Monday, June 30

Speaking of weight...

It's hard to break through the weight loss plateaus, harder than I expected, but I'm still on track for my target weight on the 15th, the next doctor's appointment. Actually if things go as I hope I'll be somewhat below my target.

Diets are for those who only know how to live to eat. I'm not on a diet. I'm just eating to live.

Sunday, June 29

My wait

If I were on Uranus I'd almost be at my ideal weight.

Saturday, June 28

It's official

He's engaged. I'm going to have a daughter-in-law.

In Spain...

This has rights......and this doesn't.

Spain is to become the first country to extend legal rights to apes, wrongfooting animal rights activists who have long campaigned against bullfighting in the country.
Any questions?

Friday, June 27

On this date in history: Frustrate the enemy

Monday, June 23

We wouldn't

"Even if we did have only Christians in our midst, if we expelled every non-Christian from the United States of America, whose Christianity would we teach in the schools?" Obama said. "Would we go with James Dobson's or Al Sharpton's?" referring to the civil rights leader.

Dobson took aim at examples Obama cited in asking which Biblical passages should guide public policy - chapters like Leviticus, which Obama said suggests slavery is OK and eating shellfish is an abomination, or Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, "a passage that is so radical that it's doubtful that our own Defense Department would survive its application. Folks haven't been reading their Bibles," Obama said.
First of all, Hussein is being generous including himself among the remaining Christians. I'm in no position to judge his standing with God, but considering his already confusing and contradictory stated views of the Christian faith I'd say he'd be among the first to be expelled.

Secondly, whose Christianity would we teach in schools? We wouldn't. Hopefully if given that wonderful opportunity, Christians would show the world to have learned a great lesson from the failed, decadent government school system and taken the bulldozer to every building after burning every document associated with the Department of Education and packing every card carrying member of the NEA on a plane bound for a Russian gulag. Let every law, code and ordinance be repealed and replaced by a constitutional amendment placing government on notice to never again interfere in the God given right, authority and responsibility of parents to educate their own children how ever they choose. It's not the privileged coercion of the state.

Lastly, Mr. Hussein Obama hasn't read HIS Bible, if indeed he has one. He should know that there isn't a Dobson or Sharpton or any other human being version of Christianity. There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.

God Save The South

I particularly appreciate the stanza, "War to the hilt! Theirs be the guilt, Who fetter the freeman, To ransom the slave." Theirs is the guilt and the shame for calling good evil and making the evil good, for shaming the South and making her sons and daughters the scapegoats, for enslaving the free to supposedly free the slave. They, the Yankee in spirit, the central government statist, the very enemy of government of, by and for the people, are to blame. They are to blame, the Hussein Obamas and the John McCains, the George Bushs and the Clintons of all sorts.

Indeed, God save the South! Deo Vindice!

By George H. Miles, of Baltimore.

God save the South!
God save the South!
Her altars and firesides--
God save the South!
Now that the war is nigh--
Now that we arm to die--
Chanting--our battle-cry,
Freedom or Death!

God be our shield!
At home or a-field,
Stretch Thine arm over us,
Strengthen and save!
What though they're five to one,
Forward each sire and son,
Strike till the war is done,
Strike to the grave.

God make the right
Stronger than might!
Millions would trample us
Down in their pride.
Lay, thou, their legions low;
Roll back the ruthless foe;
Let the proud spoiler know
God's on our side!

Hark! honor's call,
Summoning all--
Summoning all of us
Up to the strife.
Sons of the South, awake!
Strike till the brand shall break!
Strike for dear honor's sake,
Freedom and Life!

Rebels before
Were our fathers of yore;
Rebel, the glorious name
Washington bore,
Why, then, be ours the same
Title he snatched from shame;
Making it first in fame,
Odious no more.

War to the hilt!
Theirs be the guilt,
Who fetter the freeman
To ransom the slave.
Up, then, and undismayed,
Sheathe not the battle-blade?
Till the last foe is laid
Low in the grave.

God save the South!
God save the South!
Dry the dim eyes that now
Follow our path.
Still let the light feet rove
Safe through the orange grove;
Still keep the land we love
Safe from all wrath.

God save the South!
God save the South!
Her altars and firesides--
God save the South!
For the rude war is nigh,
And we must win or die;
Chanting our battle-cry
Freedom or Death!

Saturday, June 21

Inhaled carbon monoxide does it

Praying for cheaper gas? Why not just pray for gasoline to come right out of their faucets, make water into octane, or something like that.

It really makes me wonder if there's any future for the country when people think to call on God to give us cheap gas, because Bush won't do it, and Obama won't do it. Is this what we've become? A nation of self-indulgent whiners without enough perspective on the world to see beyond our own pocketbook?

Gasoline, or the cost of it, isn't even remotely on God's big agenda, except to the extent that He uses it to get the attention off ourselves and on to more pressing ourselves.

So where are they?

One of the common ways church leaders see themselves is as shepherds. They lead their flock. The sheep, dumb animals that we are, follow. (Or we are at least, supposed to.) These shepherds cite scripture to justify their position. Jesus is the over-shepherd, they are the under-shepherds - and the rest of us are mutton. But, if you're going to call yourself a shepherd and justify your actions via such usage then it's important to understand what a shepherd was in biblical times.

Shepherds were decidedly lower class. Many writers call them a "despised class." Most were youngest sons or hirelings. (See Jesus' comments on sheep, shepherds and hirelings in John 10.) They lived with their sheep, smelled like their sheep, defended their sheep from prey (physically) and their world revolved around their sheep. They knew their sheep by name.
Church leaders not only see themselves as shepherds but they like lots of other titles too. I could afford to buy coffee at Starbucks if I had a nickle for every man or woman I ran across who liked to use the prefix of pastor, bishop, apostle, evangelist or prophet, and especially some permutational combination of them. And just how do these people get these titles? Is there some school or college somewhere that passes out a Certificate of Apostology or Diploma of Bishopopophy? Is there some hierarchy of command to get promoted from one spiritually elevated station to the next, with "prophet" being the most revered, enlightened status a human being can become? When I consider the lives and outcome of the Old Testament prophets, I think it much preferable to stay under the radar and draw little attention staying a poor, dumb shepherd.

I wonder though, just where are these "shepherds", these people who live with their "sheep", smell like their "sheep", defend their "sheep", and their world revolves around their "sheep". I used to think there were enough of them around to demonstrate Christianity being real, but I'm not so sure anymore. There may be one or two people I've known who even came close to filling the bill. Since the church of today seems more involved in marketing than affecting the marketplace, more involved in being a business than affecting businessmen and women, I don't imagine there are too many churches needing shepherds. Current church paradigm requires someone charismatic with business savvy, someone who can speak profundities with wide appeal. I know the analogy doesn't carry through completely well in this real world, but I know slick, clean and well groomed pastors are more attractive than smelly shepherds living amongst smelly sheep. Christians seem to want to help God in so many other ways. God doesn't need our vote or interest in picking shepherds.

Thursday, June 19

Call 911 and order a pizza

Overspeeding drivers who pass through Holly Spring in Georgia would be issued not only a speeding ticket, but also a $12 fuel surcharge. The extra fee was approved by the city council to cover the extra fuel cost used in chasing overspeeding drivers, said Holly Springs Police Chief Ken Ball. Ball told the USA Today, "I was hearing that Delta (Air Lines), pizza deliverers and florists were adding fuel charges to their services, and I thought, why not police departments?"
City police are among the worst. They're at the bottom rung of the police food chain, social strata, pecking order and experience. Holly Springs, just a short drive from where I live, is also a very small town in Georgia which maintains its own typically renowned small town speed traps. Change the name of the town and their police department is what Arlo Guthrie sung about in "Alice's Restaurant": I want tell you about the town of Stockbridge, Massachusets, where this happened here, they got three stop signs, two police officers, and one police car, but when we got to the Scene of the Crime there was five police officers and three police cars, being the biggest crime [garbage dumping] of the last fifty years, and everybody wanted to get in the newspaper story about it. So as they extort from the passers-through and add their "surcharge" to pay for the gas their cops use idling their cars, I do hope they include a pizza for their victims. You see, Mr. Ball, the difference between you and Delta, FTD or Pizza Hut is that people are doing business, not getting the business.

At the battlefront

"When I'm not working I have to eat like a rabbit and exercise like a crazy person," she says. If she knows she will be going to a tasting at a bakery or eating a four-course meal, she usually eats fruit or salads throughout the day. "What people don't realize is that as a food critic or writer, you're not writing about health--you're celebrating food. And these chefs don't try to make it healthy, they try to make it incredible, and a lot of butter and fats go into that mission."

Although Fernau always considered herself a health-conscious person, she never realized the importance of counting calories. Now she is always keeping track of nutritional information that she says most people don't even look at or consider. At one tasting session alone, she says, upward of 1,000 calories is often added to her day. That's about half of the recommended total calories per day for the average adult. "
In large part, such has become my daily battle. Every day examinations of calories, cholesterol, sodium, potassium, etc., etc. in food content goes on and on. Food critics may have a peculiar engagement in that they are forced to indulge the enemies of good health instead of outright abstinence, but I can understand the "celebration of food". I'm a cajun. I've eaten things that crawl around in filthy water.

I might have a meal out with family, but realize that I'll have to offset the calories later. There's been salads instead of burgers and fries. The fast foods I had become accustomed to are virtually absent now. When I now consider the calorie content typical of Wendy's or McDonald's products it's no wonder that obesity is the problem it is. I like to eat out as much as the next person, but if we who spend our money on the high price of gasoline really considered the nutritional bang for the buck we're not getting from restaurants we wouldn't bother driving the car to go get it as much as we do. They're in the business of not trying "to make it healthy, they try to make it incredible, and a lot of butter and fats..."

Plenty of exercise is on the carte du jour for me. Walking is my exercise of choice as the knees just won't endure the pounding of a run. It's an effort, but I daily walk 4 miles, sometimes 5 or 6 miles if the weather's good and I feel like stretching it. More exercise, fewer calories. It's the only way I've been able to lose any weight. So far twenty pounds have come off, and I'm targeting 30 more to come off by the end of the year.

This is probably the hardest thing I've had to do in my life. It's a radical departure. To deny instead of being comfortable. To form new habits, see new physical trends. To reward myself in ways of my choosing.

Saturday, June 7

Which is it?

I appreciate a politician's ability to speak out of both sides of their mouth. Latest case in point: Barack Obama. First he says this in addressing political ads about his wife's confirmed, widely reported statement on being proud of the country for the first time in her life.

"These folks should lay off my wife," Obama told ABC News, hitting out at a Tennessee Republican Party ad questioning the patriotism of his wife, a driven Ivy League-educated lawyer and mother of their two daughters.

"If they think that they're going to try to make Michelle an issue in this campaign, they should be careful, because that I find unacceptable, the notion that you start attacking my wife or my family," Obama said.
Then he says this about the alleged video of his wife's supposed "whitey" words.
"We have seen this before. There is dirt and lies that are circulated in e-mails and they pump them out long enough until finally you, a mainstream reporter, asks me about it," Obama said, according to Smith's commentary.

"That gives legs to the story. If somebody has evidence that myself or Michelle or anybody has said something inappropriate, let them do it," Obama said.
Now, I'm not convinced the video exists, but the woman does have a track record of uttering some sharp commentary, so I'm not so quick to doubt it. Nevertheless, I do find it funny how Obama can tell us to "lay off" and "let them do it" at the same time. One reporter puts it this way...
For months, Barack Obama has had the image of an incandescent, golden-tongued Wundercandidate. That image may be fraying now.

As smart and credentialed as he is, Sen. Obama is often an indifferent speaker without a teleprompter. He has large gaps in his knowledge base, and is just as likely to dig in and embrace a policy misstatement as abandon it. ABC reporter Jake Tapper calls him "a one-man gaffe machine."

Wednesday, June 4

Maurice's Gourmet BBQ

On one of Shangy's recent travels we had the opportunity to stop by a Maurice's Gourmet BBQ restaurant near Columbia, SC. Now I'm no connoisseur of bar-b-que, nor am I versed in the proper use of the term, but living in Georgia and having tried some of the local bar-b-que particularly the fine samplings at Col. Poole's Bar-B-Que Pig Hill of Fame in Ellijay, I look for indigenous bar-b-que places to try and compare. Maurice's Gourmet BBQ ranks right up there with among the best. The sauce is a pleasantly distinctive mustard based variety; certainly unusual from the grocery store variety.

And speaking of grocery stores, I understand his sauces aren't carried in the big supermarket chains for one reason which became apparent as soon as we walked into the restaurant. Everywhere in the establishment is evidence of Maurice Bessinger's devotion to the South, the late Confederacy and the SCV (Sons of Confederate Veterans). Anti-Southron prejudice strikes again.

This summer, like so many others, I'll be doing some grilling for the fam and guests. This summer we'll use Maurice's BBQ sauce and give it a prominent place at the dining table.

Wait for it

She's not out of it yet, in spite of the political rhetoric.

Sixteen months have passed since we first stood together on the steps of the Old State Capitol in Springfield, Illinois. Thousands of miles have been traveled. Millions of voices have been heard. And because of what you said—because you decided that change must come to Washington; because you believed that this year must be different than all the rest; because you chose to listen not to your doubts or your fears but to your greatest hopes and highest aspirations, tonight we mark the end of one historic journey with the beginning of another—a journey that will bring a new and better day to America. Tonight, I can stand before you and say that I will be the Democratic nominee for president of the United States.
It all sounds so good, change and all that crap about history, but his speeches and the media won't make him the nominee. Those are just for the mass effect. Even the numbers still mean nothing until they show up at the convention and cast their votes. Presumption and punditry are the weapons of choice for the media.

I'll not be convinced Rodham is out until the election in November. And then there's the matter of a possible vid bomb surfacing soon.
For about 30 minutes, Michelle Obama launched into a rant about the evils of America, and how America is to blame for the problems of Africa. Michelle personally blamed President Clinton for the deaths of millions of Africans and said America is responsible for the genocide of the Tutsis and other ethnic groups. She then launched into an attack on “whitey”, and talked about solutions to black on black crime in the realm of diverting those actions onto white America. Her rant was fueled by the crowd: they reacted strongly to what she said, so she got more passionate and enraged, and that’s when she completely loses it and says things that have made the mouths drop of everyone who’s seen this.