Saturday, October 27, 2007

Tim is Sweet 16

It's your birthday,
it's your birthday,
it's your birthday...

Happy Birthday, Tim!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Vote for Al Franken

When we went to the State Fair last August, Al Franken was everywhere. I was able to capture Al in a variety of places and poses and thought I would give you an opportunity to vote for Al. That's right, which is your favorite Al?

Do you like the kinder, more attentive Al?

Do you like Al leaning left? Well, come to think of it,
I guess Al always leans left.

Perhaps this is your choice for Al's best side.

Finally, who likes "Crop Art Al"?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Little Buddy and Grandpa

Little Buddy liked it last week when Grandpa played "Freight Train".

Monday, October 22, 2007


We went to Bemidji this weekend.
We've done this for the past three years.
This was the view from our hotel window.
That's Lake Bemidji, a stop off point for the Mississippi River.

We do lots of things in Bemidji.
We put our feet up and eat.
We play games and one of them is usually Monopoly.
Tim always wins.
This is Tim with his corner of the board.
Perhaps you can see why he wins.
Missing from this photo is the secret of his success.
He never purchases a house or hotel unless he has set aside a separate stash to cover those Chance and Community Chest cards that require you to pay taxes on your houses and hotels.
We like the Arcade there.
I like it because it has Ms. Pacman.
Beth won this cheerleader bear in the crane machine and it only cost her $100. (JK)
We swam in the pool.
The kids practiced their synchronized swimming routine.
The sauna and hot tub were a relaxing treat, as well.
We did a puzzle.
We always try to do a puzzle when we stay someplace for at least 3 days.
550 pieces in one day.
It had a Fall theme since I couldn't find a puzzle of Bemidji at the Walmart where we always go after some "fine dining" at Applebees.
Note the Fall theme.
We watched two movies.
One was The Simpsons Movie (purchased through the hotel).
The other one was Elf.
We had ginormous fun watching both of them.
Here's one of my favorite scenes from Elf.
It's the "World's Best Cup of Coffee" scene.
In addition, we drank gallons of hot chocolate, herbal tea,
regular tea, and coffee.

And, we read and read.
I read three books.
Okay, really I only read two books
and finished one that Terry and I had started.

I read Lucky Man by Michael J. Fox.
It's his autobiography and it's pretty good.

That was my Friday book.
My Saturday book was Prince Caspian.
That's always a good read.
On the drive home, Terry and I finished reading The Man in the Brown Suit by Agatha Christie. We had started it on the drive on the way home from Crosslake for Erin and David's wedding on Labor Day weekend, but still had 150 pages to go when we pulled in the driveway and September got away from us. It's a fun read and I think would make a great movie. There is a 1989 TV movie of it I learned,
but I think it should be on the big screen.

And that was our fun weekend.
The end.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

One More Reason to Dislike the NEA

Every year around this time, the MEA has a convention and school children all over the state get a couple days off.

As far as I can tell, that is the best thing the teacher's union does.

It seems their national counterpart met this summer and decided they needed to get involved in homeschooling. Here's what they resolved:

B-75. Home Schooling

The National Education Association believes that home schooling programs based on parental choice cannot provide the student with a comprehensive education experience. When home schooling occurs, students enrolled must meet all state curricular requirements, including the taking and passing of assessments to ensure adequate academic progress.

Home schooling should be limited to the children of the immediate family, with all expenses being borne by the parents/guardians. Instruction should be by persons who are licensed by the appropriate state education licensure agency, and a curriculum approved by the state department of education should be used.

The Association also believes that home-schooled students should not participate in any extracurricular activities in the public schools.

The Association further believes that local public school systems should have the authority to determine grade placement and/or credits earned toward graduation for students entering or re-entering the public school setting from a home school setting. (1988, 2006)

Now, my rant.

It used to be that parents were responsible for the education of their children. They either taught their children themselves, or a bunch of parents got together and hired a know, Ma and Pa Ingalls style. Then, somehow in the 1900's this duty got switched to the local, state, and national government. And, now the teacher's union is trying to get the government involved in detailed regulation of homeschools.

The NEA should have NO SAY at all about private or homeschools. It's none of their business. Homeschooling parents pay taxes (lots and lots of taxes) to build new schools, and improve bands and sports programs, hire grief counselors, buy computers, and give birth control to 12 year olds. Besides paying taxes, they give up their personal time and money to homeschool their children and what does the teacher's union think about it?

They think, "We wish every parent invested as much in their children as homeschoolers do and will not stand in your way as you parent your child."

Oh, no, wait, that's not it. They say, "You bad bad people. You have chosen to distance yourselves from our union members and so we want to make your life miserable. Yeah, go ahead and homeschool, but only the mom and dad can do it. Grandpa and Grandma can't help you, ever. And, if your older son helps his sister with a math problem, it should be against the law. Oh, and yeah, you have to get a license and use state approved curriculum. Also, your local school district gets to decide what grade your kids are in. And, you do have to keep paying your taxes, but little Johnny can't play the tuba in the band anymore."

Cue the song "It's the End of the World"...

Saturday, October 13, 2007


Fire's Out!

FYI, I am removing Pyromaniacs from my links.

Youthful zeal on the part of pastors can be really good. Or, it can be really stupid. They have been leaning stupid lately, so they are no longer linked!

"You, are no longer linked. Good-bye!"

Also, the abortion counter dealie is no longer active. I clicked there and couldn't figure out why. So, I should probably remove that, as well. I guess I was hoping it would magically start up again, so maybe I'll wait.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Look for the Union Label

Al has a Nobel Peace Prize. Peace prize? What does global warming have to do with peace?

The plus side of it is that there are a couple of great commentaries that have been written as a result.

The Telegraph weighed in with a commentary that amused me. Lot's of good lines, but perhaps my favorite is:

But my favourite Gore memory lapse is his account of being sung to sleep with the lullaby Look for the Union Label, written in 1975. How sweet: being sung to sleep by your parents at the age of 27.

The Bayly Blog offers a good commentary on the Gore Nobel Peace Prize.

Here's a piece of it:

Yes, I'm completely disgusted. To think of this man who hired a consultant to help him shore up his virility index sharing the lectern with real men like Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and Mother Teresa is utterly revolting.

We have Darfur. We have seventy-five million or so unborn children slaughtered each year while nestled in their mothers' wombs...

We have malaria and AIDS creating many millions of widows and orphans each year across sub-Saharan Africa. We have the Middle East. We have nuclear weapons proliferating in an increasingly cowardly age of terrorism. But of course, Mr. Gore chose to be a prophet in behalf of the sky and the atmosphere and the climate.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

None of their Beeswax!

I was reading Ben's blog and came upon a Q & A with Miranda Lambert. When asked how many guns she owned, her answer was, "Enough."

That got me to thinking about the time the doctor had one of our children (about 10 at the time) in tears after the interrogation that was supposed to be a camp physical.

Do you wear a helmet every time you bike?

Does your family own guns?

Do you know where they are kept?

Are you ever sad?

At the time, said child, didn't know that the rifle that we kept in our front closet was a prop rifle that had been used to tape a Dugan family Super 8 version of "The Magnificent Seven". (Do all families have boxes full of costumes and props in their garages, or is that just a Dugan thing?) Anyway, on some permanent record in some doctors office it is noted that we keep a very long rifle in our front closet with the winter coats!

All of that reminded me of what I heard Michael Graham say on Fox News yesterday afternoon. Here is his Boston Herald article. It's worth the read.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

What Was "The Prez" Thinking?

You know me. I love the Prez. I voted for him twice. The last time I worked mucho phone banks on his behalf where I heard lots of interesting words when I called people who were Kerry supporters. I even touched him and Terry took the photo to prove it.

So, perhaps you can understand my dismay when I read that he said this:

See, I believe there is a universal God. I believe the God that the Muslim prays to is the same God that I pray to. After all, we all came from Abraham. I believe in that universality.

Please, George, say it ain't so, take back, or clarify your comments that appear on the White House web page.


And, thank you Cal Thomas for speaking some truth into this.

Bad PR Move?

Anyone know if Matt Drudge found some funny photoshop work or if this is just a bad PR move on the part of the Clinton campaign?

Monday, October 08, 2007

Bad Day

I found this on the Friday Funnies on the Girl Talk blog.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

A Church With Sax Appeal

In response to my post a couple days ago about church, my friend Holly put this link in a comment. I thought it was worthy of a post (well, worthy might not be the correct word, but you know what I mean.)

I was reminded of a postcard advertising piece that we got once inviting us to a church with "sax" appeal. The talking points used by the church to defend this nonsense were that this particular piece of advertising had the most response of all the advertising pieces they had ever sent. What kind of logic is that for a church to be using? Is it the Holy Spirit or advertising that bring people to God? Furthermore, if you follow the logic of the "pastor" on the linked video, why not go all out and advertise that you have scantily clad worship singer babes. That'll really get people to come. Sigh.

All of this reminded me of something Mr. D mentioned last night as we had been discussing why churches use gimmicks to attract people to church events and then spring the Gospel on them. It seems deceptive to not tell people in advance that an activity is going to involve a Gospel presentation. But, that's for another blog post. Anyway, what Mr. D mentioned was 2 Corinthians 4:2.

Here it is:

But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God's word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone's conscience in the sight of God.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Starbuck's free downloads

Hey, everybody, don't forget to go to Starbucks everyday for the next month (hmmmm, whoever thought up this promotion should get a promotion!) and pick up your song of the day. (Then, of course, after you have your free song, head over to Caribou to see Katie and purchase a tasty warm coffee beverage!) Today's featured artist was Keith Urban. Here's part of the linked article that mentions some of the artists featured:

"Song of the Day" will offer hand-picked songs from top artists including Bob Dylan, Joss Stone, Dave Matthews, Bebel Gilberto, John Mayer, KT Tunstall, John Legend, Annie Lennox, Joni Mitchell, Keith Urban and Paul McCartney plus great music from up-and-coming artists such as Sia, Band of Horses, Hilary McRae, Frederico Aubele and Sara Bareilles.

Things I've Learned

I was just thinking about a few of the things I've learned in life. Here are some of them in no particular order.

-When someone tells you something is a win-win situation. It's probably not.

-The Big Dipper is lovely.

-Stay away from a church where the philosophy is: "We want to be just like the church in the New Testament. We also just want to do everything the Bible tells us." (Noble thoughts, but lacking theological discernment)

-If you ever have to preach a sermon, don't use the word "naked" unless you are reading from the Bible.

-When the guy on TV tells you the Lord told him you should send him some "seed" money. Don't.

-Old Navy flip flops get slippery on wet Sam's Club floors.

-Don't mix ammonia and bleach.

-If you wash your cell phone in the washing machine, it doesn't help to leave it in a vat of rice.

-Also, if you hang your shirt over the railing on your entryway stairs and your phone falls out of the pocket and lands in the basement and the screen goes fuzzy and you go to Boy Scout camp while your wife is at the pool learning how to text message you and sends you a message that says, "I love 'yot'," you won't be able to read it.

-After you turn 40, you notice that those new soy inks make type faint and blurry.

-The Dairy Queen on Sanibel Island is the best DQ in the world.

-On a different food note, the McDonald's in Garrison is the best McDonald's in MN.

-Rachel Ray is all over the place.

-So is Paula Deen.

-If you are up in the middle of the night and turn on the TV you will hear lots of people tell you how to make lots of money (Real estate, day trading), how to remove the toxins from your colon, or how to get a guaranteed blessing from God (which usually involves sending in some money). The best thing to do is go right back to sleep as fast as you can.

What have you learned?

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Tuesday, October 02, 2007


Having been to a large, evangelical church in the past year where the visiting pastor was preaching on marriage and trying to be clever and contemporary at the same time and to accomplish that had props that involved large signs that said what men wanted in a marriage was "SEX" (in large red letters) and how the wife could fulfill that desire (new red sign that said "GET NAKED"), I understand and appreciate this post on Pyromaniacs.

In case you don't have time to read the whole thing (but it's worth taking the time), here's the conclusion:

But how hard can it be, really? How complicated? "Feed my lambs," the Lord Jesus says. "Tend my sheep," "Feed my sheep" (
John 21:15-17). Not entertain them, not whip them into a frenzy, not lead them in a cheer, or use cheap show-biz manipulations to get them to clap their hooves together. Feed them! Tend them!

"Preach the Word" the apostle says (1 Timothy 4:2). Herald it, proclaim it, sound it out with authority and truth. Not dance about it, not sideline it, not bury it, not use it to say what you want to say. Preach the Word. Preach the Word. Preach the Word!

Monday, October 01, 2007

William Tell Overture for Moms

My friend Jean Miller sent me this. Enjoy.