31 January 2005

Terry Orlando: beloved wife and mother

"Most assuredly I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life" John 6:47

May Christ God have mercy on her, grant her memory eternal and that light perpetual shines upon her.

|

30 January 2005

Recipe time: We decided that with the unseasonably cold here in Texas (it must be 50 F outside) that chicken fried steaks would go good with maybe some mashed potatoes and fresh biscuits, and a nice salad. Now, I understand some people use ribeye, but here in North Texas, venison is commonly used.

4 pounds vension backstrap, cut into round steaks.

1 beaten egg

1 cup Olive oil with 2 Tbsp Sesame oil added

1 cup flour

2 tbsp Lemon pepper

2 tbsp Chilipotle powder

2 tbsp minced garlic

1 tbsp onion powder

1 tsp thyme

1 tsp sage

pinch orange peel

1 tsp sea salt

1 cup marsala wine

1 cup water

2 tsp cornstarch

Toss venison in oil mixture and let sit 4-6 hours. Pat dry and roll in beaten egg. Mix flour and spices (not thewine, water or cornstarch) and fry in bacon grease (about a tablespoon per batch of steaks) until brown on both sides and meat is cooked thru (this is game so we don't want it bloody at the center. Parasites are no fun). Keep meat warm as you add the wine and scrap the fond from the pan. Add the cornstarch to cold water and add the mixture to the pan. Thicken as desired. Filter thru a strainer to remove big chucks.

Normally we make this in a cast iron skillet over a wood fire at the deer lease. Works out okay in the kitchen too.

Serve with red potatoes that were boiled with garlic in their skins and masked together with a little butter and cheddar cheese. Make Steve's biscuits (see book on side).  Serve with green salad and a nice merlot.

Dessert: Cheesecake!

|

 

***

From a friend in the military: a link to this article and the comment: "the author really doesn't get the amount of disgust that the NGO and UN personnel have generated in the US Military. Nor the anger and frustration they feel as they are pissed on and treated like shit by the Indonesians.  The concept of gratefulness or thanksgiving appears to be totally missing there. We are unclean infidels and while they will take our gifts, they expect them because they are moslems and owed it by the dhimmi."

|

***

Iraq in the news: So many other people cover this better than I could, so see this and this. Interesting that our leading Democrats are already discounting it: Kerry's hatred on democracy and his native land still rules his actions. You got to wonder about the whole state of Massachusetts, where he and Teddy keep getting elected.

One question comes to mind: If the Iraqi require proof of citizenship and mark the voters, why don't we? (Yeah  - okay, I know its racists to ask Democrats to follow the law).

Update: Goldstein is right on a lot of things but I think he's too nice here: someone needs to hit the jerk with a cluebat<concept courtesy of Misha>. Actually, it worries me Jeff says he respects him. I thought better of Jeff than that.

***

The oldest got first place in Chemistry at his junior high science fair last night. I am so proud. He did a study on the effect of yeast levels on baking and it came out really nicely. Now what we are going to do with all these loaves of bread is another issue. On to regionals...

    

Speaking of other issues, one of the other winners did a study that proved magnetically organized water was better for plants. And the teachers let her.... Arrrgh. And BTW, her results don't support her conclusions.  Welcome to the world of pseudo-science, honey.

Meanwhile, the youngest raced the Pinewood Derby with his project.  It ran well but not well enough to place. Ah well, he did do it all himself. He did have the prettiest car there thro.

28 January 2005

Hey! It's Friday and today's gun is:

It's the Smith and Wesson 500 revolver. Yep. a .500 Magnum. 72 ounces of pure sex in the hand. Red deer and feral hogs, here we come.  Gunblast has a review and the local toy-store has one in stock: It really does hang well in the hand. Now I just need a spare $1300. (Photo from Smith and Wesson website)

***

If you read nothing else today, read this. Anyone who is Eastern Orthodox can tell you it is true and has been for 1200 years or so. That's why the Serbs were settled in Serbia and why Kosovo is so important to them (and God forgive us - we forced them to give it up because it was politically incorrect they should keep it.). It's why in Hungary and the Ukraine they still remember the battles. It's why the battles of Vienna in 1680 and Buda should be be western holidays. It's why Russian Orthodox Churches have crosses planted on cresents atop their churches.  It's why Constantinople should be freed, Hagia Sophia purged and re-consecrated,  and Acre should be re-established.

***

Despair and desperation as a basis for the faith: Well, I've argued it works for me. Chesterton speaks of "when the belief that is based on all beliefs backward is thrown, the belief based unbelief stands up iron and alone." Williams sings about "the squeak of the questing beast where it scratched itself in the blank between the queen's substance and the queen." Despite the very real joy of the Christian, the knowledge that death is overcome and all things will be restored, or better, all things assumed will be deified, the fact remains we live in a troubled and dark world: a world where the triumph of secularism is mostly assumed and where religion is treated not as part of the search for truth but as a matter of taste. Now for ordering a country, this may work because it cuts down on the number of people killing either in the streets (maybe not...see the Coptic murders below). However it generates a vacuum inside of a lot of people, who believe the societal fiction as truth.

American Gods has this incredible scene where Mr. Wednesday questions a self-professed neo-pagan about her devotions.  I sure the author, Niel Gaiman, would be less than amused to find the term "american god pagan" and "american god christian" have entered my friends vocabulary as a term for people who believe because it feels good but don't really do anything with it. Most deists and new agers fall into this group. Religious belief without a price and all faith requires a price. (Don't start on that "salvation is free" crap. Take a good look at what the deal really entails.) Now this lets you pretend to be religious, and feel comforted but never moves you out of yourself to deal with the terror that waits if you do. It lets you believe that everything will work out because people are basically good and that science will find a way to address all the problems. Another options is you decide mankind is basically a plaque and science part of the evil. It actually doesn't matter and you can just drift along and be a secularist with the comfort of a belief system.

The problem with this is, unless you are a carb-loaded middle American, it is a black place out there. If nothing else, the aging of your own body tells you there is a limited life-time. As lots of middle age women are finding out, despite NOW's protests about their being told the truth, you can't make babies forever. Yeah, some grandma may get pregnant but for most women fertility ends in the 40s. If you are not one of the fortunate from a limited number of countries, you probably realized it when a sibling died, your sister was raped, etc. Mankind exhibits a horrid tendency to the evil, the self-obsessed and the self-destruction.

Now in the midst of this, and maybe the weak american gods are the result of a safe american life, you can decide that the secularists are right and nothing matters. Then you can do, and a surprising number of people do, try to live by a moral code based on the fact we are human, kinda like a moral tit-for-tat game. More likely you turn into a self centered, power hungry scum. As Dostoyevsky said "Without God, all kinds of poisonous flowers bloom." SO you find yourself supporting something so horrible it chokes you because you followed that path too long (unless you are a ACLU lawyer, then nothing is that bad except maybe Christianity or Justice). However, the despair can lead to another path, that takes you back to some place you may have never known you left. "The Chi-Rho is a scratching like other scratchings; but in the turn of the sky the only scrathing." Williams wrote in his verse of a reluctant convert, who turns to the faith when all else fails. I'd say it doesn't stop there, that for me at least, the failure of all things underlines everything and the only hope we have is in the Dreadful Judgement Seat. "For if Christ has not been raised..."

Without the belief in Christ God, can I see myself as a moral or ethic person? Nope, been there and got the tee shirt. The only restraint then was I wasn't sure. If I could have been sure there was nothing after death but silence, all those flowers would have bloomed.

|

***

The anti-Dean?  Gosh, I am so hoping that Gov. Dean gets the job. But who can tell: the anti-Dean did so well in the November elections.

***

Hear Ted Kennedy hollering to bring the troops home? Apparently the blood of millions of Southeast Asians slaughtered after his party screwed our Southeast Asian allies in the late 70s doesn't bother him. Nor did it teach him anything. Pulling out now would mean a bloodbath and the death of all those uppity women who mean to vote Sunday. And all those Christians and Kurds. Ah well, we know very well what Teddy thinks of _selfe="text/javascr ipt">postCount ('2-7a');|

Neither of his brothers were by any stretch saints, but they both serviced their country decently (even if JFK would hump a tree just in case a female chipmunk was home.) Not perfectly and I don't agree with everything either one stood for but they appeared to be orders of magnitude more decent than Teddy. From Camelot to abusing a black female Ph.D. on TV and urging the selling out of women and children to death or worse. It's amazing the way the Kennedy name is now associated with drunken excess, irresponsible behavior, rape, and treason.

While we are on the subject of treason, check out Sowell on the news media and their "it worked so well in Vietnam" approach. (Hat tip Powerline)

***

Our lovely "friend" to the south is at it again: trying to screw the US people to keep flooding the southwest with their citizens. Apparently Bush hasn't read Sun Tzu yet: "land is the foundation of the state." Arizona has passed the first sane bill on election reform and the poor illegal immigrants don't like it. Traitor Danny Ortega and the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Education Fund are challenging the law because it might be racist. (yes traitor...that is the term for one who sells out his country). Amazing how they seem to feel Mexican Americans are too "whatever" to have proof of citizenship. Maybe the real issue is they (not the people they claim to represent) need to choose: what country to you owe allegiance too.

That may be an important choice.  Just because there hasn't been war in North America in 100 years doesn't mean it may never happen again. Mexico is still so corrupt that, if we can close those borders, it may explode again.

26 January 2005

And examples of the muslim's idea of tolerance and politeness continue (and people wonder why that school association was worried: probably because they didn't want Christian and Jewish girls attacked and raped on stage...): A young muslim woman singer is attacked on stage and she's more covered than the Brady girls were. Yet this ass reads skin mags and slaps his mother, but its okay 'cause he's a jihadist now and  he's going to paradise. And then we have this lovely example of muslim parenting? (hat-tip to Little Green Footballs on the latter)

***

Hmmm. When I was in school, this was not only a common activity for small boys. It normally results in a good swat on the ass too. Mainly for doing the drawing instead of paying attention to class. You should see what my kids draw about people they don't like.  But now we need the police to charge kids with second degree felonies?  Well, since the NEA and ACLU have gutted any chance of controlling kids in the public class room, maybe we do.

***

The bald eagle is no longer endangered. It's doing well. Cool! Wait...I thought everything was dying since Bush got re-elected?

25 January 2005

BAD LAW ALERT!!!  

I just got this in from a friend active with the TSRA and,  if you are a Texas gun owner, write your senator!  The bill would servely screw over CHLs who have kids in schools, forcing them to not carry if they go near a school. It would complicate picking the kids up from school and taking them hunting or shooting (you couldn't have the guns in your truck...nope). In more rural areas, the rifle in the pick-up has got to go. I am still trying to decide if the author is just so citified he doesn't get it or has some sort of gun phobia.  I am also betting it totally kills off the remaining school 4H gun clubs.

Texas SB 173 Introduced: Bans Possession of Any Firearms In Vehicles In School Parking Lots -- Including CHLs by Sen. Chris Harris (R-Arlington)
 
This bill would make it a felony for anyone -- including a CHL -- to have a firearm of any kind in their vehicle for any reason while parked in an area owned or leased by a public or private school or institution.  Additionallly, the bill would make it a Class A misdemeanor for CHLs to leave their concealed handguns stored in their car while parked in a lot or garage routinely used by anyone attending a high school sporting event. 
 
CHLs can lose their license if charged with a Class A misdemeanor.  And because Texas law calls for penalty enhancements for offenses committed near schools, this could end up being a felony charge.
 
Current law restricts "premises" to "building or portion of a building."  'The bill expands the definition of "premises" where schools are concerned to include parking areas. 
 
So under SB 173, if you're dropping your child off at school and you have your hunting rifle or shotgun in your car or truck, you could be a felon.  It doesn't matter whether your firearm is loaded or unloaded, broken down, or locked in your trunk.  If you're a CHL and you're attending your son or daughter's high school football game, you could no longer leave your handgun locked in your car if it's parked in a lot where other people attending the same event are parked.  
 
SB 173 has far-reaching consequences.  There are countless instances where law-abiding citizens could be impacted by this bill.  So far no hearing has been scheduled on the bill, but people are encouraged to contact Sen. Harris' office and register their concerns.  To view the bill, go to http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/tlo/legislation/bill_status.htm

So be polite but write now and tell your senator as well as Mr. Harris this is a incredibly bad idea.

***

Oh happy day!  Pro-Tac out in Mingus has ranges that can handle a .50 BMG!!!!  And my CMP order cleared today!!! Life is good!!!

***

Let's see: A muslim school in Texas wants to join an organization of private schools. They get asked a hard question: basically we understand your faith requires you to be continually at war with Christians and Jews. Now, I can see them calling this guy up, mailing a hostile response, a lot of things. But what they did was call CAIR, an organization with terrorist ties that has publicly said they want the USA under Sharia law, and the newspapers. Hmmm. I thought Islam was a religion of warriors...apparently not. Apparently its a religion of cowards who run from hard questions to hide behind the protection of a PC, antichristian press.

Now when I enrolled my kids in a Christian School, I was asked equally hard questions as I come from less common faith and they weren't sure what they were getting. I didn't run crying to the local press because people were being mean to me. Considering the issues involves with Moslems in Europe, in this country with medical care and students (I know of at least  cases in the DFW area where Muslims students have attacked Christians and have heard of issues with male Muslims students and non-Muslim females), the evidence of the links between Muslim mosques and schools with terror supporting groups, and the whole unhappy fact all the 9-11 terrorists were Muslim as are the folks releasing the tapes in Iraq, the associations concern on having these people at their activities can be understood. Except you can never accuse a Muslim of anything. Notice how quiet CAIR has been about this.  (See this too.)

***

I lived. Barely.... Blogging resumes.

20 January 2005

I have the flu. I'm going to bed until I can think again. Bu-bye for now.

***

Pres. Bush started the day off by going to church. That's got to hack Newdow off....<grin> And notice they always have the hot twin in the pictures?

18 January 2005

Hmmm. The MoDo column seems to have touched a nerve. Althouse goes on about what kind of man wants a servant instead of an equal? Her email ain't working but I'd say unless you are both willing to be the servant, both willing to go 100% at times and carry the other, well, it may be something but it isn't a marriage. And any guy over the age of 22 knows that the women who scream loudest about being an equal normally don't want equality but want servants themselves. Any adult should know that those who can not stoop to carry anyone, can't truly love.  It's a dance but as in a dance, someone leads and someone follows. Not necessarily the same person all the time but without the willingness to be the lead, because perhaps you know your own worth, its not a dance but a fight/. Via Instapundit, where I ain't going to even comment on the others...

"Dying each other's life, living each other's death."  All things have a price and so does love. We forget that an unpainted white post becomes black. (editor: I'd suggest feminists never knew it).

17 January 2005

Good news in Iraq: Well, on even the martial arts lists I subscribe to you don't hear this. Thankfully there is enough alternative media that, despite their best efforts and hopes, the liberal mainstream media can't quite turn this into another Vietnam, where we won the fight but lost the war. (Yes, the technical term is traitor and the democrats ran one for President). However, in 13 days, we'll see just how hard they are willing to lie. Bets anyone?

UPDATE: Just back from the University Bookstore, staffed today by some young journalism majors. My. Journalism may be the new word for self-absorbed arrogance. Gonna tell stop evil republicans from dragging us into any more unjust wars where we are killing innocent muslims. The elections will be shams. <sigh> I was never that young. Sadly some of them like Rather never grow up either.

***

Stew blogging 'cause Steve is out west chasing younger women: I ended up cleaning about 8 roosters yesterday as a friend of mine purged his chicken coop of the teen-age males.  Basically that means I and the youngest drive over and kill the suckers (well I kill them; the kid plays with the dog and laughs at the headless chicken dance. Small boys are rather blood-thirsty creatures). Anyway, I'm too lazy to pluck them, so I clean them like game birds and skin them. Since I'm going to be in the kitchen all day, we might as well clean the frig and make gumbo.

Coq au vin (Bad Rooster Stew)

Cleaned and brined parts of eight roosters

4 tsp blood refrigerated with a little vinegar added

3 Tbsp bacon grease

1/2 pound salt pork

2 chopped onions

4 cloves chopped garlic

1 sliced carrot

6 sliced shallots

3 tomatoes, skinned and chopped

1 half cup chopped parsley

1 Tbsp chervil

2 bay leaf

1 Tsp thyme

1 Tsp black pepper

2 Tsp brandy

2 cups red wine

2 pounds sliced mushrooms

1 tsp roux

 

Brown the rooster parts in bacon grease and remove the bird parts. Fry the onions, garlic, carrot, shallots and salt pork until onions are translucent in the same pan. Add the bird parts to a slow-cooker and dump the veggies on top.  Add the tomatoes, the spices, the wine and the brandy. Cook on high until simmering and then drop temperature to low for 5 hours.  Add the sliced mushrooms and cook 2 more hours. Add the roux to thicken. Adjust seasoning to taste. Serve over rice with fresh French bread.

 

Ben calls this bad rooster stew because we normally get the roosters when they mature and start fighting for dominance. The last time we were slow and they gang up on and killed a hen. Being bad roosters, I adjusted their attitudes with a carving ax. Oddly my own tween is now really well behaved. Ben keeps yelling: "Dad, Noah is acting like a bad rooster again" and the kid straights right out. Being the divine judgment for chickens has it advantages.

 

 

Gumbo (Dad's cleaning the frig Stew)

 

3 quarts stock (I used turkey 'cause I had it)

2 cups olive oil

6 green peppers, chopped

6 onions, chopped

6 celery stalks, chopped

anything left in the veggie drawer that looks okay, chopped

6 cloves garlic minced

2 tablespoons each of red (cayenne), white and black pepper

6 pounds sliced okra

2   15 ounce cans chopped tomatoes

2 pounds sliced andouille sausage, sliced

2 pounds venison-pork garlic sausage, sliced

1 pound country ham, sliced

2 pounds peeled shrimps

2 pounds crawfish tails, peeled

1 pound crab meat

6 Tbsp very dark roux (butter and flour mixed cooked together)

1 cup parsley chopped

12 green onions chopped

 

In a large pot, heat oil until just below smoking.  Add onions, peppers, celery and garlic (add trash veggies too) and cook until everything is soft. Add pepper mixture. Stir well. Add tomatoes, stock, sausages and ham. Add okra. Let cook until okra is tender. Adjust liquids with water to keep soupy. After about 1.5 hours, add shrimp, crawfish, and crab. Cook until heated thru. Add roux to thicken and adjust spice with hot sauce. Add green onions and parsley. Serve with white rice.

 

Now where's that bourbon? The bread should be done in an hour.

***

Religion of Peace Update: Let's see: Coptic Christians is killed in New Jersey after receiving death threats from Moslems. Christian symbols are also mutilated on a teenage girls body.  Can we call it a hate crime yet? No?  Amazingly,  Fox News passes on the myth that relations between Moslems and Christians are good in Egypt. Yeah, if you are willing to pay extra taxes and be treated like a dog, not pray in public, and have your daughter be rape bait for every oversexed Moslem youth. Shit. I thought Fox was trying to do journalism?  Maybe the lizardoids are right...

May Christ God have mercy on their souls and grant them the glory earned by those martyred for Him.

In other news, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Iraq was kidnapped today. God have mercy on him for the Islamic beasts will not.

***

Kerry is claiming disfranchisement in the last election: apparently enough dead people and illegals didn't vote in Ohio. Does the money his campaign, raised to support his election campaign, paid to Sharpton as a "consulting fee" for support count too? (Can you say bribe? I knew you could.) Bet this hacks him off too. Appears that the media glow is gone...

16 January 2005

Intelligent Design:  I just got done reading a series of posts on the continual battle of evolution and creationism. Now normally I found Archbishop Lazar's advice extremely wise: ignore the whole mess as a lot of it comes from very bard assumptions.  Anyway, I was browsing and found out that intelligent design is no longer used the way it was when I was a high school student at a Catholic school. Then, it meant that God was the creator and the directing force behind the universe and that the evolutionary theory was how science had figured out he did it. Now, if you are a hard core screaming secularist, this still doesn't make you happy but hey, we already now you're a bigot. So anyway, I was horrified to find the term now being used for some kind of serial creationism, based on a God of the gaps* concept.

Now, I've read the Origins of the Species, and Darwin's decision to ignore Mendel's genetic work (by not even opening his manuscript...hey, the guy wasn't English so how could his work be any good?) and go with pangensis was a real dumb idea. So why do all these people like Johnson attack Darwin? And why does a lawyer lead the charge?

One reason I suspect is that most liberal arts people haven't the skill or the nerve to try and learn the science. Snow again, although again inverted. (I keep coming back to Snow and lawyers...I may need therapy for these fixations.) I've had discussions with creationists who preach Johnson, without realizing science has corrected many of the errors in Darwin without losing the basic idea of adaptation and change. They also seem unwilling to deal with the fact several Christian faiths have no problem with evolution as the mechanism of creation. My conversation with one basically came down to "I don't understand the science, I can't think of a way to answer atheists at parties, and so I am going to use Johnson's writings as a defense." Arrrrrgh!!! It's especially depressing when the speaker does not come from a faith that follows sola scriptura.

The whole sola scriptura thing is a case of religion as lawyer-thought, where the words are all and mean more than the reality. Hmmm...can one argue the prevalence of sola scriptura in US religious thought is the basis of our lawyer obsessed society?

This is good advice too. For anyone not just the Orthodox  Archbishop Lazar wrote it for.

* God of the gaps: making the case for God based on gaps in current understanding. An approach often used by fundamentalists (of any faith) trying to argue science.

***

The Red Blue Disconnect: Via the dark master himself,  Pat,  Tim, , and Ginny, are dog-piling on the Von Drehle article. Lileks on the other hand debunked the Olive Garden adventures of some limey. I think its kinda of we expect who live in the fly-over country. When Andrew Sullivan wrote about the Republican Convention and seemed surprised about Dallas women, among other things. (I think the link is right.) When I was in graduate school at Wesleyan, it was cool to sneer at the Americans who when overseas and stayed in their own little US bubble, now those same people are the ones who visit the red states (who the hell picked us that commie color anyway?) are those who stay in the bubble of their own world. Imagine being in Tokyo and eating at McDonalds? That what the Olive Garden guy did. Why didn't he go to a local BBQ joint or a bar and see what the locals really do?

UPDATE: No. He would not have gotten mugged. Politely ignored maybe but really.... This is why comments are off.

14 January 2005

Friday's Gun:  Bushmaster in .308... actually the kid wanted one of the CMP's Bushmasters in .223 but they were all sold out. They had the CMP logo on them, bull barrels, etc...<sigh>  At least saving up for this will keep him busy.

 

12 January 2005

Physics Today has an article on Cold Fusion: Amazing that anyone is still chasing that nightmare, but then again z-rays and polywater survived until the death/retirement of their discoverers. I remember when Cold Fusion was first announced at the ACS meeting in Dallas and a bunch of us drove over from the General Dynamics plant to listen. If it was true, then it would have been earth-shaking news. On the way back, while I was worrying out loud with Randy about heat transfer and the chemistry, our nuclear engineer blurted out "Why aren't they all dead?"  That's a good question today about the issue itself. But as this and this shows, its still alive.

***

By the way, for you nanotech junkies out there, Physics Today also has a look at nanotech promises and problems. Snow gets a mention again.

I'd still like to see an overview of the results in the literature. The groups I know that are working in the area are still about the same place they were three years ago. This is especially true of the nano-tubes and nano-device folks. Now, people making nano-composites (see the ANTEC schedule for example) are moving faster but still not up to the hype.

 

11 January 2005

Dirty secret time: I almost hate to admit this to myself. I read <shudder> lawyer blogs. Daily I find myself making the rounds between Instapundit, Hog on Ice, Beldar, Volohk, Powerline, Althouse...It's scary: is this a deep seated personal failing as a scientist or a lawyers for some reason (say as a positive a facility with words or as a negative no productive use?) a larger part of the blogsphere than real life? Scientists seem un-represented to me but then again, ever since Snow, we have been accused of being functional illiterates. But who else do I read is a member of the profession we all love to hate.

BTW I still think Snow with his lovely upper class bias got it wrong. Very wrong. Most scientists get the liberal arts culture by just being human. Otherwise why do places with high concentrations of scientists have so many thriving book stores, music groups, and art studios.  It's the liberal arts end that has isolated itself from the pleasures of  the calculus et al... I think the problem is once you start really understanding the math and science behind all the claims, you realize how few of them are true.

Anyway, its interesting so many are lawyers...although I found the comment "a law professor from an obscure Tennessee college" quoted from Simon's site an amazing bit of bigotry. At least in the my end of the sciences, UT Knoxville isn't obscure.

9 January 2005

Watching your children grow can be a very bittersweet experience, especially with sons I think. I've enjoy the books Boyhood Daze and Stark Raving Dad by Dave Meurer, but the latter one is very bittersweet, a sadness I didn't really get until my oldest hit puberty. I think the teaching him to shave the start of his beard today did it. Just the hint of the mustache, but it means the changes are starting and my little friend is about to change and leave. I never thought it would bug me so much. I shudder to think what happens when the youngest goes.

8 January 2005

Woodworking day: I got a chest of drawers due for Liberty Christian School's annual auction/fundraiser, a hutch due for the goddess, 2 cradles to finish and the monthly set of bowls to make for Golden Trianagle Woodturners part of the Empty Bowl Project. I think I slipped behind a bit. Pictures will follow... assuming I survive.

Oh yeah. The icon stands, the altar, and table of ablation for St. Max's...and that's not counting science and work stuff...

7 January 2005

The Friday gun this week is:  The Winchester reproduction of the Parker Shotgun in 20 gauge. A very sweet gun to shoot.

Isn't she sexy? Looks just like the original and if they handled as well, it no wonder they go for big bucks these days. Even I can hit a clay this this sweetie.

***

When I was young, the Democratic party was considered the party of the working man. These days, it appears to be the party of America's enemies.  If you listen to the Attorney General hearings today, leading democrats were all over each other to suggest that terrorist's rights were more important than the survival of the USA.  Even when Senator Specter asked about the ticking bomb scenario, everyone made confused noises. Looking at Herbert's column in the NYT, its apparent he, not Specter, is the historically uneducated one. We have done so pretty nasty things when we thought our survival depended on it and quite honestly, sometimes because it was expedient. Why? Because our first obligation is to protect our own. All the funny morality that these people are selectively applying now in Iraq was not considered important when we were bombing the Serbian civilians back into the stone age. Now one needs to ask what made that difference? A Democratic President? The fact the Serbs are Christian? U.N. approval?  Despite the moral bankruptcy of our press corps, the fact is if it is wrong now it was wrong then.  We have historically not tried to apply the Constitution to non-citizens or perhaps better non-legal residents. We have never considered the Geneva convention to apply when our opponents did not recognize it or did not play by its rules. In fact, its force comes only from the fact if one side violated it, the other was free too.

So we have the party of the common guy supporting a billionaire dictator, the party of the minorities supporting racial slavery in Africa, the party of secularism supporting Islamic states and Sharia law, the party of women supporting states which treat women as half a man, the party of sexual freedom (including gay rights and abortion) supporting people who kill folks for abortion, gay sex, straight sex, and indecent dress, the party of free speech supporting people who put death threats on writers...basically supporting anything that opposes the USA. Hmmmm....Democratic - a new term for Quisling.

6 January 2005

Merry Christmas (old style)!!!    Happy Theophany (New style)!!!

For those unfamiliar with the Orthodox faith, the fact that a big issue inside the Church is the use of the Julian versus Gregorian Calendar for liturgical purposes is probably a surprise. I grew up with a grandfather who was a old calendarist and hence he celebrated Christmas on Jan. 6 (Dec. 25 O.S.) So as a child, I celebrated two Christmas, the one most of my family followed, 12-25, and then my grandfather's on 1-6. What was cool was it also falls on the New Calendar date for Theophany, the Feast of the Baptism of Christ, and also on the old 12th night of Christmas.  The last two week of keeping the fast are actually easier. Christmas in the US ends pretty much on Christmas Day and the pressure to party and enjoy decreases. This week most of us are back to work with only memories of the holiday, while the Old Calendarist is still preparing to celebrate. We've handled it at home by spreading the gift giving and celebration over the 13 days (Dec. 25 and the following 12 days of the song) but now, as my old calendar following kin celebrate Christmas, we celebrate  Theophany and the blessing of waters.

5 January 2005

What is it with that people today that more and more have the moral compass and manners of a four-year old? A gun range, in existence for 60 years, in California is being zoned out of business because it doesn't fit in suburbia and the noise disturbs the neighbors. Neighbors who moved into the area knowing a gun range was there. Why the hell do people assume you have the right to move somewhere and expect to see it change to meet your standards?  I'd like to bitch about how Californians are self centered egoists (well, yeah) but McKinney Texas annexed land a gun range was on and tried to shut it down.  Several version of what happened exist but as of today its still open (I'm not linking to any of sites I could still find with the disccussion from 2003 because of the language and the irrational hatred of the NRA - for not being exactly what the authors want: it makes me wonder what some of these people are like in real life.) I know my kin up North have told of similar problems with the Seymour Rod and Gun Club (hours limited to avoid getting sued) and with town activities in general. Hell, you see it in churches too. The new folks move in and want everything changed to fit their desires. It's a weird approach: move to someplace to escape where its from and change it into the hell you left.

An old story my grandfather told was of an old man and a boy sitting on a porch as some city people came by in their new car. After exchanging pleasantries, the city fellow said he was looking to move into the area and wondered what people were like here. The old man asked "What were they like where you come from?" The city fellow replied: "They were interfering, self-centered, uncaring, rude... It's sucks. I can't wait to escape that attitude." The old man replied "the people around here are like that too."  "I guess I'll keep looking" the city fellow said.Later another city person came by and asked the same question: the old man asked again: What were people like where you live?" The guy replied: "Mostly good, friendly folk...Some are prickly but everyone has his faults since we're all human and if you treat them right, they mostly do right by you. Most folks were caring, polite and decent." The old man replied: "It's like here, you'd find." So the second fellow started asking about land and homes.  Later, the boy asked "Grandpa, why did you tell those men different things?" The old man said: "Honey, they are going to find here what they are bringing with them. If you can't stand the folks around you now, chances are moving won't help. And happy people are happy most places."

As my Spanish friends say: Each head is a world.

***

While I am complaining: Why is with this "niceness" issue Americans have? Our northern neighbor tells us to go to hell and our southern neighbor actively encourages illegal immigrantion to avoid dealing with their own social issues and to destablize our southwest. We even have student groups for that ethnicity that have the motto "For those of the race, all, for those outside it, nothing" and talk about the reconquest of occupied Altazan. Sun Tzu pointed out "land is the foundation of the state."  So when the hell are we going to get serious and close the borders? And stop covering their butts? Yes we will hurt their feelings but its like with neighbors. Not all of them are good people who you want to be friends with. The US basically has a trial lawyer on one side and a gypsy on the other. Admit it, you'd lock your doors.

***

Another member of the media elite doesn't get it: Well, Drezner tries to explain but I think he uses too big word. JustOneMinute (who gets the hat tip) has more. I actually think this, like the UN and EU accusations, has its basis in a bigger difference. They, like the liberals in this country, see the US as the government. Most Americans see the US as the people, who hired the government. It's as if Lincoln would have said if a modern Europe "government for the people, instead of the "government of the people, by the people, for the people" I think its a historic difference. Most other countries have the historical rulers to be kings and lords who moved to some sort of democratic government, sometimes under violent encouragement, like the French Revolution.  The US basically established self ruling colonies and broke away from England when this self rule was threatened. Hence, many things that the liberals dislike, the idea of state laws that the Federal government has or should have no say in (say medical pot use, prayer in school, abortion laws, or gay marriage) or treat the states as an entity (the electoral college) exist because we live in states that make up the USA. Not government controlled provinces but states that one could even argue might have an official church. Woods makes the whole case better than I could.

4 January 2005

I just heard a friend of ours lost 24 family members in this mess and one of my graduate students lost 10. May Christ God have mercy on all those affect. Wow. To lose that many kin in one day. Hell, I can't wrap my mind around it. I don't even know 24 of my kin still alive.

***

On the radio:  Doctors without Borders is saying they can't handle anymore donations right now.  So the American Red Cross is here.

BTW: Ever wonder about the Red Crescent: turns out the Red Cross spawned these groups because taking help from Christians, who are dhimmi, was not acceptable for Moslems, actually Moslem rulers. So much for loyalty to Christ, huh?

3 January 2005

Bush appointed his father and Bill Clinton to lead the Asia Relief effort. Hmmmm. Hillary must be having a cow. Of course, we all know that he can't have any politicial motivates because he isn't smart enough, right... <giggling>

2 January 2005

Who ever suggested liberals are rational? San Francisco has decided to follow Washington DC's and the UK's lead and ban handguns for individuals who are not police or security guards (Yep, the guy who walks around the mall can own a handgun but a single woman with a Ph.D. isn't trustworthy enough.) Read the article to the end. The sheer arrogance of the San Francisco supervisor is the best condemnation of the idea: "Certainly I am a high profile elected official...I'll call the police." Yeah and they will be there in 3 minutes, but if some poor bastard on Russian Hill calls because his girlfriend is being raped, his home is being broken into, or his boyfriend is being beaten up, what do you think the response time will be?  As people in LA learned in the last set of riots, the police are fundamentally a reactive force (they come after the fact) so basically you need to be prepared to cover your own butt.  Of course people like Mr. Daly above and Gov. Arnold have their own guards and don't care if commoners get hurt but its politically incorrect to admit it.

New York City represents its own horror tale of gun control, not because they are totally banned (resident permits are actually issued) but what people have convinced themselves is "really not that bad". First of all, write off the idea of a carry permit as they are only issued to the mayor's buddies. Second, you may only have 5 pistols and may only own ammo for the pistols listed on your permit. No barrels can be exchanged so you can shoot 10 mm, 9 mm and .40 short out of the same gun. No reason was given; the police sergeant just said we don't allow that and no discussion allowed. A purchase order must be generated by the Police (figure 6 months) so you can buy the gun. Then you have three days to bring the gun to one specific station in the whole city to be inspected and make sure the serial number match.  Such  safe place.

***

Rep. Matsui died. May Christ God have mercy on him. Among his other "accomplishments", he authored the bill that apologied to and compensated internees from the camps used to hold Japanese and Japanese Americans. Then he as an adult became a member of the political party who was responsible for that action (yes, the Democratic Party) and was one of the people responsible from excluding any non-Japanese who were also interned (like Germans, Italians, etc) from both the apologies and compensation. Now if a white republican had done similar things, he'd be called a racist. Amazing how a man who voted straight democratic party line is said to have a "great vision of right and wrong."

1 January 2005

Happy New Year!  As is traditional for me, I went to bed at 10:30 and slept in. I keep hoping that old legend about what you do on New Year's Day, you'll do all year long.  The kids and Mother stayed up with the goddess to watch the ball fall. So this morning, at 7 am, I've got the kitchen to myself.

***

Resolutions for the New Year: Get my 50 group under 6" at 1000 meters. Re-learn to shot pistol (thank you Lasik for ruining my site picture. Finish the furniture project. Finish the book. Lose 40 pound in competition with this insane New Yorker (We got to keep it off 6 months to win!)