...the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens in giving it on all occasions their effectual support. Geo. Washington Feb. 22, 1732


Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.
Robert Kennedy, South Africa 1966.


Saturday, May 31, 2008

After the Meeting





Past Grand Master Charlie Brinkerhoff in his Red Corvette
I wrote a poem about Red Cars

Have you ever noticed as you drive down the road
The little cars passing you are all painted red!
Usually driven by someone with a look of dedication on their face
Dedicated to being in first place
What is it they used to say: "Better red than dead."

And now for a few more flood pictures. Jon called me and told me he had been out to Inis Grove Park and was in water up to his waist taking pictures and movies. I imagine I will have them later. He admitted that it was not the smartest thing he had ever done.









A Very Special Meeting

Kurt Hoffmann
Today in the Urbandale Public Library a very special meeting took place. For some time now Kurt Hoffman, Tim Bonney and I have been working on a new concept for a Masonic Lodge in Iowa. Today we presented our vision to about 20 Brothers for this Lodge. We are going to ask for a Dispensation to begin our Lodge.
There were Masons there from all over. Some who have been Masons for many years and one who was raised last week. All were enthusiastic and raised their hands when we asked if they would consider joining us to form a new Lodge.
We received Petitions for Affiliation and await the necessary Certificates of Good Standing for the new Charter Members of Specialis Procer Lodge. The Lodge will work Under Dispenstion until we recieve a Charter and then will have a number.
There were others who are interested but were unable to attend the meeting so we will hold another meeting in June to add to our numbers.
To learn more about the concept of this Lodge which we are calling a Lodge of Restoration you can go here.

Robert G. Davis writing about the Scottish Rite has this to say:
In the overall scope of our work, the Scottish Rite teaches that the answers to the great issues in life are within us. We can accomplish remarkable things through deep understanding and the sharing of insight. Our success depends on how well we prepare ourselves in the making of our own path. We have learned there is such a thing as right, and a thousand voices raised against us cannot keep us from doing great things.

Accordingly, when we teach the many valuable lessens which have been passed down to us in ways that resonate with the contemporary men in our society, then the past meets the present, and the new path; or rather, the old path of truth and right and understanding, is laid for the future.
We feel that this could have been written about Specialis Procer. We invite you to investigate further. J

ANY IOWA MASON WHO WOULD LIKE TO GET IN ON THE GROUND FLOOR OF THIS LODGE PLEASE FEEL FREE TO CONTACT KURT HOFFMANN, TIM BONNEY OR JAY SIMSER. If you want to join, please send an email through the lodge website: http://www.specialisprocer.org

Boundary Waters Trip

David Baker has posted his photos (some of them) from the Boundary waters trip. Click here to see them. They are already counting the days (or should I say minutes) until their next trip next Fall. You should see how invigorated and refreshed they looked Wednesday. Even though they were tired. I'd say about ten years younger. Minnesota will do that.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Friday Floods - Jeff's Pizza

Ames is flooded. Go down two posts below to see the pictures my nephew took around here of the floods. Highway 30 was closed when we came back and we had to use 13th Street,
I suppose that I should explain where we were. I took Trevor to Des Moines. He has completely redesigned the Des Moines Consistory Web Site and he wanted to meet with Shane to show him what he had done. (He took the cloud picture on the way back from the front of my car as we were driving 70 MPH) Since I am a soft touch and I really like this kid I told him I would take him down.
He lives at the Acacia Fraternity and I went out to pick him up and had to go an around about way as the Brookside Park was flooded and there was water over the road there. But I got there and we started South. Trevor took some of these pictures out of the car as we headed south on I-35.
These two are of the park and farmland on either side of 13th street as we came back into town. The little dots in the top picture are geese and other water fowl.. They love it. They had sandbags up so the water would not cross the road. The Hunziker Sports Complex was completely flooded. No little league there for awhile
Trevor mentioned that there was a really good new Pizza place here in Ames. Jeff's Pizza. It is out at Campus town. He said it is more like New York Pizza than anything else he has found here in the Midwest. Trevor is from Boston and has been accepted into New York University. We just got him into Lodge and the York and Scottish Rite and now he is leaving. That is life in a college town. Since we had gone to Costco and the Men's Warehouse it was now about 7:00 PM and all I had eaten today was a Yogurt and a Banana and I was being my usual grouchy self so I took him out for Pizza. And it was good. I now have them programmed into my cell phone so I can call in a minute. I highly recommend it - For their menu go here. You can also read about them at AmesEats. By the way they have a 20 inch Pizza. We got a 14 inch one and could not eat it all. I have two pieces in my refrigerator for lunch tomorrow.

Have a super weekend and as always Always Remember That You Are Loved. Hugs, Big ones, j

Wordzzle

Click on the Wordzzle Challenge button to review the rules.

Next Week's Ten Word Challenge will be: perpendicular, carpentry, garage, lute player, radishes, tin roof, wild flowers, stop light, gargantuan

And for the Mini Challenge: gravy boat, cat carrier, Madison, Wisconsin, March Hare, gratitude

In gratitude to the phrog for not winning the Wordzzle Challenge the salamander sisters decided to take him on a trip in a cat carrier to Madison, Wisconsin. They loaded him up into the March Hare’s Model T Ford and took off In a perpendicular direction from the garage eating radishes and listening to a lute player play their favorite song, “Momma don’t allow no wild flowers around here.” Sadie, who studied carpentry in her spare time, took her antique gravy boat with her on the trip in case they needed to serve gravy. She sang loudly along with the lute player. Sallie Salimander shushed her sister and told her to be quiet at the stop light as she wanted to hear the rain falling on the tin roof of the auto. It was a gargantuan rain storm and they were sure they would get caught in a flood.

But as they were salamanders they really didn’t mind. And neither should you.


Here are the words for next week: (I will be in San Diego next week - We will see if the Salamanders follow me there.)

Next Week's Ten Word Challenge will be: spaghetti, larkspur, Prilosec, roaring lion, adamant, green green grass of home, paradox, filibuster, face cream, trout fishing

And for the Mini Challenge: jury of ones peers, barking dog, a wing and a prayer, liver, sprained ankle

Floods and Dawkin's Lake by Jon

We have floods again here in Ames. I have a nephew who takes pictures and he was out and about today. These are some of his pictures. I am currently up-loading a total of 165 pictures to an on-line photo album to share. I will put a link to it up when I get them up loaded - Click Here to see them.
He also has pictures from Dawkin's Lake with a muddy Max and the seeds he will plant in my (currently) flooded back yard prairie.








He also took a couple of movies here.

Found for Friday



While she was flying down the road yesterday, a woman passed over a bridge only to find a cop with a radar gun on the other side lying in wait. The cop pulled her over, walked up to the car, with that classic patronizing smirk we all know and love, asked, 'What's your hurry?'
To which she replied, 'I'm late for work.'

'Oh yeah,' said the cop, 'what do you do?'

I'm a rectum stretcher,' she responded

The cop stammered, 'A what?............

A rectum stretcher?

And just what does a rectum stretcher do?'

'Well,' she said, 'I start by inserting one finger, then work my way up to two fingers, then three, then four, then with my whole hand in. I work from side to side until I can get both hands in, and then I slowly but surely stretch it, until it's about 6 feet wide.'

'And just what the hell do you do with a 6 foot asshole?' he asked
'You give him a radar gun and park him behind a bridge...'

Traffic Ticket $95.00

Court Costs $45.00

Look on the Cop's Face....... PRICELESS


To be perfectly honest, I didn't know this. But it makes total sense.

A woman went to her doctor for advice. She told him that her husband had developed a penchant for anal sex, and she was not sure that it was such a good idea.

'Do you enjoy it?' The doctor asked. ' Well actually, yes, I do.', she exclaimed..

'Does it hurt you?' he asked.

'No. I rather like it.'

'Well, then, ' the doctor continued, 'there's no reason that you shouldn't practice anal sex, if that's what you like,so long as you take care not to get pregnant.'

The woman was mystified....'What? You can get pregnant from anal sex?''

'Of course,' the doctor replied. 'Where do you think politicians come from'?


Thomas Jefferson...
"A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have.

From Mark Morford

The good news: The pendulum is swinging. Can you feel it? From toxic war-happy neocon evangelical groupthink, back toward something resembling progress, and intelligence, and thoughtfulness, spiritual openness, a renewed respect for science and the environment and ethical foreign policy right along with a renewed desire for a president who doesn't embarrass us on the international stage every single day?
The bad news: It's a pendulum, not a stone. It swings one way, it's bound to eventually swing back again.

Or is it? Is it possible that, as George Packer convincingly postulates in the New Yorker, that conservatism is over? Has the age of rigid, oppressive, insular right-wing ideology run its course? Is McCain the last gasp of a stale and outmoded worldview, a leathery hunk of a crusted-over party that's run out of ideas? Can we raise a martini at Burning Man on Mars, and hope?

Boone Pickens on Alternative Energy.

- John Shelby Spong writes:
We walk into the mystery of a God who is beyond words, concepts or human perception. Jesus is for me a doorway into that mystery. Christian language in such concepts as Incarnation and Trinity is designed to put rational shape into that experience. I do not reject that language, but I also do not literalize it.
From Mary Poppins - I Love To Laugh


Questions and Answers from a Senior Citizens Forum

Q: Where can men over the age of 60 find younger, sexy women who are interested in them?
A: Try a bookstore-------under fiction.

Q: What can a man do while his wife is going through menopause?
A: Keep busy. If you're handy with tools, you can finish the basement. When you are done you will have a place to live.

Q: Someone has told me that menopause is mentioned in the Bible. Is that true? Where can it be found?
A: Yes. Matthew 14:92: "And Mary rode Joseph's ass all the way to Egypt."

Q: How can you increase the heart rate of your 60+ year old husband?
A: Tell him you're pregnant.

Q: How can you avoid that terrible curse of the elderly-----wrinkles?
A: Take off your glasses

Q: Seriously! What can I do for these crow's feet and all those wrinkles on my face?
A: Go braless. It will usually pull them out.

Q: Why should 60+ year old people use valet parking?
A: Valets don't forget where they park your car.

Q: Is it common for 60+ year olds to have problems with short term memory storage?
A: Storing memory is not a problem; retrieving it is a problem.

Q: As people age, do they sleep more soundly?
A: Yes, but usually in the afternoon.

Q: Where should 60+ year olds look for eye glasses?
A: On their foreheads.

Q: What is the most common remark made by 60+ year olds when they enter antique stores?
A: "Gosh, I remember these."

Smile, You've still got your sense of humor, right?




Enjoy your Weekend - ATYRL, Hugs j

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Thursday Again


This is an old picture of Bailey at the Groomers but it works. I took him up for his every six week groom this morning at 7:30 AM.
Then I went home and read my blogs and called the Des Moines Register.

I no longer take a newspaper. I had trouble with the Ames Paper not being delivered inside the front door and the same thing was happening with the Des Moines Register. I canceled the Ames paper about three weeks ago. And I have been calling and warning the Des Moines paper I would do the same thing with them. When I was talking to the very nice lady on the phone she looked up the record of the number of times I had called about this. Evidently it was about 10 times so I had been patient. Anyway, I no longer take the paper. If somebody dies you will have to call me and tell me if you want me to know. If you die and I don't know about it then I will be appropriately contrite. I actually won't miss much about the paper anyway. Most of the "stuff" (there is my favorite word again) in there I have already read on a blog somewhere.

Then I had to go over to the clinic to see Madame Dracula
so she could draw blood and run lab tests for the good Doctor.


I go to Dr. Alexander to check on my Kidney Function. He was concerned because of a cholesterol medicine that one of my other doctors had me taking. So he took me off that and the kidney numbers were improved. I see him again in 8 to 12 weeks. My Blood Pressure was good. I do need to exercise more. Perhaps a personal trainer would be a good thing. At least for a while.

He is Dallas' nephew and she had told me how much she likes him. I can see why. If John McSame were to win the election in November and I emigrate to England or Greece or Costa Rica (one of those places) I will miss my doctors. I love them all. They saved my life and are watching me to make sure I am not getting ill again.

After the Doctor I went to see Marsha at His N' Her's to get my hairscut. They needed it. I really enjoy everything about that place except for the little republicrum hair dresser who wears noisy shoes. Clicking heals and she voted for Bushey. I am tempted to wear my Worst President Ever T-shirt that I got from BartCop.com the next time I go in. I know, My Bad - So Be it!

Speaking of Politicians. I got a letter from Chet Culver and Patty Judge about my post entitled An Open Letter to Chet Culver. Matt sent the post to his Chief of Staff and it may have made its way to the governor. This was the response. Just a form letter and he obviously had not read my post which was more about him being gone from the state than his veto of the legislation.

He wrote in part:

"We were elected to serve all the people of Iowa. As Governor and Lt. Governor we have a responsibility to weigh the pros and cons of each and every piece of legislation sent to the Governor's desk by the General Assembly.
...
While we have always been a strong supporter of workers' rights and collective bargaining, a close examination of House File 2645 shows that it is not in the best interests of the taxpayers of Iowa to let this legislation become law. It is vaguely written with the potential for far reaching, unintended consequences that could obligate the citizens of Iowa to substantial new public expenditures. Therefore, the bill was vetoed."
Then he goes on to say that perhaps they might consider a bill in the future "after full public debate and discussion, modifications to existing law under Chapter 20 should be seriously considered to include additional areas of mandatory bargaining such as discipline and discharge issues and matters related to worker safety."

The point was Governor that you weren't here to lead that "full public debate." It wasn't about the bill - you had already vetoed it (for all the wrong reasons) acting like a petulant little boy who had not been consulted. The point was that as the chief legislator of the state you should have been fully aware of this bill as it was being presented and worked with the sponsors to make it something you could sign. The point Mr. Culver was that you acted like our most vacationing president (referred to in the T-shirt above) and were "on vacation" or running around ignoring your responsibilities to the people (all of them) that you were "hired" to work for. That was the point. Obviously you just don't get it. (I wonder if I can get a Worst Governor Ever T-shirt made somewhere)

Obviously I may be being unfair to our Governor. Perhaps I am wrong and he did read my Post and he did understand what I was saying and he just hit the wrong button on his automated response letter writing machine. If so I apologize. If not, Governor then you owe the Public Workers of this state an apology and a promise to work for a better law than we have now. It is time for a change.

So that is my Rant for tonight. My calendar is pretty clear for the next week. A week from today I leave for San Diego for the United Grand Imperial Council of the Knights of the Red Cross of Constantine and Appendent Bodies for the United States, Mexico and the Philippines.
I am going to take Trevor to Des Moines tomorrow. He has the new Web Site finished for the Des Moines Consistory and has to meet with Shane. Then on Saturday I am going down again to meet with a bunch of Brothers to talk about starting our new Lodge in Des Moines. This is a really exciting adventure for me. I hope we can generate enough interest so that it can become a reality. ARTYAL. Hugs, J-bear

For Bob



If I am correct this is Bob Kelly's Birthday. Bob is the amazing photographer who takes pictures and shares them with us. He reads the Blog so you may wish him Happy Birthday in the comments. If you want to see his posts with the pictures I put his Tag below if you click on it you can see them.

Happy Birthday Bob!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Wednesday - Home Board and York Rite

In case any one is really interested I had Eastern Star Home Board this morning in Boone. We had a really good meeting and got a lot accomplished. I really enjoy this group of dedicated Masonic Eastern Star Home Board Members. They are great people who come back month after month to help the Home in any way they can.

Then I was back here in the afternoon and really wanted to take a nap but I didn't. I may tape Craig tonight and go to bed early. Busy morning tomorrow. Bailey and I both get groomed and I go to the doctor. I will also have to go to the grocery store.

Tonight we had our York Rite meeting. Several of us ate at the Pizza Ranch and then went to the Temple for the meeting. We have decided to work on doing the Mark Master Degree ourselves and I volunteered to re-learn the RWM part for the degree. I think I must be nuts. But I really do want to see our York Rite come back from the lethargic funk it has been in for years.

I am not planning on going to Grand Chapter and Council this summer. It will be the first one I have missed since I was Grand High Priest (except for maybe one) There are still unresolved issues with Someone and I feel until they are resolved it is best for my well-being to keep a low profile. Besides there is really nothing for me to do there and I don't see much point in going. I am looking forward to working in Ames in our York Rite and that is enough. We had a super meeting tonight. David is a good High Priest, Master and Commander. He is also Junior Warden in the Lodge and will be a great Master. Everybody seems to be interested and moving forward again. It feels good.

Recommended Reading

Kurt has the story of a new Brother at his Lodge over at Kurt's Kommentaries. Go read it.
(I obviously did not have Kurt in my spelling class.)

Dave and Doug are back from the North Country.  To read about their adventures chick here and here.

Wordless Wednesday - Matt's Flowers and Sunday Skies