Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Chris hung out with PJ O'Rourke tonight. Here's living proof. Which got me to thinking that I need to do some posts soon on my "Brushes with Greatness".
It also got me to thinking that I need to find that old 1974 copy of The National Lampoon 1964 Yearbook parody that I purchased at the suggestion of my friend Mary and we spent many hours laughing over back at Comstock Hall at the good old U of M. I will never forget looking at the lunch ladies posing with their hair nets. Mary loved the lady named "Velma Prawn". I don't know why I remember that name, but it still makes me smile.

It's Always Something...

This is the end of April which means taxes. I suppose for you it doesn't mean taxes, but for me it means sending in the payroll taxes for Dugan Design Group which are due the last day of the month following the last day of the quarter. There is the state withholding, the MN Unemployment, and the Federal withholding (taxes, FICA, and Medicare, plus the employer match).

This is a relatively simple process. Believe it or not, the State of MN has a real slick way of filing and paying online. The Federal is a little more complicated, but not much.

All I do is open up the payroll, go to "reports", and get the detailed quarterly payroll report. That's it. Simple as can be. EXCEPT WHEN YOU GO TO THE REPORTS AND FIND THAT THE DETAILED PAYROLL INFORMATION FROM JANUARY AND FEBRUARY ARE NOWHERE TO BE FOUND. Every other payroll report is there going back to the late 90's, but, no, the 4 pay periods in January and February are missing. Vanished. Gone.

They were posted over to the bookkeeping program because the totals all match up and have been subtracted from the checking account balance, but the details of the payroll are missing. Fortunately, I had hard copies, and since we only have 3 employees I was able to recreate it from the printouts. Just took an extra hour or so and it means that at the end of the year I will have to hand calculate the first quarter payroll for the w-2's. I was glad I decided to do this a day early. It kind of makes me wonder just how accurate computer programs are, but I really don't want to think about that.

Thank you for letting me vent. Oh, yeah, right, this is my blog, I can say whatever I want!

Have a nice day.

And, it just goes to show, it's always something.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Poetry Monday

I haven't "Picked-a-Pile" for a few weeks now.

In light of that fact, today's poem could not be more appropriate.

Messy Room
by Shel Silverstein

Who's ever room this is should be ashamed!
His underwear is hanging on the lamp.
His raincoat is there in the overstuffed chair,
And the chair is becoming quite mucky and damp.
His workbook is wedged in the window,
His sweater's been thrown on the floor.
His scarf and one ski are beneath the TV,
And his pants have been carelessly hung on the door.
His books are all jammed in the closet,
His vest has been left in the hall.
A lizard named Ed is asleep in his bed,
And his smelly old sock has been stuck to the wall.
Whosever room this is should be ashamed!
Donald or Robert or Willie or--
Huh? You say it's mine? Oh, dear,

I knew it looked familiar!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Linnarp or Billy?

Linnarp or Billy? Please vote.

We are thinking it's time to get the family room painted and get all the books in all the piles in all our rooms on some shelves.

We want black. At this point, it looks like our choices are Linnarp and Billy. Billy has more options (widths, heights, CD shelf, etc) and is cheap. Linnarp is made of real wood.



Friday, April 25, 2008

Belated Earth Day Message From Nancy Pelosi

“The Bible tells us in the Old Testament, ‘To minister to the needs of God’s creation is an act of worship. To ignore those needs is to dishonor the God who made us.’ On this Earth Day, and every day, let us honor the earth and our future generations with a commitment to fight climate change.”
--Nancy Pelosi

Nancy must be using new Earth Day translation of the OT.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Poetry Monday

Today's poetic offering was written by someone close to me. Me.

I have written two poems in my life. Both were written for contests. The first poem I wrote was written when I was in 10th grade for a contest for an ad for Spam I saw in Seventeen magazine. Maybe someday I will share that one, today is not that day. And, sadly, that poem didn't even get me an honorable mention let alone the $100 wardrobe that was to be awarded the first place winner.

The poem I have chosen for today was written for a contest WCCO radio had in conjunction with the "Small Business Show" at the Minneapolis Convention Center in the late 80's. Mr. D called me from work to tell me about it (perhaps, if I can find it, I will share his award winning poem on a future Monday...he came in second and won a calculator).

But, now, back to me. I have received two awards in my life, not counting the blue ribbon that my cousin Dianne gave me for being an "Outstanding" cousin. (She felt sorry for me when we were discussing the hundreds of blue ribbons she has for her award winning Hampshire sheep, so came up for a visit with an "Outstanding Cousin" blue ribbon a few years back.) I also am the proud winner of the 1972 Minnesota State High School Press Association copy writing award from an entry I wrote in the St. Louis Park High School year book. But that was only second place. The only first place I have ever received is for the poem you are about to read.

It was read on WCCO radio by Tim Russell and I received a fax machine for my effort (which WCCO valued at $1500 for tax purposes, so that meant we had to declare it as extra income and my winning ended up costing us about $500, but I digress).

And, so, without further ado, I introduce to you my award winning poem, The Forgotten Small Business.

The Forgotten Small Business
by Linda Dugan

I'm just a housewife,
Like the old saying goes.
I stay home with children,
I iron their clothes.

I clean and I cook,
I launder, I fold.
And yet people say,
No real job do I hold.

I read to my children,
We play games and such,
No wonder they say that
My job's not worth much.

Without a career,
They look down upon me,
My life has no purpose,
They say so profoundly.

I am the mother,
Who's home all day long.
My number they know,
If something goes wrong

And they need someone quick
To watch little Lizzy,
"I'll call the housewife,
I know she's not busy."

During the evening,
After I "cooks",
I sit down with the ledger,
And I do the books

For my husband's small business,
That isn't so small,
I add up the numbers,
And balance them all.

My friends who have real jobs,
Think all that I do,
Is shop and do lunch and
Watch soap operas, too.

You don't really work,
You're lucky they say,
How nice it would be
To stay home and play.

I guess I don't work much,
I'll never be fired,
But I can't figure out
Why I'm always so tired.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Writer's Block

The Internet can be lots of fun. You can blog. You can read other people's blogs. You can Google. And, you can find lots of handy resources like this one.

Say you are writing a short story. I know, you do that all the time. You get stuck trying to come up with names for all your characters. You think of all your friends names, but you can't really copy a name because then someone might think you were actually writing about that person and you would get sued.

What to do you ask. There is always the random opening of the phone book for a last name and combining it with the first name of a friend. Or, there is the above link.

I'm told (read it on a blog of someone I don't know so it must be true) that this site will create names at random based on the U. S. Census. Every time you refresh, you get some more names till you come up with one you like.

For example, I currently can choose from Barney Olguin and Cliff Williams for guys.
Or, Jacque Ono and Nicole Bennett for the ladies. Nicole Bennett. That sounds very Jane Austinish, doesn't it.

Let me refresh and see what I get.

Guys: Lane Ruiz and Billy Roberts
Gals: Jacqui Newburn and Jo Joahua
No, those just won't do. I need to refresh.

Mel Renninger and Billy Taylor.
Karyn Pascual and Daphne Mitchell.

One last time.
Oh, my. Fausto Court and Randall Thomas. Or, Nancy Grundy and Jessica Williams.


Here goes.

It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents, except at occasional intervals when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.

The door opened and in walked Fausto Court and Mel Renninger drenched to the bone and longing wistfully for the days when they were once greeted longingly by Nicole Bennett and Daphne Mitchell. But, alas, the only one present was an angry and bitter Nancy Grundy.

Hmmm, I think I'm on to something....

Friday, April 18, 2008

I Need One of These Makeovers

I like the little gadget at the end. Just a couple of clicks and the neck is a little longer and the eyebrows are instantly and painlessly lifted.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

All I Need

For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness." Romans 4:3

I was reading some Psalms the other day about all the things that God would do for the "righteous" and had the thought, "If only I was righteous," and then, this morning, I was reading something online (yeah, it was at desiringgod.com) and it quoted the above verse and made the point that no matter how hard we try, we can't be deserving of God's love. We can't be righteous on our own. It's not something that we can be, hard as we might try. What we can do is believe God and in his economy, that counts as righteousness.

Faith is credited to our account as righteousness.

And, that is a very good thing.

Now, all I need is faith!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

After the Fall

Last night around 8:00 I was lying across the bed working on my Beth Moore Bible Study. Terry and Tim were at an Eagle Scout Preview meeting and Katie was at Starbuck's with a friend.

I happened to glance out the window at our backyard basketball court and noticed Beth shooting some buckets. I got to thinking that I have turned into a real dud of a mom. I sit in the house. I fold laundry. I put away dishes. I play Solitaire on my iPod. I rarely "play" with the kids.

So, on a whim, I ran down the hall, donned my Bass loafers (I think this might have been my mistake, but they were close to the back door), ran out to the basketball court as Beth looked on in astonishment, grabbed a basketball, and proceeded to attempt a layup.

Unfortunately, something went dreadfully wrong. As I approached the basketball court...first I need to interject a word of explanation. Our "Basketball Court" is a large, maybe 15 by 15 foot slab of concrete placed crookedly in our backyard by the former owner sometime in the '60's I'm guessing.

Anywho, as I approached the basketball court (aka concrete slab) I managed to make one pitiful dribble before disaster struck. Perhaps I twisted my foot, perhaps there was something sticky on my shoe that threw me, perhaps my foot caught briefly on the edge of the concrete, but whatever it was, I suddenly found myself going down.

Now, this wasn't just a normal fall. This was one of those falls where you for a brief moment think that perhaps you can make a save. You know, if you just throw your weight a little bit one direction then another, perhaps it will be just a wobble instead of a fall.

Running through my brain, of course, was the thought that this court was made of concrete and wrists and heads don't do so well when they come in contact with concrete. Especially older wrists and heads. So, it was, I'm falling, no I'm not, I'm falling, no I'm not, and finally I'm falling. It took the entire width of the court for me to complete my fall.

I landed on my right wrist, right elbow, and right thigh. I couldn't get up for a minute or two because I was laughing hysterically.

Meanwhile, Beth watched the spectacle. Mom runs out. Mom picks up basketball. Mom falls. Beth brought me ice and a little Neosporin for the scrape.

Today I was thinking of other impressive falls.

There was Terry at the Dugan Christmas running with the in demand Starbuck's cup and saucer at the White Elephant exchange and encountering something slippery on the tile floor, but all the while keeping the cup and saucer intact. Now that was a great fall and a nice save on the cup and saucer.

Then there was Mindy on our stairs at one family gathering. She made it all the way down to the landing holding a glass of ice water. She went down, but the water stayed up. Good job, Min.

Now those were graceful falls. The one last night...not so much.

But, I am grateful that God spared me and I don't have a second titanium plate this evening, but rather have an amusing tale to tell.

Isaiah 64:4

From of old no one has heard or perceived by the ear,
no eye has seen a God besides you, who acts for those who wait for him.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Stealing Again

I've done it again. Stolen a quote from a blog. Thanks, Barb J!

“There is nothing – no circumstance, no trouble, no testing – that can ever touch me until, first of all, it has gone past God and past Christ right through to me. If it has come that far, it has come with a great purpose, which I may not understand at the moment. But as I refuse to become panicky, as I lift up my eyes to Him and accept it as coming from the throne of God for some great purpose of blessing to my own heart, no sorrow will ever disturb me, no trial will ever disarm me, no circumstance will cause me to fret – for I shall rest in the joy of what my Lord is!”
-Alan Redpath

Poetry Monday

In 1999 Garrison Keillor read this poem on the radio (Writer's Almanac). Terry heard it, enjoyed it, and bought the book that it was in. The Penguin Book of Nonsense Verse. Enjoy!

Strange Meeting

by John Yeoman

Dear Madam,

I'm sure you'll be happy to know
I'll be at the station at three.
But since we last met such a long time ago
You may well not guess which is me.

And so, to ensure that I'm easy to spot,
I'll dress in a pale lilac suit
And carry an elegant plant in a pot
(Or, if not, a basket of fruit).

Your eye will be caught by my red satin cape
Which flashes like flame in the light;
My cane will be wreathed in a length of black crepe.
I think you should know me all right.

And yet, just in case this is not quite enough
To give you the help that you need,
I'll put on my sword and my white pleated ruff,
And hold a small pig on a lead.

My Chinese attendants should give you a clue,
If still there's a doubt when we meet:
The face of the taller is painted bright blue;
The smaller has gloves on his feet.

The smoke from my ears isn't easy to miss;
My aftershave's Essence of Goat.
And, as for yourself, can you please tell me this:
Do you still glue balloons to your coat?

Saturday, April 12, 2008


What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Romans 8:31,32

I liked this from the Pipster.

O how precious are those two words, "for us." There are no more fearful words in the universe than the words, "God is against us." If infinitely powerful wrath is against us, annihilation would be a sweet gift of grace. Which is why those who try to persuade us that annihilation is what judgment means, not hell, are so far from the mark. Annihilation under the wrath of God is not judgment, it is deliverance and relief (see Revelation 6:16). No. There is no annihilation of any human being. We live forever with God against us or with God for us. And all who are in Christ may say with almost (!) unspeakable joy, "God is for us." He is on our side.

There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). God is entirely for us, and never against us. None of our sicknesses is a judgment from a condemning judge. None of our broken cars or failed appliances is a punishment from God. None of our marital strife is a sign of his wrath. None of our lost jobs is a penalty for sin. None of our wayward children is a crack of the whip of God’s retribution. If we are in Christ. No. God is for us, not against, in and through all things – all ease and all pain.

Friday, April 11, 2008

All the News That's Fit to Print

I was waiting in line at Cub today and picked up a lot of valuable information.

Did you know...

...Dr. Phil's marriage is kaput and his house is for sale?
...Carrie Underwood lost 20 pounds and you can too?
...Britney Spears has relapsed (I didn't even know she had lapsed, let alone relapsed)?
...Stedman's drunk daughter had it out with Oprah?
...Jennifer Aniston and Orlando Bloom are an item?
...it's "Regis out, Seacrest in"?
...the end of the world is sooner than you think?

Yep, that's what I learned from just reading the headlines. Let me know if I missed something.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

I Steal Things...

...from other people's blogs.

I stole this quote (and several others that I've posted) from George Grant's blog.

"Weak things must boast of being new, like so many new German philosophies. But strong things can boast of being old. Strong things can boast of being moribund." G. K. Chesterton

Bear Playing Hockey

Real or fake? Let's vote.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Poetry Monday. I Remembered!

Today's poem is by William Cowper (pronounced Cooper).

It is a hymn and if you'd like to sing along, go here for the organ accompaniment.

What Various Hindrances We Meet

What various hindrances we meet
In coming to a mercy seat;
Yet who that knows the worth of prayer,
But wishes to be often there.

Prayer makes the darkened cloud withdraw,
Prayer climbs the ladder Jacob saw;
Gives exercise to faith and love,
Brings every blessing from above.

Restraining prayer, we cease to fight;
Prayer makes the Christian’s armor bright;
And Satan trembles, when he sees
The weakest saint upon his knees.

While Moses stood with arms spread wide,
Success was found on Israel’s side;
But when through weariness they failed,
That moment Amalek prevailed.

Have you no words? Ah, think again,
Words flow apace when you complain;
And fill your fellow creature’s ear
With the sad tale of all your care.

Were half the breath thus vainly spent,
To Heav’n in supplication sent;
Your cheerful song would oft’ner be,

“Hear what the Lord has done for me.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Fun with worldviews

I'm wondering who writes these quizzes and what worldview they have. Some of the questions are really ambiguous.

I would like to go on record as saying that I don't believe that science has brought on the corruption of society. I think mankind has done that nicely enough and I happen to like penicillin.

What is Your World View?
created with QuizFarm.com
You scored as Fundamentalist

Fundamentalism represents a movement in opposition to Modernism, stressing the highest importance on foundational religious tradition. Science has brought on corruption of society. God is real and is watching. Scripture leaves little room for interpretation; man is God’s creation. About a quarter of the population in the U.S. is classified as Fundamentalist.



Cultural Creative














What are you?

What's your theological worldview?
created with QuizFarm.com
You scored as Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan

You are an evangelical in the Wesleyan tradition. You believe that God's grace enables you to choose to believe in him, even though you yourself are totally depraved. The gift of the Holy Spirit gives you assurance of your salvation, and he also enables you to live the life of obedience to which God has called us. You are influenced heavily by John Wesley and the Methodists.

Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan




Neo orthodox


Reformed Evangelical






Roman Catholic


Modern Liberal


Classical Liberal


It's Wednesday, so.......

...why not download The Man Who Was Thursday. It's free this month here.

The Secret Code is APR2008.

This has been a public service announcement to all G. K. Chesterton fans who read my blog. All two of you.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

April 1st

This is the day upon which we are reminded of what we are on the other three hundred and sixty-four.
-- Mark Twain, "Pudd'nhead Wilson's Calendar"