Ted’s Remarks About Stuff
February thru June, 2006


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June 30, 2006

There are a lot of things I don’t understand, but here is one of them:  Why do so many people feel that some unexpected monetary income must be spent immediately, rather than be saved?  Just in the past week, I have seen and heard three people, who received unanticipated revenue, immediately exclaim, with glee, “Now I can buy...[a new hat, a new pair of shoes, and a new backpack, respectively].”

Now, I certainly can understand applying sudden “money from heaven” toward paying off a debt or a monthly utility or other bill.  But what is it about people who feel the “need” to run out and buy something, with unforeseen profit, that will give them temporary satisfaction and gratification?  Are they chronically depressed and need a “happy fix”?  Are they so discontent with what they have (which, in most cases, is more than they need) that they feel compelled to acquire more “things”?

When I receive a windfall cash payment, I put it into my savings account immediately and think for at least a day or two whether or not I really need to spend it.  Usually I don’t.  There always will be unexpected expenses that will arise in the future for which I would wish that I had that money, had I already spent it.


June 18, 2006

Someone sent me an email that contained some pictures I’ve seen a few times before, but I think they are amazing so I will include a link to them here:

Julian Beever’s Chalk Art

Since I have an interest in optics and visual perspective, I find Julian Beever’s chalk art pictures to be quite fascinating.  It’s just another example of “you can’t believe everyting you see.”


June 14, 2006

There was an online poll at AOL rating media personalities, from the most outrageous (#1) to the least outrageous (#8).  The poll results are on the left, and my responses are on the right (click on it to see an enlarged view):

I wonder if anyone can get an idea of my politics from this. 


June 13, 2006

A friend told me he will pay $2.759/gallon for regular unleaded gasoline today.  I asked him how many miles per gallon his car gets, and he said it was about 27 mpg.  So I did the following calculations, considering that midgrade unleaded is $2.859/gallon:

Difference in cost between midgrade and regular gas:
$2.859 - $2.759 = $0.10

Percent increase in cost from regular to midgrade gas:
$0.10 ÷ $2.759 = 3.62% Minimum (presumed) increase in gas mileage by using midgrade gas:
28 mpg - 27 mpg = 1 mpg

Minimum (presumed) percent increase in gas mileage by using midgrade gas:
1 mpg ÷ 27 mpg = 3.70%

Since 3.70% is greater than 3.62%, then presumably it would be more cost effective, at the present price of gas and at his car’s present level of gas efficiency, for my friend to buy midgrade gas rather than regular gas.  Additional advantages are 1) not having to fill up as often and 2) an increased benefit for his car engine using 89 octane rather than 87 octane gasoline.  (Also see my entry for May 11, 2006.)


June 12, 2006

It looks like Abu Musab al-Zarqawi bit the dust.  Time Magazine has an interesting front cover this week, attesting to that fact:

Of course, I didn’t think that al-Qaida in Iraq would go very long before replacing him, and now it looks like that has been done.  You can read more about it here; I think it is fascinating how these terrorist leaders select their names:

Al-Qaida in Iraq Names New Leader

I wonder how many people Sheik Abu Hamza al-Muhajer will behead—or already has beheaded.


June 6, 2006

Today is 06/06/06 (“666”).  A little while ago, I even was looking at my watch when it was 6:06:06.  That was pretty cool.

No, this isn’t going to be a day out of the ordinary, at least I doubt it.  I think some people fear that the Antichrist is going to rise to power or something today.  Highly doubtful.  A whole lot has to happen before that occurs.

If you have any interest in reading about the “mark of the beast,” though, you can go here:

mark of the beast

Or if you have a lot of time on your hands, you can read my Chronology of Revelation (3 parts) here:

The Chronology of Revelation

But don’t worry...nobody’s going to try to brand you with the “666 mark” today.


May 29, 2006

It’s Memorial Day.  Tell any veterans you know how much you appreciate their sacrifices for your freedom.


May 23, 2006

I prefer to use the mouse on my computer as little as possible, other than for such things as clicking on hyperlinks.  Therefore, I frequently use “keyboard shortcuts”—keys and combinations of keys on my keyboard which substitute for certain clicks with the mouse.  You can check them out here, if you want, although I don’t think they are applicable to Mac computers:

Keyboard Shortcuts

May 16, 2006

I have had a great time in Laughlin, Nevada, and it has not been due to gambling, of which I have done very little (a little over an hour of 5¢ video poker in 3 days, after which I was $35 ahead and quit).  Laughlin simply is a pleasant place to be—much more so than Las Vegas, Nevada, for instance (see my entry of May 15, 2006).

The Colorado River, separating the southeastern tip of Nevada from the northwestern edge of Arizona) passes alongside the east side of Laughlin.  Although the temperature here up to 104° the past two days, there is virtually no humidity, which has made it be very pleasant (for me, virtually ideal, since the nights have been warm as well).  I have taken numerous walks and a couple of jogs alongside the river and have enjoyed watching commercial houseboats float by, as well as jet skiers whiz by.

Unlike Las Vegas, there are many excellent “deals” in Laughlin.  For instance, I have stayed two nights at the Flamingo Laughlin.  At a cost of $31/night, I have received an incredibly nice room, with a comfortable bed and very quiet and efficient air-conditioning unit, along with a tasty and abundant dinner meal at the Paradise Garden Buffet (wine and beer are included).  I believe that every room at this two-tower hotel has one wall made completely of glass, which of course affords an excellent view of Laughlin, the Colorado River, and even Bullhead City, Arizona, next door.

Here are a few photos I took from the wall-sized window in my room, in all of which some reflections from the glass can be seen because the window could not be opened:

       

       
25-second slideshow

May 15, 2006

I do not like Las Vegas, Nevada, which is why I came to Laughlin instead.  Over time, the casino industry in “Lost Wages” has become so greedy and miserly that slot machines have been tightened up, far beyond fair or reasonable limits, to take in vast amounts more revenue than they pay out.  A walk through virtually any casino, especially an exceedingly extravagant one, will reveal that relatively few jackpots, even minor ones, are hit compared to the number that could be observed during even a brief walk-through in decades past.

If one is not convinced of the latter, there are other more objective examples of how machines pay less.  For example, on most video poker games (other than “Deuces Wild” or variations thereof), a Full House hand used to pay a standard 40 or 45 credits.  Now, most games on an increasing number of video poker machines will pay only 35, or even a measly 30 credits, for a Full House—not to mention the fact that the frequency of getting a Full House (or better) hand has decreased noticeably and substantially.

It is the rule, rather than the exception, to leave “Sin City” with a great deal less cash than one took there, in case one is unwise enough to gamble for long on casino machines.  In fact, it is not easy anymore even to find a reasonably-priced buffet or restaurant meal; whereas, in times past, fantastic meals, at extremely reasonable prices, were readily obtained almost anywhere in Las Vegas.

I have a feeling that many (maybe most) people are deceived into thinking that the magnificent, opulent exteriors and interiors of an increasing number of Las Vegas casinos indicate that these places have such an overabundance of wealth that they just can’t wait to lavish anyone who enters them with at least a modest amount of riches and treasures.  Not so.  How do you think these insatiable casinos have become so wealthy, over the years, other than by pinching the last possible penny out of every visitor, so that they could build bigger and more elaborate facades to entice and allure others into leaving behind all their money as well?


May 14, 2006

I had an enjoyable drive across the sunny Mohave Desert today.  For over six hours, I traveled in 103° heat, with no air-conditioning in my car.  What made it very pleasant was the fact that the humidity was only about 6%.  I thrive in that kind of weather.

I always am intrigued by the ancient lava flow near I-40, south of Amboy.  Of course, most of California is seismically active, and evidently some of it also has been very active volcanically in the past.  I suppose there will be more volcanic eruptions in the future, as well.

I bet it would have been really hot to drive through the desert while the lava was flowing.  That sounds exciting.  I took a few photos showing a lava flow, as well as some black rocks and boulders formed by lava:

       
13-second slideshow

May 11, 2006

Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of traveling in my car, which gets great gas mileage.  If I drive partly in town and partly on the highway, I typically get 30 mpg with regular unleaded gasoline (87 octane) in the tank.  If I drive steadily about 65 mph on the highway, for a long distance without stopping, I can get 40 mpg using regular unleaded.

I have found that if I fill my gas tank with midgrade (89 octane) unleaded gasoline, I can get about 33 mpg in town and about 44 mpg on the highway.  That is a 10% increase in efficiency and output.

Midgrade gas usually is 10¢ more per gallon than regular unleaded.  Let’s look at the cost of gasoline in California, where prices soar higher than in most places.  Recently, it has not been uncommon to see regular unleaded for $3.259/gallon and midgrade unleaded for $3.359/gallon; so midgrade is about 3% higher than regular.

Considering that I have been paying 3% more at the pump for 89 octane compared to 87 octane gas, but gaining about a 10% increase in fuel efficiency, it seems well worth it to me to continue buying the 89 octane, even though it is more expensive each time I fill up.  Not only am I paying less for gas in the long run, but I can go longer between fill-ups, plus the higher octane gas is better for my engine.

So why don’t I fill up with premium (91 octane) gasoline?  I tried it, but the increase in fuel efficiency over the 89 octane gas wasn’t quite enough for me to be able to pry the extra cash out of my wallet.  Sometimes there is not too much distinction between “thrifty” and “cheap.”


May 7, 2006

I am visiting a friend for a few weeks.  Another friend of his also stayed here for 5 days last week.  That guy is experiencing some marital challenges, as well as problems with a thumb injury, and I was helping him analyze his situation and offering some suggestions to him, which I thought was kind of ironical.  Besides being a pediatric neurologist, he also is a psychiatrist and is extraordinarily intelligent.

He seems to have difficulty believing that God can help him deal with anything negative that’s going on in his life; but I continued assuring him that, indeed, God can do that.  In fact, He most likely is the only one who can.  At least this guy listened intently to everything I had to say.  Maybe some of it even made a lasting impression on him (which I pray that it did), because he sent me the following in an email:

From a strictly mathematical viewpoint:

What equals 100%? What does it mean to give MORE than 100%? Ever wonder about those people who say they are giving more than 100%? We have all been in situations where someone wants you to give over 100%. What equals 100% in life? How about achieving 101%?

Here's a little mathematical formula that might help you answer these questions:

If the letters of the alphabet:
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
are represented as:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26,
then:

K-N-O-W-L-E-D-G-E
11+14+15+23+12+5+4+7+5 = 96%, and

H-A-R-D W-O-R-K
8+1+18+4+23+15+18+11 = 98%.

But, A-T-T-I-T-U-D-E
1+20+20+9+20+21+4+5 = 100%.

AND, look how far the love of God will take you:
L-O-V-E O-F G-O-D
12+15+22+5+15+6+7+15+4 = 101%.

Therefore, one can conclude, with mathematical certainty, the following:

While knowledge and hard work will get you close, and attitude will get you there, it's the Love of God that will put you over the top!

I completely agree. 


May 6, 2006

I was in the mood for lasagna, since I hadn’t had any in a long time, so I made some.  I’m glad it turned out the way I wanted it to—actually better, because I used mustard greens instead of spinach.  I like both, but in lasagna I like mustard greens better.  We also had mustard greens on the side, as our salad, topped with balsamic vinegar.  Yum.

I made an error in the sequence of putting together the lasagna (because somebody was talking to me while I was doing it); but then I corrected my error—took out the second layer of onions/garlic so I could put the layer of mustard greens under it, then replaced the onions garlic on top.  I’m sort of a perfectionist, I guess.

The cheese topping in the middle didn’t get brown enough, but it still was tasty.  I think the oven bakes a little cool...oh well.  My two friends said they liked it too, and they were convincing enough that I believed them.

I also made a chocolate cake, and it turned out the way I wanted it to as well.  It’s amazing how well many things turn out when you simply follow the directions (cake mix, eggs, water, oil, blah blah blah).  Most people just don’t like to follow directions, including myself; but it’s usually worth the time and effort if you do.

Here are my lasagna and my cake:

       
13-second slideshow

You can see the lasagna recipe here, if you want:

Meat and Vegetable Lasagna

You will have to confer with Duncan Hines for the cake recipe.


May 4, 2006

I read where the five most heathful foods in the world are the following:

  • olive oil (Spain),
  • soy (Japan),
  • yogurt (Greece),
  • lentils (India), and
  • kimchi (Korea).

It wouldn’t surprise me if this were true.  Fortunately, I do like all of those foods, and I consume them whenever possible.  I do like my kimchi to be very spicy, though.  Read this for more information:

The World’s Five Healthiest Foods

May 3, 2006

Tonight is the closest the planet Jupiter will be to the earth for awhile, although it will show up brightly in the southeastern sky throughout the summer.  The Great Red Spot, a gigantic cyclonic storm on the surface of Jupiter, is familiar to most people.  There also is a smaller, “junior” version of the big storm, which unexpectedly changed to a reddish color in February.

I didn’t have a telescope, although I wished I had.  In any case, I did go outside and observed that Jupiter was noticeably brighter than it usually is.  It was brighter than most stars, whereas typically it is not.  It reminded me of the movie 2010: Odyssey Two, during which Jupiter somehow gains enough mass to turn into a small star.  (That probably never can happen, at least in the natural, because Jupiter does not have enough mass to implode on itself and ignite; but it was an interesting concept, nonetheless.)

Since I was outside, I also viewed the Big Dipper (Ursa Major) and the Little Dipper (Ursa Minor).  The two outer stars of the cup of the Big Dipper “point” to the North Star (Polaris), which is the star at the end of the Little Dipper’s handle:

 

Looking directly at the Little Dipper, I easily could see the North Star (at the end of the handle) and the two outermost stars of the handle.  The other four stars, forming the remainder of the handle and cup, were too faint to see.  (Look at the photo of the Little Dipper, where I have encircled each of those four dim stars.)  However, I remembered that by staring just a bit off-center from the handle, I barely would be able to detect the four dim stars.

Those four stars generally cannot be seen when we look directly at them, because we are using the cones in the macular (central) portion of the retina in each eye.  Here, the vast majority of our photoreceptors are cones, which see only bright or colorful objects.  Instead, I had to look a tiny bit off to one side, thus causing the light from the stars to fall on a slightly peripheral portion of my retinas, containing mostly rods, which are excellent at detecting very dim light (or motion).

You can learn more about this, and other things about photoreceptors, by going to my eye section, “Anatomy, Pathology & Physiology of the Human Eye.”  In either the graphic of the eye on the upper left of that page, or in the frame of links below it, click on “Retina.”  When that page appears on the right, scroll down to the “photoreceptors (cones and rods)” section.


May 2, 2006

From time to time, all of us get rushed and impatient when we drive.  I found an article that gives good points on dealing with “road rage.”  It also includes helpful information on making our time behind the wheel be less stressful and more productive.

Resist Road Rage

May 1, 2006

I watched a great deal of news coverage today on the protests and marches for “immigrant rights.”  It is my belief that every legal immigrant into the USA, from any other country, should be entitled to all human rights provided by the US Constitution.

However, the issue becomes “dark gray” when legal is substituted by illegal.  (You can read more about this in my entry of Apr. 18, 2006).  Over time, the term “illegal aliens” seems to have been replaced by “illegal workers,” then “undocumented workers,” then “undocumented citizens,” and finally “citizens.”  The U.N. refers to them as “irregular migrants.”  But illegal aliens are not citizens of the USA, and only US citizens are protected by the US Constitution.

If illegal aliens from “south of the border” who have entered the USA illegally, without having gone through the proper steps and procedures that aliens from any other part of the world have had to go through, then they have broken the law.  And if the law were to be waived for them, then legal citizens of the USA also should not be expected to obey our laws.  Of course, this is senseless and would lead to utter chaos.


Apr. 30, 2006

One of my friends made an excellent dinner.  He reduced bunches of different types of greens (collard greens, mustard greens, dandelion greens, Swiss chard, and kale) and also added 2 large chopped onions, 20 garlic cloves, and a little cayenne pepper.  It all smelled like a “slice of heaven” while it was cooking.  To all of this was added cooked penne pasta, topped with basil and chipped parmesan cheese, along with whole-wheat olive bread.

For dessert, another friend made almond pudding with lychee fruit.  The latter is grown in Thailand and is very tasty.  Since I don’t particularly like to cook, it was great having this very tasty dinner to consume, which others had prepared.

       
13-second slideshow

Apr. 28, 2006

I am sick of paying high gasoline prices, and I know I’m not the only one in that big boat.  I’ve heard numerous reasons why the prices have escalated so quickly over the past few months, but I will not speculate on that here.

I also have heard how the ethanol-gasoline blend, to fuel vehicles, is the “way to go.”  After reading the following lengthy article, however, I disagree:

Are There Problems with E85?

Apr. 27, 2006

I think the human eye is extremely fascinating, and I get asked questions about it frequently by people from all over the world—like a nice guy recently from Tasmania, Australia, who experienced a retinal problem adversely affecting his vision.  Yesterday I was hearing on the news about some miners in Tasmania who got buried in a mine shaft, due to an earthquake.  I wonder if the guy with the retinal problem felt the quake.  I’ll probably ask him soon.  Or maybe the earthquake was in Tansania instead, and I’m just an idiot.

Anyway, back to the human eye....  Someone recently asked me about the “blind spots” in people’s eyes, and if there really is no vision perception in these blind spots.  It’s true...there is no vision perception there at all, because the optic nerve heads (where the blind spots are located) contain no photoreceptors (rods or cones).  You can test it yourself here, if you want.

Below, you will observe a dot and a plus.

 

 

Follow these viewing instructions:

  1. Sit about arm’s length away from your computer monitor/screen.
  2. Completely cover your left eye (without closing or pressing on it), using your hand or other flat object.
  3. With your right eye, stare directly at the above.  In your periphery, you will notice the to the right.
  4. Slowly move closer to the screen, continuing to stare at the .
  5. At about 16-18 inches from the screen, the should disappear completely, because it has been imaged onto the blind spot of your right eye.  (Resist the temptation to move your right eye while the is gone, or else it will reappear.  Keep staring at the .)
  6. As you continue to look at the , keep moving forward a few more inches, and the will come back into view.
  7. There will be an interval where you will be able to move a few inches backward and forward, and the will be gone.  This will demonstrate to you the extent of your blind spot.
  8. You can try the same thing again, except this time with your right eye covered stare at the with your left eye, move in closer, and the will disappear.

What’s even more amazing is that, if done properly, you can look a little to one side of a full moon and not see it (except for the halo around it) because the light from it is imaged on your blind spot.

You can learn more about this, and other things about the optic nerve, by going to my eye section, “Anatomy, Pathology & Physiology of the Human Eye.”  In either the graphic of the eye on the upper left of that page, or in the frame of links below it, click on “Optic Nerve.”


Apr. 25, 2006

I like pizza, but I rarely eat commercially made pizza because it is way too unhealthful—very greasy and high in bad cholesterol, triglycerides, and other things that are terrible for our arteries.  So if I eat it, it’s usually because I make it, crust and all.

Today I was craving it, so I made two pizzas.  You can view the recipe here, if you want: Low-Fat Protein Pizza.  It is a project, but I think the time and effort are worth it.  I really like the taste, and I think so has everyone else who’s tried it so far (or maybe they’re just being nice...never can tell for sure).

     
10-second slideshow

Apr. 23, 2006

I am in charge of putting together a church family directory.  That includes a picture for the front cover.

I felt that the photo I took of a mountain and a meadow was rather dull and drab.  Furthermore, my dad, whose hobby was professional photography, always felt the following should be in a “good” landscape photograph:

  • some prominent object or objects in the foreground,
  • something alive or displaying movement,
  • red or pink coloring, and
  • clouds.

Of course, when he was around, he had no choice but to incorporate all of those things in his original picture.  On the other hand, I have the convenience of being able to add items to a photograph, that are not there initially, with the use of a graphics program.

Click on either picture below.  Once the large version loads, click anywhere on the picture to see the large version of the other photo.  Once it has loaded, you can click on it and then on the other one, back and forth, to see the items that I have added disappear and reappear.

 
5-second slideshow

Incidentally, the original picture is a composite of portions of two horizontal photos that I “stitched” together, one on top of the other.  The “seam” is hidden at the base of the row of trees about 1/3 of the way down the picture.  I also added and deleted some of the little white flowers in the foreground.


Apr. 20, 2006

I enjoyed driving up the California coast today, from Los Angeles to San Francisco.  It was moderately cloudy most of the way, but at least there was no rain.  I snapped some shots of the central California coast along the way.

       

       

       

       
50-second slideshow

Apr. 18, 2006

There has been much in the news lately about the issue of whether to punish or to extend amnesty to the illegal aliens already in the USA.  In my opinion, at the crux of the issue is the word “illegal.”  Laws should be enforced, or else changed, but not allowed to be broken without a penalty.  Such passivity on the part of the government merely encourages the continued breaking of laws.

Without a doubt, the goverments of virtually every country south of the USA border with Mexico are volatile and unstable, at best, and corrupt and incompetent, at worst.  It is understandable how deprived and underprivileged people from these nations want to escape their harsh, even brutal surroundings and find solace and security in the USA.

I believe, though, that whether people realize it or not, at the heart of the vast migration movement into the USA of people, from south of its southern border, is the perception that the entire southwestern region of the USA was acquired by “unfair” or “unscrupulous” means.  In the minds of many, this region, for all intents and purposes, still belongs to Mexico.  As such, the belief is that there should be unlimited, legal access into the USA (or at least into the great Southwest) by anyone from south of the border.

The acquisition and annexation of the Southwest—including Texas, California, Nevada, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, and Arizona—from 1835 to 1847, is extremely well illustrated in a 10-minute video, “Growth of a Nation,” which I believe should be viewed by every American:

Growth of a Nation

Furthermore, I found a lengthy article on the illegal immigration matter, which I think many American citizens would be interested in reading, and I have posted it here:

The Second Mexican War

Apr. 17, 2006

Yesterday afternoon, a friend showed me this silly thing that made me laugh, so I will share it here.  She had been to the Long Beach Dog Parade earlier in the day in Belmont Shores.  She said she had seen this “extremely cute” dog going by on a float.  The dog’s name was Bella Luna.

As my friend described it, this dog was sitting in the “lap of luxury” of someone on the float, and another person nearby said that the dog had a similar appearance on its web page—yes, the dog’s web page—except that today, in the parade, the dog was wearing rose-colored sunglasses.  She said the other person also noted that Bella Luna lives in ritzy Newport Beach, CA, in a really fancy home.  I have no idea if that is true or not—who knows.

Anyway, we went to Bella’s website here:

I Love Bella Luna

So then we were joking around that if Bella Luna thinks she’s famous, maybe she yaps and whines a lot if she doesn’t get what she wants.  It’s one of those things where you would have had to “be there” to get the full effect of the humor.  In any case, we got a good laugh out of it.  I just think someone should have plopped a tiara on Bella’s head for her web page shot.

Update on Bella Luna (Apr. 21, 2006):  Bella Luna’s owner saw the above entry and sent me a nice email, which I will copy below:

Thank you for your mention of The Bella Luna.  Yes, she lives a very wonderful life and no she never yaps when she doesn't get her way.  She is a very well behaved dog and never barks.  Can you believe that?

Bella Luna has a full wardrobe and loves to get dressed up and she makes me laugh everyday.

Peace and Blessings.


Apr. 16, 2006

This morning I attended the 7:45 service at Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa.  A beautiful girl, Crystal, sang three verses of Jerusalem with the voice of an angel.  Chuck Smith gave an excellent message about Jesus and Lazarus (John 11:1-44).

Lazarus’ two sisters, Martha and Mary, had sent for their friend, Jesus, because Lazarus was sick.  Jesus was a good friend of Lazarus as well.  The sisters had wanted Jesus to heal Lazarus before he died.  Well, Lazarus died, and Jesus did not get there until four days later.  Understandably, the two sisters were extremely disappointed with Jesus for not having come sooner.

But then Jesus simply did one of the things that Jesus does best: raised Lazarus from the dead.  And today was a celebration of Jesus’ resurrection, the “firstfruits from the dead” who never will die again (1 Corinthians 15:20,23).

Later, I saw a poem written down on a package of jelly beans which of course resemble little colored Easter eggs.  I kind of liked the simplicity of the poem, so here it is:

RED is for the blood He gave
GREEN is for the grass He made
YELLOW is for His sun so bright
ORANGE is for the sins we made
WHITE is for the grace He gave
PURPLE is for His hour of sorrow
PINK is for a new tomorrow

Happy Resurrection Day. 


Apr. 13, 2006

Today is Passover.  It’s also Good Thursday.  I am convinced that Jesus was crucified in the middle of the afternoon on Thursday, not on Friday as is the traditional belief.  I have reasons for believing this.  If you are not familiar with the ancient story describing the Passover and the Exodus of the Israelites out of Egypt, led by Moses, you should read about it here (Exodus 12:1-42).

The first Passover lambs were selected on the 10th of the month (Exodus 12:3).  (This was in the Jewish month of Aviv or Abib, also known as Nisan.)  It was the same day, many centuries later, that Jesus entered Jerusalem, with great humility, on a donkey (Matthew 21:1-11; Zechariah 9:9).  This day also is known as “Palm Sunday.”

For four days, the Passover lambs were taken care of and examined to make certain that there were no defects or blemishes on them (Exodus 12:5,6).  Likewise, for four days, Jesus was questioned thoroughly by the religious leaders and found to be flawless in His reasoning (Matthew 21:23-27, 22:23-46, 26:59,60).

On the 14th of the month, the Passover lambs were slaughtered at “twilight,” which means at the “twain of the evening” or at mid-afternoon, about 3:00 p.m.  Likewise, at about the ninth hour of daylight (or about 3:00 p.m.), Jesus died on the cross (Luke 23:44-46).  If the 10th of the month was on a Sunday, then the 14th of the month was on a Thursday, not a Friday.

Notice also that the blood of the slain lambs on the first Passover was applied to the top and two sideposts of the doorframes of the Israelites’ homes (Exodus 12:7).  I believe it can be assumed that at least one or two drops of the blood would have dripped from the top of the doorway to the bottom.  Thus, the blood on the four sides of each doorframe would have demarcated a cross .

Later, every family was to roast its lamb over a fire and eat it; it had to be fully cooked, even the inner parts (Exodus 12:8,9).  Traditionally, to cook it evenly inside, as well as outside, a wooden stake was driven vertically through the lamb, while another stake was inserted horizontally.  (Note, again, that the configuration of the stakes formed a cross .)

Christ was the Passover Lamb, sacrificed for the sins of humanity (1 Corinthians 5:7b).  And on the third day (Sunday, the 17th), He rose from the dead, the “firstfruits” of those who also will rise, never to die again (15:20-23).  To read more, go to my commentary, Good Thursday, and also view my chart of Holy Week.


Apr. 12, 2006

It was another perfect day in San Diego.  Of course, there’s rarely ever a “bad” day here, climatically speaking, even when it rains.  I never get tired of it.

This afternoon I walked around Balboa Park, including the free arboretum, and snapped a few shots.

       

       

       
38-second slideshow

Apr. 11, 2006

I watched both nights of the newest TV version of The Ten Commandments.  Overall, I thought it was moderately well done and fairly convincing.  However, there were marked inconsistencies with the true account in the Bible.

For instance, that guy Menerith, the Egyptian prince with whom Moses allegedly was raised as a brother, didn’t exist.  And that other guy who Moses saved from being beaten by killing his attacker—well, he really existed; however, we never heard anymore about him in the Bible.  In the movie, he became Moses’ bodyguard (as if Moses needed one, with God constantly watching out for him).  The guy becamve an adulterer and a false accuser, and he ultimately got stoned (no, not on pot—I mean, stoned to death with real stones, along with his adulterous female partner).  That was an “interesting” sub-theme, but it isn’t recorded in the Bible.

There also were other little inconsistencies:

  • When God first spoke to Moses from the burning bush, He told Moses to throw down his staff and it would become a snake.  That really happened.  But then he told Moses to put his hand in his cloak and remove it, and it was leprous as snow; he put it back in and removed it, and it was back to normal.  That wasn’t in the movie.  It would seem that a quick, easy Hollywood trick could have made it happen in a mere 10-15 seconds.
  • Moses was eighty and his brother, Aaron, eighty-three when they spoke to Pharoah.  In the movie, they appeared middle-aged.
  • In the movie, the plagues on the Eqyptians were not in chronological order, as set forth in the Bible, and they were only mildly credible.  The Pharoah, however, was a pretty convincing egomaniacal oddball.  Maybe that guy will win an Emmy for his performance.
  • When the blood of the lambs was splashed in the doorframes of the Israelites’ homes, it was placed only on the tops of the doorframes, not on the sides, as the Bible describes..  Maybe Hollywood didn’t want the audience to observe the plain configuration of Jesus’ cross, which God clearly had in mind to portray during that first Passover.
  • After the Red Sea was parted by God, the Israelites crossed over on dry ground.  In the movie, the ground was wet—a slight to God’s miraculous ability, in my opinion.
I could mention a few other things; but the movie made me a bit sleepy, so I’m off to bed.

Apr. 7, 2006

This afternoon I drove down the coast to San Diego.  Instead of taking the freeway the entire way, I took Pacific Coast Highway partway, one of my favorite drives.  I also took a few photos.  Some of them are a little crooked, but I was in kind of a rush to beat traffic.

       

       
25-second slideshow

Apr. 6, 2006

I like all fruits.  At least I can’t think of any I’ve ever tried that I didn’t like.  I guess my favorite is a peach, although a nectarine (a cross between a peach and a plum) is way up there.  Strawberry and banana, together in the same bite, are outstanding.  Oranges are good to, albeit messy to eat when they are particularly juicy.  I even eat the skin of an orange (after it has been well-washed first), because it has tons of fiber and nutrients, plus it is chewy.  I like chewy things, including raw oats and very well-done steak.  I know...weird.

Strangely enough, I dislike almost everything made out of fruit, except for banana cream pie (with lots of meringue) and pumpkin pie.  But as for peach or apple pie...yuck.  Well, there’s one exception to that.  Although I do not like vanilla ice cream by itself, I do like hot peach or apple pie with vanilla ice cream.  Go figure.

Vegetables, on the other hand, are a different story.  Although I like many of them raw, I prefer them cooked and, in fact, just about every possible way that they can be prepared.  My favorites are hot chile peppers (both green and red), collard greens, spinach, broccoli, and bok choy, probably in that order.  If you happen not to like vegetables very much, you should try to develop a taste for them, since they are very nutritious.  I suspect that a lot of people refuse to eat many vegetables because they still are in rebellion against their parents for making them eat them when they were little.


Apr. 4, 2006

Tomorrow is April 5, 2006, or 04/05/06.  At 2 minutes and 3 seconds afer 1:00 A.M., it will be 01:02:03 04/05/06.  That won’t happen again for another 100 years (on April 5, 2106).  Enjoy it for the entire 1 second that it lasts (if you haven’t gone to sleep yet).


Apr. 2, 2006

In case you’ve waited until today to adjust your clocks for Daylight Savings Time (I did mine yesterday), it also might be a good time to fine-tune the adjustment to the nearest second, in case you are so inclined.  Here is the website where you can find “The Official U.S. Time” for your time zone:

The Official U.S. Time

Some of my family members and friends like their clocks to run ahead—for a few of them, as much as 30 minutes ahead.  Admittedly, this concept is over my head.  Why don’t they just adjust their brains instead of their clocks?  I don’t get it.

Where I used to work, once every few days, I would adjust the two main clocks to be correct to the nearest second.  They used to call me “Big Ben” there.


Apr. 1, 2006

It’s only mid-afternoon, but I’ve already set all the clocks (including my watch) ahead one hour, in preparation for Daylight Savings Time, which starts early tomorrow.  I did it right after I changed all the calendars from March to April.

Each Spring, I always adjust the clocks around me well in advance of the actual moment the time changes.  It’s a “mental thing” for me; I am more likely to get all my tasks done by bedtime and, therefore, can get in my normal 8 hours of sleep.

For many churches, their services on the first Sunday of April will begin one hour later than usual.  I think that’s a good idea.  Then people do not have to lose an hour of sleep and, in their drowsy stupors, forget to brush their hair or teeth before leaving home.  Maybe, in some churches, it is an attempt to prevent more people than usual from falling asleep during services.

Of course, I have a fundamental disagreement with the premise that Sunday is the “Sabbath” day.  The Fourth Commandment (or, for Catholics, the Third Commandment), Exodus 20:8-11, clearly indicates that the seventh day, not the first day, is the Sabbath.  In fact, in virtually every language, the word for “Saturday” means, or is a derivative of the word for, Sabbath.

For this reason, whenever possible, I enjoy attending Jewish Messianic churches, such as Tree of Life in San Diego and Adat HaMashiach in Irvine.  Shabat shalom!


Mar. 31, 2006

Someone on the radio today was talking about Daylight Savings Time (which goes into effect this weekend) and how people lose sleep because of it, resulting in a 10% increase in automobile accidents the next day due to inattentiveness.  Whether or not this is a fact, I do not know.

She also added that people who average less than 8 hours of sleep each night, on a regular basis, have double the chance of being involved in a car accident than people who average at least 8 hours of sleep.  I do try to be in bed for 8 or more hours every night, if possible.  If I don’t get a minimum of 7 to 7½ hours of sleep, I tend to space out too many things the next day.


Mar. 27, 2006

I don’t like missing links.  No...not the ones that, allegedly, are transitions from amphibians to mammals or from apes to people, for which there is no confirmed scientific evidence that they exist.  (For those who believe there is such evidence, you should read The Creator and the Cosmos.)

I’m talking about like when someone is describing something to you and then shifts to another topic, and you fail to get the connection.  Then you are wondering to yourself, “OK now, what is the ‘link’ between those two concepts?”

Until that person clues you in to the proper association, you continue conjuring up possible “links” in your head, in an attempt to understand how the person progressed from A to B.  It is sort of like clicking on a faulty hyperlink at a website that takes you to an error page.  That is why, soon after I am lost in another person’s explanation, I often will say, “OK, sorry but I’m missing the link here....”


Mar. 26, 2006

Big dinners and late-night snacking is the worst thing you can do if you want to lost weight.  Mainly it’s the late-night snacking that piles on the body fat, because your body has no way to eliminate the excess calories while you sleep.

Even though I eat healthfully and maintain my weight at a stable level, I love snacks.  That is why I simply refuse to have them around me; otherwise, I will eat them, especially late at night when I’m working on my computer and want something to munch on.

Americans have such a problem with overeating and obesity, I think partly because they feel that being a little hungry sometimes is “un-American.”  But later at night is the best time to be a little hungry.  That way, your body burns your fat, not whatever you just stuffed into your mouth.  It doesn’t take long to get used to not having nightly snacks—only about 3 nights.  And once you see the pounds dropping off, it becomes even easier.


Mar. 24, 2006

I like free stuff.  I don’t think it’s because I’m “cheap”; I just appreciate a good value, and getting something for free that I like and use a lot is the “ultimate” deal for me...at least, in this world.

In heaven, everything is free.  That’s because God isn’t greedy.  There can’t be “heaven on earth” as long as mankind is in control, because he is just too covetous, envious, and corrupt.  I long for the day when God comes and takes over.  Eventually, He will. 


Mar. 21, 2006

I have one major addiction, and that is to very hot/spicy food.  Also, my favorite cuisine is Thai; the various flavor combinations they have in many of their dishes are exceptional.  Today I ate at my favorite Thai restaurant in San Diego.  I have gotten most of the people who wait tables there to understand that when I say, “Extremely spicy, please,” I really want that.

The waitress today was very nice; however, she kept trying to convince me that I did not want it “extremely spicy” but, rather, “medium spicy.”  I suggested that she go and talk to the owner (who was across the room), and he would tell her that I liked it spicier than all of her other customers, that day, put together.  I saw him smile when she talked to him, evidently corroborating what I had said.  She proceeded to bring me what I wanted...almost.

It never is quite spicy/hot enough for me.  Well, one time this Thai place in Pacific Beach did serve me a “10” on the spicy-hot scale when I asked for a “10,” and it almost blew my brains out.  It was the best I’ve had so far.  Spicy-hot food makes me feel so good and gives me so much energy for the rest of the day that I am afraid to jump, for fear that I will land up on the moon.

Today I added my usual spoonfuls of jalapeños, red chile powder, and red/green Thai chiles to my food.  I noticed the waitress watching me intently through the window in the kitchen door.  Later she came over and asked, “You cry yet?" and I said, “No, it’s not quite hot enough for that, but it’s close.”


Mar. 15, 2006

I don’t like to cook, but...1) I really like my cooking and 2) I rarely ever eat out, because I refuse to pay the rip-off prices that most restaurants charge.  Therefore, I often make a huge batch of something and eat it every night for dinner until it’s gone.  I do not mind leftovers, as long as what I am eating is healthful and tastes good.  If anyone else gets tired of it, great...more for me!

Earlier today I went to the gym and then had my typical oatmeal and fruit combination (see my entry of Feb. 17, 2006).  While I was eating, I was chopping up chicken and vegetables to make chicken and vegetable soup.  It turned out great.  I’m having my second bowl now...very yummy.  I made 2 gallons of it; that should last a few nights. 

I also made spinach salad with tomato, green bell pepper, and green onions.  I am eating it with no dressing, although sometimes I use red wine vinegar mixed with olive oil.  It is extremely rare that I use a commercial dressing—too unhealthful and trans-fatty.  Besides, I just like the taste of raw vegetables.

 
5-second slideshow

Mar. 14, 2006

It is Purim, a time celebrated by Jews everywhere in commemoration of being saved from extermination.  This is a very interesting account of how God blessed a Jewish girl to the point of becoming Queen over the entire Medo-Persian Empire.

The annihilation of all the Jewish people had been decreed, and Queen Esther was in a position to prevent this from happening, even though she risked her life in doing so.  It is a fascinating, true story, in case you would like to read about it in the Book of Esther.


Mar. 13, 2006

I feel like an imbecile.  I had just left Starbucks and had started walking across the street as the “no walk” signal was flashing.  That was dumb.  About halfway across the street, the light turned yellow; so I RAN as fast as I could, attempting to make it over before the light turned red.  Of course, it turned red before I made it all the way across.

But that wasn’t really the bad part.  In my rush, I tripped on the curb, couldn’t catch my balance, and fell face-first on the sidewalk.  I think my heavy backpack must’ve altered my center of gravity just enough to have prevented me from being able to catch my balance.  I got some scrapes on both hands and knees, too.  Wanna see the face of a moron?  Click here.


Mar. 9, 2006

A few days ago, I saw a shirt with the following text on it at the Orange County swap meet:

God is like....

Coke...He’s the real thing.
General Electric...He lights your path.
Bayer Aspirin...He works wonders.
Scotch Tape...You can’t see Him, but you know He’s there.

Mar. 7, 2006

I do not look to other people for my happiness and contentment, nor do I depend on them for my essentials.  I much rather prefer to look to God, rather than human beings, for my daily provisions.  He always is faithful and does not disappoint me.

When we look to other people to provide us with the things we want and need, we frequently will be disenchanted.  Others are busy dealing with desires, essentials, problems, and events in their own lives and, even in committed relationships, cannot provide us with all the things we request or expect from them.  And we should not assume that they ought to “know” everything that we want or need.

When we anticipate receiving things (gifts, praise, companionship, money, support, etc.) from others, but for whatever reason(s) they “fail” to comply with our expectations, then bitterness, and even anger, can and often do result.  Why?  I think it is because, on some level, we feel entitled  to what we think they should give us or do for us.

This sense of “entitlement” can lead to resentment and, sometimes, a desire for retaliation and punishment—even vengeance.  Thus, when we presume that a person or group of people will meet some expectation(s) that we have, we are setting ourselves up to resent them when they “fall short” and displease us.  In other words:

Expectation often is premeditated resentment.
Mar. 6, 2006

Here are a couple of websites where you can find the cheapest gas prices near you:

Local Gas Prices

Gas Buddy

Just type in your zip code and do a search.  But hurry before the stupid price goes up again.


Mar. 5, 2006

Typically, I watch only bits and pieces, if that, of the Academy Awards program.  But I have a friend who enjoys them, so I watched the show with her tonight.  Jon Stewart was an “OK” host, but I would have preferred Billy Crystal; sometimes he practically causes me to fall out of my chair laughing.

I was utterly amazed that the whole thing was over in 3½ hours; usually it goes on and on and on, ad infinitum.  Just as alcoholics have Alcoholics Anon., potential winners of Oscars should be forced to attend a few “On Anon.” (on and on) meetings, prior to the Academy Awards, so that they will learn how to abbreviate their acceptance speeches.  I personally know a few other people who could use some On Anon. sessions.  Actually, I’m one of them.

I am not a movie-goer, and I rarely watch rented videos (unless someone in my family gets one and I happen to be in the same room while it is playing).  Besides the fact that I usually am being adequately entertained by things other than movies, it just takes a whole lot for a movie to impress me.  For one thing, it is difficult for me to separate the actor/actress from the character, unless he/she is exceptionally convincing.

I haven’t seen any of the movies nominated this year for Best Picture of 2005.  I suppose I might if someone rented one. 


Mar. 1, 2006

I just finished writing a commentary, “The Creation.”  Actually, it isn’t really “complete,” but I didn’t have the time or motivation to write a book.  Besides, I felt motivated to begin another project.

Now I have started another commentary, “Who Is God?”  It will take me awhile to write, although some of it will be taken from a chapter, “The Trinity & Triads,” in my online book.  In that chapter are my descriptions of The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit.  But I have a lot more that I want to say.  God is so incomprehensibly awesome.


Feb. 25, 2006

All of us have mental blocks to certain things.  These impasses in our minds occur for various reasons:

  1. We believe what we want to believe about something and simply do not want to change our minds, ragardless of what evidence or logical reasoning is presented to us.
  2. It is too much “work” to take the time and make the effort to learn anything more about a topic.
  3. We do not have the time to research or read about a certain topic of interest, so we tend to believe whatever we previously have been told about it (and assume that whoever told us has done his or her “homework” adequately on the matter).
  4. We realize that if we learn something new, we might have to change our beliefs about a topic, and it is more comfortable to continue embracing something that we’ve always believed.
  5. We actually fear learning something more about a topic, because being aware of additional facts might show us that we were wrong, and not many people want to know or acknowledge that they have been wrong about anything.
  6. Almost everybody we know believes a certain way, and these friends and family members might view us or treat us differently if we indicate that we want to learn about other aspects of a topic.
  7. Some people have made bundles of money promoting a certain point of view about a topic (in books, lectures, and sermons).  They are reluctant to research or listen attentively to other points of view, because if they were to come across something that makes more sense than the view they have been promoting, they might feel compelled to retract their former view in lieu of the new one.  As a result, they might come “under fire” by others who point out what a nice profit they have made expounding a theory or belief that was invalid or untrue.

If we are going to critique or comment on what someone else believes about something, isn’t it a good idea to take the time to understand what that person really has to say before going any further?


Feb. 23, 2006

I remarked on Feb. 6, 2006, that I am reading the Bible, from front to back (for the sixth time), in 2006.  The passages that I find very interesting are so numerous that it would take pages to list them.  Something that I ran across today struck me as noteworthy.

After Moses died, leadership of the Israelites passed to Joshua.  He sent two men, secretly as spies, to “scope out” the land west of the Jordan River.  A woman, Rahab, in Jericho, offered to help the two spies—with the plea that when the Israelites came to take over the land, they would not harm her or her family.  The men agreed, with the stipulation that the woman would gather her entire family into her house, and that she would tie a scarlet cord in her window (Joshua 2:18).  Thus, the red cord kept the woman and her family from harm.

This brings to mind the first Passover, just prior to the exodus of the Israelites from ancient Egypt.  The Israelites were to put the red blood of slain lambs on the sides and tops of the doorframes in their houses (Exodus 12:7).  Doing so protected everyone in each house from death, when the Lord passed over the land at midnight and struck down every firstborn (12:12).

If one thinks about the blood on a doorframe, presumably a few drops would have fallen from the top to the bottom of a frame.  This configuration of blood (top, two sides, and bottom of a doorframe) demarcated a cross.  Centuries later, Jesus would be crucified on a cross, His blood located on the top, sides, and bottom of the cross.  Paul (a Jew) wrote, “For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed” (1 Corinthians 5:7b).


Feb. 17, 2006

Somebody asked me how I maintain my “ideal weight,” which I mentioned in my previous entry.  Well, primarily, I eat healthfully and I exercise (the first being more important than the second).  Also, I rarely ever eat anything in the mornings.  (I know that many insist, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!”  Well, not for me, and I bet a lot of the people who say that are overweight and have cholesterol and blood pressure problems, depending on what and how much they eat.)

If, for one of my meals in a given day, I happen to over-eat, such as at an all-you-can-eat buffet, this usually will be my only meal for the day.  If I eat two or more high-calorie meals in one day, I will not eat a bite of anything for at least 24 hours.

Virtually everyday, I exercise in the late morning or early afternoon, without having eaten a bite of anything prior to that.  Usually, I go to the gym and either run on a treadmill or ride on a lifecycle, typically for 35 minutes.  Then I will lift some weights and/or work on some machines for another 30 minutes or so.  By no means am I a “gym rat” or a “hunk”; I mainly am concerned with maintaining my weight and with keeping my heart and cardiovascular system intact and my blood pressure low (HR = 52 and BP = 96/62, last time I measured them).

When I eat my first meal of the day (usually 1:30 to 2:00 P.M.), it consists of a big bowl of raw, uncooked oatmeal (about 1 cup), 2 teaspoonfuls of flax seed, 12 chopped-up almonds, a handful of raisins, and most or all of these fruits, cut up: apple, banana, orange (I eat the entire orange peel while I’m cutting up all the fruit), pear, peach, red seedless grapes, strawberries, and blueberries, with 6-8 ounces of fat-free yogurt (or sometimes skim milk) mixed in.  I always am craving my oatmeal/fruit combo by the time I am ready to eat it.  Here is what it looks like:

I usually will eat dinner at 6:00 to 6:30 P.M.  Typically, that consists of a bowl of my chicken and vegetable soup (I will make a 2-gallon batch of the latter and eat it every night until it’s gone).  Or else I will eat a large tossed salad with numerous vegetables and boiled chunks of chicken mixed in, with a little red wine vinegar (and sometimes a little olive oil) poured over it.  Sometimes I will make cornbread and eat a slice of that with dinner.  Generally, though, I stay away from most breads (especially white) because they are fattening.

All in all, I do my best to get numerous helpings of fruits and vegetables, as well as some protein, each day.  Oh yeah, and I take an assortment of vitamins everyday, too.


5-second slideshow

If you have an interest, read Triglycerides and Diet (7 pages).  You also can take the Triglycerides and Diet Quiz (2 pages, 20 questions), if you want.


Feb. 14, 2006

Gifts and special gestures mean little or nothing to me, personally.  However, I know that they mean something to many others.  So I went “all out” this year for Valentine’s Day.

I made chicken tetrazzini and steamed broccoli and squash—who says guys can’t cook?  I also bought frosted brownies, two flavors of Häagen Dazs ice cream, and a bottle of merlot (plus the obligatory flowers and a card).  She got a cherry cheesecake.

Normally, I do not over-indulge in such rich foods, but I certainly did tonight—and a lot of it, too.  I feel like the king of the hogs.  Well, I will not eat one bite of anything for 24 hours (which I do whenever I’ve over-eaten, thus maintaining my weight).  But then there are those tasty leftovers for tomorrow night....

       
13-second slideshow

Feb. 12, 2006

Today, NYC had the biggest one-day accumulation of snow on record (26.9"), due to a huge blizzard.  At the same time, I was enjoying the beach in San Diego, with a temperature of 77°.

Of course, the latter isn’t surprising, since SD has the best year-round climate of anywhere in the USA (in my opinion).  That is one reason why, barring an occasional earthquake here and there, it is my favorite city in the world. 

       

       
25-second slideshow

Feb. 11, 2006

“Be true to yourself.”  I think, for most people, this implies, “Do what you feel like doing, at any particular moment, because you should not deny yourself anything that you really want.”  I disagree.

For me, being “true to myself” means doing things now that will make my future easier and more fulfilling, and which at no point will I regret doing.  For instance, I may not really feel like going to exercise at the gym.  But if I am “true to myself,” I will force myself to go anyway, because I know that afterwards I will feel better, have more energy, and be happy that I made the effort to go and exercise.  I will think, “Gee, I’m glad I was good to myself by being true to myself.”

Doing things now that will make our lives worse later is being untrue to ourselves.  It is being myopic: focusing on the present rather than on the future.  Not getting a good education and having to settle later for a poorly-paying job, getting drunk every night and waking up with a sickening hangover every morning, exploding angrily all over someone before knowing all the facts and then finding out later that we were wrong—all of these are ways that we fail to be “true to ourselves.”  Also, procrastination is a major way, on a regular basis, that we are untrue to ourselves.


Feb. 8, 2006

I am amazed that it is 90° here in Anaheim, CA (1 mile from Disneyland), with extremely low humidity, in almost the exact middle of winter.  This is MY kind of weather! 

Unfortunately, this type of weather is conducive to brush fires.  One burned not too far away from here, for a few days, before being brought under control. 

 
5-second slideshow

Feb. 6, 2006

I have read the Bible through, from Genesis to Revelation, five times.  Now I am doing it again.  It is even more fascinating to me each time I do it.

The chronological guideline I use enables someone to read the Bible in one year, although I find the reading so enjoyable and captivating that I usually read ahead.  You can do it too, if you want: Chronological List of Bible Passages.  Print it out and check off each passage after you’ve read it.  It doesn’t have to be completed in exactly a year, of course.


Feb. 5, 2006

Superbowl parties are a blast, at least the one I went to was.  And I didn’t even eat (or drink) too much.  The best thing was that the weather was perfect, so we all spent the whole time outside.

The other best thing was that there were ten (10) TVs throughout the house...even one on top of the refrigerator, and one in the main bathroom.  Great hosts, huh?  Oh, and it didn’t matter to me who won.

       

       
25-second slideshow

Pittsburg Steelers: 21    Seattle Seahawks: 10

Feb. 3, 2006

Isn’t Islam a religion of tolerance, and aren’t Muslims peaceful people?  If so, why are we trying to eradicate the “bad” ones?  Muslims marched through the streets of London today.  Look at them and decide for yourself whether or not Islam is a tolerant, peaceful religion:

“Religion of Peace” Demonstration

It’s not only in Afghanistan or Iraq that Islamic fundamentalists are declaring their opposition against freedom and against those who have anything negative to say about Islam.  This movement of “peaceful” Muslims is spreading throughout Europe, Canada...and the USA.  Look for a similar demonstration on a street near you.


Feb. 2, 2006

Have you ever watched the TV show Survivor?  I rarely have.  However, tonight I watched the first show of the new season with some friends, who are avid fans here in Anaheim, CA, and found the decisions made by some of the players very interesting.

It began with sixteen (16) people on an island, off the coast of Peru, making up four teams of four members each: 4 older men, 4 older women, 4 younger men, and 4 younger women.  (Previous seasons of the show began with two teams of eight members each.)

It was noteworthy to me that the older women got together and said a prayer, asking God to protect them, and also to give them a little extra help, considering that they probably were the weakest of the four groups.  On the other hand, the younger men seemed to stumble blindly ahead, leaning on their own strength and might, making foolish mistakes and doing almost everything wrong.  What a contrast.


Feb. 1, 2006

I keep a 2006 calendar taped up on the wall nearby for quick and easy reference for future and past dates.  It’s not a calendar that I use to write on to remind me of things I need to do; I use my data bank watch for that.

I’ve made the calendar for a few friends, and most of them like using it the way I do.  I also like to keep track of the monthly phases of the moon.  Plus the back of the calendar has a list of holidays and observances for 2006.

If you would like one for yourself, click on each image below, click on the “Open” button, and print out the two pages on either side of one piece of paper.  Just change my name at the top of the calendar page to your name before you print it.  (The thin gray lines will not show up when you print the pages).

 

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