Friday, November 30, 2007

The Golden Compass

Today I got one of those call-to-action type emails that I hate to see littering up my inbox. Usually I just delete these without even looking at them, but this came from a trusted friend who is not usually the type to forward such things, so I figured I'd at least take a peek and see what it was all about. It was an outcry against an upcoming children's movie called "The Golden Compass." Now these things show up in my inbox pretty regularly, and most of them are pretty harmless in my opinion (Harry Potter, Pokemon, et al) but this one caught my eye for some reason. So, I went to my favorite source for such things, Strangely, it seems this internet warning checks out. (Yeah, that's a first.)

The movie is actually based on the first in a series of books in which the heroes wage war on God. It's kinda like the opposite side of the Chronicles of Narnia. Of course, most of the really bad stuff is taken out of the movie, but that seems more dangerous than leaving it in to me. Even parents who are careful about what their children watch and read may be fooled by the surface harmlessness of the movie and let their kids get involved with the book series, which apparently culminates with the celebrated death of God. Seems like a pretty sneaky way to indoctrinate kids into the world of angry atheism to me.

So, am I here to tell people to picket the box office, burn movie posters or even boycott the movie? No. I just want to make sure people know what they're really watching, should they make the choice to go see The Golden Compass with their kids.

Thursday, November 29, 2007


You may notice a new widget to the right. Yup, Zybron has reviewed another great idea that seems to be worth a try... (that guy's always got good stuff. you should bookmark him.) So, I now have an Entrecard. What's an Entrecard you ask? Well, it's kinda like a business card for the web. When you visit a site that subscribes, you can leave behind your card, and let the site owner know you were there. Then, when other folks visit you, they can do the same. You earn credits for every card you leave (IE, for visiting other entrecard sites). You can then pay those credits to other bloggers to advertise on their blogs. Within about ten minutes of signing up, I already have an advertiser -- Hi there Daisy! Of course, you have complete control over who can and can't advertise on your site, so you'll never find yourself linked to something you find objectionable. The price of an advertisement is set in direct proportion to the entrecard traffic that site gets, so some sites are cheaper to advertise with than others. Also, you can transfer credits between sites easily, so you can always gift them to friends (or even sell them if you so choose). Oh, and if you let me know that you've signed up for Entrecard by leaving me a comment with your link, I'll be sure to stop by your site.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Blog Ninjas present Mystery Topic Challenge #5!

Perhaps you read my entry into Mystery Topic Challenge #4 and now you're wondering how you could take part in all the fun. Well, wonder no more! Signups are open until Dec. 2nd when the Mystery Topic will be revealed by the last winner, Scott-O-Rama. You don't have to register to signup, but you're missing out on so much more. Besides, don't you want to be a Blog Ninja?

For more information on what the Mystery Topic Challenge is click HERE.

To signup, click HERE.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

100 Things I am Thankful For

A few weeks ago, I proposed a Thanksgiving Challenge, to list 100 things you're thankful for. I've been working on mine a little at a time since then, and here's what I've come up with. There are plenty of things that aren't noted here that probably should be, but this was never meant to be an exhaustive list.

  1. Salvation
  2. providence
  3. Grumpamoose
  4. Mom
  5. my sister, Mamie
  6. my pets
  7. my home
  8. Friends in Russia
  9. Power FM
  10. Denton Bible Church
  11. Tommy Nelson
  12. American freedoms
  13. those who defend our freedom
  14. small kindnesses
  15. logical reasoning
  16. blind faith
  17. the internet
  18. my laptop
  19. Cinnabon-flavored coffee
  20. Queso
  21. crisp afternoons
  22. my job
  23. NetFlix
  24. GameFly
  25. good books
  26. blog friends
  27. blogger
  28. facebook
  29. computer games
  30. bunny nose wiggles
  31. Wendy's dollar menu
  32. Chick-Fil-A waffle fries
  33. BK Mocha Joes
  34. leftover Halloween candy
  35. warm blankets
  36. Indian Spice tea
  37. frequent flyer miles
  38. thunderstorms
  39. wind
  40. fall color in the trees
  41. quiet time
  42. restaurants
  43. scrapbooking crops
  44. supermarket bouquets
  45. chocolate
  46. movies that make me think
  47. free checking
  48. the dog park in my neighborhood
  49. puppy kisses
  50. scenic views
  51. car trips
  52. sunlight
  53. moonlight
  54. days off
  55. back roads
  56. deliveries
  57. wholesale
  58. used book stores
  59. well-behaved clients (dogs)
  60. disposable flossers
  61. hot running water
  62. fresh baked cookies
  63. grubby little paws
  64. internet forums
  65. writing challenges
  66. funky juice combinations
  67. half-price sales
  68. coupons
  69. freebies
  70. instant oatmeal
  71. rechargeable batteries
  72. energy-saving light bulbs
  73. clouds
  74. vinyl fencing
  75. unexpected wildlife encounters
  76. StumbleUpon
  77. Swiffer
  78. pocket change
  79. free parking
  80. drive-thrus
  81. family-run businesses
  82. fleece
  83. pajamas
  84. slippers
  85. free trials
  86. Braum's milk
  87. ice cream
  88. LOL Cats
  89. silly emoticons
  90. perspective
  91. day dreams
  92. hot showers
  93. laminate flooring
  94. family gatherings
  95. extended weekends
  96. new shoes!
  97. hearing from old friends
  98. phone calls/letters/email from afar
  99. sleeping in
  100. seasonally appropriate weather
So what's your list? It's not too late! If you'd like to post a list of things you're thankful for, just leave me a comment and I'll be sure to link to it here. Here are some of the other lists:

Blog Challenge: Thanksgiving

I have an idea, and I hope some of you will join me. In the spirit of Grumpamoose's Thankful posts, I've decided to make a list: 100 Things I'm Thankful For. I'll work on this list for the next few weeks and post it sometime Thanksgiving weekend. I think one of the things that's missing in our culture is thankfulness. If we would all take the time to be thankful for the good things in our lives, we wouldn't have time left to argue, bicker and complain about the bad stuff. So, I'm challenging myself to come up with 100 things. If this sounds like a good idea to you, please join me! Post on your blog that you are taking part in this challenge and direct your readers back here so that they can also join in the fun. Leave a comment with a link to your blog and I'll post it here. Then, start working on that list!

I've even made a button you can use to link back to this page. I'm sure someone else out there could probably do better (and if that's you, please let me know!) but this is what I've come up with:


Participating Blogs:

Some Go Softly
A Light in the Dark
anyone else?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Time to vote!

Blog Ninjas present The Mystery Challenge #4!

The topic was proposed by Mr. President of Textual Relations, the winner of MTC #3. Below you will find all the entries for this challenge. Please visit and read them all. Once you've read all the entries, please vote for your favorite. Members of the forum may vote in the poll HERE. Guests can place their vote in this thread HERE. Voting concludes on Nov. 22nd.

Leaf - Read More
Scott - Read More
BunGirl - Read More
Grumpamoose - Read More

from Reason to Freedom (4 entries)
Peter Namtvedt - Read More
Bob Bachus - Read More
Michelle L. - Read More
MJ Taylor - Read More

Jayne - Read More
Zybron - Read More
lonelygurl - Read More
TooBIG - Read More
An Honest Woman - Read More
Stepford Mom - Read More
ShadyLady - Read More
Some Go Softly - Read More
Debaloo - Read More
Jan - Read More

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Mystery Topic Challenge #4

What's that behind you? Did you see something? I think it was black...could it be the BlogNinjas? They are the crazy internet group behind the MTC. The members rock the blogosphere in varying degrees, and can sneak up behind you in a moments notice.You can join the clandestine group after undergoing a severe and heavily scrutinized Blog Ninja review that verifies your actual existence and BN worthiness (basically, we read your blog). Post an entry, vote, maybe win, and you may be selecting the next topic. It's like a blog party.

Click here to join.

Challenge #4: If you were President/Prime Minister for a day, with the power to do absolutely anything (Supreme Court? What Supreme Court?) , what would you do and why?

Wow, this is a tough one for me. I'm not really what one might call a political person, so this topic requires a lot of thought. I don't know that I would do anything "global" as it's not my area of expertize. I know just enough about what's happening in the world right now to cringe, but not enough to do anything about it if I were given such a power. So what would I do?

I guess probably my first order of business would be to declare pets to have rights similar to that of children, rather than being simply property. Clearly this would not apply to animals designated as agricultural, though I would certainly bring about stricter laws on how they should be treated as well (goodbye feed lots, hello free roaming). I feel that Americans as a whole (though clearly not all Americans) believe their pets to be part of the family, rather than just things that they own. Hence the reason that pet boutiques, hotels and day spas are slowly replacing shops, kennels and groomers. I think they should be treated by the law in the same manner. Right now in many states, if someone were to throw a poisoned steak into your backyard, killing your dog, they would only be liable for the cost of replacing the animal. Same as if they ran over your kid's bike. Now, we pet lovers all know that you can't replace a life, but that's the way the law reads in most states. My new laws would also include stricter animal abuse penalties and standards applicable to breeders, kennels, pet stores and any other business that handles pets on a regular basis.

Once that was done, I would also implement a strict regulatory board to evaluate and inspect the safety of all imported goods. It has become overwhelmingly clear of late that we simply can't trust the standards of foreign agencies when it comes to our health. This would in turn be paid for by adding a small tariff on all goods it applies to. Perhaps it would also act as a reason for more folks to "buy locally" if it weren't so much cheaper to buy items brought in from sweat shops in less fortunate parts of the world, bringing some much-needed jobs back to home soil.

To go along with this, I'd overhaul our government subsidies for farmers so that it would not be based on the type of crop produced (ahem... corn), and the farms that get the money would be the ones that actually need it. Right now, a large amount of the budget for subsidies is going to farms that clear $200k per year. I would maintain subsidies only for those farms whose owners remain near or below the poverty line, as was the original intent for the subsidies anyway. Sorry Mr. Turner, you don't qualify. I find it sad that so much of our tax money is currently going to supplement the incomes of folks who are making more money in their own right than the average tax payer.

So, a busy day all in all, but a productive one. Amazing what you can get done when you don't have to worry about red tape!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Introducing Yuwie!

What is Yuwie you ask? It's a social networking site, kinda like myspace, but with one little difference. They pay you every time your page/picture/content of any type is viewed. Now, do I expect to get rich on Yuwie? Not a chance. Not that it wouldn't be nice, I'm just a little more realistic than that. The pay is based on viewing ads. Every time you load your myspace page (or anyone else's) you are seeing ads. Somebody's getting paid for those ads. With myspace or pretty much any of the others out there, that somebody is the owner of the site. With Yuwie, you get a cut of that ad revenue. Not much, mind you, but it ads up. AND you get a cut for everyone you refer. And everyone they refer, and on and on till the tenth level of referrers. Sounds pretty sweet to me. So, if you'd like to give it a try, click on the banner below. Or the links in this post. Or the title. Whichever. If you don't want to give it a try, well that's your call, but what do you really have to lose?

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Right Brain or Left Brain?

I'd imagine by now, everybody who spends much time on the internet has probably seen the dancer above... She's part of a left brain/right brain test. Allegedly, if you see her turning clockwise, you're a right-brained person, counter-clockwise is left-brained. (for all the details, click on the title to this post)

So, my question is, what if you see her spinning a different direction every time you look away for a second? Seriously. Clockwise. Counter. Clockwise.

I've always wondered about the whole left/right brain thing anyway. I mean supposedly, the right brain handles creativity, religion, etc. while the left handles math and logic. I can buy that. The part that I don't get is how everyone is supposed to fall into one or the other category, but not both.

I've always found myself in both categories. In school I took mostly art classes, and precalculus as an elective. I love logic problems, but I also like to draw paint and write. Theoretically, the folks who are good at math should also excel at sciences, but most of that is over my head.

So I've been thinking about it. Haven't there been a lot of people who have exhibited the traits of both brain sides? Probably the best example I can come up with would be Leonardo DaVinci. I mean, he was an amazing artist and also had a really good grasp on physics. Or how about Ben Franklin? Quite the creative writer. Quite the inventor. History is just littered with people who are neither right-brained nor left-brained, but seemingly both. And that's just the ones who did something notable enough (in both spheres) for us to remember them.

The way I see it, it's not A or B, but more varying degrees of both.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Write a Letter, Win a Custom Blog Header

Anti-Barbie is currently running a contest. All you have to do is write a letter to her fictional advice columnist and the one she likes best will win a custom blog header. Of course, I couldn't pass this one up, so here's my entry:

Dear Shabby,

I have an unusual problem and I hope you can help.

After work a few days ago I was driving to my home, way out in the country when I encountered a herd of cattle crossing the road. I waited patiently for what seemed like forever, then got out to see if I could somehow hurry them along. Unfortunately, I managed to spook the cows, who then stampeded over my car as if it were a speed bump. Of course, by the time they were cleared out, I found that the car wouldn’t start.

You would think I’d be asking about car repair, but I’m not.

I had left my cell phone at home on the charger, so I wandered up to the nearest house I could spot. It was quite a ways off and I had to climb over the broken fence the cows had come through to get there. So distressed was I by my situation, that I neglected to keep an eye out for cow droppings. My foot hit a big pile and I slipped and fell flat on my butt, covering my business suit in some of the finest fertilizer nature has ever made.

You would think I’d be asking about how to get manure out of dry cleaning, but I’m not.

When I managed to pick myself up and brush/wipe the biggest clumps off, I continued my journey across the field when I heard a commotion coming from the other side of the house. I broke into a run and made it around the corner just in time to see a couple of men beating up a defenseless farmer. I couldn’t just leave him to his fate, so I got the thugs’ attention and they immediately turned and came after me, saying something about “no witnesses.”

You would think I would be asking about self defense classes, but I’m not.

As I was defending the poor, helpless farmer by taking multiple kicks and punches all over my dung-covered body, I heard what sounded like gunshots coming from the house. Apparently that startled my attackers enough to convince them to flee. As my vision began fading out, I looked up to see the farmer’s wife standing over me with a shotgun in her hand and a concerned look on her face. “Now don’t you worry, I’ll get you all fixed up,” was the thing I heard before drifting into unconsciousness.

You would think I would be asking about how to repay someone for saving my life, but I’m not.

When I finally came to, I found myself tied to a chair in the middle of an otherwise empty barn with a gag in my mouth. The noise that had awakened me apparently was one of the barn doors opening, as soon the farmer’s wife came into view again. “What are you doing on my property?” she demanded. When I could only give her a confused grunt, she went on, “You’re that tramp my Fred’s been seeing behind my back, aren’t you? I don’t know about wherever you’re from, but we don’t tolerate sleeping with other women’s husbands around here missy.”

You would think I’d be asking about how to prove my innocence, but I’m not.

She removed the gag and I denied the charges against me vehemently, but she insisted that I would not be leaving this barn until her husband woke up. Seems he was still knocked out from his attack. “I’ll know as soon as he sees you, and you’d better hope you’re not lying to me,” she told me. She seemed like she wanted to believe me and for the next couple of days she treated me better than I had expected, cooking for me and tending to my scrapes and bruises, all the while giving me reports on Fred’s progress. On the second evening, she reported that he was looking well enough that she’d be bringing him to the barn in the morning. That morning, she helped him limp out to the barn and opened the door so he could see me. I must’ve looked a fright, and he certainly didn’t recognize me at all, so she took him back to the house and came and untied me.

You would think I’d be asking about how to press charges for kidnapping, but I’m not.

“Now I hope there won’t be any hard feelings,” she stammered as she let me go. I assured her that I wanted nothing more than to put this whole incident behind me, and asked if my car had been towed out of the road yet. She said she had seen a tow truck come a few hours after my attack, and she had written down the name and number of the towing company in case the car was mine. She took me into the house and let me get myself cleaned up as well as I could. Then she handed me a slip of paper and pointed me to the phone while she started to make breakfast.

You would think I’d be asking about how to get my car back, but I’m not.

A few hours and a plate of the best pancakes I had ever eaten later, I had finally gotten things straightened out with the towing company and the local police. In exchange for her paying for my car repairs (apparently it wasn’t totaled in the stampede) I was just telling everyone that I had been unconscious this whole time and she had nursed me back to health. I was ok with that. As I said, I just wanted to put it all behind me. While I was waiting for a friend to come drive me home, we got to chatting and I found out that she was actually my boss’ sister. The thugs who had beaten me so badly were collecting on an “unpaid insurance policy” that her brother had given her the money to cover. Unfortunately, she had been angry at her husband for his affair (she still doesn’t know who the girl is) so she had spent the money on herself with a day at the spa, figuring they’d just rough him up a bit and leave. She begged me not to tell her brother that she had misspent his money, and I agreed as I was feeling quite glad that this whole incident was almost over.

You would think I’d be asking about how to convince someone to seek help from the police when they really need it, but I’m not.

My question is, how do I explain to my boss the three days I missed of work and why I didn’t call, without letting my kidnapper’s secret out?

Bruised and Baffled in Yoder, KS

Monday, November 05, 2007

38 Questions

Got this one from Jayne of "A Light in the Dark"

1. Name one person who made you laugh last night?

Grumpamoose. He almost always does.

2. What were you doing at 0800?

Umm... I was on the internet. Where I always am. Probably, I was either checking email or working on my blog.

3. What were you doing 30 minutes ago?

See above.

4. What happened to you in 2006?

Hmm... Bunches of stuff. New house. (or was that 2005? I need more coffee) Pet stuff. Unemployed (intentionally). Russia. Probably a whole lot more really, but I can hardly remember last week, let alone last year!

5. What was the last thing you said out loud?

"Get in this house right now!" (Donovan has a habit of wanting to play "you can't catch me" in the morning)

6. How many beverages did you have today?

Still working on my first cuppa.

7. What color is your hairbrush?

silver and white

8. What was the last thing you paid for?

My lunch on Friday. Grump gets to do all the paying on the weekends.

9. Where were you last night?

See question #2. Actually, last night I went to church. But after that, see question #2.

10. What color is your front door?

Kind of a dusty teal.

11. Where do you keep your change?

In my wallet or in a clay flower pot in the kitchen.

12. What’s the weather like today?

I donno -- let's see... According to the weather channel, it's sunny and 66. Sounds about right. I concur.

13. What’s the best ice-cream flavor?

Best? There is no best! They're all yummy!!! If I had to choose one, I guess it would be Cherry Garcia from Ben & Jerry's. But really, I like variety and it depends on my mood.

14. What excites you?

Lots of stuff really. I guess number one right now would be hearing all the good news coming from my friends in Russia.

15. Do you want to cut your hair?

Yes. Perpetually it seems. I don't ever want it to be short, but it grows sooo fast!

16. Are you over the age of 25?

Yup. But not by too much.

17. Do you talk a lot?

Not really. Most people say I don't talk enough.

18. Do you watch the O.C.?

The what? Just kidding. I know that the OC is a tv show, but I couldn't honestly tell you what it's about or name any of the characters. I just don't watch much tv.

19. Do you know anyone named Steven?

Hmm... I bet I do, but I can't think of anyone right now.

20. Do you make up your own words?


21. Are you a jealous person?

I try not to be, and I usually succeed.

22. Name a friend whose name starts with the letter ‘E’.

I don't honestly think I have any friends who start with E.

23. Name a friend whose name starts with the letter ‘R’.

Does my boss qualify? Her name's Rhonda. If not, I'd have to go with Rodney, though I haven't seen or talked to him since Russia.

24. Who’s the first person on your received call list?


25. What does the last text message you received say?

Text messages? I don't do text messages. Phones are for making calls. Computers are for typing messages. Never the two should meet.

26. Do you chew on your straw?

Not usually.

27. Do you have curly hair?


28. Where’s the next place you’re going to?


29. Who’s the rudest person in your life?

Prolly Grump. Sorry honey, I just don't hang out with that many rude people.

30. What was the last thing you ate?

Working on a bowl of oatmeal with strawberries right now.

31. Will you get married in the future?

Umm... I AM married. So, unless something tragic happens to Grump, that'd be a no.

32. What’s the best movie you’ve seen in the past 2 weeks?

Stranger Than Fiction (for the third time -- I'm not a Will Ferrell fan, but I LOVE that movie!)

33. Is there anyone you like right now?

Umm... yeah. I like most people. Easy to please, that's me.

34. When was the last time you did the dishes?


35. Are you currently depressed?

I plead the 5th. I don't like to talk about that because it's not what most people assume it is.

36. Did you cry today?

Nope. I'm not big on the crying.

37. Why did you answer and post this?

Hmm... Cause Jayne posted it and I figured I'd give it a go.

38. Tag 5 people who would do this survey.

The first five people who read this and think it's interesting enough to add to their own blog. (Please link back folks)

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Free Advertising:

Thanks to Zybron, I have found a great new advertising site: Marius Akselsen has started a site that will eventually simply be a bank of 1000 colored boxes. When you click on any box, you get an ad for a website or blog. The cool thing is that the site is still in its infancy. While eventually these boxes will sell for $100 a pop, right now the first 100 are being offered for free (one per person please). That's right, free. And who doesn't need free advertising for their blog or website?

Friday, November 02, 2007

Mystery Topic Challenge

Well, I've decided I'm going to take part in the upcoming Mystery Topic Challenge #4. It sounds like a great idea to me. Here's how it works: (taken from the MTC forum)

A forum thread is opened for signups, for people to participate. Ideally we'd like new folks to the challenge to register to the forum, but that isn't necessary. Currently (and this will remain as long as it isn't abused) guests are allowed to sign up for challenges.

The signup thread will remain open for five (5) days. Participants are asked to write a short announcement on their blogs in case any of their readers and lurkers would like to participate.

At the end of five days, the Mystery Topic will be announced by the previous winner. As of now, the winner of the last challenge can choose to participate, or they can sit out the challenge. If the previous winner does write a post, he/she will not be eligible for voting. This is to ensure that everyone will get to choose a topic at some point. If this doesn't work, we might change this to someone volunteering for thinking up the next topic.

Once the topic is announced, everyone will have five days to write their post. On the fifth day, everyone will post on the same day and go to the signup thread to post the direct URLs of their challenge entries. At that time a poll will go up and voting will remain open for 5 days. At the end of 5 days a winner will be announced and they will get a nifty graphical award to "pin" to their sidebar.
So, if that sounds like fun to you, hop on over to the forums and give it a try. Sign-ups for this challenge began 10/30. The topic will be posted on 11/6 and we'll all be posting our responses on 11/11 (so watch this space!).

EDIT: Sorry -- that'd be 11/13, not 11/11.

Verse of the Day