Bring Me That Horizon

Welcome to jennyweber dot com

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Home of Jenny the Pirate

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This will go better if you

check your expectations at the door.

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We're not big on logic

but there's no shortage of irony.

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 Nice is different than good.

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Oh and ...

I flunked charm school.

So what.

Can't write anything.

= Jennifer =

Causing considerable consternation
to many fine folk since 1957

Pepper and me ... Seattle 1962

  

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Belay That!

This blog does not contain and its author will not condone profanity, crude language, or verbal abuse. Commenters, you are welcome to speak your mind but do not cuss or I will delete either the word or your entire comment, depending on my mood. Continued use of bad words or inappropriate sentiments will result in the offending individual being banned, after which they'll be obliged to walk the plank. Thankee for your understanding and compliance.

= Jenny the Pirate =

Hoist The Colors

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I am a Blue Star Mother

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Insist on yourself; never imitate.

Your own gift you can present

every moment

with the cumulative force

of a whole life’s cultivation;

but of the adopted talent of another

you have only an extemporaneous

half possession.

That which each can do best,

none but his Maker can teach him.

= Ralph Waldo Emerson =

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Represent:

The Black Velvet Coat

In The Market, As It Were

 

 

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Contributor to

American Cemetery

published by Kates-Boylston

A Pistol With One Shot

Ecstatically shooting everything in sight using my beloved Nikon D3100 with AF-S DX Nikkor 18-55mm 1:3.5-5.6G VR kit lens and AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 G prime lens.

Also capturing outrageous beauty left and right with my Nikon D7000 blissfully married to my Nikkor 85mm f/1.4D AF prime glass. Don't be jeal.

And then there was the Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-200mm f:3.5-5.6G ED VR II zoom. We're done here.

Dying Is A Day Worth Living For

I am a taphophile

Word. Photo Jennifer Weber 2010

Great things are happening at

Find A Grave

If you don't believe me, click the pics.

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Dying is a wild night

and a new road.

Emily Dickinson

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REMEMBRANCE

When I am gone

Please remember me

 As a heartfelt laugh,

 As a tenderness.

 Hold fast to the image of me

When my soul was on fire,

The light of love shining

Through my eyes.

Remember me when I was singing

And seemed to know my way.

Remember always

When we were together

And time stood still.

Remember most not what I did,

Or who I was;

Oh please remember me

For what I always desired to be:

A smile on the face of God.

David Robert Brooks
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 Do not regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many.

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Keep To The Code

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You Want To Find This
The Promise Of Redemption

Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not;

But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.

But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:

In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake.

For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;

Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;

Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.

For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.

So then death worketh in us, but life in you.

We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I BELIEVED, AND THEREFORE HAVE I SPOKEN; we also believe, and therefore speak;

Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you.

For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.

For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;

While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

II Corinthians 4

Freedom is a fragile thing and is never more than one generation away from extinction. It is not ours by inheritance; it must be fought for and defended constantly by each generation, for it comes only once to a people. Those who have known freedom and then lost it, have never known it again.

~ Ronald Reagan

Photo Jennifer Weber 2010

I Knew You'd Warm Up To Me (recent scribblings)
Not Without My Effects

My Compass Works Fine

The Courage Of Our Hearts

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Daft Like Jack

 "I can name fingers and point names ..."

And We'll Sing It All The Time
  • Elements Series: Fire
    Elements Series: Fire
    by Peter Kater
  • Danny Wright Healer of Hearts
    Danny Wright Healer of Hearts
    by Danny Wright
  • Grace
    Grace
    Old World Records
  • The Hymns Collection (2 Disc Set)
    The Hymns Collection (2 Disc Set)
    Stone Angel Music, Inc.
  • Always Near - A Romantic Collection
    Always Near - A Romantic Collection
    Real Music
  • Copia
    Copia
    Temporary Residence Ltd.
  • The Poet: Romances for Cello
    The Poet: Romances for Cello
    Spring Hill Music
  • Nightfall
    Nightfall
    Narada Productions, Inc.
  • Rachmaninoff plays Rachmaninoff
    Rachmaninoff plays Rachmaninoff
    RCA
  • The Pity Party: A Mean-Spirited Diatribe Against Liberal Compassion
    The Pity Party: A Mean-Spirited Diatribe Against Liberal Compassion
    by William Voegeli
  • The Art of Memoir
    The Art of Memoir
    by Mary Karr
  • The Gorgeous Nothings: Emily Dickinson's Envelope Poems
    The Gorgeous Nothings: Emily Dickinson's Envelope Poems
    by Emily Dickinson
  • Among The Dead: My Years in The Port Mortuary
    Among The Dead: My Years in The Port Mortuary
    by John W. Harper
  • On Writing Well, 30th Anniversary Edition: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction
    On Writing Well, 30th Anniversary Edition: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction
    by William Zinsser
  • Green Hell: How Environmentalists Plan to Control Your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them
    Green Hell: How Environmentalists Plan to Control Your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them
    by Steven Milloy
  • The Amateur
    The Amateur
    by Edward Klein
  • Hating Jesus: The American Left's War on Christianity
    Hating Jesus: The American Left's War on Christianity
    by Matt Barber, Paul Hair
  • In Praise of Stay-at-Home Moms
    In Praise of Stay-at-Home Moms
    by Dr. Laura Schlessinger
  • Where Are They Buried (Revised and Updated): How Did They Die? Fitting Ends and Final Resting Places of the Famous, Infamous, and Noteworthy
    Where Are They Buried (Revised and Updated): How Did They Die? Fitting Ends and Final Resting Places of the Famous, Infamous, and Noteworthy
    by Tod Benoit
  • Bird Brains: The Intelligence of Crows, Ravens, Magpies, and Jays
    Bird Brains: The Intelligence of Crows, Ravens, Magpies, and Jays
    by Candace Savage
  • Gifts of the Crow: How Perception, Emotion, and Thought Allow Smart Birds to Behave Like Humans
    Gifts of the Crow: How Perception, Emotion, and Thought Allow Smart Birds to Behave Like Humans
    by John Marzluff Ph.D., Tony Angell
  • Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save the World!
    Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save the World!
    by Andrew Breitbart
  • 11 Principles of a Reagan Conservative
    11 Principles of a Reagan Conservative
    by Paul Kengor
  • Mind of the Raven: Investigations and Adventures with Wolf-Birds
    Mind of the Raven: Investigations and Adventures with Wolf-Birds
    by Bernd Heinrich
  • Talking Heads: The Vent Haven Portraits
    Talking Heads: The Vent Haven Portraits
    by Matthew Rolston
  • Mortuary Confidential: Undertakers Spill the Dirt
    Mortuary Confidential: Undertakers Spill the Dirt
    by Todd Harra, Ken McKenzie
  • America's Steadfast Dream
    America's Steadfast Dream
    by E. Merrill Root
  • Good Dog, Carl : A Classic Board Book
    Good Dog, Carl : A Classic Board Book
    by Alexandra Day
  • Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation
    Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation
    by Lynne Truss
  • The American Way of Death Revisited
    The American Way of Death Revisited
    by Jessica Mitford
  • In Six Days : Why Fifty Scientists Choose to Believe in Creation
    In Six Days : Why Fifty Scientists Choose to Believe in Creation
    Master Books
  • Architects of Ruin: How big government liberals wrecked the global economy---and how they will do it again if no one stops them
    Architects of Ruin: How big government liberals wrecked the global economy---and how they will do it again if no one stops them
    by Peter Schweizer
  • Grave Influence: 21 Radicals and Their Worldviews That Rule America From the Grave
    Grave Influence: 21 Radicals and Their Worldviews That Rule America From the Grave
    by Brannon Howse
  • Lyrics of Sunshine and Shadow: The Tragic Courtship and Marriage of Paul Laurence Dunbar and Alice Ruth Moore
    Lyrics of Sunshine and Shadow: The Tragic Courtship and Marriage of Paul Laurence Dunbar and Alice Ruth Moore
    by Eleanor Alexander
Easy On The Goods
  • Waiting for
    Waiting for "Superman"
    starring Geoffrey Canada, Michelle Rhee
  • The Catered Affair (Remastered)
    The Catered Affair (Remastered)
    starring Bette Davis, Ernest Borgnine, Debbie Reynolds, Barry Fitzgerald, Rod Taylor
  • Bernie
    Bernie
    starring Jack Black, Shirley MacLaine, Matthew McConaughey
  • Remember the Night
    Remember the Night
    starring Barbara Stanwyck, Fred MacMurray, Beulah Bondi, Elizabeth Patterson, Sterling Holloway
  • The Ox-Bow Incident
    The Ox-Bow Incident
    starring Henry Fonda, Dana Andrews, Mary Beth Hughes, Anthony Quinn, William Eythe
  • The Bad Seed
    The Bad Seed
    starring Nancy Kelly, Patty McCormack, Henry Jones, Eileen Heckart, Evelyn Varden
  • Shadow of a Doubt
    Shadow of a Doubt
    starring Teresa Wright, Joseph Cotten, Macdonald Carey, Patricia Collinge, Henry Travers
  • The More The Merrier
    The More The Merrier
    starring Jean Arthur, Joel McCrea, Charles Coburn, Bruce Bennett, Ann Savage
  • Act of Valor
    Act of Valor
    starring Alex Veadov, Roselyn Sanchez, Nestor Serrano
  • Deep Water
    Deep Water
    starring Tilda Swinton, Donald Crowhurst, Jean Badin, Clare Crowhurst, Simon Crowhurst
  • Sunset Boulevard
    Sunset Boulevard
    starring William Holden, Gloria Swanson, Erich Von Stroheim, Nancy Olson, Fred Clark
  • Penny Serenade
    Penny Serenade
    starring Cary Grant, Irene Dunne, Edgar Buchanan, Beulah Bondi
  • Double Indemnity
    Double Indemnity
    starring Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck, Edward G. Robinson, Porter Hall, Jean Heather
  • Ayn Rand and the Prophecy of Atlas Shrugged
    Ayn Rand and the Prophecy of Atlas Shrugged
    starring Gary Anthony Williams
  • Fat Sick & Nearly Dead
    Fat Sick & Nearly Dead
    Passion River
  • It Happened One Night (Remastered Black & White)
    It Happened One Night (Remastered Black & White)
    starring Clark Gable, Claudette Colbert
  • Stella Dallas
    Stella Dallas
    starring Barbara Stanwyck, John Boles, Anne Shirley, Barbara O'Neil, Alan Hale
  • The Iron Lady
    The Iron Lady
    starring Meryl Streep, Jim Broadbent, Harry Lloyd, Anthony Head, Alexandra Roach
  • Wallace & Gromit: The Complete Collection (4 Disc Set)
    Wallace & Gromit: The Complete Collection (4 Disc Set)
    starring Peter Sallis, Anne Reid, Sally Lindsay, Melissa Collier, Sarah Laborde
  • The Red Balloon (Released by Janus Films, in association with the Criterion Collection)
    The Red Balloon (Released by Janus Films, in association with the Criterion Collection)
    starring Red Balloon
  • Stalag 17 (Special Collector's Edition)
    Stalag 17 (Special Collector's Edition)
    starring William Holden, Don Taylor, Otto Preminger, Robert Strauss, Harvey Lembeck
  • The Major and the Minor (Universal Cinema Classics)
    The Major and the Minor (Universal Cinema Classics)
    starring Ginger Rogers, Ray Milland
  • My Dog Skip
    My Dog Skip
    starring Frankie Muniz, Diane Lane, Luke Wilson, Kevin Bacon
  • Sabrina
    Sabrina
    starring Humphrey Bogart, Audrey Hepburn, William Holden, Walter Hampden, John Williams
  • The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer
    The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer
    starring Cary Grant, Myrna Loy, Shirley Temple, Rudy Vallee, Ray Collins
  • Pirates of the Caribbean - The Curse of the Black Pearl (Two-Disc Collector's Edition)
    Pirates of the Caribbean - The Curse of the Black Pearl (Two-Disc Collector's Edition)
    starring Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, Jack Davenport
  • Now, Voyager (Keepcase)
    Now, Voyager (Keepcase)
    starring Bette Davis, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains, Gladys Cooper, John Loder
  • The Trip To Bountiful
    The Trip To Bountiful
  • Hold Back the Dawn [DVD] Charles Boyer; Olivia de Havilland; Paulette Goddard
    Hold Back the Dawn [DVD] Charles Boyer; Olivia de Havilland; Paulette Goddard
That Dog Is Never Going To Move

~ RIP JAVIER ~

1999-2016

Columbia's Finest Chihuahua

Simple. Easy To Remember.

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One Word, Luv: Curiosity
Thursday
Jan222009

Lines? What Lines?

Last week I was in downtown Columbia for the purpose of reporting a deposition in an office building where I've spent a great deal of time over the last three months. So much so in fact, I know the garage attendant -- I think of him as "Slow Eddie" -- by name. He apparently knows me by make, model, and vanity plate.

Eddie's not slow mentally (quite the opposite; in fact he is a charming gentleman). It's just that, nearly every time I approach the little booth where I'm obliged to hand over my stamp-validated ticket, he's mysteriously in absentia. Once, early on, I sounded my horn (just a wee tap) after I'd cooled my heels for, oh, 44 seconds.

I was required to sit for what seemed like hours at the kitchen Formica.

Patience is a virtue but I don't have that one. I wanted to go home.

Slow Eddie had emerged from a small (presumably heated/cooled and for all I know, cable-equipped) office on the other side of the exit lane and shuffled into the booth to receive my ticket. But before pressing the button to lift the gate he pointed out a little bell I could have utilized, in lieu of my horn, to get his attention. He was real nice about it.

"Sorry, Eddie!" I said with a dazzling smile ... and I meant it. I thought all was forgiven, but ...

Fast forward to last week. The depo had dragged on for several hours and I was suffering from my second cold this flu-and-cold season. Appropriately, it was also very cold outside. I dragged my equipment case to my car, which was parked in the same space I've used practically every one of the fifteen-odd times I've been there. This garage is never packed out; not even close.

I was buckling my seatbelt when I noticed a special flyer beneath my windshield wiper on the driver's side. Expecting pizza coupons or an invitation to lunch with Governor and Mrs. Sanford, I got out and retrieved it. This is what it was:

 

 

Once I realized (to my great relief) that I hadn't incurred a fine for my terrible parking, I had to laugh. Mr. Wright was actually wrong; I had parked straight (or nearly straight) between the lines. Only problem was, the lines were slanted. Those lines were in the wrong place, making me look bad.

It's not unprecedented. When I was but a first grader, I remember that I got in trouble for not coloring within the lines on some assignment or other. The teacher was so concerned, she sent a note home to my mother. I was required to sit for what seemed like hours at the kitchen Formica, coloring in a coloring book until I could keep as little crayon as possible from bleeding outside those blasted lines.

Talk about squelching creativity! I remember thinking, even then: WHY do the lines have to be THERE? Why can't they be wherever my beautiful purple crayon goes?

Because if they were, the picture would look incredibly ridiculous when I was finished coloring. See, I am no stripe of an artist; I can barely take a decent photograph.

Some say life mirrors art ... or is it vice versa? I say life is an art. And in life as in art, with few exceptions, boundaries are good.

Slow Eddie Sez: Toe The Line Or Get Towed From The Lines.

Me, reluctantly, in reply: Oh, o-KAY. *sigh*

Tuesday
Jan202009

What I Really Meant To Say

I've had a blog post formulated in my mind for at least two days now. In keeping with the observance on Monday of a national holiday in honor of an adulterous "preacher" with a fake name and more communist sympathies than a boatload of Bolsheviks, it started with a title: I Have A Nightmare. Believe it or not, I had already come up with a whole page of bulleted items that were just waiting to be fleshed out.

Because it had occurred to me that, if Michael King, Jr. (his real name) wished for a day when his four children would be judged by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin, all the momentous hoopla taking place 495 miles north of where I sit notwithstanding, that day has not yet come.

I would have illuminated the subject by using appropriately pejorative terms such as "hoax," "swindle," "bilk," "cozen," "defraud," mulct," and "bamboozle."

Mr. Obama was elected the 44th President of the United States precisely because of the color of his skin. He certainly had no other qualifications ... and I've never heard even the liberals make noises that it had a whit to do with the content of his character. If anything, the mainstream drive-by media have spent the last couple of years vainly attempting to distract the American voter from any real scrutiny of Mr. Obama's character.

In keeping with the general tone of my post, naturally I planned to cloud up and rain all over the hypocritical liberal Oprahesque Hollyweird celebrities -- who preach to the rest of us about our "carbon footprint" while engaging in conspicuous consumption of global resources on a scale at which you and I can only gaze in wonderment -- converging upon our nation's capital in their Gulfstream G250's, deplaning and tottering on thousand-dollar Manolos over to their stretch limos while the servants manage a raft of Louis Vuitton luggage, to celebrate an event leaving a carbon footprint so massive it would take the average household 57,000 years to match it.

(Not that I care about the alleged carbon footprint, no matter what its size, because the notion of climate change effected by humans is bogus, y'all. Things that live and breathe -- this next part was designed by God -- emit CO2. Always have, always will. His uber-boring inconvenient movie and the Nobel Peace Prize decorating his mantel notwithstanding, Al Gore is wrong -- as are the rest of the environmentalist wackos who profit from this heinous scam.)

Nevertheless I was going to be characteristically smart-mouthed helpful and direct you here so that you could purchase penance carbon offsets to atone pay for your many imaginary environmental transgressions. Most likely I would have illuminated the subject by using appropriately pejorative terms such as "hoax," "swindle," "bilk," "cozen," "defraud," mulct," and "bamboozle," and probably would even have quoted P.T. Barnum -- "There's a sucker born every minute" -- but we'll never know.

I considered pointing out that I'm a trifle irked by the fact that the same liberal media that excoriated President Bush for the $40 million price tag on his 2005 inauguration -- you know, that time he was reelected sans "benefit" of hanging chads -- now gush with the slobbering zeal demonstrated only by elite subscribers to particularly sycophantic personality cults -- the likes of which even Elvis and The Beatles might only have dreamt -- that payment of the $110 million tariff for Barack Hussein Obama's "historic" coronation inauguration was worthy to be deemed a national emergency.

(That means taxpayers are footing the lion's share of a bill that almost -- but not quite -- attains the virtual tonnage of our new President's god complex.)

Mr. Geithner probably could not get hired to man an adding machine at the agency of which he will soon be the de facto master and commander.

I had come up with an impressive litany of complaints about the presumptive Secretary of the Treasury who "forgot" to pay his Social Security taxes from 2001 until 2004, inclusive -- something that President Obama has termed an "innocent mistake" -- and you can bet I would have pointed out that if TG and I commit the same crime make an identical innocent mistake for four years running, Mr. Geithner and his minions at the Infernal Revenue Service will most likely freeze our assets harder than the fingers and toes of the millions of screaming, adoring members of Mr. Obama's ersatz fan club assembled in Washington last night.

(It's weird because although we've never been formally introduced, the folks at the IRS seem to know a lot of really personal stuff about TG and me. Like, where we live and our blood types and the amount of money we make ... and how much of it -- the blood and the money -- is theirs.)

Not to mention, in light of his "innocent mistake," according to the rules by which you and I are forced obliged to live, Mr. Geithner probably could not get hired to man an adding machine at the agency of which he will soon be the de facto master and commander.

That's what you call ironic.

As if that were not enough, I was more than a little disconcerted by President Obama's new pivot-and-proceed policy concerning community organizer Osama Bin Laden. A few months ago Mr. Osama Obama accused President Bush of being so ineffectual he couldn't catch our arch-enemy, instead succeeding only in driving the turbaned terrorist further into hiding. Mr. Obama averred he'd have the weasel flushed out and hanging high within the first 100 days of his reign first term. Suddenly he seems to think it's A-OK if we let OBL hang out in the caves of Afghanistan indefinitely, as long as he's unable to text-message his cadre of eager death-to-America-chanting followers.

Can we really afford to be so selectively dumb? Waffles, anyone?

I intended to wax snide eloquent on the subject of Speaker Nancy Neuroses Pelosi's incessant yammering about how she and Harry Reid, her loyal sidekick, are champing at the bit to prosecute President Bush and Vice President Cheney for war crimes committed while in office. Has anyone checked to see if insanity runs in this poor woman's family? Ah, don't waste your precious energy. If it never has before, it certainly does now.

They always have been, and always will be, among the most exquisite blessings I have ever received from the hand of God.

I was feeling decidedly dour about the bill introduced in Congress on January 6, 2009, by one Jose Serrano (D-New York) that seeks to repeal the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution, "thereby removing the limitation on the number of terms an individual may serve as President" and making it possible for Barack Hussein Obama to be Monarch President for life. That is, if he can get reelected in 2012, 2016, 2020, ad infinitum, ad nauseam, as President Bush managed to do in 2004.

I figure somewhere in there, I would have registered deep discontent over the fact that, thanks to our new President, America is about to become a place where the "rights" of Sodomites are far more protected than the lives of unborn children. We're no longer even going to pretend that we stand for something even slightly more decent and compassionate; I'm afraid those halcyon days are gone with the wind.

(Now it's official: America has a President who, though educated at Harvard, apparently missed the day in seventh-grade Biology where the class learned that if a thing is growing, that means it's alive. And when the thing that's alive is a human being who has never had the chance to harm another living soul, it's murder if you kill it. Humanity 101, if you will.)

I had planned to say that President Obama's hyper-leftist position on the matter of abortion may be based on these and other mysteries of the universe being above his paygrade ... but the point is moot because at any rate, his beliefs in this realm are beneath contempt. He even asserted that he wouldn't want his daughters to be "punished with a baby" if they happen to become pregnant before they're married or before they planned to be mothers.

(Call me crazy, but no matter how closely I examine my experiences bearing and rearing four children, I could never regard any aspect of their existence as "punishment." They always have been, and always will be, among the most exquisite blessings I have ever received from the hand of God. But then, I got married before I was intimate with a man. Tends to color a girl's outlook.)

Adult behavior comes with responsibility that isn't always so easily disposed of as walking into an abortion mill and handing over your money, effectively putting out a hit on your own child. Teach that to Sasha and Malia, Mr. and Mrs. Obama. I dare you to be different.

By the way, in light of his attitude I'm assuming Mr. Obama stands prepared to fund the demise of his own grandchild(ren), if necessary ... and why not? The American taxpayer already bankrolls millions of baby murders in America each year, and President Obama wants us to start paying to kill children in Third-World countries as well.

I thank you for your courage and mettle in the face of liberal opposition, media hatemongering, political malfeasance, and global terrorism.

(What ... the pickings aren't rich enough within our own borders? Immorality, ignorance, promiscuity and selfishness not quite rampant enough to sate our appetite for the blood of society's true victims?)

Oh, and while we're at it, let's repeal every last shadow of any law that might give even a ghost of a chance for protected life to the unborn in our country, unless their own mothers make the inconvenient (and increasingly unpopular) choice to actually love them.

I might have gotten a little worked up about some or all of the above.

Suffice it to say, the post I'd planned was probably not going to be a lighthearted meander down a flower-strewn path leading to the filigreed gates of Happyland. But all of that has changed.

We in the Midlands of South Carolina woke up to a dusting of snow this morning. Looks like God gave the angels huge sifters full of confectioner's sugar and told them to fan out all over Heaven, lightly tapping the stuff down onto our world as we slumbered.

The sight of snow made me feel a tad bit less churlish about this day when I fear my beloved America is advancing to the point of no return on a road that will eventually render it a sad parody of its once-glorious self.

If I'm a bit colder on the outside, I'm somewhat warmer on the inside. This doesn't happen often so I decided to make the most of it. Carpe diem, y'all!

(My burgeoning sense of optimism is augmented by the fact that yesterday, in the last 24 hours of his presidency, George W. Bush commuted the sentences of heroic Border Patrol Agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean. It's about time! The development made me so happy for these brave men and their families, I forgot all my sarcastic observances about MLK day and the crowning swearing-in of a new President.)

So since I decided not to share all of that negative stuff with you, all that's left to say is, farewell, dear Dubya. I thank you for your courage and mettle in the face of liberal opposition, media hatemongering, political malfeasance, and global terrorism. You've made a few mistakes, but so will your successor. We've found that weapon of mass destruction, by the way ... finally! But it wasn't located in Iraq. It's us.

It's us if we don't wake up to the fact that our destiny -- both individually and collectively, both for ourselves and for future generations, both now and for all eternity -- is inextricably linked to the informed choices we willingly make.

Can I buy a snow shovel in South Carolina?  You may keep the change.

God bless the Untied United States of America.

Thursday
Jan152009

Life Is How You Take It

While attending my high school reunion in 2007, I chatted with a classmate who, during the course of a rather short and one-sided conversation (believe it or not, many is the time I am out-talked), asserted several times: "Life is what you make it."

I must admit, I demurred ... because I don't necessarily concur with that particular cliche. But sensing my reticence, my old friend insisted: "Yes it is, Jenny! Life is exactly what you make it!"

She may be right.

I believe that embedded in all we get (whether we want it or not) is all we need (whether we know it or not).

However.

I am reminded of a story -- quite possibly an urban legend -- that I heard some time ago. There are a couple of different versions, but the one to which I refer involves a set of parents whose son is about to graduate from high school. All he craves for a graduation present is a car. It doesn't have to be new; like all boys of a certain age, he just wants his own wheels.

On graduation night, the loving parents present their boy with his gift. It is a largish flat box -- certainly not big enough to contain a car, but maybe the keys -- ??? The son, heart pounding, opens the box and stares in wounded amazement at what lies within: a Bible.

In anger, he hurls the box and its contents to the floor and storms out of the house. For the next dozen years, he and his parents are estranged.

Eventually the prodigal returns home for an uneasy visit and, staying in his old room, finds the box containing the graduation Bible. Times have been hard. He removes the Bible from the box, riffles its pages ... and out falls a check for the price of a gently used car.

The check -- yellowed and long since non-negotiable -- is dated the day he graduated from high school.

And then there is the delicate "Dear Abby" type situation I read about in a magazine. A woman wrote that, several months after the wedding of a dear friend, she herself was going to be married. Upon opening a bridal shower gift, she recognized the very set of steak knives she had given as a wedding present to her friend.

Only, they weren't just like the knives she had given ... they were the knives she had given. Rejected, recycled, re-wrapped, and re-gifted.

How did she know? Because underneath the knives, tucked out of sight within the packaging, were the two one-hundred-dollar bills she had placed there as a "surprise" for her cherished friend.

I believe that embedded in all we get (whether we want it or not) is all we need (whether we know it or not). I can back this up with Scripture: But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19)

No matter what the circumstance, the proper response is a grateful heart buttressed by childlike faith.

What in the world makes us think that promise means only that the cupboard will never be bare, or that we'll never go naked or homeless? It may mean that, but it means so much more. Our real needs are much more complex than food, clothing, and shelter ... the economy, if you will.

What it means is that, for the child of God, no matter what happens, God has ordained it and is supplying our need through it.

Watch me back this up with Scripture too: On the left hand, where he doth work, but I cannot behold him: he hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot see him: But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold. (Job 23:9-10)

Call it semantic hair-splitting at its best if you like, but to claim that "life is what you make it" implies a great deal of control. And we might as well face the fact that, excepting our own actions and -- more importantly -- reactions, there are precious few things over which either you or I have control.

And I don't know about you, but my actions and reactions have often proved difficult to defend.

Consequently, I do not believe that life is merely what you make it. I will go so far as to say that I am a fool if I want my life to be what I make it ... because how tacky would that be? I want my life to be what God makes it ... because that will be magnificent.

To quote the cute pirate: "Savvy?"

Life is how you take it. God is in control. You and I do not give Him the control; we simply acknowledge that He already has it. No matter what the circumstance, the proper response is a grateful heart buttressed by childlike faith.

Scripture backup: ... for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. (II Timothy 1:12b)

All of the above was me, preaching to myself. If you were eavesdropping, I hope it helped you. And if it helped you, keep it at the forefront of your mind next Tuesday. I certainly plan to.

God bless the United States of America.

Monday
Jan122009

Sea Kitty? No ... See Fish

The fine folks of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PeTA) have done it again.

In hopes it will render the practice of catching, cooking, or eating fish unpalatable, they've announced that they want everyone to begin using the euphemism "sea kitty" when referring to the scaly, finny, slimy, swimming critters.

Imagine sitting down at Red Lobster and ordering baked sea kitty with lemon, accompanied by a house salad and baked potato. Distinctly warm and fuzzy, no? I'd be looking for hairs on my fork and the rim of my water glass.

Talk about lost in translation.

What's next ... in an effort to curb chicken consumption, shall we begin saying "land puppy" when referring to creatures of the poultry persuasion?

Picture it! You pull into the drive-through lane at Chick-fil-A, mouth watering in anticipation of that heavenly soft, fresh, piping hot sandwich.

You arrive at a gigantic sign listing all the choices. You stare in bafflement. When the speaker thingie crackles to life and you hear "W_ _ _ ome to Ch_ _ _k-_ _ _-A, ma_ I _ake y_ _r _ _ d_r?" you are forced to holler: "Give me two regular land puppy sandwiches with extra pickles, an order of waffle fries, and a large lemonade."

Talk about lost in translation.

And who's going to bat on behalf of swine? Perhaps PeTA can strong-arm Cracker Barrel into offering "sty teddy" instead of bacon with its Old Timer's Breakfast. Road-weary diners, upon reading the menu, are bound to feel so much compassion for pigs that they'll order extra fried apples instead.

A hamburger is one of my favorite things. No matter what PeTA says, there's nothing unethical about eating a hamburger. Even if every last person in the world begins calling a beef patty "farm bunny" I'll still order mine well done, garnish it with mustard, ketchup, and pickle relish, add a slab of Vidalia onion, and consume it with great gusto. Don't forget the fries.

Y'all. Please. A fish is a fish, no matter what you call it ... and so is a chicken, a pig, and a cow. God created animals -- all sorts of them -- for lots of different reasons, not the least of which is to feed hungry people. Killing them to utilize them as food is NOT immoral and is most certainly NOT inherently inhumane.

Not to mention, tens of millions of people in the United States of America rely on the food industry for their livelihood. Would PeTA have those folks (and their helpless children) starve and go homeless, while all animals remained untouched?

If that were the case, eventually there would be so many animals, they themselves would starve. Will PeTA be happy when America -- and the world -- is a desolate landscape dotted with the corpses of people and animals who died because it was deemed "unethical" to eat a tunafish sandwich, a fried chicken leg, or a hamburger?

Never mind; we are on the road to a sad war of attrition. Eventually, thanks to PeTA and their hyper-liberal ilk, we'll choke on political correctness and won't be able to swallow a morsel of salmon or steak even if we had the appetite for it. Maybe then, they will be satisfied.

But I doubt it.

Wednesday
Jan072009

Cart, Meet Horse

Confession: with the exception of last weekend, when I was pretty busy, I've been a human study in quasi-inertia since New Year's. I chalk this up to two things: I worked very hard for all of October, November and December, and I got an extremely comfy rocker-recliner for Christmas.

Dibs on the remote!

Result: I've sort of gotten hooked on the astounding plethora of wedding shows available for viewing on the Women's Entertainment Network.

(My flip channel is Food Network, just so you know. And no; neither of my single daughters are engaged or contemplating matrimony in any sense other than the abstract.)

Among the programs I've been watching in the last week are My Fair Wedding (one night I couldn't sleep and zoned out on three wee-hours episodes, back-to-back), Platinum Weddings (if you've ever wondered how a couple can spend one million dollars on their wedding, watch this show and find out), Amazing Wedding Cakes, Rich Bride Poor Bride, Bridezillas, and Wedding Central.

Oh, and over on the Style Network there's Say Yes To The Dress and Whose Wedding Is It Anyway?

At the very least it conjures that woefully under-used expression "shameless." Throw in "clueless" for good measure.

On a particularly interesting installment of WWIIA? (it's not my fault that that acronym, at first glance, looks like World War Two), which chronicles the wedding preparations of two couples per episode, one of the brides (who of course was living with her partner ... because, you know, practically all of them are, nowadays) became pregnant during the planning of her nuptials.

Oopsie!

Amazingly however, the fact of the bride's condition and the scramble to fit a beaded white gown to her burgeoning belly and the mad dash to reach the altar before she resembled an albino whale on the "happiest day of her life" was not enough.

I watched in morbid fascination as, smack dab in the middle of her reception, the blushless bride proudly lit up a huge screen with her unborn child's ultrasound footage. It's a girl! The baby's name was printed in big letters above her throbbing, wriggling image. Then it was time to cut the wedding cake.

In the annals of bad taste and rampant tackiness on the bridal front, this has got to be a new hallmark.

Excuse me, but it's one thing for a bride to flaunt her obvious gravidity throughout an elaborate white church wedding. (Waddling down the aisle, five months gone, is so attractive!) It's quite another when, by way of post-nup entertainment, said bride makes her guests watch a video of the bun that's in the oven.

I mean, c'mon y'all ... showing pictures of the contents of the bride's uterus? I'd venture to say that even the palest outline of a sense of etiquette and propriety would recognize that as a fairly blatant breach of decorum and as such it should be deemed, well ... off limits during a wedding reception.

At the very least it conjures that woefully under-used expression "shameless." Throw in "clueless" for good measure.

Oh, and the bursting bride's occupation? She's a middle school teacher.

You don't want to get me started on the subject of being a not-so-good example to impressionable young people.

Come to think of it, her students could probably teach her a thing or two. I've heard that publically educated middle-schoolers are quite versed in birth control.

**tap tap on lectern**

This is the order of business, folks ... or it should be:

Boy meets Girl and is attracted to her wide array of charms. Boy courts Girl while keeping his hands to himself. If Boy attempts to take liberties, Girl plants both feet on the floor, looks him in the eye and says, sweetly but firmly: "No." Smitten Boy falls helplessly in love with beautiful feisty Girl. Girl reciprocates romantic affection. Boy buys diamond ring and proposes marriage to Girl. Girl says yes. Boy and Girl plan wedding. Boy and Girl exchange vows. Man and Wife go on honeymoon and get better acquainted. Man and Wife eventually produce offspring.

I never said it would be easy, but it can be done. Yes, even today.

I fully expect someone reading this to label me narrow-minded, puritanical, fussy, out of touch, prudish, behind the times, judgmental, unrealistic, unenlightened, unsophisticated, intolerant, fuddy-duddy,  dull, mean-spirited, killjoy, goody-two-shoes, old fashioned, boring, pedantic, dogmatic, archaic, frustrated, sub-Victorian and hyper-religious.

But whoever does so will be wrong.

Because what I am in this case is simply right ... and fortunate enough to know that I'm right. My children have benefitted from this. Sexual purity before marriage is God's way and, as such, it's still the best way. Of all the things one can do to ensure a happy life (and there are many), this is among the most important. Teach it to your kids if it's not too late.

Now excuse me while I recline. Bridezillas is next!