Friday, December 26, 2008

End of the Year Blogging

The end of the year is upon us and you know what that means...


The first one out is from the Young America's Foundation with Academia’s Top 10 Abuses of 2008.

Political correctness ran amuck in our nation’s school system this past year, and Young America’s Foundation has once again compiled our “best of the worst” academic abuses for 2008. From “free speech zones” to transgenderedspeakers at military academies, the following list may make you both laugh and cry in the same breath. That probably isn’t too surprising, however, since we are talking about academia after all…

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

What Child is this, who, laid to rest,
On Mary's lap is sleeping?
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet
While shephers watch are keeping?
This, this is Christ the King,
Whom shepherd guard and angels sing;
Haste, haste to bring him laud,
The babe, the son of Mary!

Why lies he in such mean estate
Where ox and ass are feeding?
Good Christian, fear, for sinners here
The silent Word is pleading.
Nails, spears shall peirce him through,
The cross be borne for me, for you;
Hail, hail the Word made flesh,
The babe, the son of Mary!

So bring incense, gold, and myrrh;
Come peasent, king to own him.
The King of kings salvation brings;
Let loving hearts enthrone him.
Raise, raise the song on high,
The virgin sings her lullaby;
Joy, joy for Christ is born,
The babe, the son of Mary!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Priority Blogging

I don't think my husband can complain about my blogging after this guy.

From Fox News:

Maybe one day they will include it on the safety instruction card: in the event of a crash, please do not start Twittering until you have left the aircraft.

An American software engineer appears to have raised the bar on real-time citizen-journalism after the Boeing 737-500 he was traveling on careened off the runway on take-off at Denver International Airport Saturday.

As flames engulfed the plane, Mike Wilson sent his first Tweet even before managing to get off the aircraft, alerting his friends and family to the drama: "Holy f***ing s*** I was just in a plane crash!"

It was the first of 30 messages Wilson sent to the popular microblogging service, initially via text message and then, when he got home later that night, via the Web. Each message is a maximum of 140 characters long.

The aircraft veered off the runway at about 6:22 p.m. MST on Saturday, shedding one of two engines and catching fire as it skidded off into the snow.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Video explains Keynesian Economics

(Hat tip: Robert Stacy McCain of RWN)

Friday, December 19, 2008

If God Sent a Christmas Card...

...what would it say?

Pictures of Angels
Merry Christmas


23 He said: “I am
‘ The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
“ Make straight the way of the LORD,”’
as the prophet Isaiah said.”
John 1:23

Before you can spread joy, you must have joy in your heart. Before you can spread love, you must have love in your heart. If you heart is full of hatred and anger for your brother, then that anger is going to spew from your heart. I know we try to hid that anger but our mouths always betrays us!

So if you have sin and darkness in your heart, the love and peace the Christ brings can not find a home there. The Lord wants you to be free of these heavy hearts! Please spend this Christmas season learning to forgive others and asking the Lord's forgiveness. The Lord came to our little Earth just for you! He wants to fill your heart with the unmeasurable joy that the Lord brings to you with the gift of his only begotten Son.

Have a Merry Christmas everybody!

Friday Math Joke

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Did the cop assault the bicyclist?

Maybe you've seen this video of a New York cop and a bicyclist colliding:

As you can see, it looks like the police man is purposefully elbowing the cyclist. I had watched it a couple of months ago when it was released and came to the same conclusion as many others. The policeman was charged with assault over the incident and today plead not guilty, bring the issue to the forefront again.

So, I watched the video again. This time I came to a completely different conclusion!

I really think the policeman was just trying to get out of the middle of the street. When he saw a cyclist coming his way, he tried to move a little faster and give the cyclist the right of way. The cyclist must have had the same thought as he made a sudden, tight move to the left in the video. The officer puts up his elbow in self-defense of the impending collision and runs. Well, while trying to avoid each other, they wind up colliding.

Well, if that was what really happened, then two normal, non New Yorkers might have apologized to each other and let it end. Maybe if it was on a normal day and not in the middle of an annoying, rude bicycle group's protest, things would have been different. Instead of helping him up, the police officer arrested him for assault and filed additional resisting arrest charges! On top of the assault charge that was brought after this video surfaced, the officer also faces charges of fraudulent filings against the biker.

I can't wait until this one is fought out in court. It seems that most New York cops are found not guilty of the charges against them. I would say he's not guilty of assault but is guilty of filing a false document against the biker.

last thought: I've been in an accident where I was the bicyclist and went flying over my handlebars. The guy I hit helped me up even as I was apologizing profusely.

Wait! You mean economic bailouts have been tried before?

And they didn't work then either?

From Reason Online:

Return of the Living Dead
What the U.S. can learn from Japan's failed experiment with "zombie businesses"

Anthony Randazzo

Twenty years ago, Japan faced nearly the exact same problems. Then they fell prey to the zombies.

After Japan's asset bubble burst in the late 1980s, their economy took a sharp downturn, prompting government officials to try bailing out banks and investing in infrastructure, much like the activity and proposals floating around America today. The results were terrible.

Mr. Randazzo goes on to list the incredible parallels between the current American economic crisis and the previous Japanese one. It's uncanny and scary. It's your duty to read this eye popping article. Stay informed, no matter how much of an idiot we feel like after reading it.

Grrr: Why didn't our leading officials know this!?!?!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

11 Tools to Get for Your Kids

From Popular Mechanics:

11 Tools to Get for Your Kids

It's important to instill a work ethic in your kids early in their lives, but it is equally important to teach them how to enjoy working and gaining new skills, and it all starts at home. Kids will always remember the first set of tools they lay their hands on, the first thing they make. But with all the tools out there, where should you start? A building contractor gives tips and suggests eleven tools to buy for your children this
holiday season.

Getting Served on Facebook

There are quite a few people raising alarms over privacy on the Internet after this episode.

From ARS Technica:

The Australian Capital Territory Supreme Court has approved the use of Facebook to serve legal documents to a couple who was otherwise inaccessible at their home or by e-mail, although the couple has since disappeared from the social networking site as well.

The unnamed Australian couple had defaulted on their home loan for AUS$100,000 (almost US$67,000), which spurred the bank to seek the services of Canberra-based law firm Meyer Vandenberg. Attorney Mark McCormack was assigned to the case and unsuccessfully attempted to contact the couple several times at their home, and then again via e-mail. With nowhere else to turn, McCormack asked the Australian court to allow him to serve the papers electronically to the couple via Facebook.
Did this couple have their "right to privacy" violated? First, let's note that this actually occurred in Australia and I have no idea what their laws entail. If this happened in American, I would say that no, there was no violation, merely embarrassment.

If the couple is being served, then that means these documents, their name, and their money problems are already a matter of PUBLIC RECORD. That means any Joe can go and see this document.

Second, the court has an obligation to serve people, even if they are hiding from them. I know in divorce cases, the court will allow for publication in the local newspapers. Facebook is just another means of communicating with people, just like a newspaper.

Now some people have also brought up the idea that you could be late on a bill and that creditor would publish something on your Facebook. In most cases, creditors itself have privacy rules about release of private information and that scenario would be in violation of their own rules. Violating their owe rules gets them sued a lot so I doubt they would do that. But if they publish on Facebook, heck, anywhere on the internet, would that be a violation of some privacy law here in America? I don't really know today but I know in the past, business would post public lists of those behind on store credit on the front door to embarrass their patrons. (It worked too.)

The words "internet" and "privacy" just don't mix. I know in the Brazos Valley, all documents and mug shots are available for free to the public with a quick internet search. I spoke with one mother whose son was arrested for being public intoxicated. She really worries about a future employer finding this past indiscretion and her son losing a prospective job over it. Okay, worried isn't the best word - livid is more like it!

last thought: Did you know that there are groups that peruse the public records to find and publish for business this very information? You can receive list of home and vehicle foreclosures, new purchases, and even lists of those who started up monthly utilities in the mail, all legally obtained from public records. That's one of the ways that you get junk mail when you just moved in a week ago!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Quote of the Day

Sign me up when you find one!

From Ladyblog:

To be clear, I’m not opposed to a massive right wing conspiracy against an
S&M children’s toy. But I just can’t find any evidence that it actually

*edit - link fixed

He Stepped in IT

and then wiped it on his shirt? Ewww!

From the Houston Chronicle:

DNA — animal and human — leads to man's conviction
Evidence on his shirt linked him to rape victim's dog

DUMAS — A Texas Panhandle man was convicted of rape and sentenced to three life terms in prison after tests showed dog feces found on a man's shirt matched DNA from the victim's pet.


Police sent the fecal matter on Nanez's shirt, fecal matter from the woman's yard and saliva from her dog to a veterinary genetics lab in California, which matched DNA. DNA does not exist in fecal matter, but cells from the walls of colons attach themselves to waste material, prosecutor David Green said.

Abortion Definitions

NOTE: I wrote this back in September but forgot to post it. A little late, but I didn't think it was half bad after I re-read it. Sarcasm is hard so please forgive me if I don't get it right for you.

Abortion is a hot topic between two of my favorite blogs and Provenzo. Provenzo, who is desperately trying to defend a women's right to abort her baby has a long and thought out argument. But arguments can only stand of the base they're built and that's why you don't build on sand. The Left likes to use new words and definitions such as "biological independence", "fetus", and "personhood" and weigh them against the more common terms of "with child", "baby", and "human". It's a confusing world when

From Provenzo via Casey Fiano:

"But why is biological independence the defining factor of personhood in both
morality and under the law?"

Once outside the womb, a biological mother's body continues to sustain the "fetus". The same level of nutrients and antibodies, less oxygen, that were delivered to the fetus via blood and an umbilical cord are now delivered via milk and breasts. This unique system is equipped to every female to allow them to continue the biological dependence of their fetus.

As the fetus grows, it learns small tasks, such as picking up food and that, if you push certain buttons on doors, food pops out. Some talented fetuses even develop tool and hunting skills. Parents of the fetus are astounded when they use sticks to stab bugs before they eat them. At this point in development, the human fetus has the intelligence of it's close cousin, the ape. Since 99.99999% of our genes are the same, a blind alien might be unable to tell a human fetus from an ape fetus.

During this time of development, human parents are often exhibit signs of herd mentality. As with dolphins and elephants, two very alike creatures, the development is left with older humans of the same clan. At approximately age 3, humans teach their fetuses to poop in a distinct location, just like the earth animal named pig.

Suddenly, at approximately age 5, the fetus graduates into a new level of intelligence, decisively separating it from it's ape cousin and mysteriously morphing into a "human". The first sign of logical, verbal argument are usually presented in the fetus' self-defense: "But Jimmy did it first!" Though frustrating to fetus' parents, is also the hallmark that a fetus has finally developed into a human, unique from other animals on earth.

//sarcasm off

Biological independence is a bad fact, a farce. There is no such thing. I've never met a truly biological independent person. I can say today that I am biologically dependent from my mother but I can never say that I am biologically independent. Besides, the independent/dependent relationship does not automatically translate into an authoritative relationship. Even further, an authoritative relationship does not automatically grant the authority over life or death. Historically, even owners of slaves, which were considered property and not given recognition of personhood by the government, were not granted the authority over their life and death.

Even the left's definition of "personhood" is weak and easily ripped apart. Their definition of personhood is represented by what rights are afforded it. You're getting it mixed up. Historically rights have defined citizenship and, only recently, been afforded to all people. Yet all these centuries, people were people even without "rights". Rights are granted by government; Personhood is not and can not. Slaves were always people, just people without rights.

Being outside the womb isn't what makes us different from the animals around us. Being outside the womb isn't what makes us human.

Scientists can't settle on a definition of life yet everybody knows what it is. Don't hide behind made-up definitions.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Word of the Year

Merriam-Webster announced their word of the year based on "highest intensity of lookups on Merriam-Webster Online over the shortest period of time."

10. turmoil
9. misogyny
8. rogue
7. precipice
6. trepidation
5. bipartisan
4. maverick
3. socialism
2. vet (v)
1. bailout

Most of the words are related to the most current election: bailout, socialism, maverick, bipartisan, and maybe even rogue and vet. Yet I'm completely floored at the simplicity of most of these words. Did people really not know what rogue, vet, or maverick meant? Yet, a look at previous year word list shows that this isn't a new trend at all.

Bailout takes the top honors. Just think of it: Congress passed a bailout but there were a lot of American that didn't even know what that meant!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Outstanding Young Man

Do you remember hearing about the young man who campaigned for a local school board seat and won at age 19? Don't you wonder what happened to him? Here's an awesome article about him, definitely worth your time to read.

From Human Events:

Gen Y Republican
by Elisabeth Meinecke

He’s from Illinois, young, smart and has a natural talent for relating to voters. And no, he’s not Barack Obama: he’s Aaron Schock, the newly elected U.S. representative for Illinois’ 18th district. Even Biden would like him -- he’s young, clean, and articulate, and at 27, will bring a Generation Y voice to Congress in January.

British Schools Dump History, Geography

Just remember, whatever Europe trys, liberals will eventually try to adopt here in America too, even if it's a complete failure.

From the Daily Mail:

History and geography axed in primary schools for lessons on healthy living and the environment
By Laura Clark

Traditional subjects such as history and geography are to be axed in the biggest overhaul of primary education for 20 years.

Timetables will instead be arranged around six 'areas of learning' that merge subjects into general themes. Pupils will also spend more time learning how to deal with 'deep societal concerns' such as violence, drug abuse, obesity, teenage pregnancy and debt.

This announcement comes on the heals over another important British educational study: (Hat tip: Joanne Jacobs)

From the Times Online:

School lessons designed to help children to learn social and emotional skills and improve classroom discipline have had little impact on pupil behaviour, a study suggests.

The programme called Seal (Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning) encourages pupils to discuss their feelings and manage their emotions. But a study of the group work phase of the project indicates that it is not having the desired effect on classroom or home behaviour.

Parents, teachers and pupils who took part in the study said there was no formal evidence the programme had any impact on “core” social skills like behaviour, empathy and self-awareness, when undertaken in groups.

I guess groups hugs, journals, wearing the same t-shirts, and hours upon hours of role play just couldn't rid middle school of mean girls and bully boys. Now they want to make failed programs like this into "curriculum". I wonder if students will be tested on it. Do you fail the section on healthy eating if they catch you snacking on a candy bar? Get caught fighting and have to "retest" on anger management?

I gotta feel for the students though. If there's one thing they can do, it's smell BS in adults. Can you imagine having to put up with 40 minutes every day?

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Winter Solstice - A celebration of attacking everybody else?

Here's the background story: Some religious groups have been putting up their holiday displays and an atheist group wanted to add their own Winter Solstice display. The sign was displayed, but stolen, found in a ditch, returned to a radio station, and put back on display.

As you can see, the sign is not celebrating anything. The group is taking this opportunity to insult and protest everybody else who disagrees with them. But the aethists can't even see the hatred in front of their own noses. Their leader was quoted as saying, "The atheist message was never intended to attack anyone."

Friendly rivalry

Raising some money for a good cause.


Twin Cities' Mayors Ring Bells For Salvation Army

Its a rivalry in the twin cities that's even involved the mayors, only this contest is friendly, and all about trying to see who could raise the most money for the Salvation Army.

Bryan mayor Mark Conlee rang a bell and took donations outside the Bryan Walmart for an hour Saturday.

College Station mayor Ben White did the same, in front of that city's Walmart.

Mayor Conlee was the overwhelming winner, and so Mayor White will present his Bryan counterpart with a bell trophy at an upcoming Bryan City Council meeting.

Over $5,500 dollars was raised for the Salvation Army, with Walmart providing $3,000 dollars to the cause.

Now the College Station Walmart is not a Super Walmart like the Bryan site. The Super Walmart has two entrances though, making it a fair fight. Kudos to Bryan people!

Thank you Walmart too!


The Eagle has a lot more details on the pots.

Conlee collected $4,002.89, and White brought in $1,589.28, officials said.

Wal-Mart added $1,000 each and pitched an additional $1,000 to Conlee's kettle for his victory, bringing the total raised during the event to more than $8,590.

Last year, Bryan's mayor raised more than $3,000, while College Station's mayor pro tem raised roughly $1,600.

The KBTX article makes it seem like $3000 of the $5,500 came from Walmart. It's good to know that the total was actually over $8000! Wow!

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Legalized Sin attracts Crime

European liberal society has tried to decrimilize the "sin" of our culture. By letting the sun shine on these victimless crimes, they believed that it would allow people to get their kicks and then return to their normal life. For some reason unknown, it just kept attracting more crime anyway. The Libertarians must be heartbroken!

From Fox News:

Many of Amsterdam's Brothels, Marijuana Cafes to Close

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands — Amsterdam unveiled plans Saturday to shutter up to half of its famed brothels and marijuana cafes as part of a major cleanup of its ancient city center.
The city says it wants to drive organized crime out of the neighborhood, and is targeting businesses that "generate criminality," including prostitution, gambling parlors, "smart shops" that sell herbal treatments, head shops and "coffee shops" where marijuana is sold openly.

Sex in the City....Park

A town had to re-write their laws after a Judge suddenly decided that sex in the park was not considered "disorderly conduct".

From The State:

But in June, Columbia got a new chief administrative judge who had a different interpretation of the law, Coble said.

Judge Dana Turner, who was one of the city’s assistant city managers, said the disorderly conduct ordinance was meant to keep people from shouting profanities and fighting in public, not from having sex in public.

“We have made an attempt to have people charged for doing things in our park that were not acceptable, and we were not successful in court,” Baker said.

It was "meant" only to do what she think? The definition of disorderly conduct has been around since 1786. Maybe the judge should have read the definition of disorderly conduct at Merriam-Webster:

:a petty offense chiefly against public order and decency that falls short of an indictable misdemeanor
Does not keeping your clothes on in public fall under the term decency? Isn't keeping sexual activities out the public park part of keeping public order? If the judge is confused, she should just hire a Texas Grandma. If Texas Grandma says, "Well, that just ain't right," then it probably doesn't qualify as "decent".

I had thought the article would be about catching teenagers driving down "Lover's Lane" and making out in their cars. The first line of the article set off my "gaydar" though.

People are having consensual sex in Columbia’s parks — but primarily in Granby Park along the river — and a loophole in the city’s ordinance has kept the city from prosecuting them.
Consensual sex? Versus what- rape? By applying the label "consensual", the reporter is telling us not to judge them -butt out- as they are adults making their own decisions that are none of our business. If the newspaper is justifying the sex, then you know it's gotta be about gays. Oh yeah, it was all about gay men. However, I find over and over, it's always worse than I think.

Granby Park has had problems before with men soliciting sex from other men.

It's hook-up spot for whoring gay men. These aren't even couples! And it gets even nastier because the article goes on to state how it happens in a lot of other city parks. I must have been stupid to think it was just limited to airport bathrooms.

Medical Blogging

My favorite Medical blogger closed up shop last year and I have been without for a long time! Here are two good articles for y'all to read.

The Blog That Ate Manhattan breaks down the marketing ploys of Big Pharma's newest, gotta have little pill.

But what if we could combine disease awareness with brand name recognition by actually renaming the disease with your drug's brand name? Better still, forget disease recognition altogether. Cast an even wider net and tie your brand name to the symptoms of the disorder. Who cares if other diseases might have the same symptoms? You're going to own that symptom, and then, like a rancher with a
roped calf, brand it
Growing up, my mother always said that generics were no different than the name brand medicines. She might have been right then, but with the emergence of non-American drugs, can we still be so sure? Dr. Reyes breaks down a recent study for us here.

Translation: one of the ten studies, they found that generic diuretics, AKA “water pills”, a medicine used for water retention and high blood pressure,
didn’t work as well as the name brand product; but what is more upsetting is that two of the seven studies that compared Calcium channel blockers found that the drugs were not equivalent. These medicines are mainly used for high blood pressure, but sometimes used for irregular heart beat.

Friday, December 05, 2008

A Love Guru at Age 9

This article was absolutely darling!

From the New York Post:


He's only 9, but this pint-sized pickup artist already knows plenty about pleasing the ladies.

So much, in fact, that Alec Greven's dating primer, "How to Talk to Girls" - which began as a handwritten, $3 pamphlet sold at his school book fair - hit the shelves nationwide last week.

The fourth-grader from Castle Rock, Colo., advises Lothario wannabes to stop showing off, go easy on the compliments to avoid looking desperate - and be wary of "pretty girls."

"It is easy to spot pretty girls because they have big earrings, fancy dresses and all the jewelry," he writes in Chapter Three.

"Pretty girls are like cars that need a lot of oil."

He advises, "The best choice for most boys is a regular girl. Remember, some pretty girls are coldhearted when it comes to boys. Don't let them get to you."

Sigh! Don't we wish all boys thought with the head and didn't think excess deoderant and hairspray was the way to impress the ladies.

Thanksgiving dinner

Howdy Everybody!

I was hoping to have pics of my feast by now but no such luck. My mom takes most of the pictures in the family and I forgot to download them all before she left. Then I forgot again to download them when she was here on Saturday, and when we met on Sunday...

Our Menu

Turkey - Hubby makes the turkey! It was absolutely wonderful, juicy and tender.
Stuffing - I made three boxes for the turkey and then had to make two more to feed everybody.
Sweet Potato Casserole - Sister was going to try a new of doing the sweet potatoes as individual patties but we didn't. Instead we relied on Mom's years of experience and tossed her in the kitchen when she arrived. It was wonderful even though she didn't have a recipe. (I actually liked it a little better!)
Green Bean Casserole - A double recipe of this left us with no leftovers. Sad.
Mashed Potatoes - I used plenty of real butter and half and half instead of milk. Then I whipped them instead of beating for a different texture.
Apple Tart - Cut up apples in a pastry covered with marmalade jam. Sister forgot to add the butter and sugar to the recipe but it turned out wonderful anyway. The sweetness and flavor of the apples stood out instead.
Corn Bread - Again, made from scratch. Two people asked me for my recipe!
Desserts - There was so much food that I ran out of room for the desserts and had to set up my ironing board to contain the overflow. Three pumpkin pies, a pumpkin cake, banana bread, chocolate cake, pecan pie, apple pie w/ ice cream, pineapple upside down cake, and two giant pans of fudge. I also make my own cool whip.

I had 11 adults and four children for Thanksgiving. There were almost no leftovers! I'll make more food next time.

Friday, November 21, 2008

News You Can Drink To

Dr. Pepper CEOs are still living in the 80s too.

From the Houston Chronicle:

Guns N’ Roses delivered and so will Dr Pepper
Nov. 20, 2008

LOS ANGELES — Dr Pepper is making good on its promise of free soda now that the release of Guns N’ Roses’ Chinese Democracy is a reality.

The soft-drink maker said in March that it would give a free soda to everyone in America if the album dropped in 2008. Chinese Democracy, infamously delayed since recording began in 1994, goes on sale Sunday.

“We never thought this day would come,” Tony Jacobs, Dr Pepper’s vice president of marketing, said in a statement. “But now that it’s here, all we can say is: The Dr Pepper’s on us.”

Beginning Sunday at 12:01 a.m., coupons for a free 20-ounce soda will be available for 24 hours on Dr Pepper’s Web site. They’ll be honored until Feb. 28.

Dr Pepper is owned by Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Inc.

Last thought: I hear the bell ringing. I think I'll run out and get one!

Update: I wasn't able to get through the system to get my coupon! Boo hoo!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Reading List

I just started reading Texas Women on the Cattle Trails. Yes, I'm a little weird. I read non-fiction instead of just fiction. In high school just glancing at the non-fiction section would give me the heebie-jeebies. Why would anybody voluntarily read a boring book? Why did the book stores even stock them? Did people actually buy, take them home, and read them more than once????

Shortly after I got married, I found myself wandering the non-fiction at the public library. I rarely go back to fiction stories as I'm always halfway through the story when the author decides to throw in something nasty to ruin a good story. Bleh. If it's gonna be dirty, real life is the way to go then!

The first story in the book is about Kate Malone Medlin. She was born in Kentucky but got to Texas as fast as she could, age 7 to be exact. She grew up in Denton County and was apparently quite a lovely lady.

In 1855 Kate, at seventeen, had attracted the interest of a local German, who asked to marry her. When Kate's mother, Polly, refused the offer, the infuriated man shot Polly and mortally wounded her. Kate's father rushed to his wife's defense, wrestled the gun from the man, and beat him over the head with the gun, breaking the man's neck and killing him.

She later married Jarrett Medlin and they had three kids with another on the way when the civil war was going on. Jarrett left to join the Confederacy and the pay just wasn't enough, or wasn't there at all, and all the mothers of the time just had to make do.

The war was hard on the women of the county, who were kept busy spinning and weaving their "own dresses; they looked awefully coarse and ugly, as many of us had never woven any cloth, much less worn such shoddy looking goods. "
Kate's husband died of measles and exposure during the war and she was a widow with four children. Her extended family decided to drive cattle to California to make a buck and she, not having any other family, decided to join them. That simple, totally based on need decision, for her family's survival, is what had her lined up in a wagon on the morning of April 15, 1868 to cross the wilds of the American West.

"Once out into the frontier of Texas amid the cattle range, we stayed there long enough to gather enough stock to bring with us, which took until the 3rd of May. Then we started for California with our string of seven wagons."

Did you know that's how the Texas cattle drives got their cattle? Yup, they just walked out and gathered them from the plains. Oops- you might have just learned something from a non-fiction book!

Driving 1800 head of cattle can cause some problems. One of the problems was a three day stretch of land with no watering holes at all. The horses and oxen stock were kept watered but not the cattle. After three days of traveling the cattle got their first whiff of water and went mad trying to get it. The herders tried to stop them because the water was bad; many drank anyway, dieing so fast they they didn't even crawl out of the water holes. When they finally reached the Pecos river, the animals pushed other off of cliffs and into quicksand to get to the river. Half of their herd died from water troubles.

Their leadership, the man elected captain, was also very poor.

Having selected a captain and given him decision-making authority on the trail, they set off heading west to California. As they neared the cutoff for the fort where they had planned to get provisions and ammunitions, the captain, expressing assurance for their safety, decided not to go to the fort but rather to continue on to find sufficient grass and water for the livestock. Hall Medlin, Kate, and the others went along with the captain and thus were not equipped with the needed guns, ammunition, and food for the ordeals that lay ahead.

Oh yeah, you need guns and hands. Why?

"So we started to our doom and I felt as though we were going into trouble as we had heard that the Indians had taken a large herd of cattle only three days before. This, our Captain did not believe, but I did, as we could see find beef cattle along the roadside. The Indians had secured them from the train ahead and had let them scatter out on the range to feed."
And, yes, the Indians came. "INDIANS!"
"I quickly placed my children and my sister's children in my wagon and put my feather beds around them, as I had heard that bullets would not go through feathers."

Kate was all ready to grab a gun and start firing at the Indians but the men had other plans for them. Oh, you're probably thinking, "They had them loading the guns while they fired."
Kate grabbed her old Enfield rifle, but the men told the women to make bullets for their few weapons. ... The women melted lead and then poured the hot metal into the molds and, after a quick cooling, passed the bullets to the men, who were reloading as fast as possible.
After the fight, the women went ahead to town while the men tried to gather what was left of their cattle. For two weeks, they had to beg for food but were told they were lucky to be alive.

Along the way, a relative died from complications of a pulled back. He was trying to lift a wagon out of the mud. Kate's daughter Sarah was also hurt.

One day Kate's daughter Sarah was walking by the side of the wagon. While attempting to climb back inside, she fell underneath the front wheel, which ran her over, breaking her leg and thigh. Hall Medlin had to sell one yoke of oxen, worth $25, to pay for a doctor in Yuma to set her thighbone.

See, doctors have always been expensive.

They did make it to California but the trip was a "financial disaster." They were lucky and happy to be alive and life continued. I did find this note very interesting.
Kate, as was common at the time, married her late husband's older brother, Marion.
Though I know re-marrying into the same family has it's roots in the Bible, I had no idea that it been continued in the American West. If you already have kids though, it makes perfect sense. As modern day divorced women can tell you, it's hard to find a man that cares for somebody else's kids. But with family, a bond between the man and children has already formed, and often a friendship bond between the widow and members of his family.
Final thought from Kate concerning her journey:

"I tell you, the women of California don't know what hard work is. We women of Texas had worked both indoors and outdoors when needed, which was often during the Civil War."

Last thought: Don't you suddenly feel inspired to go buy this from Busted Tees?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Favorite Political Online Places

I don't take the newspaper and I don't pay for cable. I get most of my news from bloggers and news sites online now. Here are my favorite bloggers from this past political season, in no particular order.


Gateway Pundit: Once I got my connection fixed and could download videos, I completely fell in love with this video blogger. A girl? A guy? I don't even know. Gateway Pundit is from St. Louis and has new content on the website all day long. Short video clips are an awesome addition.

Michelle Malkin: Ms. Malkin has been a mainstay in the blogging business for a couple of years now. She writes newspaper columns, is a commentator for political shows, and has even done some cable news hosting. Her posting are always informative and right on target. She also runs Hot Air, a video blog.

Right Wing News: RWN is run by John Hawkins but this political season he branched out and now has many other bloggers on his site. The commentary is always posted fresh in the morning for everybody to read. His blogging has turned a pretty nickel and now he gets paid for writing some political columns at Townhall. He also runs Conservative Grapevine, a compilation of news and blog articles for you peruse each day.

There's also Powerline and Instapundit, two awesome groups.


For commentary other than just blogs, I head over to Townhall and Human Events and get your head full of Hugh Hewitt, Ann Coulter, Thomas Sowell, and John Stossel. My dad saw Human Events up on my computer and spent the whole afternoon catching up on articles by Michael Reagan.

My other favorite is Spengler from the Asian Times. He's very much an international character and has a completely different perspective of how American decisions effect the rest of the world. He makes me go "hmmm". :)

News Sites

When I say I'm a Republican, people automatically assume I'm spending my evenings plugged into the Fox News Channel. Sorry to disappoint! I do love their online news site and will catch up on some politcal commentary every once in a while. I also frequent CNN but I really don't like their site, news seems scarce and it has too much video. This political season I also found myself going to the British sites for American news! Yes, I could find more commentary, diverse opinions, and even articles about good things happening in American over at the Daily Mail and Telegraph!

What are your favorites? Do you even read news online?

Updated: I fixed all the url links. I have no idea why blogger decided to add "" in front of every url I listed. Somebody at Google has been messing with a perfectly good script.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Some parents DO get it right

From Fox News:

A 6-year-old Arizona boy was grounded by his mother after he was hit by a police car while riding his bike, reported.

Recently released surveillance video of the Nov. 2 accident shows Jason Justice and his sister Jessica riding their bikes through an apartment complex parking lot. When the Phoenix police car slowly approaches the two, Jessica veers away while Jason continues straight ahead, ultimately getting hit and pushed a short distance by the car.


Justice said her son is grounded until he gets his bike fixed and starts wearing a helmet.

It's nice to see people take responsibility for their children instead of suing others.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Old Article, Good Read

From City Journal:

How I Joined Teach for America—and Got Sued for $20 Million
by Joshua Kaplowitz

An idealistic new Yale grad learns up close and personal just how bad inner-city schools can be—and why.

It was May 2000, and the guy at Al Gore’s polling firm seemed baffled. A Yale political-science major, I’d already walked away from a high-paying consulting job a few weeks earlier, and now I was walking away from a job working on a presidential campaign to do . . . what?

Well, when push came to shove, I didn’t want to devote my life to helping the rich get richer or crunching numbers to see what views were most popular for the vice president to adopt. This wasn’t what my 17 years of education were for.

My doctor parents had drummed into me that education was the key to every door, the one thing they couldn’t take away from my ancestors during pogroms and persecutions. They had also filled me with a strong sense of social justice. I couldn’t help feeling guilty dismay when I thought of the millions of kids who’d never even tasted the great teaching—not to mention the supportive family—I’d enjoyed for my entire life.

I told the Al Gore guy, “Thanks, but no thanks.” Weird as he might have thought it, I had decided to teach in an inner-city school

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Boys Prove Themselves the Ultimate Sport Nuts

It started as a simple fundraiser for their new gym, but the two teams wound up setting a new Guiness World Record for the longest basketball marathon.

From The Reporter

School more important than world record, says coach
By Paula Schlueter Ross

It's official: "The longest basketball marathon is 77 hours, 7 minutes, 7 seconds, set by students of Heartland Lutheran High School in their gymnasium, Nebraska, United States, from 4 to 7 July 2008." So reads the certificate from Guinness World Records, received in August by Coach Lloyd Wagnitz on behalf of the LCMS high school in Grand Island, Neb. Wagnitz plans to officially present the award to the school during its first basketball game of the year Dec. 4.

The "Basketball Extravaganza 77," as it was called, also was designed to raise money for the school's new building, which houses classrooms and its first-ever gym. Players accepted donations from sponsors, with a goal of raising $27,000. As of Oct. 21, the fund was still growing and totaled more than $62,000.


Playing basketball for a little over three days straight wasn't an easy feat, he admits. After 10 hours of continuous basketball, the two dozen players - ages 15 to 23 -- wanted to keep going, even though their coach wasn't so sure they should. "I saw in their eyes that they were starting to question if they could do it," Wagnitz told Reporter. But he "continued to encourage the players, said a prayer, and pressed on,"
even though he was "sick with grief" and "guilt" for hours, and even "broke down in tears" to a parent, who assured the coach that the boys really wanted to keep playing.

Wagnitz says "God had His hand in this event all the way" and also credits the players, who "were willing to do whatever it took" to help the school raise needed funds. The "Basketball Extravaganza 77" Web site at features photos and testimonies from the players, including Brett, a former Heartland Lutheran Red Hornet, who said he played "to honor all of my teachers, family, and friends that supported me when I was enrolled at Heartland Lutheran High School. They all encouraged me to be the best I could [be]. By playing this game we are raising money to save the school so more kids can attend and have a great experience. This is a great thing God is doing with this school and I want it to continue." The Web site and quotes from players "tell everyone that the main purpose was our school, not the record," acknowledged Wagnitz, whose life has changed dramatically as a result of the "Extravaganza."

The final score was 7,641 to 7,212 with the alumni taking the win. Will the students demand a re-match?

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Reading List

Trinity Schools has released a new reading list for 7th through 12th graders. Now, I don't know anything about Trinity but the depth and breadth of material that they cover is truly awe-inspiring. Their students will read and study these titles, not just recommend them to parents.

Reading List Linky

Ninth Grade
Documents in American history
The Federalist Papers (selections)
Selections from the writings of Thomas Jefferson
Selections from the Lincoln-Douglas debates
Crane, The Red Badge of Courage
Thoreau, Walden; Civil Disobedience
Twain, Huckleberry Finn
Frederick Douglass, Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave
Cather, My Antonia
Sinclair, The Jungle
Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea
Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird
Short stories of Crane, Cather, O'Connor
Wilder, Our Town
American poetry

Of the whole list, I've read seven. I own two others on the list but haven't finished the.

If The Shoe Fits pt2


Let’s start with the helmet. This one is easily the most likely to wind up tangled in debate. We won’t get into laws or which standard is better in this go-‘round. So, what makes a good helmet? It has been said, “If you have a $10 head, wear a $10 helmet.” I agree, to a point. You don’t need a very expensive helmet to get decent protection for your head. DOT is the minimum standard. Snell is a higher standard in the States. CE or ECE, I would say, is the European counterpart to Snell: a higher standard in an effort to produce the best protection. Oh yeah, in case you hadn’t picked up on it, I’m talking full-face helmets with a visor. Half and three-quarter helmets look cool but severely compromise protection and are for idiots and performers.

Flashy graphics are flashy and have no part on what will protect your head in a crash, so we’ll pretend we want something plain, a solid color. Graphics can add a substantial amount to the cost of a helmet. But image being everything that it is means that some will pick a helmet that isn’t right for them because it looks cool. Get over it! The first important thing to consider is comfort/fit. These go together because comfort won’t help if the fit is wrong. A comfortable helmet that does not fit properly will not provide ideal crash protection.

If it is too loose, the helmet may come off entirely in a crash. On a daily basis it will move around a lot in the wind and create distractions and even headaches from vibrations or the visual strain of a moving object in your face. If too tight, wearing on a daily basis may not happen because it hurts to wear it. If you can’t stand to wear the helmet, you are far less likely to wear one in the first place.

Trying on a helmet before purchasing it should take a long time. A 30-second assessment in a shop will not tell you if pressure points are there which will make your head hurt the first time you are on the bike for more than fifteen minutes. Try the prospective helmet on and wander around the shop. Take your time. Look at other stuff. Take some more time. It may be helpful to find a shop which will allow you to return a helmet. Cycle Gear is one such place. They have a 30-day return policy (check with your shop for their specific policies and details) and will allow you to swap for a better size if all is still well with the helmet.

One of my earlier helmets was Shoei RF-800. It fit like it was made using my head as the form. I loved it. But eventually the need arose to replace it and the 800 was no longer available. I went to the new-and-improved RF model and was very excited about it. It was lighter and had better ventilation than my old helmet. The price had risen a bit with time, but I managed to make the deal happen. At the time, I had a three hour one-way commute that was done two to three times a week. Six to nine hours per week, just in commute time. I had some trouble pretty quickly, but chalked it up to needing to get used to the new lid. I went almost three months before I hurt so bad after the commute, that I had to factor in recuperation time with my trips. My wife convinced me to go ahead and search for a new helmet.

I tried every model and brand in all the bike shops I could find. I kept coming back to one particular model I had never considered before because it was about three times as much as I considered to be reasonable for a helmet. I wound up getting the Shoei X-11, a high-end model that cost what I considered to be a ridiculous amount of money. It worked better than I could have dreamed because it was not only well fit to my head, eliminating any pressure points, but ventilates better than any helmet I have ever tried. I wanted a $10 helmet, but couldn't find one that fit. The X-11 and I are still together, and will stay so attached, so long as Shoei doesn't go and mess with the head-form design.

Do I think about my head as I ride? Nope. It's well fit and cared for.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

National Day of Prayer

I think that Election Day is the *official* National Day of Prayer.

A Prayer for Good Government

Eternal Lord, Ruler of all, graciously regard those who have been set in positions of authority among us that they may be guided by your Spiri, be high in purpose, wise in counsel, firm in good resolution, and unwavering in duty, that under them we may be governed quietly and peaceably; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

For Responsible Citizenship

Lord, keep this nation under your care. Bless the leaders of our land that we may be a people at peace among ourselves and a blessing to the other nations of the earth. Help us provide trustworthy leaders, contribute to wise decisions for the general welfare, and thus serve you faithfully in our generation to the honor of your holy name; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.


Done the Deed

My sister and I packed the baby into the stroller and walked over to the school to vote. We are official!

I do love the Texas electronic voting machines. Instead of a touch screen, you use a small wheel to move the cursor from candidate to candidate. Each time you move the wheel, a small click and pause helps you place the cursor. There are separate buttons for "enter" and "cast ballot". Kudos to the people who put together this well thought out, yet simple machine.

Even if my fellow citizens choose a President that doesn't lead my nation down the straight and narrow road, I'll still lead my life as a Christian, praying for those in need and showing love to my neighbor. "They'll know you're a Christian by your love," as the song goes, not by state of affairs that surround us.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Just Tell Us The Truth

You have a choice to make this election. Do you know where the candidates stand on abortion? Do their written statements match the words coming out their mouth? This video makes it perfectly clear for the undecided Christian voter.

I think I've watched this video a dozen times! I love it! Great production, editing, symbolism, and the music is awesome. I had been studying that chapter from Deuteronomy they quote at the end for my Sunday School class and it made it even more personal to me.

The video is produced by Americas Choice Now. Go add your comments to their site if you liked it. We should definitely encourage each other.

The hat tip goes to Gateway Pundit. He's a video blogger that I now visit almost everyday. He has a comprehensive collection of all the wonderful pro-life videos and ads that have been produced this political season. This one is my favorite. I bet you could find a favorite of your own if you went there. To search his site for just pro-life related videos click here.

Last thought: You might also notice that I've added Lutherans for Life under my favorite links. Their news and commentary section is updated regularly and offers a comprehensive cross-section of life issues from around the world. The site also publishes a quarterly magazine you can get for free. Their leader, James Lamb, is an excellent writer and his essays are always pleasant, informative, and fulfilling. They offer an excellent opportunity to stay informed, fight, and pray!

Friday, October 31, 2008

If The Shoe Fits

Recently I was reading Lee Parks Total Control (lSBN 0-7603-1403-9,) particularly the chapter on riding gear. In it he cites the Taoist sage Chuang Tze, who 2500 years ago established the standard for proper gear fitment. He said, “When the shoe fits, the foot is forgotten.” This really describes the ideal relationship for a rider and his gear. As good as your gear may be, as much as you have spent on it, as flashy as it appears, it should be quite forgettable once it is in place.

I have tried many different versions of the various gear available out there in mesh, leather, other synthetics for boots, gloves, jackets, pants and cold weather and rain protection. So, how does one go about quickly identifying the best in riding gear out there? It has taken me more than a dozen years to learn as much as I know, yet I haven’t the aptitude, patience or wit to enable you to quickly pick out what is best for YOU in riding gear. These evaluations are very subjective. I'll try to keep it to some tips and examples.

First, let’s itemize what we seek. 1) A helmet to protect the ol’ noggin’. 2)Gloves, cause it’s so hard to do buttons up without using your fingers. Walking would be pretty tough without feet, so 3) boots are in there too. And 4) protection for the rest of you, including varying climates.

All will be covered in due time.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Christians getting it Wrong, Wrong, Wrong

The article itself is written by a bunch of people who are insulting Christianity and taking great pleasure at their mistake. Even so, I laughed heartily when I saw the picture. Hindsight is 20/20.

Where's Charlton Heston when you need him?
Posted on: October 29, 2008 9:59 PM, by PZ Myers

Picture Caption: We are going to intercede at the site of the statue of the bull
on Wall Street to ask God to begin a shift from the bull and bear markets to
what we feel will be the 'Lion's Market,' or God's control over the economic
systems. While we do not have the full revelation of all this will entail, we do
know that without intercession, economies will crumble.

Trust me, this is one of those things in the Judeo-Christian heritage that never ends well. There's this jealous god who does smitings.

Monday, October 27, 2008

My son is undecided still in this election

I never thought politics would seep down so low, even to the elementary school level. My son came home last week talking about the election. One of his classmates told him that he was voting for Obama because "McCain was going to start a war with Russia and then all the world would be at war and there would be nuclear bombs everywhere." With saving the world from destruction on his mind, the boy announced that he was definitely voting for Obama.

Where's a parent to begin when faced with a statement like that from an impressionable ten year old? Well, I assured him that if Russia wanted to start a war that they probably didn't care who was President and that nobody was going to be dropping nuclear weapons on anybody else. Then I tried to explain taxes on small businesses, how it would effect his dad, and why I was voting for McCain.

Today my boy got to play McCain on the school announcements! He read a little statement and wore a face mask. Tomorrow the students get to hold an election and vote for their favorite candidate. I didn't see the speech that he gave before this afternoon. It wasn't BAD but it was elementary-ish. I would have re-written it slightly if I had seen it beforehand.

Hi everyone. My name is John McCain and I am the 2008 Republican Presidential nominee. I am 72 years old. My running mate is Sarah Palin who is the Governor of Alaska. I was born in Panama, and attended the United States Naval Academy. I am a senator from Arizona. I was a prisoner of war during the Vietnam War and was captured by the North Vietnamese. I have a wonderful wife named Cindy and 4 beautiful children named Meghan, John, James, and Bridget. In High School I was a Varsity wrestler which I think helped me through the 5 and a half years that I was a prisoner of war. I have great ideas to change our society and make it a better place for everyone. I'd like to be your next President.
Please vote for me!

Tomorrow is the day the students vote. J-Boy was telling me how he was still confused frustrated about who to vote for! He thinks what I said about McCain was very good but apparently he still finds his friend's statement about the Russian war very persuasive too!

Well, as an loving parent, I tried to reveal unto the small lad the second great mystery of the world- politics. I began by explaining the purpose of government, to provide a safe and stable infrastructure so businesses and people can thrive, but I had to backtrack and define infrastructure for him. I told him that making a decision on an election meant research, reading, and educating yourself, none of which him or any of his friends had ever done. I didn't expect him to know who to vote for! His friends were just listening to their parents and, though that's definitely a good thing, when he gets old enough to vote, I expect him to do his own research and not just vote because of what I was voting. This was suddenly a very deep discussion.

I hope that I've given him some ammo with which to make playground politics discussions non-stressful. He also said that the teachers really, really want everybody to participate in the vote tomorrow. I hope my assurances that he doesn't have to "make a choice" and I surely wasn't going to find fault in his indecision help him not to worry. His problems will probably end tomorrow. Us adults get to stress for another week.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Scariest Halloween Costume?

Sure, there are a lot of scary Halloween costumes out there. There are Batmans, Jokers, and lots of Hannah Montana look-a-likes running around flashing their underwear. I've seen pictures of dogs dressed like Sarah Palin. What's worse is that I thought the dog was absolutely adorable in the picture.

This one made me spill my chocolate milk. The FLDS Mother Costume.

I hope they remember to have six other friends wear this costume with one man hanging around them.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Voter Registration Problem? All Fixed

My sister and her family moved up to Aggieland from Houston this past December. She registered to vote a month or so ago but hadn't received her card yet in the mail. I watched the baby while she ran down to the Voter's Registration Office. It seems hers was one of the "bad" cards that couldn't be matched. The clerk didn't notice the "i" at the end of her name and it left off completely. Even though the DL# was input correctly, their system could not match the name or figure out the problem. A quick visual of her license would have shown the clerk what the problem was.

Voter Registration offices are just another underfunded government office. Stupid problems like this are going to occur if you don't have a good cross-referencing search engine on your system. If this had been Ohio instead of Texas, my sister's card would have been considered one of the 200,000 problematic cards. For years after I moved from Houston, my mother was getting Jury Notice Summons for me. When the news stations said how many people didn't vote in election, they were probably counting me too even though I was properly registered and voted 300 miles away.

This problem was solved though. My sister WANTS to vote and therefore took an interest in her missing Voter's Card. Simple.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Nuclear Bombs

The debate leader asked the VP nominees under what conditions would they use nuclear power aka "nukes" during the presidency. I say this was definitely the stupidest question ever. I, the wonderful housewife, always at my best at 2am, will give you the proper answer.

If Al-Qaeda used nukes against us... Uhm, that's why were working so hard in Iraq and Afghanistan! We want to prevent this! Hello!

If Pakistan used nukes against us.... Well, if you're ACTUALLY worried about that situation, just elect McCain/Palin. He thinks she's too beautiful to be blown away by a nuke.

If Iraq used nukes against Israel.... Why is this a US Presidental matter? I'm sure that Israel would blow them away before they even called the President.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Our Pre-Hurricane Ike Drama

With a lot of family and friends in Houston, we've had plenty of Ike news and coverage. We're in Aggieland and our city was an oasis of electricity in the aftermath. The kids didn't even seem to notice the storm outside.

The Wednesday before the storm hit, Hubby and I went down with a chainsaw to cut the tree branches that had grown onto my parents' roof. We thought three limbs, one hour, and poof, we'd be done and on the road again. Hubby was sick and his last patient of the day had shown up a half-hour late so it was a bad start to the trip. I had added the cost of the chainsaw rental, gas to travel, and food for the road and came to conclusion that these three lousy limbs were gonna cost me $35 each to get cut. *grumble grumble*

Instead we were met with a jungle covering half their roof! My dad also kept pointing out spots we shouldn't step so we didn't fall through the roof. After three hours of heavy labor, we still weren't done but had to go home. Instead of one tree and three limbs, there were three trees that needed to be cut back plus two more that it wouldn't hurt to include. We cut and hauled in the dark until a pile 6ft high and as long as the drive was piled onto the street.

To ad insult to injury, heavy garbage wouldn't pick up the limbs the next morning as planned because they weren't cut into perfect three foot section and bundled. That morning, as Houston woke up and realized a big, nasty hurricane was bearing down on them, the tree cutters were suddenly swamped with calls. To get those branches removed, I had to call a dumpster hauling company and pay them $200. Well, it was my little brother who pulled the cash out of his summer savings account to pay the workers. I did promise to pay him back though.

Our work was enough that the side of the house roof didn't suffer any ripped off shingles. Darn! Considering how bad of condition the roof was in, I wish I had just let the hurricane finish it off and get it replaced under insurance!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Badges of Squiddom

(all names are approximations)

We’ll cover specific tires I like later. This is just a rant.

I notice in many forums the general question of which tire to use is rather a frequent one. I get the impression that many of those asking this particular question are newer riders or riders on a new (to them) bike. As the discussion begins, the usual names of what is popular at the time get thrown out. The list usually centers around the latest DOT race tires and those very closely related. The fact that someone recommends top-shelf or popular equipment somehow endows them with some form of automatic credibility. Those recommending such tires bear some badge of honor. Those who ask are really asking questions that most ad copy would answer, while those who answer respond with it. A lot of would-be experts on the matter buy tires that are able to perform way beyond their own riding capabilities and proclaim, ““Such-‘n’-such” from “So-‘n’-so” the best tires on the market, and anything else is just going to limit you or be dangerous. How could you even think of putting something else on a wheel?”

Isn’t internet anonymity grand?

"Expensive Sticky Race Tire Expert"

This one wouldn't be so bad if the forums were for new club racers and the like, or if the intent of the question was specifically track oriented. But the discussion involves harrowing and remarkable tales relating to how the race tire managed to save his life and rescue a cat from a tree at the same time. And so, the new STREET rider is left with the impression that only the stickiest of track tires is good enough to commute with or go to the grocery store on.

"Expensive Sticky Race Tire Rider on the Street"

Then there is a pecking order that soon to be debated in the way of mileage. Riders proclaim how quickly they swap their tires out in a contest of waste. Many also report needing more “contact patch area” to get through the turns safely and advise putting around half to three-quarters what the manufacturer recommends. A rider who gets 5-10k miles out of his tires is considered a wuss by comparison to one who has to swap his tires out every 1,500-2,000 miles. I'd be willing to bet they have chicken strips. That is, if they would put any air in the tires. Heck, I could do a long burnout and claim that I only got a quarter mile out of my last set of Super Tires! (I must be a motorcycling deity!) They claim to be spinning or sliding the tire, thus needing stickier rubber.

"Expensive Sticky Race Tire, at-the-Limit, Rider, Hero on the Street"

Trouble is, they’re spinning when it’s not even leaned over. But you won’t hear anyone recommending the DOT approved Micky Thompson drag tires. That wouldn’t be cool. They might lose the illusion that they are the next Gary McCoy. They don’t use any of the stick available on the sides of the tires and wind up swapping out tires that have a flat spot instead of being actually worn out. They want to have the appearance of being fast all around riders when they only know how to whack the throttle.

There are certainly many more badges in and beyond those of the tire sages. I myself wear badges of sorts, but I try not to wear it on my sleeve. I have experimented over the years with many tire brands and models. For the past two years or so, I have relied on and would recommend two to four tire models. Sure, I have tried others, but I keep going back to the same tires I finally found which complement my riding style. I ride year-round and in all weather since my bike is my primary transportation. I corner hard and gas it, but really don’t play much at the limit. I have fun when I ride.

Monday, August 18, 2008


What's a weatherman to do when he gets caught in the rain?

From Rodney Harris of

Well, we've been asking for rain and Mother Nature saw to it that we knew she was coming to town! A solid, spring-like thunderstorm moved across Bryan/College Station early Friday evening. The storm brought a brief period of very heavy rain, but more noticeably a lot of lightning. The lightning and accompanying thunder gave most of us plenty of warning prior to the actual rain falling... well most of us. I was awaken from a nice, afternoon nap -- with no say in the matter -- a little too late. By the time I built up enough courage to take on the storm, other Nature presented whatever amount of rain we got -- in my car! My windows were half-way down. At least we got rain right! I wonder which weatherman I should call and complain to? (hmmm) I'll think on it. Have a great, tax-free weekend.

It's really great to see rain in the area even though it's isolated.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Children have the amazing ability to memorize by sight an impressive amount of information, an ability that, as adults, we have "misplaced". However, this special ability is what also gave rise and credibility to the "whole word" method of teaching. Instead of using phonics and slowly building a reading vocabulary, the teacher could instantly impress a complete, basic vocabulary on the children, and they would remember it. Just as these parents are thrilled at their daughter's success, you can understand the joy and happiness of the parents to have a child reading so fast! It's a temporary joy- until the child ran into a brick wall, just like so many other kids who tried to memorize by sight our 60,000+ word language.

Not to be all dark and dreary, (even though I am in that kind of mood right now), this is what gives parents such hope and joy. "If she can do this, imagine what she can do when she's older!" Seeing this carefree girl memorize such impossibilities keeps parents pushing their children to their potential as adults through those tough-love years. :)

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Good Intentions

So, essentially, what is happening is that we are shipping the exact goods that the Chinese people made back to them for relief.

From the Hawaiian Star Bulletin:

Help wings to China aboard Hickam C-17
Humanitarian aid: 6,000 winter coats arrive

BEIJING » An Air Force C-17 cargo plane and crew from Hawaii delivered thousands of jackets, blankets and boxed rations Friday to help victims of China's worst winter storms in more than 50 years, the U.S. Pacific Command and the Chinese government Xinhua News Agency reported.

The supplies were handed over in Shanghai to the People's Liberation Army,which forwarded them for distribution to parts of the country's hard-hit eastern and central regions, Xinhua said.