Monday, June 30, 2008

Learning is Fun

Only objection to this one is "Pi-erre", South Dakota!

Poetry Monday

Last week, after I finished Agatha Christie's Sparkling Cyanide, I moved on to a little non-fiction book called Whatever Happened to Penny Candy?

It was an interesting read. Bottom line, when there are a lot of pencils around, the value of pencils decreases. When the value of pencils goes down, pencils are cheap. Unfortunately, the law of supply and demand goes the other way.

When I run out of money, I have to stop buying stuff. When the government runs out of money, they get to make some more. However, when they put this extra money into the economy, the value of money decreases. When the value of money decreases, things cost more. This is called inflation.

Candidates running for office want to get elected. They promise people stuff. The one who promises the most stuff wins. Then, that newly elected person has to make good on their promises so they will get re-elected. They do this by taxing people. When taxes are already high, they can't tax people any more or they get mad so they have to figure out how to come up with some more money. No problem if you are the government, you just make some more money.

However, making more money makes all money worth less, so stuff costs more.

Here's the solution. Somebody needs to have the brains to stop the government from spending and making more money to fund their purchases, but when they do this there is a recession or a depression. The cure for inflation is recession or depression. The cure for recession/depression is to get more money circulating. See the problem?

One thing that would help is for everyone to elect candidates that don't promise everybody stuff (free health care, free college, jobs for everyone, affordable housing) because if we do, these candidates will have to fund all these projects and this won't be pretty. It will mean higher taxes and higher prices.

The happy part about the book is that the author included this poem. I know, you were wondering what all that had to do with Poetry Monday, weren't you?

So, enjoy it as you ponder just how you can serve your country this 4th of July week by making a large purchase with your refund check. Also, stay tuned to this blog for more simplistic answers to life's problems.

by Shel Silverstein

My dad gave me one dollar bill
'Cause I'm his smartest son,
And I swapped it for two shiny quarters
'Cause two is more than one!

And then I took the quarters
And traded them to Lou
For three dimes-I guess he don't know
that three is more than two!

Just then, along came old blind Bates
And just 'cause he can't see
He gave me four nickels for my three dimes,
And four is more than three!

And I took the nickels to Hiram Coombs
Down at the seed-feed store,
and the fool gave me five pennies for them,
And five is more than four!

And then I went and showed my dad,
and he got red in the cheeks
And closed his eyes and shook his head-
Too proud of me to speak!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Just a Thought

I just read this article by John Piper.

For starters, I am not a gun person. Guns scare me. They are dangerous weapons. And I don't hunt, I saw Bambi. However, I disagree with Mr. Piper's reasoning. I don't think he thought this through very well.

First of all, I respect his right not to defend himself if ever attacked and sacrifice his life with the thought that anyone who might attack him probably isn't a Christian and his killing them to defend himself would doom them to an eternity in hell. A very noble thought.

However, what Mr. P seems to also be saying here is that he would willingly sacrifice his wife's life, or his child's life, or his friend's life for the sake of the Gospel. Someone comes to attack his wife and he won't protect his wife because the attacker might not be saved. Surely he has not thought this through.

Also, what about Mr. Piper's unsaved friends? What if a would-be attacker points a gun at one of them. Then, how does he choose? Two unsaved people are at risk of dying. Isn't the just thing to defend innocent life?

If you want to use your economic stimulus rebate to buy a gun to protect your family or hunt Bambi, it's okay with me. You can also buy a couch, take a vacation, give it to charity, repair your car, save it (although that misses the point of trying to get more money in the economy so it might cost you later in yet higher taxes), or squander it at the Dairy Queen (although money spent at the DQ can hardly be called squandering), it's okay with me. It's your money, for Pete's sake.

The Dugans are going with the car repair option!

Here's a PS to my post.

I really like the Pipster. Mostly, I agree with him and find his teaching deep and helpful. One of the most helpful articles of his was this one. If you know us and our church history over the last few years, you will know why.

Here's the money quote from that article that was entitled "Talking to People Rather than About Them.
I don’t mean you can’t criticize President Bush without calling him on the phone first. And I don’t mean you can’t discuss my sermon, both negatively and positively, without coming to me. Public figures put themselves on the line and understand that everyone will have an opinion about what they say. That’s okay.
It is not always slander and disunity to disagree with a spiritual leader. Sometimes, it's the right thing to do.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

And Now For Something Completely Different

The Greenest Show on Earth

Those wacky Democrats are at it again as they prepare for the big convention this summer.

15,000 fanny packs made of organic cotton by union members in the US of A....Check

Biodegradable balloons....Check

Hire Official Carbon Adviser....Check

900 Waste Monitors to make sure all garbage is put in the proper container....Check

Green, organic cotton, made in the US of A by union member T-shirts for waste monitors....Check

Color co-ordinated non-fried food....Check

Compostable utensils....Check

One good thing about the convention is that the Democrats in Congress won't be available to regulate the law of supply and demand that they have been working so hard on this week.

I'll leave you with a Mark Twain quote:
The lightning there is peculiar; it is so convincing, that when it strikes a thing it doesn't leave enough of that thing behind for you to tell whether--Well, you'd think it was something valuable, and a Congressman had been there.
- Mark Twain's Speeches, "The Weather"

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Beware of False Prophets

As I mentioned, Todd Bentley has now been officially recognized as a genuine apostle by the International Coalition of Apostles having been recognized and nominated by current recognized apostles in good standing (i.e. membership dues are paid up).

I thought you might like to see his apostolic ministry in action.

Big Brother Is Watching You

Since I awoke at 3:30 am this morning and found myself glued to God-TV watching Todd Bentley get recognized as an apostle by a bunch of other recognized apostles (apparently, there are a bunch of people who get the apostle tap on the back and then are anointed to recognize each other in the official capacity of apostle...I hear there are currently 500 official apostles worldwide, and it was certainly interesting if not horrifying to watch Todd convulse uncontrollably on the floor as others spoke "words from the Lord" over him and eventually presented him with the official ring identifying him as a bona fide apostle,but I digress), I was a little tired around 2:00 this afternoon so turned on Fox News and had a lie down.

About 10 minutes into my little lie down, Tim informed me that the city assessor was at the door. There he stood, clipboard in hand with some type of a photo name tag hanging from his neck. He wanted in. I was cautious and said, "Don't you usually send out a letter informing us you are coming?" He said he had. I said we didn't get one. He wanted in.

I decided, reluctantly while half asleep, to let him in. As he moved from room to room, I said, "Just so I know, what are my rights, did I have to let you in?" Not only did he say I had to let him in, he said that if we didn't, he had the right to go to the police and they would gain entry for him.

I said, "If I don't let you in, the police will break down the door?" He hesitated and said they had the right to get the police to let them in, but if we refused, they would just guess our value and we could not appeal their guess.

As he left, I reiterated that we did not receive notification. He then said, "I noticed that the last time all three neighbors on this side of the street didn't let us in. When you got the notification, did you get together and talk about the appraisal?" Like we were in cahoots to not let the appraiser in when in reality we were not at home when he came unannounced 5 years ago and I would imagine the same was true for the neighbors.

HELLO, does this bother anyone?

Tuesday Quote

Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones. And when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace. God is awake. -Victor Hugo

Monday, June 23, 2008

Who Says?

There is a rumor going around that the birthday photos are taken, but never seen. It's not true. Here is proof. First of all, Katie's Byerly's cake. What happened? It wasn't anything like what we ordered, and why did the frosting fall off, and it looks like they ran out of blue frosting on that one flower and finished with one petal of yellow. What's up with that?
Don't we look happy? That's because there was a half a gallon of ice cream for every guest at the party! Seriously, a dozen guests and that much ice cream! Must have been on sale that week!

I found an Indy cake at Target for Chris. We went to pick it up on Saturday morning after coffee at Starbucks and lo and behold the fire trucks were arriving and Target was closed due to an electrical fire! They reopened in the middle of the afternoon just in time for me to pick up the cake. Unfortunately, on the way to the car, the boulder gave way and knocked Indy down. Poor Indy, in the movie he escaped.

Here's the photo that Mark says he's never seen one of. Just in this post alone he's seen two! And, seriously, I really need a haircut.

Poetry Monday

I hadn't heard of Edgar Guest until I read some of his poems in The Book of Virtues. He's so sentimental. I like every poem of his that I've read. Here's one.

Baby Feet
by Edgar Guest

Tell me, what is half so sweet
As a baby's tiny feet,
Pink and dainty as can be,
Like a coral from the sea?
Talk of jewels strung in rows,
Gaze upon those little toes,
Fairer than a diadem,
With the mother kissing them!

It is morning and she lies
Uttering her happy cries,
While her little hands reach out
For the feet that fly about.
Then I go to her and blow
Laughter out of every toe;
Hold her high and let her place
Tiny footprints on my face.

Little feet that do not know
Where the winding roadways go,
Little feet that never tire,
Feel the stones or trudge the mire,
Still too pink and still too small
To do anything but crawl,
Thinking all their wanderings fair,
Filled with wonders everywhere.

Little feet, so rich with charm,
May you never come to harm.
As I bend and proudly blow
Laughter out of every toe,
This pray, that God above
Shall protect you with His love,
And shall guide those little feet
Safely down life's broader street.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Watch Your Keys!

If you go to the Art Institute of Chicago, and see this whirligig, be sure and watch your keys or you might set off the alarm. Thank you.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Happy 31st Mr. D!

As I've mentioned before, hats are almost always a mistake.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I'm Voting Republican...

...because the people who made this video are Democrats!

Sweet Little Boy in Big Pink Chair

Quote Tuesday

Big business never pays a nickel in taxes, according to Ralph Nader, who represents a big consumer organization that never pays a nickel in taxes.--Dave Berry

Monday, June 16, 2008

Poetry Monday

My favorite ice cream flavor is Pistachio Almond.
A close second is Ben and Jerry's New York Super Fudge Chunk.
What's your favorite? One of Mr. Bleezer's?

Bleezer's Ice Cream
by Jack Prelutsky

I am Ebenezer Bleezer,
there are flavors in my freezer
you have never seen before,
twenty-eight divine creations
too delicious to resist,
why not do yourself a favor,
try the flavors on my list:


I am Ebenezer Bleezer,
taste a flavor from my freezer,
you will surely ask for more.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Who's the Goon?

Besides not being very nice, this clip from David Letterman this week also shows that, as it turns out, David is the goon.

Might I point out three things.

President Bush's 2007 income
was $719,274.

Vice President Cheney's 2007 income was $2,528,068.

David Letterman's 2007 income was estimated at $45,000,000.

Mr. Letterman, I'm taking you off my Facebook favorites. As it turns out, you're the goon and I couldn't care less about your show.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Poetry Monday

Since I mentioned the Robert Frost class punishment that those college students got for trashing his house, I thought I'd offer you one of his poems.

Mending Wall

by Robert Frost
Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
And spills the upper boulders in the sun,
And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.
The work of hunters is another thing:
I have come after them and made repair
Where they have left not one stone on a stone,
But they would have the rabbit out of hiding,
To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean,
No one has seen them made or heard them made,
But at spring mending-time we find them there.
I let my neighbor know beyond the hill;
And on a day we meet to walk the line
And set the wall between us once again.
We keep the wall between us as we go.
To each the boulders that have fallen to each.
And some are loaves and some so nearly balls
We have to use a spell to make them balance:
'Stay where you are until our backs are turned!'
We wear our fingers rough with handling them.
Oh, just another kind of out-door game,
One on a side. It comes to little more:
There where it is we do not need the wall:
He is all pine and I am apple orchard.
My apple trees will never get across
And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.
He only says, 'Good fences make good neighbors'.
Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder
If I could put a notion in his head:
'Why do they make good neighbors? Isn't it
Where there are cows?
But here there are no cows.
Before I built a wall I'd ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offense.
Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That wants it down.' I could say 'Elves' to him,
But it's not elves exactly, and I'd rather
He said it for himself. I see him there
Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top
In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed.
He moves in darkness as it seems to me~
Not of woods only and the shade of trees.
He will not go behind his father's saying,
And he likes having thought of it so well
He says again, "Good fences make good neighbors."

A Tree Grows in Bloomington

Sometime in the mid-90's at Christmastime, we toured the Wagner's greenhouse. At the end of the tour we were gifted with a small Colorado Blue Spruce sapling. We dutifully brought it home and placed it in the fridge till the ground thawed the following Spring. Needing a quick spot to place it, I chose the garden.

For the last 10+ years, it thrived in our garden. However, soon it began to shade my garden. So, every Spring for the last 5+ years, we always made a plan to move it. This year, it became obvious that it either had to be moved or used as our Christmas tree.

Not wanting to chop it down, we decided to move it. I use the term "we" loosely. Mr. D called the extension dept. at the U of M and they told him is wasn't impossible. Difficult, but not impossible. After all, the thing was probably 7 feet.

All the proper authorities were notified and our yard was spray painted various colors of the rainbow to identify the various deadly things buried in our yard. Then, Mr. D dug a nice hole to place it in. We chose the front yard where the willow tree used to be back in the day nigh onto 7 years ago.

Mr. D started the process last Thursday until it began lightning. He wrapped the exposed root ball in an old flannel sheet and finished the job on Saturday.

Do you have any idea how much a wet root ball weighs? Neither do I, but I'll bet it's a lot!

With Tim's help, he was able to get it on a tarp. And with the added mule power of me, we were able to slide that puppy to the front yard and place it in the already dug hole.

Then, it began to droop. So, we watered it ever so slowly all night long. Yesterday, it was still droopy, so we put the sprinkler on it for a couple hours. Lo and behold, this morning, it was all nice and perky. But, alas this afternoon, it has begun to droop.

I will keep you posted and leave you with a word of advice.

Never try to move a Colorado Blue Spruce tree that is 7 feet tall.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Poetry Friday

We were in Iowa on Monday, so I didn't blog my usual Monday poem. I was just going to skip it for the week and then Mr. D sent me an e-mail with a link to a poem that John Piper had written for his wife on the anniversary of the day they first met...40 years ago.

Not to be outdone by the Pipster, Mr. D penned me this lovely poetic masterpiece.

Oh, and hey, Mr. D, love you back. Let's go out tonight (and move some furniture out of a condo).


An Untitled Love Poem
by Terry Dugan

Roses are
Violets are,
We started dating
Back at
The U.

And the rings on
The oak tree and
Stuff wasn't blooming,
And the sky in
The freshness of winter
We went out for
Spaghetti....I dono.

--Love, Me

The Indy Adventure

It's taken me a while to tell you about our Indy adventure on May 21st (well, May 22nd, but it was midnight). Chris purchased 10 tickets to the midnight show in Eden Prairie. A few of us got in line at 9:30. We did this so that a) we could secure a spot in line to get some good seats in the theatre and b) because we knew that the Starbuck's in Barnes and Noble would still be open so we could secure some strong coffee. Donovan was among the ticket holders. He and Chris had an enjoyable chat.

Amanda came as well. She and Katie purchased books at B & N rather than coffee. Katie purchased Grimm's Fairy Tales. I'm not sure what Amanda got.

Here we are, waiting for the movie to begin. Aaron and Lexi were there. Ben Pfau arrived just as the lights were dimming and fresh from a Twins game. Chris brought Dots. Lots of Dots. Gotta love the Dots.

And, about the movie. I wanted to like it, so I liked it. So, there.

It had all you could ever want in an Indy movie and then some.

It had bad guys that outnumbered the good guys, strange objects that people are looking for that give them power, monkeys, snakes, big ants, car chases near cliffs, fist fights, nuclear blasts, retro outfits and vehicles, space ships, "Indy" music, Marion Ravenwood, and much more.

Plus, I was with good company when I saw it. So, what's not to like.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

It's The End of the World

Some college kids broke into Robert Frost's house, had an impromptu party, and trashed it.

And, what would their punishment be. Hmmm, maybe pay for the repairs. Maybe, help build a fence to keep riff raff like them out. You know, "good fences make good neighbors."

No, justice was served this way:

For the drunken teens who trashed poet Robert Frost's former home in Ripton Vermont last December, justice has been served in a rather unusual way. As you may recall, a former Middlebury college student threw an impromptu party at the historical farmhouse last year and things got way out of control. The nearly 50 guests broke furniture and china, discharged the fire extinguishers, and ruined the carpet with the by-products of too much drink and drugs. They caused over $10,000 in damage and created quite an uproar in the small Vermont town.

Their day of reckoning has finally arrived and their punishment goes beyond community service and public embarrassment. Twenty-five of the party-goers have been sentenced to attend a poetry class where they will learn about the work of the man whose home they nearly destroyed.

Prosecutor John Quinn explains the unusual punishment: "I guess I was thinking that if these teens had a better understanding of who Robert Frost was and his contribution to our society, that they would be more respectful of other people's property in the future and would also learn something from the experience," he says.

Sneezing is fun

From the Bayly Blog

Psalm 127 says:
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
the fruit of the womb a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
are the children of one's youth.
Blessed is the man
who fills his quiver with them!