Thursday, November 30, 2006

Thursday Thirteen

Since September 25, I have not eaten the following 13 foods. Most were part of my TT list of triggers that make me hungry. The flat out toughest to resist have been #1, #5, and #9. I think I would mug someone for a bag of Fritos. We were at a buffet luncheon [buffets were on the list, but we were invited] to celebrate a wedding anniversary at the Scioto Country Club Sunday, and there was a table of desserts to die for--which included not only pecan pie (my favorite next to apple sour cream which no one but me makes), but also cheesecake, which I love. I selected instead, the pumpkin cream cheese roll. The point isn't the calories, but the trigger, and pumpkin cake doesn't stick up my tastebuds and kill my resolve, even if it is delicious.

1. Pizza, I particularly miss pepperoni with extra cheese from Rotolo's.
2. pastaoops--did have spaghetti--but not noodles or macaroni
3. Ritz crackers
4. cheddar cheese
5. pie crust or pastry, whether main dish or dessert
6. sandwich except for Friday night date Rusty Bucket's Philly Cheese, no bread or rolls
7. free sample bread and bagel snacks at Panera's
8. potato chips
9. Fritos
10. carbonated beverages (easy to give up--don't think they were on the list)
11. dip or sauce
12. gravy
13. cheesecake

I haven't had a beer either, but that's not much of a sacrifice. I've never even tasted beer. Imagine the calories I've saved for enjoying something that doesn't smell like rotting grain!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!
The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! Leave a comment and I'll add your name and URL.

Visited and visitors today:
Amber, Amy Christopher, AnnaMary, Beth, Bubba, Carol, Caylynn, Celfyddydau Cheryl, Chickadee, Cindi, Dane Bramage, Darla, East of Oregon, JAM, Jane, Janeen, Jen, JMom,John, Katia, Kitty, KT Cat, Lady Bug, LaughingMuse, Leah, Ma, Mar, Pippajo, Skittles, Something Blue, Southern Girl, Smurf, Staci T, Susan, Terrell, Terri,

3229 Smoking bans and children

We're sure to see more laws created to protect children from their parents' smoking, both in the home and in automobiles. USAToday carried the story that a number of states already prohibit foster parents from smoking around their charges. But I'm sure it is only a matter of time before it will be considered a form of child abuse to make children breathe cigarette smoke--from your mouth to their lungs. Although I don't think smoking should be illegal, I do believe children need to be protected, both in the womb and in the room.

"Former smoker Bob Mathis, a Democratic state representative in Arkansas, sponsored a law that bars smoking in a car carrying a child young enough to require a car seat. It took effect in July. A violator can be fined $25 but can get out of it with proof of participation in a smoking-cessation program. A similar law took effect in Louisiana in August.

"We have laws on the books in every state of the union against child abuse," Mathis says. "This is a form of child abuse."

At least six states and some counties prohibit foster parents from smoking when foster children are present, says Kathleen Dachille, director of the Legal Resource Center for Tobacco Regulation, Litigation & Advocacy at the University of Maryland School of Law. "There are times when it's appropriate to regulate what people can do in their home," she says. "The state is responsible for that child."

Some courts are ordering parents in custody and visitation disputes not to smoke around their kids."

I think I noted before at this blog that my husband, who has never smoked, coughed like a smoker every morning for several years into adulthood, after living for 18 years in a home where both his parents smoked, as well as all their friends and relatives.

I had lunch with a friend today, and when I turned down a bite of brownie dessert, I compared it to some people and cigarettes. She nodded and said she had quit smoking 15 years ago, and knew if she smoked even one, she would start again, the addiction was that strong. Her husband also quit 15 years ago, but too late and has COPD.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

3228 Pandering to special interests

A medical examiner, Dr. Charles Siebert, in Florida is being maligned because he determined that the cause of death of a young black man, Martin Anderson, in a military style boot camp was "complications of sickle cell trait," and the manner natural. Bill Oliver is a pathologist and writes about the medical literature that has shown for over 20 years that young black men with sickle cell trait collapse and die at a high rate in boot camp and athletic preseason workouts.

"The Attorney General, and soon to be elected Governor, Charlie Crist decided to make an example of Dr. Siebert. After all, who was this little guy who thought that practicing medicine was more important than getting him elected? It was, I suppose, a no-brainer. Pandering to racial special interests is always a win when it can be done at no cost except for ruining the life of some cog in the machine."

Part 1, Part 2.

3227 High School science way back when

Although I didn't know it until a few minutes ago, my high school science curriculum was similar to my grandmother's and was established by The Committee of Ten back in 1893. It seems I had a lot more science instruction than many students get today. Freshman: General Science; Sophomore: Biology; Junior: Physics; Senior: Chemistry. Even over 100 years ago, there was a debate on the amount of "hands-on" time and lab work a student needed for a good science education. The authors propose that biology has become so complex that it needs some understanding of physics and chemistry and needs a different spot in the sequence. However, they point out:

"The Committee of Ten report may be considered an "old document" by many contemporary players in education, but it holds an important place in science education history as a reform document that brought science teaching and learning to the forefront of education. More than 100 years after the report was issued, most of our schools still offer high school science courses in the sequence suggested by the Committee of Ten. Science education is still debating what criteria should define the coherence of our science curriculum to lead to scientific literacy for all. If there is one lesson to be learned from my argument, it is that the Committee of Ten did not anticipate that more than 100 years later its recommendations would continue to be a matter of dispute and that one of the subjects proposed to improve the learning experience of our high school students is still a subject of plasticity in the reform efforts during the twenty-first century."

This is a very interesting article in a great on-line journal, CBE Life Sciences Education. Browsing the 2006 issues, I see an article on best web sites for science in each issue, as well as great book reviews.

See the article about the Committee of 10 at High School Biology Today; What the committee of ten did not anticipate

Our Christmas cards are ready!

Now I just have to get the printer fixed so I can run the labels. I pulled on a jammed sheet and apparently ran something off track.

3225 A reminder about colonoscopy

Yes, it's expensive and not pleasant, but it's the only procedure that can actually prevent cancer. Plus, if you go with one of the less intrusive tests, and they find something, you'll have to have the colonoscopy anyway. So start at the top, or the bottom, as it were. Haven't looked at this yet; it's probably at your public library.

Colorectal Cancer Risk Following a Negative Colonoscopy, Robertson and Sirovich, JAMA.2006; 296: 2437

Murray sent me this list, but it also appears on some websites and blogs, include

Comments heard during a colonoscopy

1. "Take it easy, Doc, you're boldly going where no man has gone before."

2. "Find Amelia Earhart yet?"

3. "Can you hear me NOW?"

4. "Oh boy, that was sphincterrific!"

5. "Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?"

6. "You know, in Arkansas, we're now legally married."

7. "Any sign of the trapped miners, Chief?"

8. "You put your left hand in, you take your left hand out. You do the Hokey Pokey...."

9. "Hey! Now I know how a Muppet feels!"

10."If your hand doesn't fit, you must acquit!"

11. "Hey, Doc, let me know if you find my dignity."

12. "You used to be an executive at Enron, didn't you?"

13. "Could you write me a note for my wife, saying that my head is not, in fact, up there?"

3224 Visit and comment day

Today I visited Heretical librarian, who's writing about censorship in a Muslim country; this librarian recently joined the National Guard and has returned to duty protecting our freedoms at his library. Jack Stevens is writing about conflicting articles on President Bush's presidential library; Jack's always a good read, but because he's a conservative and gets a lot of grief from liberals, he's turned off comments (at least I think that's the reason). Shush is writing about Kinky People's needs; do you know what the QQ in LGBTQQ stands for? I didn't. Florida Cracker continues her fascination with Duane Allman, a hobby I haven't grasped. She also has an item about a cartoonist in trouble.

Blonde Librarian didn't seem to be home, or else is revising her very attractive template again. Christian Librarian ponders why she got an MLS after a conversation with a student who was printing webpages rather than bookmarking them. Several folks, librarian and teachers, put together American Presidents, and today feature advice. Through book club I've read quite a bit now about our presidents, their mothers, their times--always an interesting topic. Jane of Art seems to be working on a novel, as well as her poetry, blog, and job but real life keeps getting in the way. I try to follow along, but get confused when I'm in the novel and when I'm in her life. Tomeboy, one of my favorites ('cause he likes me), sighs that he's getting older--got his degree in the early 90s. Groan. Matthew's asleep at the switch again--hasn't updated since Yom Kippur and Ramadam. My favorite cellist/librarian, Mustang Mama, has jumped into Monday Memories, and has the same problem as my kids--a Thanksgiving birthday. Liberry Juice and his wife just got back from Thanksgiving in Missouri.

Krafty Librarian reports on a study about e-mail overload. E-mail archives have grown 10 fold in 10 years, so I'm not alone. Library Marketing has an interesting item about word-of-mouth. WOM about libraries is usually positive--unless you listen closely. Keptup Librarian seems to be reporting what he reads in USAToday. Not sure the story is researched any further, but maybe that's not the intent--to do the journalist's job, I mean. Annoyed Librarian is really getting a following, liberals and conservatives seem to read her, but says it is hard to find something to satirize because it is all so meaningless to start with. Carlos at Biblioblog actually mentions a Christian review source, Books and Culture; my public library rejected this when I requested it. Feel Good Librarian who always posted happy, interesting stories, must not feel so good--nothing since mid-October, and Paul's last post was about beer, in September! Guide to Etiquette last post was in poor taste, in my opinion. Greg is over my head and techno-level, as usual. And finally, some ideas for your book loving friends at Robin's site.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

3223 A year without pork?

Did you see the editorial in WSJ today? "Will the loss of both houses of Congress be enough to shock Republicans into the Hazelton rehab center for spending addicts."

It goes on to report that if they can hold spending at 2006 levels (which some Republicans are trying to do) instead of passing spending bills with 12,000 earmarks (special interests), the taxpayers will save $17 billion.

It's no wonder these guys lost. They've come a long way since they got mad at Bush I for raising taxes.

3222 Over rated, over hyped snacks

Seen at the ConAgra site, "According to IRI Data, sales of packaged snacks foods in the United States topped $32 billion in 2006, up 3 percent since 2002. Health-oriented items have been experiencing the steepest growth in the category. Given the new portion-controlled, healthier snack trend, food manufacturers are launching 100-calorie packages of popular cookies, crackers and chip products in hopes of answering consumer needs."

However, most of these snacks, with the exception of popcorn, are empty calories. [Popcorn is promoted in this press release.] In my opinion, snacks just make you hungrier. If they're salty, you reach for something for thirst, which probably also has calories, or more sodium. If you have these empty calories right before meals, it might keep you from eating something healthier. Even magazines that promote healthy eating seem to devote a lot of space to snacks.

And over to the side is this snack item.

Be still my heart. Bite into an apple.

3221 Why does Charlie Rangel want to destroy the military?

Because he's a Democrat? Because he hates the United States? Because he's an idiot? Because it gets him a lot of publicity (this one gets my vote)? He's the black congressman who wants to reinstate the draft. When he first started chattering about this a few years ago (I heard him on Fox), he got so much attention that he's kept it up. He even introduced a bill a few years back. Now it is part of his comedy routine, only it isn't funny anymore, Chuck'ems. His thinking, in my opinion, is that this would cause a lot of outrage by young people, who would then become more fodder for anti-war protests, not for a giant war machine. It certainly isn't because the military is relying too heavily on the poor and uneducated, which he claims. A Heritage Foundation study last year found just the opposite. Our recruits are better educated than the general population.

". . . if we consider the education of every recruit, 98% joined with high-school diplomas or better. By comparison, 75% of the general population meets that standard. Among all three-digit ZIP code areas in the USA in 2003 (one can study larger areas by isolating just the first three digits of ZIP codes), not one had a higher graduation rate among civilians than among its recruits."

"Allegations that recruiters are disproportionately targeting blacks also don't hold water. First, whites make up 77.4% of the nation's population and 75.8% of its military volunteers, according to our analysis of Department of Defense data.

Second, we explored the 100 three-digit ZIP code areas with the highest concentration of blacks, which range from 24.1% black up to 68.6%. These areas, which account for 14.6% of the adult population, produced 16.6% of recruits in 1999 and only 14.1% in 2003."

So, the number of black recruits is going down. Just what are you saying Charlie? Not more rural, not more blacks, not more uneducated. Back to the socialist/anarchist playbook.

Charlie Rangel Kerrys the troops on a slow news day.

3220 Photo of ferried swans

According to a photo in today's paper of a boat pulling two craft filled with swans, they have been ferrying swans since 1674 from a river in Hamburg that freezes to a pond that doesn't. Does this remind you of anything? The thought occurred to me that this effort continues to produce a strain of swans too dumb to get out in bad weather.

Monday, November 27, 2006

3219 Using reverse psychology on teen-age smokers

The Cheerful Oncologist has found some discouraging news about advertisements and slogans telling teens not to smoke--it apparently makes it more appealing, especially if it comes from parents.

"If I was in charge I would require all cigarette packs to have the following message printed on them:


Or perhaps teens should be inundated with posters showing some of the consequences of smoking, like this one, or this one.
Then again, since teens are supposedly stubborn and resistant to authority, why don't we yell at them to start smoking and keep smoking? "Goddammit I told you to smoke, now either you get in there and light up or you will lose the car for a week!"

Monday Memories

Celebrating birthdays fifteen years ago
Our children's birthdays are a year apart, and fall during Thanksgiving week. Even in their 20s, we tried to offer each a special day, but eventually getting together 3 times in one week got to be a little too much togetherness. This year we just handed out cards over the Thanksgiving dinner.

Fifteen years ago we went out to eat after church to celebrate their birthdays at "The Cooker," one of our favorites which served attractively prepared, regional American food. As we chatted in the booth, the hostess dropped a jar of catsup which shattered at my feet and I had catsup up to my knees and in my shoes. I was wearing white slacks, something a bit unusual for me. So, after wiping up, I got a free dinner and a ticket for dry cleaning. Then when the waiter found out we were celebrating birthdays (he thought they were twins and guessed their ages as 24) he gave us 2 free desserts. Their desserts were fabulous (like brownie decadence, a meal by itself) and cost about $4.00 (would be much more now). So I think we had at least a $17 credit on the bill.

After dinner our daughter, who wasn’t married at the time, spent the afternoon at our house and did her laundry. About 6 p.m. she was chatting on the phone with her boyfriend and I heard her holler. The neighbor had backed her van out of her driveway into our daughter’s car parked on the street. It had been stolen and vandalized the previous January. The neighbor was very apologetic, standing there in her full length fur coat with her big travel van, but we practically had to restrain our daughter. Her car, so recently restored, was her one nice possession.

After it was stolen in January, she had an alarm installed, so it was shrieking and flashing its lights, sort of like a chicken with its head cut off--but the damage was done. The police came and cited our neighbor and when our daughter calmed down, she drove home. It was driveable, fortunately. So why was it a birthday worth remembering? We had a lot of really good laughs, despite the catsup on the white slacks and the car mishap.

Visited and visitors: Chelle Y., Irish Church Lady, Ma, Melli, Janene, Internal Expert, Susan,

3218 How's your hygiene?

Today and a lot of other sources reported:

Staph Infections Rise Among Athletes

"An alarming rise in cases in the general population and athletic community of methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus has led to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to issue warnings about the dangers of staph infections. Staph has long been a health hazard for athletes who share towels, whirlpools, and common areas like locker rooms. The CDC is working closely with several sports organizations, including the NFL and NCAA, to educate athletes on hygiene and preventive measures to stop the spread of MRSA that has increasingly found its way into locker rooms, weight rooms, and athletic training facilities."

Guess I'll just keep walking around the condo grounds for exercise.

Here's a link to the CDC page on staph infections and MRSA

Tundra Medicine Dreams has a very interesting MRSA story about an Alaskan Native who used an unsanitary steambath.

3217 Catholic radio in central Ohio

I've mentioned St. Gabriel, 1270 a.m. radio before, but I must say it is such a blessing--even for Protestants. I think I'll add them to my Christmas donation list. No loud music, no bombastic shouting, no convoluted theories about end times, just excellent Bible based sermons and stunning interviews. Particularly now during the Christmas season--if they are playing Christmas carols, I haven't heard any. Even if you find a station with good music, a lot of it is secular.

This morning I heard a discussion about Vietnamese Catholics who first fled the communists in the north, then the south, then relocated again either to Canada or the USA and have chosen religious callings. I also heard an interview with a woman who is part of a Christian prayer chain organization in Hollywood, who says there are wonderful changes in the industry and that we need more Christians in the film and entertainment business. She was so hopeful and positive, I just stopped what I was doing to listen to her.

Then there was a sermon on the 5th commandment, I think by a local pastor. We never hear a thing about abortion, euthansia or life issues at our church. He said the unborn is not a potential human, but a human with potential. But he also preached about forgiveness for this heinous sin, that God's mercy is greater than our sin.

Where I change channels is the discussion of Mary. Those of you who say Catholics don't worship Mary, aren't listening to this station. But so far, that's been the only turn off for me. So I do. When it comes to radio, I'm pro-choice.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

A caution for people still looking

"A fellow told me he spent twenty years looking for the perfect woman before he finally found her. The only problem was that she was looking for the perfect man." Attributed to Warren Buffet.

I've heard that before, but saw it today at Maggie's Farm, and thought it a good reminder for a certain someone waiting for 40.

3214 Dress up, dress up for Jesus

Last Sunday I wore my "little black dress" to church. It was a bit dressy, but then even pressed jeans and a holiday sweater are dressy these days. I suggested to my husband that he wear his suit--neither one of us dress up much these days, especially since everyone else is dressing down. He said he was ushering, and a suit wouldn't look right--so he wore a sport coat, slacks, dress shirt and tie. During the service, I noticed that the woman he was paired with for the offertory, was wearing blue jeans. I see why he would have felt a bit self conscious in a dark suit. Remember, we attend a traditional service, not the contemporary or rock 'n roll.

For you younger women, let me retell the old, old story of how we got here, because you may not remember when people enjoyed looking nice, when clothing enhanced women (and men) instead of ridiculing them. In the 1960s, middle class and college educated white people began showing up at civil rights marches in the South. They tried to fit in and look like they cared more than the other whites by wearing blue jeans--sort of sharecropper chic. Most of the blacks were dressed well, except for a few civil rights leaders who also wanted to fit in by wearing cover-alls.

Also in the 60s the hem lines started to rise, until by the early 70s, women couldn't cover their rears when they sat down. This started a rush by women into pants suits--in a wide variety of colors--I had yellow, green, fuschia pink, lime, navy and orange, and even my mother and mother-in-law started wearing pants suits. Really, it was the only way to be modest in those dark days of material deprivation. Feminism came in there someplace and that increased the shift to wearing pants, since the leaders thought that might be why men made more money (they were wrong). Now that was 30 years ago, but it convinced millions of women that they looked better in pants than skirts--a HUGE problem which coincided with the trend to obesity with bigger bottoms and BMIs.

Once pants suits had made their way into the doors of work and church, there was no stopping the jeans and shorts. Computer geekdom contributed to some of this, especially the baggy, rumpled look and baseball caps. Everyone wanted to look like a nerd even if they didn't know what to do with a USB. Then someone decided there needed to be a "casual Friday" and it eventually slopped all the way over through Sunday evening, and is showing up on Monday. Soon, even ministers began preaching in torn jeans and dirty t-shirts with back up from guitarists in shorts. Our pastors at UALC haven't gone that far, but I've seen them change clothes between services (we have eleven services at 3 locations) so they won't be too much dressier than the congregation (you could wear a bathrobe and still be dressier than some I've seen).

So I've composed a hymn which can be sung to the same tune as Stand Up Stand Up for Jesus.

Dress up, dress up for Jesus, ye women of the cross
Pack up designer blue jeans, it will not be a loss.
From picnic unto ball game His army you can lead,
But please for Sunday meeting, let Christ be Lord indeed.

Dress up, dress up for Jesus, don't let me be alone;
Your flesh I'm tired of seeing, you cannot trust your own.
Put on a suit or dress, each piece put on with prayer;
When playground duty calls you, then let your jeans go there.

Dress up, dress up for Jesus, each fam'ly to its post
Go forth into the conflict, and shout with all the host
You will not look so casual, from head unto your toes
Let grace and taste and beauty, give strength to trend oppose.

Dress up, dress up for Jesus, the skirt need not be long,
But please a little coverage, will be this matron's song.
You think you look so humble, I see a sloppy mess,
You're with the King of Glory? Why should we have to guess?

3213 Black Friday and Black Days

This is a tradition I've never observed. If I can't find it on December 20 or 21, it doesn't get bought. Last year I was at least in a parking lot, when I went to a Panera's that was in a shopping center. This year, remembering that experience (exhausted and battle weary people coming in for coffee and a bagel), I went elsewhere. Did anyone else brave the crowds?

And how callow is that Al Neuharth of USAToday? I noticed in yesterday's paper he commented on Bush's visit to Vietnam and wrote, "his followers forced us to cut and run 31 years ago." Well no, actually, it was our own homegrown war protesters, that built up the communists' will and encouraged them while demoralizing our troops. Read their memoirs. So when millions died after we pulled out, more deaths than the whole war period, the blood of our allies in that nasty, unpopular war became embedded in our history and on America's hands, especially those of our weak politicians and the scruffy, marching, unwashed protesters.

Newharth seems jubilant that we might do it again. The Islamic terrorists and insurgents are already celebrating the victory of the Democrats with increased violence and assassinations. Happy Killing Days, Al. Black days ahead.

Friday, November 24, 2006

3212 Holiday Reading from the Public Library

If the adult services librarian, Wendy Bethel, had listed 10 titles instead of 9 for recommended "holiday reading" in the Nov/Dec 2006 Upper Arlington Magazine, p. 29, maybe she could have included Christians and Christmas? What a concept! Wouldn't that be trendy? But no, although her list includes Hanukkah and Kwanzaa, the suggestions of new titles at the library that include the story of a holy savior who becomes a baby, the son of God, the eternal King, are non-existent. Probably because she hasn't purchased any, or never reads a review publication that includes them.

How about the book Yule: A celebration of light and warmth, by Dorothy Morrison. Would that apply? Well, no. Here's a peek from Amazon: "Those who yearn for spiritual meaning but aren't strongly affiliated with a specific religion sometimes feel left out of winter holidays. Yule is like a hot toddy for these chilled and isolated souls. From mistletoe to gift exchanging, Yule explores and exalts the pagan and regional roots to many of our contemporary rituals and celebrations." Doesn't that just tug at the old heart strings--if they want something spiritual, don't give them the meaning of the coming of the Christ child, give them pagan myths and legends that Christians scooped up along the way to becoming a world wide religion of all nationalities and languages.

What about The Winter Solstice: the sacred traditions of Christmas by John Matthew, a folklorist, packed with cute stories of the birth of different gods, what's the significance of mistletoe, Santa's evil twin, Bob, Shamans and little green men. Isn't that just so touching?

And what Upper Arlington homemaker doesn't need another theme to decorate her home? So the library offers Christmas style by Debi Staron and Bob Pranga, where we learn of trees that look like Joan Crawford, Marilyn Monroe and 10 other "Dames of Christmas" to make this one a real hit.

Was there not even a nicely illustrated book about a Christmas hymn, or a sweet little shepherd story, or something about mean old Herod killing babies and Rachel weeping?

Shame on the Upper Arlington Public Library, and shame on the Upper Arlington Magazine for ignoring the Christmas story.

, , , ,

3211 Another meme

Sure are a lot of these. I noticed this one at Jane's blog, and thought I'd try it--nothing too heavy or earth shaking.

From Monday Madness.

1. In order to protect my computer from viruses, I use _______. Mcaffee

2. I also use _______ for protection from spyware. Whatever Roadrunner provides and another program that I found on the internet.

3. I don't spend nearly enough time _______. Exercising, volunteering, checking in with friends, reading, painting, etc. Too many blogs--10.

4. The first person I usually talk to in the morning is _______. The clerk at the coffee shop--Panera’s or Caribou, depending on where I go. Except on Wed. or Thurs. I get up an hour earlier than my husband, but on those days, I wake him up because he also leaves the house early.

5. It takes me about _______ to get ready in the morning. 15-20 minutes--shower, make-up, dress, but I like to ease into the morning without anyone around and just hate to rush. I select my clothes the night before.

6. I keep all my appointments in/on _______. The kitchen calendar, and/or my purse calendar (paper). If I’m late, I’ve forgotten or not looked at the calendar. Usually, I'm early.

7. It takes me about _______ to fall asleep at night. 30 seconds.

Friday Family Photo

Our mothers, 1993

This photo was taken the day after our daughter's wedding--the best party of my life. We had all the out of town wedding guests for brunch--the bride and groom were on their honeymoon. This was perhaps the fourth time our mothers were together, and it was the last. They were 76 and 81. My husband's mother (on the left) died in 1998 and Mom died in 2000.

My mother was rather short--maybe 5'1"--medium complexion, just a bit plump, intellectual, bookish (she wanted to be a librarian), shy, sweet, iron-willed with a missionary spirit, who quietly went about making changes in her sphere of influence to make the world a better place. She was a saint, in the best meaning of the word--and most who knew her say the same. My mother-in-law was tall and fair--maybe 5'7", glamorous, outgoing, stylish, funny, spirited, loaded with charm with "Betty Davis eyes." She was a party girl--and there was never a dull moment when she was around--and most who knew her say the same. Both had grown up in the church with devout parents who were Sunday school teachers. June was a city girl and a good athlete when young; Mom grew up on a farm and preferred to curl up with a book. When I first met June (I think she was 42), she lived in shorts--she had long slender legs. I don't think my mom ever owned any. June made a spaghetti dinner that couldn't be beat, and Mom's pies were to die for.

My mother was five years older, and at the time this photo was taken, both women were about the same height, but my mother looked 10 years younger, in my opinion. Mom could still mow the lawn, work in the garden, walk briskly, and run circles around her daughters--that's a real garden tan you see. My mother-in-law in 1993 could barely hobble from the car into the house, and had a little hop like a wounded sparrow from an improperly healed broken leg. Her moments of clarity were infrequent although we still could see flashes of humor and personality.

My mother-in-law was an alcoholic, a heavy smoker and a picky eater; my mother didn't drink or smoke and was always pushing a second helping of her home grown vegetables and watching everyone's weight, including her own. However, I think it was cigarettes that really destroyed my MIL's health. Fair complexioned, thin women have a problem with osteoporosis, but if they are also smokers, the damage to their bones after menopause is just horrifying. Heavy smokers, women and men, have lower bone density and are at higher risk for fracture. She had several fractures, shoulder, arm, leg, after age 50, and the bones of smokers, women or men, do not heal well. She began smoking as a young teen which means she may have started the damage to her bones in their developmental stage. Older smokers' risk of fracturing a hip increases with age and is about a 71% increase over non-smokers by age 80. Thin men and women who smoke really have a problem. I don't think my mom ever had a broken bone or even a sprain. She hardly ever had a cold. Even photos of June in her mid-50s, show her loss of height.

By the time this photo was taken in 1993, my mother-in-law was sober--she had actually forgotten that she ever drank, and her mind recovered considerably. Although her memory wasn't great, it was possible to have a conversation and enjoy her company. I never heard her say she wanted to quit smoking--she loved it. However, she stopped smoking the last two years of her life, probably because it hurt. And by not polluting her small assisted-living apartment with smoke (she was a widow by then), she again had an improvement in alertness. But sadly, alcohol and cigarettes had stolen the last 30-40 years of her health and ravaged her body, and we grieve for that loss for her and us. We miss them both, especially now during the holiday season.

3209 Fixing the slow load

This blog is so large, it's difficult to know how to get it to load faster. So I've shortened the number of days to 5 instead of 7; I've removed the link to Monday Memories because it was no longer a functioning blogroll, but valiently kept trying; I've deleted the Family Friendly blogroll (which I'm suspecting was the problem); I've deleted about half the immigration list; and some dead links. I've pulled the Victory Wing since the Democrats are going to have their way with us and will cut and run anyway, killing thousands of Iraqis who trusted us. I hope it moves better now. Any code that has an "rpc" in it seems to get stuck. I don't know who owns that service, but it doesn't work for me.

Also if anyone knows how to move 1/2 a blog in the system (I don't want to change the URL because the old entries still get hits), let me know.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

3208 An odd experience in church today

During the sermon this morning in the Thanksgiving service, my attention was drifting a bit (see last week's Thursday Thirteen). I'd had some upsetting news by phone right before we left the house, I had a guest with me, we were singing old familiar hymns, the scripture selections were excellent, and so forth, and all of a sudden I heard the pastor call out my name. I sort of jumped, then wondered if it had really happened or if I imagined it. You know how sometimes you think a pastor is speaking directly to you? It was a reference to Christ's work on the cross for our salvation, I think--like I say, my thoughts were drifting. But when I greeted the pastor on the way out he sort of apologized and said he had no idea why he mentioned my name. I think our congregation only has 2 or 3 women with my name, and one died a few weeks ago. I said, "Well, we go back a lot of years."

We were actually in the new members class together back in 1976. He was a school teacher then and I was a homemaker. I witnessed to him, and for some reason, everything he'd been learning over the years in church, from his parents, in Sunday school, confirmation classes, in life, sort of clicked. I'm not a particularly effective Christian witness--tend to be a little too wordy and heady about faith matters. But it made sense to him. Four of us couples from that new members class continued to meet for Bible study for several years. He eventually decided to leave teaching and go to seminary, and about 22 years ago became an ordained Lutheran pastor. After serving for some time in another state, he was called back to our church as an assistant pastor. If I never witness to another person, this was a good choice. But I suspect it wasn't my doing.

A new blog for the growing years

This year, the oldest Baby Boomers turn 60, and, as of July 2005, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that 78.2 million Americans are counted among that generation. They are still influencing styles and thought because of their sheer numbers and they are used to being catered to. Yesterday I heard on Paul Harvey that they aren't happy with the movies and have enough ticket purchasing power to influence some changes (I wish them luck, but they'll probably have to undo some other changes). Also, I answered a poll on a blog yesterday about "do you like the trend back to wearing dresses" and about 85% of the readers answered yes (I haven't seen the trend in Columbus, OH, but did notice it in Europe). I hope this catches on at church.

Anyway, I've started a new blog--Growth Industry which is for bloggers and readers over 50. Topics will focus on interests and stories for those over 50--investments, health, retirement, leisure, travel, spirituality, friendships, grandchildren, fashion, pets, hobbies, and memories. I'm linking to mature, wise, and friendly bloggers and so far they range from 50 through the 80s. I met a woman at the coffee shop on Saturday who told me about buying a second home in Florida and how she did it which will be a great topic if I can get her to write it up. My own real estate purchases tend to be a bit on the emotions side of the equation, so I thought I needed another viewpoint. And she is 49 3/4.

I hope you'll stop by for a visit, and let me know if you'd like to offer a thought or essay (use the above e-mail). I can post the whole thing, cross post, or summarize and link back to you.

I'm sticking this at the top for today, so scroll down for the rest.

Thursday Thirteen

How to become a sweet old lady instead of a grumpy old grouch is the title of a book by Marilynn Carlson Webber (Zondervan, 1996), a pastor's wife. Some of her suggestions need to be started early, or will require some practice. It's good advice for all ages. Here's a few of her chapter headings and other thoughts.

1. Create your own party; take the initiative to make your life interesting and fun

2. Accentuate the positive

3. Do your best and do what you can; you can't win if you're not in the game

4. Keep doing what is needed, but

5. Know when to quit

6. Take time to smell the roses

7. Make new friends--concern yourself more with giving than receiving

8. Give the gift of encouragement--give 10 compliments for one criticism

9. Give the gift of memories

10. Change yourself first and start with forgiving. Unforgiveness will result in sleepless nights, physical disorders, depression, stifled creativity, bitterness, resentment and will rob you of joy.

11. Look on the funny side of life.

12. Develop a vital faith.

13. Wear out, don't rust out.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!
The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! Leave a comment and I'll add your name and URL.

Visited and visitors today:
Amber, Carol, Caylynn, Celfyddydau
Cheryl,Cindi, JAM, Jane, Janeen, Jen, John, Kitty, KT Cat, Lady Bug, Leah, Mar, Pippajo, Skittles, Something Blue, Smurf, Staci T,
Terrell, Terri,

Our Heritage

Today is Thanksgiving in the United States. I invite you to read what "American Daughter" writes:

Have we forgotten the words?

On this Thanksgiving holiday, please take time to enjoy the verses of two traditional American songs, the Thanksgiving Hymn and the Thanksgiving Prayer. They affirm the gratitude of a people for their God.

The copies we are sharing here did not come from a church hymnal. They were transcribed from a songbook distributed in our public school systems in the year 1945. This book was in every literate home in the United States at that time, and was called I Hear America Singing, or more formally Twice 55 Community Songbook.

The assertion that our nation ever intended to separate our devotion to God from our public spaces and our public life is a blatant lie. Our philosophy of reliance on divine guidance motivated the founding fathers, permeates the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution, and is inscribed on our original monuments and government buildings.

The worthy gentlemen who drafted the Constitution only intended that membership in a particular religious denomination must never be made a prerequisite for holding public office, and that citizens should never be forced to subscribe to a specific denomination. They were still mindful of the bitter religious strife between Catholics and Protestants in England, and wanted to ensure that the new republic got started on a more ecumenical footing.

The insidious erosion of our patriotic traditions and our national identity must not be permitted to continue. Every thinking American must stand against the revision of our historical records and the activism of judges who would destroy the ideological foundations of our liberty.

But at this time of joyful harvest and quiet prayer, just savor the words of these two beloved hymns of gratitude.

Thanksgiving Hymn
Come, ye thankful people, come, Raise the song of harvest home!
All is safely gathered in, Ere the winter storms begin;
God, our Maker, doth provide For our wants to be supplied.
Come to God's own temple, come, Raise the song of harvest home!

All the world is God's own field, Fruit unto His praise to yield;
Wheat and tares together sown, Unto joy or sorrow grown:
First the blade and then the ear, Then the full corn shall appear; --
Lord of harvest, grant that we Wholesome grain and pure may be.

For the Lord our God shall come, And shall take His harvest home;
From His field shall in that day All offences purge away;
Give His angels charge at last, In the fire the tares to cast,
But the fruitful ears to store In His garner evermore.

THE WORDS--Henry Alford, an English clergyman, writer of note, and Dean of Canterbury, was born in London in 1833 and died in Canterbury in 1871. His literary labours extended to every department of literature but he was especially well known as a writer and translator of hymns. This is his best known and most popular hymn.

THE MUSIC--George Elvey, the composer, was born at Canterbury, England. He was for forty-seven years organist at St. George's chapel, in Windsor Castle.

Thanksgiving Prayer
We gather together to ask the Lord's blessing;
He chastens and hastens His will to make known;
The wicked oppressing cease them from distressing,
Sing praises to His name, He forgets not His own.

Beside us to guide us, our God with us joining,
Ordaining, maintaining His kingdom divine;
So from the beginning the fight we were winning,
Thou, Lord, wast at our side, Let the glory be Thine!

We all do extol Thee, Thou leader in battle,
And pray that Thou still our Defender wilt be.
Let Thy congregation escape tribulation;
Thy name be ever praised! And Thy people be free.


THE MUSIC--Netherlands Tune

Cross-posted from American Daughter

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

3204 The branch library

Today I returned my material (5 journals and 2 books) to the branch library. It's about the same distance to the main library, but I had requested a book on Indian gambling and it was being held there. When I returned my magazines I asked if it was OK, because I'd checked them out from the Main library, and the pleasant clerk assured me it was fine. Then I asked if the branch had journals that circulate, and she said, "No, we only have magazines." I asked her to clarify, and she said, only popular titles--no journals.

So I went over to the rack for a look. If you've read what I write about our public library, you know I go on and on about its hostility to the Christian faith and culture--it either ignores it completely or selects monograph titles that belittle it. This serial collection had NO Christian titles. Zip, nada, zilch. No religious titles at all. At least at the main branch there are two evangelical (they added one title since I complained a year ago), a liberal/mainline opinion title, two Jewish, and two Catholic. This community is home to three Lutheran congregations, two United Methodist, two Baptist, three Catholic, one Episcopal, two Presbyterian, two Church of Christ, one Christian/Disciples of Christ, one Congregational, one Christian Apostolic, one Assembly of God, with large numbers in the community traveling north and east to worship at Church of God, Grace Brethren, Xenos, Vineyard and various non-denominational groups with the words fellowship, Bible, community or ministry in their names.

The PL staff is alert to other needs, however. For a small branch library, the serial collection really supports the local faith in rampant consumerism and physical beauty. Allure, Body & Soul, Cosmo, Domino, Dwell, Elle, Glamor, Harper's Bazaar, Health, In Style, Lucky, More, Oprah, Shape and that title about Simple living. I think I counted 7 or 8 craft titles, maybe 9 or 10 housing/ remodeling/ decorating titles, 7 travel and leisure, and maybe 5 business and computer titles, some sports titles. Seemed to heavily cater to women's interests--unless of course, they were also believers. That part of women's lives is ignored. There was even a magazine on adoption, which I don't think I'd seen at the main library.

The book collection--at least what was on the shelves--seemed a better balance than the main library, with just a few of the hostile titles I wrote about a few days ago.


3203 My black belt in weight loss

This morning I had to find a belt to wear with my black jeans. I rarely wear a belt--find them terribly uncomfortable, but it was the only way to tuck in my blouse. I'm one pound off from where I wanted to be by Thanksgiving Day. My husband had a touch of something for several days and I think he lost over 10 lbs. We don't really know since he rarely weighs himself, but it's really disgusting, isn't it? When we started dating in 1959, I didn't realize that I weighed more than he, which is probably good, because I might have looked elsewhere. Either I didn't know what I looked like, or he didn't look that thin. Even after we were married I remember buying a suit for him in the boy's department.

When the relationship took a serious direction, I lost 20 lbs. Then in the late 70s, he developed a heart valve problem and lost a lot of weight again, but got it back. I think it was for our 30th reunion he decided he looked a little chunky (his dimples showed), so he stopped eating his cracker and cheese snack in the evening and it fell right off.

As I noted on my Thursday Thirteen Sept. 28, I'm just not eating the things that make me want to eat more. Seems to be working.

1. potato chips or corn chips
2. saltines or Ritz
3. Anything wrapped, inserted, folded or inside pastry--could be apple pie, chicken pot pie, or taco salad
4. cheddar cheese or American cheese or cream cheese especially on #2
5. pizza any type, but especially pepperoni with double cheese
6. peanut butter anything, especially with chocolate
7. French fries
8. sour cream or gravy
9. biscuits, rolls, bread
10. butter or margarine especially on #2 or #9
11. Lots of choices, buffet, snack trays
12. Reading food blogs, recipe magazines, watching Food channel
13. Snack food aisle in grocery store

My daughter is making 3 pies for dinner tomorrow. Will be a severe test. But at least there won't be any Fritos.

3201 Chlorhexidine Gluconate

You've probably heard all the scare stories about the number of people who get sick or die in hospitals--from an unrelated cause. Think NOSOCOMIAL (hospital-acquired)*. The stories, may be hyped a bit, but are most likely true and a quick literature search in Google will bring up articles from the mid-70s. Even architects study the problem. Also veterinary medicine has a big problem. (Which is why I think no health staff should have artificial nails--now there's a good science project for your kid.) But here's some good news.

"A team of Dutch doctors has come up with a cheap, simple, and effective way to reduce nosocomial infection after cardiac surgery using a commonly available disinfectant, chlorhexidine gluconate.

The procedure should be applicable to all forms of major surgery, the lead investigator, Dr Patrique Segers (Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands), told heartwire. Segers and colleagues report their findings in the November 22, 2006 issue" of JAMA. Story from

"Prevention of Nosocomial Infection in Cardiac Surgery by Decontamination of the Nasopharynx and Oropharynx With Chlorhexidine Gluconate: A Randomized Controlled Trial," Patrique Segers; Ron G. H. Speekenbrink; Dirk T. Ubbink; Marc L. van Ogtrop; Bas A. de Mol, JAMA. 2006;296:2460-2466.

*Within hours after admission, a patient's flora begins to acquire characteristics of the surrounding bacterial pool. Most infections that become clinically evident after 48 hours of hospitalization are considered hospital-acquired. Infections that occur after the patient's discharge from the hospital can be considered to have a nosocomial origin if the organisms were acquired during the hospital stay. definition from eMedicine.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

3200 Muslim Writer

Nonie Darwish was invited to speak at Brown University by a student Hillel group. Her appearance was canceled after Muslim students at Brown complained. In doing so, these students have made Ms. Darwish's case for her, according to David Durant, the Heretical Librarian.
"Speaking out for human rights, women's rights, equality or even peace with Israel is a taboo that can have serious consequences" in the Arab world, Darwish says. In part to drive home that point, she wrote a book, just out. Its title says it all: "Now They Call Me Infidel: Why I Renounced Jihad for America, Israel, and the War on Terror."

Read article by Adam Brodsky

3199 The Food Channel

One of my favorite cable channels is Home and Garden, and normally the Food Channel. However, because I'm trying to lose some weight by not snacking, not eating my food triggers, not walking through certain aisles of the grocery store, not reading recipes, I'm not watching the Food Channel shows. Also, I love a quick afternoon nap. I set the TV for 45 (HGTV) as I dropped off, but when I woke up it was Paula's Home Cooking, and her two sons were preparing this. Oh wow. I would have never thought of it! I watched in fascination and then grabbed a pencil. Someday, when I'm back at my normal weight, I shall return.

3197 Ex Post Facto--on the demise of a giant

Mark Gauvreau Judge ponders whether the Washington Post has a future. As a former writer for the Post, he grieves, remembering his elation when he was first selected to submit some op ed pieces:

"I did wind up writing several pieces for the Post, most often the Outlook section, over the years. And as I grew more conservative, I became more and more aware of what the parameters were. Nothing pro-life, nothing too blatantly Christian, nothing arguing about natural law or homosexuality—unless, of course, it was a performance of conservative switchback, like when Laura Ingraham wrote about her love for her gay brother. Inevitably, I ran up against the liberal orthodoxy there. It most strikingly occurred in 1994, when Outlook ran, at a full page, an op-ed/essay of mine about saving the Howard Theater, one of the oldest historical black theaters in America. I went into detail about the history of the Howard, yet something strange happened to my copy when I got to the 1960s. I had referred to the "moral and cultural collapse" that had destroyed the Howard and surrounding neighborhood—the drugs, rioting, and black racism that had brought down that part of town. The night before the paper came out, I was called and told that the phrase "moral and cultural collapse" had been changed to "social upheaval." Note: this was an editorial in the editorial section." . . .

"The Post doesn't cover religion—it's buried on the last page of the B section on the Saturday paper—and it is simply out of the question that any should creep into your writing, no matter how subtly. One album I reviewed reminded me of Easter, I wrote in one piece. Rejected. When it bounced back, I simply removed the Easter reference and sent it to a different editor. It was published two days later.

And that was it. I had been canned. Once you are banished, there is no such thing as debate about your case at the Post."

Read the entire story at Books and Culture.

I wonder sometimes if journalists and librarians suckle at the same breast.

Monday, November 20, 2006

3196 See your Healthcare Provider if. . .

That phrase drives me crazy. Do you know who falls under that term, "healthcare provider?" Here's the definition I found at Medscape when discussing who should have the flu vaccine among health workers. The definition of healthcare provider included in the ACIP and the Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC) statement, published in February 2006:

"A healthcare provider refers to all paid and unpaid persons working in healthcare settings who have the potential for exposure to infectious materials, including contaminated medical supplies. Healthcare providers might include but are not limited to: physicians, nurses, nursing assistants, therapists, technicians, emergency medical service personnel, dental personnel, pharmacists, laboratory personnel, autopsy personnel, students and trainees, contractual staff and persons, for example, clerical, dietary, housekeeping, maintenance and volunteers not directly involved in patient care but potentially exposed to infectious agents that can be transmitted to and from the healthcare provider."

According to the article, adults can shed influenza virus for up to 24 hours before they develop symptoms and for typically 4-5 days after the onset of symptoms. So staff you see at a doctor's office often are coming to work when they are shedding virus. They found that the majority of healthcare workers come to work while they still have symptoms from what might be influenza. The CDC reports that fewer than 40% of health care workers have been vaccinated.

Call me cranky, but why isn't this "recommendation" made a condition of getting their paycheck during the flu season?

, ,

3195 ADA and employment screening

Sue Shellenberger's column in the WSJ a week or two ago had an interesting question. A mother wrote to ask if tests her son takes for employment which are boring and repetitive (to him) because he has attention deficit disorder and dyslexia are a legal way to discriminate against people with disabilities. He often didn't finish the tests.

Shellenberger replied that the ADA prohibits employers from using screening tests that eliminate candidates because of a disability--unless it measures qualities essential to performance.

Now think about it. If you quit the test before finishing it because it is boring, are you someone an employer would want on staff? How many jobs do you know that don't require some focus, some completion of boring tasks, or understanding what is read? How many careers start at the top with only the interesting stuff? How many jobs have you had that didn't require you to sit through boring meetings where people argued about the best place for a comma or semi-colon (I'm a retired librarian).

How would taking this exam orally (as he apparently did in school and his mother wanted for him in the real world) help him if he needed to shelve books by call number in a library, or stock shelves in an auto parts store, or read instructions on chemical cleaner bottles at a janitorial supply house?

I think this man has a mama problem, not a learning disability.

3194 The Dutch sleep through the storm

A Dutch politician, Geert Wilders, has accused non-european Muslims in the Netherlands of being violent and intolerant according to Saturday's WSJ. They have responded predictably by calling for his death--by beheading. And just as predictably, the Dutch people, long suffering from lack of oxygen in their socialist bubble, are already brain dead and don't really care.

My ancestors were Anabaptists, Mennonites and Brethren, and were persecuted and chased around Europe when they weren't being killed for their stubborn belief in separation of church and state and believer's baptism. Some found refuge in Holland which was more tolerant than Germany and Switzerland before coming to America in the 18th century. It looks like the Dutch tolerance has turned to somnambulism.


3193 Euchre Ministry?

Our church newsletter has a notice for signing up for a group to play euchre. It is a small group for the over-30s, and they'll gather for prayer requests, short devotions and then an evening of fun and relaxation playing their favorite card games. Sounds tempting--I'm always looking for good clean fun with a few prayers thrown in, but I'm just really awful at cards. I consider euchre the national passtime of Indiana. When I first married into the family, we lived and socialized in Indianapolis. If you didn't know euchre, well, you were just an object of pity. Each time we play, my patient husband has to reexplain all the rules, and I still goof up. Also, I hate to compete. I don't like for anyone to lose, which is a bit of a problem with games. There are winners, but not without losers.

Cooking for one or two

Last week at the library book sale I picked up a few Taste of Home magazines, one being Cooking for One or Two, Vol. 3, 2001. I can't find on the Reiman website that this title still exists, although it does show a Cooking for Two title. It's fun to look through, just to get some new ideas for menus, although I do wonder a bit. If I'd been cooking for 6 and had become an empty nester, I think I'd figure out I should buy 2 pork chops instead of 6 or 8. And I know enough to cook a roast and put half in the freezer. I've been cooking for two for almost 20 years now and I have learned a few things I wish I'd done earlier:

Spray skillets and pans with a cooking spray (I use Meijer's soy bean oil) even for stove top cooking, and never have a problem with clean up.

Pour a can of undiluted cream of mushroom soup over the beef roast and you'll never mess with gravy again.

Buy a small roasting pan with lid.

Don't bother to thaw your meat; makes no difference, not even hamburgers, and may take only a few minutes longer to cook if you keep turning and don't let it burn.

I haven't used a broiler in years (doesn't work). For steak I semi-thaw a boneless or semi-boneless ribeye and then while still firm, slice diagonally in strips and cook on the stove top in my trusty black iron skillet, still marvelous after 46 years of use. It's really easy to remove the large chunks of fat before frying when cut cold, and the kitchen doesn't get hot or smokey.

Repackage into smaller, airtight, ziplock bags if you do buy in quantity. (Even my quantity purchases are small compared to most.) I make up my hamburger patties ahead, divide up the chicken, and sometimes cut up the roast before freezing. However, Mom used to say beef roasts smaller than 3 lbs didn't quite taste right, but she was known for killing the cow the second time by over cooking the meat into charcoal.

I use Splenda often, and have found just a touch of vanilla adds a bit of sparkle. My daughter, who is pre-diabetic, says you need a bit more Splenda than sugar to make a dessert taste right, such as a pumpkin pie.

More and more I am grilling chopped up fresh or frozen vegetables in a little olive oil. If the pieces are small, it only takes a few minutes.

If we didn't have guests occasionally, my oven wouldn't get much use. Baking for two, if one is disciplined and the other isn't, is just folly. Go to a nice quality bakery and buy 4 cookies.

Some things, however, stay the same, whether or not you're cooking for 2 or 12. Yesterday I forgot to prick a hole in the potato, and it exploded in the oven. Today is clean the oven day.

3191 Not so fast, food choices

All those folks who want to legislate what we eat go on and on about fast food. I don't know if PF Chang's Bistro is fast food--I've never heard of the restaurant. But Janene in Ohio was eating there Saturday to stoke up for the big Ohio State vs. Michigan game (OSU Buckeyes won in case you've been out of the country or live in Australia). She said first she checked the menu on line and discovered things were a bit more high calorie and high fat than she thought:

"The Lo Mein Chicken has 1510 calories and 104 grams of fat. Again, would not have guessed that. The biggest disappointment was the Great Wall of Chocolate (I knew it was bad, but didn't know it was THIS bad) with 2240 calories and 89 grams of fat."

Imagine if you added a drink to that you'd have 4,000 calories in one meal. And no French fries or Big Mac!

I commend PF Chang's for making this nutritional information available. But I feel about that like I do the live lobsters in the tank looking at me--I don't want to know!

3190 Monday Memories

Did I ever tell you about my sister Carol?

I'm not sure anyone is doing this meme anymore--Debbie has dropped out as hostess, but I write these mainly for my family. This will be brief because I hadn't planned it.

This morning when I came down stairs and was preparing the cat's breakfast, I turned on the radio, something I rarely do at 5:15 because only the paranoids looking for UFOs and plots to poison our food supply seem to be on. I scooted through the dial, and got an oldies station which was playing Frankie Laine singing "That lucky old sun." And I immediately thought about Carol, because I think she had this record.


I never did that typical teen stuff like collecting records of favorites and putting photos of movie stars on the bedroom walls, but she did. I think Audie Murphy was her guy--had his photos everywhere. I always attributed that to her health, and spending a lot of time alone, but reflecting back, I guess I was the odd one out. Carol sure did "work like the devil." But also, she really couldn't sit still for long.

Carol died of a diabetic stroke in 1996 complicated by her post-polio problems. Despite poor health since childhood, she had a long career as a nurse and administrator, was adored by her children and grandchildren, and is remembered for her hearty laugh, devotion to her family, famous garage sales, clam chowder and long struggles with her health.

If you're still doing this meme, drop a comment and I'll visit.
1. Chelle Y. 2. Irish Church Lady, 3. Ma, 4. Mustang Mama,

Sunday, November 19, 2006

3189 A little truth in humor for the Democrats

From Peace Moonbeam.

"As expected, the Republicans are crying a river over our plans to exit Iraq gracefully with dignity, ["Forces Leaving Early Expeditiously" plan (FLEE)] but no big surprise there - you'd cry too if someone took away your oil wells. The biggest whiner is the Iraqi government itself, "Oh boohoo, our government will collapse, hundreds of thousands of people will die in sectarian violence, Muslim extremist groups will take over, blah blah blah." Oh please, over here we're battling for stem cell research and tax hikes, fending off Evangelical homo-drug addicts, etc., and you're complaining about a few heavily-armed over-stimulated camel jockeys? Give me a break."

A public service announcement

Seen at Common Folk Using Common Sense.

I will seek and find you.
I shall take you to bed and have my way with you.
I will make you ache, shake and sweat until you moan and groan.
I will make you beg for mercy, beg for me to stop.
I will exhaust you to the point that you will be relieved when I’m finished with you.
And, when I am finished, you will be weak for days.

All My Love,
The Flu

Get your flu shot.

3187 How Milton Friedman would cut down on government waste

Milton Friedman, Nobel prize winner in Economics, and an advisor of President Reagan, died last week at 94. In a 1999 interview at the Hoover Institution, he was questioned about the 14 cabinet positions and departments and which ones he'd keep:


ROBINSON I have a list here of the 14 cabinet departments, now 14 is a lot for television so I want to just to go right down the list quickly and have you give me a thumbs up or thumbs down, keep them or abolish them? Department of Agriculture?


ROBINSON Gone. Department of Commerce?


ROBINSON Gone. Department of Defense?


ROBINSON Keep it? Department of Education?


ROBINSON Gone. Energy?

FRIEDMAN Abolish. Except that energy ties in with military.

ROBINSON Well then we shove it under defense, the little bit that handles the nuclear, plutonium and so forth goes under Defense but we abolish the rest of it. Health and Human Services?

FRIEDMAN There is room for some public health activities to prevent contagion, such a thing as for example..

ROBINSON So you keep the National Institute of Health say and Center for Disease Control..

FRIEDMAN No, no, no those are mostly research agencies.. .No, no that's a question of whether the government should be involved in financing research.

ROBINSON And the answer is no?

FRIEDMAN Well that's a very complicated issue and it's not an easy answer with respect to that.

ROBINSON We'll eliminate half of the Department of Health and Human Services?

FRIEDMAN Yes, something like that..

ROBINSON OK one half. Housing and Urban Development?


ROBINSON Didn't even pause over that one..Department of the Interior?

FRIEDMAN Oh, but Housing and Urban Development has done a enormous amount of harm. My God, if you think of the way in which they've destroyed parts of cities under the rubric of eliminating slums. You remember Martin Anderson wrote a book on the federal bulldozer describing the effect of the urban development. There've been many more dwelling units torn down in the name of public housing than have been built.

ROBINSON Jack Kemp has proposed selling to the current inhabitants of public housing their unit- their townhouse, their apartment for a dollar apiece and just shifting the ownership to the people who live..

FRIEDMAN If you got rid of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, it would be worth doing that.

ROBINSON Alright, done. That's gone. Department of the Interior, your beloved national park service?

FRIEDMAN Well, given the problem there is you first have to sell off all the land that the government owns but that's what you should do.. [ROBINSON But it could be done pretty quickly..] It could be done, you should do that, there's no reason for the government to own...the government now owns something like 1/3 of all the land in the country.

ROBINSON And that's too much, should go down to zero.

FRIEDMAN Should go down, well not entirely zero. They ought to own the land on which government buildings are on.

ROBINSON Ok, terrific. Department of Justice?

FRIEDMAN Oh yes, keep that one.



ROBINSON Gone. State?


ROBINSON Keep it. Transportation?


ROBINSON Gone. The Treasury?

FRIEDMAN You have to keep it to collect taxes.

ROBINSON Alright collect taxes through the Treasury. Veteran's Affairs?

FRIEDMAN You can regard the Veteran Affairs as a way of paying essentially salaries for services of those who've been in the armed forces but you ought to be able to get rid of it. [ROBINSON Pay it off?] Pay it off.

3186 The faith and values Democrats--what will it mean for the party?

"Not since Bill Clinton's first run for President has there been so much talk among Democrats about fielding candidates viewed as more socially and religiously moderate than the standard-bearers of their party. In several important races -- in Tennessee and Pennsylvania, for example -- conservative Republicans found themselves up against Democrats who spoke the language of faith. "I just can't help it," said U.S. Rep. Harold Ford, the Democratic candidate for Senate in Tennessee. "I love Jesus."

We dare not speculate about how many Democratic victors might share that affection. Nor can we know what difference this strategy made on the election outcome; discontent over the war in Iraq and disgust over political scandals evidently drove lots of voters into Democratic arms. But we can ask what it might mean for the future of the Democratic Party and American politics."

For a run down of the moderates, some who are pro-life and one a former minister, and who they beat, here's the rest of the story at The Ethics and Public Policy Center.

3185 Advice from Ben Stein

On the way to church this morning I heard Ben Stein being interviewed for National Retirement Planning Week. Actually, I think it started last week. Anyway, he said that people in their 20s should be saving 10% of their income for retirement, 30s (if they are starting) should be saving 15%, 40s (if they are just starting to plan) should be saving 20%. He also commented on the problem young families have today of wanting it all now. He said nothing you can buy now is worth living poor when you are elderly. Vacation. New car. Clothes. It won't mean much if you are in your 80s and have had to drastically change your life style. I'm always surprised to find people, some even my age, who think the government should be "doing something," just because they paid their taxes. I was well into my 40s before I invested for retirement, and believe me, that's a lot of time to play catch-up. Now we've got the whole alphabet of plans, everything except SS for me--Social Security--for which I'm not eligible because I have a teacher's pension. If you are a teacher, or you were one in the past and have changed careers, be sure you understand what you won't be getting.

Occasionally, our church uses DVDs projected during the service to make sure everyone gets the same message (we have 11 services). We've been having a series on stewardship. This morning it was an interview with a young married couple in our congregation who got themselves deeply in debt--it was like falling in a black hole and they couldn't get out. They attended a Crown Financial seminar sponsored by our church, did some praying, and decided it all belonged to God. They are almost out of debt--but it took 7 years. Seven is an important biblical number.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

3184 Global warming and the death of girls

David Ridenour of National Center for Public Policy Research is in Africa attending a global warming conference. Everyone gasps at the "population reduction" solution that China proposes.

"And now the jaw-dropper of the day...

The Stern panel also included a presentation by an environmental specialist from the Peoples Republic of China by the name of Pan Jiahua who made one comment that drew gasps from the audience.

Mr. Jiahua asserted that reducing greenhouse gas emissions requires more than technological advancements. It requires, he said, reducing demand, which can be achieved, in part, by limiting population growth. He went on to say that China's one-child policy has reduced energy demand by 300 million people.

The comment drew gasps from some in the audience. Under China's one-child policy, millions of baby girls have been put to death by parents seeking male offspring.

At the conclusion of the panel, I gave Sir Nicholas Stern one of our "Kyoto Protocol Survival Kits." He graciously accepted."

Jews, Blacks and women should worry when liberals come up with solutions that involve population.

My Accent

Everyone has one. Here's mine. This quiz is different than the one I did before. It must be all the Philly-Cheese sandwiches I consume on Friday nights, because I grew up 100 miles west of Chicago, and have lived in Ohio 40 years.

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: Philadelphia

Your accent is as Philadelphian as a cheesesteak! If you're not from Philadelphia, then you're from someplace near there like south Jersey, Baltimore, or Wilmington. if you've ever journeyed to some far off place where people don't know that Philly has an accent, someone may have thought you talked a little weird even though they didn't have a clue what accent it was they heard.

The Inland North
The Midland
The Northeast
The South
North Central
The West
What American accent do you have?
Take More Quizzes

Your Vocabulary Score: A

Congratulations on your multifarious vocabulary!
You must be quite an erudite person.

3182 The lucrative Indian gambling casinos

Now that Jack Abramoff has gone to prison for cheating a client, do you suppose they'll get around to investigating Democrat Harry Reid? Probably not. When this story first broke, the media was complicit in down playing the number of Democrats involved in the Indian gambling casino lobbyist problem, so only the Republicans were smeared.

At the time, the WSJ reported that Indian gaming "is a $19 billion industry involving 228 tribes operating 405 gambling operations in 30 states." The stakes are high, with both the federal and state governments involved in the take. Illinois has some strict rules about who and how many can operate casinos, so it's a great opportunity for the Menominees of Wisconsin. But there's some complicated shinanigans that have to take place in Washington, and that will of course require some money to change hands before the first table or slot machine moves in. You see, Kenosha isn't on the reservation so some land will need to be transferred to the Bureau of Indian affairs. This is where the lobbyists earn their pay. What Abramoff was doing was just the tip of the iceberg, and if he'd been a Democrat, I think he'd have stayed underwater to work his magic.

With governments, state and federal, so involved in regulation, the opportunities to try to get around them just increases. The lobbyists get paid by the Indians to fight off the applications of other Indians who want gambling income. Where's the ethics in that scheme? Indian tribes in California have become the largest contributor to political campaigns. Whether or not there were some illegal deals depends on who's telling the story, but lets not play the race card and say the Indians are too naive to understand the stakes. They've been rolling these dice for a lot of years.

And let's not forget those Clinton folk who approved some new Indian tribes as they ran out the door in 2000. Being an Indian these days even if it's a tribe you made up, can be very lucrative. In Ohio we recently voted down a gambling scheme which would benefit a few Cleveland people. I'm sure now they'll become Indians--maybe they'll find a descendent of the Eries or Iroquis whose ancestors miraculously survived the 17th century, and put it on the ballot again.

There is a new title by Ron Johnson, listed as forthcoming 2006 which will be worth a look: "Self-Determination: The Other Path for Native Americans." I haven't found a library record. Here's a related title, on the gambling issue chapter in a book.

Oh, for the simple days of Abscam and crabby Jack Murtha. When the crooks didn't go to jail and just became Senators. (Check this article about how WaPo kept Abramoff front page and ignored Murtha's murky past.)

Friday, November 17, 2006

3181 The President's foster children

"Hispanics now dominate the federal Women, Infants, and Children free food program; Hispanic enrollment grew over 25 percent from 1996 to 2002, while black enrollment dropped 12 percent and white enrollment dropped 6.5 percent. Illegal immigrants can get WIC and other welfare programs for their American-born children. If Congress follows President Bush’s urging and grants amnesty to most of the 11 million illegal aliens in the country today, expect the welfare rolls to skyrocket as the parents themselves become eligible."
Hispanic Family Values

3180 Wow. That's a flush!

The plumber was here about 5.5 hours today--replaced four faucet fixtures, and two toilets, plus found a problem I noticed in the repair he did the other day. Might have to float a loan, ha ha. I know life's not perfect, but when we're paying this kind of money, I'd sort of like things to work, wouldn't you? I wrote about our new, water saving, swift flushing toilets here.

Anyway, I was sitting at my desk composing the blog about our library's collection of anti-Christian stuff, and he was about 6 feet from me installing the toilet. Each time he flushed it he'd say, "Wow. That's a flush." Isn't it nice when your job still has surprises? He also asked me if we bought the handicap model, but I assured him this is called "comfort height" because it is for grown-ups, not children.

Teensy problem. The tank isn't as wide as the old model and we'll have to find the paint and touch up the wall (painted in 2004), because we have about 6 inches of old wallpaper and paint showing.

Just in time for the new toilets, my husband isn't feeling good and cancelled his trip to the lake to rake leaves at our summer home. So we'll do the birthday stuff (our children are 12 months and 3 days apart) on Thanksgiving day. My kids have had more birthday celebrations than I ever had with my parents, so doubling up one year won't hurt. Another year or so, and they won't even want to be reminded!

3179 Why I won't be supporting the library levy

Our library board is planning to put a levy on the May ballot. Big plans. Coffee shop. Business center and other amenities. Some are questioning why the library needs to compete with services already available. But that's not my reason--even though I think that's as frivolous as the new drive-through book drop they recently installed. It's the collection. And call me crazy, but that's the bottom line in judging a library's value.

The Upper Arlington Public Library was fourth of 933 libraries in its categories in a recently released national ranking. The director says the strategic plan is "explore, gather and grow." Well, show me, Ann Moore, why your staff is so intent on denigrating a large group in the community rather than growing a balanced collection that serves everyone. We have a fabulous gay and lesbian collection--even for juveniles; all you could ever want about Elvis Presley and the Beatles; wiccans and witchcraft, check; everything high-tech, computer or digital is at our finger tips; and we can cook from now 'til Martha and Rachel come home.

Unfortunately, the UAPL also excels in Christian bashing. The VTLS turn-key online-catalog is extremely difficult to browse. But just go to the new bookshelf and see a collection so biased and so one-sided, that church members should be embarrassed to say we are in partnership by supporting them with our tax money.

UAPL collects almost nothing in the religion area that I as a conservative, evangelical Christian would ever read--virtually nothing on denominations, history, theology, apologetics, service, inner life, hymnody, biography or business--unless written liberals or mainliners. But it has a stunning collection of anti-Christian, political harangues and diatribes.

Here's a brief sample for just 2005 and 2006, but I have a much longer list--over 2 pages of author, title, publisher, date:

Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism, by Michelle Goldberg, W.W. Norton, 2006. 2 copies

The hijacking of Jesus : how the religious right distorts Christianity and promotes violence and hate, by Dan Wakefield, Nation Books, 2006

The Christian right or wrong; exposing corrupt teachings. . . by John Card, Blue Dolphin, 2004. 1 copy (a reprint on the new book shelf in 2006)

American Theocracy: The Peril and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil, and Borrowed Money in the 21st Century, by Kevin Phillips, Viking, 2006, 6 copies + audio.

During the 2004 presidential campaign, UAPL appeared to purchase every anti-Bush administration book published--and the market was flooded. A survey of librarians done in 2004 reported that they were 224:1 Democrat to Republican! They are frustrated social engineers on a sacred mission. Librarians make Hollywood and the ACLU look like the John Birch Society! UAPL may have the best Michael Moore collection in the country.

When the Democrats lost the election in 2004, publishers began issuing anti-Christian books because pundits decided conservative Christians had put a not-particularly-conservative president over the top. UAPL staff have searched the booklists high and low, and found even privately published or obscure publishers to include with multiple copies, regular, large print and audio! Meanwhile, Bill O'Reilly's latest title has 11 people in line waiting to read it.

Although it's extremely difficult to evaluate a collection on the basis of subject headings (UAPL doesn’t assign them and whoever does has no quality filter or indexing smarts), let's just take a look. I'm pointing out here the religious conservative headings--there are no corresponding subject terms for mainline Protestants, or liberal Christianity. It's possible that conservative Christians don't write that much about liberal Christians or maybe UAPL doesn't buy them if they do. Other subject headings are all anti-conservative Christian except where noted. Some authors bashed both liberals and conservatives, but they were few. All of these have overlaps and some books have more than 1 or 2 subject headings.

23 Christianity and politics--United States. (2 of the titles were written by conservatives--other 21 were all anti-conservative and/or anti-Christian)
1 Christianity and politics--United States--Controversial literature.
4 Christianity and politics--United States--History.

7   Conservatism--Religious aspects--Christianity.
5   Conservatism--Religious aspects--Christianity--Controversial literature.
3   Conservatism--Religious aspects--Christianity--History--20th century.
1   Conservatism--Religious aspects--Christianity--History--20th century--Congresses
1   Conservatism--Religious aspects--Christianity--History--21st century.
1   Conservatism--Religious aspects--Christianity--History of doctrines--20th century.
1   Conservatism--Religious aspects--Judaism.

Fundamentalism--this subject heading is large at UAPL with many subdivisions, and I won’t break it down. It speaks for itself.

6 Religious right.
1 Religious right--History.
5 Religious right--United States.
5 Religious fundamentalism--United States

If UAPL has missed something that marginalizes the right, I'm sure they'll correct their oversight if you ask.