Two More Digital Mouths to Feed

Maintaining (or neglecting) three or four blogs apparently isn’t enough for me. I recently succumbed to peer pressure and started a Facebook page. If you’re on Facebook, look me up here. You’ll find family photos and such.

A glutton for virtual punishment, I also started a Twitter feed a while back. If you don’t know what that is, then you probably wouldn’t be interested in it anyway.

I have now provided so many electronic windows into my soul that I’m living in a glass house.

National Spotlight on a Very Local Act of Kindness

My girls go to Faith Christian School in Grapevine, Texas. Female Offspring Unit #1 graduated there–Class of Ought Seven. FOU #2 graduates this Spring. FOU #3 will be Class of 2012 (seven months under the wire for the destruction of the universe according to the Mayan “Long Count” calendar! But I digress . . .)

Recently ESPN’s “Life of Reilly” column shared a pretty cool story about Faith’s football team. Check it out.

More Refeshing Intellectual Honesty from an Athiest

A startlingly honest and clear-headed essay in the The Times of London. The headline:

As an atheist, I truly believe Africa needs God:
Missionaries, not aid money, are the solution to Africa’s biggest problem – the crushing passivity of the people’s mindset

An excerpt:

Now a confirmed atheist, I’ve become convinced of the enormous contribution that Christian evangelism makes in Africa: sharply distinct from the work of secular NGOs, government projects and international aid efforts. These alone will not do. Education and training alone will not do. In Africa Christianity changes people’s hearts. It brings a spiritual transformation. The rebirth is real. The change is good.

Do read the whole thing:

The Perfect Accessory for the Warped, Frustrated Old Executive Scurvy Spider on Your List

 Watched It’s a Wonderful Life for the millionteenth time the other night. A couple of years ago we picked up the new digitally-mastered, THX version. It’s amazing how much better this edition looks after having grown up watching the grainy, dusty panned and zoomed copies on television.

As we started the DVD the other night, I told the family that I was going to try to “see” something in the film I’ve never noticed before. I did in this scene in which Mr. Potter offers George a job . . .

potter-skull-cap.jpg

Do you see it too?  Apparently the set director thought we might need a little help figuring out who the bad guy is in this film. So every time the camera shoots over Potter’s shoulder, we see this this guy staring at us:

paperweight.jpg

What’s up with that freaky thing? It has a chain, for pete’s sake.

Out of curiosity, I decided to see if there was anything on the internets about this prop. I googled “skull paperweight Mr. Potter’s desk” and got one hit. It was a review of the digitally mastered edition DVD I had purchased. One line in the middle of the review read:

This strikingly beautiful remastering draws you in all over again, letting you relive George Bailey’s despair and take in details like the skull paperweight on the desk of twisted Mr. Potter.

Well, imagine that.

I’m sure there’s a story behind that paperweight. I’d love to hear it sometime.

Well, That Was Quite a Weekend

On Friday Mrs. Blather and I marked our 21st wedding anniversary. As is our custom, we threw some clothes in garment bag and headed out for our annual overnight getaway. It’s a tradition we started 13 or so years ago when we still lived in Minneapolis and the girls were still quite small.

In those early days, we’d get an overnight babysitter and head to one of the many B&Bs in Stillwater, Minnesota. Stillwater is a charming historic town filled with antique shops and art galleries on bluffs overlooking the St. Croix river on the Minnesota-Wisconsin border.

Now, no babysitters are necessary and slipping away for 24 hours of shopping, dining and enjoying each other’s company is less of an exercise in logistics. This particular long weekend was packed with stuff that we found fascinating, and others will possibly find mildly non-boring.

  • First, we grabbed lunch at a great restaurant at trendy Inwood Village spot called Rise No. 1 and ended up sitting about three feet away from former Facts of Life star, Lisa Whelchel. (We pretended to be oblivious to who she was but couldn’t help noticing that she prayed over her meal and talked about God pretty much the whole time she was there.)
  • Later that afternoon we checked into the W Hotel, across from the American Airlines Center and immediately learned that some rapper by the name of Li’l Wayne (great-grandson of Li’l Abner, I presume) is staying at the hotel and will be performing at the AAC that night. We were offered tickets but politely declined.
  • We had one of the best meals we’ve had in a long time here.
  • Saturday night was the Dallas Cowboys’ final game in Texas Stadium and a friend was kind enough to invite us to join him, his lovely wife, and a few other couples in one of those skybox suites. It was a great place to watch a historic game, even though the Cowboys’ performance was more akin to a Greek tragedy than an exhibition of football. Again, massive quantities of food were a part of this event–a new wave of foods comes out every quarter–and you will be stunned to learn that I felt obligated to sample all of it.
  • Sunday afternoon we had a few friends over and had a promise ring ceremony for my youngest daughter, FOU #3 who is 15. Everyone brought . . . wait for it . . . foods of many types and forms! It would have been bad form for me to not try a little of everyone’s wares.
  • Per the pattern we’ve established with her older sisters, FOU #3 and I had a “date night” later on that evening.  It was great.  We went to the Gaylord Texan hotel, looked at the amazing Christmas lights, and had a lovely meal. Yes, that’s right. A meal. What’s your point?

As I said . . . It was quite a weekend. I think I’ll hit the gym today.

Unbelievable

Night before last, courageous Senate Republicans, led by Sen. Corker, created a once-in-a-hundred years opportunity to restore America’s auto industry to health by refusing to go along with the House’s bailout unless the UAW and other unions agree to loosen their strangleholds on the big three American car companies. (See Apple-fy the Car Industry? below.)

As this report at Hot Air makes clear, they were on the very edge of succeeding . . . the impossible . . . the unthinkably wonderful was about to happen  . . .

Then the White House cut the legs out from under Senate’s brave conservatives.

President Bush and Paulson signaled that if the Senate measure failed, they would most likely reverse their initial refusal to make TARP funds available to the car companies. As Hot Air points out:

Would the union have agreed to Corker’s plan if they didn’t have Bush waiting in the wings to bail them out with TARP money? (Yup, says Corker.) After all, TARP is a sweeter deal for them than Corker’s bill since, as one White House source noted, the loans come with few strings attached. Thus have the inefficiencies of the initial Wall Street bailout made this bailout more inefficient, too.

Unbelievable.

It grieves me to acknowledge it, but the Bush presidency has been an epic tragedy for conservatism. And it seems that it will continue to be so right up until the last day.

More on the Automaker Bailout Boondoggle

It’s always fun to type to word “boondoggle.”

Courtesy of laborpains.org . . .

A photo of the UAW’s contract with Ford:

uaw-contract.jpg

The next time you’re wondering why the American car companies can’t seem to make the quick adaptations and adjustments necessary to be competitive,  remember this picture.