Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A Girl's Gotta Do What a Girl's Gotta Do While In the City

WHEN I'M IN A BIG, flat city like Washington D.C. and need a good hill to climb, I've got about three decent options: climb the long hill up Wisconsin Avenue from the Potomac River to the National Cathedral once or twice, speed-walk up the really tall escalators at the DuPont Circle Metro or walk up and down all those granite steps on Capitol Hill. With any of these treks, I get to take a little elevation AND get my heart rate up a bit.

Still, for a country girl, each leaves something to be desired. So today, I bit the bullet and drove out to western Maryland, one of the prettiest parts of the country, and found and hiked two sections of the Appalachian Trial that traverses Maryland. I'll be hiking another of these AT sections this Saturday with hikers from the Mountain Club of Maryland.

Today was cool, cloudy and a bit breezy, in other words great walking weather. I only partially wore myself out, but I had so much fun, I drove back to D.C late this afternoon with a smile on my face and color in my cheeks again. Great part of the country if you can get out into the countryside. And some fairly decent elevations gains to boot.

Looking south (above), the AT overpass that takes hikers over I-70.

Leaves aren't quite changing yet but the berries are resplendant!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Business Trends: U-Haul Index Tells All

WHO NEEDS long drawn-out marketing studies or census data to tell us what U-Haul can tell us vividly right now? Americans are moving to more vibrant parts of the South from the stagnating Northeast and Mid-West in order to form a more perfect economic union.

Mark Perry writing at the American Enterprise blog expands on Forbes magazines annual ranking of the best and worst states for business:

Virginia nabbed the top spot with the best business climate in the country for the fourth straight year. Relative to the rest of the country, Virginia is booming. Its 6.5% unemployment rate is fifth lowest in the country with the four states ahead of it all having dramatically smaller economies and employment bases. Virginia is the only state ranked in the top 20 in each of the six broad categories we examined. The state finished in the top three in half of those categories (labor supply, regulatory environment and quality of life).

According to Perry, the two worst states for business this year are Rhode Island, which dropped five full places from last year to finish in last place in 2009, and second-to-last place Michigan, falling from 47th in 2008. Other highlights of the Forbes study include Texas ranking first for “economic climate,” Virginia ranking first for “quality of life,” and some states, such as North Dakota, Oregon, Montana, and Iowa, gaining six places or more from last year’s rankings.

With all this in mind, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to predict that population movement will therefore be from rust-belt states like Rhode Island and Michigan to places like Virginia, Texas, and even North Dakota! Lo and behold, the one-way U-Haul Index collaborates this movement.

U-Haul and Forbes join forces to predict the next great "out-migration." People, jobs, employment and business always migrate to the most business-friendly/tax friendly areas of the country which are showing vibrant signs of growth and population increase. And sadly, traffic increases too. I can attest for that being here in the District and Northern Virginia.

Weighing In On Polanski's Arrest

UPDATE: Did Polanski dare to be arrested after recently taunting the D.A. with "giving up?"

I HATE DOING THIS but I gotta and gonna. It'll be short though. Too many other good writers with my sensibilities have weighed in and voiced my concurring opinion on the whole judicial mess surrounding a crime Polanski committed with a child over three decades ago and his recent arrest while traveling in Switzerland.

Kate Harding at Salon weighed in first. Her extremely well-written bottom line: Drugging and raping a child, then leaving the country before you can be sentenced for it, is behavior our society should not tolerate, no matter how famous, wealthy or well-connected you are.

I, Webutante, might also add it doesn't matter how precocious she was at the time. She was still 13 and under the age of consent. Nor does it matter how close she was to her 14th birthday, for heaven's sakes. She was still under age. It was still a crime.

Then Neo weighed in adding her salient bottom line: I will add that the attitudes of those who would whitewash Polanski’s sorry crime and make excuses for him are not only wrong, but an example of the precipitous decline of what used to be known as Western Civilization.

A couple of legal points: it doesn’t matter what the victim wants at this point. It never does, except in the sentencing phase at the judge’s discretion, because one of the differences between civil and criminal law is that criminal acts are considered a crime against society as a whole.

Right, again as far as I'm concerned. Still many people hate to see this sordid mess brought up again, saying everyone---victim and offender---has suffered enough. Leave it alone!

This sadly misses the point however. While Polanski has made a private settlement to the now grown victim, married with three children, he has NOT paid his debt to society . Futhermore, he's fled from paying that debt, intending never to return to the United States.


Here's my comment at Neo's last night:

Kate Harding’s piece is right on, as is yours Neo. Polanski raped and sodomized a child and it’s time, this crime is finally resolved in the criminal court system. There was a similar case in Nashville of a child being raped, then murdered over thirty years ago which went unsolved and unresolved in the court system until last year. Having judicial closure and due process even if the judge gives Polanski a reduced sentence---or commutes his sentence---is of major importance. Thanks for saying what needs to be said here.

I would only add that closure does not mean he should and will be burned at the stake. It means this case needs to go back into the criminal court system for due process of law at the point at which Polanski took matters into his own hands and left the country.

Then, this morning (Am a bit behind in my reading yesterday) I see Pajamas Roger Simon, conservative editor and writer par excellence in Hollywood threw his hat in the ring on Polanski. His bottom line: he hates the whole damn mess, doesn't condone what Polanski did, but after all is said and done, it's not good for the Jews right now, since they have much bigger fish to fry with Ahmadinejad and all his saber-rattling in Iran against Israel.

Normally I agree with Roger on most things, but here I drew the line. So I tossed out a comment at his site:

Several points, Roger.

First, any "emblem of special pleading," especially after we think we’ve suffered enough, comes from self-pity and/or self-righteousness. None of us are immune to such thought patterns; however, they should never give us a pass from facing the consequences of our actions---illegal and otherwise.

Second, if every family or every child plead that a trial would harm the victim-child, pedophiles and sex offenders would rarely be brought to justice. I do think toning down the media circus in some of these cases might help, though it’s probably not possible in many sensational cases like this.

Last, I think there two legal issues going on here: the need for legal closure in a criminal court for the child rape/abuse—in spite of the private settlement with the victim many years ago; AND Polanski’s fleeing the country before sentencing and justice being served. This is not an acceptable resolution in spite of the passage of time, and should not be excused in any court of law for any reason.


I have to agree with some of the other commenters here about making this about hard on Jews. It’s a bit racist and you surely know better. There is such a thing as racial pride and racial pity. This case should not be made about race, creed, nationality or anything else. A mere man named Roman Polanski broke the law by drugging and raping a child under the age of consent. Then he fled the country before he faced punishment. That’s all there is to it. But that’s certainly enough.

I think this arrest has stirred a healthy, spirited debate. As events unfold, and Polanski fights extradition with the help of his buddy French President Sarkozy and his myriad Hollywood friends, I think it will become clear, society needs judicial closure on this case. The sooner at this point, the better.

Emotions around the world are running passionately high on Polanski's arrest and the word compassion for the perpetrator is being bantered about from Hollywood and Paris to the Zurich. Obviously there's a great deal of confusion when it comes to knowing how compassion works within the framework of justice in a case such as this.

So I would like to also publish another comment from Neo's post by Jon Baker who did a great job of clarifying this matter:

The following is a portion of the victim statement that my Uncle, who is a pastor, had for his daughter’s killer : “…Forgiveness for human beings is an act of obedience to the command of Scripture. Forgiveness on our part for those who offend us helps us maintain our fellowship with God because he forgives us as we forgive those who trespass against us. … we also forgave you. While I am commanded to forgive you for this offense, I do not possess the authority to pardon you…..The Scripture says, that human government was ordained by God “for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well” (1 Peter 2:14). This means that justice is a function and responsibility given by God to human government. Without the administration of justice, society becomes ever more increasingly vile and violent….redemption is only available to those who repent of sin and fully acknowledge truth. The only way that you will ever be free from this terrible tragedy is to completely speak the truth about what happened….When and if you ever speak the truth, the truth will set you free….We rest in the hope of the resurrection when Jesus Christ comes again…”

I believe my Uncle was speaking of truth bringing Spiritual Redemption and Freedom at the end, not freedom from jail.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Leesburg, Virginia: Drive-thru Flu Shots

Nurses and doctors in Leesburg, Virginia offered a quicker, easier way to get seasonal flu shots. Here, patients lined up in their cars to get vaccinated by the thousands. What a way to spend a Sunday afternoon without leaving the luxury of your car or truck.

It was almost as fast as driving thru for a burger.

BAMOPOLY: Game Only Government Bureaucrats Win

JOHN TAMNY FOR FORBES ON IRRATIONAL EXUBERANCE: Why our weak dollar will never bring strong recovery.

EVERY TAXPAYER is forced to play, like it or not. Only the government wins, but only in the short-term. After that, everyone loses. Are we having fun yet?

Click on image to enlarge, recall events of the past year. File under: Image worth a trillion words.

H/T Steve, again.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sunday at McLean Bible Church: Attempt Great Things for God


IT NEVER CEASES TO AMAZE me when I drive into the gargantuan parking garage at McLean Bible Church near Tyson's Corner, Virginia, just how many people come to church there each week for every service. Running a little late as I dashed out of the District this morning, I thought I'd have an easy time finding a parking place for the 9 am service.

But I couldn't have been more wrong. As I entered the covered parking garage off Route 7, I was stunned at the number of cars parked and empty. That observation was only reenforced when I walked into the main sanctuary---packed---and saw literally thousands of people starting the worship service.

This was the same congregation I walked into in early February, 2005 as a social, nomimal Christian who knew not one soul in this church. Someone had recommended I try attending McLean while I was in Washington. Within weeks, I had a deep and profound salvation---some call it born again---experience and I knew my life would never be the same again. I immediately felt the Spirit of God there and surrounding me in a way that is very hard to describe.

For weeks and months, I sat there in the third balconey and listened to pastor Lon Solomon preach the Gospel of Christ as I'd never heard it preached before. I was completely mesmerized by the message of salvation I had certainly heard before, but now was hearing it with a heart and mind being opened by God. I truly got it during that time that I was a sinner---there was really never any question---and that Christ had indeed died for me and in fact the whole world. I got it that I could never, ever earn my way to eternal life in heaven, no matter how good and accomplished I or others thought I was. I really got it that Christ did the atoning work for me and all I had to do was to believe and receive this gift in faith with the help of the Holy Spirit.

The next year, in February, 2006, I went on one of Lon's tours to Israel with my daughter and we were both baptized by him in the Jordan. My life has never been the same, and at times it's been tougher than I could have ever expected.

Today, over four years later, I cannot under-estimate the gratitude I feel for God's grace or for bringing me to McLean in 2005. God has graciously enabled me to return fairly often---as I go to and fro from Nashville, Jackson, WY and New York City---so that I can get refills of the first church of my heart and soul. While I attend a wonderful church in Nashville and Jackson, nothing helps mold my faith like McLean Bible Church with no-nonsense Lon at the helm, as well as Redeemer Presbyterian with Tim Keller in New York City. I'm a very fortunate woman indeed!

ANYWAY, today I heard Lon talk in person on the Good Samatian. But it's not posted on the web page yet. So I'll post last week's sermon until the one today sermon is up. Hope you have time to watch and listen. It's always an inspiring message from the Word of God.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Drive in Pounding Rain

Will it ever end?

Some Dazzling New Reptilian Species Discovered in the Mekong Watershed In 2008

ALWAYS heartening to hear good news coming out of the world of conservation, what with the drum beating of imminent global destruction and its concommitant message of massive government intervention. Last year's discovery---as reported by the World Wildlife Fund---of 18 new species of reptiles (including the little leopard-spotted gecko above), one bird and several plants in Southeast Asia is just such news.

If you want to see more photos, take a look and be grateful for these newly discovered creatures. And for any good news that comes out of the cynical climate change MSM.

Best Homeless Signs

SOMETHING VERY disarming about people telling it like it is or close to how it is. So it is with 25 Awesome Homeless Guy Signs where the messages get down and funny. As Mark Perry, at Carpe Diem, opines, Competetion Breeds Competence. Who knows, maybe one of these guys could one day be the head of Fannie Mae or AIG with creativity like this. At least they have a sense of humor.

H/T: Mark Perry

Friday, September 25, 2009

Jay Leno on Qaddafi's Boorish U.N. Diatribe

IF YOU THINK commencement addresses can be long and sleep-inducing, you ain't seen nuthin yet. GLOBAL BORE and terrorist-in-recovery Muammar Qaddaf ascended the U.N. stage Wednesday with an hour-and-a-half long rant against the Security Council, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the “silent devils” who don’t tell the whole truth. He mercifully cut himself off before every one had left the room. Here's a taste of Qaddafi's winsome style:

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Walking In the Rain Again

CONTINUES TO RAIN HERE, but weather forecasts offer some hope: by Sunday skies are are to be clearing and cooler, with drier air blowing into the Mid-South-- not a minute too soon. Today I hiked/walked on trails and pavement in Warner Parks. The trees in the forests here haven't begun to change colors. But the mast is falling and along with it, ripe persimmons are splatting all over the place---a sure sign of season change. Terrapin turtles love persimmons in case you didn't know. The falling mast, coupled with some of the beautiful fungi growing from the myriad rains, vibrant color pops out of the dreariness. Here are a few pics I took this morning with my easy, little Easyshare:

Flu Shot Today

HAD A FLU SHOT TODAY at Walgreens for $24.99. Went in, filled out a form, signed in and sat down. My druggist came out and gave me a shot I didn't even feel. Said it was a dead (as opposed to live) culture, and I wouldn't feel very sick as a result. It took ten minutes and couldn't have been easier or more convenient.

Want to pass on some information the pharmacist told me in the process:

I asked if Walgreens was offering the swine flu nasal flu vaccine and he said he wasn't yet sure. He also reiterated that swine flu was most threatening to young adults and children who don't have the same immunity as the baby boomers and older. So people in their 50s and up aren't at as much risk of dying from swine flu, unless they're already ill.

He also said the injection he was giving me was for a strain of flu supposedly much worse than swine flu. I was shocked! He said it was good to get the vaccine this year, even if you don't usually get a flu shot every year (which I don't), because it was predicted to be a rough virus.

Maybe he was just saying that to drum up business. But I've known this druggist for years, and think he sincerely thinks this flu vaccine will be good protection from a wicked form of flu that will most likely arrive this winter. I'm glad I got it today and hope you'll consider getting one too.

These drug store clinics for routine ailments and prevention are one of the greatest medical innovations to come along in this country in a long time. And oh so very easy.

Need A Laugh? Here It Is

IN HONOR OF THE 44th President of the United States, Baskin-Robins Ice Cream has introduced a new flavor: "Barocky Road." Barocky Road is a blend of half vanilla, half chocolate, and surrounded by nuts and flakes. The vanilla portion of the mix is not openly advertised and usually denied as an ingredient. The nuts and flakes are all very bitter and hard to swallow. The cost is $100.00 per scoop. When purchased it will be presented to you in a large beautiful cone, but then the ice cream is taken away and given to the person in line behind you. You are left with an empty wallet and no change, holding an empty cone with no hope of getting any ice cream......

Monday, September 21, 2009

Exactly How Rainy Has It Been in Middle Tennessee Lately?

MORE THAN I can ever remember, especially for this time of year. It's been raining off and on since last spring. Torrents all over the South all summer (also it was unseasonably rainy this summer in Wyoming). The rain has produced 150% humidity. The deep dampness has helped create some beautiful fungi though. Above, this morning on my muddy training hike on trails that are almost too soggy to walk now. If it doesn't stop soon, I'll have quit the trails and take to the pavement. Maybe it'll be a little drier on the East coast. The sun with some dry and cooler weather will be so welcome when it arrives.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sunday: Dr. James Dobson Interviews Michelle Malkin At Focus On the Family


WONDERFUL radio interview this week, part 2 of a series. Malkin discusses the background, family and cultural influences that have brought her to her wildly successful political commentary/reporting career she enjoys today. There's a frank discussion of Obamacare, abortion, death panels (medpak) and dwindling government resources which make rationing of healthcare for the elderly inevitable.

We need to step up our efforts to lobby and influence Congress. We need to pray for our country as never before. God bless America as our president and Congress attempt to take us further down the road to serfdom.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Love This!

MUST ADMIT, one of my favorite unlinked sites is Go Fug Yourself highlighting outrageous fashions with people---mostly women---wearing outfits or every size, shape and description on public display. Every now and then, there's one I love!

Natalie Portman is here at her poutiest. But who can argue with her fresh, lively dress, fun color combo and earrings and hair that work to make the whole greater than the sum of its parts? The bonus is shoes that look like they weren't stolen from a vampire's closet? These days, we can be grateful for small favors.

I love this and the fact that it leaves something to the imagination!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Michelle's New Fashion Statement: The Bondage Belt: Nobody Knows the Trouble Women Seen in Healthcare


TAKING A LITTLE different approach than Hillary to the health care debate. Oh Lord, nobody knows how put upon we women are these days.....Why we are often responsible for ourselves and our families health.....Bring out the violins and smelling salts!

Michelle said women are being “crushed by the current structure of our health care” because they often are responsible for taking care of family illnesses, arranging checkups and monitoring follow-up care.

Oh Lord, what trouble and hardship we women endure in this country! Thank God there's a large federal government that wants to help every last one of us! They don't want to hurt us, they just want to help us.

Quick, bring me my bondage belt! Maybe then, I'll start to feel sorry for myself and how put-upon I am by the greatest healthcare system in the world. More.

Wonder Woman---Thy Name Could Just Be Linda McMahon

IF YOU EVEN BLINKED Wednesday you probably missed one of the most interesting items to come across news tickers---at least my ticker---in a long, long time. The news dazzled me, causing me to do a double-take: Linda McMahon, conservative Connecticut CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment (ticker:WWE) was throwing her hat in the ring to run for the Senate seat of Chris Dodd in 2010!

Senior, second-generation senator Dodd, by the way, is not expected to win re-election next year what with all the banking scandals, not to mention continuing controversy over his second home in Ireland.

Reaction to McMahon's announcement was swift and decisive, from some of her admirers who've worked with her:

"Connecticut needs Linda McMahon,” said Lanny “The Genius” Poffo, who wrestled in the WWE in the 1980s and ‘90s. “She is the opposite of Nancy Pelosi.”

Poffo said McMahon as a deficit hawk, someone who would push Congress to balance the budget. “She’ll be something new in the Senate, someone who is very conscientious,” Poffo said.

“Luscious” Johnny Valiant, who joined the federation in 1967, concurred. “I bet she’d be very good,” he said from his apartment in New York. “She’s very worldly and she has a very good pulse on what the people on the street are saying.”

Randy “Macho Man” Savage, Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake, and “The Mouth of the South” Jimmy Hart were yet to weigh in.

Lest any of us think McMahon's candidacy is a publicity stunt, her opening statement rang true Wednesday and should have put it to rest when she spoke of Dodd: He's lost his way and he's lost our trust.

WHERE DO I SEND MY CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTION? OH! She'll only let me give $100 and won't accept any PAC or special interests monies. How refreshing.

I'll be back with more on Linda, her positions and accomplishments and her husband Vince (who is considered somewhat of a liability) later, but suffice it to say, I'm pumped. I think she'd make a terrific conservative U.S. Senator from Connecticut, or from anywhere for that matter.

Move over Sarah Palin, Linda McMahon has just entered the conservative ladies' ring. I plan to be ringside to watch every round of this fight. Cause a woman described as marrying a lot of smarts with grace, sounds mighty good to me.


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Found A Great Story Today

THIS IS ALMOST THE THIRD anniversary of Webutante.

While I never thought I'd last this long, I certainly have found more to write about than I ever thought possible. Still, three years into this gig, I have to admit my ardor has waned a bit and I find more that's less and less interesting. Conjuring fresh or even recycled outrage is something I have less heart for on a daily basis (though there's plenty to get worked up about, I just don't like being in a constant state of adrenaline over-load). Moral outrage wears very thin with me these days. Sometimes I have to look hard for stuff that intrigues, encourages and wakes me up.

This morning, however, I found something that really wowed me! Some silly, interesting political news that both heartens and makes me laugh. Hope to write about it later today---jam packed with a long to-do list. Even thinking about it will make me smile....and it'll make you smile too! I promise.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Breitbart: Waking Up Grassroots America--- Big Media Is Dying

ANDREW BREITBART, LIKE HIS RACIST COLLEAGUE GLENN BECK, SURE KNOWS HOW TO WORK A CROWD. He's got a message that rings truer and truer in modern America, Iran and throughout the world: The MSM--Main Stream Media--is falling away---terminally ill. You simply can't find the most important news stories rocking our nation or the world covered at all---or with any accuracy--- there anymore.

Charlie Gibson doesn't have a clue. Paul Krugman has got his fingers in so many dikes at the NYT he can't see the forest for the trees and hasn't for years. Katie Couric---who's Katie Couric? Power is now with the people---people like Hannah and James--citizen journalists with cameras, videos and computers, the internet---to report and write and make sense of the nonsense of our times.

Breitbart, who several days ago launched another BIG site Big Government, is pounding the drum harder and harder with the news of the MSM's imminent demise and the rise of Everyman in the quest for news and truth.

He uses the sickening story obtained by two young people who conjured up their own "sting operation" when they walked into an ACORN office in Baltimore to get help in setting up an under-aged brothel for young girls they told staff there they planned to import illegally from El Salvador. It's ALL on film, folks. You didn't see any of this on NBC, CBS, ABC, WaPo or NYT, did you? Of course not. And you won't. We the people are taking over the job of checks and balances of government because the MSM is fading away. We are the Fourth Estate. And thankfully, Breitbart is one of our shining leaders.

Meanwhile, Poor Jimmy is singing the racist blues...yet again.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Patrick Swayze, A Man of Every Woman's Dreams

THERE ARE VERY few leading men I find cold, dead knockout. A rare exception is Patrick Swayze. Can't help but think he appeals to every woman who's in her right mind. Masculine, dashing, athletic, accomplished, graceful, available, kind and romantic partner material to the max, I'm so sad to know he's gone. I and the sisters of my generation were totally wowed by this man and the two movies he starred in will stand forever in our hearts and minds: Dirty Dancing and Ghost.

The best part for me was that he seemed to be the same way in real life as he was in film: a loving, strong partner and kind faithful husband, father and son. One of the most talented, disciplined dancers of our time, he was one of the men I most wanted to watch and admire from any distance. He was the man I would have most wanted to sit next to at a dinner party. (Another is Jeff Bridges.)

Jennifer Grey who starred with Patrick in Dirty Dancing told People yesterday:

"Patrick was a rare and beautiful combination of raw masculinity and amazing grace," she adds. "My heart goes out to his wife and childhood sweetheart, Lisa Niemi, to his mom, Patsy, and to the rest of their family."

Dirty Dancing Choreographer Kenny Ortega, added, "Patrick was a great human being who I knew as a loving son, husband, brother and friend. He was one of the most creative, enjoyable and alive people I knew. He did as much for dancing as any man of our generation."

As far as I'm concerned, real manhood just lost one of its greatest sons. God bless him and his family, especially his loving life mate/wife, Lisa. whom I know is tired and grieving deeply.

Monday, September 14, 2009


NOTE TO SELF: Be sure and take a plastic fork or spoon along on the flights, cause they don't have one. single. extra. one. on. board.---sorry--- if you bring your own food. Go with your pocketbook strapped to your body and wide open cause they charge for everything now. Toilet paper still on-the-house though, but who knows for how long? On second thought, maybe I'll just become a dealer in plasticware and small squares of paper on these flights, charging astronomical amounts for an extra napkin and plastic fork.

Still, I'm only complaining to a point: safety is still job one and I'm always glad to get there safely, with or without a plastic eating utensil. Still given my druthers..

Sunday, September 13, 2009


THE HEART IS deceitful above all things,
And desperately wicked;
Who can know it?
I, the Lord, search the heart,
I test the mind,
Even to give every man according to his ways,
And according to the fruit of his doings.

--Jeremiah 17:9

AM SURROUNDED by Christians. They are generally speaking a pleasant and agreeable lot, not noticeably different from other people—even though they...have killed off more people than all other people put together. Yet I cannot be sure they don’t have the truth. But if they have the truth, why is it the case that they are repellent precisely to the degree that they embrace and advertise the truth? One might even become a Christian if there were few if any Christians around.

— Walker Percy, The Second Coming

Here at Last: Cali Valli Kalli and I Go Shopping

FIRST WE WENT to Claire's---mecca for pre-teen girls, where there's more junk per square inch than anyplace on Earth. That includes Hong Kong at its worst/best. I'm not a big shopper myself, but today I summoned every bit of patience, forebearance I had within the depths of my being to go a-junkin with Kalli.....

Valli girl meets Southern Belle who found a fuchsia flower on a headband that might be the perfect accoutrement to the next fly fishing extravaganza.
The good news is in spite of the glue-on finger nails, the pink highlights and the glittering lip gloss, Kalli is still a 10-year-old at heart. I pray she stays that way in spite of myriad forces that would pull her too quickly from her childhood. God willing, I with Pat, Tim, David and many others who love and pray for her daily will be around to help her navigate this process of growing up.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Checking Out the Whole Foods Boycott On the Left Coast

DON'T LOOK NOW, but someone's still shopping at Whole Foods Market in San Raphael after liberal protestors demanded a shopping boycott of the store in protest of CEO John Mackey's conservative stand against Obamacare a few weeks back.

Could they be the only remaining 300-400 conservatives left in the Bay area all here with me at the same time today at WFM? Maybe. But wait! The parking lot of filled with liberal bumper stickers. Liberals are here in droves swarming everywhere buying organic melons, designer hummus, mottled designer cheeses.

All I can say, is protest the way we knew it in the 60s and 70s just ain't what it used to be. That's putting it mildly. Looks like John Mackey took a risk and a stand. In the end he knew his market better perhaps than it---and they--- knew itself.
Meanwhile, I am driving my good friend's car--her husband is out-of-town--, since for the moment at least, she can't. It saved me from having to rent one. On the other hand, er, it's a car that I would only drive for and with one of my oldest and dearest friends. I try to wear a disguise when I'm tooling around in it however...... Our friendship takes a lot of forebearance, patience, knowing when to keep your mouth shut (and I fall down far too often), and a gigantic sense of humor on both our parts......just to name a few.
It'll always be a mystery to me why some relationships stand the test of time and others don't. We can't talk politics, religion or nutrition, I keep my mouth shut as Campbell Brown drones on on CNN, we have an annual fight since we were 2 years-old and next-door-neighbors. One or the other---and often both of us--- regularly act like a perfect ass--- (There's NO room for any of my food in your refrigerator, once again.....) And yet, against all odds somehow we make up faster and faster and have a devotion that's rather amazing---to both of us. We're like sisters and love each other dearly through thick and thin. Why and how, for me, is a mystery known only by the Grace of God.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Remembering 9/11

“We will write our own future, and the future will be what we want it to be.”Barack Obama



IN A QUIET and seemingly innocuous gesture, President Obama has designated 9/11 as “The National Day of Service and Remembrance.” Personally, I liked the ring of “Patriot Day,” and what does “service and remembrance” mean, precisely ?

The idea is to get Americans to “engage in meaningful service to create change…in four key areas”: education, health, energy/environment and community renewal. None of these seems to have anything to do with honoring 9/11, but that seems to be the point: in the Huffington Post, Muslim-American playwright Wajahat Ali
wrote, “In the US, we are trying to move away from focusing on 9/11 as a day of horror, and instead make it a day to recommit ourselves to national service.” An excellent Spectator article provides a blunter translation: “Nihilistic liberals are planning to drain 9/11 of all meaning.” Why? ”They think it needs to be taken back from the right.

More by Mark Tapson at Big Hollywood. Tapson continues:

"Americans can commit themselves to public service any or every other day of the year; 9/11 should be reserved for solemn remembrance and renewed commitment to preserving American security, values and sovereignty. A day of greening your neighborhood?

I’m all for planting trees, but what does “green” have to do with 9/11? Only that it’s
the color of Islam. But if the President insists, allow me to suggest some service appropriate to the day:

Education? How about this: educate yourself and your children about 9/11 and about the continuing Islamist threat – not only of overt acts of terrorism, but the insidious dangers of “
stealth jihad” and “creeping sharia.”"

Thursday, September 10, 2009

What a Lovely Day To Visit My Best Friend!

MAKE SOME slopmadoodle. Be best friends while she's beginning to feel better. Take walks. Cook and eat healthy. Have some laughs. And see Kalli.....
I may or may not be back to post until next week...just have to see. Thanks for coming by, and God bless.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Gnostic PR Approach: Prepare For Another Dan Brown Frothy Media Frenzy and Circus


I'M STILL PLANNING TO DO EVERYTHING possible to miss every second of the hyper-hyped unveiling next week of Dan Brown's new book The Lost Symbol.

That's the sequel to The Da Vinci Code, you know, the ambitious rei-fi thriller that attempts to rewrite the Gospel and over 2,000 years of church doctrine and history. Have to hand it to Brown, he really knows how to work a crowd to the cash register. I found the book---mystery formula writing at best----superficially exciting and figured out the culprit about half-way through. I found the premise beyond silly. Very new agey. It in no way shook my faith in Christ. Not even close.

Whatever he accomplished in his Da Vinci best seller, he and his handlers want to out-do themselves with this one. They've hired---are you ready for this---Special Ops Media---a promotion company to create special effects they hope will work the entire global reading population into a frenzy of buying, reading, believing, buying more, reading, believing.

And don't you just love their approach. I like to call it the Gnostic PR approach. By that I mean, a PR approach that hides the product which is allowed to be known only to a select few, until followers are so smitten and hungry for it, they submit to "secret rituals" of indoctrination, which in this case is to go buy the book by the truck loads and make Dan Brown and his handlers filthy rich.

Intellectual elites love esoteric, gnostic stuff. It totally appeals to their elitism. Whereas the Gospel and the Bible are open to anyone who takes the time to open and explore them, the gnostic approach only allows a select few to enter the font of all secret wisdom, otherwise hidden from the eveyday rift-raft. So to buy the book makes people feel like they're entering some secret chamber known only to the elite.

Hence, no one, not even a single person at Special Ops Media is allowed to look at, see, read or preview the book. That would destroy the mystique.

Only the great MSM wise eastern elite, Matt Lauer has been allowed to tap the secret tome thus far. Then, in typical gnostic PR form, Lauer will spend a week titillating the public on The Today Show---those few million who still watch Matt in the morning---with tidbits of secret knowledge known only to the select few---that would be him. It will also be a week-long celebration of the long awaited next Brown mythola. Now if that doesn't tempt you, I don't know what will.

But wait! If that's not enough, Amazon's CEO Jeff Bezos has told customers on his company's web page that Amazon's cache of copies is being kept "under 24-hour guard in its own chain-link enclosure," and 70,000 copies have been pre-ordered. Whoa dude, that thar must be some special book....

Gnostic PR---universal secrets guarded with utmost security waiting for a few anointed elite---at its finest.

Sounds like another media manipulation event with you and me and our pocketbooks as the target. So hold onto your wallets. The gnostic PR circus is about to begin. You've been warned.

The Falling Dollar: Something All of Us Should Be Concerned About



AS THE US DOLLAR continues falling back to March 2008 lows and perhaps below, I'm certain several inevitabilities will occur. Below are a few:

1. We're starting a new round of bubbles: A new rush to commodities and read goods that will hold their value if the dollar continues to fall. Notice the new rally in oil and gas stocks, gold, silver and other precious metals. Haven't we been here before? And don't we know how this nightmare ends.

2. The purchasing power of the American consumer is shrinking, even as the price of real goods increases. This will put the consumer in a very grumpy mood. Does anyone remember the last few years of the Bush administration? Here we go again.

3. Interest rates or yields will rise. No other way. It's what happens in inflationary times. And higher rates is the only way we can get any foreign countries to keep buying into our national debt.

4. Mortgage rates for homeowners will rise higher, since they are tied to long-term bond rates and not to short-term rates the Federal controls. Don't be fooled when the Fed lowers rates to zero, it won't affect your credit cards or your mortgage rates.

5. President Obama will be a one-term president becoming just as unpopular or more so than Jimmy Carter and George Bush just to name a few who also presided over a falling dollar.

6. Out-of-control Congressional spending will cause us to print more money---eroding our purchasing power--- and, also cause more printing presses to have to be built causing the erosion to explode exponentially. Even if some of these ghastly bills pass, they could quickly collapse the economy for decades and certainly the stop any possibility recovery. Have you ever considered $15/gallon gas? And it could be much higher.

7. Foreign governments will become increasingly alarmed at our out-of-control spending and threaten to dump the dollar altogether and replace it with a global currency of some kind. This could trigger a worldwide financial crisis of unheralded proportions.

8. Everyone with money and long-term savings in the bank for rainy days and future needs will find it shrinking. $100,000 in the bank will only buy $50,000 or less worth goods and services, even as prices rise to the stratosphere.

There are many things we could worry about over the next few months and years---swine flu, a nuclear Iran, nationalized healthcare (that almost no one wants) just to name a few. But if the dollar continues to fall to lower and lower levels, we could see a crisis that will make all others pale in comparison.

The Federal Reserve and Treasury are happy at the moment that the dollar is falling, because it's pushing our bruised dollars back into the stock market--- for now. But don't be fooled: if the dollar continues its downward spiral, the stock market will soon come tumbling down again too.

We should all be very concerned and more than anything else we must make our voices known in Washington: No nationalized healthcare---there is no way this country can begin to afford it, cut spending across the board, begin to pay off debt and get our financial ship headed away from the gigantic iceberg it's heading for. Time is getting shorter and shorter. We should be concerned that a huge crash is coming unless we make our voices heard.

We cannot spend and tax and borrow and print our way back to prosperity. No matter how nice it looks all around us. We can't let this blow over, because it won't blow over. We are heading over a cliff. And when we get to the edge, it will be too late.

Monday, September 7, 2009

On a Recent Float on the Caney Fork---Fly Fishing Reminds Me Again of Important Life Lessons

WAS LAST TALKING about fly fishing and the inevitable life lessons it brings to mind every single time I go to the river....before I so rudely interrupted myself, leaving the computer behind for the real world over the long Labor Day weekend. While I don't want to belabor this, I will nonetheless give a few below. These pics are from my trip last Thursday with David Perry of Southeastern Fly. He took them as we floated the Caney, a tailwater fishery just below Center Hill Dam. David is one of the best guides I've seen either here or out West. Aside from being knowledgeable, smart with a good sense of humor, he wears well over a long stretch of time and river. On any given float trip, a fisherman can and usually does go through various weather conditions, stream flows, emotions, frustrations as well as some wonderful highs. Sometimes a fisherman will have nothing to rejoice over other than just being out on the river. And sometimes, sometimes can be a very long time.You don't always get even the species you want, but you always get, you always get....just what the need!
If you're not genuinely thankful for the little things, and the chance to pay your dues, then the big things may never come....and they may never come anyway. Be glad just to be there, even when it's slow, hot or cold, unproductive and not ideal.......I'll be the first to say it's much easier said than done.


I'm a dry fly fisher. I live and breathe dry flies or topwater fishing. There's nothing like seeing a fish come to the surface and take your fly. I've gotten fairly decent at it over the years. After that, my second love is streamer fishing but only when there's no hope for a dry.

Last and least of all, I will begrudingly nymph fish, which means going under the surface down deeper with the fly. Only when I have to. I'm not that good at nymphing but on the Caney, I'm firmly convinced, cause David tells me so, I have to do it sometimes if I want to catch fish. For most of this trip, I took David's good advice and cast (not one, but two) nymphs. As I forced myself to fish this way, I learned a some things and am getting better at ti. All the fish above were caught on a nymph.

But as the afternoon wore on and things got slower and slower, stiller and stiller, I found myself beginning to disconnect from my rod, my fly and the river. My mind started to wander as I wondered how far it was to the take-out.

My enthusiasm was drying up, my focus disappearing and worse of all my cast was getting terribly sloppy. My eyes began to glaze over. I was coming unglued before my, and David's eyes. I thought for while and then I made the decision to rebel! I realized I couldn't take nymphing no mo!

"David, I'm done nymphing today. If I'm going to not catch fish this afternoon, then I'm going to not catch them my way. I want to go back to the surface on a dry. At least I can entertain myself and perhaps get my interest back. Shall we tie one on?"

David couldn't have been more supportive. He agreed it was time to jazz things up.
"Got a great hopper pattern I want you to try," he said as he pulled it out. "Go for it; we're coming to a great rocky bank around the corner and it's gonna work fine," he assured me....

Within ten minutes I hooked a big fish and lost him. It didn't matter. My adrenaline and focus were starting to rise. I was having fun again.....

The rest is history: The rocks. The cast. The float. The take. The hook-set. The fight. The play. The net. The photos of the biggest rainbow---20''--of the season in David's boat. It was a beauty and it was a team effort! Then the release back to the wild. We were both completely pumped.

The moral of this story? If I told you I'd have to kill you. So I'll let you figure it out..... but who was it that said, "To thine own self be true? Then thou cans't not be false to any man?"

Saturday, September 5, 2009


ONE HAS A "god" when a finite value is viewed as something one cannot live without and continue to be happy.

Anxiety becomes neurotically intensified to the degree that I have idolized finite values......Suppose my god is sex (or the power of my sexuality and prowess) or my physical health or a political party. If I experience any of these under genuine threat, then I feel myself shaken to the depths. Guilt becomes neurotically intensified to the degree that I have idolized finite values.

Suppose I value my ability to teach and communicate clearly.......then if I fail to teach well I am stricken with neurotic guilt. Bitterness becomes neurotically intensified when someone or something stands between me and something that is my ultimate value.

To the extent to which limited values are exalted to idolatries----when any of those values are lost---boredom becomes pathological and compulsive. My subjectivly experienced boredom may then become infinitely projected toward the whole cosmos. This picture of the self is called despair. The milder forms are disappointment, disillusionment, cynicism.

---Thomas C. Oden

Your religion is what you do with your solitude.

----Archbishop William Temply

Friday, September 4, 2009

Thursday: My Day on the River with David Perry


COMING TODAY: Fly fishing is so much fun and yields so many lessons applicable to every day life, work, and relationships, it's hard to know where to begin. I'll be back later to share some of them from my float yesterday on the Caney Fork with one of my favorite guides anywhere, David Perry.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Congress to Citizen Peons: What's Good for Thee Just Isn't That Good for Me-Me-Me

The MSM Media Prejean Pile-Up, Pile-On Continues

The ever-relevant USA Today just can't resist taking a few swats at the former Miss USA, Carrie Prejean. Normally this cheap and shallow media outlet is champion of all those who are victims of discrimination---sexual, religious and racial. But only for the politically-, religiously- correct downtrodden across the land. But certainly not for Miss Prejean who just doesn't qualify for any compassion at all these days: She's beautiful, talented, articulate, hard-working and worst of all, can and will stand up for herself. That won't land her respect in the MSM these days. Especially if, heaven knows, she talks about her walk with Christ.

All I can say is good for her. She stands on her own two feet. Can take a stand. And can certainly take a hit. But oh, will she ever continue to be demonized by the elites in the media who don't have even the faintest clue.