Friday, February 29, 2008

Straight Key Century Club

I'm getting closer and closer to putting K4JSU back on the air. My friend Joe, WA4ONV, told me about the relatively new Straight Key Century Club. We are definitely talking "retro" here. But when all the lights go off, the satellites get shot down, the hard drives fried, there will still be CW, "continuous wave", to keep us all in touch.

I know that's a great relief to all of you.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

No Sympathy in this Quarter for Microsoft

Yesterday, the WSJ had a front page article on the icy reception that the European Union's anti-trust chief, Neelie Kroes, is giving to Microsoft's announcement that it is sharing a good bit of its code on the internet.

I have no brief for the EU and its unelected bureacracy generally, but in this case I have no sympathy for Microsoft. (Does anyone, really?) I have to deal with its clunky, complicated, and crash-prone (at least 3 times a day) software each business day. In addition to being difficult to use directly, it does not play well with other software, especially the core contact software we use, TimeMatters. It's really junk, really, really junk.

Go to it, Mrs. Kroes.

Sunday, February 24, 2008


Why? No, seriously: why?

Recent Moments in Honor's Life

Here she is pretending to be "Doctor Honor". She is so copying exactly what her big brother does with the stethoscope. Maybe she'll grow up to be like Aunt Mary!
In these two pics she is dressed up in her party dress because she's hanging out at her little friend Paisley's first birthday party!

And here is a photo of her precious little shoes before she gets them all scuffed up. They look so "there's no place like home", don't you think?
And lastlty you see a picture that really captures her spirit. What a feisty and fun young lady she is!

Wow, Obama's Good!

Look at the exchange of letters between Obama and McCain about a bipartisan effort for election finance reform. Does this not sound a bit like the old nasty McCain and the smooth, unflappable, articulate Obama? The Repubs really have a fight on their hands!

Oh, Marvin, Give Us a Break!

World Magazine has gone to twice monthly issues instead of weekly issues, as of January 1. The idea is to cut down on postage costs while delivering a larger magazine. I think the editorial quality may have an increased as well, if for no other reason than that the editors must range a little further into the World to get their content and some diversity is added. As a reader of the magazine, I see it as a good change.

But Marvin Olasky, the Editor in Chief and a Huckabee supporter, is still Marvin Olasky. In reviewing Faith in the Halls of Power: How Evangelicals Joined the American Elite, he questions, among other things, how

broadly [the author] defines evangelicals . . . it's not clear if and how many of his leaders put Christ above kudos. For example, his Bush-related list includes Karen Hughes, an elder in the decidedly unevangelical Presbyterian Church USA.

Mrs. Hughes is a member of Westlake Hills Presbyterian Church in Austin.

Saturday, February 23, 2008


It looks bad . . .

but turns out, everyone is ok.



Picnic Day


"Clay Jars Bearing Christ"

Carol and I were in Austin last weekend and we attended the Sunday Morning 9:30AM service at Westlake Hills Presbyterian Church with Walter and Morgan (Macon's family was recuperating at home).

Peter Haas, an associate minister whom we met last year at the PGF meeting in Houston, delivered the sermon. It was very, very good. The church posts recordings of its ministers' sermons, and this one is up. Peter does a fine job of explicating the scripture in question, 2 Corin. 4: 7 - 12, and then he follows on with readings from entries in his journal that he made during a week of his ministry several years ago. Those readings moved me powerfully.

Yesterday at our Men's Breakfast downtown, Austin asked me to outline Peter's sermon, and we had a lively discussion of the scripture.


The House of Representatives refused to extend the Foreign Espionage Act, provoking a letter from the Attorney General stating that the country "is now more vulnerable to terrorist attack and other foreign threats" because lawmakers failed to act.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Democrats denounced the letter, saying the administration is "further politicizing the debate" even as it refuses to allow the extension of existing authority while the House and Senate work out differences on a complex new bill.

The Senate had passed the Bill in question, 68 to 29. McCain voted for that Bill. Obama and Clinton did not vote. (Florida's Democratic Senator Bill Nelson voted for it.)

The main issue seems to be whether to confer retroactive immunity from lawsuits on telephone companies who cooperate with the government. The Senate version confers that immunity.

A day or two before the Senate vote, Senators Dodd and Feingold presented an amendment to strip the Bill of the retroactive immunity provision. That amendment was defeated, but Obama voted for it. Clinton did not vote.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Francis Collins at Stanford

Frances Collins, the director of the Human Genome Project, spoke at an InterVarsity sponsored event at Stanford recently.

“As we study the DNA of our organisms, we are looking at the language of God,” Dr. Collins said. You may care to read the whole thing.

Regarding Collins' religious views, this is from the Wiki bio, to which I link in the first link above:

In Collins' book The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief (published in July 2006), he considers scientific discoveries an "opportunity to worship." In his book Collins examines and subsequently rejects creationism and Intelligent Design. His own belief system is Theistic Evolution (TE) which he prefers to term BioLogos. BioLogos rests on the following premises: (1) The universe came into being out of nothingness, approximately 14 billion years ago, (2) Despite massive improbabilities, the properties of the universe appear to have been precisely tuned for life, (3) While the precise mechanism of the origin of life on earth remains unknown, once life arose, the process of evolution and natural selection permitted the development of biological diversity and complexity over very long periods of time, (4) Once evolution got under way no special supernatural intervention was required, (5) Humans are part of this process, sharing a common ancestor with the great apes, (6) But humans are also unique in ways that defy evolutionary explanation and point to our spiritual nature. This includes the existence of the Moral Law (the knowledge of right and wrong) and the search for God that characterizes all human cultures throughout history.

We've looked at this before, especially by means of the link to the article by Cardinal Dulles, wherein he writes, in part:

Catholics who are expert in the biological sciences take several different positions on evolution. As I have indicated, one group, while explaining evolution in terms of random mutations and survival of the fittest, accepts the Darwinist account as accurate on the scientific level but rejects Darwinism as a philosophical system. This first group holds that God, eternally foreseeing all the products of evolution, uses the natural process of evolution to work out his creative plan. Following Fred Hoyle, some members of this group speak of the “anthropic principle,” meaning that the universe was “fine-tuned” from the first moment of creation to allow the emergence of human life.

A recent example of this point of view may be found in Francis S. Collins’ 2006 book, The Language of God. Collins, a world-renowned expert on genetics and microbiology, was reared without any religious belief and became a Christian after finishing his education in chemistry, biology, and medicine. His professional knowledge in these fields convinced him that the beauty and symmetry of human genes and genomes strongly testifies in favor of a wise and loving Creator. But God, he believes, does not need to intervene in the process of bodily evolution. Collins holds for a theory of theistic evolutionism that he designates as the BioLogos position.

Although Collins is not a Catholic, he approvingly refers to the views of John Paul II on evolution in the 1996 message to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. He builds on the work of the Anglican priest Arthur Peacock, who has written a book with the title Evolution: The Disguised Friend of Faith. He quotes with satisfaction the words of President Bill Clinton, who declared at a White House celebration of the Human Genome Project in June 2000: “Today we are learning the language in which God created life. We are gaining ever more awe for the complexity, the beauty, and the wonder of God’s most divine and sacred gift.”

Theistic evolutionism, like classical Darwinism, refrains from asserting any divine intervention in the process of evolution. It concedes that the emergence of living bodies, including the human, can be accounted for on the empirical level by random mutations and survival of the fittest.

But theistic evolutionism rejects the atheistic conclusions of Dawkins and his cohorts. The physical sciences, it maintains, are not the sole acceptable source of truth and certitude. Science has a real though limited competence. It can tell us a great deal about the processes that can be observed or controlled by the senses and by instruments, but it has no way of answering deeper questions involving reality as a whole. Far from being able to replace religion, it cannot begin to tell us what brought the world into existence, nor why the world exists, nor what our ultimate destiny is, nor how we should act in order to be the kind of persons we ought to be.

Monday, February 18, 2008

So long, and thanks for all the help!

Mom and Dad just left Austin for the M-I-A-Yo. We were sad to see them go, as they were so very helpful with Honor. Especially since I've been sick for what seems like months between allergies and colds.

So, thanks very much Mom and Dad!

We're so grateful for our folks: first Kellsey's mom helped with week 1, and my folks for week 2.

(And now, Dana will be arriving to help us make it through week three post Appendectomy.)

Saturday, February 16, 2008

New Camera

Remember when our old one was stolen? Bought a new Canon EOS Rebel off Ebay. Tried it out today. As Sean notes, I like shiny and new (to me) things!

Valentines Leftovers (from Dad to Mom)

Pulp Science Fiction

Hey! Uncle!

Hey!!!! UNCLE!

Look at me!

Kells did all the research and winning at Ebay. Naturally!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Really, Really Outrageous

Our Saudi "friends" attempt a number on the Brits. Thanks for the link, Glenn Reynolds. (And I hope Glenn is right.)

In Austin this Weekend

Carol and I are in Austin this weekend. In a way, we stepped out of our own whirlwind into two others! Right now I'm at Macon and Kellsey's house, all by myself. Macon is at work, Aidan is at pre-school, and Kellsey and Carol took Honor to a scheduled doctor's visit. In a few minutes, Walter will pick me up for lunch, and Morgan's mother, Mickie will be there! That will be fun. We just need the Sewells and Mike and Mary and it would be perfect. But it is still very, very good!

Macon picked me up at the airport yesterday and then we drove to meet Kellsey, Aidan, Honor, and Carol at a restaurant named "Fred's". Very, very Austin. Kind of run-down, but not really run-down. Not a bit of glitz. None. The waitresses wore black t-shirts that had messages on the back, such as, for example. "Fred Happens". (Fred must be a character.) It has an indoor restaurant, that looked a little like the outside of Shorties at home, but we ate outdoors under some oak trees and on picnic tables. The area had a big playground thing for the little kids, and there were a lot of them there with their moms and some dads, who were eating lunch too. It made my heart sing to see so many little children. It was a beautiful day, in the low 70s.

Aidan and Honor have grown, of course, since we saw them last. Aidan is three and seems very, very articulate for such a little one. Macon and Kellsey talk to him almost as if he were an adult, and that I think shows. They are pretty firm with him, and he is having growing pains. I admire them for the way they help him discipline himself, but it still breaks my heart to see him unhappy and their having to help him behave propertly. That's the grandparent in me, of course. I am proud of the way they deal with their children, and of course proud of them.

Walter and Morgan came to Macon and Kellsey's house for supper with us last night. They are waiting for the next shoe to fall on their adoption proceedings. Who else but the US government is standing in the way here, courtesy of our immigration "service". Really, really, the people who think the federal government has the answers should get a life. The same view that the "the Federal Government Saves", showing us how by building a nation top down in Iraq, is the same view that states that the main immigration solution is to keep people out, even if they are orphans from Ethiopia heading for middle-class couples in Austin. What puzzles me is how the Democrats, so critical of our involvement in Iraq and with the immigration mess, can turn around and promise that the Federal Government will solve the health care problem, the public education problem, and whatever else ails this country. We know who "saves" and it is not the government, Federal, State, Local.

See, I get time to rant.

Signing off for now.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Secretary of Defense Gates Speaks

Why isn't this man running for President? Thanks, Thomas P. M. Barnett. I think if I were recruiting for the kind of foreign service people the need for which Secretary Gates describes so convincingly, I would turn to the "dynasty families" (second, third, soon fourth generation missionaries), large and small, that I got a glimpse of as a result of my exposure to Africa Inland Mission through Mary's work.

Ready, Set, Go!

Mary accepted to Bryn.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

"Daddy, is this an adventure?!?"

More from the Stocks' newsletter:

* Kids Home * We had a great time with the kids over Christmas and early January, despite the unrest. They have a great attitude and took things in stride. At one point, Jodie, after we had hustled into the house to escape the chasing mob, asked, "Daddy, is this an adventure?!?"

By the way, these are the same Stocks that I mentioned last year in connection with the murder of missionaries in Kenya. Mary refers to the extended Stock family as a "dynasty family", of which there are several such families that extend out from Kenya.

Been There

Report from Pakistan

Paul and Pat Stock are missionaries in Pakistan and friends of the Lahmeyers. Van forwards us the Stocks' newsletter. Here is an excerpt from the latest:

Dr. Reginald freed Last month we wrote to our prayer partners who are on email with an urgent request for prayer for Dr. Reginald, a Pakistani Christian doctor friend, who was kidnapped by the Taliban on December 8th along with his Muslim driver. He is a skilled surgeon and the Director of the Christian Hospital in Bannu, an area where the Taliban have a stronghold. They were driven blindfolded for about 8 hours into the mountains bordering on Afghanistan. For 25 days they were kept in a windowless room and given poor food and dirty water. In spite of this neither of them became ill. Frequently Dr. Reginald was pressured to become a Muslim. Finally he asked, "Where in the Koran does it say to force people to convert to Islam?"

After that they changed their tactics and demanded that he write all donors to his hospital and ask for over a million dollars ransom. Under pressure he wrote the letter but assured them the money would not be sent. The letter was sent to Taliban headquarters. They recognized him as the doctor who had treated their wounded at various times. They wrote back telling his captors to release him. They delayed in obeying hoping to get ransom money. Amazingly, on Jan. 2nd the Taliban returned all personal effects they had taken from them and drove them back to the hospital gate, without receiving any ransom. Dr. Reginald said those 25 days with God were priceless. He had time to repent and to enjoy God's forgiveness and loving presence. He also had time to fully present the gospel to his Muslim driver who was greatly upset at what was being done to them in the name of Islam. Pray that the driver will come to saving faith. Pray their Taliban captors will start to doubt their own faith in the face of the strength and forgiveness they saw in Reginald. Pray for Dr. Reginald and his wife Dr. Rebecca as they give their testimony about this experience with others, and plan to continue their service at Banu Hospital.

Hello on Saturday morning!

Mary has three new posts up. What a treat! She had trouble sleeping Saturday night (where would she get that?), but that's our gain.

The last of the three posts describes her conversation with a seller at the Maasi market. It shows how she and the seller became people to each other, stepping out of the role of seller and buyer (which are fierce roles at that market, Mary no less than the Kenyan, I can tell you), over to that of person and person, and then back to buyer and seller but buyer and seller transformed. It reminds me of a story from my working for Jack Hunter, a fine lawyer from Raleigh, during the summer between my first and second years of law school.

Jack, a litigator who practiced "solo" (not really solo - he had a great legal secretary), had a case representing some black people who were injured when their car, traveling in rural Eastern NC, had a wreck when two mules ran across the highway in front of them. Letting one's mules loose was against the law, and my job was to drive to the tobacco growing area where this happened and find some witnesses. Jack said to get up early and see if I could find people going out into the fields, especially farmers, who might have seen or heard something.

He gave this advice: "Don't walk up to someone, introduce yourself as working for me in Raleigh, and start asking your questions. Greet the person in a friendly way, talk about the weather, talk about the crops, talk about the tractor, tell them your name, and begin to get into the question of the accident only after all of that."

OK. So here I am. I pull off the road in my car, when I see a farmer sitting on a tractor out in a field. I have on a coat and tie, wingtips, the uniform, you know. And I walk out between the tobacco rows, and as I approach the farmer (he has seen me, by this time), I say something like "Hello, beautiful day. Has it been this way all week? . . . . This tobacco looks really healthy (!) . . . Have you started picking any of the leaves yet? . . . Etc." He joins in the conversation. He in his overalls sitting on his tractor, I in my city clothes, both talking like we were just standing there waiting for a bus. Then, finally, I ask him if he heard about the accident. "Yessir, you mean that car full of n******s than ran into those mules?" "Yes, sir," I said, "it's too bad, because of couple of those folks were hurt and have been in the hospital." And then we spoke in earnest. (His use of the N word was not unfriendly. This was a different world in 1969, at least in that place.)

What I was trying to find out is if he knew that the mules belonged to Farmer X, which he did, and whether he had ever seen them running loose before. The second question was important, because there was no absolute liability standard for an owner whose livestock causes an accident. There needed to be some proof that the owner did not do a good job of keeping his property fenced, and evidence that people had seen these mules running loose before was admissible on the subject of the owner's negligence.

Anyway, the farmer was forthcoming, courteous, and helpful. But as he had to prepare his fields to receive the tobacco seed to have any hope of a good crop, I had to show him a human being behind the suit, a human being who recognized another human being who happened to be sitting on a tractor, wearing bib-overalls.

This "cutting to the chase" idea, so popular with people who measure out hours and minutes as if they are precious gold (see the second of Mary's new posts) is really not so effective and efficient, whether one is Nairobi, in eastern North Carolina, or, for that matter, in Miami.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Lighting Up Africa

From Popular Mechanics.

Mini-Cars: Being Smart About It

The WSJ is now free in substantial part. Tuesday's issue had an article on mini-cars either already on or soon to hit the market. These cars are/will be great on gas. But they will also be a little pricey, if one is looking for some style. Finally, there is this:

The factor that is perhaps most likely to keep potential buyers away from mini cars is the worry that they won't hold up in a crash, particularly if they collide with a larger vehicle. A spokesman with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says the death rate for mini cars is 106 fatalities per million registered vehicles, more than double the 41 fatalities per million for very large models like the Lincoln Town Car.

Makers of small cars say the cars are designed to be as safe as possible in collisions. Smart's [Smart fortwo pictured above] marketing tackles the crashworthiness question directly. Smart dealerships even have the fortwo's frame on display without body panels to show the "safety cell" where passengers sit and energy-absorbing bumpers called "crash boxes." [Also above. I know it's confusing with actually two pictures above, but the crash box is in the picture without the driver.] The Smart hasn't been crash-tested yet, but the Insurance Institute plans to do so in the next month or two.

The Insurance Institute says cars in this category aren't good choices for drivers concerned mainly about safety. There are several fuel-efficient larger cars that offer far better occupant protection with only a small decrease in fuel efficiency.

"All cars have gotten safer, but you can't get away from the laws of physics," says Adrian Lund, president of the institute. "There's just less car there to protect you."

It seems to me that if you are making an economic analysis, where you would, of course, include price and gasoline costs over the useful life of the car, you must also assign a cost factor to the mortality and injury risk that you assume when you buy a car.

Maybe that would be all the market needed to deal with this question - requiring that on the sticker, there be a cost assigned to the mortality/injury risk, just as we now require some sort of MPG rating.

Beyond that, it may be that heavier cars ought to bear some extra expense burden, maybe in the form of taxes of some sort, in addition to the higher gasoline costs which they already face, to take into consideration the risk those cars present to others. Perhaps their manufacture should simply be limited. I know this sounds like anti-market heresy, but there you are. I'm still a Democrat.

Meanwhile, I'm driving the larger automobiles.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Good Commentary on the Republican Infighting (and some of my own)

From Instapundit. (Thanks, Carol.)

From what I read about McCain's abrasive personality, I think the real key here is that he ticked so many people off during his long political career. George Smathers, the Senator from FL from 1952 to 1970, told me once, "Paul, it really doesn't matter what people do to you, as long as they are nice about it."

I know that sounds a little extreme, but it captures the importance of being nice to people, even when you disagree with them and even if they are not very nice to you. Smathers was a terrific politician and, for the law firm and himself, a great rain-maker. He was also a crafty individual who loved money, power, and adulation, and was able to acquire a measure of each that few people are able to acquire (or care to acquire).

My sense is that McCain never learned that lesson. Maybe his crankiness helped him survive the Hanoi Hilton, but maybe it made it tougher. But certainly the Senate was not the place for being unkind, and now the chickens are coming home to roost, perhaps to the detriment of the country.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008


From the hospital room:


A blessing and a curse in general. The past 36 hours: a blessing.

Kellsey is now appendix free!


Sunday AM Kells started feeling a bit icky, but being the trooper that she is, she thought she'd just shake it off. So Sunday afternoon she took Aidan for a walk in the stroller, and carried Honor in the bjorn. After that walk, she had a pain in the right side of her abdomen, but thought she'd just pulled a muscle.

Monday, around 4pm, I got the call at work, "Come home. We need to go to the ER." Walter, who was about 5 ft away at the time was willingly shang-hi-ed into following me home to stand watch on the kiddos.

Monday night she went into surgery around midnight and we hope that we'll be able to go home this afternoon.

No picking up anything heavier than 10lbs for 4 weeks, though. Which includes 20lb Honor.

So that's a bummer. But Honor can sleep on the floor: it's carpeted.

MarsEdit Testing

Yes, I realize I've kind of fallen off the map in terms of posting. So I'm experimenting with a blogging program for the Mac called MarsEdit.

Among other things, I can create/edit posts offline, and I can post here, Undependent, a personal blog I'm experimenting with over at VOX, and an internal company blog.

Daring Fireball, one of my super favorite blogs, digs MarsEdit.

And since I can try it out for 30 days with no charge, seems like a good deal to me.

Monday, February 04, 2008

"Deep Seeded"?

I saw this phrase used in a writing recently. The writer was referring to something deeply felt. I had always thought the phrase was "deep-seated". I am correct, apparently, and the writer is mistaken.

Steve Peifer and the Policeman

I have posted before on Steve Piefer and his ministry in Kenya. Among the things he has done is to have organized a school lunch program for many schools in Kenya. During the recent troubles, getting food to the schools has been a big problem. He reported this to those of us on his email list:

We have been trying hard to get the food to the schools. Margaret, the Kenyan woman who administers the School Lunch program, asked me to go with her to Muchorui, one of the nine schools we have just been able to add to the feeding program; we are up to 34 schools and 15,000 thousand children fed a day. Thank you for what you have done.

She asked me to go with her because, although she is adept at dodging riots and problems, there was one policeman that she couldn’t get past. He was insistent that she couldn’t pass his checkpoint without giving him nine bags of maize.

I’ve had several bad experiences with police in Kenya. Once I was delivering food and they told us they were going to arrest us; they explained that we would need to drive them to the police station, where they would process our paperwork, and then I would drive them back to their checkpoint. Then, I would drive myself back to the jail so they could put me in jail. Another time I picked up a drunken police officer who amused himself by pointing his rifle at the back of my head.

I wasn’t anxious to do this. But sometimes you just need to have a showdown with the worst of yourself and face your fears. I went with her and met the policeman.

Policeman: You must give me nine bags before you are permitted to pass.
Me: Why?
Policeman: Because you have stolen it.
Me: Here is the bill of sale.
Policeman: I will not allow you to pass until you pay me nine bags of maize.
Me: I will do it if you do one thing for me.
Policeman: What is it?
Me: You must go with me to the school and pick out 40 children who will not be fed because of what you have done. You tell me which 40 do not deserve food, and I will give you the bags.
Policeman: I will do it.
At this point, he stopped and said `I cannot make that choice.’
Me: Neither can I.
Policeman: You can go.
So we went and the children were so happy. Prices have increased so much that many of these kids will only eat what is provided at the school.

(Want to help? Here's the link to Steve's website that deals with the food program.)

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Another RVA Correspondent

A dorm parent's "Postcard from Kenya."

And word from Mary, if you didn't already see it.

More on Convervatives and McCain

It is understandable to lament the absence of conservative purity, but ahistorical to suggest that any recent Republican president would have met any of the litmus tests now demanded, given the dependency of the middle class on entitlements and its touchy-feely worldview. Victor Davis Hanson

But the other point of view.

MORE: Good article on McCain in the conservative Weekly Standard.

EVEN MORE: Victor Davis Hanson discusses each candidate. Did you know that both McCain and Thompson are cancer survivors? Thompson had/has lymphoma. He has a beautiful wife. I didn't know we had so much in common.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Me too; this time from Kenya!

8 things I'm passionate about:

1. Seeking first the Kingdom of God
2. My family
3. My friends
4. New things and new ideas (I am my father's daughter)
5. Kenya
6. My students
7. Beautiful places
8. Cooking for my family and friends and students (I am my mother's daughter, too)

8 things I want to do before I die:

1. Fall in love and get married
2. Run a marathon
3. Become a doctor
4. Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro
5. See more of Africa
6. Have more adventures
7. Hang out more with my wonderful family
8. Pray more

8 things I say often:

1. Hi, how are you? or Habari?
2. I'm fine, thank you. or Mzuri.
3. Hodee (this is the kikuyu way to say "Hi, is anyone home? I'm coming in!")
4. Hello my wonderful students.
5. Hey guys, please be quiet.
6. I love coffee.
7. I'm tired.
8. Oh my.

8 [books I've recently read] (I changed this one since I really don't have a TV to watch here):

1. The Great Gatsby, by F. S. Fitzgerald (this one for English class)
2. Busman's Honeymoon, by Dorothy Sayers
3. When the Crocodile Eats the Sun, by Peter Godwin
4. The 2 1/2 Pillars of Wisdom, by Alexander McCall Smith
5. The Kiterunner (can't remember the guy who wrote it--but it's the one you're thinking of)
6. Left to Tell, by Immaculee Ilibagiza
7. Have his Carcase, by Dorothy Sayers (a prequel to #2)
8. Middlemarch, by George Eliot

Songs I could listen to over and over (or the most listened to songs on my itunes) (this would be a good playlist formy funeral, by the way--not that I'm planning on that happening anytime soon, of course--I've still got to do those 8 things listed above :)

1. Love and Peace or Else, U2
2. All These Things I've Done, The Killers
3. Psalm 131, Waterdeep
4. Vivir Sin Aire, Mana
5. Blessed To Be a Witness, Ben Harper and Ladysmith Black Mambazo
6. Into the West, Annie Lenox (LOTR soundtrack)
7. Blessed Be Your Name, Matt Redman
8. At the Moment, Stavesacre

8 Things that attract me to my best friends:

1. They're interested in really getting to know me
2. I'm interested in really getting to know them
3. They're passionate about some or all of the things listed above
4. We can hang out and talk, and especially laugh, for hours, peferctly content
5. There's something a little different about them--it's hard to say exactly what it is; I had a friend who called this "mustard"--something that definitely runs counter to the mainstream or expected
6. Their lives aren't all about themselves
7. They're not too picky
8. I feel completely at ease in their presence

8 Things I have been reminded of this past year:

1. God's faithfulness
2. God's mercy and grace
3. How wonderful my parents are
4. How blessed we are in the US to have a democratic system which really does work quite well
5. I love learning
6. I love new experiences
7. I love helping people
8. I love not always having a schedule or structure in my days

8 People I think should do "8":

See post below.

Kellsey Tagged Me

OK. Let's see here:

8 Things I'm Passionate About

1. Carol
2. My family
3. Being a Christian
4. Having time to myself
5. Order
6. New things and new ideas
7. Carol's cooking
8. My friends

8 Things I Want to Do Before I Die

1. Go camping in the Blue Ridge Mountains during the Spring
2. See a jaw dropping miracle and know that's what I'm seeing
3. Read the Great Books
4. Play golf well enough not to be embarrased
5. Learn to cook
6. Speak Spanish
7. Write something useful or entertaining or both
8. Get my work done

8 Things I say Often

Not sure here what to do. Does this include what one would say to himself and not to others? Or only to others? I will include both. And as there are two Pauls, I am not sure for whom I should be talking, so I will include both here as well.

1. Carol, you are a marvelous cook person!
2. Thank you so much, Lord! Thank you!
3. If I get under my desk, will they be able to find me?
4. Where did I put (a) my keys, (b) the remote, (c) my wallet, (d) my watch (e) etc.
5. Shoot!
6. I'm sorry. That was Bad Paul. I'm Good Paul. I try to keep Bad Paul in the closet but he will get out, especially toward the end of the work week. So, on his behalf, I'm sorry.
7. God help us! (I inherited this from Juanita.)
8. I'm going to bed.

8 TV Shows I Recently Watched

I don't watch much TV. I saw most of the NFL playoff games. I saw a couple episodes of Terminator. I'm watching Walter and Morgan's set of the first two seasons of West Wing. That's it.

Songs I Could Listen to Over and Over

Very few, actually, especially on an over and over basis. Very few on Kellsey's list ring a bell at all. I'm just not in the loop. Sad, isn't it? My mind goes to arias and other classical pieces, some songs from the sixties, and a few Crash Dog pieces. But beyond that I strike out here. Sorry.

Things that Attract Me to My Best Friends.

1. They put up with me. This is a great mystery and, actually, a jaw dropping miracle.
2. They have a positive outlook.
3. They ask me about my family. And its OK if they tell me about their's first. But they do ask about my family.
4. They agree with me reasonably and disagree with me reasonably.
5. They take my belief in God and his Son and the Holy Spirit seriously, even if they reject those beliefs totally.
6. They are humble and they are self-confident.
7. If they are younger, they treat me with a certain deference. That doesn't mean that a younger person needs to agree with me, of course.
8. They are not so "other directed" in the Riesman sense. They have ideas that run against the popular culture, not for the sake of running against it but because those ideas are well grounded. Their house is built on the rock.

8 Things I have Learned (or been reminded of) this year.

Already? Its just been a month.

1. Bad Paul and Good Paul are the same, and I am responsible for both of them. Sigh.
2. I have to delegate, but in delegating I cannot disconnect from the task. Delegation is not getting rid of responsibility. It transforms responsibility. Shoot!
3. Reading the Bible every day is just so, so helpful.
4. If you eat too much, you gain weight.
5. I need one day off a week. Period. Let's see what to call it? Sabbath maybe.
6. Carol is so beautiful.
7. I don't deserve these blessings. God is tough, but God is merciful and a font of Grace. I haven't the slightest idea why. He simply defines love. Jaw dropping.
8. I can't keep up with things.

8 People I think should do "8"

1. Those on Kellsey's list
2. Sean
3-8 Guys from Friday morning breakfast. (Let me know if you will do this, and I will add you to the list of folks who can post on this blog.)

Thanks, Kellsey!

Friday Morning Bible Study Breakfast at Grunberg's

Left to right: Brad, Austin, Paul, Sam and Russ. (Missing Hank, Rick, and Rob.)

Friday Night Under the Lights

Last night Carol and I went to Milander Stadium to watch the girls soccer team from Miami Springs Senior High play Lourdes in the Class 6A Regional Tournament. Last year Springs lost a heartbreaker to Lourdes in the same tournament when Lourdes tied them in the waning minutes of the game and then beat them on penalty kicks. But last night, Springs blasted Lourdes 3-0, two of the scores being made by Abby Carr, my friend Austin's younger daughter.

This is the first time I had seen Abby play, but through Austin, the community newspaper, the Miami Herald and word of mouth from others, I have been following her soccer career for several years. Only a sophomore and actually a year younger than her grade level, she has already achieved recognition county and state-wide as an outstanding soccer player. Last year she was All-Dade, first team - as a freshman. So last night I got a chance to see her.

Amazing. I wish I had the knowledge of soccer to be able to describe what I saw accurately, but I'll do the best I can.

The first thing I noticed about her is her field presence. She doesn't seem to spend any unnecessary energy. From her position as a forward, she seems to know just where to be on the field and moves there quietly and efficiently, watching the play intently. Then quickly she moves to the point where she thinks the ball will travel, and usually gets control of the ball and takes it or sends it where she wants it to go a good part of the time. And she moves with remarkable fluidity and grace, again with evident purpose, intelligently.

Her first score came off a foul committed against her as she was driving toward the goal. Her penalty kick sailed over the heads of the wall and then the goalie: a perfect arc into the net. The second kick was a free kick from the edge of the penalty box. As Abby again drove for a score, the goalie dove for the ball right at the edge of the penalty box, and as the goalie fell, taking Abby down with her, the goalie touched the ball with her hand just outside the box, so it was a hand ball.

It must have seemed to the Lourdes players that what followed would be a penalty kick, but it was a free kick. In other words, the refs would not stop the action until the defense got into position as the refs would do on a penalty kick. Maybe it looked like a penalty to the Lourdes players. But Abby astutely and immediately put the ball right down on the ground and kicked it into the goal. The Lourdes team was scattered all over the field and wasn't ready. Shame on them, but it reflected the sort of smart move that characterizes Abby's play.

That second goal broke the back of the other side - the third point scored by the daughter of the Miami Springs Mayor was very near the end of the game and icing on the cake. Abby had a number of other shots on goal that showed her quickness and phenomenal accuracy.

Carol and I sat with Austin in the stands. The first half of the game, we were on the Lourdes side, because it put us at the end of the field where Abby was playing. Behind us were several men, watching the game and commenting, Lourdes fans. They started talking about Abby's play not long after the game started - she was playing right in front of us there. And their remarks were full of respect and admiration. The three of us heard those remarks of course. What a joy the whole thing must be for Austin.

It was fun to be at Milander Stadium again. This is the field for Hialeah High School, my alma matter (Class of '64), and I saw a bunch of high school games there. This also the home field for Miami Springs Senior High, so we saw many more football games there, as our children moved through that school. (But never soccer games, curiously.) Milander looks much the same, except the field is now some sort of astroturf. Austin said that the ball rolls faster of that surface.

It didn't seem to bother Abby.

Friday, February 01, 2008

I've Been Tagged

My friend Katy has tagged me. So, here are my things of 8:

8 Things I am passionate about:
1. The Trinity
2. Scripture
3. My husband and children
4. The rest of my family
5. My friends
6. Rich and full stories
7. Helping soon-to-be-new-moms get ready for their babies
8. Fuzzi Bunz and Bum Genius 2.0 All-in-One Diapers

8 Things I want to do before I die...
1. See my children grow up
2. get the toddler totes I designed actually made and maybe sold
3. Go to Italy with my husband on a romantic getaway
4. Sleep until I can sleep no more, instead of waking up at 5:15 every morning with my daughter
5. Paint every room in my house a different color
6. Grow into a more disciplined spiritual life
7. Maybe get my counseling license...but I am not really sure that I REALLY want that....we'll have to wait and see
8. I can't think of anything else here....ummmmm, more nutella?

8 Things I say often...
1. Good job!
2. Stop Whining and use your words nicely please
3. I completely understand
4. I love you so
5. I love you even when I am angry or frustrated
6. All ahoo **
7. I'm sorry
8. I forgive you

(Sheesh! Can you tell I am the mother of a 3 year old?)
** this one is because I am on book 15 out of 20 of the Aubrey/Maturin series--by patrick o'bryan--a british naval historical fiction series based in the Napoleonic Era.

8 TV Shows I have recently watched...
1. Stargate Atlantis
2. Flash Gordon
3. Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (Don't know if I'll stick with this one or not)
4. Backyardigans (a Nick Jr. show)
5. Blue's Clues
6. Man, with the writers on strike this is it, although usually I would be watching Grey's Anatomy, Lost, and maybe Private Practice as well

8 Songs I could listen to over and over...
1. Thanksgiving--George Winston on piano
2. A Woman's Work--Kate Bush
3. Homesick--The Kings of Convenience
4. How to Save a Life--the Fray
5. I'll Fly Away--as done by Alison Kraus
6. Resplendent--BIll Mallonee and the Vigilantes of Love
7. Redemption Day--Sheryl Crow
8. Don't Give Up--Peter Gabriel

8 Things that attract me to my best friends...
1. love of Jesus
2. genuineness
3. vulnerability
4. honesty
5. self-awareness
6. laughter
7. healthy boundaries
8. a deep appreciation of the silly things in life

8 Things I have learned (or been reminded of) this past year...
1. Parenting is it's own spiritual discipline
2. God loves me deeply
3. God is patient, so so patient
4. the importance of laughter, especially when you'd rather scream
5. the importance of washing cloth diapers by the second day (and not letting them sit for too long...phew!)
6. how much of a rest it is for my soul to sit down and immerse myself in a good book
7. That I am not enough for anyone else, even for my children (or perhaps especially!)
8. That I am not responsible for how others respond and can only change myself and my reactions

8 People I think should do "8"
1. Macon
2. Paul
3. Carol
4. Mary
5. Walter
6. Scott
7. Lindsay C.
8. Emilie W.

Another Florida Election Scandal!

I had earlier reported that I had changed by mail my registration from Democrat to Republican, so that I could vote in the Florida Republican primary. However, when I arrived to vote on Tuesday, the voter roll there still showed me to be a Democrat and nothing could be done. So I voted as a Democrat.

Intellectually, I was disappointed. But in my heart . . .

McCain vs. Conservatives

I'm glad to see, finally, that some conservatives in the blogosphere are questioning the doom and gloom attitude of their movement regarding McCain. (See various recent posts and links on Instapundit.)

Having been a voter for 40+ years, I can tell you that the Republican Conservative movement only once had a Presidential candidate who won, and that was Reagan. And during that time, they only had one other Presidential nominee, Barry Goldwater. In fact, start at the end of WWII and you still have to wait until Reagan to get a conservative in the White House. And I would suggest that the people elected him more on the basis of his communication skills and the weakness of the Democratic nominees than on ideology.

What hubris that the conservatives believe that they somehow own the Republican party and that now its been stolen. They never did. They never will. I like this comment to which Glenn Reynolds linked. I think it summed up what the conservative movement needs to do.