May each of you have the heart to conceive, the understanding to direct, and the hand to execute works that will leave the world a little better for your having been here. -- Ronald Reagan

Saturday, December 31, 2011

"What Are You Doing New Years Eve?" ~~Song

This is just a fun and pleasant way to wish all a happy healthy holy new year. This is Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

Here's the original recording, written in 1947 by Frank Loesser sung by the Orioles. This made the charts, though it was originally sung by Margaret Whiting in 1947.

May the New Year bring you love, laughter,
Health and happiness;
Be flush with friendship and family,
Scintillating and successful,
And may you experience God’s Love in abundance. 

Friday, December 30, 2011

Best Local News Bloopers of 2011

Friday, December 23, 2011

Mary's Prayer

GOD. O infant-God. Heaven's fairest child. Conceived by the union of divine grace with our disgrace. Sleep well.

Sleep well. Bask in the coolness of this night bright with diamonds. Sleep well, for the heat of anger simmers nearby. Enjoy the silence of the crib, for the noise of confusion rumbles in your future. Savor the sweet safety of my arms, for a day is soon coming when I cannot protect you. 

Rest well, tiny hands. For though you belong to a king, you will touch no satin, own no gold. You will grasp no pen, guide no brush. No, your tiny hands are reserved for works more precious:

To touch a leper's open wound, to wipe a widow's weary tear, to claw the ground of Gethsemane.

Your hands, so tiny, so white--clutched tonight in an infant's fist. They aren't destined to hold a scepter nor wave from a palace balcony. They are reserved instead for a Roman spike that will staple them to a Roman cross.

Sleep deeply, tiny eyes. Sleep while you can. For soon the blurriness will clear and you will see the mess we have made of your world.

You will see our nakedness, for we cannot hide.

You will see our selfishness, for we cannot give.

You will see our pain, for we cannot heal.

O eyes that will see hell's darkest pit and witness her ugly prince... sleep, please sleep; sleep while you can.

Lie still, tiny mouth. Lie still, mouth from which eternity will speak.

Tiny tongue that will soon summon the dead, that will define grace, that will silence our foolishness.

Rosebud lips--upon which ride a starborn kiss of forgiveness to those who believe you, and of death to those who deny you--lie still.

And tiny feet cupped in the palm of my hand, rest. For many difficult steps lie ahead for you.

Do you taste the dust of the trails you will travel?

Do you feel the cold seawater upon which you will walk?

Do you wrench at the invasion of the nail you will bear?

Do you fear the steep descent down the spiral staircase into Satan's domain?

Rest, tiny feet. Rest today so that tomorrow you might walk with power. Rest. For millions will follow in your steps.

And little heart ... holy heart ... pumping the blood of life through the universe: How many times will we break you?

You'll be torn by the thorns of our accusations.

You'll be ravaged by the cancer of our sin.

You'll be crushed under the weight of your own sorrow.

And you'll be pierced by the spear of our rejection.

Yet in that piercing, in that ultimate ripping of muscle and membrane, in that final rush of blood and water, you will find rest. Your hands will be freed, your eyes will see justice, your lips will smile, and your feet will carry you home.

And there you'll rest again this time in the embrace of your Father.  ~~Max Lucado

Magnificat - Taizé

Magnificat, magnificat, magnificat anima mea Dominum
Magnificat, magnificat, magnificat anima mea

Sing out my soul. Sing out my soul. Sing out and glorify the Lord who sets us
Free. Sing out my soul. Sing out my soul. Sing out and glorify the Lord God!

And Mary said:
  “My soul magnifies the Lord,
    And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.
    For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant;
    For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed.
    For He who is mighty has done great things for me,
    And holy is His name.
    And His mercy is on those who fear Him
    From generation to generation.
    He has shown strength with His arm;
    He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
    He has put down the mighty from their thrones,
    And exalted the lowly.
    He has filled the hungry with good things,
    And the rich He has sent away empty.
     He has helped His servant Israel,
    In remembrance of His mercy,
    As He spoke to our fathers,
    To Abraham and to his seed forever.”
                                                              Mary's song of praise -Luke 1:46-55

Carol of the Bells (for 12 cellos) - Steven Sharp Nelson

Amazing Photography and Places

Thor's Well a/k/a "the gates of the dungeon" on Cape Perpetua, Oregon. At moderate tide and strong surf, flowing water creates a fantastic landscape.

Emerald Lake in the crater of an extinct volcano. Tongariro National Park - New Zealand

Restaurant on a cliff on the east coast of Zanzibar.
Depending on the tide the restaurant can be reached both on foot and by boat.

Desert with Phacelia (Scorpion Weed). Flowering once in several years.

Dubai. The view from the skyscraper BurjKhalifa. The height of buildings is 828 m (163 floors).

And this is the view down

These trees grow in the forest near Gryfino, Poland. The cause of the curvature is unknown 

Twice a year in the Gulf of Mexico rays migrate. About 10 thousand stingrays swim from the Yucatan Peninsula to Florida in the spring and back in the fall.

Day and night. The monument in Kaunas, Lithuania

This statue, created by Bruno Catalano, is located in France

The longest traffic jam in the world recorded in China. Its length is 260 kilometers

Paris computer games store. In fact, the floor is absolutely flat.

Haus Rizzi - Germany.

Lena Pillars. Russia, the Lena River.

Banpo Bridge in Seoul, South Korea

In the Chinese province of Shandong is a bridge across the Gulf of Jiaozhou. The bridge length over 36 km is calculated for eight car lanes, and is the longest sea bridge in the world.

View of the sunset from inside the wave.

This is a unique geological phenomenon known as Danxia landform. These phenomena can be observed in several places in China. This example is located in Zhangye, Province of Gansu. The color is the result of an accumulation for millions of years of red sandstone and other rocks.

In northwestern Montana, USA. The water is so transparent that it seems that this is a quite shallow lake. In fact, it’s very deep. 

Photo of storm in Montana, USA, 2010

Skyscraper-Crescent Crescent Moon Tower (Dubai)

Morning Glory - kind of clouds observed in the Gulf of Carpentaria in northern Australia 

Emerson, Lake & Palmer - I Believe In Father Christmas - Israel

This is Greg Lake singing.

My Best of / Favs of 2011

Best: "True Grit" ****Jeff Bridges, directed by the Cohen Brothers. Superb acting, incredible dialog.
Runner up: "Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows: Part 2"****

Books Fiction:
Best: "Shantarum" ***** Gregory David Roberts ~~ Masterpiece, Autobiographical novel, hardcore convict escapes max security prison in Australia, goes to Bombay. An amazing well crafted read. Thoughtful, passionate, intriguing.
Runner up: "The Shadow of the Wind" ***** Carlos Ruiz Zafron-- The poetic prose, descriptions, characters, story, emotion...a literary symphony perfectly scored. Wow wow wow

Books Non Fiction:

"At Home" **** Bill Bryson -- Wonderful, informative history of all the things in our homes; the architecture, chairs, sofas, paint, pillows, kitchens... just the most amazing things. Highly recommended!
Runner up: "Jesus of Nazareth, From the Baptism in the Jordan to the Transfiguration" *** Joseph Ratzinger, Pope Benedict XVI -- Sublime theology, superbly helpful understanding Jesus both historically and as the transcendent Son of Man

News Source:
Best: Drudge Report
Runner up: Hot Air


Rocky Roberts "Sono Tremendo" (1968):  (red ad can be closed)

Runner up: Look At Me Now - Chris Brown ft. Lil Wayne, Busta Rhymes (Cover by @KarminMusic)

John Branyan - The Three Little Pigs Told in Shakespearean English


The Versatile Blogger Award

I've been nominated by the heartfelt and informative Windrose Hotel for the Versatile Blog Award. Thank you soooo much. I’m allowed to contribute to Windrose, a very high honor indeed. This is frosting on my blogosphere cake.  

Obliged to follow the rules.

  • Nominate 15  fellow bloggers.
  • Inform the bloggers of their nomination.
  • Share 7 random things about yourself.
  • Thank the blogger who nominated you.
  • Add the Versatile Blog Award picture on your blog post.

Seven Random Things:

  1. My nomenclature is proud member of the vast right wing conspiracy and a Christian zealot.
  1. My greatest pleasure is reading.
  1. My guilty pleasure is TMZ.
  1. My favorite place on the planet is Southern Utah, and narrowed down even further is Bryce Canyon.
  1. A regret I have about life decisions is I didn’t stay in Journalism in college and pursue it as a career.
  1. My favorite rock band of all time is Jethro Tull.
  1. I’m an introvert and glad to be one.
‘fraid to say, except for the Windrose Hotel, I mostly read news blogs that are commercial or written by several contributors.

Windrose Hotel – Really the only non commercial blog I read regularly. 

At this point I’ll deviate from the rules, and suspend the list. 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

On Being An Introvert

Yesterday on a lark I took a personality test based on Briggs Myers personality assessment, and it was no surprise that “introvert” showed up as my strongest trait. 

There’s stuff about the brain and chemicals released and various behaviors. There’s misunderstanding too about introverts.

From an article about introverts:

Myth #1 – Introverts don’t like to talk.
This is not true. Introverts just don’t talk unless they have something to say. They hate small talk. Get an introvert talking about something they are interested in, and they won’t shut up for days.

Myth #2 – Introverts are shy.
Shyness has nothing to do with being an Introvert. Introverts are not necessarily afraid of people. What they need is a reason to interact. They don’t interact for the sake of interacting. If you want to talk to an Introvert, just start talking. Don’t worry about being polite.

Myth #3 – Introverts are rude.
Introverts often don’t see a reason for beating around the bush with social pleasantries. They want everyone to just be real and honest. Unfortunately, this is not acceptable in most settings, so Introverts can feel a lot of pressure to fit in, which they find exhausting.

Myth #4 – Introverts don’t like people.
On the contrary, Introverts intensely value the few friends they have. They can count their close friends on one hand. If you are lucky enough for an introvert to consider you a friend, you probably have a loyal ally for life. Once you have earned their respect as being a person of substance, you’re in.

Myth #5 – Introverts don’t like to go out in public.
Nonsense. Introverts just don’t like to go out in public FOR AS LONG. They also like to avoid the complications that are involved in public activities. They take in data and experiences very quickly, and as a result, don’t need to be there for long to “get it.” They’re ready to go home, recharge, and process it all. In fact, recharging is absolutely crucial for Introverts.

Myth #6 – Introverts always want to be alone.
Introverts are perfectly comfortable with their own thoughts. They think a lot. They daydream. They like to have problems to work on, puzzles to solve. But they can also get incredibly lonely if they don’t have anyone to share their discoveries with. They crave an authentic and sincere connection with ONE PERSON at a time.

Myth #7 – Introverts are weird.
Introverts are often individualists. They don’t follow the crowd. They’d prefer to be valued for their novel ways of living. They think for themselves and because of that, they often challenge the norm. They don’t make most decisions based on what is popular or trendy.

Myth #8 – Introverts are aloof nerds.
Introverts are people who primarily look inward, paying close attention to their thoughts and emotions. It’s not that they are incapable of paying attention to what is going on around them, it’s just that their inner world is much more stimulating and rewarding to them.

Myth #9 – Introverts don’t know how to relax and have fun.
Introverts typically relax at home or in nature, not in busy public places. Introverts are not thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies. If there is too much talking and noise going on, they shut down. Their brains are too sensitive to the neurotransmitter called Dopamine. Introverts and Extroverts have different dominant neuro-pathways. Just look it up.

Myth #10 – Introverts can fix themselves and become Extroverts.
A world without Introverts would be a world with few scientists, musicians, artists, poets, filmmakers, doctors, mathematicians, writers, and philosophers. That being said, there are still plenty of techniques an Extrovert can learn in order to interact with Introverts. (Yes, I reversed these two terms on purpose to show you how biased our society is.) Introverts cannot “fix themselves” and deserve respect for their natural temperament and contributions to the human race. In fact, one study (Silverman, 1986) showed that the percentage of Introverts increases with IQ.

It turns out introverts comprise only about 25% of the population. Hoooray! I finally made it into a minority! I want special “rights”!

Briggs Meyer based personality assessment here.  

Jonathan Rauch in The Atlantic Monthly, “Caring for your Introvert” wrote:
Extroverts are energized by people, and wilt or fade when alone. They often seem bored by themselves, in both senses of the expression. Leave an extrovert alone for two minutes and he will reach for his cell phone. In contrast, after an hour or two of being socially “on,” we introverts need to turn off and recharge. My own formula is roughly two hours alone for every hour of socializing. This isn’t antisocial. It isn’t a sign of depression. It does not call for medication. For introverts, to be alone with our thoughts is as restorative as sleeping, as nourishing as eating. Our motto: “I’m okay, you’re okay—in small doses.”

This causes some stress having to be working for eight hours; I work in a call center with hundreds of people and I must interact with dozens of them. It can especially be daunting as a regular church participant. That’s an especially social and extroverted group. After meetings or choir practice folks stand around and chit chat; I’m looking for an escape route. No disrespect meant. The event is over, it’s time to go.

Rauch again:
The worst of it is that extroverts have no idea of the torment they put us through. Sometimes, as we gasp for air amid the fog of their 98-percent-content-free talk, we wonder if extroverts even bother to listen to themselves. Still, we endure stoically, because the etiquette books—written, no doubt, by extroverts—regard declining to banter as rude and gaps in conversation as awkward. We can only dream that someday, when our condition is more widely understood, when perhaps an Introverts’ Rights movement has blossomed and borne fruit, it will not be impolite to say “I’m an introvert. You are a wonderful person and I like you. But now please shush.”

Rauch article here

So no, when you ask...everything is all right, nothing is wrong. I just want to get out of here.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Jimmy Kimmel: YouTube Challenge - I Gave My Kids a Terrible Present


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Saint Nicolas, Santa Claus, Atheists, and Christmas

Saint Nicolas

This is the time of year when most of us celebrate God, Love, Family, Sharing and Giving. It’s also the time of year when Atheists and Bigots celebrate Intolerance and Hate. To do that, there have to be a lot of lies. The one that is gaining momentum is Santa Claus is a Christian religious icon. This was news to me. Don’t find him mentioned in Scripture, the Desert Fathers didn’t write about him, no mention of him at Pentecost, none of the early church leaders, none of the early apologists wrote about him. Martin Luther didn’t write, preach or teach about him.

The connection given is Saint Nicolas that became St Nick that became Santa Claus. This can’t even be a tenuous connection; there are not two more antithetical characters to be found. We have a jolly fat ad man and a reportedly mean yet pious tough guy that was really skinny.

Nicolas was born about 280 years after Jesus in the town of Patara. He got in fights. Reportedly at the Council at Nicaea, Arias, who didn’t think Jesus was Divine, ticked Nick off and Nick rose, walked across the room and popped him a good one, knocking Arias down. For his passionate display, he’s sent to the dungeon. He got really skinny there.

His being a really thin and hard man had much to do with the amount of times he was beaten and tortured during the “Great Persecution” of the early 300’s CE. When Constantine came to power, and Christianity was made acceptable, he fought against corruption and injustice. Didn’t make many friends for that either. He certainly didn’t have any children fitting into this story. Two events are reported to have happened relating to children. One was his giving money to a father with daughters, and the father used to money for dowry’s to keep them from having to make a living as prostitutes. The other story is about a tavern keeper that robbed a man, kidnapped his three children and hid them in a pickle barrel. Nick found them and returned them to their father.

This causes some cognitive dissonance; in the Middle Ages he became known as the brawling saint, but became the patron saint of children. An odd confluence.

Early Santa Claus
Santa Claus came about by merging a lot of pagan, Nordic and other mythologies to create a composite character, along with some novels later on.

Atheists and other intolerant people, if they want to continue being intolerant bigots, is just say they hate Christians and Christianity, and reject the ideals of Love, Charity, Sharing and Giving. They are Christian ideals after all; pagans, those that existed before Christianity didn’t have these ideals (with the exception of the Jews). That they exist at all goes primarily to Jesus the Christ and the Apostle Paul. Christians spread these ideals from Jews to Gentiles. Pagans then just hated Christians and Christianity so much there was a lot of killing, imprisonment, torture and slavery of them. Fortunately, our modern pagans live in a Judeo-Christian culture that forbids such things. (Such things do still go in Islamist countries though. Try badmouthing Allah and Ramadan to them.)

Atheists, bigots, intolerant ones; once a year people that celebrate something you despise, and you attack attack attack and lie. The rest of the year you have it your way. Give it a rest. 

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Caller: Jamaican Immigrant Hates What This Country Has Become

So true her observations and frustrations. No doubt that beyond being cowards and not truly standing up for what they claim are their values and beliefs, Republicans are the party of stupid. True too Democrats stand up for and get the job done implementing their agenda. Sad too, that nearly half of American citizens readily accept and desire to live under tyranny.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

For Advent: Veni Redemptor Gentium (Come Redeemer of the Nations)

This was written  by St. Ambrose in the 4th Century.
(These lyrics are a little different than those being sung here.)

O COME, Redeemer of the earth,
and manifest thy virgin-birth.
Let every age in wonder fall:
such birth befits the God of all.

Begotten of no human will
but of the Spirit, Thou art still
the Word of God in flesh arrayed,
the promised fruit to man displayed.

The Virgin's womb that burden gained,
its virgin honor still unstained.
The banners there of virtue glow;
God in his temple dwells below.

Proceeding from His chamber free
that royal home of purity
a giant in twofold substance one,
rejoicing now His course to run.

O equal to the Father, Thou!
gird on Thy fleshly mantle now;
the weakness of our mortal state
with deathless might invigorate.

Thy cradle here shall glitter bright,
and darkness breathe a newer light
where endless faith shall shine serene
and twilight never intervene.

All praise, eternal Son, to Thee,
whose advent sets Thy people free,
whom, with the Father, we adore,
and Holy Ghost, for evermore. Amen.

Achmed the Dead Terrorist Christmas Song

Top 10 Disturbing and Inescapable Christmas Songs

Entertaining take on some Christmas songs by Nostalgia Chick.

Part 1

Part 2

Friday, December 2, 2011

Adam Carolla's Anti-Occupy Wall Street Rant

This is a hilarious take on modern society and the Wall St "occupiers". Laugh out loud funny!!! I used the bleepin' edited version 'cause it's even funnier.