Saturday, February 28, 2009

Great Video: Stethoscope

Video made by Southern Hills Church of Christ, Abilene, Texas.

James White discussing U.N.'s desire to controll Freedom of Speech in all nations

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Freedom to Preach Death Watch Continued

02/28/2009 - James White

In any case, how does the logically thinking supporter of the UN's resolution answer the following question? The Qur'an, coming after Christianity, denies Christian beliefs. It offends Christians by denying our central confession that Jesus is the Son of God, the divine Savior, who gave His life as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of God's people.

So let's look at the list: the Qur'an refers to us as "unbelievers," who are "cursed." We are "deluded away from the Truth." Elsewhere the Qur'an calls our faith "blasphemy." Ibn Kathir said that our beliefs involved attributing lies to Allah. So, here is the question: will those pushing this ban on "religious blasphemy" silence the preaching of the Qur'an? Of course not. Hence, what is the ultimate goal of these Islamic states in pushing this agenda? Dhimmitude of non-Muslims, pure and simple.
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Mr. White's statement about Islam's teachings criticizing Christianity & Judaism was one of my first thoughts also.

I don't like people criticizing Christianity but Freedom of Speech is one of our greatest & most important freedoms in this country.

As Christians, we know through Biblical prophecy that such persecution will continue to escalate for us, however, that does not mean we can't fight with all our might against it.

"La. Prison Agrees to Strip Monument of Bible Reference"

La. Prison Agrees to Strip Monument of Bible Reference
Officials at a Louisiana prison, already under fire for allegedly denying Catholic and Muslim inmates access to religious materials, have agreed to remove a biblical reference from a monument outside the prison gates.

Cathy Fontenot, a spokeswoman at the maximum-security State Penitentiary at Angola, said officials submitted work orders to have what was known as the "Philippians Monument" stripped of the religious references after a complaint was lodged last year by the Louisiana arm of the American Civil Liberties Union.

The monument featured a verse taken from Philippians 3:13 dealing with "forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead." Fontenot said the language will remain, but the verse's citation will be removed.
On the opposite side of the book-like monument, there was a "Prayer of Protection," which the ACLU complained about and is being removed.
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The article continues by saying:

The prayer reads: "The light of God surrounds you/The love of God enfolds you/The power of God protects you/And the presence of God watches over you;/Wherever you are, God is."

Fontenot said that side of the monument will be filled with artwork or a more secular inspirational message.

The ACLU last week filed suit against Cain and other officials after two inmates -- one Catholic, one Muslim -- said they were denied access to worship services and religious materials.

"Ministry sues for access to inmates"

Ministry Sues for Access to Inmates
The Oklahoma Department of Corrections' refusal to allow a Christian ministry access to send Bibles, books about Jesus Christ and other religious materials to inmates has sparked a federal


Wingspread Christian Ministries, headquartered in Prairie Grove, Ark., and operated by Illinois-based Evangelists for Christ Inc., filed the lawsuit Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Muskogee.

Prison restrictions on prisoners' correspondence violate the First and 14th Amendments of the U.S. Constitution and Oklahoma's Religious Freedom Act, the 12-page lawsuit petition claims.

According to the suit, Oklahoma prison regulations mandate that "all orders for publications will be made directly to the publisher of the material or to a legitimate bookstore."
The ministry said it also was informed that while individuals could write letters to inmates, ministries could not.
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"TobyMac wins first solo Grammy"

TobyMac Wins First Solo Grammy

Rocker/rapper TobyMac finally won his first solo Grammy Award after four previous nominations, taking home the top prize Sunday night for Rock or Rap Gospel Album with Alive and Transported.

TobyMac had previously been nominated for Momentum (2003), Welcome to Diverse City (2005), Portable Sounds (2008) and the song "Made to Love" (2005). He had won four Grammys with his band dcTalk.

"It's an honor to win my first Grammy as a solo artist," TobyMac commented from the WinterJam tour. "I still can't believe it, truly humbling. My band and I worked hard on this project, and it really is the culmination of diverse people collaborating."

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Good News: "More Children of the Korn"

More Children of the Korn

Korn bassist Reginald "Fieldy" Arvizu has found faith, according to the product page for a new HarperCollins book releasing March 10. Got the Life: My Journey of Addiction, Faith, Recovery, and Korn, which is being described as "the ultimate story of rock and redemption," details how Fieldy came to terms with the faith of his father, a Christian, when he died of a mysterious illness. A book tour is currently in the works for various California stops around the time of the hardback's release. Fieldy is the second Korn member after Brian "Head" Welch to find Christianity.

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Here is a pic of Brian Welch & his daughter. Click here to hear his personal account of how he came to Christ. While there check out Stephen Baldwin's story, too. God is great!

"Charity is the new smoking?"

Charity is the New Smoking?

What manner of insanity has crept into our President's mind? What sense outside of a Machiavellian power grab does President Obama's consideration of cutting tax deductions for charitable donations make in a time of economic difficulty?
And of course, the sane people who rationally describe that this move will curtail charitable giving are mocked. Marc Ambinder of the Atlantic rhetorically asked, "If tax reform down the line were to gut all deductions, would charitable contributions totally dry up?"
And then you get the dry humor. "If wealthy people want to give money, then they should give, regardless of tax benefits."
So they're in effect saying that the wealthy should give. But should and will are very different considerations. And since when is it ok for the government to moralize about what people shoulddo?
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Great Story: "Prestonwood senior's faith an ally in fight against rare cancer"

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Prestonwood senior's faith an ally in fight against rare cancer

The cancer, the doctors have told him, is very aggressive and very rare.

Kristi Novak, his mother, says the doctors believe that attitude, his youth and his unwavering Christian faith will serve him well in the battle of his life.

"Cody, do you want to cry?" the widowed mother remembers asking her youngest child as the news seemed to get worse and worse by the day.

"I have not cried over the cancer," Cody said. "I have cried only over the overwhelming outpouring of concern."

"People always ask me if I am scared," he said. "I'm not scared at all. But there are days when I feel I am in a pit of hell. But life has been a blessing. God has a plan. There is no reason to ask why."

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This is a wonderful story. I encourage you to go to the website & read the entire story. There is also a video clip but for some reason I couldn't clip it.

"Abortion views by religious affiliation"

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Abortion Views by Religious Affiliation

the U.S. Religious Landscape Survey, conducted in 2007 by the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life, finds that most religious traditions in the U.S. come down firmly on one side or the other. Religious beliefs and practices also influence views on abortion; individuals exhibiting high levels of religious commitment are much more likely to oppose legalized abortion in all or most cases than those who are less-observant.

For an overview of the abortion debate in the U.S., public opinion trends, religious groups' official positions on the issue and more, go to the Pew Forum's abortion resource page »

abortion chart
Data on "Total U.S. Population" from October 2008 survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. All other data from the Pew Forum's U.S. Religious Landscape Survey.
For question wording, see the survey topline.
1"Other Faiths" includes Unitarians and other liberal faiths, New Age groups and Native American religions.
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I thought this was pretty interesting, & surprising in some cases.

I'm not really sure what the difference is between "Mainline Protestant Churches" & "Evangelical Protestant Churches" are, though. Must be a pretty big difference. If anyone knows, please let me know or if you can share a link to more info that would be great.. I'm interested in the differences between different religions & denominations.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Biking, running, & weights...what a day.

Biked about 3.5 miles.

Ran for 25 mins. Which turned out to be about 1.8 miles. New milestone!!! I also walked for about 10 min (5 to warm up & 5 to cool down) but I don't really count those much anymore, since it is my running I'm focusing on right now.

I did about 20-30 min of ab work and arm & leg weights.

At the gym my average heart rate was 158 (according to my heart rate monitor), which, when I put it into the online "calories burned calculator" that I use & it came out to be 781 calories burned. Yipee! And that wasn't even counting the bike riding. I forgot to reset my monitor every time I got on my bike.

So, needless to say, it was a pretty productive day, physically. :)

P.S. from the Focus on the Family's Feb. newsletter

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As you may know, Shirley and The National Day of Prayer Task Force, along with President George W. Bush and two governors, are being sued for praying publicly on the National Day of Prayer. The litigants represent the Freedom From Religion Foundation
How different was the world when President Harry Truman addressed the American people from the lawn of the White House on the occasion of the lighting of the National Community Christmas Tree:

"Through Jesus Christ the world will yet be a better and a fairer place. This faith sustains us today as it has sustained mankind for centuries past. This is why the Christmas story, with the bright stars shining and the angels singing, moves us to wonder and stirs our hearts to praise. Now, my fellow countrymen, I wish for all of you a Christmas filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit, and many years of future happiness with the peace of God reigning upon this earth."

December 24, 1952

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I had no idea they were being sued.

Great Video: Germany vs. America: Religion

I love following these guys. One is from Germany & the other is from America & they discuss the differences between our two countries. I thought this one was particularly interesting & I think they did a great job covering this difficult/controversial topic.

Some Things I've Done & Not Done In My Life

Okay, so I wasn't exactly "tagged," but Molly was on her blog so I thought I would do it too, since it is 1 am & I can't sleep. Maybe I'll bore myself to sleep. :)

Some Things I’ve Done & Not Done in My Life

  • Started your own blog - obviously
  • Slept under the stars - In a tent but not out in the open.
  • Played in a band - I was in marching band/orchestra for 5 horrible years
  • Been to Disneyland/world - Disney World, yes, like 8 or 9 times; Disneyland, no
  • Climbed a mountain - I've hiked up a couple but nothing that required any special gear
  • Sang a solo - I think I had a short solo in a Christmas play once, other than that, only in the car & at, & with Rock Band
  • Taught yourself an art from scratch - I don't really know what that means.
  • Held a praying mantis - I thought this was referring to some obscure & difficult yoga position at first. But no, I don't care much for insects.
  • Had a pillow fight - I guess, but I never really got the attraction to them.
  • Taking an overnight train - No, just the Durango-Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad
  • Taken a sick day when you’re not ill - Once when I was in elementary or Jr. High (I can't remember now). I did wake up that morning not feeling well but I was fine by the time I should have been leaving for school. I still feel guilty about that today, how messed up is that?
  • Built a snow fort - Living in TX, we never got that much snow. We have made a couple of snow men before, though.
  • Gone skinny dipping - Uh, no, ick.
  • Seen a total eclipse - Kind of. They told us not to look directly at it or we would go blind (I'm not so sure that is true, though) so we had to use these stupid box things with a pin hole that never work right.
  • Watched a sunrise or sunset - Tons, yes. In fact, I see a sunrise just about every morning as I leave work (leave work, not leave "for" work).
  • Seen Niagara Falls in Person - No, but I would like to.
  • Seen an Amish community - No, but I really want to. I would love to live with them for a week or two but they probably wouldn't agree or appreciate that.
  • Taught yourself a new language - I'm learning internet lingo.
  • Gone rock climbing - No, but that is definitely one of my fitness goals. I would like to go at least once before the year is out. I have an REI membership now, so maybe Kim & I will go sometime before she leaves for AK
  • Sung karaoke - Does Rock Band count?
  • Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant - No, that would be nice though, maybe I'll do that sometime.
  • Walked on a beach by moonlight - No, but I would love to. But I'm not getting in the water; I've seen Jaws.
  • Gone scuba diving or snorkeling - Kim & I went snorkeling in Mexico when we were on our cruise & Kim tried to drown me. The waves were really bad that day, in fact, after we got out, they quit letting any one else go out. We didn't really see much & I kept pictureing sharks swimming around. I scuba dived once in my aunt's pool when I was 15 & it was so cool. I really want to get my certification & then head to the Caymens or Austrailia or Hawaii or some place equally cool for diving.
  • Played in the mud - Sure, I grew up in the country, remember? We use to make mud pies all the time.
  • Gone to a drive-in theater - Yep, in Fayetteville, several times. Love it.
  • Started a business - No, too much work.
  • Served at a soup kitchen - No, & I feel guilty about this too.
  • Gotten flowers for no reason - I don't think so. At least I can't think of a time, right now at 1:45 am.
  • Donated blood, platelets or plasma - I've given blood several times but never platelets or plasma.
  • Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp - No, but I really want to & so does my Dad & sister. Mom doesn't because she doesn't like to think about what happened there. I don't blame her but I'm a huge history buff, especially WWII stuff (probably because both of my grandfathers fought in WWII). I guess we could just drop her off at a spa on the way or something.
  • Saved a favorite childhood toy - I have a ton of my childhood toys. I still have every Barbie I ever had (around 20 or so), tons of stuffed animals, 4 Cabbage Patch dolls, Little People (including the airport & zoo), & loads of others. All still at my parents house. My poor parents.
  • Visited the Lincoln Memorial - Yes, 3 or 4 times. I love D.C.
  • Eaten Caviar - No, but I'd like to try it. I hear it is salty, so I'll probably love it.
  • Stood in Times Square - Nope, I've never been to NYC. I've had the chance to go a couple of times but never really cared to. However, I now have a couple of e-friends that live in that area so I may go one of these days.
  • Broken a bone - I cracked my finger in a folding chair when I was really young but they didn't do anything about it. I don't even thing they splinted it so, knowing what I know now, I really question whether I broke it or not.
  • Been on a speeding motorcycle - No, Missy wheeled me around Grandma's yard once when I was really little but, to be honest, I really don't know if the motor was even running.
  • Had your picture in the newspaper - Yeah, my sis & I were in the paper when we were little & had participated in a rock painting class part of out local library's summer kids program. Also, we found a balloon once in our yard with a note attached & that made the paper too. We lived in a very small town.
  • Read the entire Bible -Working on it. I'm almost through the OT & I am about to start Mark in the NT. I've been reading fairly consistently for about 3.5 years now. I know that seems like a long time to only come such a short distance but I'm a slow reader & I'm trying to take my time. There is no need to speed through it. It isn't a race or some task I can check off my "Am I Holy" list.
  • Visited the White House - Yep, twice, it was pretty cool but I remember thinking the decor was in serious need of updateing. I wasn't much for tradition back then.
  • Killed and prepared my own meat -Kind of. Our family goes trout fishing every year. I usually catch a fish or two but I have not yet brought myself to cleaning them. I can cook fish (usually frozen cod from the grocery store) but Uncle Randy usually does that part.
  • Had chickenpox - Yep.
  • Sat on a jury - No, I was called for jury duty once but I was in college & a family friend got me out of it. Thank God, because if I had to miss school, they would not forgive it & I would have had to repeat at least one semester if not the entire year. :P
  • Met someone famous - Not really.
  • Joined a book club - LOL, Molly mentioned "Book It." I had totally forgotten about that. I have been a part of church small groups that go through some book, so I guess I have.
  • Lost a loved one - Sure.
  • Owned a cell phone - Yep.
  • Been stung by a bee - A yellow jacket, yes, but, those are really wasps.
  • Bungee jumped- No, I'm not sure I could do that. I would like to sky dive someday, though.
  • Visited Paris- No.
  • Watched a lightning storm at sea- Nope, I bet that would be cool but super scarey, though.
  • Adopted a child- No. If I ever decided to have kids, though, I will certainly consider adoption. I'm not one for much pain, among other reasons.
  • Had food poisoning - I've never been diagnosed with it but I suspect almost anyone has had food poisoning at some point in their life.
  • Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty- No, but I would like to visit Elis Island. My grandfather's family came here that way. :)
  • Seen the Mona Lisa in France- No, but that would be cool.
  • Hitchhiked- No.
  • Held a lamb- no.
  • Been to a Broadway show in NY- Nope, never been to NY
  • Ran a Marathon- Not yet. I really don't know if I'll ever care to go that far. I want to do a 5K sometime this year & would love to do a sprint triatlon this fall but I'm not sure I'll be far enough along in my swimming by then. Swimming is the most dangerous part of a triathlon & I've never swam that far & have done very little swimming in the last 10 years & have never swam in open water, so I have a long way to go. I love being a member of 24 Hr. Fitness but the pool just is not adequate for that kind of training so I may have to find another gym when I finally get serious about the swimming portion. Right now I'm concentrating mainly on the running. I'm going to start working on the biking tomorrow, hopefully, with a short ride. I'm aiming to start doing some city rides starting in April or May. eek. :)
  • Been in three states at once - 4 actually. Kim & I went to Four Corners Monument & took tons of pictures in 4 states at once (CO, UT, AZ, & NM)
  • Ridden in a gondola in Venice- No but I really, really want to.
  • Hit a home run- I don't think so. I was never very good at sports.
  • Been on a Cruise- Once, it was fun but kind of boring. I probably won't go again.
  • Visited the birthplace of your Ancestors - Depends on how far back you want to go. My grandparents? Some. My great-grandparents? No
  • Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person- No, but I would like to.
  • Seen Michelangelo’s David- No, but I would like to.
  • Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt - Yep. I love Yellowstone Nat. Park.
  • Visited Africa- No, but I really, really want to.
  • Been transported in an ambulance- No
  • Gone deep sea fishing- No
  • Seen the Sistine Chapel in person- No, but, again, I want to.
  • Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris- no
  • Kissed in the rain- I don't think so. It has be so long, who knows?
  • Been to Grace Kelley’s grave in Monaco- Oh, yeah, I just sail down there all the time in my yacht.
  • Visited the Great Wall of China- No, but I want to (reoccuring response)
  • Taken a martial arts class- I took one class in college & dropped out.
  • Swam in the Mediterranean Sea- Guess my response.
  • Visited Russia- Want to.
  • Sold Girl Scout cookies- no.
  • Gone whale watching - No, but I've been dolphin watching.
  • Gone sky diving- Want to.
  • Bounced a check- Not really. I had set up my bank to automatically draw out of my savings to cover any checks should I get a bit low before I had the chance to move it myself. But then the bank merged with another bank & among other problems I had with them, they allowed one of my checks not to be covered. Luckily it was to a friend & she knew that was not like me. I was irate & called the bank right away. They fixed the problem but still, I do not trust this bank.
  • Pieced a quilt -no.
  • Toured the Everglades- No
  • Been fired from a job - No
  • Seen the Changing of the Guards in London - So want to.
  • Seen the Grand Canyon in person - No, want to.
  • Published a book- Not yet.
  • Visited the Vatican- Totally want to.
  • Bought a brand new car- Yep.
  • Walked in Jerusalem- No, but that is near the top of my list.
  • Saved someone’s life - Not that I'm aware of. I've done CPR on patients in the hospital but they didn't make it.
  • Had a baby - No
  • Seen the Alamo in person - Yeah, several times.
  • Swam in the Great Salt Lake- no
  • Been involved in a law suit- Not exactly. I was interviewed once by a lawyer over a case but I don't think anyone ever filed a lawsuit. I think they were just trying to "get all their ducks in a row" in case the incident went to court. That has been a couple of years now, so I guess nothing ever came of it.

Well, that took forever, but I am sufficiently tired now. So, I'm going to grab a snack & head to bed. 'Night.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

C25K: Running Update

I haven't run in over 3 weeks until today & I made it 20 min. WhooHoo!

I had to drop my speed down (from 4.8 to 4.5 mph) a bit because my heart rate was getting up there (180's) but I still did it. Getting the endurance thing down is my first priority, speed will come later (at least that is what I keep telling myself).

I wanted to go 25 min but the last 2 min of the 20 was a killer & my legs started to feel weird so I decided not to push it too hard on my first day back. Maybe I'll try again tomorrow.

My goal is to get to the point that a 10 min mile is fairly easy (& maybe a 6 min mile when I really push myself, but that is years down the road). Right now I'm running about a 13 min mile.

Running is still such a dramatic process for me. I have to cheer myself along ever single second. I argue with myself the entire time:

Shoulder devil: "Just walk for a couple of seconds."
Shoulder angel: "No, you can do it, that would be cheating."
Shoulder devil: "Ooo, your heart rate is getting a bit high, maybe you should take a breather. You could have a heart attack."
Shoulder angel: "Are you nuts, you're fine, just keep pushing. Just think, you can go home & brag when you hit the 20 min mark."
Me: "Lord, you're going to have to pull me through this workout."
Jesus: "I'm right here next to you. Keep going!"
Me: lip syncing the lyrics to whatever song is playing on my mp3

And such is my inner conversation. Most people would think I was nuts if they could be in my head for just a few seconds. Maybe I am. ;)

Tomorrow, the goal is to bike up to the gym, try to run again, & then bike to the assisted living place that my grandmother is staying in now. It is about 1.5 miles to the gym from my place & about 0.25 mile from the gym to the assisted living place, then about another 1.5 miles back to my place. It forms kind of a triangle.

This will be a bit more of a challenge than it sounds, though. I have not been on a bike in over 10 years. I'll try to get some footage of me doing it but just staying erect on the bike may be more of a challenge than I think it will be.

Great Video: "The Noisy Drinking Cat"

Great Video: Dog tries to save fellow dog

James White discussing Sean Penn's "performance" at the Oscars

I totally agree with Mr. White on this topic.

There is no need to intimidate people because they do not agree with you. You can share your beliefs & opinions but "shaming" people because they don't follow you is ridiculous.

This is a free country, supposedly, & we shouldn't be afraid to go to the polls & vote our conscious.

I may not agree with your views but I'm not going to berate & ridicule you for your choice. My convictions are not a reflection of how I view another person. I may not agree with one person's lifestyle but that doesn't mean that I can't be friends with them or love them. Even Jesus fellowshipped with tax collectors & prostitutes. Are we not called to do the same? Granted you should be of enough spiritual maturity that you are not swayed to their lifestyle but one should never be made to feel as though God does not love them.

Having said that, God is not only a god of love but also of wrath (which Mr. White touches briefly on here), but that is an entirely different blog that I have been wanting to write but it may be a long way away. It takes great tact & research to talk about God's wrathful & jealous side. So, don't be looking for that anytime soon.


Mr. White had to repost the above video due to "copyright infringement." Since you can find the clip that he used quite easily, he believes YouTube took it down due to his statements being controversial. I've seen this happen a lot on YT but I'm not completely convinced. Even a couple of my videos have been removed for the same claim but again, you can find the bits I've used on YT also & I didn't have controversial discussions in my vids. Either way, below is the repost.

If you want to view a clip of Sean Penn's acceptance speech, here is a video of that that Mr. White linked to in his video.

Mojave Desert Cross Case to be Heard by the Supreme Court

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Great News! U.S. Supreme Court Accepts Mojave Desert Cross Case!

The Supreme Court announced today that it will hear the case regarding the Mojave Desert Cross, a memorial to World War I veterans that has been declared unconstitutional by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
The VFW erected the memorial and originally owned the land on which the memorial sits, and had donated it to the government in 1934. The ACLU sued for removal of the veterans’ memorial on the grounds that it is unconstitutional, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed and ordered the memorial and cross dismantled. After that decision, the VFW gave 5 acres of land in exchange for the retrieval of their monument. The Ninth Circuit ruled that was unconstitutional and ordered the monument and cross dismantled instead. The cross is currently covered by a plywood box, awaiting The Supreme Court’s decision.

Visit for more information!

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Tag Video: My Favorite Things

So I was tagged by 2 people last weekend. So here it is. :)

A lot of people in the community have been tagged already so I'm not going to tag anyone in particular but I have really enjoyed watching other people's "Favorite Things" video so I would love to see yours if you haven't done one. I think these are great, fun ways to get to know each other. So if you want to do one, here is the "formula:"

List 5 of your favorites from each topic:
1.) Movies
2.) Food
3.) TV Shows
4.) Drinks
5.) Places
6.) Bands
7.) Songs

If you would like to hear the songs that I listed as 5 of my favorites click the following links:
1. "We Didn't Start The Fire" -- Billy Joel (or
2. "Jesus Freak" -- D.C. Talk
3. "Drilled A Wire Through My Cheek" -- Blue October
4. "Numb/Encore" -- Linkin Park & Jay-Z
5. "Pain" -- Three Days of Grace

Thanks for tagging me girls.

Politics: "Democrats Boost Spending Atop Stimulus"

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Democrats Boost Spending Atop Stimulus

Taxpayers for Common Sense, a budget watchdog group, counted 8,570 pet projects totaling $7.7 billion inserted into the bill by lawmakers. The so-called earmarks include $22 million for an addition for the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, dozens of grants to states and counties to battle methamphetamine, and a new $250,000 siren for St. Paul, Minn., to warn residents of tornadoes and other emergencies.

House Republican leaders attacked the bill as excessive, especially on the heels of the giant stimulus package, which provided $311 billion to many of the same agencies. Nonetheless, the measure is expected to sail through Congress in time to meet a March 6 deadline. That's when a temporary funding measure expires.

Congress also awarded itself a 10 percent increase in its own budget, bringing it to $4.4 billion.

the White House is projecting this year's budget shortfall to be $1.5 trillion, compared with a previous record $455 billion in 2008.
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"The bill also contains a host of provisions aimed at reversing Bush-era policies, including... shutting down a controversial program that allows some Mexican trucking companies to operate freely throughout the United States, instead of only along the U.S.-Mexico border."

I'm in total support of that part. Some of what he is planning is good but much is being frivolous. Many of these programs are good but we are in pretty dire circumstances right now economically & just do not have the money for many of these.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Alien Gnome Bandits

Alien Gnome Bandits Garden Accent
Alien Gnome Bandits Garden Accent
Alien Gnome Bandits Garden Accent

There's something terribly, wonderfully wrong here. Two open-jawed aliens are tromping off with your helpless, hapless garden gnome. It's a sure-fire laugh for gardeners and weed-cultivators alike. Utah artist Fred Conlon uses recycled and found metal to make the whimsical, fun and weather-safe accent. Ceramic gnome included. Creatures are 8"H including gnome.
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I so want these little guys but, alas, with no yard, I cannot validate spending $50 for a pair of them. (I do have a gnome, though, thanks to Kim.) Maybe I'll marry a metal worker or blacksmith that would make me a pair or two. :)

Great Video: Uncle Jay -- 2/23

Weigh In #46

Weekly loss/gain: +4.5 lbs
Total loss: -60 lbs

"Christian Music Gets Counselor Suspended"

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Christian Music Gets Counselor Suspended

A California group home's decision to suspend a veteran counselor for "exposing" four teens to Christian music is being called a "ridiculous [act of] state hostility to religion."

Maureen Loya is suing the Orangewood Children's Home for religious descrimination after she was suspended for more than a month without pay for "exposing children to unapproved religious activities," attorneys for her case say.

The controversy began when Loya, who is a Christian, took four teen girls from the home on an approved field trip to the beach in June 2006.

While on the Huntington Beach pier, they came across the Surfrider Foundation Celebrity Surf Jam, a secular event that included a concert from Incubus and Switchfoot, two alternative style bands rooted in Christian music. The pier is a popular local spot that often hosts such public events. Loya was not aware of the concert beforehand, her attorney says.

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For about 10 minutes the teen girls overheard the music as they ate, Loya said. The girls also visited booths at the event, some of which sold Christian items. The teens never complained or asked to leave, the lawsuit revealed.

Seven months later, that field trip cost Loya a six-week suspension without pay. It's unclear how the teen's exposure to the Christian music was made known to group home authorities, but the lawsuit claims no complaint had been filed.

Dacus called the penalty "hypocritical," claiming the group home showed no concern for the other bands at the concert singing "very controversial secular lyrics."

Terry Lynn Fisher, a spokeswoman for Orangewood, told CBN News that proselytizing was "not permitted" at Orangewood. But Bible studies and other religious services are offered at the group home.

Participation in the religious services is "strictly voluntary" she said
Loya is seeking the wages she lost during the suspension.
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