Monday, November 29, 2010

I knew something was wrong with me

I have a disorder. Now, I haven't been medically tested, but I'm sure my family members would corroborate: Selective Eating Disorder. (If only my parents would have known . . . .)

There are some things that I dislike due to taste. Some things I dislike due to texture. Most are due to both. Usually centers around food that is quite good for me (think veggies), but also includes most food from the water (fish, scallops, etc.)

People around me have wondered what was wrong with me. "Why don't you like this food? Everyone likes kimchi!" "Oh no. Don't pass the beans to Tim. He hates them."

At least my story isn't like this man's story. I'm glad I have only a few, fairly minor disorders.

Could I apply for 'Disability' with this?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Quantitative Easing - Explained

Wow! Ever wonder about what the Federal Reserve is up to? (and why Ron Paul hates them so much.)

This should explain alot.

Enjoy! This video has almost 3 million views on YouTube!

The Tea Party - Explained

If you love animation (without the action) and computer voices (with no inflection) and politics, you might like this. Apart from those, this 9 minute dialog is a good summary of what the Tea Party is about.

It seems to represent many of the things I believe politically - thought I'm more extreme on the abortion position. (I'm a single-issue voter, except for all the other issues.)

Friday, November 26, 2010

Politics aside, this man has a backbone of steel

Just to set this up, the speaker is introduced in some general assembly of the European Union governing body. His position is clear, he is against the Euro and he is against the European Union. (He is British.) But he stands and speaks to these European leaders to their faces, and condemns them for making millions poor (in many ways) so that these leaders can have their dreams fulfilled of a unified Europe. To their faces. Reminds me of Polycarp.

Read transcript here.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Root Canal anyone?

I can think of any number of reason why I want to avoid a root canal. It will hurt, it will take time I don't have, will take money I don't have, and etc. Joseph Mercola explains another reason why these should be avoided:

I never thought of it that way - that "root canal" procedures simply keep dead body material in the body to decay and harbor infection.

Read his entire article with a Q&A here.

(Any stories to share on this topic, Amy?)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Music to My Eyes

An early Mark Heard song: Appalachian Melody

Appalachian melody drifting softly down
Instruments of gold and red and brown
Do not need no dulcimer or banjo-fiddle sound
For right now I'll watch these leaves come down

How peculiar liking old dead leaves against the sky
There is something more than meets the eye
Funny how I sit and watch these leaves come down from high
But these things are music to my eyes

Such a pretty song I see, have I been beguiled
This day is not imagination's child
Every time the leaves come down I've just got to smile
For they sing a melody so mild

But these things are music to my eyes


Mark didn't write a song about winter as I recall.

Friday, November 19, 2010

I can't understand this . . .

A couple from Apple Valley, MN has posted an online poll and asked people to vote on it. It is open until Dec. 7, so if you have an opinion . . . . Here's the thing, they are pregnant. And the poll question is: "Should we give birth or have an abortion?". Though I haven't read it on their site explicitly, I'm presuming that they will go with the majority vote. Currently, it's 4-1 give birth.

Assuming that the child is born, how could they look this kid in the eye and tell them the story of the poll and then assume that the child still feels loved by them? That they are asking others to make a decision for them does not remove them from responsibility. Yet, with that (huge) responsibility, they are trusting people whom they don't even know with this.

Is life this "throw-awayable"?

Read the Star-Trib article here.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Worst Miss . . . EVER

And they call this the "Beautiful Game".

The long Election night

My election drama has just taken another turn. Yesterday, the GOP has filed a motion with the MN Supreme Court in hopes to bring some more sunshine on the recent election - specifically the Governor's race. The two contestants in question are quite close and a recount is in order. But before that happens, the GOP wants there to be a reconciliation of the numbers.

Here's what that means: At the end of the voting day, the election judges have to match up the number of ballots that they've given out with the number of ballots that are in the ballot box. If they are different, then they need to find out why. Two years ago, there were more ballots in ballot boxes than ballots given out by election judges. Hmmmm. There was also a recount there. The GOP wants to bring the light of day to this process. They claim that in MN Election Law, the reconciliation of the numbers must include a counting of the number of the signatures in the registration books. So the GOP sent out calls for Election Judges who worked at precincts where this kind of reconciliation was not done. I responded. I signed an a paper saying so. My testimony is included in the motion sent to the Supreme Court.

When the GOP CC'd me, they suggested that members of the press may wish for comment from me. Yikes!

I will keep further comment about what I think of this move to myself until this phase is over.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Well . . . at least its free!

There are a lot of free things in the world. Of course, most free things are not without strings. Today, I just signed up to get a pair of scissors - free. Here. How great is that! Of course, the email in my Spam box will be filling up twice as fast now!

Then, every once in a while, you come across something completely free - any strings that might have been attached are cut. You could have a free vasectomy. That's right, everyone could travel to Denver to get themselves infertile - well, half of everyone.

Everything is free. If only I could find someone to get me a free lunch.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Do I know you?

One of the "blog-roll" lists that I have on the right side is Post-Secrets. It is a blog that posts secrets, confessions, thanksgivings, confusions, and wonderings. As a person for whom life is sometimes confusing, and for whom people sometimes seem so alien, this website can be really therapeutic. Of course, it is all done without names - and very often faces are blurred - to protect identities.

So when I see a Post-Secret that I can apply to someone I know, I congratulate myself on figuring out who (among the gazillions who have sent these in) belongs to this one. Like the one above . . . .

Why was it that I visited this blog in the first place?

Disclaimer: this website is not for children.

(click on the picture to see a larger version)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Oh! What to do?

I have long been skeptical of the notion that the US should give financial gifts to other countries (ie. Foreign AID). It seems to me to be an unwarranted intrusion into another country's internal political dynamics. It tends to prop up up dictators, basically (all in the name of 'keeping the peace').

Now we get word that Humanitarian AID is having disastrous unintended consequences for the recipient countries. Case in point, Ethiopia. Remember "We Are The World" back in the mid-1980's? The song-spinners asked us to give money to help the poor and starving in Ethiopia. While we saw that people were indeed starving, we didn't see that there was a war going on - and that the AID prolonged the war and ultimately brought a repressive dictator to power. This dictator is still in power and he is still repressing his own people.

The starving children of Ethiopia were not the victims of drought, as most people believed at the time. They were the victims of politics. The government of the time was using famine as an instrument of war, and the rebels were more interested in defeating the government than in feeding famine victims. As William Easterly, a leading aid skeptic, puts it, “It’s not the rains, it’s the rulers.” Political famines attract the food aid industry, with the consequence that governments or rebel groups are able to feed their own armies and divert resources to buy more weapons. Humanitarian aid in conflict zones is always problematic. It helps the bad guys as well as the innocent.
I guess, in a way, I feel duped. In another way, I feel like people exploited my intentions and sympathies for their own gain. And in another way, it's just sad that evil people make it difficult to help others. Oh! What would Jesus do?

Friday, November 12, 2010

Coming Dec 10th

Got your tickets yet?

The Politics of Circumcision

Circumcision - male circumcision - in state of San Francisco.

There is a petition going around in the San Fransisco which would make it a misdemeanor (a crime with possible jail time) to circumcise a male under the age of 18. Of course, it is just a petition. Even if enough people sign the petition, it would still need to be voted on. Even so, just goes to show that San Francisco is on the 'bleeding edge' of government regulation. Just recently, they banned Happy Meals (that is, toys included in meal packages to entice children to purchase insufficiently healthy foods - like Joe Camel on cigarette cartons).

But the question remains concerning circumcision - is it a good idea? I'd presume to know what the Jewish community's reaction to this is. What are the health concerns?

The National Institute of Health seems to think it is a good idea because it tends to limit the transmission of AIDS (reducing chances of transmission by up to 65%!). This is especially interesting to people who worry about AIDS in Africa. The circumcision campaigns in that continent are even developing new tools to help in this delicate procedure.

There are also dissenters. (See here for longer paper on the issue.)

Regardless of the health question, in the end, who decides if circumcision is right for the child? Are we wanting the government to make such determinations?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Corrections to the story of David

Over the last weekend, the children's choir at our church was given a lesson with some kind of helpful, moral point. To use a negative illustration, the teacher used David. The focus of the story about David was his relationship with Bathsheba.

On the way home, after singing during 3 Sunday morning services, I debriefed with Anjali about the story told about David. The presenter/teacher was probably 23 years old, and his audience was somewhere between 5 and 11 years old. This was one of the reasons that he told the story why he did. But understand this, David did not fall in love with Bathsheba when he committed adultery. This is what is called "lust". He wanted to share privacy parts (a term our family uses). He was the king and he would not be denied. Had very little to do with love.

David was very sorry for what he had done. Well, lets see. Probably took 45 days or more to determine that Bathsheba was pregnant. He tried to get Uriah back home to sleep with her. That didn't work, so David hatched the plan to kill him. All these attempts to keep away from the blame took more time. It wasn't until Nathan confronted him that he owned up and showed sorrow for what he had done. Sure, he was sorry, but make no mistake, he first went to great lengths to cover it up.

The baby died as a result of David's sin because God wanted to punish David. While this is actually in the text, the one who actually got hurt the most was, of course, the baby. No mention of the baby.

What do we do when Bible stories are told and they don't match the Bible? Even if the teacher's lesson is a good one, I'm going to encourage Anjali and Mark to rely on the text as much as possible.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Evolution of Empathy - the video

Hold on to your hats!

A Castle for sale

There is presently a castle for sale in France - not far from Paris. (I hear it even has French-style gardens.) Really, all that is needed to complete its refurbishment is a Princess and a Prince. The price is negotiable, though the negotiating starts at just under 5M euros. What could be nicer than to wile away the time in a castle of your own? And whoever said "Spare the rod - spoil the child" never had a dungeon at their disposal for alternatives to the rod. Anyway, it'd be worth a try.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Oh the depths from which we have risen!

A very old board game, The Game of Goose, was a wonder to the people of the Middle-Ages. It had everything one could want: dice, geese, mazes, prisons, and a race to the finish.

As this author describes it, it wasn't merely a child's game. Many adults loved the game. Fortunes were won and lost on this game. (I write this with a smirk on my face) It had the all the excitement of a game of Candyland without the colorful pictures!

Here for more.

(image from

The voice of God - ouch


I cannot add to this outstanding essay.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

An impostor Apple Pie

Strange where links take one when the gray cells get jumpy. Here's the story...

Monica Gaudio posted a very interesting (short) piece on the history of apple pies. It included a couple ancient apple pie recipes. (Takers anyone? they look tasty.) This was back in 2005.

Evidently, a good portion of the article was lifted and reprinted (with all the Old English spellings replaced my Modern English spellings) by a CookBook publisher. Wow! Someone told Monica about it - and an interesting story has developed out of it.

It is really curious to me in just how many areas of peoples' lives that fellow humans can try to loot or otherwise take advantage of.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Can't take it with you

There are many billboards in my driving area that ask the question: What do you dream of? Of course, the answer that they are looking for is: Money. They are ads for the lottery.

Out of Canada comes a story of an elderly couple who won just such a lottery - then gave it all away. They said that the money was a "big headache".

Makes one wondering what they were doing with the lottery ticket in the first place.

Seeing God

It seems like my posts, one after another, have little to do with the post that came previously. Here's another seemingly random post - I'll comment on the election later - hopefully soon - as I also hope the recount ends soon.

When I've got a few spare seconds and some jumpy grey cells, looking at the side links of "PowerLine" or "The Anchoress" often calm my cells. One post from The Anchoress caught my attention. She was responding to, or simply affirming a short article by Shu-Fy H. Pongnon. The article was a reflection about what color God's skin was.

Here's a selection about her moment of transformation:
It was the moment I realized that nothing I believed about how God looks ever mattered. It was like St. Paul trying to convince the disciples that, "Hey, what we're doing here is totally different! We're not Jews following Jesus. We're Christians!" Get the difference? God had given me a new vocabulary, and a new set of eyes, that wasn't tied to the hot-button issues of terra firma. It was more than what the eye could see.
I've often thought that the passage in 2 Cor 5 about being a new creation has much more to do with the mind than the soul. The new creation is largely about a new perspective.

So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
It is a short essay - you can read it here. It's worth your time.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Tomorrow is the vote

Yikes! I'm an Election Judge. Pray for me.

I've been very disturbed by the rules and loopholes in the laws for voting in MN. As long as someone will say they have "personal knowledge" that you are a resident in that voting area then you can vote there. If you are willing to lie about it, you can be a non-American citizen and vote in this manner.

I'd like my vote to count instead of being negated by someone who was not supposed to be voting. As an Election Judge, it is my sworn duty to prevent fraud in the part of the election I'm overseeing. With tensions and passions about the election running so high, I hope things are done with honesty and integrity, so at the end, we are at least pleased with the process.

Alas, I'm not confident. But I'm glad I'm going to be in a position where I can make a difference and do my part.

Thank you for your prayers.


Happy Binary Day!

There's only a few left in our expected lifetimes. Enjoy them while you can.

(There's another couple coming up next week.)