Saturday, December 31, 2005

An Endorsement of a Store I Love

I own no stock.  I have no axe to grind. Peggy and I just came from a visit to one of our favorite grocery stores. 
We live within 5 miles of Jewel, Dominick's, Sams Club, Trader Joes, Super Wal-Mart, Super Target and Meijers.  All ok stores except for the antichrist factor at Wal-Mart and Sams.
The one I really enjoy simply for the adventure factor is ALDI. 
When we lived in Germany we didn't shop much at Aldi.  Tengelman, Z Markt, and others.  Then there were a few super stores in Heilbronn.  I liked the small form market the best.  Too many choices drove me nuts.  Besides the Hefefleks were the best.  An oat cereal kind of like cheerios except better.
When we came back we started shopping Aldi.  I won't kid you at the beginning it was for the price.  Then I started discovering a little secret you won't learn except by shopping there often.  They will go out into the market and buy super premium product and sell it as a loss leader.  Anything.  Computers, TV's anything.
Here are some of my favorite products:  The Coffee.  The German Coffee is excellent,  Nearly anything with the Grandessa private label is excellent.  The frozen individual pizzas are excellent.  I particularly like the roasted vegetable.  Sugar wafers, excellent stuff.  The honey graham crackers are better than anything you can buy at mainstream stores.  And, a recent find.  Blueberry muffin mix.  Kind of semi sweet and very good.
It's not that I need the food but I enjoy Aldi.  In season you can buy excellent stolon. 
It's just plain a good place that's full of surprises every time.  But you have to look and you have to try.

I don’t believe everything I read or hear

In the last week a barrage of news stories has come out of South Korea about the scientist who cloned gene specific stem cells. At first I was only mildly interested. But then, as the story got more and more involved I became suspicious.

You see, I have watched just too darn many (all of them) X-Files episodes to allow me to buy what we are fed by government or in particular the media.

I think we will now discover there is more here than meets the eye. If he isn’t assassinated by large corporate government conspirators who are trying hard to keep a lid on this breakthrough because it might halt the global plan of oppression…….. Wait, that’s another X-File plot.

But, don’t buy everything you see. This doesn’t pass the smell test. Something’s up.

Friday, December 30, 2005

2006 Prediction Post

I have been accused of having a prophetic bent.  So:


These are my predictions for 2006.  At the end of last year and during the year I have made other predictions.  They are linked or listed at the bottom of this post. I don’t know for sure what will or won’t happen but I know that several of these will happen for sure. 


So have a great 2006, It looks like it could be a great year.


There will be at least 2 earthquakes of significant magnitude 6+ in California.  There will be one more somewhere else in America.  There will be others on the planet but these 3 are in America.


The year will be one of extremes in weather.  Record hot, cold, wind, rain, storm, snow and drought.  Just one major hurricane will occur on US soil in 2006.  It will be a cat 3.


There will be an outbreak of bird flu that will cause significant death but it will be restricted to the Asian countries.  Even when it arrives on other shores it will be far less virulent than first predicted by many.  Fear will be great.


An educational implosion will begin.  The whole system will begin to dissemble.  It will not stop in 2006.


The inner cities in America will begin to regentrify.  Cities will begin to see resergence as people move back.  Don’t give up on Detroit.


The major media figures who were dishonored and disgraced in 2005 will be multiplied in 2006.  This will continue until media types start to behave.


General Motors will face bankruptcy.  While a shock, it’s impact will be minimal on the economy.  Less than Katrina.


Employment in America will remain about the same.

Nearly a 25% decrease in housing starts slows the economy a little.

Inflation concerns and tighter credit contribute to the slowing.


Oil prices will begin the year at $60 crude. An attempt to manipulate the market some time in 2006 crude will cause crude to breach $100.  This manipulation will fail and the price will fall to $45. 


A major scare in the stock market causing a significant retrenchment.  It won’t hold.  The economy will do OK in spite of it all.


Judge Alito will be confirmed.  There will be one more vacancy in 2006. 


There will be several departures from the Presidents administration.  Rove, Cheney and Rumsfeld. Condelesa Rice will become Vice President when Cheney resigns after the fall elections.


The fall elections will be of little consequence.  Very little change in the balance of power.  The Republicans will actually pick up a seat in the Senate.


Scandals in government you see are just the beginning.  The ones that will hurt are bipartisan.  This is going to shake some who have been most self righteous and pontificate the most.  They will have to learn to eat bitter words.


Watch these things in political events:

Patriot act – Passes but with modifications

Social Security – no change in 2006

Health Care Reform – serious talk begins

Tax Reform – will continue but still not enough


The long questioned WMD issue will be settled in the first quarter of 2006.  It will silence the critics.


Iraq will settle down.  Leaders will emerge to bring it into better days. 

soldiers in Iraq will be nearly half what they were at their peak by years end.  About 80.000.  But they won’t all come home.  Some will be in Afghanistan, Kwait and a couple other countries. Afghanistan will require new interventions by US troops in 2006.  After the fall election even the critics will have to admit Iraq is a succes.


An alliance of Iran and Russia’s Putin will cause great concern as it should.  Putin will distance himself from America.


Osama bin Laden will finally be revealed as dead. 


There will be an attempt to detonate a dirty bomb in New York City.  It will fail but cause panic.


China will undergo a great natural disaster. 


In Russia 2 disasters of proportions not yet seen will take place in 2006. 


Israel will experience a quiet time of peace.


Persecution of those of faith will accelerate. 


5 major leaders of the Church will be lost.


Pray for our President.


Links to last year’s predictions:


After the Tsunami I said:

People’s response to incredible tragedy of this nature is predictable. Find someone to blame. This will mean the political landscape of the most devastated countries will change. Some not for the better.


There will be significant efforts to install a response and warning system for any future such events. It’s like putting lipstick on a pig. It makes you feel better but it doesn’t really change things. In the USA everyone at top levels is convinced that somewhere sometime in a major metro area a nuclear device will be detonated for maximum neutronic pollution. (dirty bomb) Pop quiz. If you live in or near any of these areas what is your civil defense plan for this predicted event? About the same as Siri Lanka’s I’ll wager.


Then there will be the money thrown at the effort and no one will have done enough. It’s already begun. Much of that money will be wasted, siphoned off, graft, theft and lost. Good intentioned people will give to good intentioned NGO’s and it will be stolen. If you give, give to organizations that have the fear of God as part of their charter. Theft is less there.


People will ponder the if-onlys. It is delusion to live in a world that believes that things will get better if only. If only I had more money, if only I had a better job, if only I were (or weren’t) married, if only, if only, if only. Things on balance never do get better. They only change. All change is perceived as loss. ALL CHANGE!



I have a long version of this set of predictions as was given in a Church on January 1, 2006.  If you would like a copy emailed to you send me a messge with the subject line FULL TEXT 2006 and I will return it promptly.  Send that to




Terror Alerts {humor line}

I know that you my worldly readers have already seen this.  But I just did and in the off chance that you might NOT have here it is.  I was amused.

The British are feeling the pinch in relation to recent bombings and have  raised their security level from "Miffed" to "Peeved."  Soon, though,  security levels may be raised yet again to "Irritated" or even "A Bit  Cross." Londoners have not been "A Bit Cross" since the blitz in 1940 when tea supplies all but ran out.  Terrorists have been re-categorized from  "Tiresome" to a "Bloody Nuisance." The last time the British issued a "Bloody Nuisance" warning level was during the great fire of 1666.

Also, the French government announced yesterday that it has raised its  terror alert level from "Run" to "Hide."  The only two higher levels in  France are "Surrender" and "Collaborate."  The rise was precipitated by a  recent fire that destroyed France's white flag factory, effectively paralysing the country's military capability.

It's not only the English and French that are on a heightened level of alert.

Italy has increased the alert level from "Shout Loudly and Excitedly" to "Elaborate Military Posturing."  Two more levels remain: "Ineffective Combat Operations" and "Change Sides."

The Germans also increased their alert state from "Disdainful Arrogance" to "Dress in Uniform and Sing Marching Songs."  They also have two higher levels: "Invade a Neighbor" and "Lose."

Belgians, on the other hand, are all on holiday as usual, and the only threat they are worried about is NATO pulling out of Brussels.


Thursday, December 29, 2005

The Invasion of the Website SLOBS

I am sick and tired of poorly designed websites that have too much junk on them, take too long to load, are too cumbersome to navigate and frankly look like some amateur created them.

So, how do you spot them? They have the "look what I can do" factor in them. Lots of fancy smancy flashing things, lots of downloaded junk that does nothing except take time.

I use a dialup ISP. It’s 52.000 bps. If your website takes longer than 30 seconds to load, I’ll never see it. It’s not worth the wait.

The home page of the ISP I use, takes over a minute and a half to load. I’ll never enjoy all the benefits of it. It used to take 30 seconds.

The other day a friend of mine asked me to look at his website. He had a “Professional” design it. That professional is an slob. He built a bloated website with so much gobbledygook on it they are impossible to see.

When I finally consented to look at it I waited nearly 3 (Three) minutes for this “work of art to load”. And what was it? Basically a brochure which was not made better by all the downloads.

So, if anyone anywhere who is reading this has anything at all to do with web design, do all of us a huge favor. Dial up once, see how long it takes to load with nothing in the cache. If it’s more than 30 seconds it’s TOO DARN BIG!

New Religion

I have been on a Theological tear for a while for some reason. Maybe we should all just join this fellows religion. Sounds like fun till you are arrested for nudity and hitting an officer with a trumpet.

Bizarre incident results in 6 charges

Teacher accused of attacking police
Thursday, December 29, 2005

Of The Patriot-News

A Central Dauphin School District teacher faces charges of assaulting a Lower Paxton Twp. police officer and possession of illegal drugs after being arrested earlier this month while standing naked in the snow outside of his home, police said.

Curtis Lofton, 23, of Springford Terraces, Lower Paxton Twp., was arrested early in the evening of Dec. 10 after a neighbor called police to report a disturbance, court documents say.

Lower Paxton Twp. police said that when they arrived to investigate the disturbance, they found Lofton standing stark naked in the snow.

Lofton was charged with aggravated assault involving a police officer, resisting arrest, open lewdness, possession of a small amount of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and unlawful possession of the prescription drug oxycodone.

According to court papers, when Lofton was asked if he was okay, he responded, "No, I am ... crazy, and I need a menthol cigarette."

When asked where he lived and why he was naked, Lofton is alleged to have said that he was "Jesus Christ" and that the officer must be "God," court papers say.

A scuffle broke out between the two men during which Lofton is alleged to have hit the officer over the head with a long plastic toy trumpet which he scooped up from nearby.

The officer used his pepper spray on Lofton, at first to no avail. Then a cursing Lofton advised the officer that "'Jesus' is now blind," court papers say.

Central Dauphin School District spokeswoman Shannon Spencer said that the school would have no comment on Lofton, a second-year French teacher, and his troubles with the law.

"No comment. That's something we won't be releasing," Spencer said.

Lofton's attorney, Terrence J. McGowan, said that the school district had scheduled a meeting to discuss Lofton's future. Lofton taught in Central Dauphin High School.

"Basically, he had some mental health issues that hopefully are in remission. I don't think it affects his ability to be a French teacher and it wasn't school-related, so we're hoping we can get him back to work," McGowan said.

McGowan said that his defense of his client was somewhat complicated in that his client did not recall any of the events of Dec. 10.

McGowan said that Lofton's performance reviews have been "excellent" and that he had an "impeccable" record as a teacher.

"At this point, I don't know what the school's intentions are," he said.

Lofton is currently undergoing a psychiatric examination and has been released on $10,000 unsecured bail.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Why in the world would they do this?

A major trend in media is the decline of Broadcast media. Cable is kicking butt. 

So, some dimbulb decides, yeah, this would be a great idea.  Let's feature homosexual republicans.  That'll be our salvation.

NBC, you guys are the absolute pits.


Read this:

NBC is promoting the network’s mid-season replacement series “The Book of Daniel” with language that implies it is a serious drama about Christian people and Christian faith. The main character is Daniel Webster, a drug-addicted Episcopal priest whose wife depends heavily on her mid-day martinis.

Webster regularly sees and talks with a very unconventional white-robed, bearded Jesus. The Webster family is rounded out by a 23-year-old homosexual Republican son, a 16-year-old daughter who is a drug dealer, and a 16-year-old adopted son who is having sex with the bishop’s daughter.

At the office, his lesbian secretary is sleeping with his sister-in-law.

Network hype – and the mainstream media – call it “edgy,” “challenging” and “courageous.” The hour-long limited drama series will debut January 6 with back-to-back episodes and will air on Friday nights. The writer for the series is a practicing homosexual.

The homosexual son will be network prime-time’s only regular male homosexual character in a drama series.

Those at NBC responsible for this program consider it a good, religiously oriented show typical of Christian families. Like your's right?  Bull Poop@!*#Q(&_)__)&Q

Let NBC Chairman Bob Wright know what you think.


Monday, December 26, 2005

Evangelists of Unbelief and the Fear and Loathing of Faith

20 days ago I listened to an hour with an apostate theologian by the name of Dr. Bart Ehrman. 10 days ago I heard an interview on Radio with some of the Jesus Seminar people who are from Loyola and other educational institutions. Often Martin Marty and Robert Funk and their disciples are on the radio spouting their version of the Godless Gospel. These are people who have reasoned their way out of faith in God.

They do their level best in these interviews to cast doubt and unbelief in the hearts of weak badly taught believers and of those who do not yet believe. It’s straightforward anti-Christ evangelism. Dr. Ehrman admits he is an agnostic (happily he says). He attended 2 conservative Christian institutions in Chicagoland, Moody Bible institute for 3 years and Wheaton College for 3 years. Somewhere the whole thing just triggered one day and he fell off the track.

He is now the head of the Religion department at North Carolina State. It appears that hiring people who oppose the Gospel is policy at secular educational institutions. Now Scientific American has a full page ad promoting his anti Christian teachings.

This was the case also of Paul Meilke who used to be the head of the Religion Department at Kansas University. I say used to because he became discredited and was forced to resign after taking an aggressive stand against creation teaching and filing a questionable police report about abuse.

Living in Chicagoland we have a wide breadth of religious expression. Black Churches, Hindu, Bahia, Moslem, of course Catholic, Jewish, and out in the country a few miles from me is a Buddhist Temple. So I am familiar with all expressions. We also have many of the largest Churches in America in Chicagoland. On the other hand, statistically Chicagoland is one of the least Christian cities in America. How is this possible? Read on.

The whole issue is, how do some agnostic theologians make decisions of faith and truth without the light of the Holy Spirit residing in them. The answer is, they are blind and deceived. This isn’t a surprise: "... if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.
"For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake. For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God...." 2 Corinthians 4:3-6

The agenda these men try to avoid is the one that calls them to account about who they are. They sucker in intelligent men and women who like to see themselves as open minded. What they don't realize is they become victims of doctrines of demons. These attempts to discredit the Bible are a great deal like the recent court case around the Intelligent Design debate.

If one expresses a doubt about the religion of evolution the atheistic inquisitors come out of their caves and either become discounters of the questioner thru ridicule or try to pass laws or lawsuits to stop the questioning. This is pure and simple persecution of those who do not follow the prescribed dogma of faithless evolution. Secularists are so frightened of any expression of faith in schools that even the simple statement that was “"Some people do not agree with the theory of evolution" ” was to be feared and struck from all textbooks. Isn’t that sad?

There are two unintended consequences of the atheist inquisition Court in Pennsylvania and it's outcome.

First it is causing people to question what all the fuss is about. The unintended consequence is a perpetuation of the debate. An intensification of the debate will heat up as people look into the whole conflict and realize what side they are on. It’s not on the side of the atheistic elite.

The other unintended consequence is increasingly overt animosity by people of faith against public education. People of faith now see public education as and agenda of schools and educators to rob precious children of their faith in God.

Home schooling has expanded widely, now the result of this onslaught will be organized efforts to aggressively take back control of schools and their boards nationwide or abolish them altogether in favor of private schools.

It’s bad enough that good people are deluded into believing what apostate theologians have decided. It’s worse when it’s foisted on our children.

I for one will be happy when Public Education is either dissolved or reformed so that the godless agendas now taught are replaced with free exploration of thought.

I’m not against teaching evolution as I am not against teaching quantum physics. If we say, we don’t know, here is what some think, here is what others think.

To teach as if the atheist dogma is the only acceptable dogma reeks of how the Catholic Church came against Galileo or Copernicus when they began to ask questions.

The world is too quick to embrace empty theological theories or empty evolutionary theories without the capacity to ask, “"What if they aren’t right”." We still teach people to question authority don’t we? Or maybe that’s what these acedemics are most guilty of: Fear and Loathing of Faith.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Open-mindedness goes both ways or does it?

I'’m tired of liberal friends who want to chide me for not being open-minded. There are some areas I am more closed than others. I like supporting organizations and institutions that match my views in life.

If I am expected to give to charities that support Planned Parenthood and other liberal causes why don’t the liberals support the things that matter to me? Hypocrisy.

That’s why when Katrina hit I made a bold statement that if you are going to give, give to the Salvation Army or some other trusted faith based organization. I said that the Red Cross for all the good it has done is a hopelessly inefficient bureaucracy and your money will be wasted on that inefficiency. I was chastised for that view.

I’ll do that when they agree to support the Intelligent Design Fund for Education.

I believe Faith Based organizations just do better than Secular organizations. I mean who do you want doing the hard things for your community, the government, FEMA anyone, the ACLU or NAACP (when’s the last time they did anything that mattered), and most secular charities are bloated and ineffective. Many faith-based groups are too. You have to be careful. But as opposed to a faith-based group, would you rather a hypocrite-based group. Sorry, I’m not open-minded about this. Even United Way has lost its way (so to speak). Don’t knock on my door for their cause.

The other day our church took 70 people into the local youth prison. They brought in hundreds of dozen cookies. The reason? The state has cut funding for doing the things needing done. The chaplainry has been trimmed. The state can no longer afford to do what they promised. So, United Way, nope, Red Cross, Don’t think so, local church, yep.

Support faith based organizations doing good things in your community. Start with putting a few bucks in the Salvation Army Buckets. A great investment and it gets lots of miles on each dollar.

They’ll even say, MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Why I didn't move back to ND in part

The other day a friend of mine posted an old picture of me from my high school yearbook. 


It reminded me why I didn’t move back to North Dakota in 1995 when I planned to.


The big problem for me is the frame of reference which people see me from.  When I recently connected with friends from a church I attended in Fargo they immediately went back to what I was like when I first came into the church in the late 70’s.  30 years ago.  I’ve lived in Chicago 20 of them.


For those at the church I am frozen in time. For the yearbook people I’m frozen in time. 


Except none of us ever are.  We are the sum of all we experienced, loved, pain we suffered, work, disease, travel, books we read and every thought we have had.  We have become what we think about all day long.


So, unless I want to be discounted pejoratively in a frame of reference from 30 or 40 years ago I will not move back to deal with pigeon-holers who insist on putting me in a box.


I will not be boxed up and discounted. 


I’ll stay here.





I'm NOT Dreaming of a White Christmas

Peggy and I were in town walking around Thursday on her Birthday. It was a beautiful day. People all over the place. Music, color and all the things you think of for Christmas. Marshal Fields (soon to become Macys), Water Tower Place (a huge downtown shopping mall) and The German Christmas Market.

BUT, I made an observation which I am puzzled about.

All I saw was WHITE FOLKS. Everywhere. Chicago is nearly 40% black. Where were they? It’s a quarter Hispanic. Where were they? I could have been in Jamestown North Dakota for all the racial diversity I saw or more important didn'’t see.

We ran into several friends including our Pastor from the far west suburbs. As large as Chicago is you still run into people you know.

So, my conclusion is the folks who live in Chicago don’t shop in Chicago or at least downtown.

Or, they don’t do Christmas.

Just an observation

New York Transit Strike, Well Done New York

9-11 proved NYC to be a great city. The transit strike that just ended reconfirmed it. Over and over again New York is hit with one thing or another.

Here they are, lining up to get 4 in a car so they can get into the city. Strangers helping strangers.

I have always loved Manhattan. It’s a great place to visit. The people are great and it’s more fun then you can imagine.

Thanks for showing the way New York City once again.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Are we Dumber than then??

Last night we went to the Shakespeare Theater in Chicago.  After several presentations of his tragedies, comedies and love stories over the years I have never been disappointed.  We are truly blessed to have such excellence in theater as we do.  I don't know where else in the WORLD you could go to see better.
I go to operas, movies and watch TV and sometimes come away less than enthralled.  But when it comes to Shakespeare as presented in Chicago I'm in awe. 
We saw Much Ado About Nothing.  If you know the play you know it's a comedy.  It is funnier than anything I have seen in a very long time.
Having read it, it's much funnier when skillfully presented by excellent actors.  I fell out of my seat several times from laughing.  The color and beauty of the language wrapped with the tempo and timing of well placed lines left me awestruck and longing for more.
TV and movies can't do this.  The spectacle and panorama of a live stage is so far superior to a screen it's hard to imagine how they could do this as well as they did on a movie or TV screen.
Oh, the language is as written with all the thees and thous.  It takes about 20 seconds for your ears to switch and hear it as natural as if you heard a man from Kansas talking. 
The clever interplay, twists and tensions cause me these conclusions:
  • No writer of Seinfeld, Hogan's Heroes, SNL, Mad TV, and any stand up comedian I have ever seen is as consistently funny as this was and is after 500 years.  Isn't that amazing?
  • Skillful acting can make even reading the phone book entertaining.
  • Much of what we watch on TV and in Movies is absolute drivel.  There are a few which tug, humor, entertain but so few and so infinitely far between that it is a sad commentary on our modern culture.
So, my question is, are we dumber than they were then? 
My answer is, TV and Movie producers sure think so.  Maybe they're right.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Much Ado about NOTHING

I'll bet you think this is a political tirade.  NOPE.  Peggy and I are off to the THEATER tonight.  And since it is her (number deleted) birthday on the 22nd we are staying at the Palmer House Hotel overnight.  Dinner date.
We will avail ourselves of walking up and down the Magnificent Mile and watch people celebrating the birth of Jesus with their credit cards and a frenzied look on their faces.  Somehow I think the pre-conversion iterations of Scrooge & Marley Accountancy and Moneylenders would applaud this perverted holiday. 
Then we will go to the Weinachtmarkt on Daley Plaza. (there is a law in Chicago that everything must be named for Mayors Daley).  This is a pretty good representation of the Weinachtmarkt's (Cristkindlmarkts to you Catholics) as are in Germanic countries.  When we were there we made a hobby of going to as many as possible.  I'm an expert.
It all seems so much better eating a potato pancake outdoors  with applesauce on it, a couple sausages and a side of sauerkraut in 5 degree weather.  MMMMM
I am soooo German.
So, I'll report back when we return tomorrow afternoon.  I'm looking forward to the Shakespeare.  It's never disappointing.  NEVER!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Holiday Eating Tips

I laughed so hard at this, I had to post it. I got it from a friend of mine. Thanks Ken.

1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Christmas spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they're serving rum balls.

2. Drink as much eggnog as you can, quickly. Like fine single-malt scotch, it's rare. In fact, it's even rarer than single-malt scotch. You can't find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It's not as if you're going to turn into an eggnog-alcoholic or something. It's a treat. Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have two. It's later than you think. It's Christmas!

3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That's the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat.

4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're made with skim milk or whole milk. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.

5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a Christmas party is to eat other people's food for free. Lots of it. Hello?

6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and NewYear's. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you'll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.

7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near them and don't budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the centre of attention. They're like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you're never going to see them again.

8. Same for pies. Apple, Pumpkin. Mincemeat. Have a slice of each. Or if you don't like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labour Day?

9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it's loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have some standards.

10. One final tip: If you don't feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven't been paying attention. Reread tips; start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner.

Remember this motto to live by: "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO what a ride!"

Have a great holiday season!
And a very very Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 19, 2005

Fantasy - Vanity - TIme and Times

You know these people, self important, attractive, skillful, connected, media savvy, iconic and still able to position themselves portrayed as victims.
Working in Corporate America I met several.  Well dressed nincompoops who looked good, but who possessed no actual brain.  Perhaps it's because I didn't look as good or dress as well (but I could think and actually get desired results) that they grated on me a bit.  I could put up with their presence until they opened their mouth.
So, you know these people.  I mean, we watch TV shows about them.  The only weekly TV show I have programmed on my VCR  is Alias (No I don't own a TIVO).  The very beautiful Jennifer Garner, Her associates, her spy dad, all very attractive people.  Only the pro/antagonist Sloane is sort of not pretty.  And it is intriguing.  I'm into it.  Not since Star Wars Next Generation have I been so taken with a TV show. 
Who can resist a beautiful spy, her handsome husband or father, dark undercover, opponents from on high in government.  It's great stuff.
In real life it's more transparent. The media has loved the whole Valerie Plame Joe Wilson deal, she's a mom, and he's handsome, and they have a baby (Something Sidney Bristow is about to do on Alias).  And Valerie is pretty, (I may not have mentioned that). 
Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame love the spotlight.  You have seen the Vanity Fair Cover with the two of them in a Mercedes Convertible.  She is in "Disguise" with a scarf and sunglasses.  We're supposed to ask "who's the mystery woman with the ambassador". 
So when she was "OUTED" by someone unknown it was supposed to be a big shock.  Heck, they couldn't stand NOT being the center of attention.
But you know these kind of people.  Look at me, look at me, no don't look at me.  They were in your workplace, they were in your church, they were in your class in college.  Acting humble and yet hoping to be the center of attention at all times.  Then feeling persecuted because you paid them attention.
So, now Time Magazine has stroked them once again and they love it, New York Times quarterbacked the leak story to embarrass the President (which is New York Time's current mission statement), Vanity Fair is running a new article on them.  "We just want to be left alone, no wait, not really".
It's all Fantasy Island.  They fly in, the little guy says, "de plane, de plane", they dress up pretty in spy clothes and pretend to be meaningful for the rest of us.  And we suck it up.  It sells glossy tabloid magazines like Time.  We are so pitiful as a country. 
I think I'll stick to real fantasy, Alias and Sidney Bristow, unless the Plame-Wilsons make a movie, starring themselves of course.
Oh wait, they already did.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Ten Most Dangerous People (or Groups) of 2005

 10.  The Hollywood idiot left.  Barbara Striesand, Cher, Harry Bellefonte, Rosie O’Donnell, Jennene Garafolo, Michael Moore, Whoopi Goldberg and Martin Sheen.  These people make stupid thinking fashionable.  They are a bad example to the youth and impressionable trailer trash of America who subscribe to the National Enquirer.  That’s about all that remains of the Democrat base.


9,  Bob Graham who represents all Liberal Democrats that held just enough elected office to make you almost believe he/she has a valid view.  Sort of in the same league as Julian Bond, Tom Daschle, Barbara Boxer, and Maxine Waters.  "Look at me, I was elected to something so, what I think matters doesn’t it?  Huh?"


8. France.  The country.  Say no more, say no more.


7. Teachers Unions.  The single biggest obstacle to your children and Grandchildren’s education.  They should be outlawed.  DOE and all unions abolished.  You now work for the state.  Better yet, privatize all schools.  Education in America no longer works.  REDO!


6. Katie Couric and all her wannabee clones on broadcast and cable TV.  There used to be intelligent talk with real inquiry on Morning TV.   Since Katie emerged or evolved that’s gone.  You’ve made enough money Katie.  Bye Bye.  Bring Back some Brains.  


5.  George Soros, a man that will finance anything Un-American to undermine the USA.  He should be very happy I’m not King.  He would be divided not quite in two if I were (off with his head).


4.  Ted Kennedy, famous for bringing the bar so low in anything representing competent ethical moral Senatorial demeanor.  He is so far past his good till date it has become nauseous.  Joe Black where are you?


3.  The New York Times and their sycophants.  Why anyone believes anything these traitors write astounds me.  I stopped getting their paper a year ago.  I’ve survived.


2.  Left wing opportunists who never saw an issue with a photo op they didn’t love.  Jesse Jackson, Dick Durbin, John Kerry, Nancy Pelosi, Mr Hillary Clinton and Jimmy Carter.


1.  The idiot who decided that Saturday morning cartoons should be used to “educate children” to “be nice” to each other, and that Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck, if shown at all, could not be shown being shot, blown-up, erased, squeezed into tiny spaces, sent flying from a cannon, played like violins, dropped into glasses of water, blown to smithereens by Martians, un-feathered unto nakedness, or tricked into playing “Believe Me If All (Those Endearing Young Charms)” correctly on the piano, thus being sent to heaven wherein they wear halos and pluck on tiny harps. They can, however, be shown in drag. Whole generations are growing up being thought of as too delicate to watch cartoon characters being shaped into musical instruments, and they’ve lost exposure to thinking outside the box and have become LIBERALS.


Children’s cartoons, that’s what’s wrong with America!


Why the Critics don't matter any more

Was a time when an examination of the situation would produce a well thought out consideration of facts that might come to a different conclusion.  That would be the critic's job.
I have come to the conclusion that critics today of almost everything must now be ignored and perhaps pilloried.
Critics of the war in Iraq who are continually being countered by the facts of the situation, elections, positive poll numbers, jobs, security increases.  Forget them.
Critics of the NSA CIA wiretaps who on one hand jump up and down about the constitution and at the same time would destroy the President if an attack took place, he had the ability to stop it and didn't because of constraints.  Ignore them.
Critics of Government response to: Katrina, Rita, Wilma, Tsunami, Earthquake, and a hundred other things.  When was it mandated that government was supposed to be the Red Cross?  Government are supposed to protect the citizens from outside invasion or threat.  All this other stuff is phony grandstanding.  Plug your ears.
This doesn't mean that there isn't a right to question or react.  It does mean you must be honest about your motives.  The critics today all have agendas. 
I just want to ask the question.  Where is the line, particularly in national security and the war, which when crossed no longer is partisan criticism but becomes treason?  I guarantee, there is a line.  Where is it?  
It's time to ask the question because for some of us, that line is very close to being crossed and there will no longer be answers given to critics, but questions about what constitutes treason.
Some on the very far left have already crossed the line.  Careful out there.

Friday, December 16, 2005

The Plague of the Perfectionist

I didn't write this, but it's so good, I needed to pass it along.  It's written by Jim Paluch who owns a training firm. 

Are you putting unreasonable demands on yourself by setting the bar too high? Do you expect too much from your children, spouse or employees? Do you feel that the world is exerting pressure on you from every angle? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you just might be a perfectionist.

The perfectionist often sets very high standards for him/herself and others that are impossible or often frustrating to accomplish. While lofty standards are a good thing, they can become a barrier rather than an aid to completing a task, running a company or nurturing a relationship. Whether you are a perfectionist or you are dealing with a perfectionist, it’s good to realize the balance necessary for getting the desired results without experiencing the pitfalls of perfectionism.

The healthy balance between high expectations and finding reasonable results involves the desire to excel and take pleasure from putting in extraordinary efforts without feeling compelled to be perfect. It is found in setting high standards while accepting personal limitations for yourself and those around you so everyone feels good about a job well done.

Perfectionism takes a nasty turn, however, when it involves excessively demanding standards that consistently cause stress, unhappiness and criticism. When something has to be perfect to be appreciated or accepted, we stall progress and very often squelch the enthusiasm and satisfaction associated with the task. Sometimes perfectionists are actually less effective because they fret about mistakes, worry about slow progress, and try too hard to get it perfect.

I was caused to think about this topic when I received a fun email from one of my friends this week. I was challenging him to follow his ability to share great ideas and to start writing a book . . .

"Oh how I'd love to write but at this stage of my life and financial position I think it would be difficult. I think there are enough starving artists out there. I think my family would suffer too much. I think it takes me too long to write 1500 words. I think the best story is yet to happen. I think I'm too much of a perfectionist.

"I think that even if it's not yet the best story ever it could only get better. I think I could write a few words a day. Maybe I think too much."

"The greatest enemy of a good plan is the dream of a perfect plan." - Prussian General Karl von Clausewitz, Vom Kreig, 1832

His response was humorous but I thought, “He should just do it. Why not write an introduction and then one paragraph at a time!” As the perfectionist has a strong need to avoid mistakes, the innovator goes for it, takes a shot and then makes it right. So what if writing a book takes a year or two or three to complete; it is an exciting process worth every minute of effort. Even if it's never published and sold, it is an accomplishment to enjoy. As I was writing my first book, I just wanted to create a story that was meaningful. The words were far from perfect and would go through many rounds of edits before the world would read them, but the story came alive because I allowed the words to “dump” from my heart and mind onto the computer keyboard. It was after the creation was finished that each book became polished and groomed into a finished piece. If I had been concerned that every sentence was perfect before I moved on to the next I would have certainly written one chapter of one book and that would have been it!

I have found the same to be true working with people or building relationships. When we trust our instincts and talents and those of others, then we can accomplish great things. Set high standards, set great challenges and strive for the best, but remember “perfection” is a prescription for unrecognized success. Expect the best from yourself and others and exercise patience all along the journey as you find ways to achieve it.

- Jim Paluch



Ten Top Signs Your a Perfectionist

1. You can't stop thinking about a mistake you made.

2. You are intensely competitive and can't stand doing worse than others.

3. You either want to do something "just right" or not at all.

4. You demand perfection from other people.

5. You won't ask for help if asking can be perceived as a flaw or weakness.

6. You will persist at a task long after other people have quit.

7. You are a fault-finder who must correct other people when they are wrong.

8. You are highly aware of other people's demands and expectations.

9. You are very self-conscious about making mistakes in front of other people.

10. You noticed the error in the title of this list.

Source: The BBC News Online



A man would do nothing, if he waited until he could do it so well that no one would find fault with what he has done."