Friday, January 30, 2009

Video of Annie at Mimi's house

Ten Planks of the Cummunist Manifesto

I don't want to say too much on this yet because I want you to come to your own conclusions, but listed below are the ten planks of the Communist Manifesto. Take a look, ponder, and leave your comments. I'll leave my own comments in a couple of days.

1. Abolition of private property and the application of all rent to public purpose.

2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.

3. Abolition of all rights of inheritance

4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels

5. Centralization of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank with state capital and an exclusive monopoly.

6. Centralization of the means of communication and transportation in the hands of the State

7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the State, the bringing into cultivation of waste lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.

8. Equal liablity of all to labor. Establishment of Industrial armies, especially for agriculture.

9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country by a more equable distribution of the population over the country.

10. Free education for all children in government schools. Abolition of children's factory labor in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production, etc. etc.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Leslie's Birthday

Today is Leslie's 31st birthday.
I'd like to take this opportunity to praise my wife and tell you why I love her.
I've heard sports announcers comment on an athletes display of skill with the words, "He makes it look so easy." Well, my wife is nice to me and kind to all, and she makes it look so easy.
If she says she is going to do something or be somewhere then she will, and has so much faith in her fellow man she is confounded when others don't live up to the same standard. She smiles past my opinionated pigheadedness, indulges Jonesy's eccentricities, is patient with Georgia's strong-willed random lunacy, and dutifully gets up in the middle of the night to sooth Annie's cries and hunger pains.
She cries at Hallmark greeting card commercials. She sends lots of greeting cards.
I love her because, like Jesus, she takes good care of me and loves me in spite of my faults.

If you forgot to send a card, just leave your birthday wishes in the comment section. It's free and you can donate the $1.68 you would have spent on a card and stamp to the non-profit organization of your choice. I think you should choose Whetstone Boys Ranch.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Best MLK, Jr Day Ever

Yesterday was the best MLK Day of my life thus far. I attended a rally at the Wal-Mart and heard a black preacher holler some stuff that rhymed, went bank fishing, and had ribs, beans, turnip greens, and cornbread for supper, watermelon for dessert, then washed it all down with a 40 0z bottle of cheap beer.

Friday, January 16, 2009


Still working out of Sweetwater.
Leslie and the girls have gone to Amarillo for a visit.
I've been missing my girls, but they stopped in for a while on their way up north and it's been fun hanging out with John, Sheila, and the hounds. Got to watch my former roommate, Jason Copeland, coach the ACU Wildcats to a conference win over Dad and Chris LeDoux's alma mater, ENMU. I've gotten in lots of reading and watched more TV than is probably good for me. Hopefully I'll be able to work out of Temple again soon enough to fill up the freezer when the white bass a crappie get going next month.
I've been reading a lot of non-fiction lately, mostly history and biographical stuff. When I read about TR and his excursions to far off places, Texas Rangers back when they still ranged, our U.S. soldiers when they were off fighting for us, etc..I just have to get through a few pages and they are back home again, but being separated from my girls for even short periods of time gives me a new appreciation for the sacrifices men in the past have made for the things we enjoy now.
Thanks to those of you who have commented on the blog lately. Nice to know that I'm approaching a double-digit readership. Pray that I don't let it go to my head.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Some obeservations on Celebrity

Something to confess before I write the rest of this….. I got to shake Willie Nelson’s hand in February, 2003, and rank that as one of the greatest days of my life.

We haven’t had cable TV in years, but since I’m in a hotel room a few times a week I get to flip through the channels on a regular basis. Most of the time I flip through and am reaffirmed in our decision not to have cable. I usually land on History or Discovery or the news, but on the way I see a bunch of stuff that makes me point at the TV and say, “That’s what’s wrong with America.” Two women and a homosexual man discussing what's in or out in fashion. Two women and a homosexual man redecorating a house. A bunch of tattooed tough guys “tricking” trucks, cars, or motorcycles. A bunch of strippers competing to win the love of FlavaFlav. Two women and a homosexual man discussing the latest celebrity gossip.
Lately, I’ve noticed lots of coverage of the Hollywood awards shows. Most of the coverage is a worship of celebrity. Even the celebrities seem to worship each other. They humbly brag about the designers of their clothes and which after-party they will attend. Then the two hot chicks and the queer discuss who looked hot and who did not.
But, this is celebrity on a grand scale. You can go to a rural school and there will be a guy or girl who is adored for their looks or athletic prowess, or despised for the same. They are the celebrities in their own piece of the world. However, young people aren’t the only ones who fall prey to this phenomenon, and it is not limited to “the world”.
There is an assisted living center in town where some folks from our church went to lead services every month or so. Every time we went there was an old woman there who would ask,“Do you know Joe Baisden?”
“No, ma’am, but I know of him,” I would reply.
“Well, Joe Baisden was my preacher,” she would say with a prideful, borderline arrogant, manner. Was her faith wrapped up in who her preacher was or in who Jesus is?
As I watched some of the Golden Globe coverage the other day, I was reminded of the times I had attended events like the Tulsa Soul Winning Workshop, and I remembered Bro. Dan Scott only half-jokingly referring to the event one time as “The Money Changers at the Temple”. It was a great opportunity to see and hear some celebrated speakers and singers of the church and I enjoyed the experience, but I could also see what Dan was talking about.
Yes, there is celebrity in The Kingdom. Saul and David were both celebrities, but Saul let his go to his head while David gave glory to God. Paul was and is a celebrity for good reason, but he also lamented the fact that some in the church were bragging about their connection to him and certain other church celebrities (I Cor 1:10-17)
So, I don’t think celebrity is all bad, though some forms of it annoy me more than others. But let us remember the words of Paul….”May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, though which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.”

Sunday, January 11, 2009

It could be worse if I was on an Army TOD for 6 months

I've bumped onto a job that works out of Sweetwater. Still working toward Temple and back so I get to see my females every couple of days. I'll be splitting time staying with John and Sheila in Abilene and my folks in San Angelo. Hopefully next week the girls will come to mom and dad's for a few days.
I could still hold a switchman's job in Temple, but it would have cut our take home income by at least 25%. And the way things are going, we decided to make as much money as we can while we can because if things continue to get worse for the railroad, I might not be able to hold Sweetwater or that switchman's job back home. We also decided that the stress of being apart was probably <= the stress of the reduction in pay and all that would entail. We'll still get to see each other about every other day, just not for very long at a time unless they come to Abilene or Angelo for a few days.
So....I asked for responses to a previous post and got ONE. Yes, I value your opinions, but I also wanted to see if anyone was really out there reading this stuff. So, I'm again asking for your reactions. Do you think we should have taken the cut in pay so that I would be home everyday, or do you agree that we should have maintained/increased our income level? Please respond in the comments section.
For those of you who don't want to reveal your identities for whatever reason, you can comment anonymously.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

What it is 2009 (like JJ Evans would say it)

*As we begin 2009, we only have 1 kid in diapers. Hallelujah and Amen.
*Annie's record is 4 steps.
*Annie can get up into the fireplace like her sisters before her. Note to CPS: Our fireplace has never been used.
*We got to spend 5 days at with my parents in San Angelo. John and Sheila got to come down and my grandparents came for a day too. Good times.
*Ryan and Kimber spent New Year's Eve with us. Ryan did a great job reading Skippyjon Jones, and they witnessed Jonesy and Georgia playing Duck, Duck, Goose with only 2 people.
*Railroad business has really slowed with the downturn in the economy. I can't touch an engineer job right now, but am still able to hold as a conductor. I may be a switchman again soon. There's a lot of shuffling and bumping going on across the country right now. I'm thankful to be able to hold a job here at home for now.
*We've settled in with a new church family at Western Hills Chuch of Christ in Temple. It's been fun getting to know everyone and seeing the girls make new friends.

Monday, January 5, 2009

I don't have all of the answers, but I've got lots of opinions

I hear a lot of people gripe about our schools teaching for the test, teaching TAKS, etc…. It has almost become the “cool” thing to say in the same way that it became cool to make fun of Pres. JorgeW for being dumb even though he has a Harvard MBA and is probably smarter and better read than you, or to vote for O’Bama and his changes even though most people who did couldn’t really tell you what those changes would be.
Back to TAKS…I have conflicting opinions, but I believe that they lead me to the same conclusions.
When I hear people complain about the testing and how all our kids are taught is what’s on the test, I want to ask them to look at the test and tell me which part of it they would like to eliminate from the curriculum. Think we should quit teaching Reading, Writing, Math? (those are the 3 R’s everyone talks about going back to) What exactly is teaching to test? Many parents and kids dislike TAKS because they hear so much about it, because kids take so many practice tests. Administrators and teachers dislike it because they know that money and jobs are on the line.
I think that even if there were no TAKS or other standardized testing, most teachers would still teach for tests, most parents would still ask “Did you study for your test?” and most kids would still be graded on the tests they take. I had a psychology professor in college who didn’t call them tests. He called them “measurements”, with the idea that he was taking a measurement of how much we had learned in the class. I liked the idea behind his lingo, but a rose by any other name……..
So opinion #1—I don’t think that TAKS is so bad. We have to measure progress somehow.
On the other hand, I think NoChillunsLftBhind is a failure if your measurement criterion is Have we left any chilluns behind? Opinion #2-- I think the thing missing from our curriculum is the answer to the age old question “When am I ever going to use this in the real world?” Our kids are not taught that chemistry can help them in the kitchen, that fractions and percentages can help them to be smarter shoppers, that history and reading comprehension can help them be better informed voters, that when their subjects and verbs agree in their speech and writing what they have to say will be listened to with greater respect. Our education systems have failed to help our students and parents understand that what kids are being taught is not just for the test but for life.
Opinion #3—Not everyone can or should go to college.
Opinion #4—Somebody’s got to have a job with a name on his shirt. Our society and economy can’t survive without our blue collar heroes.
Opinion #5—Many of our teachers and politicians are, as the late great Jerry Clower might describe them, “educated beyond their intelligence.”

Although I never worked as a full-time classroom teacher, I did work in education for about six years and hold a master’s degree in the field, so I feel like I have sufficient understanding to have some opinions.
I don’t usually solicit comments, although I welcome them, but in this particular case I would like to ask for feedback.
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