Saturday, April 30, 2005

Training wheels

New Design Could Transform 1st Bike Ride Mechanical/ Parenting-wise....Meh. I've taught three of my four kids to ride so far. Falls happen - they're a good incentive to stay balanced. I've seen two/three year olds riding w/o training wheels. When I asked their parents how'd they do it, they replied simply, "We put the kid on the bike and let go." That said, this could be a Godsend for kids with balance or other disorders.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Of course it will be difficult

HT: The Corner The Guardian | Trust sued over twin born after abortion:
Stacy Dow had a termination at six weeks at Perth Royal infirmary after she found out she was pregnant with twins when she was 16. But 27 weeks later she discovered she was still carrying one of the twins.

"'I still don't know if, or what, I am going to tell Jayde when the time comes,' she added. 'Maybe when she is nine or 10 I will sit her down and explain it to her. I just hope that she understands what happened and why I did it. Of course it will be much harder to explain to her that she had a twin.' "

Yes, I would imagine that it would be difficult to explain. "You see, dear, I didn't want to have a baby, much less two. So I paid to have you and your sister killed. Unfortunately, you survived. You DO understand, dear?"

When God said that the sins of the parents are passed down to the seventh generation, He wasn't being vindictive or cruel.

He was just explaining how sin works.

Monday, April 25, 2005

To everything there is a purpose

From Mark at Stones Cry Out:
Jessica is the daughter of our friends. Every day, the school bus comes for Jessica, who happens to be the last child on the route. On this particular bus, the kids have assigned seating, and Jessica sits next to the same young boy--day after day. And, day after day, this young, frightened boy cried the whole trip. He was crying when the bus came to Jessica's house, and he cried the rest of the way to school. One day, Jessica decided to help the boy. She reached out her small hand, and gently laid it on his arm. The boy stopped crying. The mere touch of another, gentle soul was enough to comfort him. The next day came, the boy was crying. Jessica sat down, reached out, touched his arm, and he stopped crying. This pattern repeated the next few days. She did not have to say anything, her touch was all he needed. And then, a few days later, something interesting happened. On this day, the boy stopped crying a few blocks before the bus reached Jessica's house. He knew she would be getting on the bus soon and that was enough to comfort him. She still put her hand gently on his arm, of course. This pattern repeats to this day. The boy stops crying a few blocks before Jessica's house. I suppose he can sense where the bus is because of the curves in the road near her house. You see, the boy is blind. He can neither see Jessica, nor her house. He just senses when the bus is almost there. Jessica's actions on the bus do not surprise her parents. She has four siblings at home, including a newborn sister. Whenever one of her sisters, or her brother, is hurt, Jessica is there to comfort the child. Offering her gentle shoulder and heart for another's comfort. That's who Jessica is--comforter of the hurting. She is also one of the happiest children I have ever seen. There's always a smile on her face. Jessica turned five this past February. That, in itself, is a miracle. Jessica was born with hydrocephalus. While in her mother, the fluid built up in her tiny brain and damaged it. Jessica also has Down Syndrome. There are many things that Jessica will not be able to do in her life. To some, Jessica should never have been born. Some, having received the news of her condition, as her parents did, by amniocentesis, would have chosen to end the pregnancy, and her life. The reason, I suppose, is that she won't have much quality of life. She'll never be a productive member of society. She may not be able to take care of herself. Not much of a life in our modern society. However, I know one little boy on a bus who knows that Jessica is nothing short of a gift from God.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Fairy tales versus real life?

Yahoo! News - Fairy tales linked to violent relationships Haven't blogged much lately - been too busy with real life, including a nasty bout with poison ivy. But this little gem caught my eye. According to this British researcher, if we read "Beauty and the Beast" or "Cinderella"to our daughters, they'll grow up to marry monsters thinking they can change them into handsome princes. God forbid, then, we read "King Arthur" to our sons. They might grow up thinking that they have an obligation to defend the women in their life.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

My meeting with the President

Thanks to an interesting turn of events, I came face-to-face with President Bush during a private event last week.

Through a connection with the local Republican party I was able to volunteer at the restaurant where he held a discussion on Social Security and a photo op with local small business owners. My job was to check the IDs of the invited guests. The President was scheduled to arrive at noon; I had to be there at 9. Although I was on time, I still had to talk my way through two roadblocks enroute to the event.

Watching all the security preparations was fascinating. Very serious business. The Secret Service checked *everything*, including the fire trucks and ambulances. I watched as an agent and his dog inspected the restaurant's sign out by the street. Another checked out the storm drains in the parking lot. Thank God the weather was good (beautiful, actually) because the invited guests stood outside for an hour waiting to be cleared in past the final checkpoint.

By 11:30 we were all inside the restaurant waiting for the motorcade. Everyone had one last chance to go to the bathroom.

Then the motorcade arrived. Several functionaries came and went through the side door that was to be used as the President's entrance, and then a medium-sized fellow wearing a suit with a blue tie poked his head in and looked around. It took a moment for everyone there to realize that it was the President. The room broke into applause as President Bush made his way around the room, shaking hands and kidding with folks. He gestured to to the other end of the restaurant (where I was seated) with a good-natured, "I'll get there in a minute!" For a moment I had a clear view of him down the length of the wait corridor. The room was silent, and I had the urge to shout out, "Howdy, George!" Didn't, though.

He sat down at the tabe with the folks who were scheduled to meet with him,, the press corps rushed in, and the place was dead silent for about ten minutes. All we could hear (with a phalanx of reporters between us and the President) was the occasional group chuckle. Then there was politeapplause, the press left, and the President made his way around the room shaking hands and chatting briefly with folks.

Watching him meet and greet, I was struck by how natural and genuine he appeared. He comes across as a down-to-earth guy who is very comfortable inside his own skin, confident in his competence. He reads as a senior executive (which of course he is) rather than a politician or a power hound. He refers to the Presidency in the third person, as though it is a suit of clothes, a job, a role he is currently playing. It doesn't define the man. I'd like to sit down with him over a cup of coffee and swap flying stories.

I was at the tail end of line with the other event volunteers. He stopped and thanked me for helping out. I told him, "We're praying for you, Mr. President." He looked me in the eye and said, "Please keep it up, because it's working like a charm." I had come prepared with a big Sharpie marker for him to sign my volunteer's pass, but he had one himself. "I see you have one, " I said. "A president without a Sharpie is like a president without..." -- he rolled his eyes -- "an entourage," he grinned. Then he looked at the oversized Sharpie in my hand. "That's the biggest Sharpie I've ever seen!" he said. I wish I'd had the wit to make a crack about being from Texas.

Seeing that he wasn't immediately moving on I whipped out my pilot's hat and asked him to sign it. As he did so he asked me, "You get to fly much?" "Not enough," I replied. "What do you fly?," he asked. I answered, "A Cessna, but I'm building a Fly Baby." Seemingly by reflex, he responded to the word "baby" with a practiced, "Well, congratulations" as he was moved along by the Secret Service. But you could see the wheels turn and click into place as he suddenly realized I'd said "building a Fly Baby," not "having a baby." He stopped, turned back, looked me in the eye, and said, "You be careful!"

What could I reply but, "Yes, sir"?

Monday, April 11, 2005

Judeo-Christian morality in an ethically pluralistic society

Kevin Hedges at Short Attention Span has some good thoughts on why we can't - and shouldn't attempt to "legislate morality". He misses one point, suprisingly. By legislating morality you institute theocracy - and theocracies run by humans are bound to be fallible. The goal of theocracy is laudable - God's Kingdom on Earth. The problem is that until Christ returns, it will be people running the show, even if they claim to speak for God. I'm deeply dismayed by a lot of what I see in popular culture. But I'm willing to tolerate it (in the original sense of the term) for the sake of avoiding tyrrany.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

On stem cells and the worth of life

The Anchoress nails it.

A boy is a rat is a dog...

Yahoo! News - Researchers to Study Apes, Forgiveness So let me get this straight. Scientists take it as an article faith that there is nothing particularly special about humans - since we are evolved beings and share common ancestry with apes, the ancestral roots of behavior we call "human" must be observable in non-humans. So researchers plan to spend $125,000 (fortunately not taxpayer's money) to observe captive apes and look for signs of behavior they can label as "forgiveness," thereby proving the point that non-humans exhibit "human" behavior. Seems just a tad bit ... circular. I wonder if anyone is interested in studying whether "non-humans" deprived of food and water by their care-givers exhibit forgiveness.

I think I'll stick to smoke signals

Web-ready cellphones, PDAs are next frontier for hackers, virus writers Someimes, it's good to not be on the bleeding edge...

Sunday, April 03, 2005

The Anchoress

When I get around to putting a blogroll on this site, The Anchoress will be on it.

Friday, April 01, 2005


From Major K.
It is pronounced: ahr-HAH-bee. It is the Iraqi arabic word for terrorist. 2LT C. does not like it because "it just doesn't sing. I learned this word from our interpreters and use it often. I never use mujahedin or jihadi, because they imply a measure of respect due an actual warrior. After all, both of those terms mean "holy warrior." This distinction is also very important to the Iraqis. They have told me repeatedly that these guys are cowards who will not even stand and fight. They kill innocent people, and bomb indiscriminately.
English is a malleable language, designed to fold in terms from other languages. May I suggest a new addition?