Sometimes life gets in the way of blogging, and so this is the only blogging I manage to do.

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I keep saying that all we need to do in order to fix politics in this country is appoint a bunch of labrador Retrievers to Congress.  They’d get just about as much done, and the only thing we’d have to worry about is keeping the doggie treats stocked.  And maybe give them some steaks if they’re extra well-behaved. 


FAIRHOPE, Ala. (AP) – One of the candidates in the race to become Fairhope’s next mayor is considerably more hairy than the rest. He also has twice as many legs and a constantly wagging tail. Wille Bean Roscoe P. Coltrane is a 7-year-old yellow Labrador retriever whose owner has taken a satirical poke at politics by launching the pooch into the race.

But Willie Bean may not be up for that rough-and-tumble world.

“When a little dog barks at him, he cringes and he runs away,” owner Tress Turner told the Press-Register in a story Sunday.

Turner, 43, manages The Coffee Loft, which is also the dog’s campaign headquarters where supporters can purchase T-shirts and yard signs.

Some of his supporters say all the politicking, name-dropping and sign-maneuvering in the seven-man Fairhope mayoral race is wearing on them weeks ahead of the Aug. 26 election.

“I think he polishes up the field,” said Vince Kilborn, 66, of Fairhope. “We need new blood.”

Kilborn, former Gov. Don Siegelman’s chief attorney in his ongoing criminal corruption case, added about the dog: “He doesn’t have any skeletons in his closet. He’s eaten them all.”

The dog’s campaign began when a mayoral candidate placed a campaign sign on property that bordered the politically-neutral coffee shop about three weeks ago.

Turner told the candidate about her wish to remain out of the race, but he had permission from the neighboring property owner and the sign remained for a few days.

“Then, sure enough, customers started pulling in the parking lot and giving us a hard time,” Turner said.

The owner of the coffee shop taped a sign to the door saying The Coffee Loft did not endorse the candidate.

“It turned into just people laughing and joking and playing. And I was, like, ‘You know what? We are going to let Willie Bean run for mayor,’” Turner said.

Willie Bean doesn’t have a realistic shot at being Fairhope’s next mayor since the July 15 qualifying deadline has passed. Still, other dogs have held office.

In 2004, Rabbit Hash, Ky., elected Junior Cochran, a black Lab, as mayor. It was the second canine elected to lead the small Northern Kentucky town, according to the town’s Web site. The first was a mutt named Goofy Borneman, according to Laurie Lamblin, a resident and employee of the town’s historic general store.

Julie Ford, a volunteer at The Haven, Fairhope’s no-kill animal shelter, said Willie Bean is setting his sights too low.

“I think he should run for president,” the 61-year-old Ford said after stopping by the coffee shop.

Originally published at You can comment here or there.

by Rabbi Stephen Baars 

New doesn’t always come with improved.

There are some things in life you never thought you would see. I’m not talking about peace in the Middle East, or the fall of the Berlin Wall, or bubble gum ice cream. I mean something that I was witness to today; actually I was an active participant.

It all started innocently enough, the wedding was called for noon, and wanting to be early we showed up at 12:20 for what we thought would be a good hour till anything started.

It was lucky that we decided to be “early” because we got there just in time to walk the bride down the aisle. Since when did weddings start on time? Anyway, we embarrassingly found a seat and sat back to enjoy the show.

Almost immediately everyone could see something was amiss. The Rabbi who was marrying the couple looked nervous and soon a huddle formed under the chuppah. I am sure you’ve seen the scene before — everyone who thinks they know anything joins in. It looked ominous.

What could it be? Did the bride change her mind? Did the Rabbi find a stain in his tie?

Then, someone seemed to have a solution and one of the men turned and looked directly at me!

You know those moments that all Jews fear, you are sitting in synagogue minding your own business when the president of the congregation comes over and asks you to make the blessing over the new Shlamboodle.

You would normally ask what on earth is a Shlamboodle? But he asks in a way that implies every idiot knows what it is, not only that, but, as the president explains, it’s an honor.

Well, I was sure he was looking at the guy behind me, because I had no idea, “Why me?”

But it was me. He rushed over and said, “Do you have the blessing for the wedding?”

“All I have is a handkerchief. Will that do?”

I decided to join the huddle and figure out what was going on.

The Rabbi came in from New York to do the wedding, and somehow the hotel had lost his Prayer Book with the blessings in it, and it seemed that I was the most likely person to have one on me.

“Sorry,” I explained. But, now it was my problem too. Unfortunately, he nor I had a clue what to do. Then it came to me. I have one of those Smartphones, the kind that does email, notes, schedule, and makes it really difficult to make a call.

When would anyone want to use a phone to conduct a wedding? This was that time.   

I had bought some software from Pilot-Yid for the phone that has all the regular prayers on it, and when I went through the program I noticed it had the Wedding Service. At the time I thought to myself, when would anyone want to use a phone to conduct a wedding?

This was that time. Now I have to explain, this Rabbi looked like he could have just walked off the scene of Fiddler on the Roof, so I thought I had to explain what a Smartphone was. But it was a day for surprises

Originally published at You can comment here or there.

Last Wednesday’s pageantry in Beirut celebrating the return of Samir Kuntar marked a black day for Lebanon. It is hardly the first time an Arab terror outfit has held a street party for murderers – sweets were handed out in plenty of Arab capitals on 9/11. Still, it was surprising to see the participation of many members of Lebanon’s pro-democracy March 14 movement, like Prime Minister Fouad Siniora who has become a significant US ally over the last three years. Now, Lebanon’s friends in the international community, especially in Washington, who backed March 14’s struggle and looked to it as a model alternative to the bin Laden version of the Middle East, must re-evaluate their continued support.

Read the whole thing.


Originally published at You can comment here or there.

This was definitely something they didn’t tell me about when I converted.  What do I have to do to get in on this controlling the election thing? And while I’m at it, can I have a newspaper too? I’d really like one of those. 
By Stephanie Rubenstein in the
Jerusalem Post
block quote
Increasing numbers of anti-Semitic cartoons depicting US presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama have surfaced throughout the Arab media over
the past few weeks.
Since McCain’s visit to Israel in March and Obama’s current tour of the country, the Arab media have produced an influx of negative cartoons, depicting
the supposed Jewish control of the upcoming presidential election in November, according to a report published by the Anti-Defamation League on Wednesday.
In one cartoon published in Saudi Arabia, in two separate newspapers, the presidential candidates are drawn in the jacket pocket of a Jewish man. In another
cartoon from the Palestinian Authority, Obama is placed in the back pants pocket of a Jewish man, with an accompanying caption reading “the wagon [that
gets you] to the White House” in Arabic.
A third Jordanian drawing depicts the candidates meeting President Bush, who is drowning in a sand pit among skulls in Iraq. The Arabic caption below read,
“Come in, make yourself at home.”…
block quote end

Originally published at You can comment here or there.

There’s a nice listtle turn of phrase at the end of this.

They travel on horsepower, but diesel runs many of their tools, machines and appliances

The News Journal

Inside his workshop near Dover, Bennie Troyer, an Amish man, shapes and assembles wood. He builds about 30 to 35 custom kitchen cabinet sets a year, and
each set takes about a week and a half.

Cabinetmaking is a trade Troyer inherited from his father, Sam, who started the cabinetmaking business in the 1960s. But it’s a trade that has become more
expensive lately.

The diesel fuel that powers Troyer’s tools, a traditional table saw and wide-belt sander among them, has skyrocketed in price in the past several months,
adding pressure to business on Apple Grove School Road.

“Our profit margin is not going to be this year what it was last year,” Troyer said last Thursday, standing in his workshop, just across a narrow driveway
from his house.

It may be hard to imagine that the Amish, known best for their horse-drawn buggies, are as susceptible to the sting of rising oil prices as people who rely
on gas for everyday transportation.

But for those who milk cows, build cabinets or saw timber for a living, the pinch is real. Pressure from fuel prices even reaches into Amish homes, where
they use gas to power washing machines and freezers.

Amish people are banned from driving cars and trucks because leaders worry that faster transportation could “pull the community apart,” but the prohibition
does not extend to fuel-powered motors and engines like those used to run power tools and washing machines, said Donald B. Kraybill, an Amish scholar at
Elizabethtown College in Elizabethtown, Pa.

“I don’t know that there ever was a categorical taboo on the engine,” Kraybill said. “They used steam engines in the late 19th century.”

So despite their old-fashioned separatist image, the Amish are squeezed by high fuel prices just like everybody else.

Last year at this time, Troyer paid $2.35 a gallon for diesel to run his tools. It cost him $4.49 recently.

Burning 125 gallons a month, that’s an extra $267.50, not counting fuel surcharges suppliers are tacking onto deliveries of things like stains and drawer
slides. The Baltimore company that provides Troyer with stains and finishes tacked another $12 on each delivery. Troyer said he may have to raise prices
to cope.

“If this keeps on, we’re going to have to do something different,” he said.

Troyer declined to be photographed for this story. The Amish follow the scriptural admonition to not make “graven images” of themselves. They also do not
want to draw attention to themselves by posing for a photo or image.

Sawing and mulching timber at his sawmill off Yoder Road, also west of Dover, Ervin Miller burns 250 gallons to 300 gallons of diesel weekly. Miller, who
remembers paying 95 cents for diesel only five years ago, paid $4.39 per gallon last week.

Anyone can do the math.

Loggers, who are also facing higher fuel prices, want more money, too, he said. And adjusting prices can be difficult, with struggling lumber companies
unwilling to pay more.

“I just get what they give me,” said Miller, who stood in the sun one day last week, a straw hat on his head, square-framed glasses on his face and a tape
measure clipped by his right side. “It kind of puts a jam on you.”

For David Miller, a dairy farmer nearby, diesel fuel powers his milk pump and the compressor that keeps the milk cool.

The good news is that prices for milk have gone up with fuel. He’s getting more than 60 percent more for his milk this summer than he was a couple of years

“It’s helping a lot,” Miller said. Still, Miller, who is facing extra charges from haulers because of higher fuel prices, called such prices “ridiculous.”

Harvey Yoder, who runs a nursery off Rose Valley School Road, addressed the belief that the Amish are not affected by such modern factors as soaring fuel

“People think the Amish are old-time,” Yoder said, “But we do use gas.”

The water pump Yoder uses to water the plants, from petunias to ponytail grass, in his greenhouse, is gas-powered. His five-gallon jug of gas usually lasts
two weeks or so, he said. Through the spring, it may only last one week.

“We used to get it for half the price,” Yoder said of the gas. “It knots you.”


Originally published at You can comment here or there.

If this thing goes to trial, I want to be there. 
A Tennessee man is suing a Knoxville church after he claims he injured himself while consumed by the spirit of God.
Matt Lincoln, 57, wants Lakewind Church to pay $2.5 million for medical bills he said he incurred after he fell and hit his head while worshipping.
Lincoln has had two surgeries since the June 2007 incident, but still feels pain in his back and legs. 
He says he has fallen from the force of the spirit before, but someone always has caught him. It was reported that congregants saw him laughing after he
fell to the floor.  
Lawyers for the church say Lincoln failed to look out for his own safety while he was asking God to have “a real experience.”  
(Source) and (Hat-tip). 

Originally published at You can comment here or there.

  • 00:13 New blog post: Happenings #
  • 02:07 Under the covers, waiting for sleep to catch up with me. #
  • 14:50 Digitizing my analog copy of Bulfinch’s Mythology. #
  • 14:53 @UtahSEOpro Given that Bush will be out of office no later than Jan of 09, isn’t impeachment kind of useless? #
  • 14:55 @blindtwit That’s only 5hrs from me. Clt’s not a bad place to lay over b/t planes. #
  • 14:58 Hmmm. Pagination seems to be broken. #
  • 14:59 Oh. OK, now it works. #
  • 15:10 Crap. More dripping from upstairs. #
  • 19:28 Digitizing my copy of Bulfinch’s Mythology. #
  • 19:32 Washing a blanket. #
  • 20:47 At Foodlion getting a chaser. #
  • 20:56 Riding around Greenville. #
  • 20:58 Getting gas. #
  • 21:27 Hanging out at Dr. Unks. #
  • 23:44 Back home now. #
  • 23:50 Waiting on maintenance to show up to fix the constant leak in my bathroom ceiling. Irritated. #

Originally published at You can comment here or there.

Wp seems to have eaten the last incarnation of this post, so we’ll try this again.

There’s an app I use called Online Bible, which, as the title suggests, allows one to study/read the Bible, (and whatever other books one decides to import into the thing), on one’s PC.
It’s a very powerful app, allowing, among other things, the creation of one’s own modules by simply marking up a text file.
Someone’s even created three different translations of the Qur’an for the thing, and after eight years of use, I still haven’t figured out how they did it.
The only drawback I’ve found with the program is that if you’ve acquired a ton of modules like I have, a complete install can take at least three hours, and that’s if you work at it non-stop.
What I’m trying to find out is if there is a way to create a single install for everything, so that I can avoid this if I ever have to reinstall.
You can back up all the modules, and when you’re creating modules for distribution, there’s a setup utility that can be included so that a user can run a self-extracting archive and have the module automatically install.
I’m thinking that this method may be used to create a single install, if I include all the backups in the same directory, and also include the setup utility.
I’ll post more if I get more information.

Originally published at You can comment here or there.

  • 00:25 New blog post: Happenings #
  • 17:16 Wondering if has rss feeds. #
  • 17:45 Looks like work will end early today. #
  • 18:21 Dinner plans with aunts postponed, having dinner in. #
  • 20:31 Thinking maybe I should do some blogging. #
  • 20:40 Snding some txts. #
  • 00:03 New blog post: Live From The Recliner #

Originally published at You can comment here or there.