The ExGovernor Candidates

The Cato Institute was founded in 1977 and is a non-profit public policy research foundation headquartered in Washington, D.C. Below is an excerpt from their 2006 Fiscal Policy Report Card on America’s Governors highlighting the three governors running for the presidency:
Mike Huckabee, Republican
Governor of Arkansas

Final-Term Grade: F
Final Overall Grade: D

Thanks to a final term grade of F, Huckabee earns an overall grade of D for his entire governorship. Like many Republicans, his grades dropped the longer he stayed in office. In his first few years, he fought hard for a sweeping $70 million tax cut package that was the first broad-based tax cut in the state in more than 20 years. He even signed a bill to cut the state’s 6 percent capital gains tax—a significant progrowth accomplishment. But nine days after being reelected in 2002, he proposed a sales tax increase to cover a budget deficit caused partly by large spending increases that he proposed and approved, including an expansion in Medicare eligibility that Huckabee made a centerpiece of his 1997 agenda. He agreed to a 3
percent income tax “surcharge” and a 25-cent cigarette tax increase. In response to a court order to increase spending on education, Huckabee proposed another sales tax increase. Huckabee wants to run for the GOP presidential nomination next year. He’s already been hailed as a viable big-government conservative candidate by some. That seems about right: Huckabee’s leadership has left taxpayers in Arkansas much worse off.

Bill Richardson, Democratic
Governor of New Mexico

First-Term Grade: C

Bill Richardson’s midterm grade of a B due in large part to his income tax cutting has slipped to a final grade of a C for his entire first term. His income tax cuts were indeed substantial. The top marginal income tax rate has dropped a remarkable 35 percent as a result of Richardson’s actions and is still the largest income tax rate cut in the nation over the past few years. But the more complete picture that has emerged since 2002 is of a governor who is eager to raise other taxes, such as the cigarette tax and gross receipts tax, and various fees, too. It’s also become obvious that, despite Richardson’s reputation as a conservative Democrat, he’s been happy to increase government spending. His budget proposals have grown faster each year, and the general fund budgets he signed into law between fiscal 2004 and 2006 have grown in total by a whopping 23 percent—almost five percentage points faster than population and inflation. Richardson simply can’t maintain a high grade on this report card on the strength of his income tax cuts alone. He needs to stop spending so much if he hopes to keep up the appearance of being a “new Democrat.

Mitt Romney, Republican
Governor of Massachusetts

Final Overall Grade: C

As Mitt Romney launches his bid for the Republican presidential nomination, his fiscal record as governor should be scrutinized. Romney likes to advance the image of himself as a governor who has fought a liberal Democratic legislature on various fronts. That’s mostly true on spending: he proposed modest increases to the budget and line-item vetoed millions of dollars each year only to have most of those vetoes overridden. But Romney will likely also be eager to push the message that he was a governor who stood by a no-new-taxes pledge. That’s mostly a myth. His first budget included no general tax increases but did include a $500 million increase in various fees. He later proposed $140 in business tax hikes through the closing of “loopholes” in the tax code. He announced in May 2004 that he wanted to cut the top income tax rate from 5.3 to 5 percent, but that was hardly an audacious stand. Voters had already passed a plan to do just that before Romney even took office. In his budget for 2006, he proposed $170 million more in business tax hikes, almost completely neutralizing the proposed income tax cut. If you consider the massive costs to taxpayers that his universal health care plan will inflict once he’s left office, Romney’s tenure is clearly not a triumph of small-government activism.
You can read the entire report here.

Scratch & Dent Dreams

100 Most Powerful Women

Following are the top ten women who made the Forbes' list of the World's 100 Most Powerful Women:
  1. Angela Merkel
  2. Wu Yi
  3. Ho Ching
  4. Condoleezza Rice
  5. Indra K. Nooyi
  6. Sonia Gandhi
  7. Cynthia Carroll
  8. Patricia A. Woertz
  9. Irene Rosenfeld
  10. Patricia Russo
How many of them are you familiar with? How many do you think are American? You can find the answers and the entire list here. I am too embarrassed to give my answers L

Giant Spider Web

Lake Tawokoni State Park rangers monitor a giant spider web at the park near Willis Point, Texas. The web has been formed in the park over the past several weeks. Entomologists are debating the origins of a massive spider web, which runs more than 180 meters.

Translating Religious Cliches

God said it, I believe it, that settles it! => I don't want to talk about it!

God is still on the throne! => I really don't know what to say!

Praise the Lord! => I am uncomfortable with awkward silence!

I'll pray about it! => Go away!

Let's pray! => I am uncomfortable discussing this subject!

God loves you and so do I! => I watch Hour of Power!

What would Jesus do? => I don't know what to do.

The Lord told me! => I am afraid to say what I really think!

God has no grandchildren! => I want my kids to know Him!

In Jesus name! => Amen!



Feel free to add to the list - including the translation J

Clergy Entitlement

8/31 Update: New Life church overseers released a statement Wednesday saying they told Haggard the e-mail solicitation for support was "unacceptable." They said:

"Mr. Haggard's solicitation for personal support was inappropriate," the overseers said in their statement. "It was never the intention of the Dream Center that Mr. Haggard would provide any counsel or other ministry. Mr. Haggard will not be moving in or working with the Dream Center. He will not be doing any ministry. He will be seeking secular employment to support himself and his family," the statement said.



8/25: According to this Associated Press story:
The Rev. Ted Haggard, who left the megachurch he founded after admitting to "sexual immorality," has asked supporters for financial assistance while he and his wife pursue their studies.
...
Haggard received a salary of $115,000 for the 10 months he worked in 2006 and an $85,000 anniversary bonus before the scandal broke, The Gazette reported. Haggard's severance package included a year's salary of $138,000, and he collects royalties on his book titles, the newspaper reported. El Paso County records show Haggard's home, which has been up for sale, has a market value of $715,051.
This story bothers me on many levels because 1) people just might give Ted money, 2) Ted doesn't feel a need to support himself and 3) it paints a very strange picture of clergy entitlement.

I have been a part of, and witness to, several men leaving their pastoral posts. Each was an ugly experience for me that revealed this whole entitlement mentality that some (hopefully a small few) ministers have. Clergy today experience a work life that is unlike most people whom they serve in ministry ... many are unprepared to do anything else vocationally ... the stakes of them staying their clerical position is very high ... and weird entitlement thinking sometimes is embraced because of these high stakes.

To Ted Haggard I simply say: Join the human race and get a job - you are not entitled to be supported as you pursue your studies!

WWW: Spam Curds

This just in from the Minnesota State Fair:

"Spam is a Minnesota icon," said Spam Burger booth co-owner Kevin Arnold. "It deserves to be celebrated at the fair." Absolutely. Arnold and business partner Tim Duren are preparing the mystery meat two ways. First is a Spam burger, a fried slice of the stuff, browned and sizzling, topped with American cheese and slipped into a sesame seed bun. The Spam Curds, dices of cheese-flavored Spam that are battered, deep-fried and dunked with ranch dressing, fell into the crowded fair-foods category that's best labeled "curiosity."
File this one under Weird World Wednesday K

Michael Vick Found Jesus Poll

I voted skeptically with the 60%.

Welcome Back Patchouli!


Patchouli has been gone for a while.
I am so glad to have her back in Bloggerville!

Amazing Sand Art

You can find more like this here.

3rd Straight USA Little League Title


Make it three straight Little League World Series championships for the United States. Dalton Carriker homered to right in the bottom of the eighth inning as Warner Robins, Ga., beat Tokyo 3-2 in a thrilling title game on Sunday.

The 12-year-old Carriker raised his arms in celebration after hitting a 2-1 pitch from Japan's Junsho Kiuchi over the right-field stands. "USA! USA!" cried the Georgia-partisan crowd. Columbus, Ga., won the crown last year, and Ewa Beach, Hawaii, in 2005.

Compassion for Mother Teresa

The recent news of Mother Teresa's battle with doubts has been all the buzz in the blogosphere. Most of what I have read has been a sort of Monday morning quarterbacking. This morning I read Bilbo's take and thought I'd share a few of his thoughts:
From what I can gather about the life of Mother Teresa she lived a life of severe personal deprivation on numerous levels. She took a vow of poverty and sexual abstinence, for starters...and...I suspect that during her years as a nun in Calcutta she probably didn't take too many relaxing vacations or eat at too many nice restaurants...and...I wonder if she ever received a soothing massage...or...relax on a beach and feel the cool ocean air...or...walk through a quiet forest and enjoy the sound of silence...and...I wonder who took care of Mother Teresa?...Did anyone cook her a nice meal on a regular basis?...Did anyone ever give her any money and encourage her to spend the day doing what "she" wanted and pampering herself?....I doubt it...As far as I can gather she lived a life where she was deprived of many of the creature comforts we often take for granted...Personally, upon further reflection I am not surprised Mother Teresa didn't feel the presence of God "whatsoever" for apparently much of her adult life. Who would, under such severe circumstances?
You can check out Bill's post for more of his thoughts. What his post did for me was to humanize this great person of faith and evoke compassion for her as I remembered what she did for Jesus.

Creative Blogger Award

Hey look what Barbara gave me! I have to say that I am flattered and don't know that I (or my blog) am all that creative. Here is what the award is all about:
For those who bring unique and creative elements to their blogs. For those who incorporate art, music, creative writing, photo's, and other beautiful visual effects into their website. For those who put a unique spin on things and come up with new ideas. This award is for the artsy, the funky, the inventor, and even the rebel. This award is for those creative individuals who stand out from the crowd.
In keeping with the spirit of this award I now award the following blogs with it:
From the Morning: Matt is one of the most thought provoking and imaginative people out there.

Nothing Imnportant To Us: Jeff's (Danny Kaye) blog is a creative blend of technology, theology and fun.

Pearlie Gates: I like the way that Pearlie uses a unique blend of pictoral imagery and color.
I'm sure that I could come up with a few more if it wasn't so late. Congrats to the winners!

Judgement Days

Below is a reprint of an article by Kim Allen of Heart Math. I liked what Kim says about finding something to appreciate.

A college friend of mine used the small peephole in our sorority house front door for her blind dates. She'd look through the small hole to assess whether or not the rest of the evening would be worth her time. On a few occasions, rather than open the door, she'd let the prejudged and unsuspecting young man walk away believing no one was home.

Most of us would rather not be on the receiving end of a judgment because we don't like the way it feels. Yet how often do we see others through self-imposed peepholes? We rarely consider that the act of judging or blaming someone else can have the same ill effects on us as it has on the other: Stress.

While appropriate use of judgment and accountability in the work place is crucial, a team permeated with negative, judgmental attitudes, constant criticism and blame, is a team with limited perspectives and a slim chance for success.

One of the quickest ways to eliminate judgments and blame is sincere appreciation. Like other positive emotional states, appreciation improves human performance, including the way the brain processes information. It allows for cortical facilitation and the ability to see situations, and others, from a broader perspective.

So, next time you find yourself rushing to a judgment, open the door to see the full picture. Find something to appreciate. You'll feel better. More importantly, you'll see what’s there in a completely different light.

General Pace: Cut Troops in Iraq

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The chairman of the U.S. military's Joint Chiefs of Staff is expected to urge President George W. Bush to cut U.S. troop levels in Iraq next year, the Los Angeles Times said on Friday, citing military and administration officials.

Marine Gen. Peter Pace, whose term as chairman expires at the end of September, is expected to contend that keeping significantly more than 100,000 troops in Iraq through next year would severely strain the military and compromise its ability to respond to other threats, the newspaper said. Read more here.

Senator Warner: Cut Troops in Iraq

GOP senator calls for troop withdrawals
By ANNE FLAHERTY, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - Sen. John Warner's call for troop withdrawals from Iraq is likely to ratchet up pressure on President Bush substantially and lend momentum to Democratic efforts to end U.S. combat.

Warner, R-Va., former chairman of the Armed Services Committee and Navy secretary during the Vietnam War, said Bush should bring some troops home by Christmas. Doing so, he told reporters Thursday, would send a powerful message that the U.S. commitment in Iraq was not open-ended.

Warner says the president should get to decide when and how many troops should leave. Bush has opposed setting a date to pull out troops and contends that conditions on the ground should dictate deployments. Read more here.

Big Mac turns 40

The Big Mac was first introduced in 1967 by Jim Delligatti, a McDonald's franchise owner in Uniontown, Pa. A year later, it became a staple of McDonald's menus nationwide.

To celebrate the burger's anniversary, Delligatti, 89, and his family opened a Big Mac Museum Restaurant this week in North Huntingdon, Pa., full of memorabilia, celebratory exhibits and "the world's largest Big Mac statue."

I love them but rarely eat one anymore. Go ahead, say it with me ...
Two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce,
cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame-seed bun!

... now don't you just feel better?

Belching moose add to global warming

OSLO (AFP) - A grown moose belches out methane gas equivalent to 2,100 kilograms (4,630 pounds) of carbon dioxide a year, contributing to global warming, Norwegian researchers said Wednesday. That is more than twice the amount of CO2 emitted on a round-trip flight across the Atlantic Ocean from Oslo to the Chilean capital Santiago, according to Scandinavian Airlines. "An adult moose emits about 100 kilograms of methane gas a year. But methane gas is much stronger than carbon dioxide, so to get the equivalent you have to multiply by 21," professor Odd Harstad at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences told AFP. Read more here.

WWW: Topless Carwash Bait & Switch

In this edition of Weird World Wednesday, I submit to you this:

Cute girls in skimpy clothing held up signs enticing motorists to drive into a topless car wash, but behind a blue tarp curious people found shirtless firefighters ready with soapy brushes. The $5 car wash was a fund-raising gimmick for the Brookhaven Fire Department in Long Island.

Robert H. Schuller

One of the joys of my Sunday morning routine began about 10 years ago when Ann and I began to cook waffles and watch Hour of Power together before church. I have to admit that I began watching it just to check Schuller out for my younger sister. The joke was on me because this Schuller guy ... who I thought was way too liberal for me ... turned out to be a great encourager and model of compassion for my wife and me. Here are a few of his quotes:

Again and again, the impossible problem is solved when we see that the problem is only a tough decision waiting to be made.

Always look at what you have left. Never look at what you have lost.

Anyone can count the seeds in an apple, but only God can count the number of apples in a seed.

As we grow as unique persons, we learn to respect the uniqueness of others.

Better to do something imperfectly than to do nothing perfectly.

Failure doesn't mean you are a failure it just means you haven't succeeded yet.

For every mountain there is a miracle.

God's delays are not God's denials.

I'd rather attempt to do something great and fail than to attempt to do nothing and succeed.

If there exists no possibility of failure, then victory is meaningless.

Impossible situations can become possible miracles.

It is difficult to say what is impossible, for the dream of yesterday is the hope of today and the reality of tomorrow.

It takes guts to get out of the ruts.

Let your hopes, not your hurts, shape your future.

Life is but a moment, death also is but another.

Most people who succeed in the face of seemingly impossible conditions are people who simply don't know how to quit.

Never bring the problem solving stage into the decision making stage. Otherwise, you surrender yourself to the problem rather than the solution.

Never underestimate your problem or your ability to deal with it.

Press on. Obstacles are seldom the same size tomorrow as they are today.

Problems are not stop signs, they are guidelines.

Spectacular achievement is always preceded by unspectacular preparation.

The only place where your dream becomes impossible is in your own thinking.

The truth of the matter is that you always know the right thing to do. The hard part is doing it.

Today's accomplishments were yesterday's impossibilities.

Tough times never last, but tough people do.

Turn your scars into stars.

What appears to be the end of the road may simply be a bend in the road.

What would you do if you knew you could not fail?

Winning starts with beginning.

Yes, you can be a dreamer and a doer too, if you will remove one word from your vocabulary: impossible.

You can often measure a person by the size of his dream.

You will suddenly realize that the reason you never changed before was because you didn't want to.

Chief Executive Insomnia

Sigh, I wish these cartoons weren't so real L

Army too stretched if Iraq buildup lasts

By LOLITA C. BALDOR, Associated Press Writer
Sun Aug 19, 5:51 PM ET


WASHINGTON - Sapped by nearly six years of war, the Army has nearly exhausted its fighting force and its options if the Bush administration decides to extend the Iraq buildup beyond next spring.

The Army's 38 available combat units are deployed, just returning home or already tapped to go to Iraq, Afghanistan or elsewhere, leaving no fresh troops to replace five extra brigades that President Bush sent to Baghdad this year, according to interviews and military documents reviewed by The Associated Press.

That presents the Pentagon with several painful choices if the U.S. wants to maintain higher troop levels beyond the spring of 2008:

  • -Using National Guard units on an accelerated schedule.
  • -Breaking the military's pledge to keep soldiers in Iraq for no
    longer than 15 months.
  • -Breaching a commitment to give soldiers a full year at home
    before sending them back to war.


For a war-fatigued nation and a Congress bent on bringing troops home, none of those is desirable. Read more here.

WWJB?

I wonder what the sermon on the mount would look like in a blog? Gotta wonder, what kind of comments Jesus would get on some of his parables? Would He incorporate cartoons and YouTube videos? What would His profile look like and who would be on his blogroll? Would he include humor or would He have a "serious" blog? WWJB indeed!

When the Tail Wags the Dog

A small South Carolina parts supplier collected about $20.5 million over six years from the Pentagon for fraudulent shipping costs, including $998,798 for sending two 19-cent washers to an Army base in Texas, U.S. officials said.

The owners of C&D Distributors in Lexington, South Carolina -- twin sisters -- exploited a flaw in an automated Defense Department purchasing system: bills for shipping to combat areas or U.S. bases that were labeled "priority" were usually paid automatically, said Cynthia Stroot, a Pentagon investigator.

Read more in this Associated Press article.

Democratic Candidates on Prayer


I am watching my DVRed version of the Iowa Democratic Debate. This is the clip of how each candidate responded to an email question about prayer.

Thomas Edison Quote

High Fives to BruceA who first got the Mystery Quote!

Without looking it up, does anyone know who said:

"Genius is one percent inspiration and
ninety-nine percent perspiration."
Thomas A. Edison

Feel free to submit an answer even if you don't know ... could be fun seeing the guesses. I'll announce the winner in a few days.

Broken Hearts, Unanswered Prayer

I spoke this morning at church on the topic of Broken Hearts and Unanswered Prayer. You can listen in here and follow along on the slides here. Please let me know if you listen in and what you thought about it.

Shauna Fleming: You Inspire Me!


Teenager Shauna Fleming began A Million Thanks to encourage our soldiers overseas. I saw her interviewed on TV this morning and was wowed. She is an amazing young lady. She Inspires Me!

Is it okay to call God Allah?

I wonder what kind of results they would have gotten if the question used Jehovah, Yahweh or Jesus instead of Allah?

Esmeralda Coffee

It's called Hacienda la Esmeralda Especial, or Esmeralda for short, and it wowed judges for the third year in a row at the 2007 Roasters Guild Cupping competition in Long Beach California, held by the Specialty Coffee Association of America last May.

The coffee sold at an online auction for a record $130 a pound and goes for about twice that retail. I hear you can get a cup of it for about $8 a cup in New York and $15 in Vancouver ... don't think that I'll see it in Kansas any time soon ... but you never know?

Hell: A Different Kind of Torment

Over at Karen's place people have been talking about weighty issues like Eternal Conscious Torment in Hell - Yikes!

Yesterday I entered a different kind of torment after I downloaded and installed the latest installment of XP updates from Microsoft. My laptop now only works in "Safe Mode". I can't figure out how to get back to "Normal Mode". If anyone has a clue please leave a comment. With all of this hell-talk my laptop seems to be getting hotter L

The Bourne Ultimatum | ★★★★★★★★★




You could call this one Ultimately Bourne. I saw this one last Sunday with my friend Jim and thought it was a wild ride. The action was seemingly nonstop and the plot and acting were good. They left an opening for Bourne 4 - which doesn't surprise me. Matt Damon plays the part convincingly and, with their $70m opening weekend receipts, I am sure that we will see more of the buff Jason Bourne.

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

Bob Simpson

I Simpsonized myself!

$35 to Vote in Iowa Straw Poll

Did you know that in the recent Republican Iowa Straw Poll:
Voters needed to prove that they are Iowa residents and needed to pay a $35 entrance fee. Many of the campaigns bussed in their supporters and payed their entrance fees.
I could believe it when I heard it ... I still can't!

I guess Romney and Huckabee have the bragging rights to the Republicans who were foolish enough to waste $35 to vote - guess I am just too conservative to do that J

They Let A Monkey Through?

Shoes? Remove! And belt? Unclasp!

Hurry, sluggards, move it, fast!

Cell-phone holster — in the tray!

Pockets — empty! Right away!

Through the scanners — don’t depart:

Beep is heard, go back to start!

Half undressed, I wait in queue

… And yet they let a monkey through?


My wife found this poem in the KC Star. It is written by Don Munday and is a follow-up to this story.

FairTax.org

8/14 Update: A few rambling ill-thought out concerns and questions:
Will a fair tax bring in enough revenue to support the war, baby boomer Medicare & welfare, national security and other essential federal government programs ... much less the non-essential ones?

I like the “idea” of a fair tax but I am concerned that people will buy less because of increased costs and a sales tax would need to be expanded to things like groceries and other things that poorer folks need ... once the government gets a foot in the door there is no telling what they will do.

I also think that there will still need to be some sort of IRS to determine what, if anything, is exempted form a sales tax and to administer enforcement of the taxing rules.
These are just some thoughts off the top of my head ... don’t want to think about it too much J

8/9: Anyone ever heard of fairtax.org? It came up in last Sunday's republican debate. Mike Huckabee came out as strongly in favor of it, and Romney not so much, at the debate. Originally I was not in favor of a national sales tax but think that I could be persuaded. Anyone like or dislike the idea?

Renaissance Bob


El Greco ("The Greek" 1541-1614) was a painter, sculptor, and architect of the Spanish Renaissance.

This is what I would have looked like if he painted me - according to this website ... maybe I should use this on my profile J

Hat tip to Kelli!

Who's On First?


One of the all time classics!

Speaking up for Soldiers

08/13 Update: Democrats on Saturday touted legislation to guarantee troops time at home between deployments to Iraq. In the party's weekly radio address, Rep. Ellen Tauscher, D-Calif., criticized President Bush for threatening to veto the bill, contending his administration's policies on troop deployments have weakened the military.

While I am at it I thought I'd add the Meet the Press video!


7/18: So I DVRed and watched Meet the Press this week. On it I saw an empassioned Virginia Senator James Webb face off with a sanctimonious Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina over Iraq. Here is a part of the dialog that got my attention:
SEN. WEBB: The traditional operational policy has been if you’ve been gone for a year, you get two years back. We’re now in a situation where the soldiers and the Marines are having less than a one to one ratio, and somebody needs to speak up for them rather than simply defending what this president’s been doing.

SEN. GRAHAM: When they re-enlist in the highest numbers anywhere else in the military, they’re speaking...

SEN. WEBB: You know, this is one thing I really—this is one thing I really take objection to...

SEN. GRAHAM: ...the soldiers are speaking, my friend. Let them win.

SEN. WEBB: ...is politicians who—at the...

SEN. GRAHAM: Let them win.

SEN. WEBB: Politicians who—may I speak?

SEN. GRAHAM: They want to win, let them win.

SEN. WEBB: Is politicians who try to put their political views into the mouths of soldiers. You can look at poll after poll, and the political views of the United States military are no different than the country at large. Go take a look at The New York Times today.
You can read the complete transcript here.

USA Life Expectancies Are Not Supersized

According to this Washington Post article:
Americans are living longer than ever, but not as long as people in 41 other countries.

For decades, the United States has been slipping in international rankings of life expectancy, as other countries improve health care, nutrition and lifestyles. Countries that surpass the U.S. include Japan and most of Europe, as well as Jordan, Guam and the Cayman Islands.

"Something's wrong here when one of the richest countries in the world, the one that spends the most on health care, is not able to keep up with other countries," said Dr. Christopher Murray, head of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington.
I wonder what those folks that are against socialized medicine might say about this report? Maybe Mike Huckabee is right when he says that our real problem is lifestyle?

Beethoven Might Like These Guys

PhraseExpress


I downloaded this cool freeware program yesterday that has helped me reduce html keystrokes.

I give it two thumbs up!

Lessons From Geese

A friend sent me this info about geese:
They mate for life...that is His promise and assurance that He is there for life, He will never leave.

They fly in formation...this is to help each other as they travel on their journey: stay in groups of people that you know are going to help with the load if one can not handle all of it, it will help with the wind resistance.

They "Honk" when they fly...this is for encouragement to keep up the pace and to cheer the lead goose.

When the lead goose is tired...another takes over and takes the brunt of the wind...and then the rest encourage that one also...they help each other out.
Amazing the things you can learn from God's creation. Honk if you agree J

HD Betamax?

Sony's Betamax video standard was introduced in 1975, followed a year later by JVC's VHS. For around a decade the two standards battled for dominance, with VHS eventually emerging as the winner. According to this Associated Press article there is a new battle raging between Sony backed Blu-ray and Toshiba's HD DVD.
People who own an HD DVD player can forget about watching "Spider-Man 3" in high definition when it goes on sale during the holiday season. The movie from Sony Pictures will only be available in the Blu-ray DVD format. Likewise, people with Blu-ray players won't be able to enjoy the action-thriller "The Bourne Ultimatum," which Universal Pictures will release only in HD DVD. These exclusive arrangements, plus aggressive price cuts for high-def DVD players, are designed to persuade consumers to finally embrace one format or the other.
Seems that we are still on the bleeding edge of this technology. I think that it may be wise to wait this one out K

The Javlon

This is the look of the Javlon, an all-electric car coming next year from newcomer Miles Automotive Group. The prototype is being finished up in a factory in China. According to this article:
Miles Automotive will try to accomplish two feats with one car in 2008: bring an electric sedan to the market, and bring a car made in China to the U.S.

The Javlon, from Southern California's Miles Automotive, will go 120 miles before it needs a charge and will hit a top speed of 80 miles an hour, according to CEO Jeff Boyd. It will cost approximately $32,000, and its lithium ion battery will last more than 100,000 miles before it needs to be replaced.
Amazing what they are doing with lithium batteries these days. Gotta wonder if you'll be able to pick them up at Walmart J

Crystal Revival

4/21 Update: The Evel Knievel interview and mass baptisms will air this weekend on Hour of Power. I watched here and was moved by his testimony and by the way the Holy Spirit moved in the congregation after it. Don't think that the link will last too long so catch the show or watch the video soon. Jesus is alive!
4/15: According to this article hundreds were baptised after Evel Knievel's testimony at the Crystal Cathedral. Here are a few excerpts from the article:
On Palm Sunday, hundreds responded to Robert "Evel" Knievel's testimony by asking to be baptized on the spot at Crystal Cathedral. Speaking alongside the Rev. Robert H. Schuller, Knievel told the congregation in Orange County, California, how he had refused for 68 years to accept Jesus Christ as Lord. He believed in God, but he couldn't walk away from the gold and the gambling and the booze and the women.

"I don't know why I fought it so hard," he said. "I just did."

But Knievel knew people were praying for him, including his daughter's church, his ex-wife's church, and the hundreds of people who wrote letters urging him to believe. And then something indescribable happened during Daytona Bike Week this March.

"I don't know what in the world happened. I don't know if it was the power of the prayer or God himself, but it just reached out, either while I was driving or walking down the sidewalk or sleeping, and it just—the power of God in Jesus just grabbed me. … All of a sudden, I just believed in Jesus Christ. I did, I believed in him! … I rose up in bed and, I was by myself, and I said, 'Devil, Devil, you bastard you, get away from me. I cast you out of my life.' … I just got on my knees and prayed that God would put his arms around me and never, ever, ever let me go."

Pastor Robert A. Schuller, who took over for his father last year, looked out on the church and noticed most people were sobbing. He couldn't simply continue with the service's script and proceed to the offering.

"I went up front, and I said, 'I believe there is somebody who needs to be baptized here. Maybe up on that balcony or by that door or by that wall. So come forward,'" Schuller told CT. "We started singing 'Amazing Grace,' and I started baptizing people, baptizing them as fast as I could. I had a little candy dish of water. 'What's your name? Okay, I baptize you in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit'—crying the whole time and going to the next one."

Schuller continued this for 30 minutes, not realizing that four other pastors were baptizing the convicted just as quickly. During the second service, the response repeated itself. Together, Schuller estimates, between 500 and 800 people committed or rededicated their lives to God. You can read the rest of the story here.
I regularly watch Schuller's Hour of Power TV broadcast because of testimonies like Knievel's. The show is usually pretty inspirational and uplifting. A great warm-up for church :)

WWW: Airplane Monkey

In this edition of Weird World Wednesday, I submit to you this excerpt from this BBC article:

A man has been questioned by police at LaGuardia airport in New York after smuggling a monkey onto a flight from Florida by hiding it under his hat. Passengers spotted the animal when it climbed out and perched on the man's ponytail, Spirit Airlines spokeswoman Alison Russell told reporters. Ms Russell said the monkey - a marmoset - spent the remainder of the flight in the man's seat and was well-behaved.

The man's journey originated in Lima, Peru. Ms Russell said it was not known how the man avoided detection there, and during a several-hour stopover in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. When passengers noticed the fist-sized primate on the flight, they asked the man "if he knew he had a monkey on him", Ms Russell said.

Guess I'll be having to remove my Chiefs cap next time I get on a plane J

Top Ten Movies

Just in case you were wondering. Here are my all time favorite movies:

  1. Chariots of Fire
  2. Forrest Gump
  3. The Sound of Music
  4. Amazing Grace
  5. Rocky
  6. Braveheart
  7. The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
  8. Gone With the Wind
  9. Tomorrow Never Dies
  10. Star Wars
You know I'll remember another that I like better as soon as I hit publish.

What are your all time favorites?

Meaningless Promotions


Can anyone relate to this? J

In All Things Charity

This is one of my favorite sayings.

Not sure if you can tell by my many posts today but I am sitting in my wife's hospital room (yes they have WiFi) and posting up a storm while we are waiting for the insertion of a dialysis catheter.

The Amazing iBible


For all of you iPod and iPhone Mac freaks!

What God Thinks!


I love the idea that is communicated in this cartoon. What you think is important! How arrogant does one have to be to speak for God ... on the flip side ... I guess that is what the bible is all about - sort of J

Defining Mistakes


So I watched my DVRed version of the Republican Iowa Debates that aired yesterday morning. It was a pretty interesting debate - the first Republicn one I viewed this year. The highlight for me was this 3 minute clip ... it gives us a glimpse into the candidates' hearts when they nswer the question "what is a defining mistake that you have made?" Hang onto the end of the clip - Tom Tancredo got my attention big time!

Bob Sasnak


This post is dedicated to byevad, salguod and the many others like them. If you follow along please submit the names (and URLs) of other bloggers who qualify for this dedication.

Hillary Booed By Bloggers

According to this article:
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton refused Saturday to forsake campaign donations from lobbyists, turning aside challenges from her two main rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination with a rare defense of the special interest industry.

"A lot of those lobbyists, whether you like it or not, represent real Americans, they actually do," Clinton said, drawing boos and hisses from liberal bloggers at the second YearlyKos convention.
YearlyKos Convention is an annual gathering of people from all walks of life who belong to the Netroots community, a somewhat liberal blogging community.

500 for A-Rod


Today Alex Rodriguez became the youngest player in major league history to hit 500 home runs, sending the first pitch he saw off Kansas City's Kyle Davies past the foul pole in left field.

Glad to see our Royals are helping someone :(

65% Addicted


Don't know why I take
these addiction tests.

At least I am less addicted to
coffee than I am to blogging :)

Organizationally Challenged

I loved this quoted quote from Pam's blog:
“Now I still don’t believe that just by being slick enough with your methodoloy that it obligates the Spirit to act. But while organization doesn’t make a church grow, lack of it can kill an authentic work of the Spirit. And that had been our experience.”
Pam ends her post with something that I wholly agree with: "At the end of the day I stand by my position: We can be Spirit led and have things organized both."

Vetoing Iraq Leave

My soldier son was home last weekend on leave from his US Army service in Iraq. It was great to have him home - even if it was for a brief stay. Too bad that more folks in our government don't have the same sentiments. The U.S. House of Representatives voted on Thursday to require more leave for U.S. troops in Iraq, defying a veto threat from the White House that said it infringed on President George W. Bush's authority as commander in chief. Here is hoping that they have enough votes to override his veto.

Plasmapheresis

So my wife is back in the hospital experiencing another Multiple Sclerosis relapse - that's four since last September ... frustrating. Over the next few weeks she will undergo a series of seven procedures called Plasmapheresis. According to Wikipedia:
Plasmapheresis (from the Greek plasma, something molded, and apheresis, taking away) is the removal, treatment, and return of (components of) blood plasma from blood circulation. It is thus an extracorporeal therapy.
The purpose is to remove elements in Ann's blood that may be causing her immune system to go into overdrive. Here's hoping that, between this therapy, more IV steroids and some planned chemo treatments, Ann will be back on her feet in a few weeks and better than ever. It seems that in these days I am getting another chance to follow my own advice about not taking offense :)

Eliminating Trans Fats

According to the Food and Drug Administraion trans fat is made when manufacturers add hydrogen to vegetable oil--a process called hydrogenation. Hydrogenation increases the shelf life and flavor stability of foods containing these fats.

Trans fat can be found in vegetable shortenings, some margarines, crackers, cookies, snack foods, and other foods made with or fried in partially hydrogenated oils. Unlike other fats, the majority of trans fat is formed when food manufacturers turn liquid oils into solid fats like shortening and hard margarine.

According to FDA data the major sources of trans fat by percentage consumed by adult Americans are:
40% - cakes, cookies, crackers, pies, bread, etc.
21% - animal products
17% - margarine
08% - fried potatoes
05% - potato chips, corn chips, popcorn
04% - household shortening
03% - salad dressing
01% - breakfast cereal
01% - candy
Guess I'll need to cut out the ... uhhh ... get back to you later on that :)

Hairspray | ★★★★★★★★



So I took Julie's advice and we saw Hairspray on Wednesday. Really enjoyed the experience and, like Julie, couldn't believe that I was watching a wonderful commentary on Civil Rights. I recommend seeing it - seeing Travolta in drag is worth the price of admission.

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

5 Year Old Phenom Jan Silva


Watch this 35 second video and see if you can get your head around a 5 year old playing this kind of tennis. According to this USA Today article:

Five-year-old tennis phenom Jan Kristian Silva lives and trains at a tennis academy in France with all of his family's expenses paid. Patrick Mouratoglou, the owner of the academy, is spending an estimated $140,000 a year on the Silvas in hopes that Jan becomes a star.
Saw Jan on the Today Show this morning and couldn't help but dream a bit of the future of tennis. Here's hoping that he will live out his dreams and not those of the adults in his life.