Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Happy New Year

Waiting for a friend to pick me up to go to lunch, I walked around the yard today, taking winter photos. Enjoy the tour of the yard as I recall Christmas day!. So here is how Christmas went. Christmas was great. I spent it with a few friends in town. At one point on Christmas morning, we drove around in Athens, and were admiring how closed down the city was. "Yay!" we'd say, passing a closed and shuttered Wal-Mart. "Good for them!" we'd shout when passing an empty mall. It was also spooky. Weird that there were literally NO cars (lol, except ours) on the city streets. It was like Day One on "Life After People."

We returned to their house and started making brunch. They had just gotten back the evening before from North Carolina, having visited their daughter and son-in-law for Christmas Eve. Therefore, there was no turkey cooking, lol, but we were thrilled with making 15 grain toast, home fries, and omelets. Retiring to the living room, we watched "A Little House on the Prairie Christmas", hokey I know but sweet and charming also. After that, we exchanged gifts and talked until early evening. That was Christmas.

This Christmas vacation since then  has also been great. I've had plenty of time to do what I love best: read, write, and research. I read Christian novels. I usually spend most of my day researching deep hermeneutics, bible interpretation, and my brain longs for something lighter by the time night comes and it's time to kick back. I read a very good Christian book called "Tides of Truth: Deeper Water." I liked it very much and appreciated the character development and scene-setting. Best of all, it is the first book in a series so there are more coming. I read some other books too but they are forgettable, only time-passers designed to provide their part in a relaxing night-time apartment environment.

Yesterday I spent a good amount of time at the library tutoring another friend on how to use the internet. She is fearful but curious, so we brought our laptops, set them up in tandem at the back table so we wouldn't disturb anyone,  and dove in. Today I went to Olive Garden with a friend who had received a gift certificate and she called me to share it with! Woo-hoo!  We enjoyed lunch very much. I had that great special, the endless soup and salad and breadsticks thing. I admit I had two bowls of salad. If I could make dressing like that I would eat salads every day. I saw a bunch of friends at the restaurant, which was great.

Being in Athens already, and making use of the gas, we did some errands after lunch. She had to go to a vitamin store in the mall, and lo and behold the vitamin store had bulk nasal salt! I've been looking for that since I moved to Georgia. I can get nasal salt for my neti pot/ nasal wash at the local drug stores, but it is in pre-packaged packets, like sugar is. 100 to a box and it's kind of expensive, $11.00. This jar was $5.50 and offered about the same amount of nasal washes. I use the stuff when I have a cold or bronchitis and I would not live without my nasal salt!. I definitely felt like I'd scored!

My friend had a couple more errands to do, one of them being the Christian bookstore in town, an always fun stop. I leafed through a Chuck Norris book, "written by the actual Chuck Norris!" but I wasn't temped to buy anything I had browsed in the store. Back home, I made some tea and checked my Facebook page. And then wrote a blog entry!

Happy 2010!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Sundays are for Masterpiece Theatre

I spent a wonderful evening Sunday watching a reprise of Masterpiece Theatre's "Cranford." I hadn't see it on its first go-round, so I was delighted to stumble across this fantastically well-written and funny drama. The ripostes, the retorts, the was music to my ears. Further, it brought to mind happy high school days.

You see, I am a nerd. A geek. A brain. Someone people edge away from because of my social ineptitude and penchant for seques that are far removed from current conversation but which to me, make perfect sense. In high school, I felt that spending an evening outside and cold, uncomfortable on wet bleachers, and screaming my head off for the football win was less than desirable. So I stayed home and watched I, Claudius. The Six Wives of Henry VIII, Elizabeth R, I, Claudius, Upstairs, Downstairs, crown jewels of the Masterpiece Theatre of the 1970s. Like I said. Geek.

Watching Cranford brought back all that I love about period pieces with high wit and good writing, great costumes and a moral point. An example of the writing:

"Put no further pastries to your lips for you will choke when you hear the news I must report."

"Miss Deborah Jenkyns: I would prefer it if I did not enjoy oranges;   consuming them is a most incommodious business."

LOL. Anyway, I recommend Cranford. Masterpiece Theatre, 9 pm Sundays. It's better than football!

Merry Mao Christmas!

 Breitbart's Exclusive: Transvestites, Mao And Obama Ornaments Decorate White House Christmas Tree

Why let a holiday season come between the White House and making some political statements? The White House pegged controversial designer Simon Doonan to oversee the Christmas decorations for the White House. Mr. Doonan, who is creative director of Barney’s New York has often caused a stir with his design choices. Like his naughty yuletide window display of Margaret Thatcher as a dowdy dominatrix and Dan Quayle as a ventriloquist’s dummy. For this year’s White House, he didn’t disappoint.

These photos of ornaments on the White House Christmas tree in the Blue Room were taken just days ago. Of course, Mao has his place in the White House.
And, of course, it wouldn’t be Christmas without an ornament of legendary transvestite Hedda Lettuce.

He/She even signed it:

And, so soon after collecting the Nobel Peace Prize, why wouldn’t the White House have an ornament super-imposing President Obama onto Mt. Rushmore:

Post from Andrew Breitbart's Big Government.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Ice, Georgia style

Anything frozen is an attraction to a Georgian. Ice doesn't last long down here, so when I saw that the edge of a puddle in my yard had frozen overnight, I took some microphotos of it.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Corner View: Books

Jane's Corner View this week is "Books." Be sure to check out the link which links to all the other Corner Views on this week's theme!

City Lights Books, San Francisco

City Lights is an independent bookstore- publisher combination that specializes in world literature, the arts, and progressive politics. It also houses the nonprofit City Lights Foundation, which publishes selected titles related to San Francisco culture. It was founded in 1953 by poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Peter D. Martin (who left two years later). Both the store and the publishers became widely known following the obscenity trial of Ferlinghetti for publishing Allen Ginsberg's influential poem Howl and Other Poems...

It is a mecca of the Beats, the crowd that came to the fore in the late 1940s and early 1950s. "In 1953, as Ferlinghetti was walking past the Artigues Building, he encountered Martin out front hanging up a sign that announced a "Pocket Book Shop." He introduced himself as a contributor to Martin's magazine City Lights, and told him he had always wanted a bookstore. Before long he and Martin agreed to a partnership. Each man invested $500."

I love traveling and where I am, if there is something related to books, I go there. Paris was Shakespeare & Co. and Gertrude Stein's house; Key West meat Hemingway's house where he wrote A Farewell to Arms and To Have and Have to among others; Florence meat walking where Dante walked and his house is still there...anyway, San Francisco meant ground zero for the Beats, and Richard Brautigan. I love Brautigan's works, and for a time, chased down the more elusive ones vigorously. Walking in to City Lights Books, with its warped floors and steeped history was thrilling. And all the books! Floor after floor.

Ahhh, books. I love them.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

'Obamaville' sign posted near homeless camp

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- Someone has put a lot of thought into a welcome sign that may surprise you, it's in front of a homeless camp off I-25 in Colorado Springs. Its message, "Welcome to Obamaville, Colorado's fastest growing community." Despite repeated calls no one could answer the question, who put up the sign? To some homeless the sign's message says enough. Mark Limonez, a homeless man living in "tent city", says the sign doesn't make him feel good about trying to get back on his feet. "Guys are trying to work but there's not enough work out there, so they go pan handling or flag a sign" Limonez says, "I've never seen so many camps since I've been out in the streets - there's no money." There are no logos on the front of the sign and no clues to where it comes from.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

White rose in December

This rose is in my North Georgia yard, on a mature bush that blooms heartily in summer with lots of roses. We've had three hard frosts yet this rose is blooming in December. Is this unusual?

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Corner View: Evening

Jane at Spain Daily has a themed weekly blog entry going, called Corner View. It's the view from our little corner of the world. This week's theme was "evening.," Here's mine, and be sure to check out Jane's other participants' Corner Views, listed at her blog, linked above.

My tiger cat Bert is literally evening and also emblematic of evening. After a long day at school, I come home at 3pm to my second shift, writing. I run an e-mail free subscription prophecy newsletter, and I also run an end time blog. That, and the occasional newspaper column plus this blog's writings, keep me busy all evening. I write at my kitchen table on my laptop, and Bert and my other cat Luke doze on the couch. But around 7 pm I call it quits and curl up on the couch with them. By this time of the evening I'm in my comfy clothes, usually sweats and a loose cotton shirt, with the afghan tucked around my knees. The remote is handy, so I don't have to get up. See, that is what it's all about in the evening, how long can I go without having to get up? I have my tea and my bible, which I read a bit before turning on the tv.

So, relaxed kitties, gentle reading, some innocuous tv, and a couch. That's my evening.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Parade then snack

I had such a nice day today. The weather forecast was predicting a "wintry mix" of snow and rain, so many people were worried that the annual Christmas parade would be canceled or otherwise adversely affected. It is a large parade, and along with the participants there's also a with live nativity, vendors selling boiled peanuts and biscuit sandwiches and donuts, the annual Craft Fair over at the school, the 5K run, and children's choral performances. That's a lot of people who would be affected! But the day's dawned clouds quickly turned to sun. The sunshine warmed the temps a bit and the rain never came.

By 1:00 the day was warm if you stayed out of the wind and if you were in the wind it was still warm-ish. The crowd was relaxed and smiling, the animals at the live nativity were placid, the sun was high and all was well. I took lots and lots of photos, which can be viewed here. After a couple of hours outside and walking and walking, I headed home when the last horse passed by and the parade was officially done.

Mmm, 3:00 and time for a mid-afternoon snack. How about a toasted mini-muffin and a slice of lemon pound cake with fresh blueberries? Hot tea with milk completed the picture. So this is the real me: Formica fifties table oh-so-cute, snack with tea, and laptop. Mmm, life is good.

Safe Schools Czar Kevin Jennings advocates porn for classroom

Yesterday, Gateway Pundit posted a lengthy and explicit article showing that Obama's Schools Czar promoted porn books for the classroom. I was skeptical at first, thinking this was simply another inflated and hyperbolic headline in increasingly inflated and hyperbolic headlines designed to attract attention from an increasingly stupidly drugged and perverted nation. But it isn't. I read the post and I read the conent and it is quite true. Then, Gateway Pundit came under cyber attack not once but twice. So the call went out to re-post the Gateway Pundit information so that it will be out there and increasingly difficult to wipe from the net. So here it is.

Beware, this is sickeningly true. Gateway Pundit posted the scanned pages of the offending books along with a transcript, so you can see the original material and determine for yourself that it is all evilly correct. The Safe Schools czar lists books with pornographic content as appropriate reading material for elementary and high school students. I am not making this up. Read on, brothers and sisters, read on. If you dare.

Founding Bloggers' warning:
[Ed note: Part two is the posting of the offending material, which you can go read at the many links provided, but I won't post it here. On to Gateway Pundit's expose--]

Scott Baker from and Co-Host of ‘The B-Cast‘ submitted this shocking report today on Obama’s deviant Safe Schools Czar Kevin Jennings.
—-Warning on Content—–

I was recently approached by a team of independent researchers that I have known for some time and have come to trust. They prepared this report involving ‘Safe Schools Czar’ Kevin Jennings and the organization he founded, GLSEN, and asked that I find a way to help draw attention to what they uncovered. Knowing that Gateway Pundit has followed Kevin Jennings since his appointment, as we have on The B-Cast (here, here, and here), and on (here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here), I felt this would be an appropriate place for this report.
Warning: The following material is very explicit.

Safe Schools Czar Kevin Jennings was the founder, and for many years, Executive Director of an organization called the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN). GLSEN started essentially as Jennings’ personal project and grew to become the culmination of his life’s work. And he was chosen by President Obama to be the nation’s Safe Schools Czar primarily because he had founded and led GLSEN (scroll for bio).

GLSEN’s stated mission is to empower gay youth in the schools and to stop harassment by other students. It encourages the formation of Gay Student Alliances and condemns the use of hateful words. GLSEN also strives to influence the educational curriculum to include materials which the group believes will increase tolerance of gay students and decrease bullying. To that end, GLSEN maintains a recommended reading list of books that it claims “furthers our mission to ensure safe schools for all students.” In other words, these are the books that GLSEN’s directors think all kids should be reading: gay kids should read them to raise their self-esteem, and straight kids should read them in order to become more aware and tolerant and stop bullying gay kids. Through GLSEN’s online ordering system, called “GLSEN BookLink,” featured prominently on their Web site, teachers can buy the books to use as required classroom assignments, or students can buy them to read on their own.

According to GLSEN’s own press releases from the period during which its recommended reading list was developed, the organization’s three areas of focus were creating “educational resources, public policy agenda, [and] student organizing programs”; in other words, the reading list (chief among its “educational resources”) was of prime importance in GLSEN’s efforts to influence the American educational system.

The list is divided into three main categories: books recommended for grades K-6; books recommended for grades 7-12; and books for teachers. (The books on the list span all genres: fiction, nonfiction, memoirs, even poetry.)

Out of curiosity to see exactly what kind of books Kevin Jennings and his organization think American students should be reading in school, our team chose a handful at random from the over 100 titles on GLSEN’s grades 7-12 list, and began reading through.

What we discovered shocked us. We were flabbergasted. Rendered speechless.

We were unprepared for what we encountered. Book after book after book contained stories and anecdotes that weren’t merely X-rated and pornographic, but which featured explicit descriptions of sex acts between pre-schoolers; stories that seemed to promote and recommend child-adult sexual relationships; stories of public masturbation, anal sex in restrooms, affairs between students and teachers, five-year-olds playing sex games, semen flying through the air. One memoir even praised becoming a prostitute as a way to increase one’s self-esteem. Above all, the books seemed to have less to do with promoting tolerance than with an unabashed attempt to indoctrinate students into a hyper-sexualized worldview.

We knew that unless we carefully documented what we were reading, the public would have a hard time accepting it. Mere descriptions on our part could not convey the emotional gut reaction one gets when seeing what Kevin Jennings wants kids to read as school assignments. So we began scanning pages from each of the books, and then made exact transcriptions of the relevant passages on each page.

Are we exaggerating, or misconstruing quotes that could be interpreted a different way? No: Read the passages below and judge for yourself. There’s no wiggle room. The language is explicit, the intent clear.
To be specific, the books we read were:

Queer 13
Being Different
The Full Spectrum
Revolutionary Voices
Reflections of a Rock Lobster
Passages of Pride
Growing Up Gay/Growing Up Lesbian
The Order of the Poison Oak
In Your Face
Mama’s Boy, Preacher’s Son
Love & Sex: Ten Stories of Truth

We can only vouch for what’s in these 11 books, since these are the only ones we’ve read through. Are there other books on the GLSEN reading list that are similarly outrageous? We can’t say for sure, but it seems very likely. What you see excerpted below is probably only the tip of the iceberg.

Let it be clear: This issue has nothing to do with gayness or straightness, which is irrelevant to this report. The point proven here is that the GLSEN reading list promotes the sexualization of children in general, regardless of the “orientation.”

And this is not about censorship: It’s about deciding what constitutes appropriate reading material for children. We’re perfectly OK with these books existing and being read by adults; we only start to worry when these books are assigned to children. All sorts of books are excluded from school reading lists, for all sorts of reasons. Even many books once considered classics are now considered off-limits due to language or attitudes now deemed inappropriate. And yet, according to Kevin Jennings and GLSEN, books about a 13-year-old getting “my cock sucked and my ass fucked” or about a teenager enjoying the “exquisite bitter taste” of his friend’s semen are not just acceptable, they’re highly recommended. As GLSEN’s own site says, “All BookLink items are reviewed by GLSEN staff for quality and appropriateness of content.” Really? (Note: GLSEN does advise adults to “review content for suitability.”)

Although GLSEN does not address how books get added to its list, it’s hard to imagine that they are chosen by low-level staffers or volunteers, with no oversight. Since the list of recommended books is one of the organization’s primary tools (”The GLSEN BookLink, an online library of recommended resources, along with the Safe Space program remain cornerstones of GLSEN’s education work.” source), it’s likely that the books were chosen carefully. Kevin Jennings stepped down as Executive Director last year after leading GLSEN since its inception, but every single book mentioned in this report was added to the list while Jennings was in charge (dates are given for each title’s addition to the list). Therefore, it’s reasonable to believe he was aware of the addition of these works – especially since most were added when GLSEN was still quite small and the Executive Director had a hands-on role in daily operations.
Below you will find dozens of excerpts taken from books on the GLSEN “Booklink” recommended reading list for grades 7-12 (i.e. for children between the ages of 12 and 17). To prove that these books are indeed recommended by GLSEN for children, click on each book’s title to see its individual listing on the GLSEN Web site. And to prove that each excerpt is transcribed exactly as it appears in each book, click on the page numbers or the small images along the left to see scans taken directly of the book pages in question. (Ellipses ["..."] indicate unrelated passages not included in some of the transcriptions; click on the full-page scans to see the complete extended quotes.) Each passage is preceded by a brief summary, given in italics.
You decide for yourself if you think these are appropriate for kids as young as 12 years old to read. And then decide if you think the man who headed the organization responsible for recommending these books to children should be in charge of school safety in this country.
Content Warning:
Keep in mind that, although the material below has been deemed by Kevin Jennings and GLSEN to be appropriate for children, some of the excerpts contain explicit language and pornographic descriptions, so if you don’t want to see such things, stop reading now.