Wednesday, October 31, 2007

This Is Just Sick

Was Ehrlich right about multiculturalism?

Here is a partial list of workshops at the 17th annual convention of the National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME), which K-12 teachers from every state attend thanks to our tax dollars:

• "The Unbearable Whiteness of Being: Dismantling White Privilege and Supporting Anti-Racist Education in Our Classrooms and Schools." Taught by a professor from St. Cloud State University in Minnesota, this session "is designed to help educators identify and deconstruct their own white privilege and in so doing more deeply commit themselves to anti-racist teaching and critical multicultural teaching."

• "Talking About Religious Oppression and Unpacking Christian Privilege." This session, taught by a team of professors, "will examine the dynamics of Christian privilege and oppression of minority religious groups and nonbelievers as constructed and maintained on three distinct levels: individual, institutional and societal. A historical and legal lecturette will be presented and participants will engage in interactive learning modules."

• "Beyond Celebrating Diversity: Teaching Teachers How to be Critical Multicultural Educators." Taught by NAME regional director Paul Gorski, founder of the activist group EdChange, this session will start from the premise that multiculturalism's greatest danger "comes from educators who ostensibly support its goals, but whose work - cultural plunges, food fairs, etc. - reflects a compassionate conservative consciousness rather than social justice. This session focuses on preparing teachers, not for celebrating diversity, but for achieving justice in schools and society."

No way in hell is my kid going to a government school. Thank God there are private schools to take up the slack. Don't think they aren't trying to take that option away.

Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: but in every nation he that feareth Him, and worketh righteousness, is acceptable to Him. - Acts 10: 34, 35

Divine Selection - Character matters.

Something Fishy Here

Gmail uses Google's innovative technology to keep spam out of your inbox.

I have a Gmail account and have been pretty amazed at how effective the spam blocker is at keeping spam out of the inbox. I wish Thunderbird was that effective. That being said, I have a feeling they may be cooking the books, so to speak.

I get a lot of spam on the Gmail account, and it's different than spam I get on other accounts. All my other accounts get a much wider variety of spam, on Gmail it's always for a Rolex, sexual enhancements or some other such thing. Also, I have an account I use for sweepstakes and I get less spam at that one than at Gmail. I haven't given my Gmail address out to anyone except and use it to log into Blogger. I have given the other one out to literally hundreds of companies. How are the spammers getting my Gmail address? It's an unusual address, especially the form it is in.

I don't have an answer but have a feeling Google is selling the addresses to spammers or possibly even spamming themselves to make Gmail look better. I don't know, but it just doesn't feel right.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Raising Sand

New album from Alison Krauss and Robert Plant - listen to it free at their website. Very nice.

Men Behaving Badly

Defending Christ in Spite of Christianity by Lenny Cacchio

If someone were to challenge me with Hitchens' observations, I would have to grant him that the politics of Christianity has a sordid side, but that's why Jesus made the pointed statement that his kingdom is not of this world. He did not intend the Church to become a player in the power politics of the kingdoms of men. Hitchens seems to be saying that there can't be a God because people are so bad, and surely a man of Hitchens acumen can see that it does not necessarily follow. One must not confuse institutions that claim the Christian label with Jesus Christ. They are not the same thing.

Any organization or institution (or individual for that matter) that puts the name of Christ on its shingle needs to be careful about giving occasion for doubt. Jesus once warned his disciples about denying him before men, and that means more than disowning him. It means claiming the name of Christ while doing the works of the devil. Blasphemy is taking the Lord's name in vain, and there is no greater blasphemy than doing evil in the name of good, or as Jesus might have put it, "the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service." (John 16:2 NKJV)

In other words, don't blame God for the sins of man. We do that on our own.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Life in the Movies

War, like life, is not a movie -- Mark Steyn

But the third and bigger point is that, enjoyable as they are, pop-culture metaphors aren't really of much use, especially when you're up against cultures where life is still defined by how you live as opposed to what you experience via media. It seems to me, for example, that when anti-war types bemoan Iraq as this generation's Vietnam "quagmire," older folks are thinking of the real Vietnam Рthe Gulf of Tonkin resolution and whatnot Рbut most anybody under 50 is thinking of Vietnam movies: some vague video-store m̩lange of "The Full Metal Deer Apocalypse."

Take the Scott Thomas Beauchamp debacle at the New Republic, in which the magazine ran an atrocity-a-go-go Baghdad diary piece by a serving soldier about dehumanized troops desecrating graves, abusing disfigured women, etc. It smelled phony from the get-go – except to the professional media class from whose ranks the New Republic's editors are drawn: To them, it smelled great, because it aligned reality with the movie looping endlessly through the windmills of their mind, a nonstop Coppola-Stone retrospective in which ill-educated conscripts are the dupes of a nutso officer class.

It's the same with all those guys driving around with "9/11 Was An Inside Job" bumper stickers. That aligns reality with every conspiracy movie from the past three decades: It's always the government who did it – sometimes it's some supersecret agency working deep within the bureaucracy from behind an unassuming nameplate on a Washington street; and sometimes it's the president himself – but when poor Joe Schmoe on the lam from the Feds eventually unravels it, the cunning conspiracy is always the work of a ruthlessly efficient all-powerful state. So Iraq is Vietnam. And 9/11 is the Kennedy assassination, with ever higher percentages of the American people gathering on the melted steely knoll.

There's a kind of decadence about all this: If 9/11 was really an inside job, you wouldn't be driving around with a bumper sticker bragging that you were on to it. Fantasy is a by-product of security: it's the difference between hanging upside down in your dominatrix's bondage parlor after work on Friday and enduring the real thing for years on end in Saddam's prisons.

Monster Truck Show

We took James to a monster truck show on Sunday. I don't think we'll do that again. After ten minutes I was ready to go and James and Irma weren't far behind, but we stuck it out. The biggest problem was the noise. It was way too loud. The show was in an indoor arena with a cement floor and it was just painful when those trucks got going. It was not just loud, no, no. The music they were playing was loud - we couldn't even hear each other over the music, which was annoyingly obnoxious by itself (think loud rock music over a crappy PA system). The trucks were painful. I know loud, I've worked on a flight line, been to plenty of concerts, and been to auto races. The closest loud were the races but being inside just multiplied the sound. I searched in vain for someone selling earplugs - I'd be selling earplugs if it were my show. I ended up crumpling some paper towel up and sticking it in my ears. You couldn't really see it, it was like putting foam plugs in your ear and it saved the day for me. James just put his hands over his ears, he didn't like the paper towel idea. I don't know how Irma took it.

It was a relief when the motorcycles came out to play, they were whisper quiet (in comparison) and you could just barely hear them with the music playing. They had a car jump a ramp and smash into a line of cars. James thought that sounded cool but after it crashed his first words were, "That was dumb." He was right. I just don't get enjoyment out of seeing things destroyed for fun.

That being said, I do like watching the monster truck shows on TV occasionally. These trucks we saw were not those TV trucks, they were not on that level, and if I ever go to one of those shows I will bring earplugs.

I wanted to get some video of the show and was checking the tape to make sure I wouldn't tape over something important (the kids play with it sometimes) and James wanted to go to the bathroom so I walked with the camera. He went to the end of a long bank of stalls and as I walked behind I pushed play to check the tape, camera pointing to the floor. On the screen I see a bathroom stall with a guys feet at the bottom. I checked the camera, it was in 'play', not 'camera' mode and it was indeed pointing down. The guys feet disappeared, he pulled them up. I was just standing there now, trying to figure out what the hell was going on and hoping nobody saw it. I turned it off. I turned it on again and the feet came back down. This was too weird. I hit rewind and found out one of the kids had taped a scene from a movie off the TV. Scared me 'bout half to death. Never bring a camera in the bathroom.

Revenge of the Nerds

You saw how the cat wakes up it's human, well, we have our ways of getting even. Scroll down for 2nd pic.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Let Me Guess ...

the attractive, intelligent ruling elite are the liberals, and the underclass of dim-witted, ugly goblin-like creatures are the conservatives? That's the way liberals see the world now, so it's no surprise to see someone actually project that out to future branching of the human species. Not gonna happen though.

Hey, maybe I got that backwards after all.

Human race will 'split into two different species

Saturday, October 27, 2007

The Faithless

"Things hoped for"; the realization of ideals, the ultimate victory of good, compensation, the even balance and justice; the building of the city of God and the triumph of righteousness. "Things not seen." Oh, if there only were a God, if only there were spiritual forces as well as material forces, if only the dreams of these men of old were true and the mountain flamed with light and angelic hosts; if only these things were real, then we should be quite sure that our dreams would be realized. Fail to believe in things unseen and hope dies, the song is silent, the fight ends, and the work is abandoned. Let the dust of the highway be everything, and the troops will weary upon the march and the territory will never be possessed. Let humanity come to the conclusion that the life of bread and raiment and dust is everything, and thereby is signed the death warrant of all high ideals and aspirations, and of everything noble. There is no assurance of things hoped for unless there be the proving of things unseen. -- G. Campbell Morgan.

America was founded on faith, the impossible dream, but with her success faith diminished as surely as sand slips through the fingers and now "the life of bread and raiment and dust is everything."

Friday, October 26, 2007

Mayan Cichlid

This is my newest fish. He was caught locally, in Lake Tohopekaliga, while catching bait shrimp. Best I can tell he's a Mayan cichlid (Cichlasoma urophthalmus). It seems this fish has become established in South Florida but I can't find any reference to them being found this far north. It could be they made their way north through the Kissimmee River. This is a juvenile so I assume they are established and breeding.


I posted this before but this is better quality. Besides, it's funny.

35 Inconvenient Truths

Chock full of errors.

As many as 35 serious scientific errors or exaggerations, all pointing towards invention of a threat that does not exist at all, or exaggerations of phenomena that do exist, do not reflect credit on the presenter of the movie or on those who advised him. The movie is unsuitable for showing to children, and provides no basis for taking policy decisions. Schools that have shown the movie to children are urged to ensure that the errors listed in this memorandum are drawn to the children’s attention.

Another Final Warning

Give all power to the U.N. or 'Humanity's very survival' is at risk

The bleak verdict on the environment was issued as an “urgent call for action” by the United Nations Environment Programme, which said that the “point of no return” was fast approaching.

Only the United Nations has the wisdom and ability to save the world. Just check their track record. OK, don't, just trust them. This is your last warning. Until the next one.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Have you hugged an Islamo-fascist today?

Ann Coulter's latest column.

Elected Democrats at least make empty rhetorical gestures about opposing Islamic fascism. Of course, amidst their nonspecific condemnations of Islamic terrorism, they make very specific demands that we genuflect before Islam and perform exotic fetishes on the fascists.

Liberals believe in burning the American flag, urinating on crucifixes and passing out birth control pills to 11-year-olds without telling their parents – but God forbid an infidel touch a Quran at Guantanamo.

Liberals claim to be terrified that the religious right is going to take over the culture in a country where more than a million babies are exterminated every year, kindergarteners can be expelled from school for mentioning God, and Islamic fascists are welcomed on college campuses while speakers opposed to Islamic fascism are met with angry protests.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Learn From Others Mistakes, Please.

God always seems to provide someone with the unique ability to elucidate world events in a time of crisis - who, of course, is ignored or ridiculed by the majority until it's too late. Mark Steyn seems to be stepping into that role for the present day.

No Smoke Without Fire by Mark Steyn

Let us zip across the Dominion, to Etobicoke, a corner of Toronto I know well. Or I thought I did. The other day a reader sent me the list of candidates for the Etobicoke North riding in this month’s provincial election. They are as follows:

Shafiq Qaadri, Liberal
Mohamed Boudjenane, NDP
Mohamed Kassim, Progressive Conservative
Jama Korshel, Green
Teresa Ceolin, Family Coalition

"Teresa"? What kind of cockamamie name is that for an Etobicoke politician? This is the first riding in Ontario in which every major party is running a Muslim candidate. But not the last. To the casual observer, this would seem to be statistically improbable. Etobicoke is not 80 per cent Muslim, nor even 50 per cent Muslim. Yet every major national party already feels obliged to defer, in its candidate selection process, to Islam’s political muscle. I write in my book that, historically, Islam has never needed to be a statistical majority in order to function as one. At the height of its power in the eighth century, the “Islamic world” stretched from Spain to India yet its population was only minority Muslim: Islam conquered and ruled an empire of non-Muslim subjects. But, a millennium and a bit on, it's not even necessary to conquer – not when everyone's so eager to concede pre-emptively, all in the name of "tolerance". As Douglas Farrow told a conference at McGill recently, tolerance is a negative: it implies a kind of passivity. "You can't build a society on that negative principle," he says. But you can rot and enfeeble the one you have, and in its ruins something new will be built.

"The decline of the West," wrote Samuel P Huntington, is still in the slow first phase, but at some point it might speed up dramatically." What is the point at which it becomes irreversible? If you’re on a river heading over the falls, it's not the moment when you plunge over the precipice and are dashed on the rocks below. That’s the great visual dividing line – Joseph Cotton in Niagara: one minute his boat's horizontal, next it's heading straight down. But the critical point happens way back upstream. It's still flat, it’s still the river not the distant falls, but what you thought were the placid shallows has, in fact, a strong silent running current and, before you even know it, you’re being swept along.

Plastered Pachyderms

When elephants get drunk, do they see pink humans?

Monday, October 22, 2007

"Hate Speech"

Mike S. Adams offers an excellent explanation of why conservative thought is rendered hate speech and Islamic threats - dripping with hatred - are not considered hate speech by liberals.

Why Islamic Fascists Get Away With Hate Speech

Hate speech is verbal communication that induces anger due to the listener’s inability to offer an intelligent response.

Because this inability to offer an intelligent response is due to one of two reasons, there are really two different types of hate speech: 1) Speech that is too dumb to merit an intelligent response, and 2) Speech for which the listener is too dumb to offer an intelligent response.

They both induce anger in the listener, regardless of whether the speaker expressed his view with any feeling of hatred or animosity.

And this leads to an understanding (see bold sentence below) of the apparent hypocrisy of gays and feminists who a) cry “hate speech” (while actually crying in some cases) against conservatives who do not wish to kill gays and feminists, and b) tolerate “hate speech” by Islamic fascists who really do wish to kill gays and feminists.

Islamic advocacy of violence is not classified as “hate speech” because it induces fear, not anger.

And, of course, it explains the success of Islamic terrorism. It is indeed a strategy that induces fear in an effort to destroy the proper function of the First Amendment through threats and intimidation too serious to simply ignore.

Feline Wake Up Call

This Is A Joke, Right?

Urban Camouflage.

That's like putting a lampshade on your head, it only works in Three Stooges movies.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Save The Children

Mark Steyn's newest commentary, The Real War On Children, brings some sense to the recent SCHIP veto.

So what is the best thing America could do "for the children"? Well, it could try not to make the same mistake as most of the rest of the Western world and avoid bequeathing the next generation a system of unsustainable entitlements that turns the entire nation into a giant Ponzi scheme. Most of us understand, for example, that Social Security needs to be "fixed" – or we'll have to raise taxes, or the retirement age, or cut benefits, etc. But, just to get the entitlements debate in perspective, projected public pensions liabilities in the United States are expected to rise by 2040 to about 6.8 percent of our gross domestic product. In Greece, the equivalent figure is 25 percent – that's not a matter of raising taxes or tweaking retirement age; that's total societal collapse.

So what? shrug the voters. Not my problem. I paid my taxes, I want my benefits.

In France, President Sarkozy is proposing a very modest step – that those who retire before the age of 65 should not receive free health care – and the French are up in arms about it. He's being angrily denounced by 53-year-old retirees, a demographic hitherto unknown to functioning societies. You spend your first 25 years being educated, you work for two or three decades, and then you spend a third of a century living off a lavish pension, with the state picking up every health care expense. No society can make that math add up.

And so, in a democratic system today's electors vote to keep the government gravy coming and leave it to tomorrow for "the children" to worry about. That's the real "war on children" – and every time you add a new entitlement to the budget you make it less and less likely they'll win it.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Irresponsible Politics? Or Worse?

Sabotage in Wartime By Thomas Sowell

If Congress has gone nearly a century without passing a resolution accusing the Turks of genocide, why now, in the midst of the Iraq war?

It is hard to avoid the conclusion that this resolution is just the latest in a series of Congressional efforts to sabotage the conduct of that war.

Large numbers of American troops and vast amounts of military equipment go to Iraq through Turkey, one of the few nations in the Islamic Middle East that has long been an American ally.

Turkey has also thus far refrained from retaliating against guerrilla attacks from the Kurdish regions of Iraq onto Turkish soil. But the Turks could retaliate big time if they chose.

There are more Turkish troops on the border of Iraq than there are American troops within Iraq.

Turkey has already recalled its ambassador from Washington to show its displeasure over Congress' raising this issue. The Turks may or may not stop at that.

In this touchy situation, why stir up a hornet's nest over something in the past that neither we nor anybody else can do anything about today?

Japan has yet to acknowledge its atrocities from the Second World War. Yet the Congress of the United States does not try to make worldwide pariahs of today's Japanese, most of whom were not even born when those atrocities occurred.

Even fewer, if any, Turks who took part in attacks on Armenians during the First World War are likely to still be alive.

Too many Democrats in Congress have gotten into the habit of treating the Iraq war as President Bush's war -- and therefore fair game for political tactics making it harder for him to conduct that war.

In a rare but revealing slip, Democratic Congressman James Clyburn said that an American victory in Iraq "would be a real big problem for us" in the 2008 elections.

Unwilling to take responsibility for ending the war by cutting off the money to fight it, as many of their supporters want them to, Congressional Democrats have instead tried to sabotage the prospects of victory by seeking to micro-manage the deployment of troops, delaying the passing of appropriations -- and now this genocide resolution that is the latest, and perhaps lowest, of these tactics.

It isn't all that long ago that people who did this sort of thing in a time of war would face the firing squad or hangman's noose. America has lost it's heart and soul.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Complacent Western Assumptions

Mark Steyn: Time for the U.S. to get comfortable with ideology

Well, one reason is we're not really comfortable with ideology, either ours or anybody else's. Insofar as we have an ideology it's a belief in the virtues of "multiculturalism," "tolerance," "celebrate diversity" – a bumper-sticker ideology that is, in effect, an anti-ideology which explicitly rejects the very idea of drawing distinctions between your beliefs and anybody else's.

Less sentimental chaps may (at least privately) regard the above as bunk, and prefer to place their faith in economics and technology. In Britain in the 1960s, the political class declared that the country "needed" mass immigration. When the less-enlightened lower orders in northern England fretted that they would lose their towns to the "Pakis", they were dismissed as paranoid racists. The experts were right in a narrow, economic sense: The immigrants became mill workers and bus drivers. But the paranoid racists were right, too: The mills closed anyway, and mosques sprouted in their place; and Oldham and Dewesbury adopted the arranged cousin-marriage traditions of Mirpur in Pakistan; and Yorkshire can now boast among its native sons the July 7th London Tube bombers. The experts thought economics trumped all; the knuckle-dragging masses had a more basic unease, convinced that it's culture that's determinative.

To take another example, on CNN the other night Anderson Cooper was worrying about the homicide rate in Philadelphia. The City of Brotherly Love is the murder capital of the nation, and CNN had dispatched a reporter to interview the grieving mother of a young black boy killed while riding his bicycle in the street. Apparently, a couple of cars had got backed up behind him, and an impatient passenger in one of them pulled out a gun and shot the kid. Anderson Cooper then went to commercials and, when he returned, introduced a report on how easy it is to buy guns in Philadelphia and how local politicians are reluctant to do anything about it. This is, again, an argument only the expert class could make. In the 1990s, the number of guns in America went up by 40 million, but the murder rate fell dramatically. If firearms availability were the determining factor, Vermont and Switzerland would have high murder rates. Yet in Montpelier or Geneva the solution to a boy carelessly bicycling in front of you down a city street when you're in a hurry is not to grab your gun and blow him away. It's the culture, not the technology.

Very few members of the transnational jet set want to hear this. They're convinced that economic and technological factors shape the world all but exclusively, and that the sexy buzz words – "globalization", "networking" – cure all ills.

Yea, Right

Pope John Paul II waving from the grave.


Monday, October 15, 2007

With All Of Our Technological Advancement...

You would think they could find a less disgusting way to "reintroduce friendly bacteria into the gut."

Trials in a Scottish hospital have shown patients suffering from the Clostridium difficile bug can be cured using 'donor stool' administered via a tube through the nose into their stomach.

Who thought up this procedure? Brilliant thinking about the bacteria but not so much on the dosing part. They put all kinds of friendly bacteria in yogurt these days, why not these? Not disgusting enough for a hospital setting?

Friday, October 12, 2007

An Inconvenient Truth Lie

What? Al Gore Lied?

The inaccuracies, according to the court, are:

1. The film claims that melting snows on Mount Kilimanjaro evidence global warming. The Government's expert was forced to concede that this is not correct.

2. The film suggests that evidence from ice cores proves that rising CO2 causes temperature increases over 650,000 years. The court found that the film was misleading: Over that period the rises in CO2 lagged behind the temperature rises by 800-2000 years.

3. The film uses emotive images of Hurricane Katrina and suggests that this has been caused by global warming. The Government's expert had to accept that it was "not possible" to attribute one-off events to global warming.

4. The film shows the drying up of Lake Chad and claims that this was caused by global warming. The Government's expert had to accept that this was not the case.

5. The film claims that a study showed that polar bears had drowned due to disappearing arctic ice. It turned out that Mr. Gore had misread the study: In fact four polar bears drowned, and this was because of a particularly violent storm.

6. The film threatens that global warming could stop the Gulf Stream, throwing Europe into an ice age: The Claimant's evidence was that this was a scientific impossibility.

7. The film blames global warming for species losses including coral reef bleaching. The Government could not find any evidence to support this claim.

8. The film suggests that the Greenland ice covering could melt, causing sea levels to rise dangerously. The evidence is that Greenland will not melt for millennia.

9. The film suggests that the Antarctic ice covering is melting; the evidence was that it is in fact increasing.

10. The film suggests that sea levels could rise by seven meters, causing the displacement of millions of people. In fact, the evidence is that sea levels are expected to rise by about 40 centimeters over the next hundred years and that there is no such threat of massive migration.

11. The film claims that rising sea levels has caused the evacuation of certain Pacific islands to New Zealand. The Government are unable to substantiate this and the Court observed that this appears to be a false claim.

Hey, Nice Slogan!

This is New York

Abridging the Freedom of Speech

Chuck Asay

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Questioning Belief

Religion – including Christianity and Judaism – is "violent, irrational, intolerant, allied to racism, tribalism, and bigotry, invested in ignorance and hostile to free inquiry, contemptuous of women and coercive toward children." At least that's according to the No. 1 New York Times bestseller "God is Not Great: Why Religion Poisons Everything" by journalist Christopher Hitchens.

He's partially correct, let me slightly modify that thought:

Humanity is "violent, irrational, intolerant, allied to racism, tribalism, and bigotry, invested in ignorance and hostile to free inquiry, contemptuous of women and coercive toward children and therefore, religion includes those elements.

It's this human element that poisons everything, including religion.

Quoted from How atheism is being sold to America, which is actually well worth reading - lots of good stuff in there. I had only read the first paragraph when I wrote the above but went back and read the whole thing after - David Kupelian does an excellent job taking on this subject.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Exploring St. Augustine

The St. Augustine Lighthouse, among the majestic oaks.

Take an hour or two and wander through the lighthouse and museum. If you time it right you can climb the light at night and watch the full moon rise, complete with champagne toast. Or just take the Dark of the Moon Tour if there is no full moon.

Looking up from inside.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007


Men hold two views of what happiness consists in, viz., having and doing. To possess much, or to do some great thing, constitutes the sum of human blessedness according to popular theory. Our Teacher sweeps those conceptions away by absolutely ignoring them ... Being is everything. A man's happiness depends upon what he is in himself.
-- G. Campbell Morgan


Even if they did exist, how could anyone actually think they could get change for a one million dollar bill at a supermarket?

Two five hundred thousand dollar bills OK, sir? Or do you need singles?

Monday, October 08, 2007

It All Comes Around In The End

Senator Larry Craig (the bathroom guy) has a favorite recipe for Super Tubers on the Congress Cooks website.

With an apple corer or small knife, core out the potato center (end to end). Push hot dog through the center.

St. Augustine Alligator Farm

The Alligator Farm is a must see if you're visiting St. Augustine, at least if you're with your kids. It's very clean and you can tell they really care for the alligators. The shows are interesting and informative, not flashy, they work with the animals and some of the gators actually respond to their name. They have a huge saltwater crocodile named Maximo (see the video below) but when we were there he had put himself off display - he does whatever he wants. We could see his back. A little disappointing. Overall, it's a nice place to spend a couple of hours.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Fire One!

Here's a picture of the cannons firing at Castillo de San Marcos. They re-enact a recruiting speech (in period attire) and shoot the cannons after. Pretty cool. And loud. Don't know what that guy's doing with the stick in his butt - I think it's a knife but it just don't look right.

Castillo de San Marcos

Probably the most famous landmark in St. Augustine, Castillo de San Marcos is a very interesting place to visit. If you look closely at the tower in the picture you can see bullet holes. They shoot off cannons regularly, which you can hear throughout the city. And James asked one of the men why he didn't see where the cannonballs hit. He said because the people in those houses across the bay would get really angry if we used real cannonballs. There is limited parking on-site but the city parking garage is close by and I recommend parking in it for your visit to St. Augustine rather than fight 2 hour parking limits or feeding parking meters - if you can find one open. Be careful parking along the seawall. It wasn't obvious why the first two days but the third day it had rained and those cars were flooded out over the bottoms of the doors - not a pretty picture. It really didn't rain all that much either.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Hot Stuff

The ipod is so hot it will set your pants on fire.

Can't get enough.

Bush Gore Lied, People Died

You have to listen to this all the way through and let what he is saying really sink in, keeping in mind what he and other liberals have been saying since taking out Saddam Hussein. How can anyone in their right mind take anything these clowns say seriously? They don't let the truth get in the way of their agenda. They will use the truth, partial truth, complete lies, or any combination of the three to further their desires. They will use you, chew you up, and spit you out. They don't give a rats ass about anyone but themselves. They would rather destroy the United States of America than let it continue as it was originally conceived. It's their way or nothing. How sad for this country that they have come this far, what a tragedy that so many believe them.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

The Founders Intention

The Founders Intended A Christian, Not Secular, Society

“It has been the error of the schools to teach astronomy, and all the other sciences and subjects of natural philosophy, as accomplishments only; whereas they should be taught theologically, or with reference to the Being who is the author of them: for all the principles of science are of Divine origin,” Thomas Paine declaimed. “Man cannot make, or invent, or contrive principles. He can only discover them; and he ought to look through the discovery to the Author."

When we examine an extraordinary piece of machinery, an astonishing pile of architecture, a well executed statue or a highly finished painting where life and action are imitated, and habit only prevents our mistaking a surface of light and shade for cubical solidity, our ideas are naturally led to think of the extensive genius and talents of the artist. When we study the elements of geometry, we think of Euclid. When we speak of gravitation, we think of Newton. How then is it, that when we study the works of God in the creation, we stop short, and do not think of God? It is from the error of the schools in having taught those subjects as accomplishments only, and thereby separated the study of them from the Being who is the author of them.” In short, even the least religiously committed of the founders wanted to approach public education in a manner that would deeply offend today’s uncompromising separationists, and those who ludicrously claim that the designers of our Constitution intended a “secular nation.”

The ludicrous indignation about Senator McCain’s recent remarks remains an expression of both ignorance and intolerance, and a mean-spirited refusal to recognize the simple truth in his statements. The framers may not have mentioned Christianity in the Constitution, but they clearly intended that charter of liberty to govern a society of fervent faith, freely encouraged by government for the benefit of all. Their noble and unprecedented experiment never involved a religion-free or faithless state but did indeed presuppose America’s unequivocal identity as a Christian nation.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

St. Augustine

We just got back from St. Augustine and we had a great time. St. Augustine has something for everyone but it is heavy on the tourist market, you have to do a little searching to find all the gems hidden in this city - there's a lot of them. Bring money.

We stayed at the Castillo Real Hotel on Anastasia Island. It's one block from the ocean and has a nice pool for the kids. The pool goes from zero to about 5.5 feet, just like at the beach. Our poolside room was very quiet, you cannot hear the noise at the pool. The room was comfortable, has a fridge/microwave, jacuzzi, and large shower. Great internet access, too - wired or wireless. It was a nice area to stay in and was only a short drive to downtown St. Augustine.

The bonus was finding Cafe 11 almost right across the street. This is one of the gems of St. Augustine. Others agree. We would have been happy to eat every meal there and there were a few occasions when we wish we had. The menu is on their website, check it out. The weekend brunch is excellent and very busy, especially on Sunday. Nice jazz plays from one corner, not loud, just right and the weekend buffet is on the stage, among the speakers and amplifiers used for the live gigs. They could use less shaky tables, though. And the bathroom was impressively clean, a big plus for me since I invariably have to take James there and wait for him.

The first night we ate at the A1A Ale Works. I had the Spicy Ahi Sticks appetizer - to die for - and Irma had the Fried Lobster Bites, which she liked. I don't eat lobster. I had the Blackened Salmon and Irma had the Ragtime Shrimp dinner - both were excellent. I tried the stout but was not that impressed, although I am not a big beer drinker, I have had better. It wasn't bad, though, just not as good as I thought it would be. After all, it's called Ale works. The restaurant has great views and you can sit outside on the 2nd floor deck. James loved the saltwater fish tanks they have.

We also ate at the Santa Maria. If you have kids with you, you should eat here. It sits out over the water and there are little trap doors so you can feed the fish or birds. The catfish are so thick in the water trying to get at the food you can almost walk on them. The view is fantastic and we watched in frustration (well, I did, everyone else watched in fascination) as bait fish boiled about 20 yards outside the windows, just wishing I could throw a line in the water. One boat out of the bunch we saw actually did and pulled in a nice fish - I couldn't quite make it out. Don't go here for the food, though. Just go for lunch, get a grilled fish sandwich (not fried) and let the kids enjoy themselves. They will bring old bread to feed the fish and they brought a 2nd basket at James' request. Bring your own bread, too. If they would remodel the place and the menu - put some heart and soul into it - this place would be killer. At least get a new head chef, someone to bring life to the menu. I can easily deal with the out of date decor if the food rocks.

Another night we ate dinner at the Sunset Grill (somewhere on A1A), actually about a mile from the hotel. The restaurant is clean and comfortable with TV's on all the walls with the game on. Irma and I had a completely different food experience at this place. I had the Tuna on a bed of Spinach and Rice Pilaf. It was wonderful. It was a nice size, thick chunk of tuna, cooked rare and absolutely delicious. The spinach and rice were good, too. Irma had a fried seafood platter and she didn't care for it. She had a nice fillet of flounder and I couldn't imagine what could be wrong with it until I tried it. It wasn't seasoned. Obviously they didn't go to the Emeril Lagasse school of cooking. Salt, pepper and spices - how do you forget that? Anyway, James loved his pizza and Joshua liked his hamburger. I'd go back but I'd get the tuna.

We went to another place but I won't even mention it, just don't eat anywhere they say they are world famous. The place is way south of St. Augustine on A1A, near Saltwater Cowboys, which didn't open until 5pm, unfortunately. The catch of the day was Basa and they tried to tell me it is an Asian grouper. Wrong! It's a catfish and I don't want it. Why would a restaurant on the shore in Florida import cheap catfish from Asia and try to pass it off as grouper if not to rip you off? At least they said it was Basa.

There are so many restaurants in and around St. Augustine it would be impossible to try them all. There are also many upscale restaurants. I don't care about fine dining so much, I like to be comfortable, but the food has to be good. One place I missed but wish I hadn't is Osteens. Unfortunately they were closed Sunday when we stopped by. They are closed Sunday and Monday. They have a great reputation, though and I will be sure to eat there next time.

This turned into a restaurant review of sorts, I'll have a few more things to say about St. Augustine in another post.