Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Remember When?

Remember when these were the rave? The start of the video game obsession:

"Church" Is Only Her Name

LONDON - The U.S. publishing company Ignatius Press has refused to sell any works by Welsh singer Charlotte Church after she called German-born Pope Benedict XVI a Nazi and mocked the Catholic Church.

She smashed open a statue of the Virgin Mary to reveal a can of hard cider inside, said she worshipped "St. Fortified Wine," and stuck chewing gum on a statue of the child Jesus.

Church, 20, was raised a Catholic and sang for Pope John Paul II at the Vatican at the age of 12.

It looks like the Ditzy Chicks aren't the only ditzy ones around. It's a shame. I used to like Charlotte, too. :( I guess that's one more that I'll have to stay away from.

According to Wikipedia,

"Following his fourteenth birthday in 1941, Ratzinger was enrolled in the Hitler Youth; Membership being legally required after December 1936.[2] Ratzinger has stated he was an unenthusiastic member who refused to attend meetings. His father was a bitter enemy of Nazism, believing it conflicted with the Catholic faith."

That hardly qualifies him as a NAZI.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

A Chapter Ends

I've been a patron of Delphi Forums for years. I've had some forums of my own, and helped moderate other forums. I made some friends there - my only friends for a while. Some of those friendships have become very strong. I have many fond memories of the time I spent with my friends there over the years. I met my bestest ever friend there, the one who is still my bestest friend. It is kind of sad in a way, in light of all the memories I've made there. Those memories will always be. The new memories I make will only accent them.

My membership is due in another couple weeks. I decided not to renew my subscription, and have cancelled my accounts with them. I no longer exist in Delphi Forums. The pleasure I've experienced there is gone. The most profound thing that comes to mind is the intolerance that some have of others' thoughts and opinions. The atmosphere has become somewhat stagnant at times. IMO, if one cannot enjoy what he does - for pleasure - there is not much point in doing it.

Delphi has over the years increased the cost:perk ratio to the point that it isn't really worth it any more. The $15/year price has quadrupled for practically basic service. IMO, their plan options have become a bit too expensive for what they offer. I'll pass, thanks.

So ends another chapter of my life. I still have this blog, and my photo galleries. I can be contacted through those sites by Email if anybody should choose to.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Give One Away

Got a smile you're not using?

Give it to somebody who doesn't have one. It's contagious.

Well? Are ya smilin'?

Sunday, September 24, 2006

I've Been Tagged Shelley. Don't know what I'm doing, but I'll give it a shot.

  1. I can cross my eyes on a whim.
  2. I can roll my tongue lengthwise.
  3. When tickled, I kick my foot like a dog. ;)
  4. I'm left handed and wear my watch on my left wrist.
  5. I take on the persona of a doctor from India.
(I'll have to violate your rules this time, since I don't know anybody yet, Shelley. You already tagged the ones I might have.)

Saturday, September 23, 2006


I went to our fair earlier this week, and got a few shots. Here's a viedo clip I got at the rodeo.


Fairs have a unique air about them that you won't find any other place. I always enjoy a walk down the midway, especially with my cameras in hand. :)

This year was even better: Admission was free! I went on veteran appreciation day.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Not Again.....!

Some people are in such denial, that stuff like this comes out. How can people actually believe these conspiracies? It's crazy.

Uncle's Passing

Today I got word that one of my uncles passed away. He had some problems over recent years, but nothing that would indicate he was going to leave this world. He had a stint, and some kidney problems of late. He was in the hospital for some test(s) or procedure, but nothing that would suggest a chance of not coming out. Anyhow, he wears one of those mask thingies for sleep apnea. While he was sleeping, his wife noticed a difference of sound - and then realized he wasn't breathing. Don't know why he stopped, but he did go quickly and painlessly in his sleep.

He was always a kidder. While he was in the hospital this time, he told some nurses that he wanted to take a bunch of them home with him. His wife told him that if he did, they'd have to have a bigger house. :) I remember when visiting them, he'd always be a kid with us, playing and kidding around just like one of us. He was a good man. May he rest in peace.


Next month, I'm planning on going to Santa Fe and Albuquerque for a weekend. I'm hoping for the colors to be at their peak (or near it) in the Sangre de Cristo mountains. I'm about due for some fall color shots. With any luck, I've got it timed right. We shall see.

The international balloon festival in Albuquerque is going on at that time too, and I am wanting to get some good photos during the mass ascention. If I get lucky and fill up a few rolls with good shots, I'll post some here. (You can also keep watch on my Pbase galleries. I post some of my better shots there as I get 'em.)

Monday, September 18, 2006


I've been eating on some lasagna I made yesterday. Made a 9 x 13" pan of it. I did it kinda different, by not cooking the noodles first. I just stuck 'em in the stack as they were right out of the box. Lot easier that way, I found out. I left out the mushrooms and cottage cheese. It turned out pretty good, even if a guy did it. ;)

Anyway, here's the recipe if anybody's interested:

Easy Lasagna I Yields: 8 servings
"Mushrooms, onions and ground beef in a ready-made pasta sauce are layered with cottage cheese, ricotta cheese and Parmesan between uncooked lasagna noodles. Sprinkle mozzarella over the top and bake. It's that simple!"


1 pound lean ground beef

1 onion, chopped

1 (4.5 ounce) can mushrooms, drained
1 (28 ounce) jar spaghetti
1 (16 ounce) package cottage cheese
1 pint part-skim ricotta cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
2 eggs
1 (16 ounce) package lasagna noodles
8 ounces shredded mozzarella


In a large skillet, cook and stir ground beef until brown. Add mushrooms and onions; saute until onions are transparent. Stir in pasta sauce, and heat through.

In a medium size bowl, combine cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, grated Parmesan cheese, and eggs.

Spread a thin layer of the meat sauce in the bottom of a 13x9 inch pan. Layer with uncooked lasagna noodles, cheese mixture, mozzarella cheese, and meat sauce. Continue layering until all ingredients are used, reserving 1/2 cup mozzarella. Pour 1 cup of water around the inside edge of the pan and cover tightly with aluminum foil.

Bake in a preheated 375 degree F (175 degree C) oven for 1 hour. Uncover, and top with remaining half cup of mozzarella cheese. Bake for an additional 15 minutes. Remove from oven, and let stand 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Insect Predator

Yesterday I was watering the flowers in the back yard, and got a pleasant surprise. A 2 1/2" praying mantis popped up to get dry. He posed for a little while for me to snap some pics of him - like this one. Note the water droplets on him from when I misted the flowers he was amongst.

Many people fear these beneficial predators, even though there is no reason to. They are a little strange-looking, but looks should never be a reason to think negatively of anything (or anybody). They do their best to rid us of many true pests.

"Praying mantises are about 2/5-12 inches according to species. Their colors vary, ranging from light greens to pinks. Most mantids are pea green or brown.

"The praying mantis is a carnivorous insect that takes up a deceptively humble posture when it is searching for food. When at rest, the mantis' front forelegs are held up together in a posture that looks like its praying. These front legs are equipped with rows of sharp spines used to grasp its prey. They wait unmoving and are almost invisible on a leaf or a stem, ready to catch any insect that passes. When potential prey comes close enough, the mantis thrusts its pincher-like forelegs forward to catch it. The prey probably won't escape because the forelegs are so strong and armed with overlapping spines. The mantid bites the neck of its prey to paralyze it and begins to devour it. The mantis almost always starts eating the insect while it's still alive, and almost always starts eating from the insect's neck. This way, the mantis makes sure that the insect's struggle stops quickly. Praying mantises eat insects and other invertebrates such as other mantises, beetles, butterflies, spiders, crickets, grasshoppers, and even spiders. The praying mantises also eat vertebrates such as small tree frogs, lizards, mice and hummingbirds. Praying mantids can resemble flowers and can catch small, unknowing hummingbirds. Praying mantids also eat other nesting birds."

Naturally, it's the larger ones that can prey on the larger critters. The biggest one I've ever seen was about 4 or 5" long, in the Eastern US. Again, praying mantises are not to be feared, but welcomed.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Seal Generator

I found a seal generator while Stumble-ing around. You can change just about everything about it - the border, image, wording, colors, etc. Try it out if you take a notion.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Number Of Servings?

Last week, I got a small bag of cookies and chomped on 'em during one of my breaks. It was a bag of Grandma's Mini Bites - the sandwich cookies. I noticed on the noutrition information, that there were supposedly 3 servings of "about 9" cookies per serving in that little bag. Say whaaaaaaat? I've never heard of anybody getting a bag of them and not polishing them off. Looks like one serving to me! Where do they get this theoretical serving size?

I also realized that a normal coke serving size is 8 ounces. In a 16-oz. bottle, that's 2 servings. Not hardly. That's only one serving, I don't care what they say. In a world where people casually finish off a 32oz (or larger) fountain drink, that's just crazy. The nutrition information should be more practical in its application. Since there isn't much chance of them changing it, I might as well just start multiplying.

Jury Duty

For the first time in my life, I've been summoned to jury duty. I went to the county seat today to go through the preliminary screening. This will be a district court case - Capital Murder. Talk about starting off with a bang! Wow! It should be interesting. Next month is the trial, and they will select 75 jurors out of the 130 or so that were summoned. I have no idea if it will be sequestered or not. I hope not, 'cause it's supposed to last a couple weeks anyhow.

Many would/will try to get out of serving, but I won't. I feel it's my duty to serve. It will be an experience, for sure.

Stumbling Around

I got my Stumble going today, and ran into some interesting pictures. These are from Kalamazoo Animal Rescue in Michigan. To see more, click on the link, but only do it if you want to smile. :)

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Footprints In Cyberspace

Did you know that no matter where you go or what you do on the 'net, you leave very clear footprints? Your tracks are everywhere. I recently had to hunt down a troublemaker. I used a tracker that came with my Blogger, a couple of online utilities, and lo and behold - voila! I know who it is, where they live, etc.

Be sure you go where you don't mind being found. The tracks you leave are as clear as railroad tracks. Also beware if you want to play unscrupulous games on sites around cyberspace. Someone knows who you are and saw what you did.

How The Internet Was Born

You may have your ideas how the Internet came to be, and some have claimed to be the creator of the 'net. I have found the answer.

This is how the Internet really came to be:

Monday, September 11, 2006

We Owe Them

We owe it to our innocent countrymen. We owe it to those in the planes. We owe it to those in the World Trade Center. We owe it to those in the Pentagon. We owe it to the heroes of Flight 93, who gave thier lives so that countless others would not die. We owe it to the firefighters. We owe it to the policemen. In a way, we even "owe" the terrorists.

We forgot our past, and we paid for it. Many say that they cannot forget the attack on our country. I fear that they mean they will not forget those who died that day. We must also never forget that we were attacked in an act of war, or we will be doomed to repeat it.

Our fighting men and women are doing their best to see that terrorism will never be a threat again. That is their mission. We must not dishonor them by failure to support their mission. Their mission is to make us safe. How can we not support it?

The U.S. Coast Guard's motto is "Semper Paratus", or "Always Prepared". That, we must be.

God rest the souls of our fallen. May they rest in peace.

"What" and "How" we remember is just as important as the "remembering" itself.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Tolerance and Hypocrisy

(This entry is a rant. I don't want to come off as cold and unfeeling, because I am not. I love my Country and would gladly sacrifice much for its citizens' protection and preservation. I served my country in the 'Nam era so that people can get under my skin. Please bear with me.)

Something really gets under my skin, and did tonight. Someone who preaches tolerance and freedom of speech is showing signs of not practicing those ideals. It is very common with a certain mindset, and it really pisses me off at times.

I started using this sig image in my forum posts, that shows the second airliner right before it hit the second WTC tower. They took offense to it, calling it "disturbing". That's kind of a no-brainer. Yes it is disturbing, but my intent was not to send anybody into a psychological tailspin. It was but to honor the memory of those who have fallen, and to remind us of the reason we are at war with terrorists who would exterminate us. Unfortunately, there are those who see that scene, and all they remember is "Bush did it" or "this, for oil", and not that we were attacked by Muslim extremists in much the same way that Pearl Harbour was attacked 65 years ago. If they are so mentally fragile, professional help is out there for them.

Where does the tolerance come in? Well, the people who scream it the loudest have no tolerance for anybody who has opposing viewpoints and opinions. They have no tolerance for anybody who holds those differing viewpoints. They would stifle one's Freedom of Speech because it "offends" them. It matters not that their behaviour offends me. Of course, I don't mention it.

I practice the tolerance that they preach. I also believe in Freedom of Speech, and afford others the same right. It saddens me that so many will not do so. I tolerate offensive sigs they post. I tolerate their freedom of speech, even when I find it offensive. They prefer to deny my freedom of speech and expression. They whine when something I say offends them, yet they don't think a thing about offending me.

Some say that the "barrage" of 9/11 coverage this time of year only strengthens the enemy. I would agree, IF those viewing it reinforce their anti-war on terrorism beliefs - or it creates them. I would agree, IF it makes them more anti-Bush. I would agree, IF it makes them want our troops back too soon. If it gives us new unity in the endeavour, it strenghtens us. It is up to the viewer which one it strenghtens.

May those who have fallen rest in peace - except the hijackers and terrorists around the world. May they rot in hell!

May we never forget that we forgot history once (Pearl), and it was repeated (WTC). It must not happen again. Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Autumn Approaches

Lately, the feel of Autumn has been creeping in. The feel of the air, the sights and smells, just "something" is a bit different. Soon nature's paintbrush will be dabbing itself across the high plains. The crispness of the morning will have a little tingle to it, the smell of trees crossing into its annual life's change, and the sight of a little bit different sunset or sunrise, will break the horizon.

This morning gave me a taste of the sunrises to come. Autumn always has a different "feel" to its sunrises and sets. Here's hoping for many unique and vivid ones.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Hey, Bro!

I got word that my older brother is going to pay me a visit the first part of the week before Thanksgiving this year. I scheduled a few days off work so I can kick around with him and show him the sights. It's been a long time since I've seen him. He'll be flying in on Sunday, and fly back on Wednesday - his birthday.

I look forward to his visit. :)