Thursday, November 30, 2006

Long Time Gone

I promised some photos from the soccer trip November 10-11.
I'd much rather see deer here than on the highway.
We ran into a snowstorm East of DesMoines on our way to Minneapolis and caught a few good pictures.

Cheech ,what a month. I'm as tired as that flatbed trailer.

Been busy confuguring Mary's notebook computer and wireless LAN.
Gee, that sounded like I have a clue, doesn't it?

Too many late hours at work, and late hours at home trying to get
her business programs working on this thing.
On the plus side, we have cable broadband.

Snowy trip Nov. 10th

Plenty of parking for my truck in Des Moines.

Minneapolis Blurring

Rachel did a great job navigating us through Minneapolis at rush hour.
Thanks, Mapquest for taking us through there!


The girls had a blast shuffling their feet on the astroturf and zapping each other and their coaches with static shocks. They won the tournament with a 1-0-1 record. A long trip for only 2 games, but it was nice for the kids to win.

Because every princess needs a castle...

...We had to find a
White Castle for slyders on our way home, after a quick spin through
Mall of America with teammate Shelby and her sis, Jaimie, and folks.

To the victor goes the Slyder...

Thursday, November 23, 2006

... God gives the increase...

Picture : the last tomato and last basket of potatoes we harvested in early October

Thanks , God, for harvest.

We plant and tend, and the ground brings forth food.
Simple, yet amazing.

When I was younger, we went to Grandpa and Grandma' s for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. Grandma had a big Hobart mixer, like a Kitchen-aid on steroids, in which she whipped 20 pounds of potatoes for the great gathering. What a machine, and what a feast!
Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, Grandpa and Grandma. I don't recall a lot of details - except for what I've seen in the pictures, but that mixer on the floor stand sticks in my memory .

My late Grandma Ruth was a master gardener, she grew all kinds of flowers and vegatables for most of her 80+ years-
but never lost the wonder of harvest.

I remember her telling me about a huge pumpkin , or squash of some kind that she grew,
"It came right up out of the ground, from a little seed, right up out of the ground !"

I wasn't impressed. Being 18 or 19 at the time, I knew everything :-)

This year we planted about 5 pounds of potatoes, and harvested 40 or so pounds.
Provision such as this really is a commonplace miracle.
Expected, yes, but no less miraculous than the provision
Plimouth Plantation recieved .
For the produce of our garden-
humble tomatoes, basil, rosemary, and potatoes- came from the same Provider, the same 'Providence' that brought a nation up out of the survivors of the Mayflower.

Half of them died that first winter, half.
Imagine the press conference,
"Governor Bradford, what is your exit strategy?"
"The Mayflower is still anchored in the bay,
when are you going to bring them home?"

Governor Bradford might have answered as he wrote in his "History of Plimouth Plantation"
[We have] a great hope and inward zeal of laying some good
foundation...for the propagating and advancing the Gospel of the kingdom of
Christ in those remote parts of the world; yea, though [we] should be but
even as stepping-stones unto others for the performing of so great a work."

What comes first,
the calling to accomplish acts of incredible faith,
or the faith to carry out the calling?

They had a calling stronger than the hardship,
God was leading them to lay the foundation of a new nation,
one that he brought

-right up out of the ground.

Happy Thanksgiving Day

So that neither the planter nor the waterer is of any importance.
God who gives the increase is all in all. I Corinthians 3:7 -Weymouth

On Angel's blog, track over there for more Thanksgiving thoughts!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


Travelled to the Twin Cities, through a bit of snow,
for Rachel to play in a soccer Tournament Saturday.
Their team won a game tied a game and thus won the tournament.

Photos to follow when I get them downloaded.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Beside that, Mrs.Lincoln, how was the play?

I had a fine birthday yesterday,
great weather, one of the nicest Nov 7th in memory.

Work went well, had a nice supper at home.
Hugs and kisses from the kids,
a nice eCard from Mom , eMail greetings and salutations,
and a card from my brother with an invitation
to go to the Glenn Beck Christmas Show with Dad and two of my brothers
in December- cool .

A good birthday,
other than
that whole 'losing GOP control of Congress' thing!

Beside that and the lost sleep,
I feel better now,
as the weirdest song I've ever heard said:
"I feel better than James Brown,
How do you feel?"

Scott Ott has a funny Top Ten,

Here's required reading from Donald Luskin
for the electorally despondent.

Larry Kudlow says," Republicans may have lost
but the conservative ascendancy is still alive and well.",
as many Dem gains are "Blue Dog Dems" .

We can get through this.

And as we turn the page (er, Mr. Foley, that's just a figure of speech),
what measure can we take of the 109th Congress to look at the 110th
results in 2008 ?

OK, let's see...

-4.4% unemployment, that is,95.6% employment, the glass is nearly full.

-Record Home Ownership.

-Record Black Home Ownership.

- only 2% of Americans make minimum wage
most of them high school students
(versus 10% 15 years ago, if I heard that right on Hugh Hewitt)

-No major terrorist attacks on our soil in 5+ years.

-Record Dow Jones Industrials Index.
Go ahead now,
Make it better for us, Nancy and Harry.

See you in two years.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Doug Powers' helpful Voting Tips for this election...

After the 2000 debacle in Florida, Boward County officials properly prepared residents for the next election .
Doug Powers' helpful Voting Tips for this election.
–Need relief from the stress? On Election Day, wear a pro-Republican t-shirt with six or seven “I voted” stickers on it and mill around the nearest Democrat office. This one’s always good for a laugh.

"This is what peace looked like in Iraq at Saddam’s time".

Saddam was tried on his butchery of men , women, and children of Al-Dujaile after an assassination attempt there.
I would think that the name of the town
where 143 were executed would be more widely known,
even to someone with only a casual acquaintance with the news , like me.

President Bush:
"Iraq has a lot of work ahead as it builds its society that delivers equal
justice and protects all its citizens. Yet history will record today's judgment
as an important achievement on the path to a free and just and unified society.
The United States is proud to stand with the Iraqi people. We will continue
to support Iraq's unity government as it works to bring peace to its great

Please point anyone who expresses any
sympathy for the devil to this article.

Vote early and often tomorrow!!


War and Peace

Whenever I tried to forget all about the past and focus on the future,

I hear a story that brings the past right in front of my eyes. What happened was so brutal and hard to forget.
We should make the world realize that, not to gain some pity or compassion,
but to make sure that it will not happen again anywhere in the world.I can't keep the story in my heart, for I can't bear the pain all by myself and I wish the whole world could share it with me. This story is dedicated to all those who oppose what's happening in Iraq, that's to say; the Arab and Muslim world and the (peace activists) in the hope that it will make them pause for a while and reconsider their (noble stand).
This is one example that may help them imagine the (peace) we lived in.I met him in a photo copy office owned by a friend. My friend introduced him to me, his name is Firas Mahmood Ya'koob, a junior resident in Al-Karkh hospital for surgery in Baghdad, a shy young man, holding some photos of men, women, and children. He wanted to make copies of them soI knew there was a story behind them. I couldn't help asking him about it, he said "I’m from Al-Dujaile".

I understood what he meant.

In Saddam's time we used to whisper about Al-Dujaile, we all knew that a massacre happened there, but we didn't dare to ask about the details and I never met any one from there. Now I can know all about it from my new friend and here it is, in his own words:-"Al-Dujaile is my home town, I always looked at it as god's heaven on earth, it's about 60 kilometers to the north of Baghdad, on the bank of al Ishaki river (a branch of Tigris), inhabited by few thousands, most of whom are farmers, our village is well known by its date palms and grapes, a fascinating nature that takes your breath away, its people are related by strong tribal relations that keep them as one large family.

- Date: 7/8/1982, Saddam decides to visit the village, the Ba’ath party in the region prepared the people to make a big reception, they took us out of the schools(I was 7 years old). They made us line in a row on both sides of the road to wave for him and cheer his name. It never occurred to me that it would be my last day in the childhood world. I was forced to skip that period of my life with such cruelty that I can not explain.

-17 of the finest young men in the village had decided to put an end to the tyrant's life at that day, they had the courage to face him, we didn't know about their intention.The brave men set an ambush among the palm trees, they couldn't tell which car was his, there were dozens of cars, all identical in model and color.

-The attack starts, the brave young men open fire from their simple weapons, some of the body guards get killed, others wounded, the tyrant get panicked, imagine that (Saddam is afraid) the man who enjoyed terrorizing people lives a moment of fear with all its details, he was so close to death this time.8 of the attackers were killed, the rest fled out of the country.(Woe to the sinners) who dared to make him scared, you should fear his revenge, you should learn the lesson so that it won't happen again, you should bow more and more and fear more and more, you should be scared to death so that you don't dare even to think of harming him; the shadow of god on earth.

-The answer was fast, one hour after the escape of the tyrant, we had to face his anger, I heard the sound of helicopters over our heads wreaking their vengeance upon our small village, backed later with shovels that leveled the trees with the ground, the order was clear(the terror should be great) so that the others would learn.I ran away to my home into my mothers' lap, my younger brother and sisters gathered around me, I realized something huge has happened and anticipated the eminent evil. it didn't take long for the security to get to our house, we were taken to the unknown, me, my mother(who was 4 months pregnant), my sisters Einas(5 years), Zeina(3 years)and my brother Mohammed(1 year).

-The first station in our long journey was Al-Hakimiyah prison that belongs to the intelligence, I found hundreds of my village people, old, young, men, women and children, we were 480 there. Out of whom 80 were relatives of mine.It was enough to say the word Hakimiyah for any Iraqi to be completely paralyzed(the one who gets in is a missing-the one who gets out is reborn

-this was what we used to say about this prison, the walls of which tell thousands of horror stories that you refuse to believe.I was too young to know why we were treated like that, but I sure knew the meaning of being scared to death. The sound of foot steps that stops by the door was enough for every one to freeze, as after that the door would be opened, a name of one of the men would be announced and he would be dragged to the interrogation room to return few hours later unconscious, covered by blood, wrapped in a blanket, and would be thrown on us.

The women and children had their share, and this is what saw: extraction of nails and teeth, electric shocks, whipping with lashes, using razors to tear the skin into shreds, my aunt was left hanging from the roof after her clothes had been wrapped of her in front of her brothers to force them to talk.
Do you know how much pain we suffered?
Can you imagine?
I doubt it.
We stayed at Al-Hakimiyah for one month, the space was too small for all of us to sleep, some of us had to stay on their feet so that the others could sleep.-After that we were transferred to Abu-Ghraib prison, where we met the men for the last time, after that, the 143 men separated from us and then transferred to another place, as for the rest of us, we were kept in Abu-Ghraib prison for six months, during that time, the day for my mother to deliver her baby came, she had complications and they didn't take her to the hospital until it was too late, the baby died.
my mother never if it was a boy or a girl.
In the prison, 4 people died, my grandfather(Yousif Ya'koob), my uncles wife(Noofa Hasan), the old man(Abdul Wahab Ja'far) and his wife (Sabreya), after that we were transferred to a camp in the desert, near the Iraqi-Saudi borders, 400 kilometers south-west to Baghdad(Leeah camp).

We spent four years there.
Four years in hell, we were isolated from the world, all we could do is stay alive and pray for the men whom their destiny was unknown to us.We were released in 1986, only for another journey of pain and suffering. We had to start a new life as all our properties were confiscated and we still don’t know anything about the men.The other good people in our village helped us, offered us jobs in their lands and a place to stay in. I had to work -with my little brother and sisters- to earn our living and to continue with our study. Farming is too hard a job for children of our age, but we had already passed that stage.It’s hard to explain what life is when you're a suspect with the eyes of security agents following you, stifling your breath, making your life even harder and harder, we had to give them all the pennies we could save to get some information about the missing ones, and they always promised us good news, and that our beloved ones were alive and being treated well.
we didn't believe that, but what is life without hope!?
-Sixteen years later...October/2002. I finished medical school and started to practice my job as a doctor in Baghdad. The same year, Saddam suffers a hard time, the USA and the allies tighten the circle around him, he decides to set all prisoners free, including the political. That was what he said, the fact; he released only the murderers and the thieves.Our cries lost their way trying to find our relatives among the thousands of faces, each time they reassure us that there would be another group to be released the next day, but all our efforts were in vain, we had no one but god to pray to and seek his help to show us the way.
Date: 4/9/2003, I can’t believe it, the tyrant falls, is it a dream?Does it mean no more fear, no more terror, and no more death? We jumped into the streets wreaking our vengeance on his pictures and statues that surrounded the village he raped in a dark night.The towns and villages expelled him and expelled his name……..WE WERE SAVED.
I took a deep breath, the air had the scent of freedom, nothing can be more beautiful, it’s difficult to describe, but we were overwhelmed by happiness, with only one distress: where had our beloved ones gone?
We started to search the security departments in Baghdad,
- like thousands of Iraqis- looking for a trace,
I didn’t take a long time, we found what we were looking for.
The documents of the crime, I read with tears in my eyes;
the presidency order dated: 7 /23 /1985,
signed by the tyrant, ordering the execution of 143 men from Al-Dujaile, the youngest one (Najeeb Abd Kadim) 11 years old.
Among these, 35 were relatives of mine.
God bless your souls martyrs, may you have peace in heaven,
if it wasn’t your courage and blood we wouldn’t be proud.
This is the story behind these photos, my friend.
It’s time they have a decent funeral.
We haven’t found their remains yet, but they will always remain in our hearts”

My friend surprised me saying” we don’t regret what happened, and yesterday, when the nine remaining heroes returned to Iraq, we met them with flowers, as the heroes of all the Iraqis, and we will never blame them, as they’re the ones who kept our chins up

”This is what peace looked like in Iraq at Saddam’s time.

The battle is not over yet, the evil and cruel criminals are every where,
and they will not rest until they kidnap our dreams, but this time we’re stronger, as we are not alone.
The whole good and brave people on earth took it upon themselves to fight with us, we hate wars and all the bloodshed that comes with them, but we have no other choice.Let us all dream of a world of love and real peace.N.B. All the copies of the documents could be found with Dr. Firas M. Yaqub

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Saddam Plans His Appeal...

But seriously, (With a tip of the hat to Mary Katharine Ham)

Here is a post from Iraq the day Saddam was captured:

The big brother in a small hole

What joy it is to see a tyrant pulled down.

You can feel the author's elation.

And please read:

What Peace looked like when Saddam was in charge:

A man tells of his 4 years in prison, beginning at age 7, and his life afterwards.

His village,Al-Dujaile, was retaliated against for an assassination attempt on Saddam in 1982.

Now Saddam will die. Sic Semper Tyrannis.

World's Strongest Dad

For Angel's NYC Marathon Open Trackback

Ever seen the Triathlon team of Dick and Rick Hoyt?
Dick pulls his paralyzed son in a raft for two miles,
pushes his wheel chair for 26.2 Mi.
then pedals him another 100+ miles. Why?
because Rick typed, after their first race" "Dad,
when we were running, it felt like I wasn't disabled anymore!"

Truly the World's Strongest Dad.

Strongest Dad in the World

Rick ReillySports Illustrated Issue date: June 20, 2005, p.88

I try to be a good father. Give my kids mulligans. Work nights to pay for
their text messaging. Take them to swimsuit shoots.
But compared with Dick Hoyt, I suck.

Eighty-five times he's pushed his disabled son, Rick, 26.2
miles in marathons. Eight times he's not only pushed him 26.2 miles in a
wheelchair but also towed him 2.4 miles in a dinghy while swimming and pedaled
him 112 miles in a seat on the handlebars -- all in the same day.

Dick's also pulled him cross-country skiing, taken him on his back mountain climbing
and once hauled him across the U.S. on a bike. Makes taking your son bowling
look a little lame, right?

And what has Rick done for his father? Not much
-- except save his life.

This love story began in Winchester, Mass., 43 years
ago, when Rick was strangled by the umbilical cord during birth, leaving him
brain-damaged and unable to control his limbs.
"He'll be a vegetable the rest of his life," Dick says doctors told him and his wife, Judy, when Rick was nine months old. "Put him in an institution."
But the Hoyts weren't buying it.

They noticed the way Rick's eyes followed them around the room. When Rick was 11 they took him to the engineering department at Tufts University and asked if
there was anything to help the boy communicate. "No way," Dick says he was told.
"There's nothing going on in his brain."
"Tell him a joke," Dick countered.
They did. Rick laughed. Turns out a lot was going on in his brain.
Rigged up with a computer that allowed him to control the cursor by touching a switch with the side of his head, Rick was finally able to communicate. First words? "Go Bruins!" And after a high school classmate was paralyzed in an accident and the
school organized a charity run for him, Rick pecked out, "Dad, I want to do
Yeah, right. How was Dick, a self-described "porker" who never ran
more than a mile at a time, going to push his son five miles? Still, he tried.
"Then it was me who was handicapped," Dick says. "I was sore for two weeks."
That day changed Rick's life. "Dad," he typed, "when we were running, it
felt like I wasn't disabled anymore!"
And that sentence changed Dick's life.

He became obsessed with giving Rick that feeling as often as he could. He got
into such hard-belly shape that he and Rick were ready to try the 1979 Boston

"No way," Dick was told by a race official. The Hoyts weren't
quite a single runner, and they weren't quite a wheelchair competitor. For a few
years Dick and Rick just joined the massive field and ran anyway, then they
found a way to get into the race officially: In 1983 they ran another marathon
so fast they made the qualifying time for Boston the following year.
Then somebody said, "Hey, Dick, why not a triathlon?"
How's a guy who never learned to swim and hadn't ridden a bike since he was six going to haul his 110-pound kid through a triathlon? Still, Dick tried.
Now they've done 212 triathlons, including four grueling 15-hour Ironmans in Hawaii. It must be a buzzkill to be a 25-year-old stud getting passed by an old guy towing a grown man in a dinghy, don't you think?
Hey, Dick, why not see how you'd do on your own? "No way," he says. Dick does it purely for "the awesome feeling" he gets seeing Rick with a cantaloupe smile as they run, swim and ride together.
This year, at ages 65 and 43, Dick and Rick finished their 24th Boston Marathon, in 5,083rd place out of more than 20,000 starters. Their best time? Two hours, 40 minutes in 1992 -- only 35 minutes off the world record, which, in case you don't keep track of these things, happens to be held by a guy who was not pushing another man in a wheelchair at the time.

"No question about it,"
Rick types. "My dad is the Father of the Century."
And Dick got something else out of all this too. Two years ago he had a mild heart attack during a race. Doctors found that one of his arteries was 95% clogged. "If you hadn't been in such great shape," one doctor told him, "you probably would've died 15 years ago."

So, in a way, Dick and Rick saved each other's life.
Rick, who has his own apartment (he gets home care) and works in Boston, and Dick,
retired from the military and living in Holland, Mass., always find ways to be
together. They give speeches around the country and compete in some backbreaking
race every weekend, including this Father's Day.
That night, Rick will buy his dad dinner, but the thing he really wants to give him is a gift he can never buy.

"The thing I'd most like," Rick types, "is that my dad sit in the chair
and I push him once."

One of my favorite videos is here: Clips of Team Hoyt edited to the Nicole C Mullin song - "My Redeemer Lives".

One day we all will cross Life's finish line. If we enter Heaven, our arms will be raised in triumph and joy unspeakable. But, it won't be because of our own good deeds, only through what Christ has done for us. The above mentioned video illustrates beautifully where we are spiritually- without Him we can do nothing...

Friday, November 03, 2006

Something for fun

She Does The Best 'Claude Rains' Impression

Have you seen me?
Call 1-800-MilkBox

Pelosi appearrances have been as rare lately as "Santorum for Senate" yard signs in front of Al-Qaida hide-out caves.

Gingrich and the GOP wrested the House from Democrat control in 1994 on vision and goals that were spelled out to Americans.
Clearly the Dems don't care about winning the Congress on agenda or ideas, they just want power. I hope their strategy backfires.

From Drudge Report:

The last
photo of vanishing Pelosi
on the wires was from an October 21 fundraiser.And
since Pelosi appeared on the controversial October 22 broadcast of 60 MINUTES,
national TV hits have all but been nonexistent.
[Pelosi did appear on CNBC's On the Money on 10/24 and on ABC on 10/26, as
THINK PROGRESS points out. But the sightings have dramatically dwindled.]

Former Speaker of the House, Republican Newt Gingrich believes he knows one
reason why the congresswoman has largely dropped out of public sight ever since

"It seems clear that some Americans have glimpsed a future with her third
in line for the presidency, and they don't like what they see," says Gingrich.
"She has become largely invisible as a result."
A source close to the congresswoman explains she has been busy behind
the scenes.
Pelosi made a brief public appearance with Bill Clinton this week in
San Francisco.After providing a long schedule of her weekend events, a Pelosi
aide added that her favorite stop was the taping of a World Wrestling
Entertainment podcast on the importance of young people voting, the WHITE HOUSE BULLETIN reports.