Thursday, January 31, 2008

I like this song so much I may purchase it

This is a song I like. (The embedding has been disabled, so you have to go directly to You Tube.) Can't help but think of Laura Ingraham when I hear it since she plays it at the end of each hour. Maybe I'll buy it. If I do it will be song number 4 purchased by me on i-Tunes. That's right, thus far I own in this order:

Blow Away by George Harrison
Goldie's Last Day by PFR
Livin' on a Prayer by Bon Jovi (don't ask)

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

One of the most brilliant products ever invented

I was at Cub yesterday picking up a few things. I happened by the paper products aisle when my eye caught what may be the greatest invention ever made by man.

I am speaking of tissue. I am speaking of soft tissue. I am speaking of soft tissue infused with Vicks.

Now, I was perfectly healthy, mind you. But how many times have you had that fever, stuffy nose, can't breath cold that just won't go away and out of desperation you grabbed the jar of Vicks', opened it up and tried sniffing. Perhaps you kept it by your pillow for a quick middle of the night fix.

No, you don't do that? Oh.

Well, I do and was so impressed that I purchased a box. Just in case. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go sniff some Puffs.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

You're No Paul Wellstone

I just saw that Al Franken ad where he is standing on the sidewalk by some middle class houses in St. Louis Park telling us how he wants to go to Washington to help the kid who has to sell his plasma to pay for his college.

First of all, Al, have you heard about getting a real job. You know, where you show up, and do stuff for a few hours, and then get paid for it? You can put yourself through college that way a lot quicker than the plasma route.

Secondly, Al, buddy, 35 bucks a pint each week ain't gonna put you through college in 4 years.

In fact, it won't even put you through Blake (your high school) unless you gave a pint every week for 44 years (tuition and lunch for 4 years). It definitely won't get you through Harvard (your college) unless you roll your sleeve up once a week for 100 years (tuition, room, & board for 4 years). Al, I don't care if you run for senate, but have the decency to admit that you are a preppy NY City boy not a "regular" Minnesota guy and don't try to pawn yourself off as Paul Wellstone. At least he lived and worked here before boarding the big green bus.

Nightmare University

I have two recurring dreams that both involve my years at the U of MN back in the early 1970's.

I had them both last night.

The first is that it is the end of the semester, finals are coming up, and I realize that there is a class that I have completely forgotten to attend. (It is always a math class). I find myself wondering if I can redeem the missed classes, deciding I can't, realizing it's too late to drop the class, and wondering what this "F" will do to my GPA.

The other dream is that I am back at good old Comstock Hall and I have forgotten to get my mail all semester so my mailbox is packed with old letters.

Anyone care to interpret?

Sunday, January 27, 2008

I Failed

46%


Don't count on me if we crash land on the moon and you need help getting back to the base ship.

Friday Night at The Varsity

Friday night great nephew-in-law David had his CD release party
at The Varsity in Dinkytown.

It was THE place to be so, of course, we were there!
The Molines, Tachenys, Johnsons, and half of the Olsons
(the other half was getting ready to perform at his CD release party!) went to Vescio's

and Terry and I decided to crash their party.
They graciously invited us to sit at their table.
The last time I was at Vescio's was probably 1972.
Nothing had changed (except I am no longer 18!)
I forgot to document my manicotti with a photo.
You will have to settle for a photo of Vescio's bucket of rigs with a meatball and some cheesy garlic bread that we got at the Vescio's stand at this year's State Fair.
Yum-o!
While waiting for the show to start we chatted a bit in the lobby.
The last time I was at The Varsity, it was still a movie theatre.
A really, really old, decrepit, movie theatre.
The last movie I saw there was, I'm sorry to say, "A Star is Born".
Not the classic with Judy Garland, but the one with
Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson.
What is that thing Terry is sitting on?

Joel Hanson opened for David. How cool is that?
Here's a photo of Joel singing.
I began to reminisce and was reminded of one of my favorite PFR songs.
Goldie's Last Day.
I threatened to yell out a request.
Nikki said, "Mom, please don't."
So I didn't!
Instead, guess what I did. I purchased it!
Yep, my second i-Tunes purchase ever.
Here is a photo of Ali working the Merch table.
There is nothing particularly unique about Ali working the Merch table.
I just asked her to pose for me so I could type the words
"Merch table" on my blog!
Thanks, Ali!
David sang.
The place is reminiscent of the Logos Coffee House
(except
the old Logos didn't have to card people
and The Varsity
is much classier since they have a bigger budget
which is not to say that the Logos wasn't classy,
I thought it was really classy, especially the cute manager!).
They almost didn't let Shannon in cuz she forgot her ID and she's nearly 30.
Nobody asked to see my ID. Hmmmm.
For those of you who don't know what the Logos Coffee House is,
ask Terry sometime.
When we were first married, he was the manager of it.
It was THE place to be if you were a Christian in Mpls. in 1975
and wanted to hear live Christian music.

Here are some of us.
Shannon and Tim, Jeremy, Mindy, Katie, and Terry.
Shannon and Tim had their car stolen on Wednesday.
Tim was warming it up to take Delia to preschool and he saw a guy walking up the driveway.
He went out and the guy jumped in his car and shut the door.
Tim opened the door and said, "Get out of my car."
Instead the guy put it in reverse and took off!
Someone found it in the afternoon.
The door was buckled because it was open when the guy backed up
and he hit a snowbank or something.
I don't know why the photo is so foggy.
Either it's leftover fog from the fog machine or something is really wrong with my camera!
Anywho, it was a fun weekend and that was only Friday!

Monday, January 21, 2008

I am Elinor Dashwood

I am Elinor Dashwood!


Take the Quiz here!

A Modest Proposal

A Modest Proposal
by Jonathan Swift (1729)

His solution for the Irish famine....

I shall now therefore humbly propose my own thoughts, which I
hope will not be liable to the least objection.

I have been assured by a very knowing American of my acquaintance
in London, that a young healthy child well nursed, is, at a year
old, a most delicious nourishing and wholesome food, whether
stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled; and I make no doubt that it
will equally serve in a fricasie, or a ragoust.

I do therefore humbly offer it to publick consideration, that of
the hundred and twenty thousand children, already computed,
twenty thousand may be reserved for breed, whereof only one
fourth part to be males; which is more than we allow to sheep,
black cattle, or swine, and my reason is, that these children are
seldom the fruits of marriage, a circumstance not much regarded
by our savages, therefore, one male will be sufficient to serve
four females. That the remaining hundred thousand may, at a year
old, be offered in sale to the persons of quality and fortune,
through the kingdom, always advising the mother to let them suck
plentifully in the last month, so as to render them plump, and
fat for a good table. A child will make two dishes at an
entertainment for friends, and when the family dines alone, the
fore or hind quarter will make a reasonable dish, and seasoned
with a little pepper or salt, will be very good boiled on the
fourth day, especially in winter.

From today's Bayly Blog:

(But) today, when English professors teach "A Modest Proposal," they often find it hard to make students realize Swift was joking. (Actual response: “Well, I don't completely agree with him, but he does make some really good points.”) Harvesting embryonic children for their stem cells is little different from Swift’s proposal to harvest just-born children for food. But whereas Swift’s audience pulled back in revulsion, much of the American public thinks this is a swell idea.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Who Cares?

A 1998 article at cnn.com reported this.

In a 34-page 1997 federal tax return, Vice President Al Gore and wife Tipper reported giving $353 to charity, an amount much lower than donations the family has made in previous tax cycles.

That figure is less than one-tenth the typical contribution amount for someone with the Gores' adjusted gross income of $197,729. That fact has caused some bewilderment in philanthropic circles because of the vice president's "good guy" image as an advocate for public service and social causes, the Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday.


And, forbes.com reminds us of this amusing donation:
On his 1986 return, Bill Clinton deducted $6 for three pairs of underwear and $75 for a suit with ripped pants given to the Salvation Army.


I was interested to read on the Desiring God blog that there is a new book out called Who Really Cares which sets out to show that religious conservatives really care. Here are some interesting conclusions that author Arthur C. Brooks has drawn from his research.

Drawing on some ten data sets, Brooks finds that religiosity is among the best predictors of charitable giving. Religious Americans are not only much more likely to give money and volunteer their time to religious and secular institutions, they are also more likely to provide aid to family members, return incorrect change, help a homeless person, and donate blood. In fact, despite expecting to find just the opposite, Brooks concluded: "I have never found a measurable way in which secularists are more charitable than religious people.

My personal favorite conclusion is:

Citizens are also more charitable when they oppose greater income redistribution and less charitable when they support it. . . They are also more likely to return change to a cashier, give food or money to a homeless person, and donate blood. In fact, the blood supply would decline by about 30 percent if we were a nation of government aid advocates.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Soooo Big Revisited

I was looking through my photos and found this one of 4 of my 5 babies taken last Labor Day weekend at Erin and David's wedding. Aren't they getting sooooo big. Nikki and Mark were missing since they didn't want to travel up north with Will due in the middle of the month.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Monday, January 14, 2008

Saturday, January 12, 2008

$6,711.75

Christmas of 2006, one of us, who may be me, had the bright idea of ordering skates from the L. L. Bean catalog for Santa to deliver on Christmas Eve. Since the weather was warm and the outdoor rink at Centennial Lakes didn't open till January 12th, we made sure we were there that day to initiate the new skates. One year ago today.

Unfortunately, I chose to use my old, rusty, 1964 leather figure skates. The ice was perfect, fast, and smooth, due to no snow, cold temps, and no previous skaters. We enjoyed 20 minutes of great skating on the lake just outside of The Macaroni Grill.

Then, we started practicing the hockey stop. I was doing pretty good and thought I'd do one more stop. Unfortunately, when I turned sideways, my edge didn't catch, and the laws of physics took over...I'm remembering something about an object in motion tending to stay in motion...and I became a living physics experiment.

I fell. The wrist was broken. I didn't even have to take off my glove and pull up my sleeve. I knew it was broken. We were two blocks south of the warming house and Mr. D took my right arm, Chris grabbed my left elbow, I held my wrist and they skated me back to the warming house.

I grabbed the Rachel Ray magazine that I had brought along just in case I got tired of skating. It made a handy, impromptu splint when wrapped around my wrist. Chris remained with Kate, Tim, and Beth to continue their skating adventure. Terry took me to the ER at Fairview Hospital to proceed with our adventure.

Long story short. Bad break. Cast not enough. Surgery on the 19th. Several months of hand therapy. Wrist that now works pretty good. $5,700 deductible.

Two weeks after this adventure, we were in the car and my tongue innocently went to where my lower left molar used to be. Half of it was gone. We don't have dental insurance. I went to the dentist who put on a temporary filling that lasted 10 days. Since it didn't hurt, I just lived with it till this week and went in for a crown.

So, in the last year, the cost of repair on me has been $6,711.75. I would like to thank Mr. D for not trading me in for a newer model requiring less upkeep.

Friday, January 11, 2008

From the Bayly Blog. How could I resist?

I know you were probably busy looking at the arrow and the letters on the sign, but did you read the copy. Here I thought he had gotten the Nobel Peace Prize, but as it turns out, he got the Nobel Peach Prize, an entirely different award.

Horse or Butterfly? Or, maybe cognitive dissonance?

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Bumper Sticker

I was just amused by a bumper sticker I saw on a car in the Sam's Club parking lot. It said:

I'm sorry for driving so close in front of you

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Dugan Christmas/New Years

We had the Dugan Christmas at the Bethany barn.
We ate lasagna at tables.
We ate lasagna on couches and floors.We ate more lasagna.
And more lasagna.
After we ate lasagna, the cousin's band played.
But, something didn't seem right.
Something was missing.
Oh, yeah, it was Michael on the banana.
Having figured out the music situation,
we moved on to family reports and talents.

Dick found the Kriesel Bible and shared some family history from it.
5 of "The Magnificent Seven" gathered for a photo.
The White Elephant exchange was a hit, as usual.
Terry loved his fancy French scarf that Sheri brought all the way from France.
I was thrilled with my talking Ann Coulter doll.
Okay, so maybe I hid her on my lap so no one would steal her.
And, maybe she did kind of freak out the next day with her, "Liberals hate, liberals hate, li, li, liberals, hate, hate, hate rant." Terry had to open the box and remove her battery to get her to stop. Here I am with Sheri who heads back to France this week.
There was a game of Apples to Apples.
And a game of Settlers of Catan.
Then, we called Jeremy in Kansas City at a conference and sang to him.
Before we knew it, we were at the Kapalas celebrating New Year's Eve.
Guys in the dining room.
Girls in the kitchen. As it should be.
We went home early cuz Katie had to work the next morning.
We watched the ball drop.
Then did fireworks on the basketball court.
The next day was the annual soup supper.
Nikki, Mark, and Will came.
Great Grandma got a baby fix.
So did grandma.
Johnny was there and enjoyed Chris's new R2-D2.
We played old games like Bas-ket.
And Carroms. The winner of each match got to wear the Bah-humbug hat.
All in all, it was a fun week of festivities.

Paul Sunde Hymns

Hey look, everybody.

Paul Sunde is on YouTube!

Things I found while looking for my iPod

I lost my iPod yesterday and we spent 2 or 3 hours looking for it.

Terry went through the garbage piece by piece.

I put away the extra table we had set up and went through all the stuff on it.

We looked under couches, behind books on a shelf, in drawers, in the refrigerator (just in case there was a senior moment), under couch cushions, in game boxes, everywhere.

In the process, we found:

1. The label maker that had been missing for several months.
2. Katie's new copper colored thermal mug.
3. An unused Starbuck's card.

Oh, and yes, we did find the iPod. It was right where I put it, on the little wood part of the piano right after the keys end. I had forgotten that the piano keys can be covered. Just as we were about to give up, Terry said, did you open up the piano and look by the keys. There was an "ah-ha" moment and my green iPod materialized.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

I'm not going to read through Bible this year!

Yes, that is right. I have tried numerous times to do one of those "Read through the Bible in One Year" programs. Usually the first few days of January are great. Then, a day is missed, and the whole program is messed up and turns into a guilt trip or a game of catch up.

So, I am not going to read the Bible through this year. Instead, I am going to have the Bible read to me! Yep, I have discovered a great RSS feed that will send you the daily readings that will take you through the Bible in a year AND, here's the best part, you can have a guy read it to you!

Not just any guy, mind you, but a guy with a slightly British accent does the reading. I was amazed at how easy it was to get through a day's worth of reading when you can follow along with the words and have a guy pronounce all the unique names of people and places.

Here's my favorite part. The site uses the ESV translation. None of this NLT or Message stuff, but a literal translation, not an interpretation.

So, if you want a guy with a theatrical, slightly British accent to read you the Bible, go here and sign up for the program of your choice. That's right, you even get to choose the reading plan you wish to follow. I chose "Every Day in the Word".


Friday, January 04, 2008

Newt

Come out, come out, wherever you are!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

New Year's Resolutions

I have had various New Year's resolutions over the years.

There was the year that I vowed that I would accessorize more.

Then, there was the year that I vowed that I wouldn't use the generic word "Kippy" as the name of any male that I was mentioning whose name I couldn't remember.

I have vowed not to say, "Oh, booger" when things don't go well.

This year's resolution to not scream for little events (small things like when I drop my gloves and I scream) has been broken twice this afternoon and it's only the 2nd.

I was thrilled to discover niece Michelle's wonderful and doable list of resolutions. I think maybe I can handle them.

So, in that spirit, I resolve this year to sometimes when I feel like it remember to not scream when I drop my gloves or for other minor incidents.

I also vow, that I will try when I feel like it to remember the items on Michelle's list and sometimes do them if I want to.

Go here for Michelle's list.

Oh, and don't forget Michelle's motto for making resolutions:

"Keep it simple, keep it vague, keep it low-key, keep it mediocre."

Which, essentially, are my goals for all of life.

In my Christmas stocking

Santa brought me a green iPod nano!

Yay for Santa, he's the best!

It was a busy week so I hadn't had time to play with it till today. Chris offered me a lunchtime tutorial. He told me to pick out 5 CDs to put on my iTunes to then put on my iPod.

I was ready with them when he came home for lunch.

The first album I put on my iTunes was Disney's Princess Collection. Then, it was an Alison Krauss collection CD, followed by Huey Lewis and the News Greatest Hits, then Govi's Guitar Odyssey, and finally I chose The Best of Sun Records, but we haven't had time to get that in the system.

What's wrong with me? No Michael W!

I also made my very first iTunes purchase. It was George Harrison. How crazy is that? George wasn't my favorite Beatle, Paul was, but I really like that song Blow Away, and now I own it!

I also have a John Piper podcast.

Now, all I have to do is figure out how to turn the little bugger on and what to do with that funny little dial thing in the middle.

I'll keep you posted.

Oh, yes, and thank you Santa. You're the best!

What's With the Crowns?

Nedra asked, "What's with the crowns?"

They are found in the Christmas crackers, of course.

So, I guess the next question is, "What is a Christmas cracker?"

We first saw one back in the 80's when my old sinkmate Teres (remember, Terry, Nikki, and I stayed with her in San Diego when we drove out there with you in 1979 and Pat had the jogging adventure in Phoenix?) brought us one when she returned from a few months in England. Here is the history of the cracker.

About 10 years later I was watching the movie Shadowlands and noted that C.S. Lewis, well Anthony Hopkins, really, was sitting at a table celebrating Christmas and there were crackers on the table and crowns on a few heads.

This is what a cracker looks like.



Inside a cracker is a prize. Usually it's a plastic trinket of some sort. Perhaps a magnifying glass or a kaleidoscope, a necklace, a miniature bowling game, a noisemaker, something like that. Also in the cracker is a little "packet" rubber banded together. It has a tissue paper crown all folded up and a piece of paper with a joke on it.

So, just before you eat and after you pray (at least that's how we do it), you all pop your crackers (by quickly pulling them apart so the cap inside goes off) on the count of three. Then, everyone MUST wear their hat no matter what the color and you use your joke as the conversation starter.

Next furlough, you're coming over no matter what time of year it is and we are going to do Christmas crackers!