Wednesday, March 24, 2010

"Sometimes the first duty of intelligent men is the restatement of the obvious." George Orwell

"The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse."

James Madison, speech in the Virginia constitutional convention, Dec 2, 1829

Monday, March 22, 2010

spring break 2010 wrap up

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spring break was awesome. we covered about 1,000 miles from the ‘burg, MS to sewanee, Tn; over to chattanooga, TN; and then down to fairhope, AL. in the car; with a four-year-old; without a DVD player; without a cell phone; without incident.

i won’t get on a soap box here, but folks often think we’re crazy for the way we raise special K. however, after seeing her on her first real hikes of any elevation at oak mountain’s peavine falls and sewanee’s morgan’s steep to cross trail, i'm pretty sure we're on the right track with her.

with the determination and agility of a regular billy goat, special K moved her low center of gravity up and down the trails with grit, identifying flora and fauna on the fly, undauntedly facing challenging climbs, and quickly overcoming bumps and scrapes that come with hiking. in short – she was a champ. she left me filled with joy (and not just a little bit of pride) at what a courageous and tough girl we’ve got on our hands! i could go on and on.

from the mountains to the aquarium to the gulf mexico, special K reflected the psalmist’s wonder and excitement of god’s creation.

"Praise the Lord, O my soul. O Lord my God, you are very great; you are clothed with splendor and majesty. He wraps himself in light as with a garment; he stretches out the heavens like a tent and lays the beams of his upper chambers on their waters. He makes the clouds his chariot and rides on the wings of the wind. He makes winds his messengers, flames of fire his servants. He set the earth on its foundations; it can never be moved. You covered it with the deep as with a garment; the waters stood above the mountains. But at your rebuke the waters fled, at the sound of your thunder they took to flight; they flowed over the mountains, they went down into the valleys, to the place you assigned for them. You set a boundary they cannot cross; never again will they cover the earth. He makes springs pour water into the ravines; it flows between the mountains. They give water to all the beasts of the field; the wild donkeys quench their thirst. The birds of the air nest by the waters; they sing among the branches. He waters the mountains from his upper chambers; the earth is satisfied by the fruit of his work. He makes grass grow for the cattle, and plants for man to cultivate-- bringing forth food from the earth: wine that gladdens the heart of man, oil to make his face shine, and bread that sustains his heart. The trees of the Lord are well watered, the cedars of Lebanon that he planted. There the birds make their nests; the stork has its home in the pine trees. The high mountains belong to the wild goats; the crags are a refuge for the coneys. The moon marks off the seasons, and the sun knows when to go down. You bring darkness, it becomes night, and all the beasts of the forest prowl. The lions roar for their prey and seek their food from God. The sun rises, and they steal away; they return and lie down in their dens. Then man goes out to his work, to his labor until evening. How many are your works, O Lord! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. There is the sea, vast and spacious, teeming with creatures beyond number-- living things both large and small. There the ships go to and fro, and the leviathan, which you formed to frolic there. These all look to you to give them their food at the proper time. When you give it to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are satisfied with good things. When you hide your face, they are terrified; when you take away their breath, they die and return to the dust. When you send your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the earth. May the glory of the Lord endure forever; may the Lord rejoice in his works--he who looks at the earth, and it trembles, who touches the mountains, and they smoke. I will sing to the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live. May my meditation be pleasing to him, as I rejoice in the Lord. But may sinners vanish from the earth and the wicked be no more. Praise the Lord, O my soul. Praise the Lord." psalm 104

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(if you want to read some excellent literature on kids and the woods, check out Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods; he is right on the money.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

make my day . . .

so - remember the lines from the 1971 classic, Dirty Harry?

“I know what you’re thinkin. ‘Did he fire six shots or only five?’ Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kinda lost track myself. But being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you’ve go to ask yourself one question: ‘Do I feel lucky?’ Well, do ya, punk?”

well, this past week i felt kinda lucky myself. maybe it was st. patrick’s day in the air; maybe it was the fact that i ran into my cousin who has been away in wyoming and who i have not seen in over ten years; maybe it was the fact that we rode a kawasaki mule from my uncle’s upscale hoover, alabama home down to the muddy banks of the cahaba river to have some cigars, adult liquid refreshment, and visit between shooting off live rounds within the city limits; maybe it was knowing that no one in their right minds would be able to find us.

weapons of choice: dominican, cold, 12 gauge stoeger coachman and (drumroll please) ruger super redhawk 454 casull.

wow. you know the one dirty harry used - the one that WAS the most powerful handgun in the world? my cousin says the 454 is eleven times more powerful than that. i don’t know if this is the case, but this is what i do know: it was a rush to shoot the double action ruger; the first shot literally caused me to take a step backwards; and after six shots, i had a blister between my thumb and index finger of my shooting hand from the recoil. and the sound . . . what’s that? come again? i can’t quite make out what you’re saying. oh, yeah. it was freakin’ LOUD!

word on the street was that the local pd was looking for us, but no one really wanted to get stuck in the mud.

Friday, March 12, 2010

my three favorite clean jokes of all time . . .

1) a duck walked into a pharmacy and asked the pharmacist for some chapstick. the pharmacist asked, “how are you going to pay for it?”
the duck said, "just put it on my bill."

2) what did the green grape say to the purple grape?

3) what did the snail say when he rode on the back of the turtle? “WHEEEEEEEEE!!!!!”

thank you, thank you very much. . . i'll be here all week . . .

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

"What are conscience? I'll tell ya! A conscience is that still small voice that people won't listen to. That's just the trouble with the world today."
Jiminy Cricket

"One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we've been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. The bamboozle has captured us. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back."
Carl Sagan