Monday, July 31, 2023

One of my favorite photos

 This came up as a reminder for July 31, 2010 on Facebook today.

Saturday, July 29, 2023

How to pray for friends and family

Do you get requests for prayer for people you don't know--a friend of a friend? Darlene sent me these suggestions for helping in this situation. She said she got these ten keys in an email from "God Encounters ( James Goll ) ministries". She says they are great suggestions on how to pray for family or anyone. Take the time to read the associated Bible verse and meditate on it.
  1. Pray for God to soften their hearts. (Ezekiel 11:19)
  2. Pray for the spirit of conviction to fall on their lives. (John 16:8)
  3. Pray for the spirit of wisdom and revelation to give them dreams, visions, and angelic visitations. (Ephesians 1:17)
  4. Pray the Holy Spirit will bring God’s Word to their remembrance. (John 14:26)
  5. Pray prayers of forgiveness over them and their relationships. (Matthew 6:14-15)
  6. Pray God will send compassionate, spirit-filled laborers into their path. (Matthew 9:38)
  7. Pray for a revelation of the realities of eternity, both heaven and hell.
  8. Pray against generational hindrances and their ability to resist the enemy. (Matthew 6:13)
  9. Solicit the prayers of others! Don’t carry these prayer burdens alone. (2 Corinthians 1:10-11)
  10. Pray for a revelation of God’s great love and kindness! (Romans 2:4)

Friday, July 28, 2023

30 plus years of smut for children

I came across a folder of letters today and found one I'd written to Chrysler in December 2009 praising my new Town and Country. But that wasn't the point.  I was chastising the corporation/group/CEO for being a donor to GLSEN, an organization for LGBTQ+ children--or pushing and promoting the gay lifestyle to children. So, you see, this corruption of our children goes way back. GLSEN was about 20 years old by then (created by teachers). My specific complaint to Chrysler was that GLSEN "produces a list of pornographic recommended books for children. I've read some excerpts on the internet, and it's truly disgusting. Do you really think fisting and fellatio need to be part of elementary school education?" I then included the internet link. Apparently, it flew out of my mind, and my next van was also a Chrysler!

I looked at GLSEN's front page today (carries a warning) and didn't see Chrysler, but I did see Walt Disney, Target (of course--it's been a real leader in attacking all manner of values and traditions), Wells Fargo, Pet Smart, Gucci, YouTube, New Balance, Amazon and many others

Remember please, those children GLSEN was corrupting with the help of major corporations for the last 30+ years are the adults now occupying jobs in academe and the corporate world. Which is why there is such a tsunami of this nonsense.

Time travel with memories

We've both been trying to remember the name of an electrician from Cleveland who was on Bob's Haiti team and was a friend on Facebook (until he blocked me because he was a Democrat).  But so far, we have not come up with a name.  But we will.  Long after we need it.

A few weeks ago, it came to me that I was forgetting a lot of names, faces and events (duh!), and I should write down a list of all the names of the people I remembered. What a dumb idea, I thought, but I couldn't get it out of my mind. I kept seeing a list in categories.  Forreston, Mt. Morris, church, Lakeside, college days, So, I finally started one in word processing, although at first, I was going to hand write it. I decided if I did it in the word processor, I could alphabetize, and use the "find" feature if I didn't remember where a name was. It's now up to about 12-13 pages. 

 I do have some printed church directories, our school annuals, our Lakeside property owners' directory, some club directories, etc. to use as guides. I also have the Mt. Morris Past and Present, and the Mt. Morris War Record. If there are photos, I look at them, and try to remember if or when I've ever really "known" the person. It's been interesting. I can remember many faces of the class of '52, but not '58 or '59. Some people I still know on Facebook like Dick Butler or Jim Isenhart. Then I have a little symbol next to the name if they have died and put in the death date if I know it. I remember a lot of the parents of friends, like Nancy's, and Lynne's, and Sylvia's. So, I'm adding those names too. I remember the people on our block on Hitt St. in Mt. Morris from when I was 4 or 5, because I use to walk into their houses and talk to them! For some I have to find sources for first names because they were, "Mrs. Aufterbeck" or "Mrs. Duncan," since we didn't call adults by first names. I knew so many adults from when I worked at the drug store and at the town library, so I'd better write down the names while I can still remember. There were a lot of farmers who came into the drug store, some all the way from Polo, and most of those names I've forgotten. I used to babysit a lot, so I'm trying to recall those names. There was a Jewish couple who lived on N. Hannah, I think their name was Fishman, but I've forgotten their first names, and their kids' names. Maybe it will come to me--in the middle of the night! :-)

Anyway, it's something to do when it's too hot to go outside. Who knows if I'll ever finish it.


Thursday, July 27, 2023

Home again, to power outages and big expenses

Last week-end (July 21-23) we took a trip to Lakeside and stayed at the Idlewyld B & B since we no longer have a home there.  We met some nice people sitting on the porch, saw many of our old summer friends/homeowners who dropped by to chat, and enjoyed all the beauty of Lake Erie.  I had 3 good morning walks along the lake, plus all the usual walking I do when going places.  Like the other tourists, our car had to be parked in the remote parking area, which you get to with shuttles, or catching a ride with someone else. We had our first dinner at the hotel under this current food service (Ward) with Tom and Jill, our former neighbors on Oak, ate lunch there again on Saturday, and on Sunday we had lunch at the Patio Restaurant after church with Dale and Julia who live in Tennessee.  We haven't known them long--maybe 2 years--but enjoy their company.

We visited Phil's memorial at Chautauqua Park to make sure the tree is healthy and the flowers blooming. The fountain was lovely, so we sat for a while on the bench nearby.  We know life moves one for everyone and soon no one will remember but us, yet it still feels strange not to have him call to hear about the trip, catch up on politics, or pop in with a joke to tell. We attended two evening programs, plus church in Hoover Auditorium. On Friday it was a group doing homage to Broadway music during the last 101 years, although the focus was more the last 40 years, to my ear.  Still lovely.  During one of the programs Crowder (Christian music LOUD with lots of bass) we kept saying, Phil would have loved this (he played bass guitar in the Gender Road Christian Church praise band). That one was too loud for us, so Bob left quickly, but I stayed for about half. The crowd loved him (Crowder) so much they stood up much of the time, waving their arms, so it was difficult to see.

One of the strangest things that happened to us on this trip was an incident with a dog walker.  We'd decided to go to the Lakefront on Friday afternoon after we ate the lunch I packed for us, so were enjoying the cool breezes on a park bench.  A man about 55-60 came along walking 2 large Irish Wolfhounds, and he stopped to talk.  Bob was petting the dogs and we were asking him about the breed, their ages and where they had come from.  I noticed he was beginning to move very close to us, and suddenly he fell in my lap and partially on Bob's shoulder. He had fainted! He roused himself and apologized.  We asked if we could get the squad or perhaps the shuttle for him, but he refused.  I still had a bottle of water in the little cooler, so we gave him that.  He then said, "Maybe I overdid it today."  It turns out he had already bicycled around the peninsula, had taught an exercise class, and had walked his dogs there from the campground, quite a distance! He assured us all was OK and continued along the way.  I saw him on Sunday--walking the same dogs heading for the campground. So, I guess he's OK.

We were driving back from Lakeside when a big summer storm hit and were probably 5 minutes from home when lightning struck. We didn't know it hit in our back yard, or what happened.  When we got home, we couldn't get in the garage.  When we got inside the WiFi was down, but the TV was working. Then we found out the phones also didn't work. Checked with a neighbor the next day who had the Spectrum truck in their driveway who told us the strike was in our back yard, and they too lost power to garage door and TVs. Yesterday the Spectrum service person corrected the WiFi problem so I could use the computer, brought us a new tower and a box for one of the TVs, but the phone system still has us puzzled.  If it's in the phone lines, we'll need an electrician, but if it's the phone system we'll have to buy a new one. Today when the door company repairman came, it turns out to be $750 per door, because even though under warrantee (installed in February) lightning is an "act of God" and not covered. 

Bob had a tooth filled today from last week's check up, and that was over $180. Not sure what good dental insurance is.   So, it's been an expensive week counting the B & B, the Lakeside tickets, eating out three times in restaurants, the garage doors, and a dentist appointment! And we don't even know what the phone will be!

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Hysteria in Academe--ASA meeting

Before they sign up to attend the American Sociological Association 2023 meeting in Philadelphia please be aware that:

Before we can talk about sociology, power, and inequality, we must acknowledge our presence on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the Lenapehoking, both diasporic and descendant of Lenape communities. The American Sociological Association (ASA), acknowledges that academic institutions, indeed the nation-state itself, was founded upon and continues to enact exclusions and erasures of Indigenous Peoples. This acknowledgement demonstrates a commitment to beginning the process of working to dismantle ongoing legacies of settler colonialism, and to recognize the hundreds of Indigenous Nations who continue to resist, live, and uphold their sacred relations across their lands. We also pay our respect to Indigenous elders past, present, and future and to those who have stewarded this land throughout the generations.

That takes care of the guilt and shame, now let's look at the propaganda.

Translation for propaganda from academics:

"Attacks on public education"= denying porn to 1st graders
"racial justice" = racist attacks on whites and Asians are OK
"future of Democracy" = seeking more government control

It appears to be who can be more woke than the other organizations. This is a few of the meeting topics.

"As the discussions over attacks on public education, racial justice, and the future of democracy continue to dominate the American conversation, thousands of sociologists whose work provides insights on these and other vital topics will meet at the American Sociological Association’s 118th Annual Meeting, August 17-21, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Approximately 600 sessions featuring over 3,000 research papers are open to the press.

From race and racism to mental health, from climate control and environmental policy issues to artificial intelligence, sociologists are investigating and reporting on the most sensitive problems confronting American society. This year’s theme, “The Educative Power of Sociology,” shows how sociology’s educative power exists within its ability to convey knowledge and research critically, and to even offer solutions and interventions to social problems, from classrooms to boardrooms, individuals and families to communities, institutions to nation-states, and social movements to social change and justice. Given the diverse range of topics that will be covered, the ASA Annual Meeting will provide a wealth of information for journalists assigned to nearly any beat.

Session highlights include:

Attacks on Public Education and Strategies of Resistance to Protect the Public Sphere. This session is focused on the broad attacks on public schooling, including the push to privatize public education, attack anti-racist curricula, and expand charter schools or create separate school districts. Panelists will discuss different strategies of attacking public education playing out as part of the general critique of public institutions and actors along with strategies of resistance and efforts to protect a robust public sphere.
Participants: Amanda Evelyn Lewis, Noliwe Rooks, Jack Schneider, Julian Vasquez Heilig, and John B. Diamond

White Rage, White Apathy, White Zeal: Understanding White Responses to Calls for Racial Justice. White Americans have responded to calls for racial justice in myriad, emotionally embodied ways. What shapes white people’s racialized responses to demands for racial justice, such as those arising from the Movement for Black Lives? Why do some white people become invested in fighting against critical race theory, while the majority remain practically indifferent? Finally, what compels some white people to “show up for racial justice,” in mind, body and spirit? This panel speaks to these questions.
Participants: Jennifer C. Mueller, Kim Ebert, Amanda Evelyn Lewis, Sarah H. Diefendorf, and Biko Mandela Gray

The Future of Democracy: A Conversation on the Supreme Court, Education, Civil Rights, and Society with Tressie McMillan Cottom and Melissa Murray, moderated by Dan Hirschman (live streaming available). Legal scholar, MSNBC contributor, and former interim dean of the University of California Berkeley School of Law, Melissa Murray, and sociologist Tressie Cottom will dialogue about the implications for society and research of the recent Supreme Court decisions on higher education, reproductive choice, civil rights and liberties and LGBTQ+ equality.
Participants: Prudence L. Carter, Daniel Hirschman, Tressie Cottom, and Melissa Murray, New York University Law School"

Received via e-mail July 19, 2023

Sunday, July 16, 2023

A touching love story--guest blogger, my nephew Brandon

"I think we should get…HIM.” Katie said, pointing to one of the smaller poodles of the litter.
He looked like a blur of beige fur, like the head on a mop. I was still looking at the largest, shyest one, trying to convince myself that I’m right.

It's May 18th, 2013. Less than a month since we've successfully been married and honeymoon-ed. We're in Zebulon, Georgia, of all places, in what seems to be a puppy-mill in training. Katie is fixated on the one rambunctious pup that continues to do low-flying circles in the grass and dirt. He ends up being the only puppy of the ones present that seem eager to meet us.

As with most things -- Katie was right.

We named that little guy Amos, inspired by one of my favorite singer/songwriters, Amos Lee.

In the ten years since Amos and I became inseparable, Katie would be quick to remind me: One, I didn't want a small dog and two, Amos was not my first choice.

Again, she was right. It wasn't that I didn't want Amos. Growing up, we really only had large dogs (aside from Droopy). The only small dogs I was familiar with, were small, yippy, nipping dogs that were full of energy, hard to control and had Napoleon complexes. Amos was Katie's first real pet and dog, and she had her heart set on a toy poodle. I said: "Just so long as he doesn't have a poodle haircut." At that time, I thought talking her into getting a dog would be much much harder. Are you seeing a pattern here? I am wrong a lot. It’s a gift.

Not only was getting a dog her idea, but it turns out her first and only pick that day would steal our hearts.

Amos quickly became the center of our family. He was the star of Christmas cards, and the center of attention when friends would come over. He and I wrote songs together. He rode in a basket on Katie’s bike. Two years in, he would have to contend with the first born, Gibson and before that a new house. Then four years into his tenure, our second son, Nash Corbett. He kept a watchful eye over both of them as they grew.

He was the same, happy go lucky little guy for seven years. But in April of 2020, we knew something wasn't right with him. A week long stay at the vet would result in Amos' diabetes diagnosis. I was heartbroken. I was afraid this was the end. Our veterinarian explained that with care and routine, Amos could still live a full and virtually uninterrupted life. All that was required was a regimented routine of regularly spaced feedings and me becoming an insulin injection specialist.

Three years into Operation: Dog Diabetes yielded Amos’ next brush with pancreatitis. Thankfully, he recovered and with the help of our vet, he was back to being himself. Katie discovered that most dogs don't live much longer than a few years after their diagnosis. "Not Amos," I thought. By all accounts, he was the model patient and I the model caregiver. With Katie's nearly perfect record in the back of my mind — I shuttered to admit that we might not have much longer with our boy.

Dogs are the perfect companions. They love us unconditionally, and require very little of us. A head scratch, some treats, a walk here or there, a place to lay their head. Popcorn. Maybe a piece of bacon. Why not? While their love comes unconditionally, what we really trade is a little piece of ourselves. They accept us as we are. Deeply flawed, and hard to understand. And in return for that piece, they give us everything they have. Trusting us to protect and care for them.

Dogs are a little bit of us, and uniquely their own. They become a part of us. A piece of us and yet a beast that is untamable. They aren't people but they fill all of the gaps in our hearts that people can't. We leave, we come home late, we spend our days at the office, we send them to the vet to board for a week — and yet they are as happy to see us as ever. They sit with us in our quiet moments — while we repeat things to them, asking them questions in a language that they only feign to understand. Do you want to see the boys? Mommy's home. Do you want a treat? Do you want to go for a ride?

You have the photos, videos and key memories of them. What you can never duplicate are the quiet moments between you. You check on your kids, dog asleep at their feet. You come home late at night, he greets you at the door, loud enough to wake the entire house. A yelp, a bark in the middle of the day, as the mail truck passes. The sound of the doggie door. The quiet push of your office door, as he checks to make sure you're still there. The expectation that any time you try to sit down, or take a nap, your stationary legs make an excellent bed.

The decision to say goodbye to our Amos was the toughest decision we’ve had to make as a family. I have doubts. I have the regret that his last days were spent in a vet kennel and not at home. I I tried everything I could to hold on to him. I didn’t want to let him go. I would've done anything in my power to keep him with me — with us. But after these ten years, and everything he gave to us -- I couldn't let him suffer anymore.

In his last days, in addition to not eating and stomach issues, we found out that his heart had grown in size. Not only from our love, but from the beginnings of congenital heart failure. I looked into his little black eyes — cloudy with cataracts as a result of the diabetes. I no longer saw the young, bouncy, lively pup that we had known all these years. I saw eyes that were suffering — tired but could not sleep. His knees were worn from years of compensating on moveable knees caps. Knees sore from chasing the boys, jumping on couches, beds and up and down stairs. My heart, my head and my guts were all screaming that it was time. Please. Can’t I be wrong this time? Just one more time.

Before the doctors came in, he desperately tried to crawl to me, and lay his head against me. His breaths — pained, rapid and shallow. I haven't cried like that in my entire adult life. I held him close in his last moments and told him everything would be ok. That I would miss him and that I loved him.

Scott Van Pelt, in his 2022 tribute to his dog Otis, said this: "Nothing we do could earn what dogs give away to us for free." And: "If this hurt is the cost of the transaction, for being on the receiving of a mighty love that I got to know — I'd pay it again with enormous gratitude.” I couldn’t say it any better than that.

It is with the deepest hurt in my heart that I write this now. I can't begin to quantify in gratitude, and in love what I owe to our sweet Amos. I would gladly pay again and again, with the piece of me I gave, and the pieces now of my broken heart, just to have his head rest against my chest one last time.
If our lives are but a blink in the span of time, a dog's life for us is a blazing, beautiful shooting star. A shooting star where simultaneously a wish is made and a wish is granted. It is one of life’s cruelest truths — that we get to love them, caring for them and them us so deeply but that they live such a seemingly short amount of time.

It bears repeating. Katie couldn’t have been more right — about everything and especially Amos. I've never been more glad to admit that I was wrong.

Amos -- we love you always. The boys miss you. Katie misses you and said you can share her blanket. There’s not a moment that I don’t miss you. Thank you for sharing your brief, but beautiful life with us. I’ll hold on to your memory forever.

The Birkin Bag

Jane Birkin died. I'd never heard of her. It seems she inspired the "Birkin bag, a designer purse made by Hermès. The exclusive bags, which retail for $9,000 to $500,000 and are difficult to come by, are beloved by celebrities such as the Kardashians, Cardi B, Jennifer Lopez, Mariah Carey, Victoria Beckham and Lady Gaga." (USA Today)

I have a $9 purse I bought at Walmart 5 years ago that I love, and if it weren't worn out, I'd still be using it. It is made of denim and is the perfect size for my phone or i-pad and has 2 little side pockets for keys, comb and Kleenex.

It would seem that Lady Gaga and I have different values.

Except for Kim Kardashian who describes herself as a political mix of Republican and Democrats, I think all these ladies probably vote for Democrats. Which tells us where they are on the importance of life and liberty (for themselves, not others). Kardashian worked with President Trump to get a black woman freed from prison and on a criminal justice program. Haven't heard if she's helping Biden with his criminal just-us plan.

Saturday, July 15, 2023

A second brain

 The Second Brain: Our Enteric Nervous System

"Comprised of 100 million neurons, the network of nerve cells lining the digestive tract is so extensive that it has earned the nickname “second brain.” Technically known as the enteric nervous system, this network of neurons is often overlooked and contains more nerve cells than the spinal cord or peripheral nervous system.

Beyond the sheer volume of neurons, our second brain bears even more resemblance to the brain in our heads. The mass of neural tissue in our gut produces over 30 different neurotransmitters, which are signaling molecules typically associated with the brain. This includes a staggering 95% of the production and storage of serotonin, the neurotransmitter famously known as the “happy chemical” due to its role in regulating mood and wellbeing."

Just because I thought this was interesting.

Friday, July 14, 2023

Greeting the neighbors at 6:30 a.m.

 On my morning walk I noticed a DIY moving truck and my neighbors loading personal belongings into their car.  So I stopped to chat.  They are moving to Florida.  I don't think this is political or financial because they bought a smaller home 4 years ago, and are just hoping for a nice retirement on the beach. Covid and the lockdown messed up their timetable, but now they are on their way.  They've lived there 13 years, and although we've chatted at parties, this was the longest conversation we've had.  I remember it used to be a 4 generation household.  His mother, their daughter and a granddaughter. Now it's just the 2 of them in 3700 sq. ft. But that's a lot of boxes, memorabilia and stuff to move. Safe travels Barry and Kathy.


Exercise heart rates for 85 year olds

Looks like I might be on target. I've been using 104 as my maximum target rate. I'm not working out to lose weight, but to benefit heart and brain.

The target pulse rate zone for a 85 year old male to burn fat during light to moderate exercise is 68 to 93 beats per minute1. 85 year old females working out to loose weight should exercise between 66 and 91 bpm. This exercise range corresponds to 50% to 69% of the maximum target rate for your age.

If you’re an older adult looking to establish an exercise routine, you should, ideally, be able to incorporate 150 minutes of moderate endurance activity into your week. This can include walking, swimming, cycling, and a little bit of time every day to improve strength, flexibility, and balance.

Exercise heart training zones chart for 85 year old women
% MaxExercisePulse
Maximize Performance
118-131 bpm
80-89%Hard (Anaerobic Zone)
Maximize Performance & Improve Fitness
105-117 bpm
70-79%Moderate (Aerobic Zone)
Improve Fitness
92-104 bpm
60-69%Light (Recovery Zone)
Weight Loss & Improve Fitness
79-91 bpm
50-59%Very Light
Weight Loss
66-77 bpm

Sound of Freedom movie--what's the controversy?

Why are some in the MSM and Americans deep in the Democrat political pool denying the truth and seriousness of the film, "Sound of Freedom," with Jim Caviezel playing Tim Ballard? It's a film about a modern abolition movement and underground railroad to free children in sex slavery. With most crimes, it's follow the money.

1. Trafficking in persons (TIP) is the 3rd largest industry in the world, with arms being #1, and illegal drugs #2. It's hard to get a firm fix on the dollars, but ILO claimed $150 Billion for labor trafficking (2014), and other international sources say 70% of that is sex trafficking of women and children. It's a "renewable" product, and once someone is enslaved the money continues to roll in for the owner or syndicate, unlike the illegal drug industry when the commodity is gone when sold, smoked or ingested. In the sex industry, it's 100% on return of investment.

2. Sex trafficking is closely tied to the pornography industry, which is also a global multi-billion dollar industry. Statistics for this industry are for 2023, whereas most government statistics are 2-3 years behind. It's about $97 billion. Pornography is the gate way drug for the consumer, and the training manual for the victims.
3. Technology--Big Tech--is right in the middle of all this slime and degradation. Internet porn is probably a third of the recurring business and the image of a woman or children, both boys and girls, and be reused thousands of times, enslaving the consumer in the privacy of his/her home while revictimizing the victim, who may be dead or long ago out of the industry. It's "clean" on subscription with just a few clicks. The income is beyond your imagination. That's why the stats are all over the place.
4. The sex trafficking and labor and debt bondage are all tied together. We Americans consume many products produced by forced labor, maybe something small like elements in our smart phones or huge like the windmills on the prairies. Africa and China primarily are the source for just those 2. The List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor comprises 159 goods from 78 countries and areas, as of September 28, 2022. (Dept. of Labor) Here you get into the money of Politics. I can't claim to know the routes and how-to's, but getting Washington to clean up its act will take massive political will from the PEOPLE. If we have politicians who refuse to watch a movie because they are afraid of Christians or conservatives, the quagmire is deep and wide, and money is at the bottom of the pit.

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Today's photo--Romena church in Tuscany, Italy

Romena church in Pratovecchio Stia, Tuscany, Italy was the photo (not mine) that came up today as I opened my computer. We've visited many countries after I retired in 2000, and Italy for beauty, history, and spirituality is still my favorite. 
"The Tuscany region in central Italy has been romanticized, and rightly so, for its rich history of art, music, literature, and cuisine. Add to that laudatory list the sheer breathtaking beauty of the place—Tuscany is simply one of the most scenic places on the planet. Our image captures a lyrically sublime sight of the region."
It took me back to our travels with the University of Illinois Alumni Society in 2008 in Italy. Here's what we did/saw/experienced.

Day One: Leave Chicago for Naples
Day Two: Arrive in Naples, get on a bus for Sorrento, 
Day Three: Motorcoach along the Amalfi Coast. Visit Positano. Back in Sorrento attend lecture and discussion.
Day Four: Pompeii. Meet the folks of Sorrento to hear about their lives.
Day Five: Isle of Capri.
Day Six: Discussion--that's all I see on the program.
Day Seven: Motorcoach to Orvieto. Wine tasting event
Day Eight: History of Orvieto and Umbria and Italy. Focus: Etruscans, who were there first. Walking tour. Cathedrals. Cobblestone streets. Discussion of Renaissance Art.
Day Nine: Walking tour of Florence. Architectural highlights.
Day Ten: Perugia and Assisi.
Day Eleven: Free day for sightseeing, shopping, etc.
Day Twelve: Motorcoach to Rome (which we won't see except the airport). Fly home. Based on previous tours, the only place we won't hear understandable English is the O'Hare Airport.

Travel is/was the joy of early retirement.  I'm glad we didn't wait too long, since it is difficult at this age.

Positano, Italy

Monday, July 10, 2023

Dog Vomit Slime Mold Fuligo septica

 That's what I have in my flowers/bushes in front of our condo.  I took a photo and posted it on Facebook. Someone identified it. It's bright yellow early in the morning. It even has a Latin name, and was identified and named in the 1700s.

Dog Vomit Slime Mold (Fuligo septica) · iNaturalist


In Scandinavian folklore, Fuligo septica is identified as the vomit of troll cats.[18]

In Finland, F. septica was believed to be used by witches to spoil their neighbors' milk. This gives it the name paranvoi, meaning "butter of the familiar spirit".[8][19] In Dutch, "heksenboter" refers to "witches' butter". In Latvian, the slime mold (amongst other slime molds) is called "ragansviests" as "witches' butter" or "raganu spļāviens" as "witches' spit" but it is unclear about the origins of these names.

Human pathogenicity

The species is known to trigger episodes of asthma and allergic rhinitis in susceptible people. [20][21]

Why do men have nipples?

Why men have nipples when they obviously don't need them was the discussion between Bret Weinstein and his wife Heather Heying published July 8 (podcast). I won't go into the details, but apparently evolutionary biologists and others have wondered about this long before Woke took over science. They also discussed many other ethical and scientific issues, like the CDC site which now includes "chest feeding."

We've learned in the last few months that a born female human who thinks she is male, decides to become pregnant. She lactates, gives birth and has enlarged breasts to feed the offspring (even though it was bathed in testosterone beyond safe limits). But the transagenda is way ahead of us if we accepted "chest feeding" (only Democrats loyal to Biden did that).

Now just a few months later, that term may also include a born male who claims he is a woman, who takes a toxic brew of hormones to violate his biology which then causes his nipples to leak liquid of foreign origin, then he attaches an infant to his nipples (the kid doesn't know any better) and claims "chest feeding."

Woke has eliminated the need for breasts, the perfect solution for the continuation of the human race, and for females just like that. This is a war against women, whether in the locker room, the board room, the bedroom or the nursery.

These are the very same people who are worried that pesticides upset the endocrine system moving from the soils to the plants to the harvest to our dinner table.

Saturday, July 08, 2023

Added the kettlebell to my morning exercise

My arms and hands are weak, and my fingers struggle to open a package of cheese or squeeze the toothpaste tube. Today I added kettlebells to my morning routine at Lifetime Fitness. I started with 5 lbs, the smallest they had. The kettlebell is a round-shaped steel or cast iron weight, commonly described as resembling a cannonball with a handle. I only walked around the outside of the workout area once, so in case it's not comfortable, I shouldn't feel awful tomorrow. They are much more comfortable than carrying groceries in a sack with handles, which is usually the only weight I carry like that. When I looked it up I found it is a popular sport, especially in Europe and is used in physiotherapy in everything from metabolic syndrome to osteoporosis to hip fractures in the elderly.  I did my usual search for articles, using "ncbi" and elderly.  Not much out there, but in finding a review article I learned some new words, and discovered that what I did this morning is called "farmer's walk" I suppose because you look like you just carried 2 buckets to or from the barn.

For my morning walk around the condo grounds, I've added a water bottle attached to my waist to squirt at dogs that aren't on a leash.  I only met one dog this morning, but she was on a leash.  She looked eager to greet me with a jump on my legs, but fortunately Bobbi my neighbor (her owner) restrained her/him.  They used to have two 15-year-olds of the same breed, but they have died and this friskier one seems to be a rescue and younger.  God bless dog lovers who rescue their pets.

Friday, July 07, 2023

Debby Diehl, obituary

Debra Lynn (Nall) Diehl, 67, of Mt. Morris, Illinois, passed away peacefully on July 5, 2023, after suffering from some heart issues earlier last month.

Debby was born to the late Buddy Roger & Marjorie (McCue) Nall, on December 8, 1955, in Beloit, Wisconsin. Debby married Brian Diehl on February 11, 2005. He was the love of her life.

I'd never met Debby--she was married to my father's cousin, Brian, who was 11 years younger than me, so I'd only seen her Facebook page.  Brian is the son my aunt Ada, so he is my first cousin, once removed.

Cheri Lynn Hooker O'Mathuna, 1959-2023

Cheri Lynn O’Mathuna, 64,  daughter of our good friends Ron and Jane Hooker "went home to be with the Lord on July 2, 2023. She died at home looking out on her flowers with her husband Dónal by her side, surrounded by her children Catrina (married to Andrew Bogart), Conor (married to Sinéad) and Peter (married to Emily), along with her best friend and sister-in-law. She is also deeply missed by her father, Ronald Hooker, her brothers, Jeff and Greg (married to Cheryl), several nieces and nephews, and many cousins.

Last year Cheri had the joy of meeting her two grandchildren, Killian Bogart and Orla O’Mathuna, whom she quickly spoiled in every way she could. She is now enjoying a heavenly reunion with her mother, Jane Hooker. Cheri graduated from Upper Arlington High School (1977) and The Ohio State University (1982). She was actively involved in home churches and Bible studies for many years through Dwell Community Church and in Ireland.

Cheri was an amazingly tender, caring and beautiful person. Her eye for color and coordination allowed her to adorn everything she touched with beauty. Her gift of hospitality led her to host events that perfectly celebrated those she loved. Many people in Columbus, Dunboyne, Belfast and elsewhere will be laughing and crying as they remember the great times that Cheri helped create.

She loved the Lord and was passionate to help others know Jesus and the grace and forgiveness he extends to all who will accept his gift. This gave her a strength and fortitude that might not have been obvious under her soft skin and warm smile. Her dependence on God helped her face thirteen years of cancer with dignity, determination and courage. She was very grateful to the wonderful staff at St. James’s Hospital, Dublin, The James Cancer Center, Columbus, and the hospice nurses who helped her through her last few days.

Cheri touched everyone she met with love and grace. She could bring laughter and fun to any event (even if the laughs were at her own expense). Now she is being showered with God’s love as he shows her around the mansion he has been preparing for her (John 14:2-3). We know she will be busy giving Jesus some decorating ideas. While we who remain are deeply saddened by her passing, we are grateful that she is truly, deeply at peace, and that we have had the privilege of knowing Cheri.

In lieu of flowers, as an expression of sympathy, memorial gifts may be sent to The James Cancer Hospital “Leukemia, Lymphoma and Post-Transplant Research Fund.” Gifts can be made online or sent to The OSU Foundation, PO Box 710811, Columbus OH 43271.

Cards may be mailed to 3999 Wynding Drive, Columbus, Ohio 43214, USA.

Thursday, July 06, 2023

Do masks stop the spread of viruses?

I don't see a lot of masks these days--occasionally at the grocery store, and even a woman driving alone on a nice day wearing a mask this week. This evening we went to a visitation, and one woman was wearing a mask. Perhaps she had a cold and didn't want to expose anyone, but masks don't stop the spread, according to all the studies done. Perhaps the best study hasn't yet been designed, but it's zero, zilch, nada. Of course, I said that in 2020, but I was shut down or blocked. Don't expect die/dei hard government supporters to change--I looked at some of their explanations for this study, and they go by feels rather than facts. We've already given them so much power, I doubt they will give it back.

Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. President and Fellows of Harvard College

Democrats are not getting the memo. They are rubbing their hands with glee even though the majority of Americans agree they shouldn't be discriminating against Asian Americans, who [shock and awe] are not "one" group. Harvard has always had quotas for certain groups and it always will. It's been women, or Jews, or Asians. They look for work arounds, like the word "diversity" in Powell's opinion in the Bakke decision 45 years ago. That one word which now means the opposite of what it meant opened the door to sneak in DEI at every level from kindergarten to grad school as a "positive." They claimed to end quotas and affirmative action with "diversity." Then among themselves they agreed to not look at cello or violin accomplishments or nerdy computer hobbies so they could eliminate students with immigrant parents who work for Google in favor of one who produced hip hop videos with a millionaire dad.
I'd give you a good link, except this crazy AI Chat-gpt keeps trying to write my argument. So this will remain an opinion, mine and thousands of others.

Tip:  Save anything you have in print.  It is lost forever on the internet, especially with the AI and as we librarians say, To the victor belong the archives.

St. Maria Goretti and Alessandro Serenelli

I'm not one who has visions or dreams* about Jesus or spiritual events. I just plod along reading one of my 10 Bibles, 20 reference books, or miscellaneous articles in magazines for insight. However, occasionally God puts before me the story of Saint Maria Goretti to remind me of his command to forgive others as we have been forgiven (Lord's prayer). I've come across this story numerous times. Today there she was again on p. 81 of the July issue of Magnificat. Maria was a young Italian girl sexually assaulted and stabbed to death by Alessandro Serenelli. He was arrested, tried and jailed, all the while blaming others and society for his sins. Maria appeared to him years later in a dream in prison, and she forgave him. Although he was still denying he was to blame for his deeds, his life changed. He was released from prison after 27 years (probably in part because of his changed life) and was also forgiven in person by Maria's mother, who was still alive. Unlike the 5th century or 10th century martyr stories, this all happened in the 20th century, so there are accurate reports, even photographs. Alessandro lived out his life as a Capuchin lay brother serving others, and lived long enough to attended Maria's canonization in 1950. There are churches and parishes named for her, and I'm always moved by this story of forgiveness.

 I have such a struggle forgiving Joe Biden that I hope someday I can be as forgiving as Maria and her mother. I'm not there yet.

* I did have one dream, very special, in 1974 when Jesus appeared, but it's been so long I'll need to go back and look for my notes. I've noticed (and you have too) that people my age either forget or embellish important events. I have 20 years of blogs and a lot of notebooks, so somewhere I probably have it recorded.

Wednesday, July 05, 2023

The algorithm game in the search engines

It's no secret. I'm a one issue voter. After I check off the pro-life issues, I can go from there--conservative candidates, environment, education, local issues, etc. But I also use the internet to research these issues because there aren't just 2 sides--there may be 10, and I also use the ballot funding record as a guide. Deep pockets, dark money, bad dudes like Soros and Son. You've heard that Google, Bing, Duck duck go, and Brave have algorithms which push the Democrat/Progressive/Socialist media and organizations to the top, and most people will only look at the top 3 or 4 (which will all agree).

So here's my last search. I was looking through the articles written by Suzanne Bell, quoted in JAMA, about the nearly 9,800 lives saved with the TX heartbeat bill. (She was against it and has done a lot of research in developing countries.) Since it's almost impossible to do any political issue without Trump's name popping up, I started following the term, Global Gag Rule. This refers to a 1984 bill preventing U.S. tax dollars from going to foreign NGOs if they offer abortion services used in foreign countries. It's the "Mexico City" rule, and it was used under Reagan, GHW Bush, GWBush and Trump; it was rescinded for Clinton, part of Obama terms, and Joe Biden. Of course, it was referred to as Trump's Gag Rule by angry pro-aborts. Anyway. That's not the point.
I went through perhaps 15 pages with 10-15 articles on each page, and found the same articles all the way through: The Guardian; Guttmacher; NPR; Reproductive rights; NCAC; Center for American Progress; Planned Parenthood; KFF; ACLU;; Democracy now; Huffington Post; Open Society; Vogue; and so forth. In other words, it's not just a few swings to the left, it was ALL pro-abort arguments, with inflammatory words, data, medical articles, NGOs, politicians, sad stories, opinions, etc.
Not a single word defending a policy that keeps American colonial invasion dollars out of the wombs and families of third world women.
There are lots of issues here if you look closer. Why can't foreign NGOs survive without that small piece of American aid? What else is U.S. dollars controlling in their "aid." Is this tied to military bases in that country? Are there any journalists coming out of U.S. colleges and universities, or grad schools that are conservative, or are they eliminated before they ever get into the job market? If one or two slip through are there any corporations or businesses that would hire them if their ESG score isn't desirable. There is no diversity of thought or values now in the education system or job market. DEI is DIE.

So you see, an algorithm isn't just an algorithm. It's life from the beginning to end affecting thousands.

Just say No

Being able to say "No it's against my religion" is part of the First Amendment.

Should a vegan restaurant be required to serve meat?

Should a Muslim fashion mall kiosk be required to stock lascivious outfits for non-Muslims?

Should a Wiccan bookstore be required to stock "I found Jesus" books?
Should a MAGA political merch store be required to distribute pamphlets advocating mutilating children?

The "Bake that cake or else. . ." nonsense will continue. They are not "real" customers--the issue (pizza, flowers, bakery, web designer) is shopped until a small conservative Christian entrepreneur who can't afford the legal costs is found. Then all the coffers are opened with the money left over from the marriage campaign. This is not about fairness, it's about destroying the Constitution.

Tuesday, July 04, 2023

Mass shooting around the 4th

Some sources say four shootings some twelve.

That term gets sort of loose these days. Shootings at neighborhood parties or festivals (Baltimore, Philadelphia, Ft. Worth, Highland Park) are called "mass" but I didn't see that term used for a Korean American, her unborn baby and husband, two weeks ago in Seattle and the shooter is known.
I suspect race sensitivities have something to do with how shootings are reported. Reporters want to keep their jobs. White on black gets huge national coverage and nation's repentance and reparations are demanded; non-binary or trans shooter (I think there has been 5 recently) will slam shut any reporting on medical care/mental illness or manifesto from the shooter; black on black, ho-hum; black on Asian, silence.

Monday, July 03, 2023

Enjoy the holiday.

 I took a wrong turn today and drove through a neighborhood I probably hadn't seen in 20 years. The small houses I remembered had either been remodeled grandly, or torn down and replaced and all the empty lots now had mini-mansions. Then I saw something that really warmed my heart; two young girls were roller skating on the sidewalk, laughing and having the best time. The younger one was looking up to the older. The neighborhood had changed, but kids hadn't.

This is how we did it in the 1940s-50s.  The base could be lengthened so you could pass them on to the next kid.  It would hurt when the shoe clip would slip and you'd go flying into the grass.

A disgusting misuse of crafters' big hearts for volunteering.

I was browsing a website I'd seen in a magazine that describes the activities and products of crafter organizations--people who knit, sew or craft materials that can benefit the less fortunate. I was shocked to see that one group was "helping" out the local Planned Parenthood agency--with heating pads for cramping from a chemical abortion. Wow. They just destroyed a human life so let's donate heating pads. Also little bags for personal items (probably need a lot of sanitary napkins for bleeding) and free birth control pills to take home for 14 year olds. It's the worst imitation of what churches and pregnancy centers do to help teen girls and young women get through some tough times, which includes counseling, clothing, household articles and presenting the gospel in a safe environment. 

The devil in drag pretending to be something else.

Tucker Carlson, episode 8

Tucker exposes "Rick" Levine of the U.S. HHS.  Says, happy summer of pride. Wife and children. Living proof you can become whatever you want to be.

And the bi-partisan support for the Russia-Ukraine war.

Sunday, July 02, 2023

A week to celebrate, or not?

Churches across the nation should have been celebrating today for the First Amendment victories this past week. But that probably didn't happen because so many congregations have members who only listen to MSNBC, CNN and NPR lie to the nation. The rest have jaded members (like me) who already know that it's a game of whack a mole with the colleges and universities. Their massive DEI bureaucracies for racism in academe won't give up and the "shop for a judge" political hacks will continue to sue the little baker and candlestick maker who doesn't have the resources to fight back.

Freedom of religion (establishment and free exercise) is first among the Firsts. Without it, nothing else matters, and the founders knew it.
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

In 21st century America the bureaucracy just gets a non-government agency to deprive people of their Constitutional rights.

Happy July 4.

Biden v. Nebraska (22-506)
The Secretary of Education does not have authority under the Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students Act of 2003 (HEROES Act) to establish a student loan forgiveness program that will cancel roughly $430 billion in debt principal and affect nearly all borrowers. I won't need to pay off someone's student loans.

Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. President and Fellows of Harvard College (20-1199)
The admissions programs at Harvard College and the University of North Carolina violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Asians being discriminated against; end of affirmative action supposedly.

Mr. Groff, a Christian, not required to work on Sunday.

Lorie Smith, graphic artist, Christian, does not need to serve same sex couples in wedding celebration.

Saturday, July 01, 2023

Dark Horse podcast Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

Very disturbing. Bret Weinstein has just released a November 2021 podcast with Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who is convinced Fauci is the most dangerous man in the world in that we lost all our constitutional guarantees to freedom because of him. Weinstein is an evolutionary biologist who was fired from his professorship for blowing the whistle on wokeism. He and his wife Heather Heying work together and she has a substack column, "Natural selections."  It's almost 3 hours long. Bret Weinstein | DarkHorse Podcast on Apple Podcasts

The word on exercise

A quote from my new book, "Outlive," by Dr. Peter Attia (c. 2023).

"So if you adopt only one new set of habits based on reading this book, it MUST be in the realm of exercise. If you currently exercise, you will likely want to rethink and modify your program. And if exercise is not a part of your life at the moment, you are not alone--77% of the US population is like you. Now is the time to change that. Right now. Even a little bit of daily activity is much better than nothing. Going from zero weekly exercise to just 90 minutes per week can reduce your risk of dying from all causes by 14%. It's very hard to find a drug that can do that." p. 218
Dr. Attia has a podcast. Interviews interesting people.

Bob had an appointment with his cardiologist this morning and he said something very similar. Although Bob never took a pill before 2020, he now has a handful every morning. His doctor said that his regular exercise program is worth more than all of them.