Friday, October 31, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
The Cake That Started It All...
When Evil Commercial Fishermen Marry
All that's missing is a little icing net draped over the guys at the bottom - and is that a pool of monochromatic blood? Creeeepy.
The sky is falling! The sky is falling! Quick, someone make a cake!
Yes, there's nothing quite like plummeting balloons and unconscious clowns to celebrate your own personal apocalypse. Anyone have some radiation milk to go with it?
I'm not really sure what the "20th" denotes: 20 years of being a "dad"? 20 "children"? Or maybe the cake is for the 20th "dad" to come along? Eh?
Regardless, any cake decorator who thinks the title Dad deserves quotation marks probably needs therapy. Or an English lesson. One of those two, anyway.
How about weeding out the illiterate cake decorators?
This is someone's ACTUAL wedding cake, people. So stop laughing; it's tragic. Really. Well, in a funny, unintentionally ironic kind of way...
Today we salute you, Mr. Grocery-Store-Cake-Decorator
(singing) "Mr. Grocery Store Cake Decor-A-TOR!!!"
Yes, when faced with the challenge of your own stupidity, you valiantly ice on, turning that perfect-yet-mistakenly-crafted "2" into a not-so-perfect-but-still-reasonably-acceptable "4"...
(background singing: "ooo, make mine in chocolate!")
So here's to you, Mr. or Mrs. Grocery Store Cake Decorator: although perhaps you should lay off the Bud Light while you're at work.
(Fading Out: "Mr. or Mrs. Grocery Store Cake Decoraaaaatoooor!")
You know your mom is cheap when...you have to share your own birthday cake. With a boy.
(Yeah, I'm taking Ashley's side. Why? Because a) she likes Disney stuff, b) she's enduring what I'm assuming must be a sports logo on her birthday cake, and c) she's a girl. But mostly the Disney thing.)
I like the unintentional irony of having Eeyore on the cake, though. A glum donkey for a glum-ass cake - it's quite appropriate. Still, I have a few questions:
1) Since the "Eagles" logo is blue, why is the icing green?
2) Can anyone see the colors green & purple together and NOT think of either Mardi Gras or the Joker?
3) How come Glen gets his name capitalized, but not Ashley?
4) Did anyone else first read this as "Happy ashley Birthday Glen"?
5) Doesn't Glen's side look bigger? Hey, I think it IS bigger. Mo-oooommm!!!
Monday, October 27, 2008
This evening, from approximately 4:30 until 6:30PM I stood on the corner of a busy intersection holding up signs for Prop 8 alongside some very wonderful people. We were a diverse crowd representing traditional marriage with individuals from various ethnic backgrounds, something that personally made me happy. As we stood there on the corner, we received many thumbs up, waves, honked horns and, of course, our fair share of cursing and thumbs down. Overall, however, the negativity was far outweighed by positive support; we just hope those individuals who support us get out and vote now!
Anyhow, after some time we were joined by a lone "No on 8" protester who was well dressed, kind, and peaceful. Upon seeing him, one of my associates said to me, "Whoa...what do you think." I replied that I was happy to share the corner with him and that together we could express our first amendment rights. Although we disagree (obviously), I struck up a conversation and made him aware that we in no way hold hatred toward him. Indeed, as he stood there alone I began to feel a sense of admiration for even though I believe fighting for the wrong side of this issue, I know God loves him and he at least stands for what he currently believes is the right thing according to his level of understanding. In time, more individuals showed up to support him, not all of who were as tolerant of us, but we maintained peace.
As time went on, however, I saw the ugly face of hatred begin to rear it's face from both sides of the aisle. This is an excerpt from a PPT slide I wrote earlier:
The HATE is strong on both sides. Yesterday I was spit upon, sworn at, flipped off, and threatened with physical violence due to my "Yes on 8" stance. The gay gentleman amicably protesting next to me received similar treatment. At one point, for example, to both our dismay a guy drove past and yelled, "Homos should stay in the %*&$ closet!" (I immediately expressed my disgust at that hate speech to the man who told me he understood that we likely get the same thing).
In the end, the experience was quite positive and it made me realize how vital it is that as we carry forth the banner of righteousness that we do so without hatred in our hearts but with the pure love of Christ who supports us in our cause. No matter how much society at large disagree with us, God supports marriage, families, and His divine plan of salvation.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
If you know me well, you know I thrive off routine. From the time Carter was a baby we go most Wednesdays to the downtown library for story time and to get new books. About a year ago, a grandmother at the library introduced me to the trolley you can ride for free around downtown with your parking ticket. Carter loves the trolley but Claire is more difficult because she wants to walk around while we are moving:( Today we headed to the library with our nephew, Ryan, in tow. We usually have someone we know besides the "library regulars" at story time and we were fortunate to hang out with Aniston this morning.
Carter and Ryan behave like brothers at times and today was one of those days. They fought over everything. If one of them had something, suddenly the other wanted it. Even opening the van doors caused tears--the kids think if you say "open, Beluga" the van door magically opens, while it is really us pushing the button, thanks a lot, Danny! :) Today they also fought over Aniston! They both held her hand crossing the street but on the trolley even though she was in between the two of them there was still some animosity.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Friday, October 17, 2008
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
The more I think about this issue, and after getting the OK from the instructor, I have decided to bring philosophical and spiritual elements into my presentation, despite the brevity of the issue. I know a lot of people might disagree with this approach, but to me a solely intellectual approach does not fully support Prop 8; inevitably it comes down to the vital nature of marriage as a means whereby physical bodies are created for spirits. This may not be "popular" and accepted by everyone, but it's the truth and I believe that it rings true to people regardless of their specific faith. I happen to know that my audience is roughly 25% decided for Prop 8, 25% decided against, and 50% undecided or unwilling to share their thoughts (the tyranny of tolerance stops many from sharing their true stance in most academic settings).
Anyhow, this won't be happening until the 28th, so I'll make sure to post a follow up to the event and let you know how it all goes. If you get the chance, let me know one or two things you would say about Prop 8 if you had to boil it down to the very essence of the argument.
Here are some of the things I may bring up:
1. The inherent subjectivity of individual perception
1A- The increasing divergence between modern secularism and religion
2. My personal faith and the intolerance my religious group has faced in the past
3. The "rational" and legal issues surrounding prop 8
4. The vital nature of the family
5. The importance of loving all people and standing up for what one believes is right
6. My personal testimony of the family and of the existence of God
The other way I could present this is the very basic, straight forward way without bringing in so much of my own experience.
I'd say "wish me luck" but I don't believe in luck!
Monday, October 13, 2008
Sarah said gently, "Well Carter, that's not such a nice thing to say about someone. What do you mean, does his head have a strange shape?"
"Well, it's just really funky!"
"Ok, Carter, well please don't say that to him because we don't want to hurt anyone's feelings."
He agreed but then, earlier today while I was at work, Sarah took Carter, Claire, Ryan (our nephew) and a little girl Sarah was watching to give her mommy a break, to the Moreno Valley Mall to play in the kids area because it was too windy to go to the park. Right before leaving, Carter pointed to a cute little girl and, in front of the girl's mother, announced loudly and clearly, "Hey look, that little girl's got a funky lookin' head!"
"Carter! We don't say that to people. Besides, she is a very pretty little girl." She smiled at the woman who didn't seem to mind the outburst. Who knows what she was thinking. The little girl, Sarah told me, was honestly quite cute, which made the situation a bit less awkward. I can only imagine if she had hydrocephalus or something and the woman had burst into tears.
A few minutes later Sarah asked, "Why did you think she has a 'funky' head?"
"Well, it's like an oval!"
The mystery was solved. Carter has been referring to face shape and, specifically, to people with oblong shaped faces. In my opinion, he's likely reached the age in which he is paying closer attention to others, including their physical appearance and, as we all do, is beginning to attach meaning and judgments to physical features.
When asked what kind of head Carter has he stated flatly that he has an oval head too because of his chin and head. Later, in the evening, we talked about different shaped heads and bodies and explained that we should try to avoid certain words when describing others. Sarah even found a little article in the friend that dealt with the issue which we used to supplement our Family Home Evening lesson.
This was also a great time to reiterate that we avoid using the term "fat" in public, even when it is an accurate term to describe people. Carter has often pointed to people and exclaimed, "Look at that really fat guy!" He's also interrupted Sarah and pointed to a friend or acquaintance and asked innocently, "Why are you kinda fat?" This is to be expected and only the truly ignorant person, or he or she who lives in total denial, ever gets upset. Indeed, the brutal honesty of children is often a great way to snap out of our delusions and realize that our vertically striped shirt or black blouse ain't hiding the truth. Carter's pointed out my gut on a number of occassions as well as his grandpas' bellys and we always just laugh and say, "Yep, I eat too much sometimes."
In fact, in Italy people don't hold back like we Americans do when it comes to pointing out weight gain. I watched on numerous ocassions when a member would say to a new missionary, sometimes a sister missionary, "Hey, you obviusly like to eat! We can tell!" The look on the victim's face often illicited both pity and humor as they tried in vain to come up with a response.
So, if Carter says you have a "funky lookin' head," consider it a compliment that you have a nicely shaped, probably "oval," head/face shape.
What face shape do you and your significant other or children have?
I think Sarah has a heart shaped face due to her high cheek bones and I probably have a square/round (depends on how much extra there is to love). As we reviewed this illustration, we realize that there are obviously degrees to which one falls into a particular category so it's hard to say, "Oh yeah dude, I'm totally like a chiseled rectangle and you, me lady, are a Romanesque Triangular goddess!" <--that was supposed to be in a ridiculous surfer "brah" voice.
Click to enlarge the images:
Try to think of yourself as a cartoon (which is probably more the way children view people):
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Speaking of Carter's preschool, he is not the only one that loves it, Claire does too. As soon as we walk through the gate, she kicks her legs to be let down and finds the first "baa" (ball) she can grab. Last week she climbed in to the wagon and Carter took her for a ride. He was so gentle and sweet about it too. I didn't have my camera so I brought it Tuesday to have him do it again. Claire was more stoic about her ride this time but she still did not want to leave.
Carter now selectively dresses himself. When I say selectively, I mean that when I say "go get dressed, Carter" he suddenly "can't", but when I am trying to get him dressed he then has lots of opinions. In the preschool photos he dressed himself that morning and the following are from two weeks ago at church. I asked Carter which tie he wanted to wear, he responded adamantly, both ties. I agreed since he normally will not keep his tie on at all. He kept them both on all through church and here are his funny faces from when we took his picture after church!
*Even if you don't live in California, check out the Church's website for Prop 8 (and the other similar propositions in other states) at preservingmarriage.org. I love how technologically savvy the Church is. At the bottom of the site are icons to "digg", post to Facebook and a variety of other options. At the broadcast last night, they discussed having righteousness go "viral". Let's do it!
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
While I hope that I don't let society influence me too much, there's no denying that while we're young and in school, for better or for worse--generally the latter--society has a strong influence on us, and according to many, Gen-Xers can be characterized by the following attributes: the forgotten generation, more concerned about all the of the problems the baby boomers are going to leave in their wake and a strong sense of cynicism. Hmmm...I can definitely see some of those undertones in my life, but by in large I tend to be a very creative, optimistic person, although I do tend to be cynical about politics and the future state of society at times. For example, I drive my friends and family on both sides of the political spectrum a little crazy because I can't stand McCain/Palin (especially Palin) or Obama/what's his name (ha!).
Time Magazine recently published an article titled, " Generation X: The Ignored Generation." The whole article is great as it discusses Jeff Gordinier's "X Saves the World: How Generation X Got the Shaft But Can Still Keep Everything From Sucking." Here's an excerpt:
"EXILE IN NICHEVILLE
Sandwiched between 80 million baby boomers and 78 million millennials, Generation X — roughly defined as anyone born between 1965 and 1980 — has just 46 million members, making it a dark-horse demographic "condemned by numbers alone to nicheville," as Gordinier puts it in the book. "I don't really understand the tyranny of the boomer moment," Gordinier says. "Great, you had a party in Haight-Ashbury in 1967, I'm thrilled for you. Can we hear about the flappers in the 1920s instead? How about the Great Depression? There's other times in history that are interesting."
**"Gordinier is no more entranced with today's teens and twenty-somethings: "They just love stuff. They love celebrities. They love technology. They love brand names. . . . They're happy to do whatever advertising tells them to do. So what if they can't manage to read anything longer than an instant message?"
Well, if you're wondering where you fall in:
- The Silent generation, people born before 1946.
- The Baby Boomers, people born between 1946 and
- Generation X , people argue about this, but it's generally considered people born (roughly) between 1960 and 1980.
- Generation Y, people born between 1980 and 1995.
Why do we call the last one generation Y? I did not know, but a caricaturist explains it eloquently below...Learned something new!
Generation Y represents some scary trends. Scroll down and read "Trends Among Members" here in the Wikipedia article.
Monday, October 6, 2008
Saturday, October 4, 2008
Many, including myself, rejoice to see this man finally gets his after all of these years. I can still remember watching that white Bronco slowly driving down the freeway while hanging out at my buddy Gary's house down in Canyon Lake in the 90s. Rejoice justice! Rejoice those who despise people who hide behind lawyers and falsely use the ugly reality of racism to cover their sins!
LAS VEGAS — Thirteen years to the day after he was acquitted of murder in a celebrated trial, former football and movie star O.J. Simpson was led away in handcuffs after a jury found him guilty of robbing two sports-memorabilia dealers at gunpoint.
Simpson, 61, stood, sighed and shook his head softly with dismay as an all-white jury of nine women and three men returned guilty verdicts [why do they have to point out they're all white...does it really matter? OK, they should have tossed in one person of color just to silence the conspiracy freaks] Friday night on all charges stemming from a confrontation in a Las Vegas hotel room in September 2007.
He was convicted of 12 charges, including kidnapping, armed robbery and assault with a deadly weapon. He could face up to life in prison, and Judge Jackie Glass set a Dec. 5 sentencing date.
"I dare say it's probably going to be on the high end," defense attorney Yale Galanter said of the likely prison term after the verdict was announced.
Co-defendant Clarence "C.J." Stewart, 54, was also convicted of the same charges and was also taken into custody.
Uniformed Clark County marshals and Las Vegas police lined the courtroom and stood behind Simpson as the verdict was read. Glass denied Galanter's motion to allow Simpson to remain free on $250,000 bond while awaiting sentencing, and officers handcuffed Simpson, his arms behind his back, and led him out of the courtroom.
Durio, the sister, collapsed on the courtroom floor after her brother left the courtroom. Paramedics were called to assist her. Court spokesman Michael Sommermeyer said she appeared to have fainted.
The verdict came exactly 13 years after Simpson was cleared of murdering his former wife and a friend, Ron Goldman, in Los Angeles in a widely watched and sensational trial. Simpson had been an idolized football star, winning the Heisman Trophy as a running back at Southern California and later parlaying a successful pro career into a new life as star of movies and TV commercials.
Outside the courtroom, Galanter said he was not surprised at the conviction following the three week trial. He said he would appeal the verdict on a variety of grounds including the way the all-white jury was selected, saying it was a "fairness issue."
He said he believed jurors were never able to set aside feelings about Simpson stemming from the 1995 murder trial.
"Everybody already had a fixed opinion about him, and it's troubling," Galanter said.
"We knew this (case) was very difficult. We knew the jury was going to be very difficult. We knew the jurisdiction was very difficult," he said.
He said answers to questionnaires filled out by the intial pool of 500 potential jurrors produced "horrifying" answers. Those answers have not been made public. At least half that pool was dismissed after those questionnaires were filled out.
The rest of the article is HERE.
WELL DUH! Check out this list of facts from the original murder case (how can people not be biased against the guy? And even if they aren't, he is clearly guilty for this most recent crime...the guy's a criminal and it was high time it went down):
- DNA showed that blood found at the scene of Brown's murder was likely O.J. Simpson's. The odds it could have come from anyone but Simpson were about one in 170 million.
- DNA analysis of blood found on one of Simpson's socks identified it as Nicole Brown's. The blood had DNA characteristics matched by approximately only one in 9.7 billion.
- DNA analysis of the blood found in, on, and near Simpson's Bronco revealed traces of Simpson's, Brown's, and Goldman's blood.
- DNA testing of the blood under Brown's fingernails showed it was from an unidentified person, who was never found.
- DNA analysis of bloody socks found in Simpson's bedroom proved this was Brown's blood. The blood made a similar pattern on both sides of the socks. Defense medical expert Dr. Henry Lee of the Connecticut State Police Forensic Science Laboratory testified that the only way such a pattern could appear was if Simpson had a "hole" in his ankle. Lee testified the collection procedure of the socks could have caused contamination.
- Simpson's hair was found on Goldman's shirt.
- Several coins were found along with fresh blood drops behind Nicole's condo, in the area where the cars were parked.
- DNA analysis of blood on the left-hand glove, found outside Brown's home, was proven to be a mixture of Simpson's, Brown's, and Goldman's. Although the glove was soaked in blood, there were no blood drops leading up to, or away from the glove. No other blood was found in the area of the glove except on the glove.
- The gloves contained particles of Goldman's hair and carpet fibers from Simpson's Bronco.
- The left-hand glove found at Nicole Brown's home and the right-hand glove found at Simpson's home proved to be a match.
- The gloves were proven to be Simpson's size. Although Simpson testified under oath that he did not own a pair of Aris Isotoner gloves, several media pictures emerged showing Simpson wearing the exact gloves.
- LA Police Detective Phillip Vanatter could not explain why he kept the 8 cc's taken as a sample of O.J. Simpson's blood for hours before recording it as evidence, and why he had it at Simpson's house when evidence was being collected, as corroborated by TV news footage.
- The LA County District Attorney's Office and the Medical Examiner's Office could not explain why 1.5 cc's of blood were missing from the original 8 cc's taken from Simpson and placed into evidence.
- Officers found arrest records indicating that Simpson was charged with the beating of his wife Nicole Brown. Photos of Brown's bruised and battered face from that attack were shown. Simpson was sentenced with 3 years' community service for the crime.
- Police discovered the dome light in the Bronco had been removed. A search of the vehicle revealed the light was carefully placed under the passenger seat and was in good working condition.
- Nicole Brown had told family and friends that one set of keys to her home was missing. She had indicated to several family members and friends that she feared Simpson had stolen them to gain entry. The keys were later found in Simpson's home.
- Paula Barbieri indicated that she had broken up with Simpson the day of the murders. She said he seemed very disturbed at the news. Phone records demonstrated that Simpson attempted to contact her shortly before the murders from his Bronco's cellular phone.
- Much of the incriminating evidence: bloody glove, bloody socks, blood in and on the Bronco, was discovered by Los Angeles Police Detective Mark Fuhrman. He was later charged with perjury for falsely claiming during the trial that he had not used the word "nigger" within ten years of the trial. During the trial he pleaded the 5th Amendment against self incrimination to avoid further questioning after his integrity was challenged on this point.
- The bloody footprints were identified as made from a pair of Bruno Magli shoes. These shoes were quite expensive and relatively rare. The large size 12 prints matched Simpson's shoe size. Simpson swore under oath that "I never would have owned those ugly-ass shoes!" However, three weeks later, a reporter came forward with multiple exposures of Simpson wearing the shoes at Arrowhead Stadium a few years earlier.
- Evidence collected by LAPD criminologist Dennis Fung came under criticism. He admitted to "having missed a few drops of blood on a fence near the bodies," but on the stand he said that he "returned several weeks afterwards to collect them."
- Fung admitted that he had not used rubber gloves when collecting some of the evidence.
- Friends and family indicated that Nicole Brown had consistently said that Simpson had been stalking her. She claimed that everywhere she went, she noticed Simpson would be there, watching her. She said she was afraid because Simpson had told her he would kill her if he ever found her with another man.
- Ross Cutlery provided store receipts indicating that Simpson had purchased a 12-inch stiletto knife six weeks before the murders. A replica of the knife purchased by the police exactly matched the wounds on Brown and Goldman.
- LA Police Detective Phillip Vanatter testified that he saw photographs of press personnel leaning on Simpson's Bronco before evidence was collected.
Friday October 3, 6:24 pm ET
By Madlen Read, AP Business Writer
After House OKs bailout, credit markets tighten on fears the plan isn't enough to help economy
NEW YORK (AP) -- The credit markets finally got a bailout bill, but the stranglehold hasn't let up -- a troubling sign that lenders and investors believe the package will only be a baby step in the long road to economic recovery.
The credit markets, where companies go to get cash loans, have seized up since the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and in anticipation of the $700 billion plan initially voted down by the House. The House passed a revised version of it Friday following the Senate's approval earlier this week, but anxiety about its effectiveness kept demand for Treasury bills high and nearly nonexistent for other types of debt.
Overall, market participants have begun regarding the rescue plan as a medicine for what's ailing the financial system, but not a cure-all.
"At best, we can hope that it stems some of the more intense risk from the credit crisis. It prevents things from spiraling out of hand here," said JPMorgan Chase economist Michael Feroli.
Some are worried, though, that the plan will not work at all.
Rest of the article HERE.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Fact: My dad's nickname is "Boppy" (I am not sure why).
Fact: Nanna and Boppy are moving from Chino Hills to Riverside.
Fact: The house they're looking to buy is beautiful, has a HUGE lot and, despite the crazy housing market, are going to make a nice bundle of money on the deal since their current home's value is still quite high (it's in a great location, has a pool, etc.)
FACT: Their current residence in Chino Hills is exactly 32.5 mi from our home (Baby Blaine) – that's about 42 mins one way.
FACT: That's a 64 mile round trip that requires nearly 1.5 hours in the car and $12 in gasoline.
FACT: If mom and dad move into the gargantuan "Water Tower Home," they will be 9.0 miles from Baby Blaine, a trip that will require approx. 12-15 mins. in vehicle and .5 gallons, or $2.50 in gas.
FACT: That house is surrounded by mountain biking trails (woo-hoo!)
FACT: That house has a HUGE lot with endless possibilities (I think money's required to add things like a pool and landscaping thought)
FACT: Carter called, and occasionally still calls, a home a "hoeen."
FACT: It will be VERY nice to have my folks closer to us (Sarah's parents live about 15 mins away too). Close...but not TOO close. (;
*Disclaimer: no deal is finalized regarding the new house but the deal on their current house is and, therefore, Nanny and Boppy could be homeless in a matter of weeks. They could stay with us, but what have they ever done for me?