Every road that's travelled teaches something new. Every road that narrows pushes us to choose.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

So Long Blogspot......

It was along time coming but after much consideration I took the plunge.
We have Moved to LatentPrints at

fulfilling the tag line:

These are, after all, the musings of a mind that wanders.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Top 10 Things I’d Like To Say To A Customer


10) No sir, I’m not new. I’ve been with this company far longer than you have.

9) I’m not sure sir let me check. "HEY ANYBODY KNOW, AM I SOME KIND OF AN IDIOT”?

8) I can think of 3 reasons why you didn’t get any of the communications we sent you.

a) You’re to dumb to turn your computer on
b) You didn’t pay your phone bill either
c) You’ve talked to the postman the same way you’re talking to me

7) Ma’am you raise a good point. At your recommendation I am going to submit a request to my manager for a hearing test. I just might be deaf.

6) Would you like some cheese with that whine?

5) Well yes sir, it does make sense to me but then I was blessed with the ability to understand even the simplest concept.

4) Hmm… Can I tell you anyone who would buy a brand new luxury vehicle and not protect it with comprehensive and collision coverage? Well…................. let’s see................There’s....YOU!

3) So your contention is that anyone with half-a-brain would not have cancelled their policy. Okay...........I better speak slowly.

2) Well sir, we had no choice. We had to charge it as an at fault accident. The evidence we gathered was compelling. All the other trees agreed. The tree you hit was parked at the side of the road minding its own business.

And the Number 1 thing I’d like to say to a customer.........

I know the ******* company canceled your ******** policy and left you high and dry without any ******* coverage on your ******* brand new ******* vehicle.
But you ignored every ******* letter, every ******* email, and every ******* phone call for the past four ******* weeks.

Perhaps, if you were a little more ******* responsible, you could’ve gotten up off your ******* lazy ******* *** and paid the ******* bill on ******* time for a change so we wouldn’t have had to ******* notify the state on your sorry *** and cancel your ******* policy!

Is there anythingelse I can help you with today?
Thank you for calling.

These are, after all, the musings of a mind that wanders.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Top 10 Reasons I haven't Posted

Boy have I been away. There are so many things going on right now I can't keep up. I decided I need a list. So here goes:

  • 1. New Hire Guideline module developement and training facilitation at work

  • 2. New Hire Launch Pad Coach support at work

  • 3. Binding verification Refresher Developement and training facilitation at work

  • 4. Proof of Garaging Refresher Developement and training facilitation at work

  • 5. Western Union Refesher Developement and training facilitation at work

  • 6. 2 Bathroom renovation Project at home

  • 7. A bedroom, hallway and stair renovation project at home

  • 8. Plan a kitchen renovation project at home

  • 9. Maintain a recreation Baseball League website

  • 10. Coordinate On-line registration and registration communication for the baseball league

  • As you can see a very busy month. I wish I could have spent more time here. This is truly fun for me. It gets me an oppurtunity to share what I think and pretend some ones is listening.

    This is, after all, the musings of a mind that wanders.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


I’ve been tagged by Mike at Simply a Night Owlto participate in a “simple” meme with “simple” rules. They are:

Pick up the nearest book of 123 pages or more. No cheating!!
Find the first 5 sentences
Post the next 3 sentences
Tag 5 people

Here's mine from "The Price of Loyalty-George W Bush, the White House, and the Education of Paul O'Neill"

"It just doesn't make sense," O'Neill agreed. A decade of dialolgue about the evidence of climate change and a responsible international response was shattered, along with the hard work to find a middle ground between economic progress and environmental good sense-a conversation that had been progressing with sound results since nixon created EPA. "We just gave away the environment," O'Neill told Whitman. "For no good reason."

Very interesting Book. It gives great incite into how a president sets an agenda.

Now I tag:

These are, after all, the musings of a mind that wanders.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Washington's Cash Explosion

I received the below note the other day that I thought was pretty interesting:
This is too true to be funny. The next time you hear a politician use the
word 'billion' in a casual manner, think about whether you want the 'politicians' spending YOUR tax money.

A billion is a difficult number to comprehend, but one advertising agency did a good job of putting that figure into some perspective in one of its releases.

  • A. A billion seconds ago it was 1959.

  • B. A billion minutes ago Jesus was alive.

  • C. A billion hours ago our ancestors were
    living in the Stone Age.

  • D. A billion days ago no-one walked on the earth on two feet.

  • E. A billion dollars ago was only 8 hours and
    20 minutes, at the rate our government is spending it.

That' good for a start. Want more???? Good!

While this thought is still fresh in our brain, let's take a look at New Orleans It's amazing what you can learn with some simple division.

Louisiana Senator, Mary Landrieu (D), is presently asking the Congress for $250 BILLION to rebuild New Orleans . Interesting number, what does it mean?

  • A. Well, if you are one of 484,674 residents of New Orleans (every man, woman, child), you each get $516,528.

  • B. Or, if you have one of the 188,251 homes in New Orleans , your home gets $1,329,787.

  • C. Or, if you are a family of four, your family gets $2,066,012.

Washington, D.C .. HELLO!!! ... Are all your calculators broken??

Accounts Receivable Tax
Building Permit Tax
CDL License Tax
Cigarette Tax
Corporate Income Tax
Dog License Tax
Federal Income Tax
Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)
Fishing License Tax
Food License Tax
Fuel Perm it Tax
Gasoline Tax
Hunting License Tax
Inheritance Tax
Inventory Tax
IRS Interest Charges (tax on top of tax)
IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)
Liquor Tax
Luxury Tax
Marriage License Tax
Medicare Tax
Property Tax
Real Estate Tax
Service charge taxes
Social Security Tax
Road Usage Tax (Truckers)
Sales Taxes
Recreational Vehicle Tax
School Tax
State Income Tax
State Unemployment Tax (SUTA)
Telephone Federal Excise Tax
Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax
Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Tax
Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax
Telephone Recurring and Non-recurring Charges Tax
Telephone State and Local Tax
Telephone Usage Charge Tax
Utility Tax
Vehicle License Registration Tax
Vehicle Sales Tax
Watercraft Registration Tax
Well Permit Tax
Workers Compensation Tax.


Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago, and our nation was the most prosperous in the world.

We had absolutely no national debt, had the largest middle class in the world, and Mom stayed home to raise the kids.

What happened? Can you spell 'politicians!'

And I still have to 'press 1' for English.

I hope this goes around THE USA at least 100 times

These are, after all, the musings of a mind that wanders.


5000 Visitors.I made it!!!

These are, after all, the musings of a mind that wanders.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

My Bucket List

I got this idea from Sean at Samish Patrol and thought I wanted to make my own. It's kinda cool to think about what you've done, what you've wanted to do, what you want to do now and, what you must get done. So here we go.

This is my bucket list.

  • (1) Cruise the Panama Canal, Visit Russia, Greece, Italy, and every state in the US

  • (2) Learn to raise chickens and cattle and other farm animals

  • (3) Work my own small farm

  • (4) Have Grandchildren

  • (5) Pastor

  • (6) Work less...Play more

  • (7) Travel the Transcanadian Highway in its entirety

  • (8) Work a Lobster Boat

  • (9) Write a book

  • (10)Take a nap

These are, after all, the musings of a mind that wanders.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

My Top 10 List Things Washington Has Forgot

Oh no he didn't!.... I finally got so fed up with the way things work in Washington that I have devised my own top 10 list. Read carefully and remember it is my list...If you want one go make your own. I wouldn't mind knowing what yours would look like. If you decide to make one you may comment here or on your blog and link back to me with a comment. It would be interesting to see what others think.

Well, here we go.....
  • (10) From the presidents oath of office..."I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."
    No where does it state that those powers extend beyond our borders.

  • (9) The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment...
    He may manage the personnel and their job description. He may get from congress the authority to deploy on RARE occasion.

  • (8) The president shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.
    He can't take the power and then ask. He must ask first and it must be by their advice not against it. In other words he can't do anything unless the Senate says he can.

  • (7) That congress is impotent to do anything unless elected to do so. Such election is by the people they want to represent.
    Unions, Political think tanks, Corporations, TV reporters, Newspapers, Glamour Rags, the United Nations and, Political Action Committees, (though run by people) do not qualify!

  • (6) It is not a right to serve. It is a pleasure and it is at OUR pleasure that they do.
    'Nuff said?... alright then.

  • (5) Rush Limbaugh believes so little in the values he purports that he rarely takes time to vote.
    Do you really believe he should be the front man for conservative thought?

  • (4) Political Parties should be something you attend, at your leisure, not something you attend to, as in "I got your back".
    Try something our forefathers used in designing the constitution.... Free thinking! It'll be less expensive for all of us.

  • (3) If it walks like a lobbyist, Talks like a lobbyist, and offers money like a lobbyist....regardless of what they might say, it IS a lobbyist.
    While I want you to work for full employment, it's okay for this job to go away....give us back our country!

  • (2) Please rediscover your moral compass.
    Set it on "God-Country-Family" and let it be. Religion guides us to lead moral lives; patriotism gives us a feeling of national unity; and our families are a home base - we can always count on them when in trouble.

  • (1) Remember your mission statement! A Government of the people, for the people and by the people.
    All of them, not just your cousin Jake downstate, your "mam maw down in alabamaw" or the Political Action Committee you purchased your seat from. (I wonder if that's where the NFL got the idea for "personal seat licenses"?)

These are, after all, the musings of a mind that wanders.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Quirkiness X 6 = Well, Me I Guess

Ok! I got tagged and I guess I need to come clean about some wierd things about me. (Thank You Mike!!)

Before I do....Here's the rules!!

Link to the person that tagged you
Post the rules on your blog
Share six non important bizaare things/quirks/habits about yourself
Tag six other people, link to their blogs and then let them know by posting a comment on their blog.

So here goes:

1) I am the worst person to sit down and watch a movie with.

I lose interest very quickly and end up leaving the room and/or finding something to keep me occupied until I get interested again.

2) I wish I had become a farmer.

3) I struggle to see the positive first in difficult situations.

I am getting better at this but......it is a work in progress.

4) I struggle to focus for long periods of time to the task at hand and because of this I often forget my keys on the way to my car.

I set my keys out in plain sight as I'm getting ready to go someplace and if someone moves them I will walk out to my car without them. (I also struggle with remembering to take my medications)

5) I love to fish! I will catch it, clean it, cook it. I will not eat it!

Do you know what fish do in the water??

6) I was a very good athlete in High School.

Now I tag:

These are, after all, the musings of a mind that wanders.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

The Jesus of Liberal Conservatism

Merriam-Webster defines Liberalism as: a movement in modern Protestantism emphasizing intellectual liberty and the spiritual and ethical content of Christianity b: a theory in economics emphasizing individual freedom from restraint and usually based on free competition, the self-regulating market, and the gold standard c: a political philosophy based on belief in progress, the essential goodness of the human race, and the autonomy of the individual and standing for the protection of political and civil liberties. And conservatism as: disposition in politics to preserve what is established, a political philosophy based on tradition and social stability, stressing established institutions, and preferring gradual development to abrupt change; specifically : such a philosophy calling for lower taxes, limited government regulation of business and investing, a strong national defense, and individual financial responsibility for personal needs (as retirement income or health-care coverageThe tendency to prefer an existing or traditional situation to change. What follow is, I hope, a discussion showing how 2 diamtrically opposed points of view are not really so far apart when viewed in the context of Jesus.

In Book of Matthew chapter 25 Jesus ascends to the throne and, after separating the flock, looks to those on his right and says "take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me."
And to those on his left he said, "Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me."

Some would segregate these differently. The first group, those that found favor with the King, would be labeled liberals. And those that did not find favor, conservative. Others still would say that the conservatives had found favor for understanding the difference between true need and those who were willfully dependant on kindness and generosity while Liberals were sent away for not understanding the difference between need and desire, misfortune and slovenly habit. The truth lies squarely in the middle. That's where you'll find Jesus.
Again in Matthew chapter 7 Jesus says, "Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you."

And in Matthew chapter 10, "Whatever town or village you enter, search for some worthy person there and stay at his house until you leave. As you enter the home, give it your greeting. If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you. If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town. I tell you the truth, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town. I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves."

Clearly Jesus is telling them look, there are all kinds of people out there. Some will need what you can provide and know it. They will seize upon the gift and come to a greater understanding of me. But just because you see a temporal need doesn't mean it is in you to fulfill it. Share me. Let me provide. There will be some with temporal needs who would take what you offer, reject me, then take from you what they don't need simply to say they have it. Simply because they want it. Your job is to provide for the need. Talk to me. I'll tell you when it's time to dig in and when it's time to walk away.

Both sides of the aisle have their eye on serving God and fulfilling the mission. One views suffering and injustice and wants to quiet and fix it without regard to circumstances. Without regard for the choices each has made in how they live their lives and how those choices honor the God who created them. The other wants to be sure that the suffering and injustice is not a circumstance of the victims own choosing thereby condemning them, without redemption, by the choices they have made in their past.

In the middle is what Jesus intended in his teaching. While we want to reduce human tragedy and suffering, often times they are brought on by the choices individuals make in their lives and while it may make us feel better, it is often the adversity that draws them to God. Don't rush in and fix it, he says. Don't tell them their bad decisions were good ones. . If they make bad choices, I wont adjust my expectations. But walk with them and be there for them. Show them I love them and let me fix what needs to be fixed. Don't stand on the sidelines exhorting them to change their behavior so I can demonstrate my love, he says. But walk out onto the battlefield with them and bring them the healing and confirmation of my love that they so desperately need. It is possible to acknowledge the sin as sin and still care for the sinner. After all....I've done so for you.

These are, after all, the musings of a mind that wanders

Tuesday, January 1, 2008


Just wanted to wish the hope of a Very Happy New Year. One that finds you reveling in Gods blessings with many opportunities to share those blessings with others.

These are, after all, the musings of a mind that wanders.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Coming Economic 9/11

I found this interesting ...and frightening.

“In 2008, we’re going to see some major, giant
financial firms fall as they get hit by an economic 9/11.”
- Gerald Celente, The Trends Journal

He goes on to say:

"And what do we have to save the Ship of State from sinking? Well, look ahead – that’s what we do as trend forecasters. We have a know-nothing President and a do-nothing Congress and want-to-be people in waiting that lack the intelligence, integrity, the competence, credentials, character and courage to do what a wise leader would do in times when the ship is sinking. So, we’re saying, it is going down! There is nothing to save it."

The truth is:

we, as individuals, are most responsible for the pending crisis. We have allowed big business to convince us we need to be more available, more productive, more upwardly mobile. We need to buy more things so that big business can make bigger profits. We no longer do business with the local meat cutter, grocery store, department store, service station or banker. We, instead, allow people we don't know and probably shouldn't trust convince us that bigger is better. We no longer measure success by how we performed, rather, by how much our performance made for the company. In a heartbeat, we went from a caring community to one that moves you in and out of the door as quickly as possible after spending as much as possible.

We don't even understand what we've lost. Most of us grew up never knowing the level of service and connection that come from small "mom and pop" drug stores or butcher shops. We have sold our future, and with it that of our children's, down the drain for a quick stop at the big box store with products made by "American" companies and Chinese or Mexican workers. It appears the most American made vehicle today is the Honda. These "American" companies threw you out with the bath water not only in terms of economic viability. Your safety and that of your children's were traded away for as little as a penny to companies in countries where things like lead poisoning and chemical additives are just matter of reducing population. They have no regard for you or your heath. They simply want to sell you as much as they can for as much as you'll pay and not have to deal with the real " inconvenient truth". That being....their pockets are more important than your health and welfare. They don't exist to produce anything that adds value to the American way of life. They want only to find ways to convince you that they are necessary and you can't live without them. They have taken our jobs and sent them overseas so they bring back what once was produced here and take your money. They even use our system of providing health care to those who are unable (and in some cases unwilling) to work as a primary piece of their medical package.

Do yourself a favor. Take three months. Find a local barber, butcher, farmer, grocer, service station and banker. All "mom and pops". Give them your business and see what happens. Then think back to the last time you went to a Walmart, Target, Kmart, Sears or any of the big nationals and ask yourself; Whens the last time they greeted you by name and welcomed you and cared enough to know what you usually purchase, asked how the family was and offered some assistance during hard times. That's the American dream. We didn't lose it. We sold it to corporate America for a few pennies and and a little convenience.

These are, after all, the musings of a mind that wanders.

Friday, December 14, 2007

The Lover of My Soul

Please view this video. It says so much more than I can. Still...I must try! I am unworthy. You must know that before we begin. I am unworthy. That I claim any inheritance in the kingdom is purely irresponsible. I have no claim. If I have any inheritance it is because God is a loving God. A God who seeks me out...who seeks you out, even when we don't deserve it.

There have been times, many times, when I have forsaken what I believe and who I believe in for the more temporal pleasures that surrounded me at the time. I have been so drunk I could not walk straight, so high I could not stand strait, so angry I could not talk straight, and so hurt I could not see straight. Sometimes all of them at the same time. I often look back and am embarrassed by what I've said, what I've done, and who I've hurt. Sometimes all at the same time. I have lied , cheated, and stolen.

I have put on airs. I have pretended to be what I'm not and exaggerated about what I got, how I got it and who I got it from. I talk the talk. I walk the walk....sometimes... but rarely at the same time. I am a fraud. Pure and simple. Some have told me how they respect the way I live my life. Others, those who really know me, just shake their head and walk away. And then there are those few who, unashamedly, don't hang there head. They bow there head. They bend their knee. They pray for me...and.. tell me so...and remind me about my behavior, lovingly.

They point me to the savior who, at long last, I glimpse as if across a crowded room. I look away and look again and he catches my eye. I see him way over there and he's smiling and calling me and pleading me to just come ... come back...come back to him. And I want to. More than anything I want to, but I can't keep my eye on him. I'm sure he's forgotten me but every now and then I catch a glimpse of him.

He is always there encouraging, trying to stay in sight, trying to teach me to hold on tight, and I'm sure, wondering if I'll ever get it right. But he's always there. Always trying to stay in sight...and waiting...and his people are praying, and his servants are saying "don't follow me. Follow him."

He's there across the room. Getting closer, pleading for me, fighting for me, rejoicing over me as I fall at his feet and into his arms. I know I am home. I know I am loved. I know......

These are, after all, the musings of a mind that wanders.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

A Positive Force in the Universe...part 1

We were barely 10, my twin brother and I. She was barely 54. Her life had been filled with more tragedy than one woman should have to know and more would be on the way....but that's another story. This story is about the strength of a woman and the generosity of a man. A women who had no more to give and a man who had given all he had. Neither knew each other but both would play prominent roles in the lives of my brother and myself.

The spring of 1967 was cool and crisp. The shore birds, long gone from their tropical digs, had not yet arrived to their summer home along the cliffs of Lake Erie but the spring robins were making enough noise for all of them. My mother had loaded us up in the car to take us "grocery shopping". For her that meant pushing a heavy cart up and down the isles at the local Pick-N-Pay. For us it meant a trip to the local Grey Drug store just down the strip mall to share the $.50 my mother had given each of us. Just enough for a box of milk duds and a batman comic book, you know the thick ones that looked like a novel book. As we past Kanyuh's, the local bar on the corner, my mother asked a question that would change all of that.

" How would you like to go to a school where you couldn't live with me but I could come and visit you?" she asked as she drove the car glancing at us in the rear-view mirror waiting for our reaction.

"Sure" I said.

"You wouldn't mind living away from home?"

" No" I said. " I'd still get to see ya" And that was it. no mention before, no mention after. Little did I know that the work had already been started, the paperwork finished, referrals already referred and the acceptances already extended. All that was left was to fill the empty space on the dotted line with a signature.

August 1 st 1967 would be the beginning. We didn't know it. We had woken early after a long 8 hr drive from Cleveland. As I took in my surroundings I couldn't help but notice the faint but eternal hint of chocolate in the air. Mom hurried us into our suits, spruced us up and loaded us into the car for the now short drive to Milton Hershey School.

To be continued.....

These are, after all, the musings of amind that wanders.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Glass Houses???

I am and always have leaned toward the Democratic party. Partly because I was raised that way. Partly because I didn't feel that republicans were interested in anything but themselves. But mostly because my heart says it is right. Democrat's have always been the party of the people. The party of Jimmy Carter. I know ...I know.. most think Jimmy Carter was the worst President we have ever had. I disagree... No I strenuously disagree.

I liked who we were when Jimmy Carter was President. I liked who we became when Jimmy Carter was President. We were a caring, inspired, kind people. We were good neighbors. We were peacekeepers. We defended the down-trodden and sought to identify values ...American values and implemented them at home. That was democracy and that was the Democratic party I respected. The problem is we have turned away from what made the Democratic party great. We have listened to the likes of Rush Limbaugh who believes he can define the Democratic Party for us.

I am no fan of George Bush. I believe he and Dick Cheney are liars. In my opinion, they have used the Office of the President to promote their own personal agendas tied to oil, personal profit, and revenge. And I don't like the country we have become through their leadership. We are neither caring nor kind. We are stuck in the grip of a party who clearly views the word as their sandbox and manipulates countries like sandbox toys. It is disconcerting that in the eyes of many around the world, we have become that which we have fought against for so long. It is this President, and his cabinet, which brought us to this point. Regarded as foe not friend, and conqueror not liberator, aggressor not defender.

All that being said, it is this which most disgust me:

Moveon.org on General Petraeus

I have come to expect poor behavior and double standards from republican politics. They are the party of the closed mind after all. But I did not expect it from the party to which I most identify. To rail against a report before you've heard it, call names of the people who are honestly trying to change the course of events and bring honesty back to the table, and argue a counterpoint before a point has actually been made is dishonest, unconscionable, reckless, unpresidential and really does "require the willing suspension of disbelief".

This not the democratic party of the people and I am left wondering in whom I can believe. It seems to me someone is living in Glass Houses. I suggest they put down the rock.

This is, after all, the musings of a mind that wanders.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Dobbs: Mexican President's Blatant Hypocrisy

By Lou Dobbs

Lou Dobbs' commentary appears weekly on CNN.com.

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Mexican President Felipe Calderon Sunday demanded the United States surrender its sovereignty, abandon the rule of law and accede to Mexico's inherent supremacy.

Lou Dobbs says Mexican President Felipe Calderon is showing "blatant hypocrisy" on immigration.

In his state of the union address to the Mexican nation, Calderon established his imperialistic imperatives: "I have said that Mexico does not stop at its border, that wherever there is a Mexican, there is Mexico. And, for this reason, the government action on behalf of our countrymen is guided by principles, for the defense and protection of their rights.

Calderon protested the U.S. government's increased raids on illegal employers of illegal alien employees and work site enforcement. In what is little more than a faint nod to the Bush administration's responsibility to enforce U.S. immigration law, the Department of Homeland Security had planned to send out notices to employers from the Social Security Administration informing them of non-matching records between an employee's name and Social Security number. These employers would then be forced to resolve any discrepancy within 90 days or be required to dismiss the employee or face up to $10,000 in fines for knowingly hiring illegal immigrants.

But then, ethnocentric advocacy groups and some labor unions, trying to bolster their membership, sued to stop the crackdown on hiring illegal alien workers. A federal judge in California last week issued a temporary restraining order blocking the plan, giving a victory to the AFL-CIO, the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Immigration Law Center, all of which brought the suit alleging DHS exceeded its authority in making the rule.

That U.S. District Court judge ruled as if she were an employee of the Mexican government, rather than the U.S. government. Homeland Security was simply enforcing existing immigration laws. Are we not a nation that follows the rule of law? If not, we're no country at all.

Calderon must have been delighted by the judge's decision. Calderon, like his predecessors, Carlos Salinas and Vicente Fox, has failed miserably to establish policies that would create jobs for the Mexican people and to eliminate shameful, unchecked corruption and incompetence in the Mexican government.

Don't Miss
Previous Lou Dobbs commentaries
Lou's book, 'War on the Middle Class'
Even by Mexico's standards, Calderon's blatant hypocrisy is breathtaking. Calderon told the Washington Post more than a year ago that he believes laws are not a relative concept, nor subject to a personal concept of justice. Calderon declared a big difference between himself and his rival for the Mexican presidency, Manuel Lopez Obrador, was this: "I believe in the rule of law." Obviously he does not believe in the rule of U.S. law on U.S. soil.

Calderon can't have it both ways. He cannot fail his citizens at home and then act as the Great Imperialist Protector of his citizens who are driven by poverty and corruption to enter the United States illegally. The United States provides Mexico with an annual surplus of $65 billion in trade, an estimated $25 billion in remittances from Mexican citizens living and working here illegally, and at least another $25 billion generated by the illegal drug trade across our southern border.

But it is President Bush and this Congress who should be most embarrassed, because they are failing to assert rights for Americans in their own country, rights far short of those demanded by Calderon for his citizens living illegally in our nation.

These are, after all, the musings of a mind that wanders.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

I Found This ....Interesting.....

At a time when the Supreme Court and many politicians seek to bring American law in line with foreign legal norms, it’s noteworthy that nobody has argued that the U.S. look at how Mexico deals with immigration and what it might teach us about how best to solveour illegal immigration problem. Mexico has a single, streamlined law that ensures that foreign visitors and immigrants are:

in the country legally;

have the means to sustain themselves economically;

not destined to be burdens on society;

of economic and social benefit to society;

of good character and have no criminal records; and contributors to the general well-being of the nation.

The law also ensures that:

immigration authorities have a record of each foreign visitor;

foreign visitors do not violate their visa status;

foreign visitors are banned from interfering in the country’s internal politics;

foreign visitors who enter under false pretenses are imprisoned or deported;

foreign visitors violating the terms of their entry are imprisoned or deported;

those who aid in illegal immigration will be sent to prison.

Who could disagree with such a law? It makes perfect sense. The Mexican constitution strictly defines the rights of citizens -- and the denial of many fundamental rights to non-citizens, illegal and illegal. Under the constitution, the Ley General de Población, orGeneral Law on Population, spells out specifically the country's immigration policy.

It is an interesting law -- and one that should cause us all to ask, Why is our great southern neighbor pushing us to water down our own immigration laws and policies, when its own immigration restrictions are the toughest on the continent?

If a felony is acrime punishable by more than one year in prison, then Mexican law makes it a felony to be an illegal alien in Mexico.

If the United States adopted such statutes, Mexico no doubt would denounce it as a manifestation of American racism and bigotry.

We looked at the immigration provisions of the Mexican constitution. [1] Now let's look at Mexico's main immigration law.

Mexico welcomes only foreigners who will be useful to Mexican society:

Foreigners are admitted into Mexico "according to their possibilities of contributing to national progress." (Article 32)

Immigration officials must "ensure" that "immigrants will be useful elements for the country and that they have the necessary funds for their sustenance" and for their dependents. (Article 34)

Foreigners may be barred from the country if their presence upsets "the equilibrium of the national demographics," when foreigners are deemed detrimental to "economic or national interests," when they do not behave like good citizens in their own country, when they have broken Mexican laws, and when "they are not found to be physically or mentally healthy." (Article 37)

The Secretary of Governance may "suspend or prohibit the admission of foreigners when he determines it to be in the national interest." (Article 38)

Mexican authorities must keep track of every single person in the country:

Federal, local and municipal police must cooperate with federal immigration authorities upon request, i.e., to assist in the arrests of illegal immigrants. (Article 73)

A National Population Registry keeps track of "every single individual who comprises the population of the country," and verifies each individual's identity. (Articles 85 and 86)

A national Catalog of Foreigners tracks foreign tourists and immigrants (Article 87), and assigns each individual with a unique tracking number (Article 91).

Foreigners with fake papers, or who enter the country under false pretenses, may be imprisoned:

Foreigners with fake immigration papers may be fined or imprisoned. (Article 116)

Foreigners who sign government documents "with a signature that is false or different from that which he normally uses" are subject to fine and imprisonment. (Article 116)

Foreigners who fail to obey the rules will be fined, deported, and/or imprisoned as felons:
Foreigners who fail to obey a deportation order are to be punished. (Article 117)

Foreigners who are deported from Mexico and attempt to re-enter the country without authorization can be imprisoned for up to 10 years. (Article 118)

Foreigners who violate the terms of their visa may be sentenced to up to six years in prison (Articles 119, 120 and 121).

Foreigners who misrepresent the terms of their visa while in Mexico -- such as working with out a permit -- can also be imprisoned.

Under Mexican law, illegal immigration is a felony.

The General Law on Population says,
"A penalty of up to two years in prison and a fine of three hundred to five thousand pesos will be imposed on the foreigner who enters the country illegally." (Article 123)

Foreigners with legal immigration problems may be deported from Mexico instead of being imprisoned. (Article 125)

Foreigners who "attempt against national sovereignty or security" will be deported. (Article 126)

Mexicans who help illegal aliens enter the country are themselves considered criminals under the law:
A Mexican who marries a foreigner with the sole objective of helping the foreigner live in the country is subject to up to five years in prison. (Article 127)

Shipping and airline companies that bring undocumented foreigners into Mexico will be fined. (Article 132)

All of the above runs contrary to what Mexican leaders are demanding of the United States. The stark contrast between Mexico's immigration practices versus its Americanimmigration preachings is telling. It gives a clear picture of the Mexican government's agenda: to have a one-way immigration relationship with the United States.Let's call Mexico's bluff on its unwarranted interference in U.S. immigration policy. Let's propose, just to make a point, that the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) member nations standardize their immigration laws by using Mexico's own law as a model.This article was first posted at CenterforSecurityPolicy.org.

This is, after all, the musings of a mind that wanders.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Fellowship Of The Unashamed

This was shared by a friend. I had not known it before. I doubt I will ever forget it.

I am part of the “Fellowship of the Unashamed.”
The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line.
The decision has been made.
I am a disciple of Jesus Christ.

I won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still.
My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, and my future is secure.
I am finished and done with low living, sight walking, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, chintzy giving, and dwarfed goals.
I no longer need pre-eminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits, or popularity.

I now live by presence, lean by faith, love by patience, lift by prayer, and labor by power.
My pace is set, my gait is fast, my goal is Heaven, my road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions few, my Guide reliable, my mission clear.

I cannot be bought, compromised, deterred, lured away, turned back, diluted, or delayed.

I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of adversity, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity.

I am a disciple of Jesus Christ.

I must go until Heaven returns, give until I drop, preach until all know, and work until He comes. And when He comes to get His own, He will have no problem recognizing me.

My colors will be clear.

I am not ashamed of the gospel . . . Romans 1:16

***The above was written by a young African pastor before he was martyred for the faith***

These are, after all the musings of a mind that wanders.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

A Good Message For All Christians

I ran across this recently. It is by Bill and Gloria Gaither.
God Has Always Had A People!

Many a foolish conquer made the mistake of thinking that because he had forced the Church of Jesus Christ out of sight, that he had stilled its voice and snuffed out its life.

But God Has Always Had A People!

The powerful current of a rushing river is not diminished because it is forced to flow underground. The purest water is the stream that bursts crystal clear into the sunlight after it has fought its way through solid rock.

There have been charlatans who like Simon the magician, sought to barter on the open market that power which cannot be bought or sold.

But God Has Always Had A People!

Men who could not be bought and women who were beyond purchase.

Yes, God Has Always Had A People!

There have been times of affluence and prosperity when the Church's message was nearly diluted into oblivion by those who sought to make it socially attractive, neatly organized and financially profitable. It has been gold plated ,draped in purple and encrusted with jewels. It has been misrepresented, ridiculed, blotted and scorned.

These followers of Jesus Christ have been according to the whim of the times elevated as sacred leaders and martyred as heretics. Yet through it all, there marches on that powerful army of the meek, God's chosen people that can't be bought, flattered, murdered or stilled. On through the ages they march.

The Church, God's Church Triumphant, is Alive and Well!

Now listen child of God. It's alive!

Discouraged pastor it's His Church and it's alive!

Lonely Missionary sow your seeds with confidence!

It's alive my broken hearted friend!

Old saint you’re not alone and forgotten, the Church is alive!

Busy mother cast your cares on Jesus!

It's alive young student. You're not alone in serving the Lord!

Faithful father there's rest in the Lord! The Church is alive!

Cynical skeptic you haven't killed God with your noisy unbelief.
He's Alive!

So family of God raise you hands and praise the Lord.

For the Church, God's Church Triumphant is Alive and Well!

It seems to me that we are asking the wrong questions. That's why we fight so much among ourselves. We keep asking "what church do you go to?" when we should be asking "whose church do you go to?"

I don't care if you're Mormon, Catholic, Baptist or even Calvinist.... The only thing I need to know is...

Who do you belong to?

These are, after all, the musings of a mind that wanders.

Thursday, July 12, 2007


I am a Liar. I've concluded that, for all my ranting and raving, I am a liar. Okay, maybe liar is too strong a word. How about ...HYPOCRITE? How does hypocrite feel? Better. Okay...

I am a hypocrite! For all my ranting and raving, I have concluded I am a hypocrite. I never follow my own advice. I complain about the conditions of the world, our society, our country, our schools, our kids, YOUR kids, the air, the traffic, customer service, prices, my boss, my job, my employer, the temperature of my coffee...everything. I may not have any solutions but I sure know where the problems are and I am not shy about letting you know what they are, why they are and, in my opinion, who's fault they are. More than that...you would be hard-pressed to convince me that any of the problems are my fault! When I started this I promised I would be honest if nothing else. I would be honest and transparent or exactly "I can promise you honesty and absolute openness". That's what I said in my first post. Go ahead read it.

I've done some self-examination and I haven't been so open...so honest.

Let me begin with this: I'm not such a bad guy. I have issues. I'm always late. I'm often self-absorbed, I lack any sense of attention span. I find it hard to sit through almost any movie at home. I don't like change and that's okay with me. I'm so stuck in a rut that I could eat the same dinner everyday. So I have issues..... don't we all.

That's not to say I don't have my good points. I do. I work hard. I'm not afraid to sacrifice things I want for my family. I faithful...sort of(more to come on this.) I clear my plate. I love and care for animals. I work in my own way to save the environment. I love God. I try to live my life how God wants me to live. I'm relatively smart and and am able to reason things out when given the facts. Not a long list but not so bad.

Here's the thing.

Under self examination I don't look like such a bad guy....on the surface. But I have specific information about the man you can't see. I know what he thinks and feels. And while his heart is in the right place, often the expression is less than perfect. I can he cold and hard-hearted. Distant and uncaring. I often get so wrapped up in myself that I forget others exist. And it gets worse.

I do a lot of volunteering. I believe that giving back to society is important. But, secretly, I find I put myself in volunteer positions that get me noticed and I have to ask myself...is it really because I feel its important to give back? Or ... do I just want people to think it is important to me to give back. I've begun to wrestle with that.

Honestly I want to leave this world better than I left it. I have been the benefactor of many people who, out of kindness and perhaps there own desire to make this a better world when they leave it, seemed to be where I needed them to be exactly when I needed them to be there. It is their willingness to be there that troubles me about my own "humanitarian" effort.

I have begun to recognize that my volunteerism takes the same shape of the christian who prays loudly and often in the company of others so as to witness to their own Godliness. I need to get on my knees and beg forgiveness and then find a way to put God first in everything I do. I need to get off the float in the big parade and learn to let God have center seat. It's about time I matured as a christian and practice what I so often preach about others.

These are, after all, the musings of a mind that wanders.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

King David:He's alot like me..Wish I were more like him

We all have been conquered haven’t we? At some point haven’t we all done or said something that neither resembled nor complimented the nature of God. A little extra tax deduction draws question to your integrity, a little too much alcohol a little too often and a family suffering under the weight of it. A less than admiral gesture at the person who cut you off in traffic bears witness to a temper out of control. It’s not what we wanted. We never intended for them to happen and know, well, we are a lost cause, not unwilling, but unable to get back our integrity, our self-respect, our control. In the Max Lucado book Facing Your Giants I was encouraged to observe David. First the boy then the man, then the man who would be king, the King and, finally, the man who had his kingship taken.

I am drawn to David in the same way I am to Paul but for different reasons. David was a tender boy with a big heart and unquestionable faith in God. A lowly shepherd, his station would not have brought him much respect. He honored his duty and watched over his flock with the same vigilance he, as young boy, watched over his faith. In reading about him as a boy I was struck with the notion that it would seem incredulous to David that someone would question Gods faithfulness and his mighty protection. This faith is what brought him to face his first Giant and what brought him the unlikely victory in that confrontation. His first Giant... for there were many more. Most more difficult than the first.

We've all had our own personal "giants" to deal with. I have had to fight often with myself regarding my own abilities and even sometimes my own self worth. I've battled with my own self-destructive tendencies, my own addictions, my own shortcomings.

Michael W Smith Describes me well:

I have been unfaithful
I have been unworthy
I have been unrighteous
And I have been unmerciful

I have been unreachable
I have been unteachable
I have been unwilling
And I have been undesirable

I have been unbroken
I have been unmended
I have been uneasy
And I've been unapproachable

I've been unemotional
I've been unexceptional
I've been undecided
And I have been unqualified

In this David was a lot like me. For certainly he was all of those things. The difference between he and me is what was left out of Michael W Smith's song above "I've never Been Unloved"
Here it is:

Sometimes, I have been unwise
I've been undone by what I'm unsure of
But because of you, and all that you went through
I know that I have never been unloved

He understood this more than anyone and he called upon the Lord not just in his moment of greatest victory, but also, in his moment of greatest weakness and tragedy. He faced his failures and laid them out before the Lord openly and honestly. He pleaded for his mercy and danced as a child, gleefully, at his in his own recognition of the awesome power and honor that resided with HIS king, HIS lord, HIS God. David sure had his issues but he understood one thing.

That is the theme of this book and no one can layout it better than Max Lucado when he says:

"You know your Goliath. You recognize his walk, the thunder of his voice.

He taunts you with bills you can’t pay, people you can’t please, habits you can’t break, failures you can’t forget, and a future you can’t face. But just like David, you can face your giant, even if you aren't the strongest, the smartest, the best equipped, or the holiest.

David. You could read his story and wonder what God saw in him. His life has little to offer the unstained, straight-A saint. He fell as often as he stood, stumbled as often as he conquered. But for those who know the sound of a Goliath, David gives this reminder:

Focus on giants—you stumble.
Focus on God—your giants tumble."

David...he really was a lot like me. I wish could be a lot like him.

These are, after all, the musings of a mind that wanders.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

HAPPY Fathers Day....Right??

I stopped going to church on Fathers day a long time ago. It's not that I don't believe. To the contrary, I find evidence that God exists and that he is absolutely in control every day in both very big and very small ways. I believe that. My absence has more to do with what we as the created have to say about fathers and fatherhood on fathers day. It's about why we don't talk about the thing we should...and always talk about the things we shouldn't. It's about dishonoring fathers instead of honoring them. I just got tired of hearing about it ...so I stay away.

On Mother's day we talk about what the world would be like with out Mothers. How special they are. How they were there when we needed them. How they sacrificed for us. How they provide for our needs and we should honor them on this special day. I'm all for that. I'm glad we do it, I'm glad to do it, and glad I could teach my children to do. It is important to honor mothers for everything they do and say...and even don't say. I'm glad we do it. I don't want to take anything away from mothers and mothers day. I just wish we understood how important it is to honor fathers in the same way.

On fathers day we find every possible example of poor parenting, we hear about the little things the kids missed because daddy had to work or the "deadbeat" dad who doesn't seem to care about his kids or their mother. We get preached to about the importance about being a father in your kids lives and how poorly men are represented in the ranks of those who take parenting seriously. I know about all those things. I see them on the local 5 o'clock news channel, I hear it repeated ad-nauseam on the radio. I read about it everyday in the newspaper. I get it.

Couldn't we just have one day in which somebody just says thank you for what you do and let it go at that.

This is, after all, the musings of a mind that wanders.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Terrorist.....Take note!

This message was given to Richard Reid. But to any terrorist, Muslim or not, heed the warning and, if you feel you need to continue, thank God for your day in an American court where freedom and justice are not just some words used to validate a misguided, immoral and violent campaign to force all people to believe what you believe. Rather, your rights are guaranteed in an American court system built on TRUE freedom that gives you the right to say and think whatever you want. When you run a foul of the law you will receive the most vigorous defense against prosecution GUARANTEED! Try getting that in any one of your Muslim nations, in any dictatorship, in any communist system.

Read on and learn.

But be forewarned.

Action and Ruling by Judge William Young, US District Court.

Prior to sentencing, the Judge asked the defendant if he had anything to say.

His response:

After admitting his guilt to the court for the record,Reid also admitted his "allegiance to Osama bin Laden, to Islam, and to the religion of Allah," defiantly stating, "I think I will not apologize for my actions,"

and told the court

"I am at war with your country."

Judge Young then delivered the statement quoted below:

January 30, 2003, United States vs. Reid.

Judge Young:

"Mr. Richard C. Reid, hearken now to the sentence the Court imposes upon you.
On counts 1, 5 and 6 the Court sentences you to life in prison in the custody of the United States Attorney General. On counts 2, 3, 4 and 7, the Court sentences you to 20 years in prison on each count, the sentence on each count to run consecutively. (That's 80 years.)
On count 8 the Court sentences you to the mandatory 30 years again, to be served consecutively to the 80 years just imposed. The Court imposes upon you for each of the eight counts a fine of $250,000 that's an aggregate fine of $2 million.
The Court accepts the government's recommendation with respect to restitution and orders restitution in the amount of $298.17 to Andre Bousquet and $5,784 to American Airlines.The Court imposes upon you an $800 special assessment.
The Court imposes upon you five years supervised release simply because the law requires it. But the life sentences are real life sentences so I need go no further.

This is the sentence that is provided for by our statutes.

It is a fair and just sentence.
It is a righteous sentence.

Now, let me explain this to you. We are not afraid of you or any of your terrorist co-conspirators, Mr. Reid. We are Americans. We have been through the fire before. There is too much war talk here and I say that to everyone with the utmost respect.

Here in this court, we deal with individuals as individuals and care for individuals as individuals. As human beings, we reach out for justice.

You are not an enemy combatant. You are a terrorist.
You are not a soldier in any war. You are a terrorist.
To give you that reference, to call you a soldier, gives you far too much stature.
Whether the officers of government do it or your attorney does it, or if you think you are a soldier.

You are not----- you are a terrorist.

And we do not negotiate with terrorists.
We do not meet with terrorists.
We do not sign documents with terrorists.
We hunt them down one by one and bring them to justice.

So war talk is way out of line in this court. You are a big fellow.
But you are not that big. You're no warrior.

I've known warriors. You are a terrorist.
A species of criminal that is guilty of multiple attempted murders.

In a very real sense, State Trooper Santiago had it right when you first were taken off that plane and into custody and you wondered where the press and the TV crews were, and he said: "You're no big deal."You are no big deal.

What your able counsel and what the equally able United States attorneys have grappled with and what I have as honestly as I know how tried to grapple with, is why you did something so horrific. What was it that led you here to this courtroom today? I have listened respectfully to what you have to say. And I ask you to search your heart and ask yourself what sort of unfathomable hate led you to do what you are guilty and admit you are guilty of doing?

And, I have an answer for you. It may not satisfy you, but as I search this entire record, it comes as close to understanding as I know.It seems to me you hate the one thing that to us is most precious. You hate our freedom. Our individual freedom. Our individual freedom to live as we choose, to come and go as we choose, to believe or not believe as we individually choose.

Here, in this society, the very wind carries freedom. It carries it everywhere from sea to shining sea. It is because we prize individual freedom so much that you are here in this beautiful courtroom. So that everyone can see, truly see, that justice is administered fairly, individually, and discretely. It is for freedom's sake that your lawyers are striving so vigorously on your behalf, have filed appeals, will go on in their representation of you before other judges.We Americans are all about freedom. Because we all know that the way we treat you, Mr. Reid, is the measure of our own liberties. Make no mistake though. It is yet true that we will bare any burden; pay any price, to preserve our freedoms.

Look around this courtroom. Mark it well. The world is not going to long remember what you or I say here. The day after tomorrow, it will be forgotten, but this, however, will long endure. Here in this courtroom and courtrooms all across America, the American people will gather to see that justice, individual justice, justice, not war, individual justice is in fact being done. The very President of the United States through his officers will have to come into courtrooms and lay out evidence on which specific matters can be judged and juries of citizens will gather to sit and judge that evidence democratically, to mold and shape and refine our sense of justice.

See that flag, Mr. Reid? That's the flag of the United States of America .That flag will fly there long after this is all forgotten. That flag stands for freedom and it always will.

Mr. Custody Officer.
Stand him down.

'Nuff said!!

This is , after all. the musings of a mind that wanders.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Random Acts of Kindness: Matthew 25:35

In my last post. I mentioned a lasting impression that deserved it's own post. It was right out of the bible and I must say, it blew me away.

Matthew 25:35,36

35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,

36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me."

On my trip I had the great pleasure to witness and participate in just such a kindness. Let me be clear..It was not my idea. I was, as a matter of fact, just a bystander seeing the need and wishing someone would fill it. I was much to busy to get involved but certainly someone should. Confused? I'll explain....

I have spoken in previous posts about my older brother and my good fortune to have had him in my life. I also have a twin Brother, James(or Jimi as he goes by now). As a child I called him Jamey. I found out in the fourth grade he hated that. Now Jamey(I can't help myself) is 6 minutes older that me. He used to tell people I "was supposed to be the girl". Did I mention he is 6 minutes older than me? Do you know what happens when you take bread out of the oven early? It gets soft and gooey in the middle.

Now that you've met him. Jimi is an incredibly intelligent man, and talented. I've always known that. You don't grow up as twins in the same school and not find out one of you is less "academically inclined" than the other. While I struggled for every "D" I got, Jimi was "wallowing" on the Distinguished Honor Roll.(I'm not bitter)... What I had forgotten was how generous and incredibly thoughtful he is. Let me tell you why I admire him so much.

As we toured San Francisco it was not uncommon to see the homeless walking the streets, sleeping on park benches or scouring the trash for something to eat. It was shocking for me as I had heard about such things but had never witnessed it at in real life. Sure, I had seen disheveled people walking the streets or hanging outside local establishments panhandling for money. But I had never seen so much need right out in the open. For me it always seemed hidden away out of sight. I might not have noticed it had it not been for Jimi pointing it out. He didn't stop and say "hey there's a homeless guy". It was subtle and honest. He didn't intend to make a statement. He just wanted to do what God had done for him. God had sent someone to introduce the savior to him. He wanted to do the same.

Each time we ate Jimi would order his meal and, when it was possible, order another to go. As we left the restaurant he would look for someone who needed a meal and hand it to them and just walk away. He didn't wait for a thank you. He didn't make a spectacle of the act. He just handed it over and walked away. The first couple times I didn't notice. Eventually he caught my attention. Finally I got involved.

Jimi saw the need when all I saw was someones misfortune. Jimi filled the need while I looked for someone who should. Jimi was the embodiment of Matthew 25:35-36 and I..well... I was not. He had taken the gift he was given and shared it. I had taken the gift and hidden it away. I am reminded of the song, "This little light of mine". if you spent anytime at church camps or sunday school you know the rest of the song.

Every other experience on the trip was a blessing, I can't take that away. But this simple act of kindness was an inspiration. I can't forget it. It was a life- changing, eye-opening, God revealing, mind-opening, heart-warming simple act of love for, what I would have called, the unlovable. But God doest call them that. Never has, never will. It pains me to think of the many times God has acted in my life to remove me from danger, pick me up from my own dumb mistakes, and sent someone in to stand in my stead. I didn't realize how blind I truly was.

Jimi is only 6 minutes older than me. 6 Minutes has never felt like such huge expanse of time. But suddenly I feel there are years of wisdom packed into those six little minutes. I've said before I am lucky to have older brothers. This is yet another example why I feel that way. Thank you Jimi. It was a lesson much needed and well taught.

These are, after all, the musings of a mind that wanders.

Friday, May 25, 2007

I'm back! We had the good fortune to spend a week in California with my brother and his wife. It was a good time and a good break from work which was much needed and, I believe, well deserved. It is always good to get away and especially good this time. I got to spend some time with my wife, alone, just the two of us... (no Kids). It was the first time in 11 years I was able to take the time from work and be just with her. I loved it. But here was more....I had 2 prominent experiences. The first was a dinner experience I will tell you about lateron in the post. The other, deserves a post all it 's own..

San Francisco is a beautiful city with lots to see and do. It is, however, quite expensive to visit and I couldn't find anyone who could afford to live there although I'm sure they do.

We cruised the bay and learned about the early history of San Francisco, THE Bridge, Alcatraz, Angel Island, Sausalito, and Tiburon. We spent some good times around Pier 39. Saw the sea lions, the fish markets, ships and yachts. We ate some good food and had a great time being tourists. You may have guessed what my wife has known about me for a long time. I am NOT a very adventurous person. I like what I like and am most comfortable when they don't change. Better the devil I know than the devil I don't as they say. So it was with great trepidation (and much convincing on my wife's part) that I attended a dinner theatre called, "Teatro ZinZanni Love,Chaos, and Dinner".

Let me say at the outset. I love my wife and this is a perfect example as to why. She makes me do things I would not consider and rarely...yes I said rarely....is she wrong. This was the most fun and the best time I have ever had at dinner. Dinner came over time but not before each of the five courses were announced during the act that preceded the course. It was interactive and wildly entertaining. As I read the Bios on the actors I noted one was a professor form a local college. What a great way for students to experience the fun and hard work that goes into the the creative process. His students are very lucky to have him and his abilities to learn from. All the performers were skilled in their area and they all seemed to enjoy what they were doing. Even as they moved around the theatre and interacted with the audience they stayed in character For them, it seemed, the audience experience was the thing. No pretense, no over the top "I am An Actor" kind of stuff. Good fun, Good Food, Good times. They were great.

We also had a chance to visit Monterrey and Carmel. Monterrey is fun and beautiful with shops,and street performers, water, beaches, and sea lions. One word of warning,If you ever get the chance to eat at Bubba Gumps, run Forrest run!! do not walk, run, in the other direction. Poor good food, Poor service. Forrest's mother would not be proud!!!

Carmel frankly, smells expensive. I was sure they were charging for the oxygen out there. Homey and peaceful, you got a sense that there were rich people hiding all over the place. I have never seen such a police presence either. The 17 mile drive on the way to it is great. I really enjoyed it. Lots of great pictures to boot. If you have a chance...stop in at the Hogs Breath Inn and "make your day". Drop on in and and enjoy great atmosphere and good food. It was well worth the money.

Our next destination was Modesto and although I spent a small amount of time there I got to meet some great people. California isn't at all like I imagined. It actually quite quaint in its own way and very outdoors oriented. Lots of parks and green spaces that almost force you to think about life in a whole different way. It was invigorating in a laid back kind of way. I had a great time.

Oh, by the way, I also found out I am a descendant of King Charlemagne which I find intriguing and very exciting so in keeping with this new found royalty.....

C'est, enfin, le musings d'un esprit qui se promène.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Prom Night: A night without sleep

They are unaware. They are just kids out to have fun with each other away from mom and dad. They don't consider it a life changing experience. It's just a dinner, a dance, a date. They may suspect, but they could not know what evil lurks just outside the protective custody of family or the safe haven of discipline. They may not even care. They are, after all, young.

It's nights like this that test a parents metal..draws them to their faith...forces them on their knees. I'll bet more prayers are raised this day than any other. They are our young men and young ladies. Our true talent on loan from God. Our legacy to the world. And they are out there out of our control and out from under our protective wing. Oh, God help them, better yet, help me!!

I remember prom. It was fun and exciting. I was able to leave the nest and try my wings in open air. My guiding principles were whispers on the wind, remembrances of what I heard was proper etiquette, and all that I had witnessed in everyday life since a time I can't remember.

I didn't think about consequences. I didn't worry about what ifs. The notion that there might be danger lurking wasn't even considered. I was entering the "night life". Until then, it was all child's play. Now I was ready and willing to enter the night realizing I had received the most sacred of adult purveyance.....No Curfew!!

As an adult, it's my time again. This time I can't help but worry. It is not me but still my flesh and blood out there ...somewhere. They are good kids. I shouldn't worry but I can't help it. They are out there in the world mingling with the rest of the world. Driving!!!! Does the rest of the world know how special they are, how precious they are? Does the world understand that they will change it? Do they know how important they are to to us?..to me?

I should go check on them. No I shouldn't... but I want to. I want to make sure they are okay. I want to make sure they are having a good time I want them to be safe. I want them to be home. I want them to come home. That's all. Just come home. Then we can talk about all the other things. The fun, the thrill, the fear, the night out on the town. After...only after...they come home.

I'm not as young as I used to be. Lord it's a little harder to get down here on my knees. It's a whole lot harder getting up. Just bring them home. Amen.

These are, after all, the musings of a mind that wanders.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

World Conference: A modern day Sukkot

It was true for the ancients. Jahweh required faithfulness amid even the greatest temptations and pressures of life. Every Jewish male must attend the three great feasts in Jerusalem: Passover and Shavuot in the spring, and Sukkot in the fall. Sukkot was the most joyous of all the sacred days. The only feast at which Jahweh had commanded his people to rejoice before him.

In the book, “The Echoes of His presence, Stories of the Messiah From the People of His Day”, Ray Vander Laan recounts the story of Asher, a young man who had recently left home to seek his fortune, and his journey to Jerusalem for the feast of the Sukkot. He had not seen his family for several months and met them at a friends house at which they were staying. Asher relates his understanding of Jewish Law and tradition throughout his journey and contemplates, with you, over the reasons traditions have become so important to his people. He relishes in the story-telling and news of family missteps and adventures while they were apart. You begin to understand that this is real family time, not just for him and his kin, but for the family of like believers who have devoted themselves to the mission God has given them.

The feast lasted for seven days filling the streets with singing and laughter. As the week passed the celebration became increasingly intense. By the 7th day the people would pack the temple filling it with shouts of praise that could be heard throughout the city and across the surrounding countryside. The sacrifices would be made and offerings of water and wine. Thousand would sing and praise God as they waived their ceremonial palm branches to honor the Lord who had blessed them and loved them.


Forward now more than 2000 years. And imagine. It is spring. Every 2 years the faithful journey to their “Jerusalem” a town in western Missouri for a gathering …a feast of sorts…renewing old friendships, making new ones caring for the needs of each and always, always honoring the God that brought them there. Here too, the weeks activities rise climatically to near fever pitch as they pray and praise and worship together. They make recommendations and receive direction as to how they are to fulfill their call to win souls for God and to bring peace and reconciliation to Gods people. It is an exciting time for them and that excitement washes upon each who come in contact with them.

I have some friends who, unwittingly, shared with me their experience at General Conference for the Community of Christ Church in Independence Mo. this past march and April. I have never met them in person but they have been kind enough to allow me to share with them in their “Cybercongregation” and in so doing, have passed on the excitement they experienced at their “Shukkot”. These are wonderful people who are generally concerned about each other and about the world around them. They want to please God not only as a child wants to please a father, but as a slave, once freed would honor his rescuer, as the created should honor their creator.

The conference is over now and much of the excitement is died down. But I can sense it…can’t you? There is an eternal flame that, now recharged , lights the path of these, his people, his children, his sons and daughters and they are committed. God has lovingly revealed to them his desires and they are responding to his call. They are in the world but are lead by a spirit not of the world, by a God who created the world, and by a Savior who gave his all, his full measure, for the world.

Something tells me the world will be a better place.

These are, after all, the musings of a mind that wanders.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Turf Wars

My home has become a battle zone. There are, to my surprise, territorial boundaries in my house that I was neither consulted on nor notified as to their existence. Apparently unpleastantries have been exchanged for quite some time and diplomacy has not done much to disengage the parties. A fragile peace was attained through the appropriate diplomatic channels but the relationship is currently spiraling out of control. I have been told there have been border skirmishes in the past but today I witnessed a brutal hostage taking. It was short-lived but it did open my eyes to the hostilities that have been brewing in my household.
Let me give you the facts as I know them.

It seems there are two planes in my house, one below the knees and one above the knees. They are in fact parallel universes and the inhabitants have free reign to travel each in their own “land” but never should they cross boundaries as this would be perceived as a hostile act. Retaliation should and would be swift and sure.

The inhabitants of the land below the knees are free to inhabit any horizontal surface below the knees. The dominant life form in the land is canine( I have heard of some that are predominately feline. That would be dangerous here). They may move laterally in any direction but may not move vertically except on rare occasion when receiving dignitaries who are carrying gifts from a foreign head of state, preferably one of the biscuit varieties.

The inhabitants of the land above the knees are free to inhabit any horizontal surface and may on occasion suspend itself from any vertical surface as long as it does so above the knees. There are many different inhabitants in the land above the knees and the dominant species appears to be toilet paper. Towels have been known to posture some but toilet paper appears to draw the most attention and garner more concern from rival below the knee inhabitants.

Now at any one time I have two dogs, Gizmo and Hershey, who have gladly inherited the land below the knees. They happily co-exist wanting only for manna from above twice a day and clean, clear water. At the same time, in the land above the knees, there may be as many as twenty rolls of toilet paper. I must confess I am not as familiar with the inhabitants above the knee as I should be as I do not know their names. They generally sit around either unable or unwilling to cause any trouble. They are a very peaceful lot.

To make a long story short, apparently an inhabitant from above the knees was caught looking down on Gizmo who, on a good day, is rather excitable and tends to assume things to be when they are not. Gizmo being rather proud did not appreciate the manner in which the toilet paper roll was looking at him and said as much to Hershey. Hershey rolled her eyes and suggested Gizmo look for a stuffed animal to “vent” on and ignore the toilet paper as they really have nothing else to do but look down on dogs. She tried to explain that it was just their lot in life and that Gizmo should pay them no mind.

One thing you can say about Gizmo, he is both focused and persistent…sometimes to a fault. He couldn’t let it go. After all wasn’t this HIS land? Wasn’t he a DOG? What could have gotten into a lowly roll of toilet paper that could possibly make it think it was okay to look down on him…and in such a manner? He reasoned that to allow such a thing would be to invite anarchy and, in doing so, the appearance of weakness. That could not happen.

Now I don’t know all the particulars. I suspect that Gizmo, being an enterprising dweller below the knees, had snuck into the land above the knees and kidnapped one of its citizens, and not just any citizen, it was the toilet paper roll.

A fight ensued. Gizmo grabbed the roll by the collar and dragged it across the room attempting to flip it in the air. Just then the roll escaped. Flying through the air and throwing itself on Gizmo hoping to knock him unconscious. The fight continued back and forth for several minutes stopping only after each combatant, tattered and tired were forced to separate and able to retreat each to their own land.

It‘s calm now, an uneasy peace. But it is at least peace. How long it will last I do not know. Each side has shared a portion of victory and each a portion of defeat. As for me, I hold on to the hope that such outbursts will not continue. Only time will tell.

I have become aware however, that there is one roll of toilet paper that’s got itself an attitude and I don’t feel very comfortable with the way it looking at me.

These are, after all, the musings of a mind that wanders.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Greatest Woman

If you knew her, there would be no question. She was strong, determined, funny and proud (sometimes too proud but we all have something). In the course of her life she raised 5 children, worked, sang, and lived a life that was committed to god. She raised her children to do the same.

Her life was not easy. She survived a brother, a sister, two husbands and 1 child. She lost a set of twins in the womb and lived to raise a set alone but for the help of her other children. I remember her standing at an ironing board doing other peoples laundry. She ironed and hummed and watch Adventure Road on the TV set while gently fold the clothes of others (she could not afford to buy for herself), neatly pack them up in a laundry basket and deliver them back to whomever owned them, all for $2.25. This was how she fed and kept her family.

As a child I never heard her complain. But I would often see her cry. They weren't sad tears I don't think. We would get all spruced up to go to school for PICTURE DAY. In those days it mattered what you looked like when you went to school. Several weeks later we would run home with the proofs and show them to mom. She would sit and cry as she paged through each collection. She could not afford to purchase them but she could enjoy them as she looked through them.

My dad had died several months before we were born. It was a hard time for her, losing a spouse and trying to raise a set of newborn sons. She could have been angry. She could have been bitter. Nobody would have blamed her. She wasn't. She spent the next 10 years convincing her new charges that their father was a wonderful man who would be proud of them both. Many nights I went to sleep comforted by the thunder knowing Dad was deeply engaged in a bowling tournament with God, but he could see us. That was her story. To this day I love a thunderstorm and I imagine....

Well that's a bit of her resume, an entrance interview if you will. What follows is a bit of her exit interview.

01/21/2004 Plain Dealer Newspaper
Zenia Chappell

Memorial services for Zenia Chappell, 90, of Mentor, will be 11 a.m. Thursday at Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 8751 Kirtland Road, Kirtland. Graveside services will be 12:30 p.m. Thursday at Mentor Cemetery (Section 16).

Mrs. Chappell died Jan. 17, 2004, at Lake West Hospital in Willoughby. Born Nov. 9, 1913, in Cleveland, she lived in Mentor for the past 50 years.She was a member of Lake County Sweet Adelines and was a volunteer for Meals on Wheels for many years. She was formerly active in the Eastlake and Mentor senior centers and loved bowling.Mrs. Chappell was a clerk in the Finance Department for the City of Painesville for 15 years before her retirement.

Survivors are her children, David Chappell of Leroy Township, Karen Smith of Streetsboro, James (Mary) Chappell of Riverbank, Calif. and John (Christine) Chappell of Kirtland; 16 grandchildren; 19 great-grandchildren; and 10 great-great-grandchildren.

Her husband, Ralph Clinton Chappell; daughter, Naomi Chapell; parents, Mike and Olga Gnetetski; brother, John Myron; and sister, Pauline Grinkevich, are deceased.

There will be no calling hours. The family suggests contributions to Hospice of the Western Reserve, 5786 Heisley Road, Mentor 44060. Arrangements are being handled by Davis Trust 100 Funeral Home in Willoughby.

End of article....

All that's left to be said is this: I know as she approached the pearly gates there was a loud trumpet sound, a royal receiving line, and Jesus. He looked into her tired eyes and said softly, "Well Done" and escorted her into my dads waiting arms. They are together again, just as it should be.

These are, after all, the musings of a mind that wanders

Friday, April 20, 2007

Forest Gump might define it this way:
"Funny is as funny does."

Or as Jamie Cullen could have written:

I could have laughed all night
I could have laughed all night
And still have begged for more

I think everyone loves to laugh. It just makes sense. Even the people who work very hard at pretending laughter is painful can't help but like it. America loves to laugh and we are at our best when we can laugh at ourselves. That's how you can tell a society feels safe...when they can laugh at themselves. When they can poke themselves in the ribs, slip on a banana peal, and smash a cream pie in their face, you have a society that is comfortable with their station in life and one that everyone enjoys being part of.

Sadly, we are not as funny as we used to be. We still laugh. We laugh a lot. We laugh hard....and we still enjoy laughing.....most of the time. It seems, more often, we're too busy laughing at others expense rather than our own. In fact, we don't laugh at ourselves at all anymore. We're far too successful, far too important and , lets be honest, its' had a profound effect on our society. You can see it in our TV shows and movies, news casts and radio shows, in our schools and at our grocery stores. Stop with the funny...show me the money, unless it's about you. Let me explain.

There was a time when if we lived in a community we were just that ...a community. Our parent sat around a fire or on the porch or stood a cross a fence and talked. The kids would run off and play while the adults grabbed their favorite beverage and chewed the fat about the events of the day, upcoming events and who needed what. Infused throughout the conversation were outbursts of laughter which settled into more conversation and an occasional debate. They laughed at their expense about the mistakes they made and the silliness they encountered. It was caring, nurturing, all-inclusive. I can identify with that kind of humor. It encourages closeness and sharing in good times and in bad and offers everyone an oppurtunity to see themselves as part of larger community . I submit to you that it isn't distance that makes the heart grow fonder. It is laughter and our parents had it in abundance.

Somehow, sometime that changed. We no longer laugh at ourselves with everyone else. Instead, we laugh at other people, and their misfortunes while isolating them as the butt of the joke. The result is a two prong attack on the very bindings that solidifies us as a nation, a community, and a family.

1) Our humor isn't good fun anymore. It is mean and nasty and is meted out without regard for the feelings of the person we joke about. It isolates all of us at one time or another as none of are completely spared. Some of us are cast aside regularly and ridiculed over some silly incident or bonehead mistake. Eventually the most isolated become true victims and some seek their revenge. The events that unfolded at Virginia Tech or Columbine serve as a good example as to what can happen in the most extreme cases. We should all take note that the incidents are becoming more frequent and more violent. The intended result may be a good time but there is an unintended result and and you may be surprised to find its affect on your life.

2) What we practice in common with others and what we do to others all in pursuit of a laugh eventually come home to roost. We barely know our neighbors, we aren't very open with our achievements and our failures. We in fact are quite terrified of the world in general and have developed technologies that "force" us not to interact with our community. Computers, Internet, TV, Movies, Video game systems. All of these allow us to stay at home avoiding that cruel world that lurks outside the door. We don't go out to the movies anymore... we order movies through the mail or through cable, We don't go to dinner..we have it delivered. We don't have to go out to shop for groceries...a truck will deliver it. In fact we don't have to go out to buy anything..we can buy it on line or on TV.

The unintended result of our humor is that we avoid any interaction to avoid being the victim. We can't talk to our neighbors because we cant look them in the eye. We cant look them in the eye because of the fun we've had at their expense. We are also afraid to be caught in the gaze of someone who might "find out" about us and then we will become the victim of our humor as well. And it gets worse. We can't help our neighbor when they need it because they're afraid to ask. We can t ask our neighbor for help because we are afraid that while they may help us, we will later become the topic of discussion at somebodies yap session. It is a vicious circle and the only way we can break it is for someone...anyone to venture out, risk ridicule and talk honestly, openly, earnestly and funny....ly about themselves and their circumstances. We might just be surprised that humor comes back in vogue and the world will become a nicer place to be.

I wonder who it will be?

These are, after all, the musings of a mind that wanders.