Saturday, September 08, 2007

Happy birthday, Daughter in Ohio!

It's hard to believe my little girl is almost a teenager, and old enough to sing solos in church. So proud of you, and hope you have an amazingly happy birthday!

Haloscan birthday comment thread

Friday, September 07, 2007

Ribbons are pretty!

I can't seem to recall when the first yellow ribbon bumper stickers started showing up on cars. The original ones said "Support Our Troops" though, right? As time went on, different messages started showing up, like autism awareness, breast cancer awareness/find a cure messages, and the like. And they came in colors other than yellow. I guess maybe the common element was that they were designed to raise public awareness about some issue that might be in need attention, funding, legislation...okay, I'm kinda grasping at straws here trying to see the common thread. But you knew that, if you saw the ribbon shape on a car, closer inspection would reveal a message about some serious issue.

The first time I realized that the rules had changed, was when I saw this ribbon on a car.

I saw the pawprints and thought maybe it was an anti-puppy mill message, or something promoting spay/neuter. Maybe even that important reminder that pets are not disposable. But no. It read, "I adopted my cat."

As opposed to what? Giving birth to him or her? I mean, I know that pet overpopulation is a serious issue, but I'm pretty sure it's not caused by humans having too many kittens instead of opting to adopt.

Had it said, "I rescued my cat", sure. "I adopted a homeless cat", or a rescue cat, or a shelter cat...yeah, I could see that. But, "I adopted my cat"? That's pretty much a given, isn't it? It's not even "I love my cat". It's pretty much just, "I have a cat".

Not that there's anything wrong with that. It's just a little mental adjustment I need to make. Now when I see that ribbon shape on the back of a car, I know that it's just another shape bumper stickers can come in. Some of them still say, "This is an issue about which I care deeply". But others pretty much tell the world, "I like ribbons--they're pretty!"

Haloscan comment thread

Pavarotti on YouTube

In the previous thread's comments, I posted a link to Crooks and Liars' Late Night Music Club With Luciano Pavarotti. Bluegal writes

Pavarotti, as part of his “Pavarotti and friends” series, sang with everyone from Bono to Barry White. Since we’ve already done the honorable thing and posted Nessun Dorma, let’s show him at his happiest, singing “Viva Forever” with The Spice Girls in 1998. It’s not as bad as I expected it to be, and the guy looks genuinely happy
I was going to post a video here, but couldn't choose one. So here's a link to the Pavarotti videos that can be found on YouTube.

Also, I was just checking out his page on Wikipedia, and wanted to share the section on his humanitarian work...
Pavarotti annually hosted the "Pavarotti and Friends" charity concerts in his home town of Modena in Italy, joining with singers from all parts of the music industry to raise money for several UN causes. Concerts were held for War Child, and victims of war and civil unrest in Bosnia, Guatemala, Kosovo and Iraq. After the war in Bosnia, he financed and established the Pavarotti Music Center in the southern city of Mostar to offer Bosnia's artists the opportunity to develop their skills. For these contributions, the city of Sarajevo named him an honorary citizen in 2006.

He performed at benefit concerts to raise money for victims of tragedies such as an earthquake in December 1988 that killed 25,000 people in northern Armenia.

He was a close friend of Diana, Princess of Wales. They raised money for the elimination of land mines worldwide. He was invited to sing at her funeral service, but declined, as he felt he could not sing well "with his grief in his throat".

In 1998, he was appointed the United Nation's Messenger of Peace, using his fame to raise awareness of UN issues, including the Millennium Development Goals, HIV/AIDS, child rights, urban slums and poverty.

In 2001, Pavarotti received the Nansen Medal from the UN High Commission for Refugees for his efforts raising money on behalf of refugees worldwide. Through benefit concerts and volunteer work, he has raised more than US$1.5 million, more than any other individual.

Other awards he received for charity work include the Freedom of London Award and The Red Cross Award for Services to Humanity, for his work in raising money for that organization, and the 1998 MusiCares Person Of The Year, given to humanitarian heroes by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.

Haloscan comment thread

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Updated Shared Items

Yep, I'm posting just to tell you I've updated my Google Reader shared items. For anyone who's not familiar with how that works, I log into Google Reader, find out what other bloggers have written about important issues of the day, and click "share". You can see the most recent linked blog entries on the left hand side of this page, or click here to see the older items as well.

Correction: Google Reader, or possibly Blogger, is determined to make a liar out of me, and the links you see in the left sidebar are NOT the most recent ones I've added. Click the links in this post to see the newest entries.

Haloscan comment thread

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Zombie Open Thread

Seems like we need a new thread, but I really don't want to talk politics, and I'm not in the mood for cute, so yer gettin zombies. At least they're funny zombies.

Haloscan comment thread

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Those wascawwy wabbits!

I have mentioned recently that a book called The Glory Field was part of Son in Ohio's summer reading. He's had a hard time getting through the book for a number of reasons--not the least of which being that he objects to the whole idea of summer homework in the first place. Anyway, at some point, Son asked me if I would read some of it aloud to him, and I agreed. It turned out to be a decent way of helping keep him engaged in the story.

Ultimately, I finished the whole book myself while he was at school--he hasn't finished it himself yet, but is in the home stretch. The book follows five generations of one African-American family from Africa to a South Carolina plantation through the Civil War, the end of segregation and beyond, to a moving finale, when a young drug-addicted cousin is brought home to the glory field for a day of reunion and renewal.

Most recently, I was helping him get through the 1964 section, which deals with the end of segregation. One of the White characters misquotes Martin Luther King as saying that he wants to see "little White girls and little Black boys playing together." It is, of course, telling, that he would remember the quote that way, because, apparently that is the most threatening form of "race mixing" to many people.

And, reading this section, I was reminded that some people were so bent out of shape at the very idea of race mixing that they could project a diabolical pro-miscegenation agenda onto a pair of rabbits in a children's book...

It seems incredible that any sober adult could scent in this fuzzy cottontale for children the overtones of Karl Marx or even of Martin Luther King. But last week in Florida, Columnist Henry Balch thundered in the Orlando Sentinel (circ. 100,000): "As soon as you pick up the book, you realize these rabbits are integrated. One of the techniques of brainwashing is conditioning minds to accept what the brainwashers want accepted." In Alabama, State Senator E. O. Eddins agreed: "This book should be taken off the shelves and burned."
Wow. And people think Bugs Bunny is "wascawwy". He's got nothing on these two!

Haloscan comment thread

Monday, September 03, 2007

Open Thread

Hope everyone had a great weekend.

Update: There's a current front page post at Street Prophets you might all be interested in
Howard Dean Tells Muslims To Run For Office

Haloscan comment thread

Don't you just LOVE surprises?

Bush is paying another "surprise visit" to Iraq today, so that he can say how well the surge is going.

Somebody even made a (mmph--giggle) "action" figure commemorating one of Bush's "surprise" visits.

Off to add some stories to the shared items, and then to the pool.

Happy Labor Day!

Haloscan comment thread

Sunday, September 02, 2007

From my favorite book

Chapter 40

Jesus teaches the magians. Explains the Silence and how to enter it. Kaspar extols the wisdom of Jesus. Jesus teaches in the groves of Cyrus.

1. Now, in the early morning Jesus came again to teach and heal. A light not comprehended shown about, as though some mighty spirit overshadowed him.
2. A magus noted this and asked him privately to tell from whence his wisdom came, and what the meaning of the light.
3. And Jesus said, There is a Silence where the soul may meet its God, and there the fount of wisdom is, and all who enter are immersed in light, and filled with wisdom, love and power.
4. The magus said, Tell me about this Silence and this light, that I may go and there abide.
5. And Jesus said, The Silence is not circumscribed; is not a place closed in with wall, or rocky steeps, nor guarded by the sword of man.
6. Men carry with them all the time the secret place where they might meet their God.
7. It matters not where men abide, on mountain top, in deepest vale, in marts of trade, or in the quiet home; they may at once, at any time, fling wide the door, and find the Silence, find the house of God; it is within the soul.
8. One may not be so much disturbed by noise of business, and the words and thoughts of men if he goes all alone into the valley or the mountain pass.
9. And when life's heavy load is pressing hard, it is far better to go out and seek a quiet place to pray and meditate.
10. The Silence is the kingdom of the soul which is not seen by human eyes.
11. When in the Silence, phantom forms mat flit before the mind; but they are all subservient to the will; the master soul may speak and they are gone.
12. If you would find this Silence of the soul you must yourself prepare the way. None but the pure in heart may enter here.
13. And you must lay aside all tenseness of the mind, all business cares, all fears, all doubts and troubled thoughts.
14. Your human will must be absorbed by the divine; then you will come into a consciousness of holiness.
15. You are in the Holy Place, and you will see upon a living shrine the candle of the Lord aflame.
16. And when you see it burning there, look deep into the temple of your brain, and you will see it all aglow.
17. In every part, from head to foot. are candles all in place, just waiting to be lighted by the flaming torch of love.
18. And when you see the candles all aflame, just look, and you will see, with eyes of soul, the waters of the fount of wisdom rushing on; and you may drink, and there abide.
19. And then the curtains part, and you are in the Holiest of All, where rests the Arc of God, whose covering is the Mercy Seat.
20. Fear not to lift the sacred board; the Tables of the Law are in the Ark concealed.
21. Take them and read them well; for they contain all precepts and commands that men will ever need.
22. And in the Ark, the magic wand of prophecy lies waiting for your hand; it is the key to all the hidden meanings of the present, future, past.
23. And then, behold, the manna there, the hidden bread of life; and he who eats shall never die.
24. The cherubim have guarded well for every soul this treasure box, and whosoever will enter in and find his own.
25. Now Kaspar heard the Hebrew master speak and he exclaimed, Behold, the wisdom of the gods has come to men!
26. And Jesus went his way, and in the sacred groves of Cyrus, where the multitudes were met, he taught and healed the sick.


The Astral Technician

Haloscan comment thread


It's outrageous to line your pockets off the misery of the poor.
Outrageous the crime some human beings must endure.
It's a blessing to wash your face in the summer solstice rain
It's outrageous a man like me stand here and complain.

From Paul Simon's "Outrageous"

I've got the beginnings of a post about "the blessing of animals" in my head--meaning, the way we are blessed *by* them. But Daughter is singing in church this morning, so I need to take off. Will come back to it...

Haloscan comment thread