Monday, December 22, 2008

The Good 'ol Days

Dear old "blogless" Dad shared this recently:

In perspective of our 'laser focus' on the here and the now this is almost unbelievable.

Harry Truman after the presidency:

Harry Truman, from Missouri, was a different kind of
President. He probably made as many important decisions
regarding our nation's history as any of the other 42
Presidents. However, a measure of his greatness may rest
on what he did after he left the White House.

Historians have written the only asset he had when he died
was the house he lived in, which was in Independence
Missouri . On top of that, his wife inherited the house
from her Mother.

When he retired from office in 1952, his income was a U.S
Army pension reported to have been $13,507.72 a year.
Congress, noting that he was paying for his stamps and
personally licking them, granted him an 'allowance' and,
later, a retroactive pension of $25,000 per year.

After President Eisenhower was inaugurated, Harry and Bess
drove home to Missouri by themselves. There were no
Secret Service following them.

When offered corporate positions at large salaries, he
declined, stating, 'You don't want me. You want the
office of the President, and that doesn't belong to me.
It belongs to the American people and it's not for sale.'

Even later, on May 6, 1971, when Congress was preparing to
award him the Medal of Honor on his 87th birthday, he
refused to accept it, writing, 'I don't consider that I
have done anything which should be the reason for any
award, Congressional or otherwise.'

He never owned his own home and as president he paid for
all of his own travel expenses and food..

Modern politicians have found a new level of success in
cashing in on the Presidency, resulting in untold wealth.
Today, many in Congress also have found a way to become
quite wealthy while enjoying the fruits of their offices.
Political offices are now for sale.
Good old Harry Truman was correct when he observed, 'My
choices early in life were either to be a piano player in
a whore house or a politician. And to tell the truth,
there's hardly any difference.


footnote: What I remember best is one of his favorite sayings - "The buck stops here."

The History of Egg Nog

A friend sent this around this morning. It struck me as funny so I thought I'd share.

REVIEW - Lincoln (by David Herbert Donald)

I haven't been reviewing all the books I've finished in the last year or so. I guess they haven't been that remarkable. I wanted to write about this book however because of the thoughts and feelings that it elicited.

Lincoln. By David Herbert Donald. Published by Simon & Schuster 1996.

In case one doesn't want to get caught up in the ensuing multiple paragraphs of my thoughts on this book as a book, let me start out by saying the book itself was not great. I found it a hard read. Not in difficulty of understanding but of the general feeling of "slogging through something." I'm not one to give up easily on a book so I kept at it. I think this book took me the better part of 7 or 8 months to finish. It is approx. 600 pages of text and then another 120 pages or so of notes and index etc.
The book did not really start to get interesting until it reached the point of Abraham Lincoln's life when he started his run for the presidency.
Let me begin my thoughts and feelings about this book by sharing the initial feelings I had upon finishing. The first thought that entered my head was that I am truly grateful for Abraham Lincoln. Grateful for everything he did and everything he did not do. He did more than just shepherd the country through the Civil War resulting in the abolition of slavery. He never gave up even after failure after failure after failure in his life. Indeed even after each failure he would go through a dark depressing period and there is much written information about his feelings about his failures and losses. However, he did not give up. He found a way to keep going and to keep after what he thought was right and what he thought God wanted him to do or wanted in a certain situation.
He did not lower his morals. He kept his integrity even when all those around him were scrambling to be the first one to the bottom of the mucky undergrowth of political success. He truly earned the moniker, "Honest Abe." He had to learn how to play the Washington game whilst keeping himself from sliding down the slippery slope of doing whatever it takes to get ahead. This maddened those around him, both friend and foe.
Reading this during this years election period was especially enlightening for me. I learned that even in the 1860's the political climate was brutal and harsh. Every bit as gut wrenching and ugly as 2008. That actually surprised me. Even after 148 years we still have not risen above the swampy ugly mess of politicking in this country.
I found it very frustrating to read about this great man and follow his life through the dark years of the civil war. Just as it became clear that the war was over and that the abolition of slavery was fairly sure his life was taken. It was literally only a matter of several weeks that President Lincoln had emerged from his dark sullen expression and worry over the great calamities of war that his life was taken. Only a moment, comparatively, that he began to show joy and happiness and have his health return that his life was taken. The only sense I can make of it is that God had finished with him. He was done with what God placed him there to do and now he could go to his rest. Any other conclusion would seem malicious and cruel.
I can only recommend this book if one really wants to study the entire life of this great man. This is not a lite history lesson but a thorough look at what made Abraham Lincoln one of the greatest leaders of modern history.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


I'm not really a big fan of Ron Paul. To be honest I don't know much about him, but during this last nightmare uh I mean election he came across as at the very least a little odd. Watch this video and chime in on what you think. I know editing can be performed to make anything support just about anything else. However, it does look like Congressman Paul was on to something and maybe he should be listened to a little closer. Hang on everyone! We're in for a bumpy ride!!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

Each Sunday morning as we prepare for our church meetings we listen/watch to the weekly broadcast of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. It is called "Music and the Spoken Word". Each Sunday there is an inspirational message followed by a related number.
This weeks message was especially good and that is why I want to share it with you. It is a story about the great American poet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. I am including the text of the message below:

Longfellow's Christmas

Sleigh bells and laughter pierced the stillness of softly falling snow, as the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow family, bundled in winter wool, whisked along in their horse-drawn sleigh. The five children giggled with delight.

Then, ringing down snow-packed lanes, across fields, and through the wooded hills and valleys pealed the bells—solo steeple bells and choirs of carillon bells—playing the familiar carols of Christmas. The Longfellow family delighted in their message of joy and peace.

But a few months later, fire ravaged their home. Trying desperately to rescue his wife Fanny, Henry was terribly burned. Three days later, on their 18th wedding anniversary, Fanny was buried - while Henry, confined to bed, fought to live—fought for the will to live.

Two Christmases came and went. Henry wrote, “How inexpressibly sad are the holidays.” “‘A merry Christmas’ say the children, but that is no more for me.” On Christmas Day, 1864, he wrote:

“And in despair I bowed my head;

‘There is no peace on earth,’ I said;

For hate is strong and mocks the song

Of peace on earth, good will to men.”

At some time, each of us echoes the question of his broken heart: When pain, grief, and loneliness overwhelm us, where is the music of hope and peace?

For Henry, the answer came at Christmas. As the rising sun burnished the windows of the Longfellow home brilliant gold, pealing through the crisp morning air, came a clear, joyous ringing…Christmas bells.

From his lonely desk, Henry heard them. In that instant, his broken heart was healed. Renewed, he plunged his pen into fresh ink, and joyfully drew it across a sheet of snow white paper…

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,

And wild and sweet the words repeat

Of peace on earth, good will to men!

Till, ringing, singing on its way,

The world revolved from night to day

A voice, a chime, a chant sublime

Of peace on earth, good will to men!

Christmas bells still ring out a clear message: Out of suffering and despair, joy can flourish anew, and hope and peace be reborn. Peace on earth. Peace in each broken heart.

And so, as the bells pealed on, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow finished his carol of hope and faith:

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep,

“God is not dead; nor doth He sleep!

The Wrong shall fail, the Right prevail,

With peace on earth, good-will to men!”

I learned a lot from this message and I was deeply moved. I will never listen to this Christmas song the same way again.

Monday, December 15, 2008


I checked out THIS site today for the first time. Kind of a neat idea.

Right on the first page I found THIS.
Be careful, it is addicting. I could spend hours creating my own set. If you've ever been fascinated by knocking down dominos you will love this site. The best thing about it is you don't have to worry about knocking them down prematurely.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The End of The World As We Know It

Wow. I think the end is near. I ran across THIS story today.

Microsoft releases it's first iPhone App.

Microsoft released an image searching app for the iPhone and did so before releasing a version for Windows Mobile. Will there be a version for Windows Mobile? Doubtful. Read this quote,

"The iPhone is the most widely distributed phone with a (graphics processing unit)," Alex Daley, group product manager for Microsoft Live Labs, told TechFlash. "Most phones out today don't have accelerated graphics in them. The iPhone does and so it enabled us to do something that has been previously difficult to do."

I think that was a "no".

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Merry Christmas 2008


Here is this years Christmas Card from the Carter family. The wife is sending out emails to our list that normally get a printed card. We are going all digital this year. It is a little cheaper ;)
We did a 'straight' picture and then we noticed our lab Bailey sitting at our feet and decided to try and include her. Of course you cannot control a dog very well so it quickly turned into a lick fest.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Welcome My Son

I guess I neglected to do this earlier.
I would like to welcome my son to the blogosphere!
You can check out his rants, raves and favs HERE. If I were you I would ask him what the heck 'Kovidude' means. That probably should have been his first post.

Anyway, I'm proud of him for taking the step out into the world to have his voice heard. I think it will be fun to watch and see what he has to say.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Girl Effect

I saw THIS on the web today. Watch it.

It makes a lot of sense to me. One of those 'duh' moments. I hope this movement is for real and I hope it has some effect. I hope it doesn't get bogged down in bureaucracy and stupidity like oh so many things do in our world today.
Give if you've got it.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Financial Advice?

Raq at Fille de Tulipe sent this over.
So very very profound.