December 28, 2005
The season gets me thinking
Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. These are times for families to be together, to celebrate life, love, and make wonderful memories together for the years to come. This year finds my brother and my father half a world away in Iraq. It's at times like right now that I wonder why it is that our leaders, all of our leaders includes their leaders as well, can't settle their differences themselves on the field of combat. Seriously, who wouldn't have liked to have seen George W Bush and Sadaam Hussein duke it out? I mean this for any country that has a beef with another...instead of the massive military buildups, the sabre rattling, the diplomacy that so often fails, and the endless carnage why don't we just let ours and their decision makers do the fighting? We could sell tickets, make it a holiday...like watching 2 rival football or soccer(real football) teams go at it. But no, instead, those we love wind up being away from their loved ones for months, even years to do their duty.
Those of you that know me should know that I'm very military minded and very much behind our Commander In Chief when it comes to the military. I understand that my aforementioned suggestion is simply not the way the world currently works, but maybe it should be. I just experienced the first Christmas and Thanksgiving of my life as the only man from my family in attendance and it was very sobering.
December 27, 2005
On a serious note
I just read a news story about 4 soldiers accused of raping a woman in the Phillipines. First, I know that they are innocent until proven guilty, but the news story got me to thinking about something.
What kind of punishment do convicted rapists receive? How hard is it to convict a rapist?
So, I did a little google search.
My findings were not encouraging.
From all the articles that I read, I made these conclusions:
Few rapes are reported.
Even fewer are prosecuted, and only a small percentage of those prosecuted are convicted.
Most rapes are committed by someone the victim knows.
Few victims are willing to undergo the added emotional stress of a trial, especially considering the lack of justice that they can see is typically afforded to them(which isn't remotely enough in light of what's been taken from them).
Rapists typically aren't reported, aren't caught, aren't tried or convicted, and often become repeat offenders.
I want the job that administers justice to these males(not men...because they aren't, at least not anymore). Islamic countries have a very simple solution(and thus, a very effective deterrent). If you are found guilty of rape, family members of the victim carry out the exectution of the convicted. No last second stays of execution or pardons...bye bye mister rapist. Again, yes, I understand that everyone is innocent until proven guilty, but this sort of crime going unpunished as it often does in INEXCUSABLE. We err on the side of caution, some of the studies say, but on whose side? Certainly not the victims. Apparently, our criminal justice system considers it more costly to wrongfully convict someone of such a crime and have to pay that person money for the system's failure than to fail the victims in either protecting them before or after they are victimized.
I know women that were victims of such crimes and I remember one of them telling me how guilty she felt. Why should she feel guilty? It wasn't her fault! It was that...thing's fault! Yet this seems to often be the case.
These are the sort of things that make me question "WHY?"...that I simply have to say "I don't understand" when it comes to His Plan.
Women and children are to be protected, not victimized. I truly wish there were something I could do regarding this, but like many issues, it's bigger than what any one person can solve.
Sorry for such a serious hard subject, but there it is.
December 26, 2005
Bulk mail folder
The bulk mail folder is a handy little folder that yahoo has so kindly provided it's users to filter out alot of the JUNK that we receive via email. Well, I've not looked into it in so long...I typically just empty it without checking it out. Tonight, I checked, just to see what kind of wonderful things I've been missing out on...I won't write exactly what all of them are, I'll put more of a "why I deleted them" reasoning to it.
1) I don't want to refinance my house in West Monroe as I no longer live there.
2) I don't want any of my body parts enlarged and especially not those as I'm not a woman
3) I don't care to get a degree in life experience, although it does sound kind of cool.
4) I don't care that his/her webcam is up and running
5) I don't want any more prescriptions
6) I don't want an AARP card...yet.
7) I don't recall any relatives from Nigeria...and I appreciate the offer to run 25 million dollars through my account and the willingness to pay me for my trouble, but next time try the US Mail...it's more believeable...oh yes, and leave me a phone number to call you at.
8) I don't want a new car.
9) I don't care to gamble online...in fact, I don't care to gamble offline either.
10) I'm not interested in donating money to an individual speaking on behalf of those that have been evicted from their homes due to Hurricanes Katrina or Rita...especially when you can't spell "evict" and "money". It just sounds fishy...sorry.
11) I don't want a free XBOX...ok, sure I do, but as long as it took Christin to get her IPOD, I can only imagine how long the XBOX will take.
12) I don't want a $400 dollar gift card in exchange for my personal information
And possibly my all time favorite
13) I don't want my free psychic reading...I mean, if you're psychic and can use the internet, why haven't you called me directly?
There, that should hold me for a while.
December 25, 2005
2 great quotes
From a really, really good movie:
"All you can take with you from this life is what you give away"
"George, Remember no man is a failure who has friends. Thanks for the wings. Love, Clarence"
Now, who knows what movie it was from and where each of the quotes was written?
Reformed kids know who's really important
We went to a Christmas party tonight at some of our fellow church members' home. While there, we ate, drank, sang Christmas Carols, exchanged a few gifts and just visited with everyone. One of the daughters of the hosts is named Sarah and she just graduated from LSU. She is the one that was the head of the Young Republicans and was on stage with George W Bush this summer when he was in Baton Rouge. She and her family got to visit with him, that sort of thing. It is and was very cool. Well, she was very impressed and honored about that, but I love the story she told tonight. It puts in perspective the feeling that LSU fans have down here for their team. Well, she is walking across campus when she almost quite literally runs into someone. She looks up and it's Les Miles, coach of the LSU football team. Well, she stumbles over an introduction and as they part, she's got tears coming out of her eyes...
I love it! Happy to meet the President of the US, and moved to tears over meeting the coach of the LSU Tigers!
Quick all you single reformed men, she's still currently available...
More Christmas movies
Here's a few more movies to watch at Christmastime:
1) Emmet Otter's Jugband Christmas
Goofy? Nah...it's a sweet little show.
2) While You Were Sleeping
3) The Bells of St Mary's
This one is just too cute to pass up.
5) The Polar Express
We just saw this one on Friday. We really enjoyed it, very nice.
6) A Christmas Story
7) The Christmas Story
8) White Christmas
9) The House Without a Christmas Tree
There are some other ones that are cute enough and/or funny enough to bear mentioning:
Home Alone I and II
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
Home For The Holidays
I'm sure there are plenty more others, but I can't think of them all right now. Some of them that are out aren't worth the time, but the ones I've mentioned, you just feel good after seeing them. You don't watch them, and feel like you wasted your time.
So, pick some, or all, of these movies up. Make some hot cocoa(even if it is 60 degrees) and settle down for some good entertainment.
December 21, 2005
Movies we've recently seen
First, NARNIA must be hailed as one of the best movies to make it out of Hollywood in a long time. Wow...I haven't seen that much excitement before and after the showing of a movie in a very long time. They simply did an excellent job with that...we'll be seeing that one again...and again. The way it opens up with the bombers...and then later in the film, with the Griffins "bombing" as well...just good stuff. We are anxiously awaiting the next one...and we're trying to perfect the recipe for Turkish Delight...we'll keep you posted on that.
Second, on video:
SPANGLISH...very cute. Not for the kids, I would assume most would know this, but I felt it worth mentioning. You can't help but feeling like you're watching someone's life and not a movie when you're watching this one. Very good. Candice was a little concerned at first over my excitement over the movie, but I told her not to worry, we have no Mexican housekeeper.
Madagascar...cute, but not a big repeat performer for mom and dad. The kids loved it and it's okay for them to watch more than once. John James is going around singing, "I like to move it, move it"...really cute, but if you haven't seen the movie, you won't get it. The monkeys were my favorite...too short of an appearance though, probably because of the style of humor they were using.
Now, it being the Christmas season, there are certain movies we watch every year no matter what. Monday, we watched "Miracle on 34th Street". Don't you dare let me find out you haven't seen this movie, just quietly go rent it so you can make it an annual tradition with you as well. Some others we watch at Christmastime:
1) It's a Wonderful Life- This is arguably, in my opinion, the best movie ever made...it's certainly my favorite. Sure, it's missing a bunch of things that "Great Movies" have, but it has heart and it has feeling. Watch it, again and again.
2) Jingle all the Way- Why? Cause it's fun. It's worth some laughs and we all just enjoy it.
3) The Santa Clause- Who doesn't love the tool man dressed up as Santa and checking his list twice?
The list is way longer, but my break's over.
Here's thanks for all the forwards...
Sorry, but I couldn't resist posting this:
As the holidays approach, my heartfelt appreciation goes out to all of you who have taken the time and trouble to send me "forwards" over the past 12 months.
Thank you for making me feels safe, secure, blessed, and wealthy.
Extra thanks to whoever sent me the one about rat crap in the glue on envelopes 'cause I now have to go get a wet towel every time I need to seal an envelope.
Also, I scrub the top of every can I open for the same reason.
Because of your concern;
I no longer drink Coca Cola because it can remove toilet stains.
I no longer drink Pepsi or Dr Pepper since the people who make these products are atheists who refuse to put "Under God" on their cans.
I no longer use Saran wrap in the microwave because it causes cancer.
I no longer check the coin return on pay phones because I could be pricked with a needle infected with AIDS.
I no longer use cancer-causing deodorants even though I smell like a water buffalo on a hot day.
I no longer go to shopping malls because someone might drug me with a perfume sample and rob me.
I no longer receive packages from nor send packages by UPS or FedEx since they are actually Al Qaeda in disguise.
I no longer answer the phone because someone will ask me to dial a number, for which I will get a phone bill with calls to Jamaica, Uganda, Singapore, and Uzbekistan.
I no longer eat KFC because their "chickens" are actually horrible mutant freaks with no eyes or feathers.
I no longer have any sneakers – but that will change once I receive my free replacement pair from Nike.
I no longer have to buy expensive cookies from Neiman Marcus since I now have their recipe.
I no longer worry about my soul because at last count I have 363,214 angels looking out for me.
Thanks to you, I have learned that God only answers my prayers if I forward an e-mail to seven of my friends and make a wish within five minutes.
I no longer have any savings because I gave it to a sick girl who is about to die in the hospital (for the 1,387,258th time).
I no longer have any money at all - but that will change once I receive the $15,000 that Microsoft and AOL are sending me for participating in their special email program. (Just kidding-that’s a hoax!)
Yes, I want to thank you so much for looking out for me that I will now return the favor!
If you don't send this e-mail to at least 144,000 people in the next 7 minutes, a large pigeon with a wicked case of diarrhea will land on your head at 5:00 PM (PDT) this afternoon. I know this will occur because it actually happened to a friend of my next-door neighbor's ex-mother-in-law's second husband's cousin's beautician...while she was selling AMWAY.
Not that I was too terribly missed...although I do say thank you to Robbie, Christin, Debbie, Shannon, Connie, Uncle Josh and those few other select wonderful beautiful people(enough praise?) that take the time to comment on my musings.
Okay...What's happening here? Well, the family is back, man the house was too quiet when they were gone. There were monkey hugs from all of the kids when they got back...I looked like something you'd buy in a toy store with all those little monkeys hanging on me. I can't get Candice to try the monkey hug thing, but I'm still working on her. My wife announced that I'd done a good job of not letting the house fall into disrepair(I didn't tell her that I slept on the couch every night and washed, dried, and folded clothes out of sheer boredom) and awarded me with a "here, carry this inside". Yep, nice to be needed...;)
Jesse Lee has started to coo and smile...he just gets more and more irresistable. His big brothers and sister love him so much. They are very helpful and certainly make my heart swell to watch them care for him.
My wife and I both have cellphones now...that's weird for me. I've never cared for cellphones...and I still don't really "care" for them(oh are you okay little cellphone? Can I get you a drink?)...yeah, like that. I just don't think they are absolutely necessary, but now that I've caved and I have one, I suppose I'll someday be glad I have one-like this morning at 5:30am when some lady called the wrong number to say "He just left, hurry over."..."Who are you trying to reach?"..."Oh God...I think I dialed the wrong number...CLICK"...bummer, I thought, I'd like to see what the lady looks like that makes that kind of call at 5:30 in the morning. Oh well, at least my wife and I can always call each other for free...the funny part is, we live so far out, that if either one of us is at home, we can't be heard. That's funny when you think about it...
Okay, enough for right now, more in the morning...I'm done for tonight. I still have to send my dad and brother an email.
December 03, 2005
I'm going to complain
Yep...write it down, this is a full out whine, no ifs ands or buts. I've been baching it for a whole week now(8 days actually) and not one person has called to see how I am, nor offer me a meal or anything. Does that bite or what? I mean, we invite folks over all the time when their families or spouses are out of town.
Just doesn't seem right, sorry for the brief rant, just bothers me...don't worry, I'm not going hungry, just lonely.
Should cut back on sleep or something
In order to blog more that is. Some random thoughts running through James' head right now:
I'm glad there are still radio stations willing to play continuous Christmas music...but please stop playing that one that Wham sang...it's old.
My house is very quiet without anyone in it but me...I am getting some light reading done, and I slept for 10 hours last night! That's great...but I miss the kids landing on my chest when it's morning.
I picked up my new mower today...I got it as part of my promotion at my job. In return for mowing 2 locations of our group, I get full and unlimited use of a 5' ZTR Kubota mower and a 16' enclosed trailer for my lawncare business. Very nice...only challenge is my job takes up so much time I can't do more than about 10 yards a week on the side, oh well, it's still a great deal. I was mowing today and this group of kids came to the property line to watch...they would yell and holler everytime I got close enough to hear them over the engine...they were quite the goofy bunch(funny, huh? me referring to anyone as goofy). They'd wave until their arms almost fell off and I'd hold the steering bars with one hand and wave with the other...they loved that.
I really hated seeing LSU lose tonight...why does the SEC have to have such strong teams all the time? Would have been nice for LSU to have had USC or Penn State's schedule...sheesh!
Okay, that's all for now, my ice cream is melting.