it upon arriving at our home yesterday, and Laura assembled it this morning. I am eager to enjoy output from this fine unit!

    The Weather - The weather continues to amaze weatherpeople everywhere. Temperatures in Northern California average 9° and higher above previous record high temperatures for this time of year. Today, it was 52° at 5:45 AM, and it is forecast to be 80°+ this afternoon! It is overcast presently, but this will soon change. The cloud cover will pass, and the sun will blaze down upon us by mid-morning.

    Pirates - Here is the cutest pirate you will ever see!

    Wednesday, March 13, 2013

    Blenders and Smoothies

    Blenders and Smoothies - We recently decided to substitute smoothies for evening meals during the week. I bought a container of pure protein to be added to the smoothies.

    This protein powder promises to promote healthful nutrition.

    The list of ingredient is impressive.

    Laura eagerly put ice, protein powder, frozen berries, frozen bananas, plain yogurt, and honey into our 12-year-old blender and quickly determined the blender was not up to the task. She blended the mixture until the blender began to emit odd noises, and the ice remained chunky. The resulting protein drink was tasty, but it could not be considered a smoothie, since it was not smooth!

    I ate my smoothie with a spoon while researching blenders at I decided upon this blender and ordered it. I was particularly influenced by the glowing reviews and the manufacturer's statement that the unit was specially designed for making smoothies.

    This unit is the Hamilton Beach 56221 Smoothie Smart Blender. The unit is scheduled to arrive today, and we are eager to put it into service this evening.

    Here is a recipe collection featuring 50 smoothie recipes.

    Tuesday, March 12, 2013


    Spring - Spring is still over a week away. Spring officially begins March 20. The weather has been incredibly spring-like, however, and peering at the view outside from my CATCam provides a view that certainly bears no resemblance to winter weather!

    Today, the weatherpeople predict a high of 80°! I realize water is needed, but this weather is certainly easily enjoyed!

    Monday, March 11, 2013

    Madness Takes Its Toll, Chili and Cornbread, and Lawnmower Girl

    Madness Takes Its Toll - Lyrics of "The Time Warp" echo in my mind as I read news stories this morning:

    Riff Raff:
         It's astounding
         Time is fleeting
         Madness takes its toll
         But listen closely
         Not for very much longer
    Riff Raff:
         I've got to keep control

    How, prithee, does one "...keep control"?

    Following a particularly pleasant weekend—replete with warmth and well-deserved rest and relaxation, I find the news filled yet again with undeniable signs that the world is, indeed, on the Eve of Destruction.

    Always the poster boy for psychoses, Gory Al has outdone himself: He stated that "...spiders are difficult to farm, yet their silk is extremely valuable." He then says that genetic engineers have taken the genes from orb-weaving spiders and spliced them into the DNA of goats—thereby creating goats that produce silk from their udders along with milk. Gore proposes that the silk can be filtered from the milk more easily than silk can be collected from spiders.

    Beneath the intrinsic bizarre objective of Gore's proposal lies the absolute flaw: Silk is not produced by spiders; silk is produced by silk worms!

    I am wholly uncomfortable with the notion of Al Gore unrestrained and free to spew such idiocy. I am all the more distressed that somehow his rantings are enabled by tax dollars!

    Chili and Cornbread - Laura issued the desire to produce a pot of chili Saturday. I thought this an excellent idea and fully endorsed her proposal. I sliced, diced, minced, and chopped several varieties of chiles—including some hot Jalapeños and a very hot habanero—, three heads of garlic, a large red onion, and four large tomatoes. Laura added my offering to ground turkey in a Calphalon(r) pot, added two hot chili seasoning packets, a can of tomato paste, and a can of diced tomatoes. She simmered this throughout the day, and the house smelled wonderful.

    While the chili was simmering, Laura produced a delightful batch of cheddar cornbread.

    We enjoyed a delicious meal, placed a large quantity of chili in the freezer, and we both left for work this morning with the balance of the chili and cornbread in tow for our luncheons.

    Lawnmower Girl - Last week, Laura espoused her desire for a new lawnmower and professed her desire that this lawnmower be hers and hers alone and that lawn mowing should be her sole responsibility.

    I found it impossible to disagree with this proposal and immediately ordered the lawnmower of her choice!

    Laura assembled her new lawnmower and is eagerly awaiting pressing it into service!

    Friday, March 08, 2013

    Daylight Saving Time

    Daylight Saving Time - Daylight saving time (DST) is the practice of advancing clocks so that evenings have more daylight and mornings have less. Typically clocks are adjusted forward one hour near the start of spring and are adjusted backward in autumn.

    The modern idea of daylight saving was first proposed in 1895 by George Vernon Hudson, and it was first implemented during World War I. Although most of the United States used DST throughout the 1950s and 1960s, DST use expanded following the 1970s energy crisis and has generally remained in use in North America and Europe since that time.

    DST clock shifts present other challenges. They complicate timekeeping, and can disrupt meetings, travel, billing, record-keeping, medical devices, heavy equipment, and sleep patterns. Software can often adjust computer clocks automatically, but this can be limited and error-prone, particularly when DST protocols are changed.

    Daylight Saving Time begins this Sunday at midnight. Do not neglect to set your clocks ahead an hour—either prior to retiring Saturday night or upon awakening Sunday morning. Most computers, tablets, smartphones, and other electronic devices automatically adjust to DST.

    Thursday, March 07, 2013

    Lawnmower Girl

    Lawnmower Girl - Laura asked me to purchase a reel lawnmower for her. We have an electric lawnmower, but she abhors it and asked that I replace it with a reel (push) lawnmower.

    I told her I shall henceforth anticipate her answering to the call, "Lawnmower Girl!"

    The reel lawnmower I ordered for her is resting in the rear of Mr. Nitro R/T. It was unavailable for this photo shoot, therefore, and powered mowers were used.

    Which Laura is the real Laura?

    Laura borrowed a reel lawnmower for this photograph. Her new mower is still in the rear of Mr. Nitro R/T.

    Laura decided she wanted something more powerful. She bought a larger lawnmower!

    Wednesday, March 06, 2013

    Nikon Professional Services

    Nikon Professional Services - I have been a member of Nikon Professional Services for many years.

    NPS offers a great many benefits to members. My personal favorite—and the benefit I most often access—is the prioritizing of pre-ordered equipment purchases for NPS members. I used this feature when I pre-ordered my D1, D3, and D800 DSLR bodies and AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED and AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II lenses.

    The ability to have a pre-order for a yet-to-be-released new product prioritized is very important to me, since I use my Nikon equipment professionally, and it is critical that I have the latest equipment available to me. Prioritizing pre-orders ensures that I will receive new equipment as soon as possible. I simply pre-order from a Nikon-approved seller and send a copy of my pre-order invoice to NPS. Nikon ships the equipment I pre-ordered to the seller outside their allocated orders—thereby guaranteeing that I receive the new equipment as soon as possible.

    NPS offers many other great services: Nikon Professional Services provides valuable assistance for pros in every segment of the photography field, including newspaper, industrial, police and forensic, medical photography, commercial studios, audio-visual production houses and even special movie productions.

    NPS has long been known for the intensive coverage of field events. NPS is also available to work with national photographic organizations offering advice and assistance, demonstrating the latest Nikon products, and lecturing on various photography topics. Let NPS help you take the world's greatest pictures. Nikon understands that your product is very important to you.

    WPPI 2013 - Wedding and Portrait Photographers International Conference and Expo will take place March 7 through 14.

    This year, the event will be held at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.

    At the WPPI Conference and Expo, NPS will provide:

  • Complimentary Sensor Cleaning for members while you wait
  • Nikon Pro Market Technical Representatives on hand to answer your questions about the newest Nikon D600, D800, D4 and NIKKOR lenses
  • Review a gallery of print output along with an HD monitor demonstrating video output from Nikon’s current D-SLR lineup
  • Snacks & Beverages

  • Tuesday, March 05, 2013

    Reading, Dreaming, and Watching

    Reading and Dreaming - I enjoy reading. I generally read 3 - 5 books weekly. Most of the books I read are in Kindle(r) format—read using my ASUS Google Nexus 7 Android tablet and the Kindle(r) app. I rarely purchase books. maintains an astounding availability of FREE books in Kindle(r) format. All genres are presented. I generally maintain several dozen books on my Nexus 7. I preview the books and order those that appear to be satisfactory via The book covers are then displayed in the Kindle(r) library on my Nexus 7. When I wish to begin reading a book, I select the title I wish to read, and the content of the book is downloaded to my Nexus 7 from Once read, I simply mark the book for removal from my Nexus 7, and when next I sync the Kindle(r) app, the book is removed from the device.

    My Nexus 7 often accompanies me when I clamber into bed. A few intense rounds of "Zombie Road Trip" precede reading. Often, lucid dreams follow this game play and reading. The dreams generally contain elements of what I have read and the game.

    With Amazon Prime, one may access over 270,000 Kindle(r) titles for free! Amazon Prime affords free shipping for qualifying purchases from Additionally, Amazon Prime allows one to stream a huge selection of movies and television programs—via the Web or by using a Roku(r) or other content providing device.

    Amazon Prime costs $79 annually. This is an incredible bargain when one considers all that membership to Amazon Prime provides!

    We subscribe to Netflix(r), and I highly recommend the service to anyone who enjoys movies and television. Often, a movie or television program will be available via Amazon Prime and not available on Netflix(r). The two services are not, in my opinion, competitive but are, rather, complementary.