Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The Global Warming "Consensus"

The biggest argument we are hearing for global warming these days is that there is a "consensus" among scientists that global warming is due to human activity. And here is how the left gathers a consensus...get rid of anybody who disagrees. Case in point, The Weather Channel's Heidi Cullen who has suggested that the American Meteorological Society (AMS) revoke their “Seal of Approval” for any television weatherman who expresses skepticism that human activity is creating a climate catastrophe." Guess it would be pretty easy to form a consensus that way, wouldn't it. Read the Fox news story here.

Oh, one more little hole in the whole "consensus" thinking. Check out this review of a well-documented scientific study that shows global warming to be part of a 1,500 year climate cycle having little, if anything, to do with human activity.

Monday, January 29, 2007

What? No Pictures??

Nope, I didn't have anybody take a picture. And I'm not sure why. You can't truly appreciate all that was involved without them. Oh well, should have thought of it sooner.

You see, there was a gutter at the church that is in "disrepair". Of course the broken gutter would have to be at the highest part of the building (second story). One guy at church asked me about it, but I did not know what he was talking about. And then Pastor pointed out the "disrepair" which, of course, meant it needed to be fixed. So, being the handyman that I am, that left me with two choices: 1) figure out how to fix it and fit it into my too-busy-right-now schedule or 2) find somebody in the church who could fix it and meet them at church on my day off to fix it. I went for the former.

Did I mention that I'm not really that "handy" in the "handyman" sense? For some goofy reason, I thought this repair job could be accomplished in about 30 minutes by climbing up on the roof, sliding the fallen flashing back under the shingles and screwing them (through the shingles) into the roof. I was wrong.

First of all (and it's a good thing), Stan pointed out to me that putting screws through the shingles (even at the very end of the roof) would sorta defeat the purpose of having shingles. Once I made a repair in this fashion, I would have a permanent leak. I definitely felt less than handy and a little less than intelligent after he revealed this. He was nice about it, but I was just plain thinking stupid thoughts when I came up with that original idea!

So Stan and I were up on the second story roof sizing up the situation. Not only had the gutter slipped away from the roof, but the piece of trim board that was supposed to be attached to the roof (and the gutter attached to it) was also coming off. We ended up screwing the trim board back into the edge of the roof where it belonged and re-securing the part of the gutter that was in "disrepair". It certainly does not look professional upon close inspection, but I think it will direct the water in the proper direction and, I don't think too many people will climb up to the second story roof to look at it, so we should be good.

This little 30 minute project took up most of the afternoon between running to the hardware store, hauling ladders around, drilling, riveting and our Laurel-and-Hardy-like. I say it was "like" Laurel and Hardy because, I don't know which one was the little skinny one, but neither Stan nor I look like him! Anyway, the routine started when he had the baby food jar which contained the screws we were going to use. Stan had them, I needed them, and I saw he was going to toss them to me. My first thought was to say "no" and go get them, but then I thought, "Aw, I can catch." Well, I THOUGHT I could catch, but obviously I could not. In my defense, I had something in my right hand and my left hand's only purpose in life is to keep my body balanced by providing equal weight on that side.

It was a good thing Stan did not laugh too hard at my lack of coordination. Thirty minutes later we were at the hardware store getting the necessary equipment to do our work along with some light bulbs for the church. We found one odd-shaped bulb that we needed and Stan proceeded to hold the old bulb up next to it for comparison purposes. I still can't figure out how, but the thing managed to jump out of his hand and fall to the floor. "Clean up on aisle three!". We couldn't help but laugh.

But after all of this, I have no pictures. No pictures of us picking up broken glass. No pictures of big men climbing little ladders to get on the roof or pictures of us laying down, head first peering over the side of the roof 40 feet off the ground. No pictures of Jason and me lifting a 20 foot A-frame ladder up to the first story roof when the 8 foot ladder would have worked just fine. We put our lives in danger and I didn't even think to have someone take a picture. Bummer.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Microsoft Chaps My Hiney!

I am not anti-big business. And I am not against people like Bill Gates who make tons of money. If they are doing it legally, fairly and taking care of the people who helped get them there, I am all for them.

Having said that, I would like to state for the record that Microsoft chaps my hiney! You will notice a graphic and link along the side of my blog for Open Office. This is an open source office suite. To keep it simple, this means it is FREE and the code is open to anybody who knows how to do that sort of thing, so they can tweak it to customize or improve it.

The reason I like Open Office is because it uses open document files. This is Open Document Format. This is an open source file format which makes it possible for ANY office suite to open and save to this file format. What does that mean for you and me? If all word processors would support this format (which most all, sans Microsoft, do), I could create an .odf document in my word processor (whatever one I choose) and you could open it your word processor (whatever one you chose) even if it is different from mine. Not only could you open it, but you could edit and send it back to me with the changes. All of this, and we would not have to have the same word processor. Have you ever received a file from somebody and could not open it because you did not have the software program they created the file with? Open Document Format would solve this problem.

So what's the hold up in seeing this implemented? One word...can you guess? MICROSOFT! They do not want to support Open Document formats because it means could not force as many people to buy their software. Right now, Microsoft Office formats are pretty much the standard. If you want to share documents with others, you must purchase Microsoft. But ODF would change that. Microsoft could keep their own proprietary format AND include ODf, but they have chosen not to.

Microsoft claims that their documents would lose their formatting if they had to use ODF. So they have come up with their own "open" format for documents. Of course, it is competing with Open Document Foundation. In other words, "We agree, everybody should be able to use one format...OURS!". Well, the folks at Open Document Foundation proved this week that Microsoft is full of hot air. They created the ACME 376 Compatibility Kit which makes their case. You can read about it here.

Prior to Office 2007, Open Office could open any Microsoft Office document and save to any Microsoft Office file format. Open Office also saves to Open Document formats that can be opened by other office suites as well. That's why I like Open Office and use it frequently.

But with Office 2007, not only can Open Office (or any other office suite) not open Microsoft Office 2007 files, but even earlier versions of Microsoft Office cannot open them!! A friend sent me a file this week and I spent at least 45 minutes reading on Microsoft's site how to download the patch that would allow me to open this file with my 2003 version of Microsoft Office. It didn't work. I kept getting an error message saying the patch was only for pre-release, Office 2007 files. This patch came directly from the Microsoft web site and still would not work.

I am forced to use Microsoft Office because that is what everybody at my office uses, but this latest stunt by Microsoft has renewed my commitment to using Open Office whenever possible. I am going to load the
ACME 376 Compatibility Kit into my copy of Microsoft Office so that I can use Microsoft Office to save documents in ODF, and I am going right now to add an Open Office link to the signature line of all my outgoing e-mails.

I encourage to check Open Office.
  • It runs on PC, Mac and Linux machines
  • It opens and saves to all Microsoft Office formats (prior to Microsoft Office 2007)
  • It opens and saves to Open Document formats that most other office suites use, so others can open, edit and save files you send them even if they don't use Open Office
  • It's a full office suite, it is powerful, and it is FREE

Thursday, January 25, 2007

How NOT to Pick Up a Date

Are you a parking ticket? 'Cause you've got fine written all over you.

Do you have a Band-Aid? Because I just scraped my knee falling for you.

Do you have any raisins? No? How 'bout a date?

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Muslims In America Support the War Effort...NOT!

"Do you ship to APO (military) addresses? I'm in the 1st Cavalry Division stationed in Iraq and we are trying to order some mats but we are looking for ships to APO first."

We do not ship to APO addresses, and even if we did, we would NEVER ship to Iraq. If you were sensible, you and your troops would pull out of Iraq.

Bargain Suppliers
Discount-Mats.com"

Read the whole story here.

Anti-Farty Pants

That's how a Fox News story describes this product. I'm not sure how else to tell you about them besides send you their link. I'm sure that this is a God-send for people would actually NEED to purchase them, but even the inventors admit there is a humorous side.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

USA Wants to Be Like Norway, Sweeden, Finland, Iceland and Denmark?

California Lawmaker Seeks to Ban Spanking of Children Under 4, reports Fox News.

Assemblywoman Sally Lieber, D-Mountain View, said such a law is needed because spanking victimizes helpless children and breeds violence in society. "I think it's pretty hard to argue you need to beat a child," Lieber said. "Is it OK to whip a 1-year-old or a 6-month-old or a newborn?" (emphasis mine, click the link above to read more)

Of course, Assemblywoman Lieber has to use typical liberal tactics and use emotionally charged, connotative words to try and re-frame reality. Who is arguing you need to "beat" a child? That's why we have two different words, 1) beat and 2) spank. And then the use of the word "whip" in the same sentence as "newborn". Is this what an education at a liberal college does for people?

Yes, there are child abusers out there, and of course that is wrong. But spanking, when done in love as an act of discipline, is no more "beating" a child than taking away free time if school work is not done is "psychological torture". Do we really think this will stop true child abusers?

Friday, January 19, 2007

The 8 Million Muslim Lie

From Jihad Watch,

"Demographics: Since Muslim Keith Ellison's election to Congress, there's been a lot of noise in the media about the growing clout of the 8 million-Muslim electorate. Eight million? ..."

Eight million....really? How about half that! Click here to read the truth.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Snow And Ice

That's ice on the twigs/weeds around Amanda. Amanda came to work with us on Monday since she was out of school. She thought the ice on these things was so "beautiful" that she wanted me to come see them.

I got up Wednesday morning and let the dogs out before getting Amanda up to get ready for school. When I looked outside, I was surprised to see what the weather had brought the night before. No school Wednesday. Everybody (Amanda, Brooke, Boo and Sully) came to the church playground, so I had to take a break and go play with them.

Here is Boo climbing up the tires to play with us at the top of the playground equipment.

Boo would have nothing to do with this "bridge crossing", but Sully thought nothing of it once he finally got up the nerve to climb up the tires onto the equipment.

And here is why Sully had to work up his nerve to climb the equipment...he fell through the first time!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Gotta Love Sleepovers

Amanda Kay spent the night at a friend's house last night. It was her friend's birthday, so some girls came over and spent the night. Amanda and one girl stayed awake until 2:30am talking and then had to be up in time for church today. This is what happened when Amanda was playing in her room this afternoon. And she was NOT a happy camper when she had to get up.

Friday, January 12, 2007

I'm Surprised, But It's True

Perhaps you've received the same e-mail I received for the third time today:
-----------------
Subject: Update on Sheriff Joe Arpaio


You gotta' love Sheriff Joe. Maybe the Feds should let him deal with jailing illegals. It would be cheaper than a boarder fence.


Update on Joe Arpaio


TO THOSE OF YOU NOT FAMILIAR WITH JOE ARPAIO HE IS THE MARICOPA ARIZONA COUNTY SHERIFF AND HE KEEPS GETTING ELECTED OVER AND OVER THIS IS ONE OF THE REASONS WHY:


Sheriff Joe Arpaio (in Arizona) who created the "tent city jail":
He has jail meals down to 40 cents a serving and charges the inmates for them.

He stopped smoking and porno magazines in the jails. Took away their weights. Cut off all but "G" movies.

He started chain gangs so the inmates could do free work on county and city projects.
Then he started chain gangs for women so he wouldn't get sued for discrimination.

He took away cable TV until he found out there was a federal court order that required cable TV for jails. So he hooked up the cable TV again only let in the Disney channel and the weather channel.
When asked why the weather channel he replied, so they will know how hot it's gonna be while they are working on my chain gangs.

He cut off coffee since it has zero nutritional value.
When the inmates complained, he told them, "This isn't the Ritz/Carlton. If you don't like it, don't come back."

He bought Newt Gingrich' lecture series on videotape that he pipes into the jails.
When asked by a reporter if he had any lecture series by a Democrat, he replied that a democratic lecture series might explain why a lot of the inmates were in his jails in the first place.

More on the Arizona Sheriff:
With temperatures being even hotter than usual in Phoenix (116 degrees just set a new record), the Associated Press reports: About 2,000 inmates living in a barbed-wire-surrounded tent encampment at the Maricopa County Jail have been given permission to strip down to their
government-issued pink boxer shorts.

On Wednesday, hundreds of men wearing boxers were either curled up on their bunk beds or chatted in the tents, which reached 138 degrees inside the week before.
Many were also swathed in wet, pink towels as sweat collected on their chests and dripped down to their pink socks. "It feels like we are in a furnace," said James Zanzot, an inmate who has lived in the tents for 1 year. "It's inhumane."

Joe Arpaio, the tough-guy sheriff who created the tent city and long ago started making his prisoners wear pink, and eat bologna sandwiches, is not one bit sympathetic He said Wednesday that he told all of the inmates: "It's 120 degrees in Iraq and our soldiers are living in tents too, and they have to wear full battle gear, but they didn't commit any crimes, so shut your damned mouths!"


Way to go, Sheriff! Maybe if all prisons were like this one there would be a lot less crime and/or repeat offenders. Criminals should be punished for their crimes - not live in luxury until it's time for
their parole, only to go out and commit another crime so they can get back in to live on taxpayers money and enjoy things taxpayers can't afford to have for themselves.

If you agree, pass this on. If not, just delete it.

Sheriff Joe was just reelected Sheriff in Maricopa County, Arizona.

--------------


One of my pet peeves in urban legends. It REALLY bugs me when people pass along stories without ever bothering to check whether or not they are true...especially when it is so easy to go to Snopes and check it out.

I love this story about Sheriff Joe, but it sounded a bit too good to me. And now with the "If you agree, pass this on..." at the end, it is all-the-more suspicious. So I Snoped the story here and found out, for the most part, this story is true!

I was going to recap the Snopes version for you, but for those who may not be familiar with Snopes, I'll just let you use the link above to check it out for yourselves. But the cool thing is, this story checks out. Sheriff Joe is my kind a guy!

Civil Rights Trumps Individual or National Security

Representative Keith Ellison (D-MN) has been named to the House Judiciary Committee. Ellison said in a statement: “I look forward to pursuing a progressive agenda in the committee, including the restoration of American citizen’s civil liberties that have come under increasing attack over the past six years.”

Pelosi, Conyers, and Ellison by all appearances seem less concerned about any wave of fear that may be sent through American non-Muslims by continued jihad terror activity on American soil. But just this week there have been numerous indications that that jihad activity is continuing:

Click HERE to read a list of some of these activities and the rest of the article at FrontPageMag.com

Monday Night Geocaching

We headed out to do just two caches. This is a travel bug we took for the Dew Drop Inn I-20 Travel Bug Motel. A travel bug is any item you attach to one of these tags. You drop it off in a cache and then somebody else picks it up, takes it to another cache and logs its trip. Interesting note: you can click on the Google Maps link from this cache page to see where this area is, but it used to be an I-20 rest area (Park Springs at I-20). That's another neat thing about geocaching...you learn local history you never knew before.

Amanda traded a small stuffed raccoon for this balloon animal kit which she put to good use as soon as we got back from our outing.

Another Reminder

It never ceases to amaze me how the liberal media, who feel they are smarter than the rest of us and thus need to interpret the news for us, cannot understand why we are in Iraq and why it is important. For these "intellects" and for the weak-minded people that follow their lead, President Bush reminded us again in his speech Wednesday night:

"The consequences of failure are clear: Radical Islamic extremists would grow in strength and gain new recruits. They would be in a better position to topple moderate governments, create chaos in the region, and use oil revenues to fund their ambitions. Iran would be emboldened in its pursuit of nuclear weapons. Our enemies would have a safe haven from which to plan and launch attacks on the American people. On September the 11th, 2001, we saw what a refuge for extremists on the other side of the world could bring to the streets of our own cities. For the safety of our people, America must succeed in Iraq."

Click on the President's picture if you would like to read the rest of the transcript from his speech.

Today's Time Waster from Download Squad

I subscribe to the RSS feed from Download Squad. One of the posts they send out is the "Time Waster" of the day. I haven't found that many that I'm real excited about, but I thought Throw Paper! was a lot of fun. You try to toss the paper wad into the trash can, but you have to watch the arrow on the trashcan what shows which way the fan is blowing and how hard. Anyway, my best score was 12 in a row. If you've got some time to waste, try it out for yourself here.

Is This Supposed to Be American?

Jihad Watch reports, "This image comes to me courtesy Jihad Watch reader Dan, who tells me he spotted this poster and photographed it in a Muslim-owned auto repair shop in New England."

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

How Many Church Administrators Does It Take?

I don' t know if you will think this story is as funny as I do, but I'll share it with you anyway. Sometimes it's good to laugh at yourself. This is a true story which I will tell via the e-mails I exchanged with an online friend.

First E-Mail I Received
Hi Guys!

I am creating a birthday calendar for myself. Can you please click on the link below and enter your birthday for me. Don't worry it is quick, and you don't have to enter your year of birth:-).

(link was here)

P.S. If you're married and I don't have a separate e-mail for both you and your spouse, please click on the link again and register your spouse's birthday too!

Thanks,
Jason

My First Reply
(remembering a local pastor named Jason I met in December and had lunch with, I wrote back)
LOL,

Hey Jason...gotta laugh. I thought it was nice but wondered why you sent me this e-mail. I see that you have my e-mail address listed under (lady's name here) on your list! Thought you might want to change that in your address book.

Hope you had a Merry Christmas and that you have a blessed new year.

Hey, are the peacocks still there?

Blessings,
Rob Hurt
Vine Fellowship

Second E-Mail I Received

HOW FUNNY IS THAT? I'm extremely embarrassed! If you only knew how completely anal I am about life in general.

Thanks for the heads up . . . I'll change that in my address book! However, don't be surprised if you receive a birthday E-Card from someone who is practically a stranger to you!

Thanks!
Jason ...
... Assembly of God

P.S. Your video was a hit at the Volunteer Appreciation Banquet that I spoke at. About 250 people in Russellville, Arkansas, now know about the Vine Fellowship and Rob Hurt! Thanks again!

My Second Reply
(at this point, I am totally embarrassed as I realize this is an administrative pastor I met online who found our volunteer appreciation video on YouTube and wanted to use it...it was not the local pastor I had met!)

Wow...who is more embarrassed? Did you wonder about the peacock comment? There is another Pastor Jason here in Arlington I met just before Christmas and I got the two of you mixed up! He had a couple wild peacocks show up on his church property and that is what I was asking about.

So let's see...you sent a birthday reminder invitation to me by mistake. One for you.

I filled out the birthday reminder invitation sent to me by mistake. And then I got you mixed up with another Pastor Jason! Two for me.

Oh well, what a funny way to start the new year!

Happy New Year,
Rob

Third E-Mail I Received
Too funny! And they trust the organization and administration of our churches to us? That's really scary, huh?

Well, I was wondering about that peacock comment. I thought maybe you knew something I didn't.

That's hilarious! Thanks again for the laugh!

Monday, January 01, 2007

One Man's Commode, Another Rat's Abode

In light of what happened at our house this week, I found this Fox News story interesting:

One Oregon man's trip to the toilet gave his household some unexpected excitement as soon as he lifted the lid.

As Lee Rich opened the toilet seat, a 10-inch long rat, dripping with sewage, came shooting out of the bowl and darted into an open cabinet where the family stores their bath towels, Salem's Statesman Journal reported.

"That thing just came screaming out of there," said Rich, 66, a retiree.

He trapped the rodent in a plastic coffee can and sealed it with tape. He then put the can in the freezer to kill the rat.

Salem takes 10 to 15 complaints each year from residents about rats in their sewer pipes, said Public Works spokesman Mike Gotterba.

City workers put rat poison in a manhole near Rich's home and promised to put more bait at the location if they needed to.

Guess I ain't the only one!

Ahhh! #2

Now Mommy & Boo take a turn relaxing on the couch

Updating My Resume

I'm not really in the job market right now because I feel I have the perfect job, but there are some things that are just too good to pass up. Take, for instance, my making Time Magazine's "Person of the Year" in 2006. I had to dig through my typewriter-written files to find my resume (circa 1991), but I finally found it. Now I can kill two birds with one stone...I'll get my resume onto the computer and I'll put at the top of the list, "Time Magazine Person of the Year 2006". Since I'm not currently looking for a job, maybe it's worth a raise!