Saturday, September 30, 2006

Pictures From The Air Show

We went to the Alliance Air Show today. It was nice going as a family, but I definitely have a few suggestions for them next year. I don't know if they can do anything to make getting in and out of there any easier, but that was definitely a hassle. I would definitely recommend more shaded areas (more on that below). And lastly, they did not allow you to bring food or drinks (even water). They had two water trucks there, so if you wanted to wait in a long line you could get warm water for free. Otherwise, it was $3.00 for bottled water and $3.50 for lemonade. They could have made a profit at $1/bottle on the water, and I think that should have been the price given the fact that you could not carry any in. BUT...after I dealt with these issues in my own grumpy way, the day was enjoyable. Here are a few photos:

Amanda in the cockpit of an army helicopter

Me standing by the tail gun of a WWII B-17 Flying Fortress


Amanda standing next to an AH-64 Apache


This is obviously some sort of radar plane, but I don't know what it's called. It has short wings, 4 tails and many blades to the prop. Very interesting plane.


I'm not just showing a little leg here...I'm showing what I most remember about the air show today! It was not too much fun in the sun, it was like fun in too much sun!! And this was just my legs!!!

Thunderbirds at Alliance Air Show Today


Friday, September 29, 2006

Humanists Not Dialoguing Anymore?

As some of you know, I watch the Humanist News blog and have commented on several of their posts. (Yes, just what they wanted...a "Christian perspective" on what they post!). I have had several good discussions, although I do not think Humanist/Christian debates are what they had in mind when they started their blog. Although I do not believe this was their purpose for the blog, they have been kind enough to post my comments so that others may reply to what I've said, and until recently, they have also replied to my comments.

I say "until recently" because I have not had a response to my last two comments. To clarify, I have had other Humanists reply, but nobody from the web site and, more specifically, not from the posting author. So I don't know if they now have a "do not reply to Rob" policy or what. Interesting.

If you are interested, here is the last post I replied to. They linked to an article implying that the more "religious" a nation was, the more likely it was to be "dysfunctional". How could I not comment?

- Rob

President Bush on Why We Are In Iraq

Recently, parts of a classified document called the National Intelligence Estimate was leaked to the press. As I said yesterday in Alabama, it's an indication that we're getting close to an election. (Laughter.) The NIE is a document that analyzes the threat we face from terrorists and extremists -- and its unauthorized disclosure has set off a heated debate here in the United States, particularly in Washington.

Some have selectively quoted from this document to make the case that by fighting the terrorists, by fighting them in Iraq we are making our people less secure here at home. This argument buys into the enemy's propaganda that the terrorists attack us because we're provoking them. I want to remind the American citizens that we were not in Iraq on September the 11th, 2001. (Applause.)

And this argument was powerfully answered this week by Prime Minister Tony Blair. Here is what he said. He said, "I believe passionately [that] we will not win until we shake ourselves free of the wretched capitulation to the propaganda of the enemy, that somehow we are the ones responsible." (Applause.) He went on to say, "This terrorism is not our fault. We didn't cause it. And It is not the consequence of foreign policy." He's right. You do not create terrorism by fighting terrorism. (Applause.) If that ever becomes the mind set of the policymakers in Washington, it means we'll go back to the old days of waiting to be attacked and then respond. Our most important duty is to protect the American people from a future attack, and the way to do so is to stay on the offense against the terrorists. (Applause.)

Iraq is not the reason the terrorists are at war against us. They are at war against us because they hate everything America stands for -- and we stand for freedom.

Transcript of entire speech may be found here.

Quotes by Theodore Roosevelt

"In this country we have no place for hyphenated Americans."

"The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich quick theory of life."

Fun Facts About Terrorists

LOL! I found this on the back of a t-shirt (read to end of this paragraph before clicking on link) on the same site as t-shirt below. I did not copy the whole thing because 1) I did not know if the site would approve of that, and 2) not everything on the shirt is appropriate to print here. Anyway, just two of the Fun Facts About Terrorists:
  1. They enjoy blowing themselves up. We enjoy blowing them up. You'd think we would get along better.
  2. The word "martyr" is just a name for "crappy fighter"

Starting My Christmas List Early


Hey Stan, wanna get matching t-shirts for Christmas?

See You At The Pole

This past Wednesday, September 27th was See You At The Pole 2006. Kids at Amanda's school (Corey Elementary) struggled a bit with knowing exactly what to do being so young, but we were proud of Amanda and the other Christian kids who took a stand for Christ at their school.

Say CHEESE

Amanda got school pictures taken today. I don't think she smiled quite like this for the school photographer.

Media Say, "Clinton GOOD"

When President Clinton told Chris Wallace, "I worked hard to try to kill him {bin Laden}. I authorized a finding for the CIA to kill him. We contracted with people to kill him. I got closer to killing him than anybody has gotten since" I was more than a little surprised. I figured stuff like that happened in real life, but I also thought it "could not be done" in America. I was surprised to hear President Clinton admit to something like that.

To be honest, it does not bother me that our government would try to eliminate Usama bin Laden. But what does bother me is the hypocrisy of the media to let this one go. Where are all of the people who protested Bush over Abu Grab? And then, as Oliver North pointed out in this article, where are all the people who got so angry at Pat Robertson for suggesting that the US government ought to eliminate Hugo Chavez, Dictator of Venezuela (again, would not bother me)?

Now that Fox News has brought this up, we'll see if it gets any more press...but I'm not holding my breath.

- Rob

Thursday, September 28, 2006

US Homework Outsourced

Interesting...you can pay $40/hour for your kid to be tutored here in the US or pay $2.50/hour to have them tutored via the Internet from Bangalore, India. You can read the whole story here.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Cows

Is it just me, or does anyone else find it amazing that our government can track a cow born in Canada almost three years ago, right to the stall where she sleeps in the state of Washington? And, they tracked her calves to their stalls. But they are unable to locate 11 million illegal aliens wandering around our country. Maybe we should give them all a cow.

The Sky is Falling!

Oops, sorry. I mean "The earth is melting!"

I clicked on Newsgator this morning, my RSS reader. I have added Fox News to my list of sites, so I saw the headline this morning: Scientists: Earth Warmest It's Been in 12,000 Years. This is the short description that followed: "Overall global temps highest of current interglacial period, NASA-led team concludes; temperature just short of highest level in past million years." You can read the whole article here.
But here's my question. Obviously these "intelligent" people are evolutionists. According to their THEORY (which they want to teach in public school as fact ignoring the theories of creationism or intelligent design), how long ago was man here? I don't know what they would say, but I do know 12,000 years ago they don't think we were producing a lot of greenhouse gas pollution. According to this article, the earth is at least 3 million years old. So what they have to admit but are not saying is, sometime between 12,000 and 3 million years ago (according to them), the earth was warmer than it is now!

Now I'm not as "intelligent" as these super-scientists, but perhaps global warming is more cyclical in nature and man-made pollution is not all to blame? You know, there are scientists that tell us that is true of hurricanes...that hurricane seasons are cyclical which would explain why there were more last year. It's not about global warming, it's about the cycles of the earth.

I believe God has called us to be good stewards of the earth, so there is certainly nothing wrong with fighting/controlling pollution...but I sure get tired of these alarmists who want to make the US a third world country so that we don't melt the earth.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Family Day This Saturday

This year the Alliance Air Show has free admission ($10 parking). Brooke and I have been once and my Dad and I have been once. This Saturday, Brooke, Amanda and I are going to make a family day of it. The last act of the day will the the USAF Thunderbirds.

Woman Gives Birth To Her Own Cousins

If you think your family has problems, consider the marriage mayhem created when 76-year-old Bill Baker of London recently wed Edna Harvey. She happened to be his granddaughter’s husband’s mother. That’s where the confusion began, according to Baker’s granddaughter, Lynn. “My mother-in-law is now my step-grandmother. My grandfather is now my stepfather-in-law. My mom is my sister-in-law and my brother is my nephew. But even crazier is that I’m now married to my uncle and my own children are my cousins.

From Pastor David's sermon on Sunday!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

NBC Feels Veggie Tales Needs to Be Edited

Well, cool. Veggie Tales is being shown by some NBC affiliates on Saturday mornings. Yeah, it's cool, but NBC can't have too much God. It appears that it is a "bad" for Bob and Larry to say some things like what they say at the end each show: "Remember kids, God made you special and he loves you very much." You can read the Fox news story here. So what do you think...is this a good thing, compromise or neither? Why?

Yes, PROUD to be an American

In a time when Democratic congressmen are saying the same thing on TV about our President that dictators and anti-American Muslim clerics are saying, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to share this video with you. Click here to see the link Proud to be An American - Great Moments on Pastor's blog.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Dogs, Turtles, Mowers and Keys

Me and my 'snuggle buddy'. A great way to relax in the evenings.


Meet the O'Mally's...Grumpy (top of picture), Little George (to the left) and Grace (bottom center). Grace is becoming a bit more active and not hiding out all of the time. She is not eating enough to be ready to hibernate yet, but I think she is doing better.


OK, a couple reasons for this picture. First of all, Stan told me he expected to see one on the blog, so here it is. Second reason is the story behind it. I had the church riding lawn mower worked on in late February/early March because it would not start. It took 4 or 5 weeks (literally!) to get it back from the shop. When I got it back, it still did not run right. Have had problems with it all summer. Last week, tried to mow with it and it would not start. Asked a friend from church to look at it. He took the carburetor apart and then put it back together. This seemed to fix the problem...until the next time I got the mower out to mow. Point being: we got a new mower today and this is what it looks like.

But I do have to tell one more funny story (yeah, it is funny now) about getting this mower. It all started this morning when Stan agreed to help me got pick out and pick up a mower. I gave him my church keys (20 keys on two rings) so he could unlock the church trailer and hook it up to his truck. He hooked up the trailer while I grabbed my wallet and we were off. When we stopped for gas, I noticed the trailer hitch was not locked down. Stan wondered where the lock was, but I figured he had laid it on the ground when hooking up the trailer and then forgot about it. No big deal...I'd just get my keys and the trailer lock when we got back to church. Well, when we got back to church, guess what we found (more accurately, what was NOT found!). We looked everywhere on the church property where we had driven, and we even retraced our route all the way back to the highway...to no avail. I had to pick up a friend and Stan had to go back to Sears to make another pickup. So while I was on my way to pick up my friend, I was trying to make a mental note of all the keys I had lost and where a second copy of each of these keys was so that I could get copies made. Stan, on the other hand, travelled back to Sears praying hard and keeping an eye out for my keys. Stan must be a man of faith because he found my keys (all 20 of them) still intact and attached to the trailer lock several miles from the church on the frontage road where we turned off to go to Sears. My keys had been run over a couple times, but it was nothing a pair of pliers couldn't fix. So today was a good day. Got a new mower and found my keys.

- Rob

Top Ten Benefits of Gossip - #3

You always have the correct answers.

John 21:19-23 - Jesus said this to let him know what kind of death he would die to glorify God. Then Jesus told him, "Follow me." Peter turned around and saw the disciple Jesus loved following, the one who had leaned around at supper that time to ask Jesus, "Master, which of us will betray you?" Peter asked Jesus, "What about him, Lord? What sort of death will he die?" Jesus replied, "If I want him to live until I return, what is that to you? You follow me." So the rumor spread among the brotherhood that that disciple wouldn't die! But that isn't what Jesus said at all! He only said, "If I want him to live until I come, what is that to you?" (TLB)

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Free Software I Like - Web Browser

My browser of choice is Firefox by Mozilla...another open source product. Back in the day, before Internet Explorer dominated the market, I used to use the Netscape browser. I liked the built-in e-mail it and newsgroup browser it had, the HTML editor and it seemed to load faster. Somewhere along the line, I switched to IE and I can't remember why now. I heard other computer geeks talking about different browsers, so I started looking around. I didn't there could be much difference, but I looked anyway. What drew me to Firefox was the tabbed browsing. If you don't know what that is, here is a screen shot (click on the picture to enlarge it) of my computer right now. You can see a row that says: Gmail-Inbox, Blogger beta:, The Hurts in Texas and Mozilla Corporation. I have all of these web pages open at once. All I have to do is click on a tab to switch to that page.



The new version of Internet Explorer now has tabbed browsing, but I still think IE is slower than Firefox. Firefox is also cross-platform, so those running on a Mac or Linux system can also use it.
So if you're already familiar with Firefox, I want to show you a need trick (or handy tool depending on how you look at it), I learned from the Geekon podcast. Do you have a site with a search form that you use frequently? I have several, but one I will use for this example is Google's image search. I used it to find the Firefox logo at the top of this post, for example. (Let me start off by saying I HIGHLY recommend you turn on strict filtering, an option which may be chosen by clicking on "Advanced Image Search Preferences" directly to the right of the input text box). So, to find an image, I can do the following: 1) go to www.google.com, 2) select Image search and 3) type in what I am searching for. OR, I can simply type "image saturn ion" in the address bar of my Firefox browser. Which sounds easier to you? So here's how you do it.

First of all, go to the page that has the search form you want to use. In my example, I am going to the Google image search page. In the search box, right click and choose the "Add keyword for this Search" option: (click on any of the screenshot images to enlarge)



Next you will get a screen that looks like this. In the NAME line, type a name for your search. I used "Google Image Search". In the Keyword line, type in whatever short name you want to use to call up the search. I used "image" (your keyword is not case-sensitive). In the CREATE IN line, I selected the Quick Search folder in my bookmark file. If you do not have this folder, you can either create it or select another by clicking on the down arrow button to the right of the search bar (not the little symbol in the search bar but the button to the right of that).



Click OK and you are done. Now, open a new tab by selecting Ctrl+T, use the new tab button or go to File, New Tab. Type in "image saturn ion" and this is what you will see.



Pretty handy stuff, huh? I've got a keyword search for Google image, NASB Bible verse search (NASB Hebrews 11:6) , NLT Bible verse search (NLT Hebrews 11:6), Geocaching waypoint (waypoint GCWPER) and Wikipedia (wik George W Bush) so far. All I have to do is type in the simple keyword I created followed by what I am searching for. Yet another reason to like Firefox.

- Rob

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Jericho

Have you seen the previews for that new CBS show Jericho? Every time the preview comes on, Brooke asks me, "What's that show about?" The previews don't tell you much, but the picture was enough to get me interested. I was looking at the headlines on my AT&T Yahoo home page and saw that Yahoo is showing the entire first episode online (premieres on TV Wednesday, September 20th). I just finished watching it and thought it looked decent. If you want to check it out for yourself, here's the link.
- Rob

Volcanos, Caches and Playgrounds

I am sitting here watching "Supervolcano" on the Discovery Channel. From time to time, they do a special about some catastrophic weather event. This one is about a volcano with a vent 60x90 kilometers wide that erupts for days on end. As I watch, a couple thoughts are going through my mind. First of all, it feels more like something that would come out of Hollywood than something scientists would take serious (but a brief Google search shows that scientists actually are talking about this). My second thought that all of these "super-storms" that the Discovery Channel keeps saying "could happen" sounds like what is described in the book of Revelation. Hmmm.

Brooke is not feeling well and is already in bed (9:00 PM) and Amanda is getting ready to go to bed. Once she is in bed, I've got to make a run to Walgreens to buy some temporary cement for my crown. This is the THIRD TIME my front tooth crown has come loose since July. I sure hope my dentist has something new up his sleeve, 'cause this "put cement on it and pop it back into place" is not working. Very frustrating!

Our church held our annual Ladies' Retreat held in Waxahachie this year. I drove the bus on Friday to drop the ladies off and picked them up today. Amanda loves to ride the bus, so she was glad to go with me both times. I did a "caches along a route" option at geocaching .com web site and found that there were a handful of caches within less than half a mile of our route, so Amanda and I left a little early to grab a couple of these on the way. We added maybe 10 extra miles to the trip, but we had fun. Of course, we looked a little conspicuous in our large, yellow and brown "cachemobile".


GeoPunkin took this picture of me with one of the caches we found.


This was a virtual cache in downtown Waxahachie, the Rogers street bridge. You can click on the picture to enlarge it and read the plaque yourself.




When we dropped off the ladies at the conference center on Friday, Amanda saw this playground and wanted to play. We could not stay on Friday night, so today we left the house in time to give Amanda some time to play.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Free Software I'm Trying Out - Ubuntu

Ubuntu calls itself "Linux for Human Beings". My brother-in-law gave me a disk and suggested I check it out. I downloaded the latest version today, burned it as a disk image and am running it from memory on my laptop right now. What that means is, I put the CD in my CD-ROM drive, booted my computer and it booked into Linux...Ubuntu more specifically. The program is running from my computer's memory instead of from the hard drive, so it is a bit slow, but it's a good chance to check it out.

Right now, I am connected to Yahoo, MSN and AOL chat, I'm browsing the net, and I even downloaded and edited the Ubuntu clipart that I used for this post. The file will disappear once I turn off the computer since I'm just running the OS from memory, but I guess I could e-mail it to myself to save it if I wanted to.

Ubuntu is open source...so it's free. The desktop looks and works very much like Windows. I've been doing some research on the Internet this evening to see how much of my current Windows software I could replace with open source, Linux software. It is amazing what is out there for free. I could replace Outlook with a free PIM that is very similar, I've already told you about OpenOffice, there is an alternative sync program for my Palm Pilot (I actually have a Sony Clie), free home/small business accounting programs, image editing software, HTML editors...lots of stuff.

I'm not really thinking about dumping Windows because, as I tell my Mac friends, there's just so much more software for Windows. But I really would like to install Ubuntu on a computer, download some of this software and see what I could do with a Linux system. I tried installing it on two old computers I have around here, but they would not work.

Hey, if anybody has a computer with a 486 processor and at least 256 megs of RAM laying around you are not using, could I borrow it a while for my experiment? When I say "borrow", I mean I would format the hard drive and put Ubuntu on it. Hey, if/when you wanted it back, at least you could legally keep everything downloaded onto it!

So far, I've encountered two problems. First of all, I cannot get this to recognize my wireless network card, so if I'm not plugged into the network, I cannot go online. I'm sure this can be fixed, but I don't know where to go to do so! I also hit the INSTALL icon on the desktop thinking I was going to see some more software I could try out. Almost made a BIG mistake. That is the icon to install Ubuntu on your hard drive erasing everything else! Fortunately I was able to stop the process, but I cannot get the install windows to close now.

Well, I'm going to try out some of the other software that came with this. Let me know if you've got a computer laying around, and I'll let you know more about Ubuntu.

- Rob

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Free Software I Like - Office Suite

I couldn't tell you about any more free software that I like without telling you about my absolute favorite. I like this software I would feel comfortable selling it to my friends. But the good news is, it's open source so it's FREE.

The software is called Open Office, and it is an office suite. It has word processing, spreadsheet, database, presentation and drawing programs. This is a full-featured program. It is not a for-beginners-only, limited software program. The only thing I have found in the word processor that I cannot do as well as in Microsoft Word is mail merge. Open Office Writer does mail merge, but it is not quite as powerful and Word. I am not quite as advanced in Excel as I am in Word, but I have found nothing lacking in Open Office's spreadsheet. It is quite full-featured. I have not used the presentation program much, but I have used it enough to know it is not quite a full-featured as Power Point.

But here's what I like best about Open Office. First of all, it's free. When I put it on my computer, I don't have to use an illegal copy to install it. Secondly, it reads, opens and even saves to all the Microsoft formats, so if friends send you a Word, Excel or Power Point file, you can open them in Open Office. You can also save to these formats if you need to send a file to a friend who uses Microsoft programs.

Unlike Microsoft, Open Office wants you to be able to share your files with others without using a proprietary format. Open Office supports ODF (Open Document Format). Here is what Wikipedia says about ODF. This is one of the reasons I so strongly support Open Office (notice the new button there on the right of my blog screen?): Microsoft is fighting for their own "standard" format and does not want to accept ODF. Why is that? Because they can't own it and profit from it. With ODF, you can read and share files with friends/associates who use any number of different office suites. I also like the fact that you can create PDF files with the click of a button, also making it easier to share your documents with others.

Almost forgot to mention, it is a cross-platform program. If you are running Mac or Linux, there is a FREE version for you, too.

I just found out tonight that OpenOffice has a new release. I just downloaded it and need to install it before heading to bed. I hope you'll check it out, too. Even if you have a legal copy of Microsoft Office, it's worth your time to check it out.

- Rob

All Very Exciting Stuff

Had some "really exciting" things happen these past few day.

Monday - Needed to mow two of the fields at church. Got the riding lawn mower out. Short version...drained the brand new battery trying to start the thing. Don't know what is wrong, but this is the exact same problem we had before having it "fixed" at the beginning of the mowing season. It took 4 weeks to get the mower back, and it's still having problems. After much grief, I gave up and called my mechanic friend Michael who is going to look at it for me Friday evening.

Tuesday night - I purchased a new inner tube for my bike since Amanda and I are bike riding more now and I had flat. Got the old tube out with no problem. Went to put the new one in, loosened one screw and WHAMO! Everything popped off and now I cannot figure out how to get the chain tightening mechanism back on. Spent an hour trying to figure it out. After much grief, I gave up and messaged my friend Shaun who knows all things bicycle. He is going to pick it up for me and fix it.

Wednesday morning - Asked my friend (fellow associate pastor) to help me cut up and haul away the MASSIVE tree limbs that have fallen out the trees on the church property next to my house. Figured it was a four hour job. Oops...slight mis-calculation. Of course the chain saw threw the chain and put a couple burrs on it so that we needed to stop what we were doing to go buy another one. Back at it until lunch time.

Wednesday after lunch - Time to feed the turtles their every-other-day worms. New turtle, Grace O'Mally, at four worms. First time she has eaten since we got her, so that was a good thing. Also, she has been out of her shell enough now for us to tell that she is a Three-Toe Box Turtle (same kind as Grumpy).

Wenesday after lunch - Back at it cutting tree limbs and hauling it all to the back of the property. Stan and I finished up a little after 4pm...EXHAUSED! Sometime we realy need to cut down the rest of the tree since it is obviously rotten on the inside. I kinda hinted at this while Stan was helping, but I didn't push too hard today. Besides all the hard work, he had to fight off the killer gecko that jumped onto his face while he was giving a bear hug to one large log while unloading the trailer!

Wednesday night - Amanda sprained her ankle at church tonight. All very traumatic. A friend told her she did the same thing and got an x-ray, so guess what Amanda wanted. We finally settled on some Tylenol and went to bed. We'll have to see what happens tomorrow as far as school goes. Seems like it might be a pretty bad sprain.

So that's it. I know...all very exciting stuff. That's what I get for being me. (Don't get me wrong...I LIKE being me!)

- Rob

Top Ten Benefits of Gossip - #4

You will always be in good company.

Proverbs 12:13 - "The gossip of bad people gets them in trouble; the conversatin of good people keeps them out of it." (MSG)

Monday, September 11, 2006

FREE Software I Like - Cell Phone Uploads

From time to time I find free software that I like, so I thought I share some of it here...so here's my first installment.

I got a new cell phone, but it would have cost $40 to get one with a camera and I'm not sure how much I would use it. But I like having pictures on my phone...wallpaper and pictures that pop up when certain people call. With my last cell phone, I used a great free program and it works for my new phone as well. All you have to do is crop a picture to the size of your phone and use this program to send an SMS text message to your cell phone. Simply read the message and download the picture. I know there are several free programs out there, but the web-based program I use is called Pix2fone.

The second free phone-related software I found allows you to convert any CD, MP3 or WAV file into a ringtone. Open the file in the program, crop the part you want to use and send it to your cell phone as a SMS text message. Simply read the message and download the ringer. I found a couple different programs that do this as well, but the one that worked best for me was ToneThis.

- Rob

Top Ten Benefits of Gossip - #5

You will have lots of friends to hang out with.

Prov 20:19 - A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid a man who talks too much. (NIV)

Sunday, September 10, 2006

We're Now at Three Turtles

Just this week I decided to change the "by-line" of our blog to "Three people, two dogs and two turtles", but tonight I had to make it "three turtles". Some friends from church asked us if we'd like to inherit another turtle (knowing we had two). What do you think I said? So we now have Grumpy O'Mally, Little George O'Mally and Grace O'Mally. Amanda "knows" this one is a girl, so she named her Grace. We had to keep the O'Mally since the other two turtles carry the name.

I think Grace is a West Coast Box Turtle. I know she's a box turtle, but I'm not positive about the West Coast part.

Well, before heading off to bed I've got to do some more research on hibernating turtles. Do it right and I've got three turtles next Spring. Do it wrong and I've got a crying daughter! With Fall coming, I'd better figure out when these guys (and not 'girl') need to dig in for the winter. Stay tuned!

- Rob

This Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words...

...and at least 5 hours of my time! But you can't appreciate either if I don't share the story with you. For Jason's sake, I will try to keep it short.

This week, I was contacted by a geocacher in Oklahoma asking me if I wanted to do a multi-state, multi-cache with him. What this means is, he finds a cache in Lawton, OK that has coordinates for a cache in Ft. Worth. He e-mails me the coordinates, I find the cache which, in turn, has coordinates for another cache in Lawton. I send those coordinates to him and he logs the find for both of us.

Since Friday is our day off, and since Brooke went with Amanda and I on Amanda's 200th cache, I asked Brooke if she would go with me to Ft. Worth while I found this one cache. She agreed, so I got everything ready. We took the laptop with GPS directions to get there, and I "just happened" to have loaded all of the other caches in the area onto the map as well for Brooke to see. When she saw other caches so close to the original cache we set out to find, she agreed to find those as well. Short version...seven caches later Brooke said she enjoyed spending the time with me, asked me to register her finds under her own geocaching name (Punkin's Momma) and said she would cache with me again (although not as prolifically as GeoPunkin and I). When she said that, I was very disappointed that I had not brought my camera to capture the moment, but then I remembered Brooke's phone had a camera, so I got this picture.

And that's where the story began. I got home and tried to e-mail the picture to my e-mail account so I could post it here. Got an error message on the phone. Called Sprint PCS. Needed security code for phone to fix problem. Oops, STUPID me changed the code several months ago, never wrote it down and forgot it. Nearly and hour on the phone with Sprint trying to work around this problem. No luck. Trip to Sprint store to let them work on phone. That store doesn't actually work on the phones, they just sell them. Spend another 45 minutes trying lock codes I might have used. Go to other store. Wait for them to try and fix problem. No luck. Next day, travel to another Sprint store to let them try. They only work on Nextel phones...try other store. Go to other store. They finally find unlock for me. (Immediately change lock code to something we will remember!). Take phone back home. Call tech support to fix problem now that I have security code. Talk to lady who, although very nice, had NO IDEA what she is talking about. Hang up and try what she suggested. Call Sprint again. Get a person who knows what they are doing...reset phone...get photo! At least 5 hours invested for this one photo. Yes, it was worth it.

And another good thing came of this. I was eligible for a $150 rebate from Sprint to upgrade my phone. During all of my trips to the various Sprint stores in the area, I found out that this rebate is now instant rather than the mail-in rebate they used to offer. So, I upgraded my phone and got a new, nicer phone for free. Yea!

I didn't do a word count to see if this was actually a thousand words. I don't think it was, but for fear of losing Jason if I write any more, I'm gonna end the story here. (If you don't know, Jason is one of my younger, more busy friends who does not like long blog postings. Since he's a faithful reader I try to keep my postings shorter, and if that doesn't work, I try to harass him. The latter is much easier!)

- Rob

Legal Immigrants Still Welcome in America

Why are some American's fighting for ILLEGAL immigration? Why are they so bent on blurring the lines betwen legal and ILLEGAL immigration. Hello?!? Legal immigrants are still WELCOMED in America. What part of I-L-L-E-G-A-L can people not understand.

This site was mentioned on the news tonight, so I checked it out. Their website clearly states, "MMP has no affiliation with, nor will we accept any assistance by or interference from, separatists, racists, or supremacy groups" but you should read the hate mail they get (click the link to read, but be forewarned...ignorant people expressed their opinions in the only way they knew how with their limited vocabulary...that means there's lots of cussin') . Of course it is only conservatives who "spread the hate" and are intolerant.

- Rob

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

How To Install A Home Security System

1. Go to a second-hand store and buy a pair of men's used size 14-16 work boots.

2. Place them on your front porch, along with several empty beer cans, a copy of Guns & Ammo magazine and several NRA magazines.

3. Put a few giant dog dishes next to the boots and magazine.

4. Leave a note on your door that reads:

Hey Bubba, Big Jim, Duke and Slim, I went to the gun shop for more ammunition. Back in an hour. Don't mess with the pit bulls -- they attacked the mailman this morning and messed him up real bad. I don't think Killer took part in it but it was hard to tell from all the blood.

PS - I locked all four of 'em in the house. Better wait outside.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

US Immigration Policy Continues to Spiral Out of Control!

Watching FoxNews tonight, I heard a story about the California Dream Act which forces (or "allows") California state colleges to offer in-state (discounted) tuition rates to ILLEGAL aliens. It all part of the absurd Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act of S 2611. And, of course, universities support this act...they get more government money.

As if this was not bad enough, as I did more research, I found out that 10 states follow this idiotic thinking that rewards illegal aliens...and Texas is one of them! What this act says is that, even though you are breaking US federal law, we are going to give you tax-payer money to attend college. Although it is illegal to hire these new graduates, we still spend the money to put them through college. Does that make sense to you?

Our US immigration policy is out of control! Here I am trying to figure out how I'm going to pay for own daughter's college education (still many years down the road), and now I find out my tax dollars are paying for people who are breaking the law to go to college.

America is a great country because of immigrants from around the world. But what made America great is these same immigrants desire to make something of themselves and to make something of America (legally). They didn't come to drain America of all that she could give them. I say let's continue to open our arms to the tired, poor, huddled masses yearning to be free...but let's quit paying for those who are breaking the law. Part of what has made America great is her desire to help the huddled masses, but if we don't do it with more wisdom that we are using now, AMERICA will become the huddled masses.

- Rob

Monday, September 04, 2006

Labor Day Weekend Together As A Family

Our family enjoyed the three day weekend. After school on Friday we just chilled and hung out at the house. Sam and Mitzi came to visit for the weekend while Stan and Kay visited Nacadocious. Amanda always loves having more dogs at the house and our dogs see Sam and Mitzi so often they're like cousins.


Interesting note about the above photograph. I remember watching one particular episode of Tarzan as a kid where visitors to the jungle were terrorizing the natives by taking their picture. They told the natives that their souls were being captured when their picture was taken. These bad people would show the pictures to the natives and the natives were convinced. (I'm not sure how Tarzan helped solve this travesty, but I'm sure he did, somehow). Anyway, I thought of this story right after this picture was taken because Mitzi hopped out of my lap as soon as the flash went off. Actually, she started squirming and wanted down as soon as she saw the camera, but I made her stay for the picture. For some reason, the dog is petrified of having her picture taken. I remember the first time she came over for a visit, I traumatized her trying to take some video of her and Sam with our dogs. Near as I can tell, Mitzi somehow came from Tarzan's jungle where she belonged to this tribe. It must have scared Mitzi so bad that she took off for America before Tarzan could tell the people they were in no danger of losing their souls to the people with the cameras. We feel sorry for Mitzi but love her in spite of her "issues" with cameras.

Saturday morning, Brooke went to her fantasy football draft while Amanda and I set out to find nine geocaches...enough to get her to 200. We had only found seven when Brooke called and said her draft was finished. Brooke rode with us while we grabbed the last two and Amanda found #200.


Sunday we went to church, took a nap (everybody except Amanda), watched America's Funniest Home Videos and spent some time with our friends the Hennings (who stopped by to print their Blockbuster coupon!). Everybody went to bed and I stayed up to watch one of my favorite movies, Saving Private Ryan. I like war movies in general, and I am especially touched movies about WW II. I can't help but think that something like that (the way our nation pulled together and sacrificed) would never happen today. I watch stories about soldiers who went into a battles they knew would probably cost them their lives, but they went anyway because that's what it took to serve your country and defeat the enemy. I am in awe of the WW II generation. And then at the end of this movie, Private Ryan asks himself, "Was I a good man?" "Did I do something good with my life after the sacrifices that were made for me?" (Wow, some pretty good Christian parallels there.) It doesn't sound very macho to watch one of these violent war movies and then cry at the end, but I always do. (Of course, it's always late and I'm the only one in the room, so that helps). But when I think about the price that was paid for my freedom, I cannot help but be moved. These guys not only gave up their lives, but they also gave up their families and their families gave them up as well, for this great cause. I always say a prayer thanking God for all of our soldiers (from all wars) who gave their lives to that I might enjoy the freedoms this country offers. And I always pray for their surviving family members. And then I pray for our forces serving today and their families. And for some reason, I seem to enjoy putting myself through all this.

This morning, Amanda woke up around 8:30am and Brooke was kind enough to get up with her since I had been in bed just 5 hours after the movie. Brooke did a little housework, I helped clean the kitchen, Brooke ran to the store, I read, we did some homework with Amanda and then my parents came over for dinner. We had grilled chicken, three bean salad my Mom brought and company potatoes (which I LOVE but Brooke makes only when we have company). We just hung out and talked after dinner. Everybody is now gone and in bed. I'm gonna finish blogging, read a little bit more and try to psyche myself up to get up at 5:30am for some racquetball in the morning.

So tomorrow it's back to school and back to work. It was nice to have a Labor Day weekend together as a family.

- Rob

Steve Irwin killed in freak accident at sea

A comment left after the newstory linked above (click post title to read article):

The way he lived his life should be an example to us all to live our lives with passion and never waste a moment.

Amanda and I loved watching the Croc Hunter and are praying for his wife and two children.