Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Not Your Dentist's Drill Bit

The WSJ awarded it's annual Innovation Gold Award to a company called Vidacare. Vidacare developed a device to introduce fluids into the vascular system where the subject's veins have collapsed. The device is a hollow drill bit which, for example, an emergency medical technician on a call might use on a patient in desperate need of an IV, but unable otherwise to have one introduced. The EMT drills into a bone of the patient (the tibia) and introduces the medicinal substance into the marrow through the drill bit. The marrow, as I understand it, is a very effective portal to the bloodstream.

This is the path to the WSJ article itself, but I'm not sure it's available directly. But I think you can access the article by way of the Vidacare site or simply read about the device on that site, although the description there appears to be untouched by any English major within several miles.

Those crazy NPR folks

Dear friends who listen to NPR and think that they're hearing "news." If you'd like to know what is happening in the world, you need to also listen to Rush Limbaugh. Between NPR and Rush, you should be fine.

NPR doesn't yell, Rush does. That's the main difference between the two. They both are more interested in you coming around to their ideological point of view than anything else.

If you have the same ideological views the radio shows can be very entertaining, but let's not pretend anymore that they aren't just the same.

Personally, I don't listen to either of them. I get my news via the internets and listen to podcasts in the car. Sometimes I also listen to that crazy Rock And Roll that the Kids are all talking about.

Monday, September 29, 2008

I would have voted against it too.

In her speech before the vote [on the bail-out bill], Pelosi said the Bush administration's policies were ``built on budgetary recklessness, on an anything-goes mentality, with no regulation, no supervision and no discipline in the system.'' From Boomberg.com, here.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Finished McCullough's "John Adams"

Simply terrific! (But I just hated to read of John and Abigail's deaths. They had become dear friends whom I admired deeply.) I'm going to go back and quote some passages in future posts.

Now on to volume one of Dumas Malone's six volume Thomas Jefferson biography Jefferson the Virginian.

And also, eventually, to other books that McCullough praises in the Acknowledgements section at the end of John Adams, including but limited to Elkins and McKitrick's The Age of Federalism.

Audio Tape to Digital File

Yahoo has a tech post on this. I have a lot of audio tape, including one of my dad talking about growing up in Atlanta. I would like to transcribe it to a digital file.

Has anyone done this with his or her tapes, or is the audio tape media too primordial for anyone even to be aware of a problem?

Friday, September 26, 2008

NPR: "The Largest Bank Failure in the History of the United States!!" What a Crock.

This was the lead this AM as I drove to the MetroRail station and turned on NPR. The reference to the "failure" was to Washington Mutual. When I arrived at work, there was the WSJ, reporting that JP Morgan had acquired WaMu assets and would keep the bank open under it's present name, etc.

A Depression style "bank failure" is when the depositors lose their money, and whatever emotion that the idea of a Depression era bank failure would generate is clearly the sort of emotion with which NPR wanted to freight this news. But that is simply a lie.

What is also interesting about JP Morgan's acquisition is that private monies, not public, are funding the acquisition of WaMu. The people who are getting hurt are the WaMu shareholders, the same people who would have profited from the run up of the stock over the years in which WaMu was making it toxic loans. There is a rough justice in all of that.

But it serves NPR's editorial purposes to add fuel to the current panic: the long-range purpose being to promote and expand an already intrusive national state and the short-range being to install a left-wing candidate (to the extent that we can know who, exactly, we would be getting here) in the White House.

I am simply through with NPR.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

"Cubanization" Redux

A recent University of Miami study . . . found that more Cubans had arrived [in Miami-Dade County] since 2000 than during the 1980 Mariel boatlift and the 1990s rafter crisis combined.

-from the lead article in today's Miami Herald.

Mary's Into Physics . . .

and Chemistry. I had two Cs in my academic career, from junior high through college: Chem 1 and Chem 2 at Duke. Carol made A+s in those courses. On the other hand, she did marry me, and I married her. So who's really the brighter?

Good on You, Bill!

Of course, there's no sub-text here.

Palin in Central Florida

60,000! And no rock concert.


Today I read the last section of the Old Testament in the Chronological Bible. Tomorrow begins the New. I have found this to be a very interesting and instructive way to read through the Bible in a year. No preacher would lack in sermon topics, no teacher subject matter, no writer ideas to essay if he or she simply took the 15 minutes a day to do this. No one could fail to be instructed and "built-up". It is full of surprising readings, and readings I warmly remember.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Elary at MCAD

Nancy's daughter Elary transferred from Miami-Dade College to the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, beginning there this fall. She's loving it. Here she is in the "3-D Shop" at MCAD.

We are proud of her!

Macon Rice Crocker and WWII

Macon Rice Crocker was the father of Carol and Mary Ann and the maternal grandfather of Macon, Walter, and Mary.

Mary Ann sent us this article from the Greensboro News-Record that lists those from the congregation of West Market UM Church who served in WWII, and Mr. Crocker is among them.

Mary Ann recalls a photo of Mr. Crocker in uniform, and she is going to look for it. I believe I have seen that photo, and we may have a copy as well. If we do, we will put it up.

Zac on the Intrepid

World Magazine had an article in its September 6/15 issue about Zac Sunderland, a 16 year-old who is sailing around the world solo, hoping to break the record for youngest, solo circumnaviagor.

He has a blog here.

Here's an article from Pacific magazine, with more photos. (I'm not sure about the World mag links these days.)

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Weight-Watching: It's a Minefield Out There

As I struggle with getting "back to goal," I must say that it is really a minefield out there. Let me tell you about my week:

1. Monday: someone brought in a wicker basket full of home-baked muffins and put them in our office kitchen. I couldn’t resist and ate two of them. I went to the Session meeting Monday night. There's a candy dish on the church secretary's desk. I ate two pieces.

2. I went to a meeting Tuesday night, and told the people not to fix any food for me, even though we were to have a “light” supper. I took the half of sandwich I carefully put aside at lunch that day. Some kind person baked a wonderful dish for everyone, not many people came to the meeting, and I felt obliged to eat something of it, along with my half-sandwich. It was not a low-point dish.

3. Wednesday night was another social occasion with dinner from a fine cook, who is a person comfortable being over-weight, and I was socially compelled to eat the dinner. It was so good I went back for seconds, as I was expected to do.

4. Friday was a “pot luck” luncheon at our firm. I, of course, was compelled to eat something from everyone’s dish, including the dessert dishes.

Notice the victim language that I use above in referring to my inability to control my eating. It’s everyone else’s fault!

On the other hand, I learned today that a lawyer I know and respected died recently of a heart attack. He was a good bit over-weight. He carried it very well, however. As did my dad, who died of heart disease too.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Dr. Bransford at Kijabe Hospital

I'm on the email list for Make Way Partners. I hear from its president Kimberly Smith who is in the Sudan doing a wonderful work. Below is the text of a recent email from her. It refers to Dr. Bransford and the hospital at Kijabi where RVA is also located. Note that Kimberly refers to Mary the Dinka woman, whom we met on our visit to the hospital in December of 2006.

September 8th, 2008

Dear Fellow Missioners,

One thing is for sure, life is never dull here in Sudan. We have tried to treat Kevin's malaria here at our medical clinic, but we have not been able to get him to a satisfactory condition. We made arrangements to medi-vac him to Kenya today. We praise God for our partnership with Dr. Dick Bransford of Bethany Kids at Kijabi hospital (the same doctor who saved Mary two years ago)! Dr. Bransford agreed to receive Kevin and care for him in his hospital in the beautiful Rift Valley. This is a double blessing because not only will Kevin receive excellent medical care, but it is also a beautiful sanctuary for restoration for both Kevin and Shalene.

As only God can do, another miracle came from all of this. Just 30 minutes before the medical flight was to arrive, a policeman came to the compound to tell us there was a woman who was going to throw her baby into the river. Apparently, her baby was born without an anus. The baby's name is Arek. Every time the child defecates, it is passes through her urinary tract. It is an absolute miracle that the infant has not already died of infection. The mother, Abet, had brought the baby to our medical clinic, but because we still do not have the funds for a sterile surgical unit, there was nothing our staff could do.

The mother and grandmother had lost all hope. The community was urging them to just throw the baby in the river for it was not good to waste food on her. The mother had finally succumbed to discouragement and was going to throw Arek into the river. Baby Elijah's father happened to be chatting with some police officers when he heard what was happening. He told them, “The Christians who saved my baby, will save this baby, too.” So the policeman came to us.

Quickly, I called Dr. Bransford, once again pleading for help. He readily agreed; he is always so excited to help the children! He and his wife Mimi have been faithful missionaries here for more than 30 years.

We ran to Abet to make sure she did not throw Arek into the river. She agreed to go to Kenya on our flight that was due to arrive in 15 minutes! Abet had never even been inside a vehicle, much less an airplane. She has never left her small village nor does she speak any language but her native tongue, Dinka. The only clothes she had was the one torn and dirty nightgown which she donned. We quickly ran her through the market where we bought a small suitcase and filled it with clothes and food for her and baby Arek.

Only God can reveal a dying baby, work out international travel (without documentation, visas, ID, or any kind of paperwork), a committed doctor to receive them, and provide clothes for travel, not to speak of changing a mother's heart, all in 30 minutes!

Please pray for Kevin's continued healing, for Baby Arek’s surgery to go well, and for the heart of Abet to be encouraged in Christ. I am sure she will receive much love and knowledge of Christ while she is with Dr. Bransford!

All in a day in Nyamlel!


Kimberly Smith

Make Way Partners
PO BOX 26367
Birmingham, AL 35260

Phone: 205.240.8597
Fax: 205.822.8091

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Two Big Days of Blessing

Today is Mary's birthday. It's been a challenging one for her.

Tomorrow is the 38th wedding anniversary of Carol and me.

Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.
Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.
Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

-Psalm 100 (KJV)

No, Joe. The Right VP Choice would have been Obama.

Biden almost gets it right.

But Hillary was the right choice for the Presidential nomination.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Weight Watching (and Fighting)

I started back to Weight Watchers today. I had laid off for about 7 weeks because of so much happening during the summer. And I added about 6 pounds. So back I go.

My weight-alarm system is my clothes. When things start getting tight, then I wake up. Several years ago, after I lost 25 pounds and then paid about $250 to alter my business suits to fit my slimmed down frame, I vowed that I would not pay the tailor to make them bigger again. Over the last few weeks things started getting tight, and back I went to WW today, weighing in at 164. (My goal weight is 155.)

I know what to do at this point in my life. I just have to summon up the discipline to do it: write everything down; count the points; do the walks; limit breads and confine them to whole wheat in all events; cut the sweets to a couple of days a week, one serving per day, and in reasonable portion; eat slowly; drink plenty of water; get a good night's sleep; hit the veggies hard; attend the WW classes each week; and get Carol to make the no-point soup.

I did pretty well today, for the first day back on the wagon. I'll do better tomorrow. I can lose a pound a week if I just try a little. In nine weeks I should be at goal.

There is a lady in our group who started in March of 2007. As of today she's lost 67 pounds. She still has more to lose, maybe another 15 or 20 pounds, but does she look good. I hadn't seen her in about 8 weeks, and I almost did a double take when she walked in. WW definitely can work.

(Sean is working at it too. Go, Sean!)

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Keeping Fido Secure

This article notes that a Long Island animal shelter is embedding chips in its animals when they are adopted. This looks like a privacy issue to me - not for the animal, of course, but for the family. It's a Brave New World.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Disturbing Hostage Video

McCain-Palin in Colorado Springs Yesterday

Pretty impressive.

Such Heartbreak!

"The photo on the front of today's Miami Herald of a father cradling his 5-year-old daughter in death -- one of the dozens of young victims of Hurricane Ike in Haiti -- has left me emotionally drained this morning. I feel utter sadness for Frantz Samedi, the helpless father; anger for his daughter, Tamasha, because the world allowed this to happen to her; and concern for my husband, the father at the other end of the lens who took the photo."

Read more.

Mario Loyola on Relations with Cuba

Here is the link to the article that Juan mentioned in his comment to my Saturday post.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Midwives for Haiti

At the dinner Carol and I attended last night, I met a contemporary who is a midwife in Vermont, combining her practice with that of teaching at the medical school there. She is involved in overseas medical mission work, and has gone on a number of mission trips, especially to Haiti.

She told me about "Larry" Mellon, an heir of the Mellon family, who turned his back on the finance world, entered medical school when he was in his 40s, and did pioneering medical mission work in Haiti.

Her more recent trips to Haiti have been through an organization called Midwives for Haiti.

(One of Hank's daughers is a nurse-midwife, now training in anesthesia, and has been on numerous medical mission trips to South America.)

Who Are Your Five?

About Sarah Palin, an admiring pundit writes:

She is so absolutely, remarkably, spectacularly ordinary. I think the magic of Sarah Palin speaks to a belief that so many of us share: the sense that we personally know five people in our immediate circle who would make a better president than the menagerie of candidates the major parties routinely offer.

This made me stop and think about who I know in my "immediate circle" who would make such a "better President." I can immediately identify several in my immediate family; easily five or more in the Maris and Sewell families; three or more at the law firm; several in my church; a couple at the Friday morning breakfast; a number of clients; and one or two internet friends. This is not hard.

None of them, however, is "absolutely, remarkably, spectacularly ordinary." And I don't think Sarah Palin is, either.

Rear Admiral George J. Dufek

I had the privilege and pleasure of sitting next to the widow of Admiral Dufek at a dinner last night. She told the table that Admiral Dufek was the first American on the South Pole. Nearly everyone did a sort of double-take and I think several weren't really sure. My dinner companion was, after all, in her mid-nineties, and, at the large table, maybe she really wasn't being heard very well.

I certainly knew better than to doubt her in the least, because last night was not the first time I had met her. She leaned over and whispered to me, "When you get home, just Google Dufek on the interent."

(I found this, for example.)

Admiral Dufek commanded "Operation Deepfreeze" in 1954. I was 9 years old at the time, and I remember reading about that expedition in a little newspaper that was distributed to elementary school children called My Weekly Reader. (The story was all over the media, in fact. I read about it in Life Magazine and in the National Geographic Magazine. It had the sort of public interest that the space program was to enjoy a decade or so later.) That article led me to read about one of Adm. Dufek's mentors, the Navy explorer Admiral Richard E. Byrd, whose bestselling book Alone, was part of our family's small library.

She and her family lived all over the world. At one point, she told me, they were stationed in Micronesia, and there they witnessed three Atom Bomb tests.

She also said that Adm. Dufek and John McCain's father were classmates at the Naval Academy, and that she knows Sen. McCain's mother well and, of course, knows the Senator. Mrs. Dufek mentioned the time when "John's father" ordered the bombing of Hanoi, knowing full well that his son was kept in prison there.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

I've More in Common with Sarah than I Thought

(From a campaign stop yesterday in Cedarburg, Michigan.)

Hello, on Saturday

Already posted three times, so you can tell how productive this Saturday is starting to look. However, I did get up early (surprise!), and hit two gas stations. I filled up the Pathfinder and three five gallon containers at the first; and filled up the 4Runner at the second. (Two gas stations? Maxed on on the pump with the credit card at the first.) All of this is getting ready for Ike, which now appears to be dipping south of us.

As I saw the new track for Ike laid along the east coast of Cuba, it occurred to me that Katrina-like devastation there might finally cave in the regime. I wonder if our planners are thinking about this? I don't wish any further hardship on the people of Cuba; I'm just speculating.

I also wonder if McCain's "change" plans include lifting the embargo on Cuba? If so, I doubt he would say so. Would Obama be more likely to do so? I doubt he would say so either. Raul Martinez, the former mayor of Hialeah, and someone I admire (in part because the Herald hates him) is running for Congress from our district as the Democratic nominee. (Martinez has always been a Democrat, which is rather anomalous in Miami-Dade.) Martinez has thrown his lot in with the younger generation of Cuban-Americans who are not scandalized by the idea of rationalizing our relationship with Cuba. (Notice that I did not say "liberalizing" our relationship; this liberal/conservative dichotomy continuously fails us . . . or betrays us. For example, tell me again what "compassionate conservatism" means, please?)

As to challenging the beltway mentality, it is finally apparent that we have both Presidential nominees advocating change. McCain is finally being seen as alongside Obama on this point, and he may be on the verge of completely co-opting that idea. At the risk of sounding partisan (who me?), I would suggest that the differences between the two include, but are not limited to, (that's lawyerspeak) this: McCain really means change or, if both really mean it, McCain has the backbone and experience to effect it. Where is Palin in all this, besides eye-candy (which, by the way, is a complete justification for her being nominated)? She is a profound gesture to traditional American values and to the (completely consistent) idea that women are entirely as capable as men, with the added feature of being able to produce the next generation, and should be at liberty to do what they are lead by the Spirit to do. (Let me, for example, talk to you about my daughter and daughters-in-law.)

More reasons to like Palin: (1) She's having trouble with her teenage daughter. (2) Her teenage daughter is having trouble with her. (3) Her husband looks like a great guy who has put up with a heck of a lot and still has a genuine looking smile.

I'm thinking about whether I want to see the 'Canes dismantled by the Gators today.


Well, I better get to work. I'm down at the office, looking at the end-of-week mess. Time to do the GTD comprehensive, weekly review.

I'm Sorry, Sarah . . .

I've moved on.

Mary Stokes Crocker

She's an artist in Baltimore.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Girl, Get a Grip!

No, not Sarah.


I'm watching the Giants-Redskins game, and she wants to talk Palin and Ike.

One of the things about being an educated MAN is that you know how to put important things in perspective.

So, can we save it for the commercials?

(Hmmm. A lot of the commercials are new.)

Can we please save it for half-time?

Thank you.

I Can't Resist Posting This

I mean, this is more Sarah Connor than June Cleaver. . . .

-Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit.

This is not Good

What we can say is that Ike has the potential to do serious damage, and at this time Florida seems the most likely destination for a U.S. landfall. That's because this afternoon's models have become somewhat more clustered around such a location five days from now. . . The latest HWRF model presents one scenario that could take place, bringing a large category 4 hurricane to Miami's doorstep by next Tuesday.

-Eric Berger at SciGuy

UPDATE: I have examined the map closely and I find that the blue (purple?) tentacle tracks right down Westward Drive. On the other hand, that would be six blocks south.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Sarah's Speech


UM Unsafe?

As we get ready for the UM-UF game this weekend, this story from the Miami Herald describes why a Hollywood (FL) mom insisted that her son, a 'Canes fan, go to Gainesville rather than Coral Gables to play college football.

And let me add, "Thanks, Miami Herald, for another positive article. No one will ever accuse you of boosterism."

Palin as the Right's Obama

I have no idea what the Palin pick will ultimately do to the Presidential race. Yesterday I visited with some clients who are appalled by McCain's nomination of Sarah Palin and believe he has lost the election because of it. They had no problem in respect to the inconsistency of their view that she was unqualified because of lack experience to lead and their support of Obama.

And then there is this rush of enthusiasm on the right for Palin (which I share).

I think we are all so jaded with the sort of leadership we have been getting from both parties that the lack of history that characterizes both Obama and Palin merely gives us blank slates upon which to project our grandest hopes.

Think about who we have leading Congress - Pelosi and Reid. Then on the Republican side consider Trent Lott and Ted Stevens; the leadership we had from Rumsfeld, the unchecked spending by Congress to which President Bush turned a blind eye if he did not otherwise sponsor it himself; and an intellectual elite that includes Newt Gingrich, Bill Bennett, and Pat Buchanan.

As I continue to read McCullough's biography of John Adams, I am reminded of the storehouse of great men and women with which this country began. What a contrast to our wardrobe of leadership now.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Palin as Second Best to Romney

[T]he McCain camp is defending Palin's resume, which, aside from being a governor and a mayor, includes being a mom, playing basketball, hunting moose and being runner-up for Miss Alaska 1984. There was some grumbling among Republican insiders that McCain would have been better off choosing somebody with a thicker resume, such as Mitt Romney, who actually won Miss Alaska 1984.

-Dave Barry in the Miami Herald. Laugh through the rest of it.

I Love Apples!

I have forever, and only came to bananas later in life.

Looking for an apple in the fridge the other day, I came across two that Kellsey had left behind. They were "Cripps Pink" apples, according to the label. I had never heard of them, and I wondered whether they were still fresh enough to be any good.

Wow! They are delicious! Wiki has an article on them, which I found helpful. Wiki has a couple of links, one here, which offers more details. According to the latter article, a Cripps Pink is a Pink Lady apple that didn't make the cut (so to speak). The Pink Lady, then, must be extra delicious. The PL has its own website, no less.


The Left's Worst Nightmare

That spectre has a name--Sarah Palin, the 44-year-old governor of Alaska chosen by John McCain on Friday to be his running mate. There she is: a working woman who's a proud wife and mother; a traditionalist in important matters who's broken through all kinds of barriers; a reformer who's a Republican; a challenger of a corrupt good-old-boy establishment who's a conservative; a successful woman whose life is unapologetically grounded in religious belief; a lady who's a leader.

-Bill Cristol in the National Standard here. His entire article is worth reading.