Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Visit to the Dentist...

I just got back from the dentist and ended up getting a root canal…Feeling really good now! I just love having a numb face, and now my cheek is swelling up to my eye….lot’s of fun here!

Will post more later if I get to feeling better

Monday, December 27, 2004

Christmas Adventures

Christmas turned out really well around these parts......Will give a run down of activities in chronoligical order.

  • Christmas Eve was the good wife's happy birthday! Went pretty well. Her Father came down to celebrate the birthday with us and exchange Christmas presents. All went well to a point. While eating, I broke one of my teeth on a stupid chip! Talk about bad fortune....That kinda put an end to the good eats for me. Wife and kids really enjoyed the birthday/Christmas present exchange!
  • Watched a few movies before going to bed.
  • Woke early Christmas morning with a belly ache attacking daughter #2.
  • Back to bed after remedied
  • Woke later (still early) to celebrate Christmas with the kids...
  • Presents opened and wrapping paper all over the place! (the packaging on toys is simply ridiculous! Wire, tape and stitching to keep a doll or toy car in place. It seemed like it took half the morning just to open/liberate all the toys.
  • Made waffles with my new waffle iron
  • Niece comes over for an exchange...a very quick exchange!
  • Brother and family come over to visit.
  • Load family and niece in van and head to Oklahoma to see "Christmas with the Kranks". The theatre is a very old building with only one screen and no lobby. You pay for tickets at the window, walk through the concession aisle and directly into the theatre. This theatre was built in the 1940's and show's it.
  • At the theatre, twenty minutes into the show, our two year old daughter decides she wants to entertain everyone trying to watch the move...We two end up waiting in the van as everyone finishes the movie. Talk about cold.....
  • On the way home we stop by Bulltaco and Chrystal's home and leave some presents on the door (not home), and continue home.
  • At home I mess with some wax trying to temporarily "fix" my tooth with a good deal of success! Will work until I can get to the dentist.
  • We watch some more movies, fall to sleep in the recliners and finally head off to bed as Christmas has passed.

All and all it was a very good Christmas. The good wife and I received very much joy from watching the children. Very good indeed.

Want to know what we got?????? Ok!

I got some clothes, a cool reading stand with built in lamp, a waffle iron, toaster, wooden box, and many books (I love the books)! I also got a blanket...the good neice gave everyone in our family a blanket...a really cool idea, or I should say, "Warm" idea!

My wife got books (some duplicates), a family ring, stove, entertainment center, a blanket and other small stuff.

The kids got a limited amount of toys and clothes along with some blankets(the kids really appreciate stuff like that for some reason).

Not a very rich Christmas in regards to gifts, but a most splendid and appreciated one in heart and spirit! The gift count was low and very practical, and it seemed that it was somehow better than previous holiday's where we spent much on presents...with the exception of a few toys, everything we purchased and received was something that was needed...I like it that way!

Now if I can get the tooth taken care of fairly quick and without too much expense....

Be Right

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Bah humbug.......Brown Christmas

Well the "Big Snow" totally missed us. We ended up getting a whopping half an inch of snow! The system moved south and hit the rest of the state...just missed our corner. We did get the temps though.
As our local weatherman gave the forecast, he relayed that we should expect temps of possibly going down to (-0)! Now that is COLD! I've never experienced negative zero temps before! Think about it....lol....Actually it got down to 3 degrees here and has now warmed up to 10! We have a wind chill of -10. Pretty frigid!
I did manage to get the firewood just in time and did it ever work out good. Electric heat is ok, but nothing beats a real fire.
On a bad note, we did get some slick roads, but South of here the roads were so bad that the police were asking people to not call if the event of an accident if no one was hurt. The concensus was that if you were going to be out in it, you would be in an accident.
Be Right!

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

White Christmas and Waffles...

It looks like we have some wintery weather moving in within the next 24 hrs. Snow! I have never in my life not wanted snow!
Now comes the exception. My wife has a Dr's. appointment coming tomorrow which she really needs to keep, so in this case, I am praying that the snow waits until late Wednesday night. At the least, that the roads don't freeze over.
I also have to go get some firewood today, which kinda angers me somewhat. A couple of years ago my Father-in-law had asked me to come over and cut down some wood (trees), which I did. They were elm, which takes a couple of years to season before you can split it. This morning my wife tells him I am going to come and get some and he say's it is gone. Was bad wood and burned it all up. Now, I know he hasn't built a single fire since then, and most likely he sold it or gave it away. I should have expected as much.
On another note, We went into Fayetteville for some last minute shopping. What an adventure that turned out to be. The traffic was unbelievable! Seemed like everyone who could be out, was out...lol. The foot traffic in the stores was just as bad. Once we made our purchases, there was no time wasted in getting to the interstate and get out of the main part of town.
On our way in, being as neither my wife or me had been to IHOP (International House of Pancakes) in quite some time, we decided to eat a breakfast supper there. After fighting all the traffic to get there, I pull into the parking lot and look up at the sign to find quite a surprise! Our beloved IHOP is now an establishment called, "the Flying Burrito!" Talk about a shock, expecting to have waffles and pancakes, and being hit by a flying burrito instead! We decided to go on to the store and eat somewhere else later.
On the way out, we stopped at the "Waffle House" on the outskirts of town, and talk about an adventure. This establishment could easily be envisioned as the backdrop for a dark movie. Kind of a mix between Mel's Diner and a greasy spoon. The patrons have their appointed times to visit.
The roughest time for the staff is from 10 pm until about 4 am. You will find bikers or bar patrons stopping in to sober up or just fill up. The staff has learned how to be firm with a smile. They put up with what most would run from. Their world during this time is an adventure to some and a nightmare to others.
From daylight till noon you will find farmers on their way to and from the local livestock auction stopping in. Talk of cattle prices and various adventures of the farm-life will be the topic of discussion. The waitresses work hard for their meager tips while this group leaves a wholesome hard working breath of adventure as their lives move through this diner. To this group, the Waffle House serves almost like a Union Hall with members being of the same trade. A sense of ownership can be felt during this timeframe, and the employees are compatriots in a struggle to save and reinforce a dying breed.
The next group to hit will be those getting off work mixed with truck drivers hitting this landmark on their trek across the country. They stop in because that is what they do when in this part of the country. It is a respite and a destination in a long and solitary trip; a mile marker. The crowd getting off work......most often men of a failed marriage, with no family to look forward to, or maybe a marriage that is not working. They are people who have stopped dreaming and accepted what and where they are. This group is a tired group, not much to look forward to other than having this place that substitutes for the family gathering around the supper table. They are most always men who are served by waitresses that are filling the roles of Mother, wife, or daughter. This group truly treats them well. The cook holds the role of a favored uncle. He in this timeframe is a trusted and beloved provider. To watch from the outside, one will observe a relative sense of familiarity...love and trust. This group of lonely people will sift through these doors between the hours of 5-10 p.m. and this is the time during which me and my family walked into "their" world.
It was about 8 pm when we pulled up to the front door in our "minivan", which really fit just about anywhere but in that particular place. The parking lot had vehicles ranging from the 70's to 80's and were in various states of "repair"; we were parked by a '77 chevy pickup with "el' Rudy" hand painted on the drivers door.
As me, the wife, and four kids ranging in age from 2-13 disembark the van and head in the door, I noticed seven patron's, The head cook (the only cook) in his food stained apron, and two waitresses in ill fitting pink "waitress" dresses; just like you would imagine them to wear. The manager must have purchased these uniforms at a good price because they seemed to be from a one size will fit everyone sale. The first of these two young women was rather thin and reminded me of a young girl playing "dress-up" in Mother's clothing. They just hung off her, while the second, a slightly robust young lady, was hard pressed to be contained withing her bindings, as the buttons pulled terribly at the holes showing their resolve to stay on task. I swear they must have been the same size.
The cook in turn, was an elderly gentleman who reminded me of many others I have known who had not won in life, but rather, had existed. This gaunt gentleman in his once nice slacks, commanded a kitchen with a small degree of pride. It was clear that it was his direction which kept the boat afloat and on course, and in this, he found his reason for being. He never looked me directly in the eye, but took note of our presence as he tried to sum the task being presented. What would we expect? Would his fair meet our standards, or fall short? We were going to be his challenge for this night, for he had already conquered the regulars as they and he both knew how their exchange would go. We on the other hand, gave challenge due to our being interlopers into his world. Yes, we were the invaders and it was up to him to please us.
If you want to be right....the DO RIGHT!

Friday, December 17, 2004

Remembering the Fight...

It is still fresh in my mind how rough it was waiting for disability to kick in. It took almost 18 month's, two rejections, an attorney, three doctor's and one judge to finally get everything going.

In this, I have decided to write a primer for the person needing disability benefits, with an emphasis of moving the process along in a timely manner, which seems contrary to social security dogma. In this whole thing, I have learned so many ways that I could have expedited the whole experience and have decided to put up a site that is essentially a questionaire for those who have succeded in the process, and also a guide for those still in the process. If you are remotely familiar, or just curious, check out my site http://www.enabled.blogspot.com .


If you want to be right.......then DO RIGHT!


I have decided to put a counter on this site to see if it is getting any hits, or if I am just writing for my own pleasure. If I am the only one viewing, I can save time and hassle just writing my thought is word and saving it there....at any rate, the counter will make the decision!

I Pay My Share!

Hey! I Pay My Taxes, thank you....
You know, I am an American and I do believe in paying my taxes! I do not cheat on my returns and go strictly by the books because I do believe that as an American, I am obligated to do so in order to keep my freedom. It is nothing less than my part.

The part of other's it would seem would be that they are somehow deserving freedom and deem it ok to find every shortcut and "white" cheat possible to get out of paying their "fair" share. Not only do they not feel bad about it, but to the contrary, they boast of their prowess as if they are a jump ahead of it all. Most of these "associates" of mine are self proclaimed liberal democrats, to which I clam to belong to neither camp and vote purely based on the person and their credibility....Nothing more or less. These same people can do nothing but criticize the people holding office if they might be republican and rant about how the current administration is ruining the whole system. When President Bush announced that people would be getting an extra return, all these people raised the dust and proclaimed he would sink the nation, but when the checks showed up, they were in line with me at Wal-Mart spending the money with a smile. Either you are for, or you are against. I personally believe if these shining democrat citizens would quite cheating their beloved nation out of taxes, the issues of an "extra" return would not have been a need.These liberals mostly without knowing, support art endowments (whatever happened to starving artist.....There's plenty of starving carpenters, taxi-cab drivers and factory workers out there...How about that starving office worker or wait person?). They support Planned parenthood and abortion (which I don't believe in because it is my right....And no, I do not shoot doctor's and yell at pregnant teenagers as I do respect their liberty as an individual and if my belief system is right, God will deal with them....I don't have to). They support the homosexual agenda in that one's sexuality should determine one's status and rights. All the while they are supporting this notion through their choice of politics and cheating the system, they are leaving me and others like me, to pay up. They will talk about, harass and heckle the "weird" artist, "promiscuous" teen or homosexual, and Heaven help you if you need any sort of assistance from the welfare system (they are referred to as leeches), yet, the politics they are proclaiming pushes forward that, which as it would appear, supports exactly what they hate.

On the other hand, my taxes go to support public schools which are failing miserably so we homeschool. That's right! We homeschool and still pay taxes in for the public school....Do we receive any tax credit for not adding to the tax system's list of beneficiaries? No....We are Americans and we pay our share. While discussing the public school system, it is important to know that anyone who utilizes them, is basically on Welfare! The public school child is being given an education by the taxes collected from the citizens, you and me.I also am paying an "artist" to mold manure or pose nude for all the world to see...Did we ask to see this....No, but we did pay for it! Was there a national campaign conducted among the "tax-payers", not "tax-cheaters", which would allow us to choose our selection of the artist that should be funded? That's ok though, it is all part of me being a citizen in good standing.
What about that pregnant teen/unwed mother? Did I get them pregnant? Don't think so....Do I believe the teen should be taken up by planned parenthood so they can get an abortion? No I don't. How about the homosexual, should they be afforded the honor of being married? No, marriage is for a man and women, and they should come up with their own institution....It's all a matter of definition. As far as rights that would shadow marriage, I say go ahead....That way we can all be unfairly taxed if we are married or committed to a partner. I would think they would be better of financially if they left things alone. If they are worried about who has control of the others possessions if one should die, then make out a will...power of attorney....Simple enough.
By now, one would probably think I really hold a fair amount of contention for the pregnant teen/unwed mother, artist that receives endowments, or homosexual, (I probably would from what I have written so far). The truth is that while I do not support any of these individuals and their cost to me financially through taxes, I do have compassion for them. They are just like me, flesh and blood, have the same needs for survival, and are a part of the human race. I have fed and financed at various times (when able) these very people when they would otherwise do without, and as guided through Christian compassion and conviction. It is my right not to have to support them through my taxes, and even let them know how I feel, just as they have the same right to not accept my help (not happened yet), and not support my choices and style of life. It is not my right to not help them when their lives are in some sort of peril (Christianity working again).
As a part of a free society and the human race, one who follows the lead of Jesus Christ (who did he turn away in need), it is my duty, honor and obligation to help those who suffer. If I am to be able to love myself and family, then I must also love what we are, and thus have to love and care for society in general. Yes, I have worked with, cared for and helped those who would seem to be hated by the ones whose politics support them.
I personally believe that everything should be tolled. If I am to drive on a certain hiway, then I should pay for it as I use it. Give me an itemized list of everything our taxes go for and let me pay for that which I know I will use. Give me an automatic tag which would keep a record of services I had utilized (the technology is there) and figure my taxes from there on in. If it ends up that I have utilized planned parenthood, then I pay, if not, then no pay.This whole issue has come down to a point that charity leaves a bruise (scarlet letter) on those who need it. It also has taken charity from what it once was, people caring for people, and turned it into a governmental department and tax write-off. I would think that a better system would be one that left charity to society and allowed participants to receive and give as able. There is nothing wrong with charity, but people should be the core of it. If you need my help....Just ask, but never take it by force as the government is now doing. I will give you so much more if you simply ask than if you demand.
My own convictions would have to state that I am an American citizen and I support legitimate taxation. I do not support hypocrisy on the part of the cheaters though. Make them pay their share so I can pay my fair share. I also believe that if our culture is allowed release from illegitimate taxation, we will require less from our government in support; might just turn out that we can actually take care of ourselves. In this, I believe that the individual must stand somewhat accountable for their actions. We all mess up from time to time, but why is it that my mistakes are never ones that allow me to collect money from the rest of society?I proclaim to be neither Republican or Democrat as I do not believe either has an adequate answer to the questions posed by our society at present. I believe Presidents are Puppet's and their corporate puppetmaster's are in control of their "big" moves. Congress is a society within itself where the participants are trying to shape a culture they are severely removed from. I see our society as one who is lazy and seeks every shortcut they can find, as they shirk personal responsibility as citizens of this free nation.. If our govenment is to be one that is ran for and by the people, then people need to speak up, show up, and stand up for their vision of America and how it should be. I also never vote a party ticket, but rather judge the candidates by their past record, past history, and future potential. Liar's and cheater's can be found out quite easily these days on the internet, but how many people actually see the full portrait of the person they are voting for? The media has their own agenda and should be disregarded for lack of credibility (go to the governmental sites and read up before you pick which horse to place "your" money on.)
I know this letter sounds a bit tart, but, I am a little upset from hearing so much about politicians who have no struggles, yet are allowed to determine my fate and taxation. Like the crying Indian said (I can say that because I am Native American), "Don't tell me how to walk until you have walked a mile in my shoes....." I am quite comfortabe speaking boldly because I can back up my claims and observations. I encourage all to become a part of the system rather than being subject to it.
Till next time....

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Another Semester Bites the Dust

I finally finished up my last two tests for the semester.

Biology - A
American History - A
Art Appreciation - A
Algebra - ?

The algebra score has me wondering.....it will be close. I really do not understand how a person pursuing a degree in the "arts" is required to take classes that are geared towards the "sciences"? My GPA would be much greater if it were not for the "science" classes I have to take. My majors are in communications and history.....not finance, engineering or medicine.

Maybe someone will realize that the cold war is over and we are no longer in competition with the Soviets. It is only when we began the integrated approach to education that we saw our placement scores in the world drop. What's wrong with students specializing in their choice of degree plans without having to fail in a class that is not related to their final degree plan?

Take art appreciation....please......While I did enjoy it, and I did learn much about the world of art, I would have gladly foregone it for say, and advanced communications or history class! It is nice to know the information gained, and now I speak with some small degree of intelligence when visiting an art gallery, but, I really have no great intents of visiting art galleries in rural Arkansas! Furthermore, this class and others like it ensure that I will spend at the least, another full year in the business of college as a consumer, all the while moving me further away from my pursuits. Makes sense.....require useless classes and increase consumer debt. Institution has higher revenues, book sales increase....and the student pays......smart!

Well, must run errands (the girls are getting new glasses and are so excited) and such.


If you want to be right.....you must DO Right!

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Healthy Body....Sick Parts?......

Another rough day....the cold rain outside seems to be wicking into the very essence of my body. All pain today!

I am giving much thought to what I will call the "Commercial Church." I see more and more energy and resource being spent on sanctuary and recreation than on the "mission" of Christ. Maybe I am a little out of touch with today's culture, and if so, am glad of it!

In inspecting today's popular church, one will find architectural wonders laced with gymnasiums and daycare centers to keep the "little ones" from spoiling the inspired message, which is usually one of implorement to an image of submission, and not mission itself.

Jesus Christ, the inspiration and model of the Christian life is not what I find in representation and effort, regardless of the "message" being given. In most cases, the congregation will receive "building" progress reports, bank loan statements, or inf0rmation on the latest activites of various ministeries, which usually are self serving in nature.

What would I prefer to hear along with the message of Christ? A call to vigilance in the daily walk with Christ. Address the issues Christ addressed! Feed the hungry, clothe the poor, visit the sick and imprisoned! All this without reservation or judgement. The Message of Christ is not a message of building a physical structure, or the cultivation of "special" groups, but rather a message of service in the world in which one finds themselves. What many seem to conclude when Christ said, "go ye into all the world," is that their missionary efforts are to support the missionaries in foreign lands. I would rather believe that Christ would rather you forego efforts in the larger world if you have to step over and around the needs of those within your own communal world. Where do we get the belief that just dropping a few dollars into a collection plate should be the constitution of our efforts? Where is the effort in that? We are putting our faith and works into an effort that is outside our own personal world when we could make an immediate impact right where we live.

Another problem I have with the commercial church is in the show of pride of "ownership" of the structure when the body of believers who financed it are up to their eyeball's in personal debt. Yes it is good to own what you possess, but at the cost of financial burden to the congregation? I have been to churches where the "mission" or "vision" of a new gymnasium is put before the needs of the body of believers. While sitting in church, the guilt of not contributing is so strongly broadcast, that the patron feels euphoric at finally taking the leap of faith and contributing to such a noble effort. Once back home, this person either has to pay their bills with a credit card, or pray for financial replenishment. How can this be right?

Sometimes I ponder what Christ would do....he did after all tell us how noble the woman who gave her last two mites was. It was all she had, but it also seems obvious that her sacrifice was personal, and, that it was of her own volition. She would be the only one to suffer and in this, she was uplifted. I wonder what the story would have been if the two mites were actually owed to a neighbor or merchant who she had promised to repay as soon as she could? Would it actually be her money to give? Would Jesus commend her for breaking her vow of repayment or possibly causing burden to those who entrusted her with the loan in the first place?

In my perfect little world, my vision of the church is this:

  • To the true believer, the physical structure is of little consequence to their faith, walk, and ministry.
  • In communion with the saints, the true believer will meet at a public building, tent, field, or home of others of like mind.
  • The leadership organization will be set up in such a way as to literally care for the church members.
  • The leadership will teach all members to be missionaries right where they are.
  • This church will grow through a ministry to the community.
  • The Christian church will not operate in the theatre of debt, either personal or as a group.
  • The Christian church is to be a spiritual sanctuary for the worship of Christ and the uplifting and encouragement of the body, not an added tax.

I personally believe the money-changers have reentered the temple, and it is time to run them out! I have to wonder what would happen if the body of believers as a whole became concerned with the individual? What would be the outcome if the church turned its financial focus toward the individual member. What if the church worked with the individual to ease financial stress? Would this member not then be freed to focus on the ministry of Christ? With the final end of a financially liberated church, the needs of the community could be addressed in real terms.

Wouldn't it be wonderful to read of the activities of a house building crew that had finished rebuilding the home of someone who had just suffered loss through a fire? Maybe how the medical needs of someone in dire straits were met by this same group? Maybe how a member changed their schedule to include time with a newly widowed person in setting affairs in order? Would this church not see growth and increase just as the individual members experienced.

It is true that it would initially depend on the few who were enabled, to see such an impact in realization, but to that believer who is entrusted, much is also required. Christ says to the rich, "sell what you have, give it to the poor, and follow me." It would take the person who has be entrusted with much, great faith and a heart of servitude to actually do what is instruced. The whole point here is this: if one truly follows Christ, then they also have the attitude that God is the ultimate owner of all that is, and this includes money! If God has indeed entrusted you with wealth, then what is the expectation he holds for you? Are you not entrusted by God to be a leader and enabler of his children? You the wealthy, have a mighty appointment, and I trust you do not want to be put through an audit conducted by God. You the poor also have the responsibility of being accountable and trustworthy of what you have received. Not all will be rich, but not all have to be poor

One reservation that might pop up is the fact that not all will work wisely with money that is entrusted them. My response is that it is up to the Holy Spirit to lead all to better works, and in this, you are entrusting "them" just as God has entrusted you, and in turn, it is God through you, who is entrusting them, and God will be their judge, not you!

I have to wonder what the outcome would be if we all asked ourselves, "am I being wise with what I have been entrusted?"

My last thought.....The body can only be as healthy and effective as the individual parts which make up the whole.

If you want to be right....then DO RIGHT!

Saturday, December 04, 2004


Pray for me today.....please....

Today has proven to be so very tough so far....between the fibro and the mental fog....nothing is making sense...