Saturday, November 28, 2009

Lights!

After a visit to the roof, Walter finally got all of the icicle lights in just the right position to suit him. I do believe that all of his effort really did pay off. The house really looks great!

It is really cool the way the reindeer's reflection shows up in the storm door. One evening I'm going to break out the tripod and see if I can get a much better photo.

I was able to get out early enough this evening to get a fairly good photo of the moon. It was in just the right spot so that I didn't have to fight tree limbs to get a clear shot. Not bad. The full moon shot, if I can get it will be great.

Friday, November 27, 2009

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas around the house. After two elves descended upon the house today, the icicle lights have been hung from the roof, garlands have been wrapped on the porch rails, with animated deer in the front yard. All that just for a start.

Inside the tree is up with lights and garland and a few ornaments to boot. The gingerbread house is under construction and looking delicious. While the walls are setting up, Walter has been tweaking the garland on the tree. He's making sure that it is just "so".



The final touches will go on the outside of the house tomorrow, plugging up all the light strings together. Getting the reindeer plugged in and all set to go. Tomorrow will be the grand illumination of the house.

The trees finally up and finished. It looks great. Knowing Walt, he'll most likely keep tweaking it for a few more days before he is finally happy with it. But for now I'm quite pleased with it.

Climategate

Climategate: five Aussie MPs lead the way by resigning in disgust over carbon tax
By James Delingpole Politics Last updated: November 26th, 2009

Australia is leading the revolt against Al Gore’s great big AGW conspiracy – just as the Aussie geologist and AGW sceptic Professor Ian Plimer predicted it would. Read The Article


Climategate e-mails sweep America, may scuttle Barack Obama's Cap and Trade laws
By Gerald Warner Politics Last updated: November 26th, 2009

...At this rate, Copenhagen is going to turn into a comedy convention with the real world laughing at these liars. Now is the time to mount massive resistance to the petty tyrants and hit them where it hurts – in the wallet. Read The Article

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving

This morning I woke up to a very foggy day. The fog didn't lift until nearly 11 a.m. For a while there I thought we were going to need Rudolph to aid us in making the journey out to Mom & Dad's for Thanksgiving dinner.

I had a nice surprise when I peeped out the door around mid-day, a Blue Bird hung out long enough for me to get a few pictures. They are normally so difficult to catch out in the yard.

Dinner with the family was very nice. Mom out did herself as usual. Turkey, pheasant, and ham! Loads of choice and everyone of them delicious. The photographers in the family all gathered out on the deck after dinner to try to get photos of the moon.

This evening Walter & Kelly have put up the Christmas tree, so far it has the lights, garland and Angel on top. Tomorrow they'll finish it up. So far it looks great, I'm sure that they will have it looking fabulous by the time they get done.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Adventures in Shopping

Well, as a general rule, I don't do much shopping except for "drive-by" grocery pick ups. This evening required a run to the grocery store for rolls for Thanksgiving dinner, and since I was going to be out a run by K-Mart for some Christmas lights. None of this should have posed a problem, should of being the operative word.

Walt went with me and we made a stop by the K-Mart on Hull Street for some Christmas lights for the front porch. The store was relatively empty, I don't believe that there were 10 other shoppers in the store. We'd found everything that we had gone in for plus. You know there are usually an extra item or two that you pick up while in the store, just because. Well we found this really cute pair of Christmas slipper socks, but they weren't hooked together. Now you'd think that this would be a problem, but this turned out to be a BIG mistake, at least in checking out.

When I went to check out the clerk rang up each slipper separately!! I told her that they were a pair, and she said, I'm not lying, "I didn't know. They aren't hooked together."

I swear she said this with a straight face! I really believe that she thought that they were suppose to be individually priced.

But the story doesn't end there, apparently K-Mart offers a purchase protection plan on some items and this includes Christmas lights. So when she rang up one of the strings of lights she asked if I would like to add this protection plan to my order. I declined.

She then rang up the second string of lights and then asked me, "Would you like it on this set?"

I really, really, really wanted to laugh, but it was just so sad. I did my best not to laugh and simply declined the offer.

Walt was trying to help out by bagging our stuff, but even then she had trouble accepting help. He held open one of the bags for her to put a stack of items into, but she separated them and put them in one at a time. Of course this wasn't the end of the comedy of errors that went on, but telling too much more may cause me to fall over laughing before I can get this typed.

You would think that the stupidity for the evening would end there, but no...next up to bat was Food Lion. Checking out is just so much fun. After the adventure in bagging at K-Mart, Walter decided to bag our purchases at Food Lion. He told the clerk not that he didn't want the groceries in plastic bags and she said to him, "You don't want it bagged???"

Duh! He was pulling out a paper bag at the end of the counter to put the items into. If she had put the items into plastic we would have come out with 10 bag instead of 1.

Then on the way out we spotted this fantastic parking job in the row over from Walt's truck. The truck was parked almost entirely beyond the parking space. It is amazing what passes for parking these days.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Day Two of Yuck

Grr..Day two of being down with this yuck. Not quite the flu, but enough to keep me home for two days. I hoping that morning will find me in a much better state. Yesterday I nearly froze to death, and

Oh, the sounds of footsteps on the roof and saws whirling in the yard, it's that time again. Construction comes to Fordham...back by demand, Kevin & crew come to fix up and finish off the remnants of the year's projects. Awesome crew that they are they are even ripping some sheets of plywood for us so that Walter will be able to floor the attic before the end of the month. We'll know next time that he heads off to Lowe's or Home Depot that any lumber that needs to make it into the attic must be less than 44 inches wide. Darn replacement stairs that made the opening just about a 1/2 inch too small for a sheet of plywood to fit nicely through the opening. At least Walt's got the neighbor to help him heave that stuff up the stairs after school this afternoon. Not me! Yeah. Kevin will be fixing the two windows in the living room which have somehow managed to spring a leak. He's going to re-seal the gasket and we'll be all set.

Walt's headed out this afternoon on errands with friends, taking our brush to the dump and helping them get a load of stuff off to Goodwill.

The pounding has begun once again, Walter is working on flooring the attic. I'm betting that he has it completed before bed this evening. Even though he's going to be a doll and run out and pick up Sean for me from his driver's ed class.

Email & Newsletter Gleanings:

One Good Gift for Christmas

What do you have to lose but .44 cents, what do you have to gain ----------- more than you will ever know.

What a clever idea! Yes, Christmas cards. This is coming early so that you can get ready to include an important address to your list.

Want to have some fun this CHRISTMAS? Send the ACLU a CHRISTMAS CARD this year.

As they are working so very hard to get rid of the CHRISTMAS part of this holiday, we should all send them a nice, CHRISTIAN card to brighten up their dark, sad, little world..

Make sure it says "Merry Christmas" on it.

Here's the address, just don't be rude or crude. (It's not the Christian way, you know.)

ACLU
125 Broad Street
18th Floor
New York , NY 10004

Two tons of Christmas cards would freeze their operations because they wouldn't know if any were regular mail containing contributions. So spend 44 cents and tell the ACLU to leave Christmas alone. Also tell them that there is no such thing as a " Holiday Tree". . . It's always been called a CHRISTMAS TREE!

And pass this on to your email lists. We really want to communicate with the ACLU! They really DESERVE us!!

For those of you who aren't aware of them, the ACLU, (the American Civil Liberties Union) is the one suing the U.S. Government to take God, Christmas or anything Christian away from us. They represent the atheists and others in this war. Help put Christ back in Christmas!


This venerable and much honored WW II vet is well known in Hawaii for his seventy-plus years of service to patriotic organizations and causes all over the country. A humble man without a political bone in his body, he has never spoken out before about a government official, until now. He dictated this letter to a friend, signed it and mailed it to the president. (It's a pity his staff will never allow
this letter to reach the President.)

Dear President Obama,

My name is Harold Estes, approaching 95 on December 13 of this year. People meeting me for the first time don't believe my age because I remain wrinkle free and pretty much mentally alert.

I enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1934 and served proudly before, during and after WW II retiring as a Master Chief Bos'n Mate. Now I live in a "rest home" located on the western end of Pearl Harbor, allowing me to keep alive the memories of 23 years of service to my country.

One of the benefits of my age, perhaps the only one, is to speak my mind, blunt and direct even to the head man.

So here goes.

I am amazed, angry and determined not to see my country die before I do, but you seem hell bent not to grant me that wish.

I can't figure out what country you are the president of. You fly around the world telling our friends and enemies despicable lies like:

"We're no longer a Christian nation"

"America is arrogant" - (Your wife even announced to the world," America is mean-spirited. " Please tell her to try preaching that nonsense to 23 generations of our war dead buried all over the globe who died for no other reason than to free a whole lot of strangers from tyranny and hopelessness.)

I'd say shame on the both of you, but I don't think you like America, nor do I see an ounce of gratefulness in anything you do, for the obvious gifts this country has given you. To be without shame or gratefulness is a dangerous thing for a man sitting in the White House.

After 9/11 you said, "America hasn't lived up to her ideals."

Which ones did you mean? Was it the notion of personal liberty that 11,000 farmers and shopkeepers died for to win independence from the British? Or maybe the ideal that no man should be a slave to another man, that 500,000 men died for in the Civil War? I hope you didn't mean the ideal 470,000 fathers, brothers, husbands, and a lot of fellas I knew personally died for in WWII, because we felt real strongly about not letting any nation push us around, because we stand for freedom.

I don't think you mean the ideal that says equality is better than discrimination. You know the one that a whole lot of white people understood when they helped to get you elected.

Take a little advice from a very old geezer, young man.

Shape up and start acting like an American. If you don't, I'll do what I can to see you get shipped out of that fancy rental on Pennsylvania Avenue.

You were elected to lead not to bow, apologize and kiss the hands of murderers and corrupt leaders who still treat their people like slaves.

And just who do you think you are telling the American people not to jump to conclusions and condemn that Muslim major who killed 13 of his fellow soldiers and wounded dozens more. You mean you don't want us to do what you did when that white cop used force to subdue that black college professor in Massachusetts, who was putting up a fight? You don't mind offending the police calling them stupid but you don't want us to offend Muslim fanatics by calling them what they are, terrorists.

One more thing. I realize you never served in the military and never had to defend your country with your life, but you're the Commander-in-Chief now, son. Do your job. When your battle-hardened field General asks you for 40,000 more troops to complete the mission, give them to him. But if you're not in this fight to win, then get out. The life of one American soldier is not worth the best political strategy you're thinking of.

You could be our greatest president because you face the greatest challenge ever presented to any president.

You're not going to restore American greatness by bringing back our bloated economy. That's not our greatest threat. Losing the heart and soul of who we are as Americans is our big fight now.

And I sure as hell don't want to think my president is the enemy in this final battle.

Sincerely,

Harold B. Estes

When a 95-year-old hero of the "the Greatest Generation" stands up and speaks out like this, I think we owe it to him to send his words to as many Americans as
we can.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Yard Work

We spent the morning beginning to get the yard into order for the Winter. Sean came over briefly to help with getting the sticks and limbs off the yard. Ashton, our next door neighbor, spent the majority of the afternoon with us raking and bagging leaves, then moving and stacking wood.

It has been a while since I've been out in that much mold. I've felt blah this evening, I hope that it doesn't effect my sleep this evening. Mold allergies are a terrible thing.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Road Trip to Staunton

I started out the day with the intention of attending the Clover Hill football game this afternoon. But the best laid plans can be changed in a heartbeat, especially when a road trip is involved. Over lunch it was decided that we would make a run up to Sunspots Studios in Staunton. I had been informed that I really needed to go and pick out an ornament for the tree from there.

We headed out to make a run for gas before getting on the road and found that the car was suffering from a flat rear tire. Thank goodness for full sized spares. Walt changed it out in no time flat, no pun intended, and we were on the road.

Even though the trees were well past their peak color, the scenery was still pretty. We passed one tractor trailer headed West on I-64, with an interesting logo, a Cavalier with a carrot for a lance. Just way too funny.

Sunspots Studios was awesome. Our timing was perfect, we arrived in time to watch the glassblower create a couple of ornaments. It was interesting to see the difference between the craft Italy and here.

We had a great time browsing through the gallery, and of course, picking out all kinds of things to bring home. Ornaments for the trees, a couple of really nice magnets for the fridge, and then the jewelry. They carry Pandora jewelry, which is awesome. How is it that I end up finding some piece of jewelry just about every trip I go on? Even in places that you wouldn't think that it would be... Craziness.

We on Afton mountains to take a few photos of the sunset. I was able to get a few before the light gave out. I particularly like this one with the crescent moon visible in the sky.

The rest of the trip home was incredibly boring. I just hate the drive down 64, but when you're shooting for speed it is the fastest way. Just boring. We got off exit 124 to pick up some food, but somehow missed the restaurant. I followed the road on back to the interstate, where we got off at exit 120 for fast food. Easy no problem. But then I discovered that we had somehow managed to back track. I still don't know how I ended passing the first exit twice. Very confusing.

Tomorrow Sean's coming over to help get the leaves up. Let's hope the weather holds out.

More Trip Photos

Email & Newsletter Gleanings:

T'was the Month Before Christmas

*T'was the month before Christmas*
*When all through our land,*
*Not a Christian was praying*
*Nor taking a stand.*
*See the PC Police had taken away,*
*The reason for Christmas - no one could say.*
*The children were told by their schools not to sing,*
*About Shepherds and Wise Men and Angels and things.*
*It might hurt people's feelings, the teachers would say*
* December 25th is just a ' Holiday '.*
*Yet the shoppers were ready with cash, checks and credit*
*Pushing folks down to the floor just to get it!*
*CDs from Madonna, an X BOX, an I-pod*
*Something was changing, something quite odd! *
*Retailers promoted Ramadan and Kwanzaa*
*In hopes to sell books by Franken & Fonda.*
*As Targets were hanging their trees upside down*
* At Lowe's the word Christmas - was no where to be found..*
*At K-Mart and Staples and Penny's and Sears*
*You won't hear the word Christmas; it won't touch your ears.*
*Inclusive, sensitive, Di-ver-si-ty*
*Are words that were used to intimidate me..*
*Now Daschle, Now Darden, Now Sharpton, Wolf Blitzen*
*On Boxer, on Rather, on Kerry, on Clinton !*
*At the top of the Senate, there arose such a clatter*
*To eliminate Jesus, in all public matter.*
*And we spoke not a word, as they took away our faith*
* Forbidden to speak of salvation and grace*
*The true Gift of Christmas was exchanged and discarded*
*The reason for the season, stopped before it started..*
*So as you celebrate 'Winter Break' under your 'Dream Tree'*
*Sipping your Starbucks, listen to me.*
*Choose your words carefully, choose what you say*
*Shout MERRY CHRISTMAS ,
not Happy Holiday !*
Please, all Christians join together and
wish everyone you meet
MERRY CHRISTMAS
Christ is 'The Reason' for the Christ-mas Season!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Finally Friday

Yippee!! Friday is finally here. Not that it's going to be such an awesomely exciting weekend, it just that the week has been soooooo long.

Walt & I finished up staining the mantle after I got home from work this evening. It's looks pretty darn good, if I do say so myself. It kinda makes up for the bruises incurred during the installation.

Now I'm going to have to paint a canvas for above the mantle - the one there although it is a 24 x 36 just isn't big enough for the space. What to paint and when will I have the time? Two huge questions.

Email & Newsletter Gleanings:

Thought For the Day: "It is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth -- and listen to the song of that siren, till she transforms us into beasts. ... For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it might cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it." -- Patrick Henry

Hand Dryers

Everyone in the cleaning industry has always been told that hand dryers in restrooms are not sanitary, they spread germs and bacteria around. I always thought that this just came from the paper companies because they are loosing sales to the hand dryers. A couple of years ago, I was working with a rep, and I noticed that after he washed his hands and noticed that there were no paper towels, only a hand dryer he left the restroom with wet hands. I asked him about it. He said that hand dryers blow a lot of germs and bacteria around. He also told me to take a look under the hand dryer next time I was in a restroom. There is a filter underneath the hand dryer that is supposed to be cleaned on a weekly basis. I looked at one and it looked like it hadn't been cleaned in years. It had layers and layers of caked on gunk (disgusting).

Since then I will not use hand dryers in restrooms. Now this is where the story gets really interesting. The schools and universities that have had the H1N1 (swine flu) outbreak this year are being told by the health department that they have to take out all of their hand dryers and replace them with towel dispensers because the hand dryers are spreading disease. Please pass this along so everyone knows not to use hand dryers.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thursday Happenings

Another busy day, things are moving along pretty well, but I am beginning to feel achy. Not sure if I'm trying to come down with something or not. Hope not, but if so, at least there is only one more day left in the week. New bruises are showing up on the underside of my arm. They are just so attractive, they have such a lovely green color.

I do believe that it is time for some sort of mini-vacation. Not sure where I want to go, but going will be good. Maybe a weekend road trip somewhere, non-exciting, but fun. Suggestions?

Still haven't come up with a good place to go this weekend. I may just get in the car and drive and see where I end up. Mountains? Beach? Middle of Nowhere?

Getting ready to settle in for another teleseminar this evening, it'll be the last one for the week, perhaps even for the year.

The mantle has been partially stained, it still isn't dark enough. We're going to have to pick up a little darker color and put on a couple of more coats. But it sure looks good.

Email & Newsletter Gleanings:

Thought For the Day:
"It is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth -- and listen to the song of that siren, till she transforms us into beasts. ... For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it might cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it." -- Patrick Henry

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Is it only Wednesday?

It's only Wednesday and it already feels like it should be Friday. The week is dragging along, even though it has been busy. I think what it is, is that I've got teleseminars scheduled to work for three nights this week. So far, one down, one tonight and one to go tomorrow night. Not to mention the one that's during the day tomorrow. Busy, busy, busy.

The hand is beginning to turn a lovely shade of purple. In case you missed it, Walt and I were hanging the mantle in the living room when it slipped and slammed into my left wrist/thumb. For awhile there last night I thought that I might need to head out to Patient First to have it checked out, the trouble with that was that the teleseminar that I was working was about to begin. Seeing quadruple when you look at a computer screen is not cool. A few Advil later and the pain subsided to a manageable level. I've still been taking Advil on and off today, but only after using my hand for an extended period of time.

Email & Newsletter Gleanings:

Thought For the Day:
"If you are afraid to speak against tyranny, then you are already a slave." -- author John "Birdman" Bryant (1943-2009)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Monday Trials

It has been a real Monday! I've worked on video for the majority of the day. I've had a couple of files that just didn't want to cooperate. They've been a royal pain. 6.6 GB of video and none of it wants to move to where I want it with any speed. Darn stuff. Hopefully it will be better tomorrow.

I was alerted on Twitter earlier today about the launch of the space shuttle Atlantis. It include a link to watch. In case you weren't able to catch it live you can watch it here.

Hallmark had a really cute item in the store, a Fun in the Fridge Snowman. This thing is a riot. You can "Watch the snowman come to life" by clicking on the snowman. Funny thing is that it scared Walt this morning when he went to get something to drink out of the refrigerator. Can't wait for an unsuspecting individual to open up the fridge. Can't wait for the nieces and nephews to come over. It will really tickle them.

Email & Newsletter Gleanings:

Thought For the Day: A Birth Certificate shows that we were born. A Death Certificate shows that we died. Pictures show that we lived!

Have a seat . . . Relax . . . And read this slowly.

I Believe....That just because two people argue, it doesn't mean they don't love each other. And just because they don't argue, it doesn't mean they do love each other.

I Believe...That we don't have to change friends if we understand that friends change.

I Believe...That no matter how good a friend is, they're going to hurt you every once in a while
and you must forgive them for that.

I Believe...That true friendship continues to grow, even over the longest distance. Same goes for true love.

I Believe... That you can do something in an instant that will give you heartache for life.

I Believe...That it's taking me a long time to become the person I want to be.

I Believe..That you should always leave loved ones with loving words. It may be the last time you see them.

I Believe... That you can keep going long after you think you can't.

I Believe...That we are responsible for what we do, no matter how we feel.

I Believe...That either you control your attitude or it controls you.

I Believe...That heroes are the people who do what has to be done when it needs to be done, regardless of the consequences.

I Believe...That money is a lousy way of keeping score.

I Believe...That my best friend and I can do anything, or nothing, and have the best time.

I Believe...That sometimes the people you expect to kick you when you're down, will be the ones to help you get back up.

I Believe....That sometimes when I'm angry I have the right to be angry, but that doesn't give me the right to be cruel.

I Believe...That maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you've had and what you've learned from them and less to do with how many birthdays you've celebrated.

I Believe...That it isn't always enough, to be forgiven by others. Sometimes, you have to learn to forgive yourself.

I Believe...That no matter how bad your heart is broken the world doesn't stop for your grief.

I Believe ... That our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but, we are responsible for who we become.

I Believe...That you shouldn't be so eager to find out a secret. It could change your life Forever.

I Believe...Two people can look at the exact same thing and see something totally different.

I Believe...That your life can be changed in a matter of hours by people who don't even know you.

I Believe... That even when you think you have no more to give, when a friend cries out to you - you will find the strength to help.

I Believe...That credentials on the wall do not make you a decent human being.

I Believe.. That the people you care about most in life are taken from you too soon.

I Believe... That you should send this to all of the people that you believe in, I just did.

The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything; They just make the most of everything. Thank you God for all the wonderful people who help us throughout the journey of life.

Cap and Trade: A License Required for your Home

We encourage you to read the provisions of the Cap and Trade Bill that has passed the House of Representatives and being considered by the Senate. We are ready to join the next march on Washington!

This Congress and whoever on their staffs that write this junk are truly out to destroy the middle class of the USA....

A License Required for your house

Thinking about selling your house - A look at H.R. 2454 (Cap and trade bill) This is unbelievable!

Only the beginning from this administration! Home owners take note & tell your friends and relatives who are home owners!

Beginning 1 year after enactment of the Cap and Trade Act, you won't be able to sell your home unless you retrofit it to comply with the energy and water efficiency standards of this Act. H.R. 2454, the "Cap & Trade" bill passed by the House of Representatives, if also passed by the Senate, will be the largest tax increase any of us has ever experienced.

The Congressional Budget Office (supposedly non-partisan) estimates that in just a few years the average cost to every family of four will be $6,800 per year.

* No one is excluded.

However, once the lower classes feel the pinch in their wallets, you can be sure these voters get a tax refund (even if they pay no taxes at all) to offset this new cost. Thus, you Mr. and Mrs. Middle Class America will have to pay even more since additional tax dollars will be needed to bail out everyone else.

But wait. This awful bill (that no one in Congress has actually read) has many more surprises in it. Probably the worst one is this:

* A year from now you won't be able to sell your house. Yes, you read that right.

The caveat is (there always is a caveat) that if you have enough money to make required major upgrades to your home, then you can sell it. But, if not, then forget it. Even pre-fabricated homes ("mobile homes") are included.
  • In effect, this bill prevents you from selling your home without the permission of the EPA administrator.
  • To get this permission, you will have to have the energy efficiency of your home measured.
  • Then the government will tell you what your new energy efficiency requirement is and you will be forced to make modifications to your home under the retrofit provisions of this Act to comply with the new energy and water efficiency requirements.
  • Then you will have to get your home measured again and get a license (called a "label" in the Act) that must be posted on your property to show what your efficiency rating is; sort of like the Energy Star efficiency rating label on your refrigerator or air conditioner.
  • If you don't get a high enough rating, you can't sell. And, the EPA administrator is authorized to raise the standards every year, even above the automatic energy efficiency increases built into the Act.
The EPA administrator, appointed by the President, will run the Cap & Trade program (AKA the "American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009") and is authorized to make any future changes to the regulations and standards he alone determines to be in the government's best interest. Requirements are set low initial y so the bill will pass Congress; then the Administrator can set much tougher new standards every year.
  • The Act itself contains annual required increases in energy efficiency for private and commercial residences and buildings.
  • However, the EPA administrator can set higher standards at any time.
Sect. 202:
Building Retrofit Program mandates a national retrofit program to increase the energy efficiency of all existing homes across America .

Beginning 1 year after enactment of the Act, you won't be able to sell your home unless you retrofit it to comply with the energy and water efficiency standards of this Act.

You had better sell soon, because the standards will be raised each year and will be really hard (i.e., ex$pen$ive) to meet in a few years. Oh, goody! The Act allows the government to give you a grant of several thousand dollars to comply with the retrofit program requirements if you meet certain energy efficiency levels. But, wait, the State can set additional requirements on who qualifies to receive the grants.

You should expect requirements such as "can't have an income of more than $50K per year", "home selling price can't be more than $125K", or anything else to target the upper middle class (and that's YOU) and prevent them from qualifying for the grants.

Most of us won't get a dime and will have to pay the entire cost of the retrofit out of our own pockets. More transfer of wealth, more "change you can believe in."

Sect. 204:
Building Energy Performance Labeling Program establishes a labeling program that for each individual residence will identify the achieved energy efficiency performance for "at least 90 percent of the residential market within 5 years after the date of the enactment of this Act."

This means that within 5 years 90% of all residential homes in the U.S. must be measured and labeled. The EPA administrator will get $50M each year to enforce the labeling program. The Secretary of the Department of Energy will get an additional $20M each year to help enforce the labeling program. Some of this money will, of course, be spent on coming up with tougher standards each year.

Oh, the label will be like a license for your car. You will be required to post the label in a conspicuous location in your home and will not be allowed to sell your home without having this label.

And, just like your car license, you will probably be required to get a new label every so often - maybe every year.

But, the government estimates the cost of measuring the energy efficiency of your home should only cost about $200 each time.

Remember what they said about the auto smog inspections when they first started: that in California it would only cost $15. That was when the program started. Now the cost is about $50 for the inspection and certificate; a 333% increase. Expect the same from the home labeling program.

Sect. 304:
Greater Energy Efficiency in Building Codes establishes new energy efficiency guidelines for the National Building Code and mandates at 304(d), Application of National Code to State and Local Jurisdictions, that 1 year after enactment of this Act, all state and local jurisdictions must adopt the National Building Code energy efficiency provisions or must obtain a certification from the federal government that their state and/or local codes have been brought into full compliance with the National Building Code energy efficiency standards.

Obamacare Endorsements: What the Bribe Was

By DICK MORRIS & EILEEN MCGANN

Published on TheHill.com on November 6, 2009

As the suicidal Democratic congressmen proceed to rubber-stamp the Obama healthcare reform despite the drubbing their party took in the '09 elections, the president trotted out the endorsements of the AMA and the AARP to stimulate support. But these -- and the other endorsements -- his package has received are all bought and paid for.

Here are the deals:

* The American Medical Association (AMA) was facing a 21 percent cut in physicians' reimbursements under the current law. Obama promised to kill the cut if they backed his bill. The cuts are the fruit of a law requiring annual 5-6 percent reductions in doctor reimbursements for treating Medicare patients. Bravely, each year Congress has rolled the cuts over, suspending them but not repealing them. So each year, the accumulated cuts threaten doctors. By now, they have risen to 21 percent. With this blackmail leverage, Obama compelled the AMA to support his bill...or else!

* The AARP got a financial windfall in return for its support of the healthcare bill. Over the past decade, the AARP has morphed from an advocacy group to an insurance company (through its subsidiary company). It is one of the main suppliers of Medi-gap insurance, a high-cost, privately purchased coverage that picks up where Medicare leaves off. But President Bush-43 passed the Medicare Advantage program, which offered a subsidized, lower-cost alternative to Medi-gap. Under Medicare Advantage, the elderly get all the extra coverage they need plus coordinated, well-managed care, usually by the same physician. So more than 10 million seniors went with Medicare Advantage, cutting into AARP Medi-gap revenues.

Presto! Obama solved their problem. He eliminates subsidies for Medicare Advantage. The elderly will have to pay more for coverage under Medigap, but the AARP -- which supposedly represents them -- will make more money. (If this galls you, join the American Seniors Association, the alternative group; contact sbarton@americanseniors.org. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .)

* The drug industry backed ObamaCare and, in return, got a 10-year limit of $80 billion on cuts in prescription drug costs. (A drop in the bucket of their almost $3 trillion projected cost over the next decade.) They also got administration assurances that it will continue to bar lower-cost Canadian drugs from coming into the U.S. All it had to do was put its formidable advertising budget at the disposal of the administration.

* Insurance companies got access to 40 million potential new customers. But when the Senate Finance Committee lowered the fine that would be imposed on those who don't buy insurance from $3,500 to $1,500, the insurance companies jumped ship and now oppose the bill, albeit for the worst of motives.

The only industry that refused to knuckle under was the medical device makers. They stood for principle and wouldn't go along with Obama's blackmail. So the Senate Finance Committee retaliated by imposing a tax on medical devices such as automated wheelchairs, pacemakers, arterial stents, prosthetic limbs, artificial knees and hips and other necessary accoutrements of healthcare.

So these endorsements are not freely given, but bought and paid for by an administration that is intent on passing its program at any cost.

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I also ran my Crossed Brush Studio and Windows Into Our Past. They look so cool.



Legend for the colors:
  • blue: for links
  • red: for tables
  • green: for DIV tag
  • violet: for images
  • yellow: for forms
  • orange: for linebreaks and blockquotes
  • black: the HTML tag, the root node
  • gray: all other tags

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Very Productive Day

It has been a productive day. I got a lot of stuff done at the house. This afternoon, Walt & I did some household errands and ended up finding a bunch of stuff that we needed to get to be prepared for the upcoming holidays.

After much searching, seemingly every store on Hull Street Road, we found the perfect mantle for above the fireplace at Lowe's. We also picked up a table for the foyer. While in Target we found some truly disturbing Christmas cards featuring the President. They weren't right.

We made a stop by the Hallmark store for an ornament and ended up getting a snowman. It is going to be so cool.

Walt's going to be busy putting together the table and then we both are going to work on the mantle. It would be great if we could get it up before the weekend.

We watched Disney/Pixar's Up last night and then caught the extras. The short, Partly Cloudy was a scream. I laughed so hard that I was crying. Here's a copy that I found on YouTube.



Email & Newsletter Gleanings:

Think Test
Give it a try...

Click on the link below and take the test. The normal rate is 7 out of 25. Good Luck! Be sure to forward to your friends. Don't be Embarrassed if it's not so high. Not many people score more than 5.

A Think Test

Saturday, November 14, 2009

November Fun

It's been a pretty good day. Headed out to iHops for brunch this morning with Walter, Josh and his nieces. It was a real experience. Fun stuff.

Walt & I made a 'journey' to WalMart. I was surprised that we were able to get in and out without standing in a never ending line. Glad we got that over with. Hopefully I won't need to go back into the store until after the holidays, sometime in January. I just know it was a fluke that it wasn't crowded today. The craziness all begins in a couple of weeks.

On the Christmas shopping front, I have managed to either already pick up or at least know what I getting for everyone on my list. With just a hair of luck I'll have everything finished off before Thanksgiving. I plan on spending the day after Thanksgiving decorating the house for Christmas.

We've got a movie plans for the evening, a screening of Disney/Pixars Up. It promises to be an entertaining movie.

Email & Newsletter Gleanings:

Thought For the Day: "America once made the required nod to the Constitution. When We the People wanted to make some fundamental change or expand the federal government's reach, we did the right thing and amended the Constitution. ... If we once thought that we had to amend the Constitution to ban 'intoxicating liquors' and later had to again amend the Constitution to re-legalize the stuff, wouldn't we need an amendment to allow the government to intrude even more intimately into our lives? ... If Congress were to do the right thing and initiate an amendment to enshrine the 'individual mandate' in the Constitution ... it would fail miserably. If America is still America, Americans will not tolerate being told they have to buy something, especially if it's for no other reason than that they exist. ... I'm afraid Congress has not only misread the Constitution, but they've also misjudged the American people. Or maybe they just don't know what country they live in." -- Jon N. Hall at American Thinker

We Noticed
President Obama:

Today I read of your administrations' plan to re-define September 11 as a National Service Day. Sir, it's time we had a talk.........

During your campaign, Americans watched as you made mockery of our tradition of standing and crossing your heart when the Pledge of Allegiance was spoken. You, out of four people on the stage, were the only one not honoring our tradition.

YES, "We noticed."

During one of your many speeches, Americans heard you say that you intended to visit all 57 states. We all know that Islam, not America has 57 states.

YES, "We noticed."

When President Bush leaned over at Ground Zero and gently placed a flower on the memorial, while you nonchalantly tossed your flower onto the pile without leaning over.

YES, "We noticed."

Every time you apologized to other countries for America's position on an issue we have wondered why you don't share our pride in this great country. When you have heard foreign leaders berate our country and our beliefs, you have not defended us. In fact, you insulted the
British Crown beyond belief.

YES, "We noticed."

When your pastor of 20 years, "God-damned America" and said that 9/11 was "America 's chickens coming home to roost" and you denied having heard recriminations of that nature, we wondered how that could be. You later disassociated yourself from that church and Pastor Wright because it was politically expedient to do so.

YES, "We noticed."

When you announced that you would transform America, we wondered why. With all her faults, America is the greatest country on earth. Sir, KEEP THIS IN MIND, "if not for America and the people who built her, you wouldn't be sitting in the White House now." Prior to your election to the highest office in this Country, you were a senator from Illinois and from what we can glean from the records available, not a very remarkable one.

YES, "We noticed."

All through your campaign and even now, you have surrounded yourself with individuals who are basically unqualified for the positions for which you appointed them. Worse than that, the majority of them are people who, like you, bear no special allegiance, respect, or affection for this country and her traditions.

YES, "We noticed."

You are 9 months into your term and every morning millions of Americans wake up to a new horror heaped on us by you. You seek to saddle working Americans with a health care/insurance reform package that, along with cap and trade, will bankrupt this nation.

YES, "We noticed."

We seek, by protesting, to let our representatives know that we are not in favor of these crippling expenditures and we are labeled "un-American", "racist", "mob". We wonder how we are supposed to let you know how frustrated we are. You have attempted to make our
protests seem isolated and insignificant. Until you, Americans had the right to speak out.

YES, "We noticed."

On September 11, 2001 there were no Republicans or Democrats, only Americans. And we all grieved together and helped each other in whatever way we could. The attack on 9/11 was carried out because we are Americans.

And YES, "We noticed."

There were many of us who prayed that as a black president you could help unite this nation. In six months you have done more to destroy this nation than the attack on 9/11. You have failed us.

YES, "We noticed."

September 11 is a day of remembrance for all Americans. You propose to make 9/11 a "National Service Day". While we know that you don't share our reverence for 9/11, we pray that history will report your proposal as what it is...a disgrace.

YES, "We noticed."

You have made a mockery of our Constitution and the office that you hold. You have embarrassed and slighted us in foreign visits and policy.

YES, "We noticed.."

We have noticed all these things. We will deal with you. When Americans come together again, it will be to remove you from office.

Take notice.

Cozy Carla

I ordered Carla a new bed at the end of last week, this one is 'heated'. Since the weather has turned cooler, her arthritis is beginning to act up. If I had any doubt that I had made a good choice it has been wiped away. Once she found out that it was warm, she has been curled up there ever since.

It was funny last night she was ready to go to bed, which means in Walter's room, and she kept staring at us till we moved the new bed back in to his room for the night. Then this morning we were in the living room and she did the same thing until we brought the bed into the room where we were. She's loving it.

NASA Announces...

NASA announced this morning that there is indeed water on the moon.

Evening Out

It has been a busy day, working on video editing. Almost finished the 6th video in a series. Just a few more edits and it will be done, but that will have to wait till Monday.

This evening the group got together at Guiseppe's for dinner followed by another get together at Buffalo Wild Wings. There was a good sized crowd at BW3's.

Guiseppe's and Buffalo Wild Wings Photos

Email & Newsletter Gleanings:

Thought For the Day:
"If we can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people, under the pretence of taking care of them, they must become happy." -- Thomas Jefferson

Do you remember 1987

Thought you might be interested in this forgotten bit of information..........

It was 1987!

At a lecture the other day they were playing an old news video of Lt. Col. Oliver North testifying at the Iran-Contra hearings during the Reagan Administration.

There was Ollie in front of God and country getting the third degree, but what he said was stunning!

He was being drilled by a senator; 'Did you not recently spend close to $60,000 for a home security system?'

Ollie replied, 'Yes, I did, Sir.'

The senator continued, trying to get a laugh out of the audience, 'Isn't that just a little excessive?'

'No, sir,' continued Ollie.

'No? And why not?' the senator asked.

'Because the lives of my family and I were threatened, sir.'

'Threatened? By whom?' the senator questioned.

'By a terrorist, sir' Ollie answered.

'Terrorist? What terrorist could possibly scare you that much?'

'His name is Osama bin Laden, sir' Ollie replied.

At this point the senator tried to repeat the name, but couldn't pronounce it, which most people back then probably couldn't... A couple of people laughed at the attempt. Then the senator continued. Why are you so afraid of this man?' the senator asked.

'Because, sir, he is the most evil person alive that I know of', Ollie answered.

'And what do you recommend we do about him?' asked the senator.

'Well, sir, if it was up to me, I would recommend that an assassin team be formed to eliminate him and his men from the face of the earth.'

The senator disagreed with this approach, and that was all that was shown of the clip.

By the way, that senator was Al Gore!

Also:

Terrorist pilot Mohammad Atta blew up a bus in Israel 1986. The Israelis captured, tried and imprisoned him. As part of the Oslo agreement with the Palestine and in 1993, Israel had to agree to release so-called 'political prisoners.'

However, the Israelis would not release any with blood on their hands, The American President at the time, Bill Clinton,
and his Secretary of State, Warren Christopher, 'insisted' that all prisoners be released.

Thus Mohammad Atta was freed and eventually thanked us by flying an airplane into Tower One of the World Trade Center ... This was reported by many of the American TV networks at the time that the terrorists were first identified.

It was censored in the US from all later reports.

RULES OF MARRIAGE - as described by kids

1. HOW DO YOU DECIDE WHO TO MARRY?

-You got to find somebody who likes the same stuff.. Like, if you like sports, she should like it that you like sports, and she should keep the chips and dip coming. -- Alan, age 10

-No person really decides before they grow up who they're going to marry. God decides it all way before, and you get to find out later who you're stuck with. -- Kristen, age 10

2. WHAT IS THE RIGHT AGE TO GET MARRIED?

Twenty-three is the best age because you know the person FOREVER by then. -- Camille, age 10

3. HOW CAN A STRANGER TELL IF 2 PEOPLE ARE MARRIED?


You might have to guess, based on whether they seem to be yelling at the same kids. -- Derrick, age 8

4. WHAT DO YOU THINK YOUR MOM AND DAD HAVE IN COMMON?

Both don't want any more kids. -- Lori, age 8

5. WHAT DO MOST PEOPLE DO ON A DATE?

-Dates are for having fun, and people should use them to get to know each other. Even boys have something to say if you listen long enough. -- Lynnette, age 8 (isn't she a treasure)

-On the first date, they just tell each other lies and that usually gets them interested enough to go for a second date. -- Martin, age 10

6. WHEN IS IT OKAY TO KISS SOMEONE?

-When they're rich. -- Pam, age 7

-The law says you have to be eighteen, so I wouldn't want to mess with that - Curt, age 7

-The rule goes like this: If you kiss someone, then you should marry them and have kids with them. It's the right thing to do. - - Howard, age 8

7. IS IT BETTER TO BE SINGLE OR MARRIED?

It's better for girls to be single but not for boys. Boys need someone to clean up after them. -- Anita, age 9 (bless you child )

8. HOW WOULD THE WORLD BE DIFFERENT IF PEOPLE DIDN'T GET MARRIED?

There sure would be a lot of kids to explain, wouldn't there? -- Kelvin, age 8

And the #1 Favorite is ..........

9. HOW WOULD YOU MAKE A MARRIAGE WORK?

Tell your wife that she looks pretty, even if she looks like a dump truck . -- Ricky, age 10

Friday, November 13, 2009

Java for the Troops

Stopped by Starbucks, located inside of the Ukrops on Midlothian Turnpike, on the way into the office this morning for some Chai tea and saw that they are running a promotion to send coffee to the troops in Afghanistan. They are sending the new Via instant coffee packages. Purchase either a 3 or 12 pack, write a sentiment on the packaging and they will send it off.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Time to Build An Ark?


Just loving all this rain. Being locked away in my office most of the time, I missed the memo on the storm that was heading our way. It really surprised me on Tuesday night as I left work to rain (I had worked late). It took until Wednesday for me to find out just how much rain we are expected to get.

Brian F. at the office has been Twittering sarcastically about seeing someone building an ark. At the pace that it is going we just may at least need to break out a boat to get around.

Coal for Congress!

Coal for Congress! Wow what a cool idea. One of the local radio hosts here on WRVA came up with this way to show Congress how 'bad' they were being and help out a great cause at the same time. For a donation to the WRVA-Alden Aaroe Shoe Fund they will have a lump of Virginia coal hand delivered to Congress in your name. One can only image how that will be received. Sounds good to me.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A Very Full Tuesday

The day started off normally enough, but it has turned into a true marathon. A full day of video editing, more to come over the next few days. Followed by a evening of teleconference call preparation and recording.

Wow! We had more than our share of gremlins in the phones this evening. Our start time was pushed back by more than 30 minutes and still there was some scratchy sounds on the line. We'll try to fix it during editing tomorrow.

I'm heading out in the next hour to pick up Sean from the high school. He's finally taking his driver's education classes. I know he will be happy to get his drivers license and I'm sure that it will be a help to everyone at his house as well.

It's going to be a late dinner tonight. I'm stopping by Ukrop's on the way to find something delicious and quick!

A New Form of Debtor's Prision???

Interesting article with a disturbing conclusion, don't purchase health insurance and get fined or jailed! Interview with the President: Jail Time for Those without Health Care Insurance?

Happy Birthday USMC!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Shocking video from CBS 60 Minutes

How sad that Mr. Rooney is does not like being called a Veteran, yet that is his choice. But to suggest that we that should not honor our veterans on Veteran's Day, and instead celebrate a "No War Day" is offensive.

Remember our Veterans and thank them for their service to us and our nation. They deserve the day of honor.

Click Here to See the Video on CBS's own site.

Sunny Sunday

After several weeks of dreary looking Sundays we are being treated to a cool yet cheerfully bright and sunny morning.

While standing on the porch there was quite a show going on the front yard the squirrels were rummaging though the leaves for the acorns that had fallen from the nearby oaks. They are a busy pair. Scrambling all over the front yard, stopping to eat then discarding the hull as they move on in search for the next snack.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Saturday Shoot

I headed out this morning to the office for a video shoot. We were working on getting shooting the footage for a new series that Dr. Martin will be doing. Great material. The videos look good now, but once we get all the editing and additions done I'm sure they will look fantastic.

This afternoon I got started on my next class, Design and Composition. The first assignment is already done and turned in. I'll most likely work through the next lesson tomorrow, but I don't want to get too far ahead of my graded work, in case there is an element that I miss.

It was a bright afternoon when I got back in from the office. There haven't been that many nice days lately to enjoy when I get home. This bunch of mushrooms had sprung up on one of the stumps leftover from the deforestation of the yard this spring.

Speaking of Spring I was shocked to see the rhododendron blooming! I do believe that it is a bit confused.

Walter headed out before I did this morning to attend the football game at William & Mary in Williamsburg. He rolled in around 8 this evening. William & Mary won.

Email & Newsletter Gleanings:

Thought For the Day: "Work as if you were to live 100 Years, Pray as if you were to die tomorrow." -- Benjamin Franklin

The Yellow Shirt

The yellow shirt had long sleeves, four extra-large pockets trimmed in black thread and snaps up the front. It was faded from years of wear, but still in decent shape. I found it in 1963 when I was home from college on Christmas break, rummaging through bags of clothes Mom intended to give away.

'You're not taking that old thing, are you?' Mom said when she saw me packing the yellow shirt. 'I wore that when I was pregnant with your brother in 1954!'

'It's just the thing to wear over my clothes during art class, Mom. Thanks!' I slipped it into my suitcase before she could object. The yellow shirt be came a part of my college wardrobe. I loved it.

After graduation, I wore the shirt the day I moved into my new apartment and on Saturday mornings when I cleaned.

The next year, I married. When I became pregnant, I wore the yellow shirt during big-belly days. I missed Mom and the rest of my family, since we were in Colorado and they were in Illinois . But, that shirt helped. I smiled, remembering that Mother had worn it when she was pregnant, 25 years earlier.

That Christmas, mindful of the warm feelings the shirt had given me, I patched one elbow, wrapped it in holiday paper and sent it to Mom. When Mom wrote to thank me for her 'real' gifts, she said the yellow shirt was lovely. She never mentioned it again.

The next year, my husband, daughter and I stopped at Mom and Dad's to pick up some furniture. Days later, when we uncrated the kitchen table, I noticed something yellow taped to its bottom. The shirt!

And so the pattern was set.

On our next visit home, I secretly placed the shirt under Mom and Dad's mattress. I don't know how long it took for her to find it, but almost two years passed before I discovered it under the base of our living-room floor lamp. The yellow shirt was just what I needed now while refinishing furniture. The walnut stains added character.

In 1975 my husband and I divorced. With my three children, I prepared to move back to Illinois. As I packed, a deep depression overtook me. I wondered if I could make it on my own. I wondered if I would find a job. I paged through the Bible, looking for comfort. In Ephesians, I read, 'So use every piece of God's armor to resist the enemy whenever he attacks, and when it is all over, you will be standing up.'

I tried to picture myself wearing God's armor, but all I saw was the stained yellow shirt. Slowly, it dawned on me.. Wasn't my mother's love a piece of God's armor? My courage was renewed.

Unpacking in our new home, I knew I had to get the shirt back to Mother. The next time I visited her, I tucked it in her bottom dresser drawer

Meanwhile, I found a good job at a radio station. A year later I discovered the yellow shirt hidden in a rag bag in my cleaning closet.

Something new had been added. Embroidered in bright green across the breast pocket were the words 'I BELONG TO PAT.'

Not to be outdone, I got out my own embroidery materials and added an apostrophe and seven more letters.

Now the shirt proudly proclaimed, 'I BELONG TO PAT'S MOTHER.' But I didn't stop there. I zig-zagged all the frayed seams, then had a friend mail the shirt in a fancy box to Mom from Arlington , VA. We enclosed an official looking letter from 'The Institute for the Destitute,' announcing that she was the recipient of an award for good deeds.

I would have given anything to see Mom's face when she opened the box. But, of course, she never mentioned it..

Two years later, in 1978, I remarried. The day of our wedding, Harold and I put our car in a friend's garage to avoid practical jokers. After the wedding, while my husband drove us to our honeymoon suite, I reached for a pillow in the car to rest my head. It felt lumpy. I unzipped the case and found, wrapped in wedding paper, the yellow shirt. Inside a pocket was a note: 'Read John 14:27-29. I love you both, Mother..'

That night I paged through the Bible in a hotel room and found the verses: 'I am leaving you with a gift: peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give isn't fragile like the peace the world gives. So don't be troubled or afraid. Remember what I told you: I am going away, but I will come back to you again. If you really love me, you will be very happy for me, for now I can go to the Father, who is greater than I am. I have told you these things before they happen so that when they do, you will believe in me.'

The shirt was Mother's final gift. She had known for three months that she had terminal Lou Gehrig's disease. Mother died the following year at age 57.

I was tempted to send the yellow shirt with her to her grave. But I'm glad I didn't, because it is a vivid reminder of the love-filled game she and I played for 16 years. Besides, my older daughter is in college now, majoring in art. And every art student needs a baggy yellow shirt with big pockets.

Coffee!

This gives us something to think about.

A carrot, an egg, and a cup of coffee...You will never look at a cup of coffee the same way again.

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up; she was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil; without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she asked, ' Tell me what you see.'

'Carrots, eggs, and coffee,' she replied.

Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard boiled egg.

Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, 'What does it mean, mother?'

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

'Which are you?' she asked her daughter. 'When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest do you elevate yourself to another level? How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way. The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past; you can't go forward in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches.

May we all be COFFEE!!!!!!!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Funky Friday

It has been a bit of a funky Friday. I didn't want to get out of the bed this morning. I was cold and didn't want to crawl out from under the covers. Once up and going things moved along fairly well. Although there was a definitely weird feel to the whole day. I guess you could say it had an odd vibe.

Apparently there has been some strange things going on at the house today. This hand magically appeared when they put a waffle in the toaster. Sort of reminded me of this video that Walter found online.

This evening we're going to watch some movies. Perhaps Walt will build another fire, if not there is going to be some upward movement in the thermostat.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Thursday

For the moment it seems that I have been spared from the yuck that has been being passed around lately. I surely thought last night that I was going come down with something.

Found this shocking picture of eggs on WRVA's website. Truly funny.

We've got company heading over for dinner this evening. Walt has decided that there is still time to get some grilling done. He's going to grill some veggies and steaks this evening. Wow! I don't even have to cook.

Email & Newsletter Gleanings:

Thought For the Day:
"It does not take a majority to prevail ... but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men." -- Samuel Adams

Testing In West Virginia

Miss Sally Edwards Is a highly esteemed teacher at a Mercer County Elementary School in Southern West Virginia. In an effort to prepare her students for the all-important TAKS test, she compiled an exam consisting of 20 questions, which she administered to her class.

The exam purposely covered a broad array of topics.

I call your attention to question # 11, which simply read:

LIST, IN ANY ORDER, THE FOUR SEASONS:

1.. ________ 2. ______ 3. ______ 4. _________

Now, could you possibly imagine that 67% of the students
gave the following answer?
  1. SQUIRREL SEASON
  2. DEER SEASON
  3. RABBIT SEASON
  4. TURKEY SEASON
GOD BLESS
West Virginia

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Wacky Wednesday

It has been an odd day. Things at the office have gone well, just odd. A few of the projects that I thought I might have to work on I've not had to. Then the odd restructuring of an email campaign. It is tedious task changing the attachments over to an html version, although it could be much worse.

The Republican Party here is Virginia has been celebrating the victories in Tuesday's election. Tomorrow it will be time to roll up our sleeves and get to business of begin prepared for the next challenge.

The photo is a little cell phone silliness from Walter.

Email & Newsletter Gleanings:

Thought For the Day
: "How many people are stuck in jobs they hate and aren't good at, rather than going out and doing something useful, because they need the health insurance from their employers? I'm not just talking about MSNBC anchors -- I mean throughout the entire economy." -- columnist Ann Coulter

I received this link from one of the business people that I follow on Twitter. Really cool stuff!

45 Free Useful Thumb Drive Applications

Way Cool Webpage

WOW, this is just toooooooo clever:

HEMA is a Dutch department store. The first store opened on November 4, 1926, in Amsterdam. Now there are 150 stores all over the Netherlands .

Take a look at HEMA's product page. You can't order anything and it's in Dutch - but just wait a couple of seconds and watch what happens.?

Don't click on any of the items in the picture, just wait and see what happens.?

This company has a sense of humor and a great computer programmer, who has too much time on his hands..? (naturally, "I" DISAGREE with that statement...... whoever did this was.... EXTREMELY CREATIVELY TALENTED..... bjs)

Click link here and enjoy - you need sound to enjoy it best!!?

Surround yourself with intelligent people

Barack Obama meets with the Queen of England. He asks her, "How do you run such an efficient government? Are there any tips you can give to me?"

"Well," says the Queen, "the most important thing is to surround yourself with intelligent people."

Obama frowns. "But how do I know the people around me are really intelligent?" he asks.

"Oh, that's easy," says the Queen. "You just ask them to answer a simple riddle."

Just then Gordon Brown walks into the room.

"Gordon, your mother and father have a child," says the Queen. "It is not your brother and it is not your sister. Who is it?"

Brown answers, "Oh. That would be ... me, your majesty?"

"Yes! Very good," says the Queen.

Upon his return to Washington, D.C., Obama asks Joe Biden the same question. "Joe. Your mother and your father have a kid. It's not your brother and it's not your sister. Who is it?"

"I'm not sure," says Biden. "Let me get back to you on that one." He goes to his advisers and asks every one, but no one can give him an answer. Finally, he ends up in the men's room and recognizes Robert Gates' shoes in the next stall. Biden asks Gates, "Robert! Can you answer this for me? Your mother and father have a child and it's not your brother or your sister. Who is it?"
Gates responds, "That's easy. It's me!"

Biden smiles, and says, "Thanks!" Then, he goes back to speak with Obama.

"Say, I did some research and I have the answer to that riddle. It's Robert Gates."

Obama gets up, stomps over to Biden, and angrily yells into his face, "No, you idiot! It's Gordon Brown!"

Lady Driver Over 50

A mature (over 50) lady gets pulled over for speeding...

Older Woman: Is there a problem, Officer?
Officer: Ma'am, you were speeding.

Older Woman: Oh, I see.
Officer: Can I see your license please?

Older Woman: I'd give it to you but I don't have one.
Officer: Don't have one?

Older Woman: Lost it, 4 years ago for drunk driving.
Officer: I see...Can I see your vehicle registration papers please..

Older Woman: I can't do that.
Officer: Why not?

Older Woman: I stole this car.
Officer: Stole it?

Older Woman: Yes, and I killed and hacked up the owner.
Officer: You what?

Older Woman: His body parts are in plastic bags in the trunk if you want to see

The Officer looks at the woman and slowly backs away to his car and calls for back up. Within minutes 5 police cars circle the car.

A senior officer slowly approaches the car, clasping his half drawn gun.

Officer 2: Ma'am, could you step out of your vehicle please! The woman steps out of her vehicle.
Older woman: Is there a problem sir?

Officer 2: One of my officers told me that you have stolen this car and murdered the owner.
Older Woman: Murdered the owner?

Officer 2: Yes, could you please open the trunk of your car, please.
The woman opens the trunk, revealing nothing but an empty trunk.

Officer 2: Is this your car, ma'am?
Older Woman: Yes, here are the registration papers.

The officer is quite stunned.

Officer 2: One of my officers claims that you do not have a driving license.

The woman digs into her handbag and pulls out a clutch purse and hands it to the officer.
The officer examines the license. He looks quite puzzled.

Officer 2: Thank you ma'am, one of my officers told me you didn't have a license, that you stole this car, and that you murdered and hacked up the owner.
Older Woman: Bet the liar told you I was speeding, too.

Don't Mess With Mature Ladies

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Election Day

I headed out to the polls first thing this morning. I thought that I was getting a late start but it turned out that I was no. 38 to vote at my precinct. From what we heard from others during the polls were relatively slow.

The moon was still up as I began heading into the office. I took a couple of different shots a zoom shot and then one a little later after then sun had come up more.

My morning started much earlier than usual, due to voting, so I was able to use the time to finally finish up my Fundamentals of Typography class. I was able to get the exam completed prior to the office opening up for the day. Now on to Design and Composition.

On the way home the sky was a real fiery orange-red, it some places it looked like the traffic was driving right into the sunset.

This evening I uploaded a video of the Richmond Pops Band performing on Sunday. It's a little shaky at the beginning (no tripod) but came out fairly well. You can watch it here.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Monday

I headed out this evening to the RAUG meeting. I am so glad that I went. Our speaker, Ben Nicolls, gave a presentation on Adobe Premiere. This is one program that I have been wanting to learn for some time. He was able to help me so much in how to get started using this program properly. Yippee!

I snapped this photo of the full moon late this evening from our front porch. Way cool!

Email & Newsletter Gleanings:

Thought for the Day:
A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves. - Edward R. Murrow

Know the Difference between Cold and H1N1 Flu Symptoms

SYMPTOMS


~Cold
~H1N1 Flu

Fever
Fever is rare with a cold.
Fever is usually present with the flu in up to 80% of all flu cases. A temperature of 100°F or higher for 3 to 4 days is associated with the flu.

Coughing
A hacking, productive (mucus- producing) cough is often present with a cold.
A non-productive (non-mucus producing) cough is usually present with the flu (sometimes referred to as dry cough).

Aches
Slight body aches and pains can be part of a cold.
Severe aches and pains are common with the flu.

Stuffy Nose
Stuffy nose is commonly present with a cold and typically resolves spontaneously within a week.
Stuffy nose is not commonly present with the flu.

Chills
Chills are uncommon with a cold.
60% of people who have the flu experience chills.

Tiredness
Tiredness is fairly mild with a cold.
Tiredness is moderate to severe with the flu.

Sneezing
Sneezing is commonly present with a cold.
Sneezing is not common with the flu.

Sudden Symptoms
Cold symptoms tend to develop over a few days.
The flu has a rapid onset within 3-6 hours. The flu hits hard and includes sudden symptoms like high fever, aches and pains.

Headache
A headache is fairly uncommon with a cold.
A headache is very common with the flu, present in 80% of flu cases

Sore Throat
Sore throat is commonly present with a cold.
Sore throat is not commonly present with the flu.

Chest Discomfort
Chest discomfort is mild to moderate with a cold.
Chest discomfort is often severe with the flu.

The only way to stop the spread of the epidemic is to spread the awareness!