Friday, November 30, 2007


Sorry I haven't posted in the past few days. Much of my time has been spent either working or sleeping. I'll add a few posts this weekend.

Yes, I'm very glad the Dallas Cowboys beat the Green Bay Packers 37-27. Would've been nice to see it (my wife's stepfather was at Texas Stadium for the game). NFL Network...GRRRR!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Golden Compass movie

Don’t know if I’ll see this movie. Have yet to see the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy or Chronicles of Narnia. Haven’t read them, either: fantasy literature isn’t a favorite of mine.

I may not watch The Golden Compass, but it’s safe to say that lots and lots of people will. Some because it’s fantasy and they enjoy the genre and others because they want to see if the movie measures up to the controversy. The movie is said to have been based on fantasy literature written by an atheist and that, in the books, God is killed.

Many Christians are angry with this movie and no doubt many ministers are telling their congregation not to watch it. Just as they did with films like Life of Brian, The Last Temptation of Christ and The DaVinci Code. Other Christians are encouraging fellow believers to watch the film, feeling that discussion of the movie will generate opportunities to share the Gospel.

As for the Christians who plan to boycott and be vocal about it, just realize that all your boycott will really do is encourage more people to go watch it. It will spark the curiosity of some and for others, who love to see Christians get offended, they will go watch the movie for that very reason.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Guitar Hero

Played Guitar Hero while spending Thanksgiving at my brother-in-law's house in Ohio. Thankfully, it's ambidextrous since I'm a lefty and can't play guitar right-handed (if you're a righty, try playing a guitar left-handed and you'll see what I mean). Didn't do too badly, though it was a little rough at first. Oldest son, who is learning guitar, reminded me that I was playing the easy level. Someday I'd like to learn the guitar for real...

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A photo a friend of mine took

A friend I know through a Christian chatroom, Dan, is in Israel as part of a study program. Dan posted some pics of Israel. He's a good photographer, and above is one I really like a lot. This photo he took is of a girl he knows. Her name is Sofia, and according to Dan, she's modeling the Hula Valley. They were ascending the Gilboa area, where King Saul and his sons (including David's best friend Jonathan) were killed in battle against the Philistines. Pretty good photography, considering Dan said he was working with a simple digital camera.

Photo of me

I was taking pictures with our digital camera a few months ago when I opted for a self-photo. As you can see from the photo, I don't sufer from insanity--I enjoy every minute of it.

This is actually a rare pic for two reasons--I don't really like to smile for pics and I don't often wear eyeglasses in pics. Without glasses, I am very nearsighted, but I've just never liked wearing them for photos. Call me weird. Many have.

This picture does remind me of a time I was visiting at my grandparents' house. I was in the house and had this feeling that someone was behind me. I turned around and there was my Uncle Alfred (Mom's older brother) with a smile similar to the one above.

As you can also see, I have a big schnozz that would probably give Karl Malden a run for his money. There's this recurring nightmare I have where Michael Jackson's doctor calls me and offers me $50,000 for a graft of my nose for Jacko.

Burger King

My wife and I love the new Burger King commercials, the one where a group of concerned mothers try to get the king "whacked" because they feel he's hindering their ability to make sandwiches. Funny stuff.

Dad's health

Spoke to my mom last night...Dad's blood results showed a higher-than preferable level of cholesterol. Otherwise, things are looking fine. Dad, 71, has been in remission from cancer (he's had it several times, but each time it's found in the early stages where it can either be removed or can be treated through chemo).

Sunday, November 18, 2007


Work went great today. Got to sleep in and got up at 3:15 a.m. and arrived at 4:30 a.m. Am looking forward to Wednesday morning for two reasons: I start work at 1:30 a.m. and want to see how fast I can get done. And as soon as work's done, my family and I will be heading to Ohio to celebrate thanksgiving with my brother-in-law Jason, affectionately known as Evan (long story, I'll have to explain it sometime).

One thing you learn in the bakery business is that you can't estimate with the ingredients. The other day I accidentally put in too much water and the result was having a batch of bagels that, despite adding extra ingredients, didn't turn out too well. Rats. You live and you learn.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Work today

Had a hard time getting to sleep last night, due in part to my knees aching from being stood on most of the day. Took three ibuprofens and, several hours later, the pain subsided. Work was smoother today. Getting faster but still would like to see myself get to where I can get all my tasks (baking bagels, clean up, taking inventory, prepping production, making bagels and clean up) in five to six hours. It's a fun place to work, and I truly am blessed to be out again earning a living. Place I work is a Davison, Mich.-based bagel shop.

It's kind of strange to be up and working so early in the morning, and since I'm not a morning person (despite four years in the military), it's a challenge I am enjoying. If you have the type of job where you have to work in the early morning, best thing to do is go to bed early.

Of all the jobs I've ever had, one of my favorite was when I worked in the bakery at Pensacola Christian College. I loved going to work, loved what I did at work, loved the people and genuinely hated to have to clock out.

Nothing like being tired at the end of the day.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Wow! What a day!

Started work this morning at 2:30 a.m. and finished up at around 11:30. I hope to get things down to a better rhythm when I go in tomorrow morning. It's great to be earning a paycheck again. Thank you, God.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Working again

Yee-haw! I now am working 30 hours a week for a bagel shop. I hope to add another part-time job or something substantial during the day. Praise the Lord!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Warren Buffett renews opposition to abolishment of estate tax

Billionaire Warren Buffett reaffirmed his support for the estate tax and voiced his opposition to efforts to abolish it. Called "the death tax" by opponents, this tax is levied on money inherited.

Buffett said this in Reuters: "Dynastic wealth, the enemy of a meritocracy, is on the rise. Equality of opportunity has been on the decline. A progressive and meaningful estate tax is needed to curb the movement of a democracy toward plutocracy."

Why does Buffett, Paul Newman and other proponents of the estate tax seem to presume that everybody inheriting money from an estate either a) is inheriting millions or b) is already wealthy?

Our government is about nine trillion dollars in debt, but it wastes billions of dollars annually in pork-barrel spending. Until it can show itself to be a good steward with the money it already has, why on earth should we allow it to have more money? Does Buffett really think these additional funds from estate taxes are being put to good use?

Hugo Chavez pouts about royal rebuke

If you needed any further evidence that Venezuelan, president Hugo "Oogo" Chavez can dish it out but can't take it, this article might provide it.

Chavez was upset regarding the recent Ibero-American Summit in Chile in which he dismissed former Spanish prime minister Jose Maria Aznar as a "fascist" and said that snakes were a higher form of life than Asnar. The former prime minister showed amazing class by refusing to dignify Oogo's remarks and instead saying on a Colombian television interview, "I'm old enough to know some people need foreign enemies when things start going wrong back home ... Therefore, I'm not going to fan all that nonsense and lies. I will simply ignore them."

Oogo further said in the story that heads of state must be respected (after his comments at the conference, he was told by King Juan Carlos of Spain to "shut up"; the king used the familiar term "te" instead of the respectful "se", suggesting his cold feelings for Chavez). Funny, considering that Oogo has called President Bush "the devil" and talking about how a lecturn Bush used at the U.N. still smelled of sulfur. Oogo also has called U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice a "sexually-frustrated" woman.

Pretty strong words for a man who is eliminating term limits, putting his friends in power and is trying to shut down opposition media. Sounds like he's becoming the new Castro.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Fabio vs. George Clooney, Round 1

This last Friday actor George Clooney and model/butter pitchperson/production company owner Fabio got into a spat at a Los Angeles restaurant. Kind of funny. Here's an account of it from the website of blogger Debbie Schlussel:

George Clooney and romance icon Fabio stunned diners at Hollywood's swanky Madeo
restaurant on Friday, when they exchanged fighting words over a photo session.

Actor Fabio was dining with friends when one stood to take photos close to a table Clooney was sharing with his girlfriend Sarah Larson...According to In Touch Weekly magazine, Clooney thought the photographer was trying to take shots of him and asked her to stop -- a request that annoyed his fellow diner.

The magazine reports Fabio went over to Clooney's table to explain, but the conversation became heated, and the long-haired actor was overheard telling the "Ocean's Eleven" star, "I thought you were a nice guy. Stop being a diva!" [Emphasis mine]

The encounter reportedly prompted [an] angry Clooney to stand up and approach Fabio. An eyewitness tells In Touch, "The waiters broke it up before it got out of hand. "George looked annoyed. ... George was drinking but he wasn't drunk." Clooney reportedly skipped the rest of his meal, asked for his bill and left.

Fabio's manager has refused to comment about the incident, but says, "George is lucky he didn't end up in the ER."

Nothing better than a girlie-man like Fabio almost beating up a liberal fascist like George Clooney. Please, keep it comin'!

I wonder if Clooney yelled at Fabio (whose real name is Fabio Lanzoni): "I CAN believe it's not butter!"

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Dallas Cowboys win again. Yea!

Final score: Dallas Cowboys 31, New York Giants 20. Dallas is now 8-1 and in sole possession of the NFC East. Next week: at home hosting the Washington Redskins.

When you don't feel like going to church...

I had one of those days today where I didn’t feel like going to church. My wife wasn’t feeling the greatest, and our two youngest were in the same boat. Our oldest son is really getting involved in his youth group, and I really hate to miss church especially for that reason. So we went, and I saw at my favorite spot—up in the balcony at the front of the back row so that I could put my Bible and Day Planner atop the ledge.

Wow, am I glad I went.

The service, preached by Pastor Peter DeKlerk of Lapeer, Mich.’s Calvary Bible Church, talked further in the Book of Acts about the Apostle Paul’s mission work. Talked about how when people got saved they started clearing things out of their lives that would hinder their walk with God. It really challenged me to be alert about what my eyes see on television and what my ears hear on the radio. And then in Sunday School, we continued our exposition into the Book of Daniel. We learned more about King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream that Daniel revealed and interpreted for him. Great stuff, with lots of platinum nuggets of wisdom to ponder. (A lady named Nancy Green especially had some insightful observations to offer on King Nebby).

Moral to the story: if you don’t “feel” like going to church and aren’t sick, get your lazy self to church. Chances are, the “don’t feel like it” attitude is Satan trying desperately to prevent you from getting royal blessings from God. All the times in the past several years that I’ve forced myself to go to church I came away exceedingly glad that I went.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Second vehicle!

Through the help of a family member, the Lord has provided for us a much-needed second vehicle--a 1995 Chevy Astro minivan! It's in great condition and once a few repairs are made, it'll be ready to go.

The one we have is actually teal, whereas the picture you see is one that's plum. It's an interesting vehicle, with light switches like nothing I've ever seen. It's a 4.3-liter V6, which means it'll get decent gas mileage.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Pat Robertson endorses RINO Rudy Giuliani for president

Pat Robertson, a longtime "leader" in the Christian political movement, has announced his endorsement for former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani for the 2008 Republican nomination for president.

Hard to imagine that Robertson is endorsing a RINO (Republican In Name Only), considering that Giuliani supports three things that Christians traditionally oppose: abortion, gay rights and gun control.

IF Giuliani gets the nomination, he'll have a very tough time convincing this conservative not to vote third party. I'd rather cast my vote for a third-party candidate like Daniel Imperato rather than vote for a politician who seems far too similar to likely Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton.

Was Joe McCarthy right?

The late senator Joe McCarthy is villified in Hollywood even today because of his 1950-1954 hearings that investigated Communist infiltration into our government. Though separate from the 1947 House of Representatives' House Un-American Activities Committee (which investigated Communist infiltrations into places like the Screen Actors' Guild), many in Hollywood still associated McCarthy with being blacklisted for refusal to cooperate with the HUAC. Even today, McCarthy is villified in Hollywood--most recently in George Clooney's film Good Night, and Good Luck.

Now, a new book states that McCarthy was right in his investigations and that his efforts saved America from communist infiltration.

The book? Blacklisted by History by journalist and author M. Staton Evans.


We have snow coming down, and we also had our first flurries of the year yesterday.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Something that Oliver Stone, Jack Nicholson...

...and every other Hollywood liberal, who seems to have nothing but blissful thoughts when it comes to Fidel Castro's island paradise that is Cuba, should have to read. Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby wrote an excellent column on Sunday regarding Cuba's gulags where they keep political prisoners. This article represents one of the countless reasons why Miami's Little Havana will party like it's 1999 when Castro, who's in declining health, finally does die. Column's called "A Hero in Castro's Gulag."

Speaking of Castro, considering how Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez is starting to tighten his control of the media and has said he wants to eliminate term limits, I wonder why Hollywood types like Sean "Jeff Spicoli" Penn* love him so much. After all, they hate the president even though Bush has term limits and doesn't shut down TV networks because he doesn't like what they say about him. Can you imagine the protests that would ensue if Bush tried to shut down CNN?

*Credit for Penn's nickname needs to go to attorney/columnist/blogger Debbie Schlussel, who has written that Penn's nutty political views show that life often imitates art (Penn played the constantly-stoned Spicoli in the overrated film Fast Times at Ridgemont High).

Monday, November 5, 2007

Stephen Colbert ends short 'presidential bid'

Stephen Colbert, a satirist who plays a conservative commentator on Comedy Central's The Colbert Report, has ended his presidential "bid". He made his decision after the South Carolina Democratic Executive Council voted almost unanimously not to put him on the state's primary ballot.

I wonder how many people thought Coblert's campaign was legit.

Dallas 38, Philadelphia 17

Dallas won! Yea! 7-1 heading now into next week's rematch in the Meadowlands against the New York Giants.

Sunday, November 4, 2007


Today, I did something I haven't done in a few years--made spaghetti using mostly from-scratch sauce (I dislike store-bought sauce). Turned out pretty good, although it's a work in progress. Everyone in the family said they really liked it. Charles, my 9 year-old, said it was the best spaghetti he's eer had. (ha ha). I see it as a work in progress since as I ate it and tasted, I noted a few things that needed improvement (garlic needed to be chopped up smaller and its flavor more dispersed into the spaghetti sauce). For the meat we used Italian sausage, which turned out great (apologies to my Jewish friends).

Road to Perdition

My wife and I watched this the other night. Not too bad a film. Very good, actually. Jude Law does a great job of playing a wholly unlikeable character. Interesting premise: father who works for organized crime wants to make sure his son doesn't follow in his footsteps.

Regarding the scene where Tom Hanks' character wounds Law's character, leaves and is eventually mortally wounded by Law: why on earth in the movies don't people ever kill their adversaries when they get the chance? Sheesh...

Friday, November 2, 2007

Trouble at Oprah's South African school

There appear to be problems in paradise, as far as the South African-based Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls goes.

Winfrey opened the girls’ leadership academy at the beginning of this year. According to a Reuters report from Johannesburg, South African police have arrested a former dormitory employee. Charges include indecent acts and abuse. Police said that at least seven girls have submitted statements regarding alleged incidents. They also include indecent assault, alleged assault, “crimen injuria” (specifically, injuring another person’s dignity; this can apply to racial abuse and sexual offenses against children) and soliciting underage girls to perform indecent acts.

As of the posting of this blog, Winfrey has not posted a statement on her Website.

The academy, which costs $40 million, features a first class of 152 poor (mostly black) students selected by Winfrey. The school includes modern facilities that include a beauty salon, yoga studio and laboratories. There are currently about 450 students attending; textbooks, uniforms and meals are free.

Reuters reports that some parents have complained that the school is too strict. No junk food is allowed (which isn’t a bad thing), and when visiting the school, people must go through a security gate (again, not necessarily a bad thing). Some parents, though, took issue with the school’s restrictions on visits, phone calls and email contact and, according to Reuters, they compared the rules to those “in prisons.”

South African police said the school has cooperated with the investigation and that, according to Rapport newspaper, Winfrey even flew in to meet with parents and school officials to apologize for letting them down.

Interestingly, the article reports this: “Reporters who visited the school after reports of abuse were published were denied access to children and administrators.”

Duane 'Dog' Chapman in doo-doo

Reality television star Duane “Dog” Chapman is in hot water, and a large part is his own doing. In a situation eerily similar to that which actor Alec Baldwin went through a few months ago, Chapman—who stars in the show Dog the Bounty Hunter on A&E—used racial slurs in phone conversations that his estranged son taped.

In the phone conversation, Dog used the N-word several times when talking about his son Tucker Chapman’s girlfriend (who is black). He also told his son that he should end his relationship with the woman. Dog also apparently expressed concern about the girlfriend trying to tape and publish proof of his own use of the N-word.

Dog ostensibly didn’t know his son was taping the conversation, nor did he know the son would sell it to that fine bastion of journalism, The National Enquirer. The tabloid’s editor-in-chief David Perel conveniently declined to say how he obtained the tape, but added that what was important was what was on the tape.

Dog has reportedly apologized to his son and to his son’s girlfriend, and to his

This reminds me of how Baldwin’s angry phone message for his daughter somehow wound up leaked to the public. I suspect there would be a lot more ugliness in the world if private conversations were made public, but the point is this: if Dog hadn’t been using inappropriate language, he’d have nothing to worry about.

Dog has tried to clarify his comments. According to the Associated Press, he was “disappointed in [my son’s] choice of a friend, not due to her race, but her character. However, I should have never used that term.”

I suspect A&E will wait and see if Dog’s indiscretion eventually fades away to yesterday’s news. If it does, and if African-Americans who’ve worked with Dog don’t report any racist vibes, then this story will eventually become a punch line down the road.

Thursday, November 1, 2007


The other morning, I made breakfast for my wife and sons. Fried eggs, bacon and toast. As I cooked, it really made me think of how much I love cooking and how much I'd love to pursue it as a hobby. Perhaps even as a paying job, if the right circumstances arise. I told Jennifer (my wife) that the best times I had at college working in food service were when I was cooking or working in the bakery. Preparing food is a blast. Clean-up is not.

At this stage of being a person who loves to cook as a hobby, my favorite things to use for seasoning include Cavender's Greek Seasoning (based in Harrison, Arkansas, where one of my uncles lives), soy sauce, basil, oregano and garlic powder. I hope to expand this list.

Dave's Insanity Sauce, for those who LOVE hot sauce

I recently came upon a bottle of Dave’s Insanity Sauce. Now, I love spicy food (Chinese Siquan [usually spelled Szechuan] is a particular favorite), but this tests the limits. My brother-in-law, Joe, introduced me to DIS a few years ago. Joe, a New Orleans native who loves spicy foods, warned me that all I needed was a drop. Well, crazy me, I put several drops onto some food I was eating.

What was it like? I can’t imagine sipping acid could be much worse. Joe laughed so hard that Pepsi spewed out of his nose.

These days, I make sure I enjoy DIS in strict moderation. When a hot sauce comes packaged in a miniature coffin, that is great advice to heed.