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Archive for November, 2009

Break

Hey folks sorry to dissappoint but “Frosted Flakes and everything else” will be taking off for the holidays. We will be back on Monday November 30. Unless I am feeling inspired over the weekend. Have a happy thanksgiving and a safe holidays. Below is a thanksgiving clip. Enjoy 🙂

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Jeopardy Question

Today’s blog I wanted to post an email I received from my Father, This is an interesting e-mail message. I’d seen it before but it had slipped my memory until I read it again. In the hustle and bustle of every day life I sometimes fail to remember that there are some people that are truly committed daily to the core values which made our country the Greatest Country In The World! This message seems to illustrate a paradox in view of the attitude of the public as a whole and that of their liberal personal values.


Ecclesiastes 11:13 “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.”

Jeopardy Question


On Jeopardy the other night, the final question was:

” How many steps does the guard take during his walk across the tomb of the Unknowns ” —- All three missed it —

This is really an awesome sight to watch if you’ve never had the chance . Very fascinating.

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier


1. How many steps does the guard take during his walk across the tomb of the Unknowns and why?

21 steps : It alludes to the twenty-one gun salute which is
the highest honor given any military or foreign dignitary.


2. How long does he hesitate after his about face to begin his return walk and why?

21 seconds for the same reason as answer number 1


3. Why are his gloves wet?

His gloves are moistened to prevent his losing his grip on the rifle.





4. Does he carry his rifle on the same shoulder all the time
and , if not, why not?

He carries the rifle on the shoulder away from the tomb. After his march across the path, he executes an about face and moves the rifle to the outside shoulder.





5. How often are the guards changed?


Guards are changed every thirty minutes, twenty four hours a day 365 days a year.



6. What are the physical traits of the guard limited to?

For a person to apply for guard duty at the tomb, he must be
between 5′ 10′ and 6′ 2′ tall and his waist size cannot exceed 30.

They must commit 2 years of life to guard the tomb, live in a barracks under the tomb, and cannot drink any alcohol on or off duty for the rest of their lives. They cannot swear in public for the
rest of their lives and cannot disgrace the uniform or the tomb in any way.

After two years, the guard is given a wreath pin that is worn on
their lapel signifying they served as guard of the tomb. There are only
400 presently worn. The guard must obey these rules for the rest of their
lives or give up the wreath pin.

The shoes are specially made with very thick soles to keep the heat and cold from their feet. There are metal heel plates that extend to the top of the shoe in order to make the loud click as they come to a halt.
There are no wrinkles, folds or lint on the uniform.. Guards dress for duty
in front of a full-length mirror.

The first six months of duty a guard cannot talk to anyone nor
watch TV. All off duty time is spent studying the 175 notable people laid
to rest in  Arlington   National   Cemetery  . A guard must memorize who they are
and where they are interred. Among the notables are:

President Taft,
Joe Lewis {the boxer}
Medal of Honor winner Audie Murphy, the most
decorated soldier of WWII of Hollywood fame.

Every guard spends five hours a day getting his uniforms ready for
guard duty.

ETERNAL REST GRANT THEM O LORD AND LET PERPETUAL LIGHT SHINE UPON THEM.

In 2003 as Hurricane Isabelle was approaching Washington ,  DC , our
US Senate/House took 2 days off with anticipation of the storm. On the ABC
evening news, it was reported that because of the dangers from the
hurricane, the military members assigned the duty of guarding the Tomb of
the Unknown Soldier were given permission to suspend the assignment. They
respectfully declined the offer, ‘No way, Sir!’ Soaked to the skin,
marching in the pelting rain of a tropical storm, they said that guarding
the Tomb was not just an assignment, it was the highest honor that can be
afforded to a service person. The tomb has been patrolled continuously,
24/7, since 1930.



God Bless and keep them.



IN GOD WE TRUST

Thoughts and Comments??

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Blame Everyone Else

Hello everyone, I’m back!  I want to thank my wife for filling in last week while I was sick.  She carried the torch well, and I imagine the blog was posted earlier when she wrote it because she didn’t have to wait for it to be edited. Mine, on the other hand, always require some editing.  Now that I have beaten Swine Flu, (okay, so it was probably just a cold, but what’s the diff) I’m back and better than ever.  I celebrated my recovery with a very busy weekend.  Friday was date night with my wife, followed by a midnight counseling session with a close friend.  Saturday started off with some football, then to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra Concert with my father-in-law. To top it all off, on Sunday I took my wife Christmas shopping at the grand reopening of the newly remodeled South Center mall.

But let’s rewind back to Friday.  I began my weekend by stopping by Blockbuster Video and picking up a game called “Call of Duty Modern Warfare II”.  This was a fairly violent game; (much of the violence was unnecessary) however, it was entertaining.  Note that word, entertaining; its entertainment, not reality.  I have been so upset lately by the way that our culture wants to push all the blame for people’s bad behavior on video games, music, movies, and network sites.    Yesterday, my wife read me a Yahoo post that said “Beating of So Cal Student May be Tied to Facebook”.   You’re kidding me; this is a joke, right?  Apparently, some believe that the redheaded middle school boy was beaten simply because a post on Facebook announced Friday was “Kick a Ginger Day”.  And to perpetuate the blame on the media, the Facebook post is being blamed on the crude comedy “South Park”.

Here’s the article:

http://cbs13.com/local/facebook.redhead.assault.2.1327924.html

I am so tired of hearing how a fight or a murder a robbery happened because of something that some innocent person saw on TV.  Are you kidding me?  Because one stupid bully was too afraid to tell the authorities that he just didn’t like the redheaded kid, he had to blame his actions on something he saw on television, therefore displacing his responsibility and creating a newsworthy story.  

Remember about 15 years ago, MTV icons “Beavis and Butthead” were under scrutiny because in one episode they lit a house on fire, so a ten-year old who was watching lit a house on fire too.  And who did the media blame?  Did they point the fingers at the parents for not monitoring the child’s TV habits or not knowing their child’s obsession with fire? No they didn’t, because parents died in the fire.  They blamed the media, which ended up leading to the cancellation of “Beavis and Butthead”.  If that’s the case, many people could point to shows like “Desperate Housewives” for the reason that divorce is so high, or shows like “Two and a Half Men” for the reason that people are having multiple sex partners before marriage.  Do we really want to blame the entertainment industry for our lack of discipline? 

Since the creation of Adam and Eve, we have always been looking to blame someone else for our actions.  Eve said that the serpent made her eat the forbidden fruit, and Adam said to God, “the woman you gave me made me eat the fruit”.  Maybe the government lied to us and mind control is possible.  That’s right, mind control is possible – the government is behind the movies, radio, newspaper, magazines, commercials, Facebook, Twitter, the internet, and MySpace.  Come on, God gave us a brain; let’s use it and stop blaming our actions on the media or the society around us.  We all know and have an inherent belief of right and wrong; whether we use it is a different story.  If Brittney Spears wants to go cheat on her husband, be a bad mother, and use large quantities of drugs, that’s her choice it does not mean that I have to do it too.   Whether the kids who beat up the redhead were influenced by Facebook or not, I am sure that there was a much more primitive reason for the attack.  Maybe the redhead called someone a name, or looked at someone’s girlfriend the wrong way.  Who knows?  What I do know is that these kids knew right and wrong and so do we.  Therefore, I think it’s absurd to blame Facebook or South Park for this.  Place blame on the kids; that’s where it belongs.  If we don’t, the next thing you know we will be excusing Hitler, saying he did the heinous acts because of music he listened to.

As always, this is my opinion, so please feel free to share yours.

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Good morning everyone!  It’s a cold, dark, wet Thursday in Seattle.  Although there is no promise of snow, the freezing weather is getting me ready for Christmas.  And why not?  The beloved holiday is only 35 days, 14 hours, 37 minutes, and 21 seconds away, according to my iPhone.

As you know if you keep up with the blog, Chad has been pretty under the weather this week, and loopy on cold medicine, so I’ve been blogging away on his behalf.  One comment he made of my writing, however, is that I don’t share my opinion enough.  Now, I am a pretty objective person, so I tend to present both sides of an issue and then let people make an informed opinion.  However, today that will not be the case.

I read something today that was even stupider than impaling oneself on a fence post in a ninja outfit (see yesterday’s blog).  Let me give a little background.  For 55 years, the town of North Pole, Alaska, has operated a huge volunteer program in which they handwrite responses to thousands of children’s letters to Santa.  It has been USPS protocol that letters addressed to Santa are forwarded to the town of North Pole.  Inspired by the Christmas spirit shared by this town, many other cities began implementing similar programs for letters sent by local children.

Well, it seems that last year, a volunteer for the Operation Santa program in Maryland (notice that this wasn’t the big program in North Pole, Alaska) happened to be a registered sex offender.  His status was recognized immediately, and he was asked to step down before he had the chance to write a letter.

Here is the article, for those of you who like to be informed, like me. 🙂

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091119/ap_on_re_us/us_santa_s_mail_canceled;_ylt=Av2bchYsESeQHF8H8QOIQkCs0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTNiYWwwZ2IwBGFzc2V0A2FwLzIwMDkxMTE5L3VzX3NhbnRhX3NfbWFpbF9jYW5jZWxlZARjcG9zAzEwBHBvcwM3BHB0A2hvbWVfY29rZQRzZWMDeW5faGVhZGxpbmVfbGlzdARzbGsDZ3JpbmNobm9ydGhw

Apparently, this was too big of a scare for people to handle.  The idea of a sex offender volunteering to write anonymous letters to children posing as Santa was so horrifying that they decided to shut down the program entirely.  Now, the only legal way that Operation Santa can work is if the post office first edits letters so that they do not show any last names, addresses, or family information.  Letters are marked with a special code that only the post office knows which will identify the child.  However, this mandate requires a lot of extra work from postal workers (who probably have a few other things to do during the Christmas rush) and the technology to implement an advanced coding system, which smaller post offices, such as the one in North Pole, are not capable of.  So pretty much, fewer and fewer kids are going to experience the excitement of receiving a letter from Santa because ONE guy in a small copycat program of the real one had committed a sex crime.  SERIOUSLY?

You wanted opinion, Chad?  Here you go.  I think this is flat out ridiculous.  I can’t even think of a non-offensive word to describe how stupid this is.  There are many many reasons why the decision made was a complete overreaction, so allow me to rant for a bit.

First, if you are concerned about your child’s Christmas list ending up in the hands of a stranger, then don’t let them send it to a fake person at a fake address!  Have them email Santa instead, or take their letter out of the mailbox without telling them.  Do you really think they will find out?  I mean, come on.  They believe in Santa for crying out loud, they have to be pretty gullible.

Second, this was a VOLUNTEER program that the government did not have its hands on for 55 years, and there were not ANY problems with it.  Chances are that other volunteer programs, such as food and clothing banks, have had volunteers without the cleanest backgrounds.  Sometimes people who have wronged the community in the past feel the need to give back and try to make up for the hurt they caused.

Third, there are plenty of resourses out there that display children’s names and addresses.  Take, for example, an elementary school directory that is passed out without question to each child who attends the school.  Now, in supersensitive areas like Seattle, only phone numbers are revealed, but the full name is still made public information, and a reverse search of the phone number on superpages.com would reveal the home address, along with the parent’s names and an ariel view of the house.  It’s actually that easy, you can try it if you want.

Now, I get the fact that parents don’t want a sex offender writing letters to their child, even if it is just a simple note from Santa.  But there is a simple answer – do a background check on each of your volunteers.  If the government is willing to spend the money paying postal workers to implement an advanced coding system, then I don’t see why they couldn’t pay cops a little extra to run some background checks.  Most volunteers participate year after year, so it’s not like each participant would require a check each year.  But I guess this answer is just too easy.

Lastly, assuming that because someone had a tarnished past means that they are a threat to children is unfair and could be considered discrimination.  If you read my blog from September 25, 2009, you will see that many sex offenders commit a crime very early in their adult years and then are blacklisted for the rest of their lives, no matter what positive changes they make.  Is this a sensitive situation?  Yes.  But is it fair to assume that a sex offender writing Santa responses will abuse the system to go rape children?  No.

It is so frustrating to know that our country keeps falling farther and farther away from the little things that make life fun.  We can’t even say the word Christmas at school in Seattle, because someone might get offended.  I can’t bring homemade cookies to my students to celebrate a birthday, because I might have poisoned them.  I cannot tell students my first name, because then they might try to find me on Facebook and I could form an inappropriate relationship with them.  (Couldn’t I just find them on Facebook if I wanted to do that?)  I can’t hug a crying child or take their hand when they reach for mine, because that could be interpreted as sexual abuse.  Let’s just all live in little plastic bubbles and not interact, because at least then we will be safe.  I mean, seriously, it seems like we are already there anyway.

Maybe you agree, or maybe you think I’m wrong.  Either way, please share your thoughts and feelings.

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Only in Seattle…

Happy Wednesday!  The week is already half over, and Friday afternoon is just a mere 52 hours away (but who’s counting?).  My husband Chad is still hopped up on cold meds, so, although a blog from him probably would have been pretty entertaining, it likely wouldn’t have made much sense.  Last night when we were saying our nighttime prayers, he started talking about building fountains.  Hmmm…

So I was looking through the news this morning, and mind you, this is INTERNATIONAL news, and I saw an article on Seattle.  Intrigued, I clicked on it, figuring it would highlight one of the interesting qualities of my fine city.  Seattle is, after all, one of the most educated and technologically savvy cities in the nation.  But nope, the article outlined another interesting quality that Seattle possesses; there are a lot of “unique” people who live here.  Including those who think they are ninjas.

If you wish to read the whole article, here is the link:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091118/ap_on_fe_st/us_odd_ninja_impaled

In short, the article says that last night, a Seattle man thought he was a ninja and tried to clear a five foot tall fence.  It didn’t work out too well for him; he landed on it and was impaled.  Luckily he survived, but when he was found moaning by the cops, he wasn’t in great shape.

Oh, goodness.  I don’t even know what to say.  It is amazing to me how people can become so disillusioned.  And why is it that these types of people seem to flock to the cities?  In high school (in Seattle) there was a man who would periodically wander on to our campus who wore tuna fish cans over his ears so that the aliens couldn’t hear his thoughts.  Interesting.

So, for those of you who don’t live in The Emerald City (that’s our nickname, because of all the evergreen trees), now you know a little bit more about why Seattle is so special.  Do you have any fun stories like this to share from your hometown?  We love your comments!

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Good morning!  It is Tuesday, November 17th, and my husband is sick with a cold.  Because he was too loopy on cold meds to write today’s blog, I guess it’s on me.  I was perusing the news this morning, and I saw an article about the 2009 word of the year.  You see, each year a new word is officially added to the dictionary.  Here is the article:

NEW YORK –  

What word sums up 2009? How about unfriend? 

That’s the New Oxford American Dictionary’s 2009 Word of the Year. It means to remove someone as a friend on a social networking Web site such as Facebook. 

Each year Oxford University Press tracks how the English language is changing and chooses a word that best reflects the mood of the year. 

Oxford lexicographer Christine Lindberg says unfriend has “real lex appeal.” 

Finalists for 2009 also included netbook, which is a small laptop, and sexting, which is sending sexually explicit texts and pictures by cell phone. 

http://tech.yahoo.com/news/ap/20091117/ap_on_hi_te/us_odd_word_of_the_year 

_______________________________________________________________________

This article made me realize how quickly our language really does evolve.  There are certain words and phrases that simply slip into our daily language unnoticed.  I was laughing the other day when looking at my husband’s high school year book.  In his senior year, 2001, he wrote that the word he would never stop saying was “stoked”.  Luckily I have never heard him say this word.   

There are so many things I say on a daily basis that, even a few years ago, were not in my vocabulary.  For example, I often say, “I need to google/youtube this” or “I need to blog about this”.  I don’t even think I knew what a blog was a few years back.  And don’t get me started on all the “lol” text lingo that has now entered our vocab. 

So here is the question – what new words do you say?  Or what new words should be added to the dictionary?  Please share your input! 

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2012 Movie Poster

It is Monday November 16th, and I am staring out the window watching it rain like cats and dogs.  Interestingly enough, who can tell me where that expression came about?  Because I can assure you that I have never seen it rain cats or dogs. Then again, I wasn’t born in the 60s when there were psychedelic mushrooms passed around like candy canes. If anyone knows where that expression came from, please tell me.

I am recovered from nice long weekend. Shannon (my wife) and I watched my little sister swim in her last collegiate meet that we will have the opportunity to see. She will graduate this spring, so my mom, aunt, and uncle came up for the weekend to watch Cortnee’s team (University of Idaho) swim against Seattle University. 

Our weekend was pretty packed; in addition to the meet, we went to a safari-like thing that was pretty cool – speaking of which, did you know that bison/buffalo can only lay down on their sides for like 15 minutes or their organs will crush them?  Let’s see, yesterday I saw a cult classic sequel called “Boondock Saints 2” (great guy movie).  Oh, and on Thursday night Shannon and I caught “2012” at midnight, a three hour long epic movie.

Here’s my review on “2012” as promised:

On Halloween, I attempted to rent a scary movie to watch with my wife and my friend Mike.  I say attempted, because it wasn’t scary. Mike made a comment I want to touch on, he asked, “Why is it that we’re so intrigued by things that are evil, scary, or mysterious, such as murderers, ghosts, demons, and all that end of the world type stuff?” (Any insight?)  Hence the intrigue to see “2012” at midnight (Shannon went because she was a loving wife). However, she actually ended up enjoying the flick, because as she said it had a good plot and there was hope to believe in.

If you are unfamiliar with this movie, here is the premise. There is a following that believes “2012” will signify the end of the world as we know it. I believe it’s supposed to take place December 21, 2012. Where does such a prediction come from you might ask?  Well, the Mayan calendar ends on December 21, 2012, at the Winter Solstice.  So many people believe that because the Mayans ended their calendar on that date, that they must have known that the world was going to end then. The same people who believe this may also believe that the Mayans were from outer space, like aliens because they found crystal skulls and there’s no way a Mayan could do that. If Egyptians built a pyramid using blocks and sweat that stands the test of time, I don’t think scientist have clue one about what people can and cannot do.

So, supposedly in the movie, the planets align and bad stuff start to happen; mainly the tectonic plates start to shift and divide apart; thus creating earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes and chaos of all types.  A broken family tries to outrun the impending disaster making a break for a place in China where the government is building a giant ship and auctioning off seats to the highest bidder. It’s kind of like the story of Noah, but with profiteering.  The movie was very action packed, but also managed to teach a strong lesson of morality, so I think everyone should see it.

However, what is it within us that is so drawn to such doomsday type entertainment?  If I am standing in the checkout line and I see a tabloid that says, “Scientist believes world ends 2010”, I pick it up. I am intrigued; why? I have tried and tried to figure out the reason and I believe the answer boils down to this:  When a sick person is suddenly cured for no reason, we say it must have been the doctors. When a hurricane is heading straight for us and somehow diverts it course, we say it must have been a weather shift. When were in a head on collision with a semi, we say we were lucky or the car kept us safe. We all want explained answers, that’s why I pick up the tabloid I am curious of the “hows” and “whys”. Now do I really believe the tabloids? No, however I want explanations. We do not ever give God credit for anything He does; when a miracle happens we look to give credit to everyone or everything else except Him. But the moment your car won’t start or we can’t find our keys, we believe God is plotting conspiracy towards us. We all want to believe that we will know when our humanity ends, that way we can try to outrun it or prepare for it. That’s why we buy into these theories and movies. I want to know when Jesus is coming back so I can make sure to be extra good that day. 🙂

Forget about Y2K, 2012, or any other doomsday theory that comes across our path, because our day could end today, tomorrow, or in an hour. The odds are that people who die each day probably don’t wake up and think, “I’ll be dead by the end of the day”, but yet it still happens. Instead of focusing on end of the world conspiracies created by Hollywood, we should enjoy movies suck as “2012” for what they are – fantasy/fictional, and instead concern ourselves with living each day to the fullest and making sure that we’re prepared for whenever the time comes to meet our maker. Because then and only then, when it is the end of the world, we can sing REM’s “It’s the End of the World as We Know it” and feel fine.

Thoughts and comments?

PS: For those of you who think I am wrong about 2012, then you can find my dead carcass on that day and tell me “I told you so”. Until then, I think I will stay preoccupied with today, for I have enough trouble with that already.

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