UV Protection

My wife's opthamologist recently told her that wearing sunglasses protects you from harmful UV rays that can cause cateracts. According to this article people in the Australian school system seem to agree requiring children to wear sunglasses. Here is an excerpt from the article:

There was a time when wearing sunglasses would have been seen as too cool for school, but for pupils at a pioneering primary in Australia they are now a compulsory part of the uniform.

The move is aimed at protecting young eyes from the sun's dangerous ultraviolet rays, and education authorities say they are considering adopting the plan at all state schools.

The headmaster of Sydney's Arncliffe Public School, where sunglasses are now compulsory for children from kindergarten through Year 6, said they had no problems wearing the glasses in the playground.
UV protection and a bit cool as well - who'd have thunk it :)

Republicans Just Say No To YouTube

Four days after the Democratic debate in Charleston, S.C,. more than 400 questions directed to the GOP presidential field have been uploaded on YouTube -- targeted at Republicans scheduled to get their turn at videopopulism on Sept. 17. But so far, only Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) and Rep. Ron Paul (Tex.) have agreed to participate in the debate, co-hosted by Republican Party of Florida in St. Petersburg.

According to this article:
Most of the Republican candidates have supported President Bush's approach to the war in Iraq -- but the polls show that most Americans now oppose the war and Bush's decision to increase the number of troops there. Thus it doesn't seem like a great idea for the candidates to potentially expose themselves to graphic and heart-rending videos from soldiers' relatives and others who are likely to ask very difficult questions that would cast an extremely negative light on the candidates' policy positions.
I think that skipping this debate is a good political move by Brownback, Tancredo, Romney, Huckabee and Guiliani. Of course I am really hoping to see a statesman come out of the pack instead of a politician ... might have to look someplace else to find one of them ... guess we'll see who shows up at the debate in Septemeber :)

One Named Wonders

According to this website Vendela is the best known one named celebrity ... to which I say "Who?" Here are the names on the list that I recognized:
Beyonce, Bjork, Bono, Brandy, Britney, Charo, Cher, Eminem, Enya, Iman, Jewel, Liberace, Lucy, Madonna, Oprah, Penn, Pink, Prince, Raven, Selena, Shakira, Siegfried, Sinbad, Sting, Teller, Usher, Yanni
Not sure why Elvis missed the list? Take a look at the list and see if you recognize any of the other names ... I'm sure you will ... you all are so much more hip than I am :)

67% Addicted

According to Mingle2.com:

67%How Addicted to Blogging Are You?
If you believe that stuff :)

The "New Day" Congress Pay Raise

New Democratic Congress, Same Old Stuff
By Dan Rostad, 7-23-07

I am sure we have all seen the new House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stand in front of the news cameras proclaiming a “New Day” for America now that the Democrats have control of the Congress. I am more inclined to proclaim “Same old… Same old” on their progress so far and I am not alone.

Would you be surprised to know that among the very few pieces of legislation that the “New Day” Congress has passed that really has an effect on the American people, is a bill that gives themselves a pay raise?

There she is at the podium, talking about all the new, more progressive issues that this new Democratic Congress will tackle and “Oh, by the way”, we have given ourselves a nearly $5,000-a-year pay raise!

Speaker Pelosi, truly the poster child for “wild-eyed liberals”, didn’t call a press conference to announce this automatic pay raise would occur because they vote by taking no action at all. No, I found out about this pay raise from none other than a disgruntled liberal. Read more on this sad story here.

The Theology of Freedom

I do believe there is an Almighty, and I believe a gift of that Almighty to all is freedom. And I will tell you that is a principle that no one can convince me that doesn't exist. -- George W. Bush July 13, 2007



I think that this quote gives us a better understanding of why our country is staying the course in Iraq. Sadly, I sometimes wonder if Iraqi Christians will be freer to worship Jesus under the new regime than they did under Saddam. According to this news story:
Christians face some of the worst persecution in Iraq's civil war, in part because as a minority community they don't have militias to protect them.
I wonder just what kind of freedom we are creating in Iraq.

Celebrity Endorsements

As November 2008 approaches I thought it would be helpful to show this very brief celebrity endorsement from 1968.

Do you think that maybe we can learn from history?

Intolerant Tolerance

Matt at From the Morning posted about the funny pokes at Emerging Christ Followers by Team Pyro. This one on tolerance is my favorite because it is so broad in it's scope. I have often thought about the intolerance of the tolerance doctrine. Many of those who passionately pursue tolerance are anything but tolerant when it comes to people who they think to be intolerant. Don't you just love the irony of it all?

Feline Prophet of Death

The July 26 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine has an article about a cat, Oscar, who can (it says) tell when patients on a ward for severely demented individuals are about to die. Here is the way he does it:
Oscar arrives at Room 313. The door is open, and he proceeds inside. Mrs. K. is resting peacefully in her bed, her breathing steady but shallow. She is surrounded by photographs of her grandchildren and one from her wedding day. Despite these keepsakes, she is alone. Oscar jumps onto her bed and again sniffs the air. He pauses to consider the situation, and then turns around twice before curling up beside Mrs. K.

One hour passes. Oscar waits. A nurse walks into the room to check on her patient. She pauses to note Oscar's presence. Concerned, she hurriedly leaves the room and returns to her desk. She grabs Mrs. K.'s chart off the medical-records rack and begins to make phone calls.

Within a half hour the family starts to arrive. Chairs are brought into the room, where the relatives begin their vigil. The priest is called to deliver last rites. And still, Oscar has not budged, instead purring and gently nuzzling Mrs. K. A young grandson asks his mother, "What is the cat doing here?" The mother, fighting back tears, tells him, "He is here to help Grandma get to heaven." Thirty minutes later, Mrs. K. takes her last earthly breath. With this, Oscar sits up, looks around, then departs the room so quietly that the grieving family barely notices.
I'm sitting here wondering how to label this post - guess I'll call it Weird.

A Night at The K

K at NightDaylight K












On Tuesday my good friend Jim took me out to the ball game where I took these pics with my phone's camera. The Yankees came to KC to give the Royals another lesson in humility - but I don't want to talk about that. This was my first visit to Kauffman Stadium in several years - brought back many memories of taking my son to the games back when the Royals were one of the best teams in baseball. What I took away from the evening was a renewed sense of beauty for the stadium that the Royals play in - it is one of the most beautiful in baseball. The field was originally named Royals Stadium and was renamed after Ewing Kauffman, the Royals owner, passed away. It is belovedly simply known now as The K. Guess you gotta look for something like this when you talk about the Royals :)

Phishing Quiz

Take the McAfee Phishing Quiz and see how scam savvy you are. I cannot believe that I only recognized 5 out of 10 online scams.

WD-40: 40 Uses

Water Displacement #40. The product began from a search for a rust preventative solvent and degreaser to protect missile parts. WD-40 was created in 1953 by three technicians at the San Diego Rocket Chemical Company. It's name comes from the project that was to find a "water displacement" compound. They were successful with the fortieth formulation, thus WD-40. The Corvair Company bought it in bulk to protect their atlas missile parts. Here are some of the uses:

1) Protects silver from tarnishing.

2) Removes road tar and grime from cars.

3) Cleans and lubricates guitar strings.

4) Gives floors that 'just-waxed' sheen without making it slippery.

5) Keeps flies off cows.

6) Restores and cleans chalkboards.

7) Removes lipstick stains.

8) Loosens stubborn zippers.

9) Untangles jewelry chains.

10) Removes stains from stainless steel sinks.

11) Removes dirt and grime from the barbecue grill.

12) Keeps ceramic/terracotta garden pots from oxidizing.

13) Removes tomato stains from clothing.

14) Keeps glass shower doors free of water spots.

15) Camouflages scratches in ceramic and marble floors.

16) Keeps scissors working smoothly.

17) Lubricates noisy door hinges on vehicles and doors in homes

18) It removes black scuff marks from the kitchen floor! Use WD-40 for those nasty tar and scuff marks on flooring. It doesn't seem to harm the finish and you won't have to scrub nearly as hard to get them off. Just remember to open some windows if you have a lot of marks.

19) Bug guts will eat away the finish on your car if not removed quickly! Use WD-40!

20) Gives a children's play gym slide a shine for a super fast slide.

21) Lubricates gear shift and mower deck lever for ease of handling on riding mowers.

22) Rids kids rocking chairs and swings of squeaky noises.

23) Lubricates tracks in sticking home windows and makes them easier to open.

24) Spraying an umbrella stem makes it easier to open and close

25) Restores and cleans padded leather dashboards in vehicles, as well as vinyl bumpers.

26) Restores and cleans roof racks on vehicles.

27) Lubricates and stops squeaks in electric fans.

28) Lubricates wheel sprockets on tricycles, wagons, and bicycles for easy handling.

29) Lubricates fan belts on washers and dryers and keeps them running smoothly.

30) Keeps rust from forming on saws and saw blades, and other tools.

31) Removes splattered grease on stove.

32) Keeps bathroom mirror from fogging.

33) Keeps pigeons off the balcony (they hate the smell).

34) Removes all traces of duct tape and price stickers.

35) Folks even spray it on their arms, hands, and knees to relieve arthritis pain.

36) Florida's favorite use is: "cleans and removes love bugs from grills and bumpers."

37) WD-40 attracts fish. Spray a LITTLE on live bait or lures and you will be catching the big one in no time. Also, it's a lot cheaper than the chemical attractants that are made for just that purpose. Keep in mind though, using some chemical laced baits or lures for fishing are not allowed in some states.

38) Use it for fire ant bites. It takes the sting away immediately and stops the itch.

39) WD-40 is great for removing crayon from walls. Spray on the mark and wipe with a clean rag.

40) Also, if you've discovered that your teenage daughter has washed and dried a tube of lipstick with a load of laundry, saturate the lipstick spots with WD-40 and re-wash. Presto! Lipstick is gone!

P. S. The basic ingredient is FISH OIL.
Got this in an email today. Seems credible enough but you might want to check some of these uses out before you try them for yourselves.

WWW: KASPAR the Friendly Bot

In this edition of Weird World Wednesday, I submit to you this excerpt from Using a Robot to Teach Human Social Skills:
Children with autism are often described as robotic: They are emotionless. They engage in obsessive, repetitive behavior and have trouble communicating and socializing.

Now, a humanoid robot designed to teach autistic children social skills has begun testing in British schools.

Known as KASPAR (Kinesics and Synchronisation in Personal Assistant Robotics), the $4.33 million bot smiles, simulates surprise and sadness, gesticulates and, the researchers hope, will encourage social interaction amongst autistic children.
You can see the face of KASPAR at his website. Don't you just find this wonderfully weird - a robot teaching kids to be human :)

Lessons From Noah's Ark

  1. Don't miss the boat.
  2. Remember that we are all in the same boat.
  3. Plan ahead. It wasn't raining when Noah built the Ark.
  4. Stay fit When you're 600 years old, someone may ask you to do something really big.
  5. Don't listen to critics; just get on with the job that needs to be done.
  6. Build your future on high ground.
  7. For safety's sake, travel in pairs.
  8. Speed isn't always an advantage. The snails were on board with the cheetahs.
  9. When you're stressed, float a while.
  10. Remember, the Ark was built by amateurs; the Titanic by professionals.

No matter the storm, when you are with God,
there's always a rainbow waiting.

Romantic Bonding: Time, Talking and Touching

My good friend and co-worker Michael has another stellar post in his Lessons of Life as a Dad series. Here is an excerpt from his most recent post:
People bond romantically to others by engaging in the three T's. They spend time together (especially by being together for long hours in private or semi-private situations). They talk at length directly to one another about the deeper and deepest contents of their hearts--even spiritual things. And...they touch one another in affectionate or intimate ways. The simple and obvious plan for slowing down and/or pacing a romantic relationship, until the proper time for engagement and marriage has come, is to place deliberate limits and boundaries on relating to another person in these specific ways.
Michael is a great dad with wonderful children. I recommend the reading of his Lessons of Life as a Dad series to all parents.

Global Freedom

This chart and this commentary are from the Economist:
ANY measure of freedom may be open to criticism, and combining three separate measures—religious, political and civil—may seem more arbitrary yet. But the efforts of the Hudson Institute's Centre for Religious Freedom, using rankings from other sources, provide some intriguing comparisons. It is no shock that the likes of North Korea and Iran are intolerant of all sorts of freedoms, while America is just as easy-going over religion as it is concerning political freedoms. But look at India, Indonesia and some European countries: tolerance of civil and political rights is not matched by quite the same freedom to worship.
Kudos to Pearlie for bringing this to our attention. Gotta wonder about France ... that one surprised me. Any of these surprise you?

iPhone Giant Killer


The HTC Touch phone features an innovative touch screen and has all the Windows Mobile smart phone trimmings. Once released in the USA it should be a bit cheaper than an iPhone ... and it has more features :)

In Loving Memory of Tammy Faye

Rated G or PG-13?



According to a dating website conten evaluator, Kansas Bob is rated G. I tend to disagree with this rating because most material that I present here is targeted at an adult and thinking audience. I'd give this blog a rating of at least PG-13 and sometimes maybe an R rating. Strangely enough An Eye for Redemption, my other blog, is rated PG-13 because these words that have been used on it: pain (9x), hurt (8x), and death (5x). How would you rate the Kansas Bob sites?


Fighting AIDS in South Africa

My friend Allison just got back from a two week short term mission trip to South Africa. She penned a short post that I recommend to you. Here is a brief excerpt:
I have been researching the AIDS pandemic for over a year now. I have friends who are living with AIDS. Even so, I am constantly amazed at how fighting the effects of AIDS in Africa is far from a simple matter. AIDS is deeply enmeshed with issues of culture, government, and family dynamics, among other things. I feel as if I am only beginning to see what a complex issue it truly is.
This is one gut wrenching issue ... if you read Allison's entire post you'll better understand just how gut wrenching it can be.

Fundamentalist Scapular

It is amazing what you can learn in Bloggerville. I learned about scapulars (pictured right) when I read this post at Julie's place. Here is an excerpt:
In my mom's case, her scapular was wool and was worn in winter and summer under the clothes directly against the skin. The point? To irritate the skin at all times so that you would remember that you needed God, that you should never be fully content with life and therefore forget that you needed God.

She said they scratched and itched all the time. And in summer, they were hot. She wore these starting in Kindergarten. Not optional.
Her mom also told her about having to sit uncomfortably in school so that her guardian angel would have room to sit. Who said that fundamentalism is limited to the right wing of religion?

How Great Thou Art



I love that song! Daniel Rodriguez, Sandi Patti and Elvis Presley all do it a bit different. Muster up some passion and sing this with me:
When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation,
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart.
Then I shall bow, in humble adoration,
And then proclaim: "My God, how great Thou art!"
Amen!

The Segway


Hey, what ever happened to the Segway? According to this article:
Unfortunately, the Segway itself never lived up to the hype. Sure, there are some hardcore fans, and the Segway featured prominently on the beloved sitcom "Arrested Development," but the general public just hasn't caught on to it. Some blame its relatively high price, others just don't want to be seen riding the somewhat awkward scooters around. Additionally, some local and regional governments have legislated against the Segway, claiming that it's a road hazard. The company has also had to institute multiple recalls.
But, to an old guy like me with bad ankles, it seems so cool :)

ADHD Report: What would Tom Say?


According to this report:
Most children treated for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder — whether with medication, therapy or both — improve greatly within a few years, according to a three-year study out today. They're still more likely than the average child to break laws and take drugs by early adolescence, a link that was suggested in earlier research. But those who get into trouble tend to be children with other mental disorders, not just ADHD, says lead author Peter Jensen, director of the Center for the Advancement of Children's Mental Health at Columbia University.
I wonder if Tom Cruise agrees with this report?

The Name Game

YOUR NAME (your name)

Bob

YOUR GANGSTA NAME: (first 3 letters of real name plus izzle)

Bobizzle

YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (fav color and fav animal)

Blue Dog

YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first name)

Edwbo

YOUR SUPERHERO NAME: (Your 2nd favorite color, and favorite drink)

Red Rootbeer

YOUR IRAQI NAME: (2nd letter of your first name, 3rd letter of your last name, 1st letter of your middle name, 2nd letter of your moms maiden name, 3rd letter of your moms middle name, and last letter of your moms middle name)

Owfoee

YOUR WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (parents middle names)

Jefferson Mae

YOUR GOTH NAME: (black, and the name of one of your pets)

Black Whitey

Emotion-Recognition Software

A happy British research subject's face, as mapped by experimental emotion-recognition software. Read more about it here.

It is great to have something to tell me when I am happy -
Even if it is just by a few percentage points :)

What's Inside Red Bull


According to this article:

Glucose, Taurine, Glucuronolactone, Caffeine, Niacin, Sodium citrate, and Inositol.

Coke, coffee and espresso aren't looking too bad these days.

1 in 12 workers admits using drugs

WASHINGTON (AP) One in 12 full-time workers in the United States acknowledges having used illegal drugs in the past month, the government reports. Most of those who report using illicit drugs are employed full-time, with the highest rates among restaurant workers, 17.4 percent, and construction workers, 15.1 percent, according to a federal study being released Monday. About 4 percent of teachers and social service workers reported using illegal drugs in the past month, which was among the lowest rates. Read more here.
Is this scary or what? I guess that I am just naive about this stuff :(

Shaving

This cartoon remeinded me of my younger days before I got hooked on electric razors. I can remember days in the Army using a straight razor and a shaving mug. Where did I get all of that energy ... oh yeah ... that was before kids :)

Iraq PM: Country can manage without U.S.

BAGHDAD (AP) — Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki shrugged off U.S. doubts of his government's military and political progress on Saturday, saying Iraqi forces are capable and American troops can leave "any time they want."
One of his top aides, meanwhile, accused the United States of embarrassing the Iraqi government by violating human rights and treating his country like an "experiment in a U.S. lab."

Al-Maliki sought to display confidence at a time when pressure is mounting in Congress for a speedy withdrawal of U.S. forces. On Thursday, the House passed a measure calling for the U.S. to withdraw its troops by spring, hours after the White House reported mixed progress by the Iraqi government toward meeting 18 benchmarks.

During a press conference, al-Maliki shrugged off the progress report, saying that difficulty in enacting the reforms was "natural" given Iraq's turmoil.

"We are not talking about a government in a stable political environment but one in the shadow of huge challenges," al-Maliki said. "So when we talk about the presence of some negative points in the political process, that's fairly natural." Read more here.
I'd say that this is one dare we need to quickly take him up on :)

Louisiana Outlaws Late-term Abortions

BATON ROUGE (AP) — Gov. Kathleen Blanco signed legislation Friday that penalizes doctors who perform a late-term abortion procedure, making Louisiana the first to outlaw the surgery since a similar federal ban was upheld this year.

The new law allows the procedure only when the mother's life would be endangered without it. It would be a crime in all other cases, including when the pregnancy is expected to cause health problems for the mother. The statute mirrors a federal ban that President Bush signed into law in 2003 and upheld in April by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Lawmakers in other states are expected to consider similar bans. Louisiana is the first to enact one, according to the New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights, an abortion-rights group. nder the Louisiana legislation, doctors face fines of between $1,000 and $10,000, and jail terms of between one and 10 years.
Here's praying that our Kansas govenor and legislators can get past their biases and protect babies.

Is Christian Dialog Possible?

The Vatican said on Tuesday that Christian denominations outside Roman Catholicism were not full churches of Jesus Christ. Several days this week I had a frustrating dialog about this news and the topic of Roman Catholic communion with Therese at the From the Morning blogsite. Today I read few articles (below) and thought about my dialog with Therese a bit more.

In this article Pope Shenouda III, the head of Egypt's Coptic Orthodox church, criticised Pope Benedict saying his pride in Catholicism was making him enemies. He went on to say:
"The man (Pope Benedict) makes enemies every time. In his first statements a few months back, he lost all the Muslims. And now this time, he lost a lot of the Christian denominations because he has begun to err against Christians themselves," Shenouda told the state-run daily Al-Ahram.
On his blog Albert Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, recently had this to say about Pope Benedict XVI's claim that the Roman Catholic Church is the only true church:
I actually appreciate the Pope's concern. If he is right, we are endangering our souls and the souls of our church members. Of course, I am convinced that he is not right -- not right on the papacy, not right on the sacraments, not right on the priesthood, not right on the Gospel, not right on the church.

The Roman Catholic Church believes we are in spiritual danger for obstinately and disobediently excluding ourselves from submission to its universal claims and its papacy. Evangelicals should be concerned that Catholics are in spiritual danger for their submission to these very claims. We both understand what is at stake.
Stuff like this helps me to understand why it is so hard for me to have a conversation with someone as genuine and authentic as Therese. Leaders everywhere have painted the conversation as a black and white one. I find that to be sad. Faith is hardly ever as black and white as these folks make it to be.

Diva Anthem Sing Off


Maybe it is just me ... or maybe just that time during the Gulf War when she sang it ... but Whitney's rendition still grabs at my heart! Which one grabs you?

Jackie, Schmucks & Starbucks


A few months ago I came across some video blogs produced by comedian Jackie Mason. I have sampled a few of Jackie's YouTube video blogs and find them to be unbalanced so-called right-wing rhetoric bashes on Democratic politicians and everyone Jackie considers a Schmuck - he even co-authored a book titled Schmucks ... maybe book sales is what Jackie is really going for. Stay with comedy Jackie - your blogs are just rude, crude, caustic and juvenile.

oPhone from Microsoft

Lady Bird Johnson

I think that Katy said it all: a true Steel Magnolia. Please join me in praying much comfort for her family as they grieve her passing.

WWW: Airborne Couch

In this edition of Weird World Wednesday (WWW), I submit to you this picture and caption:Balloons suspend Kent Couch in a lawn chair as he floats in the skies near Bend, Ore., Saturday. Couch, on his way to Idaho, carried a global positioning system device, a two-way radio, a digital camcorder and a cell phone.

This event is not to be confused with the 2003 movie titled Danny Deckchair ... which was a fictionalized version of an Australian flying man ... based on a true story but his balloons were yellow ... and the movie was pretty enjoyable ... from what I remember :)

Another Blow to Unity

This Associated Press article reports:
Pope Benedict XVI reasserted the primacy of the Roman Catholic Church, approving a document released Tuesday that says other Christian communities are either defective or not true churches and Catholicism provides the only true path to salvation.
Sad news like this causes me to lose hope that ecumenical unity can be achieved at a mass level in my lifetime. Guess I'll have to just be happy with the unity I experience with Roman Catholics on an indivivual level.

Ginormous Sudoku Smackdown in Bollywood

According to this article the wordsmiths at Merriam-Webster have added new words like ginormous, smackdown, sudoku and Bollywood. No matter how odd some of the words might seem, the dictionary editors say each has the promise of sticking around in the American vocabulary.
"There will be linguistic conservatives who will turn their nose up at a word like `ginormous,'" said John Morse, Merriam-Webster's president. "But it's become a part of our language. It's used by professional writers in mainstream publications. It clearly has staying power."

Domestic Violence

My friend Pam has an insightful post on Domestic Violence. Here are a few of the quotes from her friend that was in a violent marriage:
Battered woman have NORMAL reactions to ABNORMAL situations.

For people to know that it wasn’t because I was “weak” (I have heard that many times).
Pam includes a link to an article titled Clergy Responses to Domestic Violence. That article lists the following wrong clergy responses to domestic violence:
  1. Clergy often tells abused women that they should be more submissive to their husbands.
  2. Clergy rarely condemn domestic violence from the pulpit.
  3. Clergy often minimize the prevalence and gravity of domestic violence.
  4. Clergy are often so concerned about preserving marriage that they advise against separating, let alone divorcing, from an abusive husband. This is largely the result of naivete regarding the challenge of getting abusive men to change their behavior.
  5. Clergy often state or imply that the women is partly responsible for the abuse.

The article also lists some positive suggestions for clergy. Please check out Pam's post and the article that she links to - and send a link to her post to your pastor or some other member of the clergy. He or she will thank you.

The Politics of Spouses

Color me bored! I have been spending some time in Wikipedia lately looking at a few of the candidates running for the US Presidency. One interesting, somewhat controversial, facet of the candidates' personal lives is the age difference between them and their spouses. Here is a list:
24 Years: Fred(64) & Jeri(40) Thompson (not official candidate yet)

21 Years: John(74) & Cindy(53) McCain

11 Years: Rudy(63) & Judith(52) Giuliani

4 Years: John(54) & Elizabeth(58) Edwards

3 Years: Mitt (60) & Ann(57) Romney

2 Years: Barack(45) & Michelle Obama(43)

1 Year: Hillary(59) & Bill(60) Clinton
I remember, back in 1994 when I was single again, how I would have conversations with single women who were 10+ years my junior. I remember thinking and wondering what kind of a relationship I could have with someone who hadn't experienced seeing the Beatles on Ed Sullivan or lived through the Vietnam War. Candidly, those experiences weigh in when I think of the candidates ... maybe they shouldn't but they do.

To be clear, I am not categorically disparaging those who have found happiness with another who is 20+ years their junior ... but it does weigh in a bit when I consider a person who is running for the highest office in our country. Guess I am just thinking a bit different these days about candidates and voting ... trying to get the full picture ... trying to get a picture of who the candidate is ... trying to not be manipulated by the hot button issues ... or something.

Imagination

Imagination is more important than knowledge.
-Albert Einstein-

Imagination disposes of everything; it creates beauty, justice,
and happiness, which are everything in this world.
-Blaise Pascal-

Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were.
But without it we go nowhere.
-Carl Sagan-

Nothing happens unless first we dream.
-Carl Sandburg-

You see things; and you say, "Why?"
But I dream things that never were; and I say, "Why not?"
-George Bernard Shaw-

The world is but a canvas to the imagination.
-Henry David Thoreau-

Every great advance in science has issued from a new audacity of the imagination.
-John Dewey-

Imagination is the highest kite one can fly.
-Lauren Bacall-

The man who has no imagination has no wings.
-Muhammad Ali-

You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.
-Mark Twain-

Top Ten Travel Cities

This is a list of the top ten travel cities according to the readers of Travel and Leisure magazine. Interesting that two of these cities did not make the list last year. Guess which ones that I have been to? How many of these have you visited?

Mackinzie Kline: You Inspire Me

I saw Mackinzie on the Today Show and was wowed by this courageous 15 year old. She was born with a heart defect and is the National Spokesperson for the Children’s Heart Foundation. Mac has set a personal goal of raising one million dollars, hopefully by the end of 2007, to help other children who are born with heart defects. Mac plays amazing golf with the help of an oxygen tank that she keeps in her cart.

Mackinzie is the latest recipient of the
"You Inspire Me" award!

Top 10 things to NOT say

Top 10 things to NOT say to someone with a chronic illness:

10. You can't be in that much pain

9. Stop being lazy and get a job

8. You just want attention

7. Your illness is caused by stress

6. No pain. . . no gain!

5. It's all in your head

4. If you just got out of the house...

3. You're so lucky to get to stay in bed all day.

2. Just pray harder

1. But you look so good!


Copyright, Lisa Copen, Reprint permission granted if the following is included:

Reprinted with permission of Lisa Copen, Copyright 2007, National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week, http://www.invisibleillness.com

Lessons of Life as a Dad

My good friend, co-worker and mentor Michael has a parenting series that I recommend to any of you all with children. Here are a few excerpts from his latest installment:
"In those moments in which they would come face to face with their vulnerability as a weak human being, we, as parents, would seek to be alert and then uncover "the bigger redemptive story" that God was possibly (sometimes even clearly) intending to write on their hearts through their poor choices, the injustices of others toward them or challenging/painful circumstances beyond anyone's control. And...it seems to us as we now look back that He really honored that prayer big time."

"I remember many times in which my children (both at younger and older ages) would end up in my arms with tears of relief rolling down their cheeks because they felt they could interact directly and freely with us and, more profoundly, with God--the Biggest Daddy--who absorbs the pains of our lives into His Being and mysteriously comforts us in the "melting down" process of it all."
I affirm Michael's advice. He and his wife Terri have raised 5 beautiful children - he knows from whence he speaks!

Trustable Church


Joshua posted this recently poll. I think that it highlights two reasons that people stay at a particular church - both emphasize the competency of leadership. People want to be a part of a church where they can trust their leaders to tell them the truth - about the bible and about everything else. The operative word is trust.

So what kinds of things do you think causes us to trust church leaders? What do you look for?

Dan and Katie

7/9 Update: According to this article Katie is unsure of her move to CBS. Sounds like being a highly paid news anchor is rough business.
6/16: What do you think about Dan Rather's comments about Katie Couric and the CBS Evening News. Dan said:
"The mistake was to try to bring the 'Today' ethos to the evening news," Rather said on MSNBC, "and to dumb it down, tart it up, in hopes of attracting a younger audience."
I like to watch the Today Show and I think that it would be a good idea to lighten-up the evening news. That said, I have to admit that I don't usually watch the evening news much and when I do I don't watch Katie. Call me Fickle Bob :)

iPhone 2nd Coming?

7/9 Update: According to these folks you will need to reveal your social secrity number to activate an iPhone.

6/27 Update: From this article: On the data side, it works through AT&T's Edge network, which is pokey compared with third-generation, or 3G, data networks used with other phones. At times, I fell off the Edge and lost coverage. Even at its best, Edge never felt close to the broadband-type speeds I experience on my home network. Assuming Apple gets around to supporting 3G in the future, you'd ultimately have to buy a new 3G-capable iPhone for improved network performance, not that Apple is ready to announce one.


04/16 Update: Guess I couldn't wait a few years for the iPhone to move into my price range. So I bought one of these (Motorola Q) last month and have been very happy with it. Syncs seamlessly to Outlook, put a free bible on it, has a nice MP3 player and generally seems to be just what I was looking for. And I got a deal by renewing with Sprint. Color me connected :)



01/29: Verizon Turned Apple iPhone Down




01/11: Don't want to spend the $$$ for iPhone. Anyone have a recommendation for a low-cost PDA/phone?

Chuck Hagel on Iraq War

7/8 Update: I watched Senator Hagel this morning on Meet the Press. I find him to be a very intelligent, transparent and plain spoken man. There is a buzz about Chuck running as an independent with Michael Bloomberg ... I would love to see that ticket ... not that I am commiting to it :)
1/12: 60 year old Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel is a Vietnam War veteran, having served in the U.S. Army infantry, attaining the rank of Sergeant (E-5) from 1967-68. While serving during the Vietnam War, he received the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry, Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal and the Combat Infantryman Badge. I found his comments about the president's new direction in Iraq worthy of repeating.
The new Iraq policy "represents the most dangerous foreign policy blunder since Vietnam, if it is carried out," said Senator Chuck Hagel, a member of Bush's own Republican Party, commenting on the president's late Wednesday speech.

"To ask our young men and women to sacrifice their lives, to be put in the middle of a civil war, is wrong," said Hagel, a Vietnam war veteran. "It's... morally wrong. It's tactically, strategically, militarily wrong."

"We owe the military and their families a policy - a policy - worthy of their sacrifices. And I don't believe, Dr. Rice, that we have that policy today," Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, a potential 2008 presidential contender, told Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing.
It will be interesting to see if he is taken seriously or simply written off as rhetoric from someone seeking the presidency.

The Sensational Seven

Yesterday the New7Wonders organization announced that these 7 candidates were elected The New 7 Wonders of the World. The Colossus of Rhodes was on the original list of wonders ... I wanted to see the The New Colossus on the list. And where is the Sphinx?

Top 10 Movie Quotes

From the American Film Institute:

1. RHETT BUTLER (Clark Gable): "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn." GONE WITH THE WIND, MGM, 1939

2. VITO CORLEONE (Marlon Brando): "I'm going to make him an offer he can't refuse."
THE GODFATHER, Paramount, 1972

3. TERRY MALLOY (Marlon Brando): "You don't understand! I could've had class. I could've been a contender. I could've been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am."
ON THE WATERFRONT, Columbia, 1954

4. DOROTHY GALE (Judy Garland): "Toto, I've (got) a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore."
THE WIZARD OF OZ, MGM, 1939

5. RICK BLAINE (Humphrey Bogart): "Here's looking at you, kid."
CASABLANCA, Warner Bros., 1942

6. HARRY CALLAHAN (Clint Eastwood): "Go ahead, make my day."
SUDDEN IMPACT, Warner Bros., 1983

7. NORMA DESMOND (Gloria Swanson): "All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up."
SUNSET BOULEVARD, Paramount, 1950

8. HAN SOLO (Harrison Ford): "May the Force be with you." (Variation spoken by Obi Wan Kenobi (Alec Guinness): "The Force will be with you always.") STAR WARS, Twentieth Century Fox, 1977

9. MARGO CHANNING (Bette Davis): "Fasten your seatbelts. It's going to be a bumpy night." ALL ABOUT EVE, Twentieth Century Fox, 1950

10. TRAVIS BICKLE (Robert DeNiro): "You talkin' to me?" TAXI DRIVER, Columbia, 1976

Personally, I think that this one should have been in the top ten:
JAMES BOND (Sean Connery): "Bond. James Bond." DR. NO, United Artists, 1962

But they didn't ask me :)

Atheist or Agnostic President?

On the topic syndicated political columnist Cal Thomas had this to say this week:
Theoretically, yes, if such a person was competent and experienced enough to be trusted with the presidency. This is, after all, a "kingdom of this world" office, though many like to infuse it with religious overtones.

Still, I wonder about a person's judgment if he, or she, has embraced paganism with all of the evidence available concerning an orderly universe and the creative mind behind such order. Having judged incorrectly concerning the great "I Am," would a pagan be considered wise enough to judge temporal things? And, in an age when virtually every politician claims some kind of religion, could a pagan win?

Probably not.
I tend to agree with Cal on this one. I don't think that I would vote for an atheist or agnostic. What do you think?

07.07.07

Today is the triple seven day. Saw a spot on the Today Show reporting that thousands are marrying today and according to this article people are feeling lucky. The article also reports:
Christians will gather in the Nashville football stadium where the Tennessee Titans play to pray and fast on the 7th. "The number is significant in the Bible because seven represents a covenant," said Julia Richardson, a spokeswoman for the event, titled The Call. "We feel we want to make a covenant with the Lord to pursue him. Whether it's 1,000 people or 100,000 people, we feel we can bring about a change through prayer and fasting."
A good friend of ours is at The Call today. I am looking forward to getting her perceptions of the events of the day. How about you - do you feel lucky or particularly blessed today?

Paul Potts

Need a boost? Take a peek at the video over at Matt's place. Then after you do, if you like what you see, take a look at this video.

Paul Potts get a You Inspire Me!

In a Van down by the River


Just added this one to my Need a Laugh? sidebar. Enjoy :)

Deja Vu | ★★★★★★★




Watched this thriller the other night and really enjoyed its fast-paced action-appropriate mystery-filled content. But then again I am a sucker for time-travelling-warping cinema. I thought that the script was tight and didn't have a lot of now-wait-just-a-darn-minute scenes. I like Denzel Washington in these kind of movies. If you like time-warping movies, and even if you just like a good mystery, you will enjoy this one.

On a scale of 10 I give this movie ★★★★★★★

License to Wed

According to this Christianity Today review:
If you take spiritual matters at all seriously, then you have to wonder why in the world any minister would mock multiple forms of prayer—especially at the very moment when someone needs his help, and all because of an injury inflicted by the minister himself. Of course, perhaps I take this too seriously. Perhaps we are supposed to forget that Reverend Frank is an actual character, and perhaps we are supposed to look at this entire movie as an extension of Williams's manic stand-up shtick. But even if that were the case, License to Wed still isn't very funny.

Instead, the film ranges somewhere between boring and offensive. And I don't just mean offensive because of how it treats religious themes. I mean offensive in the sense that the entire film is populated by characters who drive each other crazy for no good reason, characters whose presence you are all too eager to leave. And throwing baseballs at other people's noses is just the tip of the iceberg.
Not sure if this one will make my video list :(

Unchained Melody Sing Off

Dave over at Pomoxian reports about the death of Hy Zaret, the author of Unchained Melody. In honor of Hy's passing I am asking you to vote for either the Righteous Brothers rendition, the Elvis one or another of your choice. The following videos are provided to help you in your voting.


Just leave a comment, with your vote for the Righteous Brothers, Elvis or the singer of your choosing, and I'll publish the results in a few days.

Freedom


In celebration of Independence Day, this clip is dedicated to my son Matt and his brave comrades fighting for freedom in Iraq. Please hear these Braveheart quotes from William Wallace on Freedom:
It's all for nothing if you don't have freedom.

You think the people of this country exist to provide you with position. I think your position exists to provide those people with freedom.

You tell your king that William Wallace will NOT be ruled... and nor will any Scot while I live.

Aye, fight and you may die, run, and you'll live... at least a while. And dying in your beds, many years from now, would you be willin' to trade ALL the days, from this day to that, for one chance, just one chance, to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they'll never take... OUR FREEDOM!
Today, I celebrate with fellow Americans the anniversary of the day our forefathers declared freedom from England. I honor the many who have fought, and are yet fighting, for freedom. I pray for God's hand to upon all those who fight for freedom.

WWW: Wiener War

In this edition of Weird World Wednesday (WWW), I submit to you this excerpt from New York:
Six-time defending champion Takeru Kobayashi, still unable to open his mouth wide enough for a typical teeth cleaning, joined favorite Joey Chestnut at a Tuesday weigh-in before their Fourth of July hot-dog-eating showdown in Coney Island.

The Japanese title holder declared himself ready to gorge, dismissing suggestions by skeptics that his stiff jaw was nothing more than hot dog head games aimed at rattling world record holder Chestnut. "I don't care what they think," the 29-year-old said through an interpreter. "I just want to battle tomorrow."
Anyone out there ever enter one of these eating contests? All you can eat buffets not included :)

Nathan Hale Quote

Kudos to Milly for being the first to get this one.

I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country.
-Nathan Hale-

Scooter Scooted!

7/3 Update: Guess I was wrong. Yesterday President Bush commuted Libby's sentence saying:
"I respect the jury’s verdict. But I have concluded that the prison sentence given to Mr. Libby is excessive."
A sad commentary on the the politics of justice.


According to this article:
Former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby cannot delay his 2 1/2-year prison term in the CIA leak case, a federal appeals panel unanimously ruled Monday. The decision is a major setback for Libby, who is running out of legal options and who probably will have to surrender to prison in weeks. The ruling puts pressure on President Bush, who has been sidestepping calls by Libby's allies to pardon the former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney.
I think that the president will not issue a pardon and Scooter will not scoot! What do you think? Will the president pardon Libby? Cast your vote today!

Live Free or Die Hard

Julie saw this one and had this to say:
"Live Free or Die Hard" was worth the $18.50 we sprang for two tickets. Loved it! My kids said when we got home late last night, "Must have been better than 'Knocked Up'. You're happy!"
Read the rest of Julie's review here.

Big Cheese

Troy Landwehr used his carving tools to turn a 700-pound block of Land O' Lakes cheddar into a replica of Mount Rushmore. He was commissioned by Cheez-It snack crackers to make the carving.

Sicko

As with every other Michael Moore movie I will probably boycott this one as well. Not that MM makes bad movies, I just don't like being intentionally jerked around at the tune of $8 a ticket. A few Associated Press journalists had this to say about the movie:
In many respects, Michael Moore's new movie, "Sicko," is like a trial for those who oversee health care in the United States. The industry — doctors, drug makers, hospitals, insurers — is charged with greed and putting personal interests above patients'. Moore heard from thousands of people who had maddening and heartbreaking brushes with this system.

As chief prosecutor, Moore lets them do most of the talking and weaves their stories into the film with wit, compassion and humor. But one aspect missing from the film is the defense. Do not expect to hear anyone speak well of the care they received in the U.S. On the other hand, patients and doctors from Canada, Britain, France and Cuba marvel at their health care.
...
The film concludes with a trip to Cuba where Moore seeks care for a group of workers who have experienced health problems after responding to 2001 terrorist attacks. They are greeted with open arms at a hospital in Havana and given what appears to be top-notch care that they could not get in the U.S. The question left for viewers to ponder is whether Cubans are given such red carpet treatment, too. Read more here.
Please let me know if you have seen it and what you thought of it. And, for the record, I wouldn't see a movie made by Bill O'Reilly either :)

Therapeutic Blogging

This article tells us that:
Brain scans show that putting negative emotions into words calms the brain's emotion center. That could explain meditation’s purported emotional benefits, because people who meditate often label their negative emotions in an effort to “let them go.”
Perhaps blogging, like meditation, can be somewhat therapeutic if you can get to that place of vulnerability.