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Family and Friends is my everyday journal. Captain's Log is where I pontificate on religion and politics.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Home again

Actually had nice weather for the drive out to Canton. Our usual route was clogged because of a fire in the Manzano mountains and the town we pass through was the staging area for fighting it. We avoid I-40 at all costs. So we went further south on I-25 and drove throught Carizozo and Capitan, past the turn off to Trinity site (where they dropped the first atomic bomb), through Roswell and into Texas. It is a nice drive especially from Carizoz, Capitan and Lincoln; really pretty country.
We made it into Canton on Thursday, and relaxed the rest of the day. We took Auntypesty to the Seiko outlet for her belated birthday present Friday morning and did a little more shopping. The Factory outlet stores at Tangers (Terrell, TX) were not very busy for Black Friday, guess everyone was in Tyler or Dallas at the Malls. Had a nice dinner in the afternoon with Penni, her husband and MIL, Bruce came down from Oklahoma, Mom and us. There wasn't much Turkey left over. Took lots of pictures.
Penni seemed to be in good spirits, but Mom's having a lot of trouble moving around. She has a number of doctor's appointments next week to figure out the problem. Neither Mom or Penni are happy with Auntypesty's attitude the last couple of months so all were kind of at the parting of the ways stage.
We were worried about the weather on the way home, but only ran into a light rain for most of the way. We could see the snow on the ground by the side of the road and on rooftops, but the roads were in good condition.
It's nice to be home, and I've been catching up on all my e-mails and blogging for the last five days. Nice to see a good number of my fellow bloggers also dormant for the holiday, and I'm not alone in taking time off.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Nice surprise

Started making out lessons for this week and discovered that we (aps) have Wednesday off. Called grinnygranny and she took a day of vacation so we are heading out a day early. Makes it a lot nicer. Not looking forward to two days driving out there spend a night and two days driving back, this way we get a full day.
Talked to Mom again, Penni will be home, but with the feeding tube. She'll have chemo again next week, its the radiation that she no longer needs. She said Penni has through this whole ordeal has maintained an upbeat and positive attitude, which is essential in fighting the disease; but it's starting to sink in that her time is short and she's having bouts of depression.
It will be good to spend time with her before bringing auntypest home.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Penni needs prayer

Just got off the phone with Mom, They're running tests today on Penni because they think she has another bowel blockage. She's been in the hospital since Tuesday with Pnuemonia, which from what I gather has cleared up. It looks like they'll be sending her home tomorrow, but using the feeding tube again. We'll find out more when we get there later this week. I told Mom we could leave tomorrow if needed, but she didn't think that was necessary. It seems like every time you think the treatment has this cancer cleared up it comes back.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Missing Mistress

Mistress was our little predator. She loved bringing in birds, squirrels, mice, rabbits, lizards as little presents. And it was nearly impossible to pen her up in the house. In the twelve years we've lived here numerous cats have disappeared in the mesa behind our house. Mistress went out yesterday and didn't come back this morning. When our son got home (she's actually his cat and brought her here from Oklahoma) we told him that she still wasn't back. I'd just posted the pictures of all our pets. He went out looking and found her on the mesa then had to take a shovel an bury her. A coyote wouldn't have left anything behind so our best guess is either a prairie owl or this time of year falcons and hawks are migrating. We're sitting around remembering her. Of all the cats we've had she was the one we felt would be safest out there, and for over two years that's been the case. She'll be missed.

Four legged family members

Lucy our Black Labrador

Watson our Cocker Spaniel

Pippin our Cream Cycle Cat

Mistress our little predator

Anne sent me a picture of her latest painting, sold while still on the easel. I really like it.

I've been under the weather the last two days and didn't feel like getting out of bed much less looking at the computer. Got im himmel do the e-mails pile up if you lay off for a couple of days. I don't even want to think about the tests that need to be graded that my subs gave.
Next week a flying trip to Texas. Looks like we'll be bringing aunty pesty home possibly Mom too. Penni is in the hospital with pnuemonia, but they are both physically and emotionally so drained from the last twelve weeks they can't make the drive to Dallas and back anymore. They need to come here for some rest.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Anne Littlewolf, aka Raven1, sent me some pictures of her wolfpup. So as not to make my own four legged children jealous I'll be posting pictures of them later.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Novel news

Danny Andrews was here a couple of weeks ago hosting an alumni dinner for Wayland (Baptist University). He's replaced the long time Public Relations and Alumni coordinator, Joe Province. I gave him one of my fliers on Optimus. He recently e-mailed me wanting particulars on the novel so it can go into the Alumni magazine they send out every four months. It's about bloody time! I've sent them e-post cards, and e-mails announcing it, and they've ignored them. Maybe during the transition I fell between the cracks, but finally it should be out there.
I've also created a new blog optimuspg.blogspot.com -- even though the other blog was devoted to Optimus it started out as my Captain's Log blog and had that URL address which made it confusing. I'm shutting down the other blog site and letting this one take over the novel. It will be much easier to put on business cards and fliers for advertizing.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Fireworks Day

Interesting that Len Goodman mentioned to Jane Seymour on Dancing With The Stars that today (Nov. 5) is Fireworks day in England. I think that most of the American audience went "Huh?" And I would have been right with them if I had not read earlier today's post by Scott Horton at his No Comment blog. A real tip of the hat to him for explaining this day of celebration, how it fits into today's world.

To sum up this day, it commemorates the foiling of a plot to blow up King James I and Parliament. England then used this day to burn the Pope in effigy and persecute all Catholics who were blamed for this attempt at destroying the government.
Horton then gives this quote to explain why the U.S. has never observed this celebration:

Order in Quarters issued by General George Washington, November 5, 1775:

As the Commander in Chief has been apprized of a design form’d for the observance of that ridiculous and childish custom of burning the Effigy of the pope–He cannot help expressing his surprise that there should be Officers and Soldiers in this army so void of common sense, as not to see the impropriety of such a step at this Juncture; at a Time when we are solliciting, and have really obtain’d, the friendship and alliance of the people of Canada, whom we ought to consider as Brethren embarked in the same Cause. The defence of the general Liberty of America: At such a juncture, and in such Circumstances, to be insulting their Religion, is so monstrous, as not to be suffered or excused; indeed instead of offering the most remote insult, it is our duty to address public thanks to these our Brethren, as to them we are so much indebted for every late happy Success over the common Enemy in Canada.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

29 years

Anniversay time again. Twenty nine years ago Grinnygranny made me the happiest man on Earth. The road has had its bumps and dips and hills and valleys. She married a divorced defrocked preacher working as a security guard and wound up with a teacher and writer. Time sure does fly when you're trying to make ends meet and rasie a family.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Soap Box

I got this e-mail from a well meaning friend. It's been circulating in the ethernet for years. It's time to parse it and see if it makes the grade.

Now I sit me down in school
Where praying is against the rule
For this great nation under God
Finds mention of Him very odd.
If Scripture now the class recites,
It violates the Bill of Rights.
And anytime my head I bow
Becomes a Federal matter now.
Our hair can be purple, orange or green,
That's no offense; it's a freedom scene.
The law is specific, the law is precise.
Prayers spoken aloud are a serious vice.
For praying in a public hall
Might offend someone with no faith at all.
In silence alone we must meditate,
God's name is prohibited by the state.
We're allowed to cuss and dress like freaks,
And pierce our noses, tongues and cheeks.
They've outlawed guns, but FIRST the Bible.
To quote the Good Book makes me liable.

There is no rule that keeps a student from offering a personal prayer. Every year there is a "Meet at the Pole" event countrywide where students meet and VOLUNTARILY pray. English departments offer a course on the Bible as literature. Numerous poems with religious themes are analyzed and discussed. In World History class Ancient Judah, and life of Jesus are taught as well as the rise of early Christianity. During the Renaissance and Reformation Christianity is mentioned in great detail. It is against the establishment clause of the first ammendment for a government, school, or teacher to tell a student they must pray, or tell them to say an officially sanctioned prayer. If a student wants to express their religious beliefs and it pertains to the discussion at hand they are perfectly free to speak up. If they want to preach when I haven't called on them or it has nothing to do with the subject being taught, or if they want to pass judgement on my faith or teaching style they're out of line, and actually in violation of the commandment to honor thy Father and Mother: teachers legally act in loco parentis to their students. Faith in school is the same as it is everywhere subject to Timing, Approach and Appropriateness.
In grading this paper as a teacher I would tell the student to check their facts and get them right.
If students want to use colored hairspray or pierce themselves what does that have to do with prayer or God. It does show the author as someone who has a problem with non-conformists and expect the schools and teachers to enforce their own personal ideas of conformity. As a teacher I would grade this part down as being off topic.
I'm pretty sure that all schools, public or private, secuar or religious, outlaw students from bringing guns to school, especially after Columbine. All School libraries have copies of the Bible usually both Protestant and Catholic. Not all have Q'urans (I do hope that the accepted spelling at this time) Vedas, Talmuds or other religious writings. As a teacher I'd say this is an extreme exaggeration devoid of any truth. I'm not sure, but isn't telling the truth a Christian virtue? "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free."

We can elect a pregnant Senior Queen,
And the 'unwed daddy,' our Senior King.
It's 'inappropriate' to teach right from wrong,
We're taught that such 'judgments' do not belong.
We can get our condoms and birth controls,
Study witchcraft, vampires and totem poles.
But the Ten Commandments are not allowed,
No word of God must reach this crowd
It's scary here I must confess,
When chaos reigns the school's a mess.
So, Lord, this silent plea I make:
Should I be shot; My soul please take!

I'm curious about the objection to a pregnant Senior Queen and unwed Daddy, would the writer rather she got an abortion? And then it's wrong to pass out contraception. Talk about wanting your cake and eating it too.
As a parent I taught my children right and wrong. How good a job I did is between God, me and them. I expected their schools to instruct the subjects they are required by law to teach, proper respect and manners that are required to function in a society. I did not want anyone else intruding into my parental responsibilties. Nor as a teacher should I pass judgement on the personal lives of my students. Jesus after all said "Judge not, lest ye be judged likewise." Notice how judgemental the writer regarding the electoral process at the school, but holding elections is a proper function of our schools in teaching them the democratic process, as well as living with the outcome of an election even if your candidate loses.
I'm not aware of any witchcraft classes in high schools, but they might be mentioned in literature or history the same as vampires and totempoles, or maybe the students dress this way on Halloween, but schools do not force or "establish" this belief on the students.
The only passage I can agree with is the statement that when chaos reign school's a mess. 80% of teaching is discipline, but I prefer to use behavior modification techniques and the school's discipline policy over preaching and trying to "save their souls."
For the last remark, didn't the writer fuss about gun control?

To quote Jesus once again, "Oh ye scribes and Pharasees, hypocrites..."