Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Quote for Tuesday

If BS were currency, Palin could bail out Wall Street herself.

Kathleen Parker
Read the article here.
Thanks, John

A Not So Merry Chase

Click on the pictures to embiggen them.

Today was the day the "boys" went to the beauty parlor. Jon had "disappeared" their leashes so I carried Bailey into the groomer and he was fine. Max was, however, a different story. I borrowed a flimsy leash from them to bring him in out of the car and he slipped out of it and proceeded to walk (Max doesn't run any more - too fat) away from me. He totally ignored my command to "come" or to "Come here Maxie. Good boy" All the crap you say when you want them to come. Knowing full well that he was in deep s*&t he would walk away from me and look back at me over his shoulder.
He walked right out in the street in front of a garbage truck. The man and woman in the truck got out and tried to help me corral him. You know I have a "bum" leg ever since an ankle fusion operation a few years ago and cannot walk fast. They tried to go around behind him and he just kept walking away. He walked all around the block of stores to the East of Under One Woof and then south to the parking lot. There were cars around, etc.

Being the wily person that I am I finally decided to walk away from him.

So I headed back to the groomer and wonder of wonder he followed me. Then he walked right past me and the door to the groomer and started it all over again. Or so he thought. I went back to the car. Got in it and drove it like I was going home. I stopped the car and opened the door and called him over and he came over as if to get in and I grabbed him. This time the leash was secured so he could not get away and for good measure I also grabbed his other collar with my hand and ;jerked" the jerk into the shop.

You can see how beautiful he looks now (I wish I could get him to put his ears up. Bailey was almost perfect. When they let him out to run around so they could catch him to put his collar and (new) leash (I bought two - one purple and one light blue) on he decided he wanted a stuffed toy that was on display close to the floor. So he grabbed it. I told him NO! (It was pink and foo foo) - But you can see they look great. Bailey goes back in 6 weeks and they both go back in 12 weeks. Cost almost $100 with the new leashes and I really don't care because they are so beautiful. But I am seriously considering telling Jon that he has to get up early and take them up there (by 7:30 AM) in 12 weeks. It is too hard on an old man. Now I am off to have lunch with a Brother. He just called and suggested it. I told him I was free until 8:45 tomorrow morning. Ahhh the life of leisure. Hugs. Later, j

Monday, September 29, 2008

Pete Seeger - A National Treasure

Pete Seeger was just on Letterman. I did not watch the entire show but switched over to watch him.

He sang a song from his new CD "At 89" - If the entire album which is being released tomorrow is anything like the song he sung tonight I will enjoy having it.

You can read more about him here, here and here.

John and I are having an e-mail conversation. He was watching Pete also. He writes:

Just saw Pete, and my jaw hit the floor. He is a great man for SO many reasons, including his contributions as an ethnomusicologist (with his father Charles). His stepmother, Ruth Crawford Seeger, was one of the most significant composers in the US in the 20s, 30s, and 40s. Pete was born in 1919. AMAZING!

John is one of my favorite Masons, I never fail to learn something from him. Enjoy one of my favorite Seeger songs. Sing along if you want.

Thanks for stopping by, Hugs, j

T. S. Parvin Award given at Grand Lodge

Brother Glenn Lockhart of Signet Lodge No 264 at Carroll received the 2008 T. S. Parvin Award.

The spirit of the award is described in the following paragraphs written by John Harris Watts, Grand Secretary Recorder of the Grand Chapter and Grand Council.

T. S. Parvin came to Iowa as a handicapped young man, and became one of the best-known Masons in the world. He was the first Mason in Iowa to hold the office of Grand Secretary, Grand High Priest, Grand Master of the Council, Grand Commander, and Grand Recorder of the Grand Encampment (National). As founder of the Iowa Masonic Library and the State Library of Iowa, he left his mark on both Freemasonry and his adopted state. He was one of the founders of the Iowa State Education Association and served as its president.

The T. S. Parvin Award, established in 1982 by the Iowa Conference for Masonic Cooperation is presented annually to an Iowa Mason, who has not previously been honored by having been elected or appointed to a Grand office in any Masonic body. (Nor higher than the 32 degree in the Scottish Rite), and who best exemplifies the spirit of Masonry which was lived by our distinguished Brother who said, “I want to be remembered among Masons as one who gave the Fraternity the very best there was in him, not thinking of reward in dollars and cents.”

A committee composed of the Grand Master of Masons, Grand High Priest; Grand Master of the Council, Grand Commander, Sovereign Grand Inspector General 33o and Chairman of the Iowa Conference chose the recipient from nominations submitted from all parts of the state.

The recipients of the Award are listed below.

1982 - J Kent Zickefoose, Capital Lodge No 110
1983 - Carl J Van Sickle, Otley Lodge No. 299
1984 - Stanley G Schreiber, Hiram of Tyre Lodge No. 203
1985 - C Warren Delk, Auburn Lodge No. 592
1986 - Donald R Hankens, Speculative Lodge No. 307
1987 - J Neil Chicken, Faith Lodge No. 179
1988 - Arthur D Alber, Southgate Lodge No. 657
1989 - Charles L Jones , Northern Light Lodge No. 266
1990 - Laurence E Kynett, Emulation Lodge No. 255
1991 - John W Mathes, Waveland Park Lodge No. 654
1992 - Delman L Bowers, Waterloo Lodge No. 105
1993 - Aaron L Lake, Davenport Lodge No. 37
1994 - Rex L Brammer , Mosaic Lodge No. 125
1995 - Paul K Mc Crea , Montague Lodge No. 117
1996 - Jerry F Monroe, Adel Lodge No. 80
1997 - George S Eichhorn, Acorn Lodge No. 601
1998 - Robert Lee Goeken, Grove Lodge No. 492
1999 -Howard H Geddes, Adel Lodge No. 80
2000 - Frank C. Osdoba, Twilight Lodge No. 329
2001 - Orrin J Oliver, Charity Lodge No. 197
2002 - Henry N Wallace, Mt. Olive Lodge No. 79
2003 - Melvin C Price, Kingston Lodge No. 676
2004 - Madison M Tomfeld, Herman Lodge No. 273
2005 - R. Wayne Stanfley, Dubuque Lodge No. 3,
Tri-State Morning Lodge No. 673,
Julien Lodge No. 551
2006 - Don Davis, Great Lights Lodge No. 181
2007 - Floyd W. Nesbit, Crest City Lodge #522
Vernon J. Van Sickle - Montague Lodge # 117 - Eldora
2008 - Glenn Lockhart, Signet Lodge No 264 - Carroll

Many years ago it way my honor to have a part in establishing this award. I am very proud to have done so. Not because of anything I did in starting the award but because of twenty-eight Masons who have been honored. Without the award they would still have been recognized by their Lodges but because of it they have been honored by all of the Masonic Bodies in Iowa and we can be proud of each of them and what they have accomplished for Masonry.

What Now?

Barney Frank on the Republican leadership for blaming Nancy Pelosi for their own inability to muster GOP votes for the bailout

h/t Talking Points Memo who also is reporting that Senator Mc(rush to take credit)Same is claiming that he is responsible for the bailout success. Wonder if he is watching Faux News.

Field of Asters

Click to embiggen
Bob writes:
I went back to the Aster field late Sunday afternoon when the sun finally came out, to re-shoot the panoramas that were a disaster from Saturday... Its actual size has been reduced greatly from what it was, and is now down to 25 inches long by 4 inches high. I am not sure what Blogger will do with it, and if when it is embiggened, one can scroll it to the left or right.

Today at Sundown -

.In the seventh month, on the first of the month, there shall be a sabbath for you, a remembrance with shofar blasts, a holy convocation.
-Leviticus 16:24

When I taught school I would always say "Happy New Year" to my students at this time of year. Tonight at sundown (all Jewish holy days begin at sundown) begins Rosh Hashanah the "head of the year"

-Jewish Year 5769: sunset September 29, 2008 - nightfall October 1, 2008

This is the holiest time of year for the Jewish people and one which they would much prefer to have recognized other than Chanukkah which is a nice fun holiday but not as important as the days which they are beginning to celebrate right now. Christians have traditionally thought that because it comes close to Christmas it has a major importance.

These "High Holy Days" last until Yom Kippur or the Day of Atonement. The Jewish New Year is a time to begin introspection, looking back at the mistakes of the past year and planning the changes to make in the new year.

The day is begun with the blowing of the Shofur.
The shofar is a ram's horn which is blown somewhat like a trumpet. Click on the picture to listen to it.

The dates were established in Leviticus:

23:23 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

23:24 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation.

23:25 Ye shall do no servile work therein: but ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD.

23:26 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

23:27 Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD.

23:28 And ye shall do no work in that same day: for it is a day of atonement, to make an atonement for you before the LORD your God.

So I wish all of my Jewish friends and readers "L'shanah tovah ("for a good year").

A popular observance during this holiday is eating apples dipped in honey, a symbol of our wish for a sweet new year.

Another popular practice of the holiday is Tashlikh ("casting off"). They walk to flowing water, such as a creek or river, on the afternoon of the first day and empty our pockets into the river, symbolically casting off our sins. Small pieces of bread are commonly put in the pocket to cast off. This practice is not discussed in the Bible, but is a long-standing custom. Tashlikh is normally observed on the afternoon of the first day, before afternoon services. When the first day occurs on Shabbat, many synagogues observe Tashlikh on Sunday afternoon, to avoid carrying (the bread) on Shabbat.

The Jewish Religion has many, observances which are steeped in tradition and are quite beautiful I love reading about them. Happy New Year!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Pictures of Ames

I love to drive by Iowa State University and Lake LaVerne. The swans are always nice to see. The swans in Scotland belong to the Queen and are thus protected. Our swans need no protection. They live free on the lake (or maybe their wings are clipped) and people enjoy them and I have always enjoyed these majestic birds. In earlier incarnations Lancelot and Elaine would sometime hiss and attack people who got to close but they seem to be peaceful this year.

You can see that the leaves are just beginning to turn. I have a feeling that we are in for a beautiful fall.

The sky was turning beautiful.
This sculpture is outside the Memorial Union. I had never noticed it before.
The lake is really a beautiful addition to our community.
The Fall TV shows are starting again. I have gotten so used to not watching Television but I will have to admit that I am enjoying Desperate Housewives and am looking forward to Brothers and Sisters which starts in about a half an hour. I am also taping Masterpiece Theater and Cold Case.

I didn't do much productive today. The last three days were very busy so I relaxed and caught up on things. Now I have two major meetings to get ready for. Arcadia Lodge meets on Thursday and I can't go so I have to get everything ready for my pro tem to take care of the meeting. I have to attend the Ames High School Alumni Association Banquet to help represent my cousin George Underwood who is being inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame. George is 90 years old and lives in Washington State and is unable to attend.

Then on Saturday we have our Annual Meeting for St. Bartholomew Conclave, Red Cross of Consantine. It isn't really difficult to do but there are a lot of things to remember. I think this is about the 23 or 24th year that I have been Recorder. Perhaps they will kick me out this year. One of these days I have to clean the office and the living room. So much to do and I am ensnared in the Internets so I really can't find the time to do them. Oh well all I can say is thank God I have things to do and am able to do them.

Thanks for stopping by. Have a great week. Hugs, j

Sunday Thoughts

From One Mountain, Many Paths
An American Freemason Speaks Out for Peace
by Dr. Patrick Swift
Click book or here to go to the page and buy it for yourself,

Patrick has added a beautiful video to his site. I recommend you go and watch it.

This week I found:

In a multitude, there must be a bond of union. Thus after multitude Union follows.

I Ching 8: B1

And on the page opposite:

He shall judge between the nations, and shall arbitrate for many peoples; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks, nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. O house of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the Lord!

Isaiah: 2: 4-5
Judaism & Christianity

When I read these two quote this morning I thought about our country first and then about our world. Our country right now is undergoing a political "time" (when aren't we?) and there are ads on the television attacking the other party. The entire nation seems to be at odds with one another about the way we want our country to be run. The problems are magnified because the economic problems seem to be insurmountable and many are worried about our futures.

What gets me and what always gets me is the way these people can treat each other on the public stage, posturing and preening trying to pull themselves up by putting others down (something that is impossible to do) and yet seemingly remain friends when "off stage" - I am pretty much a black and white person. If you mistreat me or lie to me or swear at me I am apt to write you off. I can't be real "friends" with someone who has done that. And yet politicians seem to work together and remain friends outside of politics.

I guess I can understand it in a way as I have many friends who do not see the political problems of our country in the same way I do and yet remain my friend. However when it gets personal I have a much harder time with it.

I do not understand the hatred which is prevalent in our society and in the world. I can understand why other people in other countries can be mad and angry at the United States and why they want to strike out at us. I cannot understand attacking innocents as was done on 9-11 or as is done when we bomb civilian targets. This is just wrong in my opinion and I do not think I shall ever understand it.

Yesterday I was involved in the formation of a new masonic group here in Iowa. When the meeting ended a Chain of Union was formed.
The chain of union reminds us of the indissoluble chain of sincere affection which unites us all, the high and low, the rich and the poor into one society or band of brothers. ... It indicates that we are all links belonging to the same chain.
It was an impressive short ceremony which reminds the Mason that we "meet upon the level" - In freemasonry and in religion we have many instances where we are reminded of who we are and how to treat each other. I am so grateful for the fraternity and the friends I have mad through it. I wish mankind could understand what we are about and work with us to form that Union which comes after multitude. Thanks for listening. Hugs, j

Saturday, September 27, 2008


This is just a short up date on today. I have been doing Masonic "stuff" all day long. I have been gone from the house. I am so tired that I am falling asleep while blogging. We now have a new Masonic Organization in Iowa and I am proud to have been a part of the organizing of it. I will not be writing about this group as I am weary. Have a great evening and I hope that all of you enjoy the Wordzzle and Bob's beautiful pictures of the Asters. Thanks for stopping by. j

Wild Asters

Enjoy one of the last autumn wild flowers of Iowa! These Wild Asters were found just east of Nevada along Highway 30 in a large triangular field between the four lane divided highway 30, and its on ramp. There were literally thousands of them in shades from light pink, rose, and lavender, to dark purple. Feasting on the nectar were many dozens of Monarch and Painted Lady butterflies. This fall flower is common along Iowa roadsides. Watch for it and enjoy the discovery!

Wild Asters
In the spring I asked the daisies
If his words were true,
And the clever, clear-eyed daisies
Always knew.

Now the fields are brown and barren,
Bitter autumn blows,
And of all the stupid asters
Not one knows.

-- Sara Teasdale


As always click on the button to see the guidelines.
And don't forget to go to Raven's Nest to see all the others.

This Week's Ten Word Challenge will be: exacerbate, leotard, path, tomato, Jungle Book, vagabond, parade, limber, storage, Maharajah

And for the Mini Challenge: crocodile, special, sleep, droll, turn around"

The sisters did not want to do anything that would exacerbate Phrog's delicate condition.

They decided to have a parade of limber Maharajah's come in and read a copy of the Jungle Book to Phrog. They got enough books out of storage put on their wild wigs and leotard (over which they wore their jeans) called out to Mr. Crocodile to come in and turn around and around in his sleep and to amuse Phrog with his droll sense of humor. After which they planned to go down the special garden path so that the will arrive about 5 minutes early.

Phrog said to Saydie, "I want a tomato, so that I can throw it at the three wigged women outside the Motel. After doing that I shall have to leave and become a vagabond.

"Just you wait!" said Saydie, I am going to wake him up now. Phrog, Phrog, Wake up it is time to go to the meeting. You have been talking crazy!"

Next Week's Ten Word Challenge will be: tattletale, homogeneous, flighty, cornucopia, plethora, militant, lovelorn, myopic, digitalized, mute

And for the Mini Challenge: washing machine, cholesterol, blatantly, Birdman of Alcatraz, poltergeist

Friday, September 26, 2008

Specialis Procer

Specialis Procer Lodge U. D. held its stated meeting tonight. Our Lodge is unique in that we strive to hold very short stated meetings (45 minutes including the ritual opening and closing) and then adjourn to a restaurant for a Festive Board.

Tonight we had a smaller than usual group but there was a lot going on Masonically and people had other committments.

We still had a great group there and the restaurant was supurb. Baratta's Restaurant is on the South Side of Des Moines

Some of these pictures are not the greatest but the dinner and social time were excellent. I was the one presenting the paper and I presented on Masonry as an Allegory. I enjoyed putting it together and the Brothers were attentive.

The Restaurant was really the best place we have had our Festive Board in my opinion. We had a private room, a great waitress and my steak was wonderful (as were the onion rings, potatoes au gratin, wine, salad, before dinner drink and just the whole meal.)

We were able to order off the menu and had separate checks. It worked out beautifully because I did not have to collect the money and pay the bill.

One neat thing was that earlier tonight I ran inot a man attending a wedding rehersal at the Scottish Rite Temple and he is interested in joining the Masons.

You know you have to express an interest in joining. We have a bumper sticker which says 2B1ASK1 - Meaning to be one Ask one. I am not supposed to solicit membership in the Lodge but I have never seen anything wrong in saying, "Are you a Mason?" If the answer is negative I usually respond by why not and are you interested? I have gotten several Masons that way and most of them are glad they have joined.

You can see that we sat around and visited tonight. We got to the restaurant about 7:30 and left around 10:00. It was a wonderful time sitting and discussing Masonic things. Everyone contributed and seemed to enjoy themselves. I know I did.

We laughed and really had a good time. It is what Kurt and Timothy and I envisioned when we first started talking about starting this Lodge of Restoration. I have a feeling that this is what Masonry was about when it was first started in the Middle Ages. It is really what I have been missing in Masonry and I am pleased to have had my paper so well received. If you would like to read it let me know and I will send it to you.

Thanks for stopping by, ARTYAL, Hugs, j

Found for Fridays

Man is the only animal that laughs and has a state legislature.
Samuel Butler
English composer, novelist, & satiric author (1835 - 1902)

"Man is the only animal that laughs and weeps; for he is the only animal that is struck with the difference between what things are, and what they ought to be."
William Hazlitt
So with our economy in the tank and the problems we have I hope you will get at least one laugh out of the things I have "found" this week. If we can't have fun, it just isn't worth it.

1. The roundest knight at King Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference. He acquired his size from too much pi.

2. I thought I saw an eye doctor on an Alaskan island, but it turned out to be an optical Aleutian.

3. She was only a whisky maker, but he loved her still.

4. A rubber band pistol was confiscated from algebra class because it was a weapon of math disruption.

5. The butcher backed into the meat grinder and got a little behind in his work.

6. No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

7. A dog gave birth to puppies near the road and was cited for littering.

8. A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France would result in Linoleum Blownapart.

9. Two silk worms had a race. They ended up in a tie.

10. Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.

11. A hole has been found in the nudist camp wall. The police are looking into it.

12. Atheism is a non-prophet organization.

13. Two hats were hanging on a hat rack in the hallway. One hat said to the other, 'You stay here, I'll go on a head.'

14. I wondered why the baseball kept getting bigger. Then it hit me.

15. A sign on the lawn at a drug rehab center said: 'Keep off the Grass.'

16. A small boy swallowed some coins and was taken to a hospital. When his grandmother telephoned to ask how he was, a nurse said, 'No change yet.'

17. A chicken crossing the road is poultry in motion.

18. It's not that the man did not know how to juggle, he just didn't have the balls to do it.

19. The short fortune-teller who escaped from prison was a small medium at large.

20. The man who survived mustard gas and pepper spray is now a seasoned veteran.

21. A backward poet writes inverse.

22. In democracy it's your vote that counts. In feudalism it's your count that votes.

23. When cannibals ate a missionary, they got a taste of religion.

24. Don't join dangerous cults: Practice safe sects!

This one has been around but I still love it.
In 1986, Peter Davies was on holiday in Kenya after graduating from Northwestern University . On a hike through the bush, he came across a young bull elephant standing with one leg raised in the air. The elephant seemed distressed, so Peter approached it very carefully. He got down on one knee, inspected the elephantâ s foot, and found a large piece of wood deeply embedded in it. As carefully and as gently as he could, Peter worked the wood out with his knife, after which the elephant gingerly put down its foot. The elephant turned to face the man, and with a rather curious look on its face, stared at him for several tense moments. Peter stood frozen, thinking of nothing else but being trampled. Eventually the elephant trumpeted loudly, turned, and walked away. Peter never forgot that elephant or the events of that day. Twenty years later, Peter was walking through the Chicago Zoo with his teenaged son. As they approached the elephant enclosure, one of the creatures turned and walked over to near where Peter and his son Cameron were standing. The large bull elephant stared at Peter, lifted its front foot off the ground, then put it down. The elephant did that several times then trumpeted loudly, all the while staring at the man. Remembering the encounter in 1986, Peter could not help wondering if this was the same elephant. Peter summoned up his courage, climbed over the railing, and made his way into the enclosure. He walked right up to the elephant and stared back in wonder. The elephant trumpeted again, wrapped its trunk around one of Peter legs and slammed him against the railing, killing him instantly. Probably wasn't the same elephant. This is for all of my friends who send me those heart-warming bullshit stories
Only a Mom would know
One day my mother was out and my dad was in charge of me. I was maybe 2 1/2 years old and had just recovered from an accident. Someone had given me a little 'tea set' as a get-well gift and it was one of my favorite toys. Daddy was in the living room engrossed in the evening news when I brought Daddy a little cup of 'tea', which was just water. After several cups of tea and lots of praise for such yummy tea, my Mom came home.. My Dad made her wait in the living room to watch me bring him a cup of tea, because it was 'just the cutest thing!' My Mom waited, and sure enough, here I come down the hall with a cup of tea for Daddy and she watches him drink it up. Then she says, (as only a mother would know... :) 'Did it ever occur to you that the only place she can reach to get water is the toilet?
An Indian walks into a cafe with a shotgun
In one hand pulling a male buffalo with the other.
He says to the waiter:

'Want coffee.'

The waiter says,'Sure, Chief. Coming right up.'

He gets the Indian a tall mug of coffee.
The Indian drinks the coffee down in one gulp,
Turns and blasts the buffalo with the shotgun,
Causing parts of the animal to splatter everywhere
And then just walks out.

The next morning the Indian returns.
He has his shotgun in one hand, pulling
another male buffalo with the other.
He walks up to the counter and says to
The waiter

'Want coffee.'

The waiter says 'Whoa, Tonto! We're still cleaning up your mess from yesterday. What was all that about, anyway?'

The Indian smiles and proudly says

'Training for position in United States Congress:
Come in, drink coffee, shoot the bull,
Leave mess for others to clean up,
Disappear for rest of day

Understanding Engineers

Understanding Engineers - One

Two engineering students were walking across a university campus when one said: "Where did you get such a great bike?"

The second engineer replied, "Well, I was walking along yesterday, minding my own business, when a beautiful woman rode up on this bike threw it to the ground, took off all her clothes and said: 'Take what you want.'

“The first engineer nodded approvingly and said: "Good choice; the clothes probably wouldn't have fitted you anyway."

Understanding Engineers - Two

To the optimist, the glass is half-full. To the pessimist, the glass is half-empty.

To the engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

Understanding Engineers - Three

A priest, a doctor, and an engineer were waiting one morning for a particularly slow group of golfers. The engineer fumed, "What's with those guys? We must have been waiting for fifteen minutes!"

The doctor chimed in, "I don't know, but I've never seen such inept golf!"

The priest said, "Here comes the green-keeper. Let's have a word with him."

He said, "Hello George, what's wrong with that group ahead of us? They're rather slow, aren't they?"

The green-keeper replied, "Oh, yes. That's a group of blind firemen. They lost their sight saving our clubhouse from a fire last year, so we always let them play for free anytime."

The group fell silent for a moment.

The priest said, "That's so sad. I think I will say a special prayer for them tonight."

The doctor said, "Good idea. I'm going to contact my ophthalmologist colleague and see if there's anything he can do for them."

The engineer said, "Why can't they play at night?"

Understanding Engineers - Four

What is the difference between mechanical engineers and civil engineers?

Mechanical engineers build weapons and civil engineers build targets.

There was a preacher whose wife was expecting a baby, so he went before his congregation to ask for a raise. After much discussion, They passed a rule that whenever the preacher's family expanded so would his paycheck.

After six children, this started to get expensive and the Congregation decided to hold another meeting to discuss the preacher's salary. There was much yelling and bickering about how much the clergyman's additional children were costing the church. Finally, the Preacher got up and spoke to the crowd, 'Children are a gift from God,' he said.

Silence fell on the assembled crowd. In the back pew, a little old lady stood up and in her frail voice said, 'Rain is a gift from God, too, but when we get too much of it, we wear rubbers. 'And the Congregation said,

I was walking down the street when I was accosted by a particularly dirty and shabby-looking homeless woman who asked me for a couple of dollars for dinner. I took out my wallet, got out ten dollars and asked, 'If I give you this money, will you buy wine with it instead of dinner?'

'No, I had to stop drinking years ago', the homeless woman told me.

'Will you use it to go shopping instead of buying food?' I asked.

'No, I don't waste time shopping,' the homeless woman said. 'I need to spend all my time trying to stay alive.'

'Will you spend this on a beauty salon instead of food?' I asked.

'Are you NUTS!' replied the homeless woman. I haven't had my hair done in 20 years!'

'Well, I said, 'I'm not going to give you the money. Instead, I'm going to take you out for dinner with my husband and me tonight.'

The homeless Woman was shocked. 'Won't your husband be furious with you for doing that? I know I'm dirty, and I probably smell pretty disgusting.'

I said, 'That's okay. It's important for him to see what a woman looks like after she has given up shopping, hair appointments, and wine.'

Thursday Travels

I went to Des Moines tonight. Met Matt for coffee at Starbucks. His son Jack is in soccer, baseball, basketball and that means something every night. We had a nice visit. Then it was to the Scottish Rite for the Table Lodge and Fall Kick-off. It was a Table Lodge and you know those are a lot of fun. I have pictures at the Consistory Blog and at an on-line album. Had a wonderful time. Got my hairscut (yes all of them) and worked on Lodge "stuff" and paid bills. I am excited about tomorrow and especially about Saturday. Check back later for a report. Thanks for stopping by. Hugs, j

Thursday, September 25, 2008

You Don"t Mess with Letterman

Letterman's Ten 10 Questions People Are Asking John McCain
10. I just contributed to your campaign - how do I get my money back?
9. Hi, this is Sarah Palin. Does this mean I'm Parsi'dent?
8. Can't you solve this by selling some of your homes?
7. Hi, this is Clay Aiken. Is McCain single?
6. Do you still think the fundamentals of our economy are strong, genius?
5. Are you doing all of this just to get out of going on Letterman?
4. What would Matlock do?
3. Hillary here, my schedule is free Friday night.
2. Is this just an excuse to catch up on napping?
1. This is President Bush, what's all this trouble with the economy?

And Dave's mother is probably saying "Now David!"
 Way to go Dave!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

My Religion

Over on The Rev's Rumbles Grace took offense to my comment where I called certain religious people right-wing fascist wing nuts

She wanted to know what had happened to me that:
"even the possibility of eternal separation from God is something to mock?

What's happened to make both of you feel in this way? If it's OK, I would like to know."
I get accused of preaching on here so if you aren't interested you don't have to read this. My response is below.

Nothing has "happened to me" I just do not think that a God who is Love would ever separate Himself from his creation. Did not he "behold everything that He had made and it was very good."

Yes I call them right-wing fascist wing nuts because they have taken the religion of Love and turned it into one of Hate. That to me is Evil! God is not Evil, Never would He as a loving Father separate himself from us.

The Bible as described by Rev. Fred is that collection of stories. I believe that God sent Jesus to us to teach us how to love. People in "those" churches do not understand or practice that love. Their whole being is to control through fear and hate and it is the real evil in the world.

Fortunately everyone has the potential to grow in love and once you get SELF out of the way and see the Divine spark (or the Christ) in everyone they to can be enfolded in God's love which is free to all.

Understanding that is what has happened to me.

I will not take the Bible literally. I take it as beautiful literature about our relationship to God and how we should live with each other. I do not believe in telling others that they will be separated from God because He is displeased with them. I will not believe that a small child who is born and then dies without being baptized will be forever separated from God or be relegated to a place called Limbo. I do not believe that we need to have communion to be close to God. In the church I used to go to I was taught that "Worship through the medium of matter is paganism." I believe in drawing close to God who is Spirit, Life, Truth, Love, not matter. I believe that He/She is the guiding Principle of the Universe and all that is.

In the front of that church was a sign that said "God is Love". When I was younger I went to a different church. There was a sign in that church that said "God is Love" - two different churches. Same message. GOD IS LOVE! Is that not enough? Must we invite hate into our hearts?

When I see these preachers who say that people will go to Hell and that gays should be killed (Jimmy Swaggert) or that anyone is outside the love of God I find it very hard not to judge. Very hard. But Jesus did say "Judge Not!" He also said "He who is without sin cast the first stone." Sin is missing the mark. Grace, are you without sin? Am I? I don't think so. I try to grow spiritually each day. I try to love my neighbor and myself (although I have a very hard time with that at times) and always my God. But God made me the way I am and He loves it that I am trying to do better every day. Or at least I hope so. And if He would seperate Himself from me because I made a mistake I am not sure I want Him as my God.

I do not have children of my own. I do have a nephew whom I love and I have taught school and I loved my students and I have friends who have children and I love them. I can only take my own example. There is nothing they do that would keep me from loving them. I do not always like everything they do but I still LOVE them and want the best for them My only regret is that I do not have the funds to give more to them. But perhaps my love is enough.

"Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need." Mary Baker Eddy was a very wise woman. She would not accept a God who would, through predestination, condemn some people, I won't either. We are all going towards God's Love. There are many paths to the top of the mountain. The view is always the same. That is a view of boundless love.

I stopped saying I am a ___________________. I now say I am spiritual. I read Bishop Spong and any other that comes across my desk. I know that this Blog has been used by God on occasion because once I have written something it sometimes comes back to me that it has done some good. That it brought a message to someone and blessed them. That is one of the reasons I do it. And Grace, thanks for asking the question. It forced me to articulate my thoughts. I hope that you do not find them offensive and that I have answered your question. Thanks for stopping by. Hugs and Always Remember That You Are Loved. j

Feeling Good

Shamelessly stolen from Zaius Nation

Some People can't Walk and Chew Gum!

John Marshall writes

At 8:30 this morning, Senator Obama called Senator McCain to ask him if he would join in issuing a joint statement outlining their shared principles and conditions for the Treasury proposal and urging Congress and the White House to act in a bipartisan manner to pass such a proposal. At 2:30 this afternoon, Senator McCain returned Senator Obama's call and agreed to join him in issuing such a statement. The two campaigns are currently working together on the details.
Then we hear
The McCain camp has just sent word that the senator is suspending his campaign and returning to Washington to deal with the financial crisis.

McCain is also calling for a postponement of Friday night's debate and for Obama to suspend his campaign as well.

And John Marshall pegs it:

What's changed today in the financial crisis other than John McCain's poll numbers tanking? Isn't this the campaign equivalent of faking an injury when you're down late in the 4th quarter? Note too that McCain was in the mist of debate prep when he made this decision.

Look at what appears to have happened. Obama reached out to McCain privately to agree to a shared set of bailout principles. McCain went off the handle again and tried to use the crisis as a way to call off the debates.
Thanks to Talking Points Memo for keeping me informed.

Write in Campbell Brown

She is Rockin

The people, Lord, Thy people, are good enough for me!

From A Pilgrim's Way by Rudyard Kipling

But when I meet with frantic folk who sinfully declare

There is no pardon for their sin, the same I will not spare
Till I have proved that Heaven and Hell which in our hearts we have
Show nothing irredeemable on either side of the grave.
For as we live and as we die---if utter Death there be---
The people, Lord, Thy people, are good enough for me!

Deliver me from every pride---the Middle, High, and Low---
That bars me from a brother's side, whatever pride he show.
And purge me from all heresies of thought and speech and pen
That bid me judge him otherwise than I am judged. Amen!
That I may sing of Crowd or King or road-borne company,
That I may labour in my day, vocation and degree,
To prove the same in deed and name, and hold unshakenly
(Where'er I go, whate'er I know, whoe'er my neighbor be)
This single faith in Life and Death and to Eternity:
``The people, Lord, Thy people, are good enough for me!''

I was reading on the Masonic Society Forum this morning and found the above poem by Brother Rudyard Kipling. I also found this information,
"Joseph Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) was educated at the United Services College in England, and was IPR'd by dispensation (he was under 21 years old) in Lahore, India, in 1886, where he was a journalist on the Civil and Military Gazette. Kipling remained essentially a craft mason all his life and probably never performed any ritual himself, being lodge secretary for much of his short Masonic career, and he did not take the chair of any lodge. He was advanced to the Mark degree in 1887, when he was also elevated into the Mount Ararat Mark Mariners Lodge No. 98. In 1921 he would become a Founder Member of the War Graves Commission Lodge - The Builders of the Silent Cities Lodge No. 12 - in St Omer, France, under the GLNF. His 1937 (posthumously published) autobiography - Something of Myself - also has a number of references to Freemasonry.

Nigel Gallimore

The thread began with this poem:

Rosicrucian subtleties
In the Orient had rise.
You May find their teachers still

Under Jacatala’s Hill.
Seek ye Bombast Paracelsus,
Read what Fludd the Seeker tells us
Of the Dominant that runs

Through the cycles of the Suns.

Read my story last and see

Luna at her apogee.

I first became aware of Brother Kipling's Masonic connection when I went to see the Movie "The Man Who would Be King," Imagine my surprise when they went to the tribe in the mountains and were discovered wearing the Masonic Emblem and Sean Connery's character was made king. (I had missed the first part of the movie and had to stay and watch it last to see the set up for the Masonic emblem) I was a relative novice in Masonry and this was a real surprise to me. Anyway the poem above appeals to me and you can read the whole thing here. Thanks for stopping by. j

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Political Quote

"It was like watching Gidget address the Reichstag."

Matt Taibbis in October 2nd issue of Rolling Stone - Lies of Sarah Palin - On Ms Palin's speech to the RNC.

He also says:
It is worth noting that the same criticisms of Palin also hold true for two other candidates in this race, John McCain and Barack Obama. As politicians, both men are more narrative than substance, with McCain rising to prominence on the back of his bio as a suffering war hero and Obama mostly playing the part of long-lost, future-embracing liberal dreamboat not seen on the national stage since Bobby Kennedy died.
So, sure, Barack Obama might be every bit as much as a slick piece of imageering as Sarah Palin.
The difference is in what the image represents. The Obama image represents tolerance, intelligence, education, patience with the notion of compromise and negotiation, and a willingness to stare ugly facts right in the face, all qualities we’re actually going to need in government if we’re going to get out of this huge mess we’re in
Democracy doesn’t require a whole lot of work of its citizens, but it requires some: It requires taking a good look outside once in awhile, and considering the bad news and what it might mean, and making the occasional tough choice, and soberly taking stock of what your real interests are.

Not just the crisis on Wall Street but the crisis on Main Street.j

Thanks to Happy to be from Iowa for posting this.

Bailey in Disguise

These aren't really Bailey but Cousin Tracy sent them to me in an e-mail entitled "Why dogs bite people." too cute not to share.

Oh yes, Kurt has some cute things up at his Blog. This one in particular is worth a look.