Monday, August 30, 2010

Fashion: Forget the Emmy's, It's Fergie's Fascinators For Fun 'Fouture'


AFTER LOOKING OVER MOST OF THE EMMY'S FASHION PHOTOS, I found they all looked dreadfully similar, even the gorgeous ones that worked. Yawn. Then this great shot at the Daily Mail caught my eye and, well, my fascination. It's Fergie with her grown daughters in tow heading for a family wedding this past weekend in their oh-so-British head accoutrements.

The unique British thingy I'm referring to is the mini head covering called the fascinator---smaller than a proper hat but larger than a bird's nest. Or perhaps I should say, it's sorta like a little bird's nest with feathers, flowers, ribbons, beads and anything else that might conceivably strike a woman's fancy flaunting and bobbing on her head when she takes a notion to go to a special occasion. Whether they're conservative or even a little garrish, fascinators are the most fun accessory a woman will ever wear to a wedding, an afternoon garden party or the horse races.

I personally became acquainted with fascinators several years ago when my son married his beautiful British wife in Scotland. One of the most fun parts of the whole process was finding a proper fascinator to wear to their afternoon wedding ceremony outside Dunkeld. I poured over English and Scottish websites and ordered several. When I received them stateside, I had great fun playing dress-up in them for weeks before I chose the final one to fly to Edinburgh with me to the big event. Today I have them stored in my Nashville closet waiting to be worn at the slightest provocation.

So forget more predictable Emmy fashion photos, and get a load of Fergie and her daughters flaunting their fabulous, fine fascinators! Walking in as if they were the, er, Queen of England or something. Makes me happy just seeing them.

No woman is altogether predictable when she's wearing a fascinator, especially with a great pair of pumps. Like the lovely looking dame-ette below:
Related: The Rise of the Fascinator

Take The Quiz: Are You A Facebook Narcissist?


Do you regularly update your Facebook status, write wall posts (I admit, have no idea what that is), or publish overtly sexy profile pics? Do you have innordinate numbers of FB 'friends?' If you answer YES to any of these questions new research indicates you may be a Facebook narcissist.

Does it really take an expert to tell us we're living in the age of excessive, obsessive, addictive narcissism? We all have to contend with it to one degree or another. Still, it does seem to be even more pronounced and habit-forming in younger generations.

From the above linked quiz: Experts say that social networks aren’t to blame for narcissism, defined as excessive love, attention on or admiration for oneself, they’re merely a reflection of it. Sites like Facebook and Twitter just feed off the egocentrism of recent generations that’s been cultivated from years of being told by parents that they’re special — children born after the 1980′s are more prone to social network narcissism.


Call me middle aged, which I am. But having a FB page and/or being obsessed with someone else's who talks about intimate, or even mundane, details of their personal lives is a monumental bore and turn-off. I'd rather be doing hundreds of other things. Still I realize these obsessive social networks are big business and big time fillers for all ages, including middle age. If I ever get to the point of spending more than 5 seconds a month on FB or Twitter for that matter, then I promise to go have my head examined.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sunday: What The Bible Is Really About


HERE'S A CLIP from Tim Keller’s address at the inaugural Gospel Coalition 2007 conference. Heath McPherson, a gifted artist, mixed Keller’s words with music and paired it with drawings by Gustave Dore. All together the video tells a powerful story of what the Bible is basically about.--- H/T Gospel Coalition blog.

Beautifully done and well worth watching numerous times, from my perspective.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Message For Ben From Reality Weather: Storms Coming; Stop Stimulating


THE WEATHER IN MORAN, WY THIS WEEKEND has turned nasty, cold, wet, windy and generally miserable as the Fed meets here and ponders the faux idea that it can actually do something to fix the economy. As if its efforts so far have made even a dent in the global fiscal tsunami that's coming. There's no shortage of hubris up at Jackson Lake Lodge this weekend.

Still, there seems to be a symbolic silver lining to all the bad weather blowing through: there's nothing The Fed can really do but wait out the storms and be patient. Let Nature take its course, as if there were any real other choice. Any posturing that Ben does this weekend should be taken with a grain of salt, as if Don Quixote were looking for more windmills to flail against.

Think the Fed and other visiting central bankers will take the hint from what Mother Nature's trying to tell them? I doubt it; moreover it is beyond doubtful---it's impossible in the Fed's current climate of elite Keynesian hubris. Still, you can't say, the reality weather going on here isn't doing its part to wake up these men who really think they can make things better and cure what ails the economy. What a shame. How sad that we will all suffer from their hubris and ego-centric fiddling where not even angels now dare to tread.

No one, no so-called annointed central bankers can defy the laws of Mother Nature and gravity. No not one.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Keyn Ben In the Morning


WHEN KEYN-BEN SPEAKS THIS MORNING AT JACKSON LAKE LODGE near the foothills of Mount Moran, he should talk about several important things, though sadly he probably won't:

First, Ben B should talk UP the economy saying our country has had enough stimulus, that it is working its way in and through the system and we need to let it work without further ado and without, WITHOUT, any more stimulus nonesense by the misguided federal government. The only stimulus we really need is lower taxes and less spending.

Second, Ben should say the Fed will stop buying up all our debt in the form of Treasuries---causing the greatest toxic bubble in history----and let the Chinese and other countries buy what they will, since European debts ratios are even worse than ours. Ben needs to talk reducing the soaring deficit rather than enabling it.

When the Fed buys up all the Treasuries---now a toxic asset and growing gargantuan bubble---it is just kicking the can down the road further towards an even greater crisis and extremely painful day of reckoning.

Third, Ben should talk about starting to raise interest rates after keeping them artificially low for far, far, far too long. This zero interest policy has artificially proped up stock markets and is certainly hurting savers, especially seniors whose income has been drastically slashed. It needs to end. Now.

Fourth, Ben needs to say we will get through this and we need to be patient.

Then he needs to sit down and do less instead of more. Get off his Keynesian horse and take a chair beside the ghost of Milton Friedman.

Sadly, Ben will probably not do any of these things, and needs to be fired at the earliest possible moment.

Unfortunately misguided President Obama is too busy buying shrimp and playing golf to fire him!

H/T, Tom S.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Guess Who's Coming To Dinner?

AM PACKING UP AND MOVING TO MORAN TOMORROW for the last leg of my stay here in Jackson Hole this summer. Just learned last night that the Fed, specifically the Kansas Federal Reserve, is hosting the world's central bankers at Jackson Lake Lodge this weekend, a stone's throw from where I'll be. It's their annual dog-and-pony hand-wringing show for all things Keynesian. Word has it Benanke may be at Cowboy Church late Sunday afternoon. Who knows?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Hungry Little Boys in Pakistan Flood Line Up For Something To Eat

FEW OF US KNOW HUNGER AND UNFATHOMABLE LOSS LIKE THESE CHILDREN though all of us are impoverished in various other ways.

Touching and beautiful photo worth a million words: WSJ PHOTOS

Sunday, August 22, 2010

D.A. Carson on Tolerance

Sunday, A Favorite Passage From God's Word

I AM PERSUADED that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

St. Paul (Romans 8:38-39).

For true, authentic and eternal hope and encouragement in good times and bad, look no further than this passage from my favorite chapter of Romans 8 to read, re-read and meditate on day and night. It just doesn't get any better than this for the follower of Christ.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Ultimate

PAUL MILNER CRESTS THE GOLDEN STAIRCASE of the Exum Ridge while climbing the Grand Teton on Monday. Warm, sunny weather has made for excellent conditions for ascents of some of the Teton classics.
Great shot Bradley! Congratulations to all you climbers!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Monday Morning 'Good' News


Linked from Zero Hedge:

NO, THERE WILL BE NO DOUBLE DIP. It will be a lot worse. The world economy will soon go into an accelerated and precipitous decline which will make the 2007 to early 2009 downturn seem like a walk in the park. The world financial system has temporarily been on life support by trillions of printed dollars that governments call money. But the effect of this massive money printing is ephemeral since it is not possible to save a world economy built on worthless paper by creating more of the same. Nevertheless, governments will continue to print since this is the only remedy they know. Therefore, we are soon likely to enter a phase of money printing of a magnitude that the world has never experienced. But his will not save the Western World which is likely to go in to a decline lasting at least 20 years but most probably a lot longer.

- Egon von Greyerz, Matterhorn Asset Management

I'm afraid I agree with everything von Greyerz says. It's the end of the era. The imminent fall is will be exacerbated by world central banks applying the "quick fix" of printing more, increasingly worthless paper (fiat) money and driving up the prices of commodities. When the day of reckoning comes the pain will be much worse and greatly prolonged. What else is there to say except batten the hatches, get out of debt, and live as far below your means as possible?

Soon, living high on the hog will be a fatal disease for most families and countries. As my father used to say and mean, Time to tighten your belt......

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sunday: Please Pray for Our Country That God Has Mercy On And Turns Us Around

PLEASE PRAY for our feckless President who is leading our nation at warp speed down into the abyss. Never can I remember a leader being more divisive, hopelessly mired in political correctness, and disrespectful of our country's religious and political heritage. All in the name of tolerance.

Between tolerance and the Commerce Clause, we're losing this country and our freedoms bit by bit. And make no mistake, I do not believe any politician or party has the answer to the problems we've created over the last four or more decades as we've turned our backs on God and embraced government as god and anything goes morality. God has allowed our decline. And only God can redirect this country, turn us around and create a spiritual revival and renewed morality and dedication to the Constitution in this country. We can and must do our part by prayer, prayer, prayer, obedience and acting on the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

While a writer at the Daily Beast opines that conservatives fear the Ground Zero mosque, arguing when it's built nothing will happen and therefore it would show how unfounded our opposition is, I contend that nonesense totally misses the point. Allowing this mosque to be built in Manhattan is a symbolic travesty whether anything happens or not. It is an outrage. It would be like allowing a Hitler-worshipping church to be built next to Arlington National Cemetery.

It is tolerance in the name of religious freedom gone wild. Tolerance that has jumped the shark. Millions of Americans, including me, feel, moreover know, that the symbolic permissiveness of this is a horrifying blow to ourJudeo-Christian heritage and the Constitutional principles this country was both founded on and flourished by for over 200 years.

It is time to say Enough is Enough! We need to oppose this from the pulpit, in our prayer closets and on our knees. We need to oppose this at the ballot box and on the streets of America. We need to rise up and say in no uncertain terms, NO!

I said I may quit blogging, and I will have to cut back at times. But as long as our country faces this internal, INTERNAL, threat to its life, liberty and collective health I will be here writing my two-cents worth.

We're like frogs being boiled in hot water where the temperature is so slowly being turned up that we don't even notice the heat before it kills us. But we'd better wake up and soon or it will be too late.

Please join me in praying for our country and our silly, silly president. We must oppose this in every civil and legal ways we can. And pray that God will have mercy on us all.

Don't miss Leon De Winter at Pajamas Media on this subject.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Five Foot Two


JUST BACK FROM CODY, WYOMING another one of the last, great old western towns.

Blogging will be light to non-existent for the next month and who knows? maybe from now on. So many things calling me into the real world now that I'm finding less and less time to be online. I'm losing my fervor and I know it shows. Will try to post a little, especially on Sundays and perhaps when I return to Nashville next month. A new chapter in my life has begun and my priorities are definitely being reordered.

As always, thanks for coming by.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

More Mountains To Climb

YESTERDAY WAS SUCH A HIGHPOINT IN MY SUMMER. I made it to Static Peak Divide, some 4,000' elevation gain above the trailhead. With having to regain some altitude lost going up it was more in 15 miles RT and 9 hours. I didn't know if I was ready and could make it, but decided to try. I'm so glad I did because there was such a narrow window of opportunity with the weather and my own schedule for the next 12 days.

As soon as I got to the Divide the weather turned very nasty, very quickly and began to lightning, hail and thunder right on top of those granite mountain tops. It was terrifying and I and several other hikers had to run for our lives back down from the top. I literally jogged downhill and then had to hunker down into what I considered a safer spot on the trail to wait out the worst of the hail storm. Wet, cold and somewhat exhausted we made it back down grateful for the extreme workout and unbelievable scenery.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Sunday, Waiting On The Lord

Theme of Isaiah 40:


INSIGHT: God has given us the Christian family as a picture of the relationship between Him and His children. We are given earthly fathers, that we might more fully understand our heavenly Father. Just as an earthly father takes no delight in disciplining his children, so our heavenly Father takes no delight in disciplining His children. Hear the tenderness in these words: "Comfort, yes, comfort My people!" (v. 1). God tenderly loves us and takes no pleasure in our pain, although He desires our spiritual growth as a result.

From today's QuietWalk (Online) Daily Devotional

So often, waiting on the Lord, not doing---just waiting for God to show up to inspire us to right action is the hardest thing on earth for us to do. We're so action oriented and want to do things our way with our known resources.

Sometimes God gives us situations where we come to the end of ourselves and our doings and busyness. It's then we can either continue to spin out of control, or sit down, be quiet, listen and learn to wait on God.

Waiting always involves not knowing, sitting with uncertainty and pain. Sitting with whatever is going on---asking, waiting, being---can seem like the least helpful thing for us to do. And yet, whenever I try it, I'm always surprised that sooner or later the clouds begin to lift and I begin to feel stronger......God wants to mature us. God wants us to continue growing, and growing up as we continue our spiritual Walk with Him. Often it involves having us wait on Him. It seems counterintuitive, but often it's the most powerful thing we can do.

Friday, August 6, 2010




Thursday, August 5, 2010

Ladies and Gentlemen, The Next Governor of The Great State of Tennessee: Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam

OK. SO IT WON'T BE OFFICIAL TILL NOVEMBER, but it's all over but the shouting. Bill Haslam will be the next governor of Tennessee and a good GOP leader-- though perhaps not as tough and outspoken as NJ Gov. Chris Christie. He'll do what needs to be done to keep Tennessee solvent and business and employment friendly which is no small accomplishment in this day. Congratulations, Bill, on your handy win!

Another Wyoming Reality Check: Earthquakes Happen Here

I WAS TALKING ON MY CELL PHONE late yesterday afternoon about 6 pm when suddenly I began to feel a wild shaking and hear a loud rumbling where I was standing.

Stop! I said to the person on the other end who was in her car, I think my washing machine is having a nervous breakdown---it sounds like it's going airborne in the laundry room! I gotta go stop it!

But wait! I thought, my washer and dryer aren't even on...

The noise and shaking continued for 20-30 seconds. Then it stopped dead. I finished my conversation fast, hung up and started looking around for the source of the commotion, thinking I was dehydrated and starting to hallucinate.

Then a neighbor, ran down to my door: Did you feel that? Did you hear that? It was an earthquake!

Of course! I replied,---it's an earthquake!

Talk of the quake spread quickly and first reports had the epicenter in Ogden, Utah. By this morning, however, the center was said to be located here in Jackson Hole, less than thirty miles away. A nice little 4.8 magnitude. By all accounts it was fairly well-behaved, only shaking up chandeliers and rattling dishes and nerves.

Today just before 9 am, I sent an email to a relative on the latest quake news from Jackson Hole, then went to back to put on my shorts when the noise and shaking started all over again! This time I knew what was happening, so I grabbed the rest of my clothes and ran outside on the deck to finish dressing. It lasted about as long as the first one fifteen hours earlier. With a similar intensity.

Was this an aftershock, or was a bigger one coming? I wondered.

Of course, there's no way to know, but the reality of it is that fault lines run all up and down the Jackson Hole geological formation---and Yellowstone---and earthquakes have and will continue to happen here. Will there be A BIG ONE one day? If so, the real danger for Jackson and little hamlets like Moose, Moran and Wilson in the Valley is if IT should cause Jackson Lake Dam to fail, releasing millions of gallons of water from the lake behind the dam down into The Hole through the Snake River watershed.

We never thought a flood the size of the May 1 flood in Nashville could ever happen....until, that is, it happened. Few people think it will ever really happen here in Jackson. But if it does, Katy. Bar. The. Door. It would no doubt cause a number of fatalities, though with adequate warning of the tidal wave/tsunami rolling down the Snake River valley, many people would have time to evacuate to higher ground. But quite a lot of very, very expensive real estate would be washed away in a matter of hours. It may never happen. But it could.

The longer I live, the more I've learned to never say NEVER!...never.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Back To the Trail: Death Canyon

RICH LOWRY AT NRO: THE ATTACK OF THE ADULTSDEATH CANYON RISES DRAMATICALLY ABOVE PHELPS LAKE FOR THOUSANDS of feet of uphill climbing and spectacular scenery in the Tetons. If you have the stamina, you can go up for over 5,000' UP in several directions as you traverse the canyon. After being ill all last week, I started getting my groove back slowly last weekend and began some careful, uphill training again. Saturday was Taylor Mountain with 7 miles of trail and 3,000' elevation gain. Sunday was church and a day of real rest with lots and lots of water. By today I'd rebounded well---thanks to good nutrition and rehydration---and decided to do a moderate hike to Phelps Lake Overlook (photo below), less than a mile from the trailhead and only 400' of elevation gain.
Because the hike was to be so short and simple, I took very little gear---just some food, water and a cell phone which soon went out of range. I walked to Phelps Lake with little distress, so I decided to go a little the mouth of Death Canyon. Again it went quite well, so I decided to try and go a little further, higher up the trail to the GTNP ranger cabin at 3.7 miles and about a 2,000' climb. There I rested and then decided to push on a little further up towards Static Peak ultimate goal this summer, but one I'm not yet ready to tackle.
Nevertheless I continued upward along switchbacks until a dark and foreboding cloud with thunder and lightning turned all hikers back down the very steep slippery trail we had just come up.
As darkness and wind overwhelmed Death Canyon, I made it back down to the rangers station. The Patrol welcomed me inside the cabin and offered me a chair to wait out the storm. I took him up on his offer as the wind blew ferociously outside. When things finally settled down and I needed to leave, I asked him for a garbage bag that I could wear as raingear tol continue the descent. Not only did it keep me dry and warm for the hike back, it helped me get back in time for a 6 o'clock dinner with a friend.
This weekend, I'll be leading a moderate hike for the group....and if you're in the area and want to go.....just let me know!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

John MacArthur: When God Abandons A Nation

JOHN MACARTHUR SPEAKS THE WORD OF GOD as it was meant to be spoken. He never tells people what they want to hear, in euphemisms and half-truths. Instead, he tells and interprets it like IT is written and meant to be obeyed. When we re-interpret the Bible's teachings---and go to churches with pastors who do---to suit our needs, it may feel good for a time, but it loses its supernatural transformative power to change and conform our lives to Christ. A watered down Gospel doesn't save, it only digs us deeper into the grave of depravity as individuals and a nation.

MacArthur doesn't mince words here. It's a similar message to what I heard this morning here in Jackson at River Crossing, a powerful, powerful Bible-based church in the Valley. Listen only if you can stand theological incorrectness. This is not the prosperity or feel good gospel. This should cause each of us a degree of unease.

Sunday: Christian Maturity, Speaking Truth In Love


In the past few years I’ve often been asked to speak or write on the topics of discernment and Christian maturity. I’ve also been asked to discuss the ways Christian communicate using all of these amazing new media available to us. In both cases I’ve found myself drawn to a quote by John Stott. This comes from his excellent commentary on Ephesians and here he discusses the well-known words of Ephesians 4:15 where the apostle calls us to speak truth in love. Stott aptly describes two different kinds of people. Stott writes:

"Thank God there are those in the contemporary church who are determined at all costs to defend and uphold God’s revealed truth. But sometimes they are conspicuously lacking in love. When they think they smell heresy, their nose begins to twitch, their muscles ripple, and the light of battle enters their eye. They seem to enjoy nothing more than a fight. Others make the opposite mistake. They are determined at all costs to maintain and exhibit brotherly love, but in order to do so are prepared even to sacrifice the central truths of revelation. Both these tendences are unbalanced and unbiblical. Truth becomes hard if it is not softened by love; love becomes soft if it is not strengthened by truth. The apostle calls us to hold the two together, which should not be difficult for Spirit-filled believers, since the Holy Spirit is himself ‘the spirit of truth,’ and his first fruit is ‘love.” There is no other route than this to a fully mature Christian unity."