Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Great Idea!

Wish I had done this!

Monster Spray

I'm sure this alleviates a lot of fears before bedtime.  Good job Mom and Dad!


Here is a great quote from Sen McCain today in a speech in the Senate.  Whatever you think of the Senator this is as accurate as anything I've heard.
"President Obama has confused our friends, encouraged our enemies, mistaken an excess of caution for prudence, and replaced the risks of action with the perils of inaction. And into the wreckage of his failed foreign policy now steps Vladimir Putin."

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Motivation Monday

This is amazing!  And very good news.  Here in California the number of smokers are really going down.  It's all good news!

The Spectrum

This is interesting.  Probably only interesting to old dudes like me.  But interesting.


It's on my bucket list.  Germany in October would be a lot of fun!!

Red Sox

You find those hats everywhere!

The Pope

Unless you've been living under a rock, you've watched over the last several days as the Pope visited Washington DC, New York, and Philadelphia.  It was quite a visit.  During the run up to the visit there was a lot of analysis and criticism from both ends of the political spectrum.  The conservatives were not happy with his views on climate change or immigration among other things.  The liberals were not happy with his consistent defense of the unborn and traditional marriage among other things.  And both were not happy that he would voice his opinions and provide policy recommendations to the political class.  After all, he's a religious leader and couldn't possibly be attuned to the realities and requirements of being one of the chosen few to lead the nation.

And then he arrived.  He came off his jet (a plain Alitalia airliner) and got in his Fiat.  And he stopped to bless people and greet people.  And he delivered a consistent message based on the Gospel.  It was weird but it seemed that for a few days people were a bit dumbfounded and paralyzed.  They listened to his messages, they watched his actions, and they seemed to be mesmerized.  And it wasn't just the 22% of the country that is Catholic.  It seemed to be most people.  Pope Francis talked about refugees and immigration, about unemployment and homelessness, about violence, war and environmental degradation, about religious freedom and human rights, about unjust economic systems and strengthening families, and about reversing a culture that seems so centered on itself that it refuses to look outward to the needs and concerns of others.  I wasn't there but could almost feel it through the TV.  One of the things that struck me was that in every speech, in every interaction, he asked people to pray for him.  Imagine that, the most powerful religious leader in the world, the Vicar of Christ, asking people to pray for him.  It was powerful.

So it seemed to me that the message was simple.  Care for the poor.  Protect the environment.  Protect life in all it's forms.  Live a good life.  "Do onto others as you would have them do onto you"!  I'm not naive enough to think that these messages will take hold and our leaders will take them to heart.  In fact, the punditry has already started to come out with their knives.  The queen of the cynics has a depressing piece today that you can read here.  But just maybe a few of them will reflect on the Pope's words as they do the people's work.   Maybe...

I listened to several of his speeches and Homilies.  While I thought they were all good, the speech at Independence Hall in Philadelphia in particular resonated with me.  I've copied it all below.  It's not long but the message is powerful.  Only time will tell, but I think this speech, given at the cradle of freedom and using Lincoln's lectern, could be one that is for the ages...

The following is the English translation of Pope Francis’ remarks at Independence Hall on Saturday afternoon. His homily was prepared for delivery and released by the Vatican:

Dear Friends,

One of the highlights of my visit is to stand here, before Independence Mall, the birthplace of the United States of America. It was here that the freedoms which define this country were first proclaimed. The Declaration of Independence stated that all men and women are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, and that governments exist to protect and defend those rights. Those ringing words continue to inspire us today, even as they have inspired peoples throughout the world to fight for the freedom to live in accordance with their dignity.

But history also shows that these or any truths must constantly be reaffirmed, re-appropriated and defended. The history of this nation is also the tale of a constant effort, lasting to our own day, to embody those lofty principles in social and political life. We remember the great struggles which led to the abolition of slavery, the extension of voting rights, the growth of the labor movement, and the gradual effort to eliminate every kind of racism and prejudice directed at successive waves of new Americans. This shows that, when a country is determined to remain true to its founding principles, based on respect for human dignity, it is strengthened and renewed.

All of us benefit from remembering our past. A people which remembers does not repeat past errors; instead, it looks with confidence to the challenges of the present and the future. Remembrance saves a people’s soul from whatever or whoever would attempt to dominate it or use it for their interests. When individuals and communities are guaranteed the effective exercise of their rights, they are not only free to realize their potential, they also contribute to the welfare and enrichment of society.

In this place which is symbolic of the American way, I would like to reflect with you on the right to religious freedom. It is a fundamental right which shapes the way we interact socially and personally with our neighbors whose religious views differ from our own.

Religious freedom certainly means the right to worship God, individually and in community, as our consciences dictate. But religious liberty, by its nature, transcends places of worship and the private sphere of individuals and families.

Our various religious traditions serve society primarily by the message they proclaim. They call individuals and communities to worship God, the source of all life, liberty and happiness. They remind us of the transcendent dimension of human existence and our irreducible freedom in the face of every claim to absolute power. We need but look at history, especially the history of the last century, to see the atrocities perpetrated by systems which claimed to build one or another “earthly paradise” by dominating peoples, subjecting them to apparently indisputable principles and denying them any kind of rights. Our rich religious traditions seek to offer meaning and direction, “they have an enduring power to open new horizons, to stimulate thought, to expand the mind and heart” (Evangelii Gaudium, 256). They call to conversion, reconciliation, concern for the future of society, self-sacrifice in the service of the common good, and compassion for those in need. At the heart of their spiritual mission is the proclamation of the truth and dignity of the human person and human rights.

Our religious traditions remind us that, as human beings, we are called to acknowledge an Other, who reveals our relational identity in the face of every effort to impose “a uniformity to which the egotism of the powerful, the conformism of the weak, or the ideology of the utopian would seek to impose on us” (M. de Certeau).

In a world where various forms of modern tyranny seek to suppress religious freedom, or try to reduce it to a subculture without right to a voice in the public square, or to use religion as a pretext for hatred and brutality, it is imperative that the followers of the various religions join their voices in calling for peace, tolerance and respect for the dignity and rights of others.

We live in a world subject to the “globalization of the technocratic paradigm” (Laudato Si’, 106), which consciously aims at a one-dimensional uniformity and seeks to eliminate all differences and traditions in a superficial quest for unity. The religions thus have the right and the duty to make clear that it is possible to build a society where “a healthy pluralism which respects differences and values them as such” (Evangelii Gaudium, 255) is a “precious ally in the commitment to defending human dignity… and a path to peace in our troubled world” (ibid., 257).

The Quakers who founded Philadelphia were inspired by a profound evangelical sense of the dignity of each individual and the ideal of a community united by brotherly love. This conviction led them to found a colony which would be a haven of religious freedom and tolerance. That sense of fraternal concern for the dignity of all, especially the weak and the vulnerable, became an essential part of the American spirit. During his visit to the United States in 1987, Saint John Paul II paid moving homage to this, reminding all Americans that: “The ultimate test of your greatness is the way you treat every human being, but especially the weakest and most defenseless ones” (Farewell Address, 19 September 1987, 3).

I take this opportunity to thank all those, of whatever religion, who have sought to serve the God of peace by building cities of brotherly love, by caring for our neighbors in need, by defending the dignity of God’s gift of life in all its stages, by defending the cause of the poor and the immigrant. All too often, those most in need of our help are unable to be heard. You are their voice, and many of you have faithfully made their cry heard. In this witness, which frequently encounters powerful resistance, you remind American democracy of the ideals for which it was founded, and that society is weakened whenever and wherever injustice prevails.

Among us today are members of America’s large Hispanic population, as well as representatives of recent immigrants to the United States. I greet all of you with particular affection! Many of you have emigrated to this country at great personal cost, but in the hope of building a new life. Do not be discouraged by whatever challenges and hardships you face. I ask you not to forget that, like those who came here before you, you bring many gifts to your new nation. You should never be ashamed of your traditions. Do not forget the lessons you learned from your elders, which are something you can bring to enrich the life of this American land. I repeat, do not be ashamed of what is part of you, your life blood. You are also called to be responsible citizens, and to contribute fruitfully to the life of the communities in which you live. I think in particular of the vibrant faith which so many of you possess, the deep sense of family life and all those other values which you have inherited. By contributing your gifts, you will not only find your place here, you will help to renew society from within.

Dear friends, I thank you for your warm welcome and for joining me here today. May this country and each of you be renewed in gratitude for the many blessings and freedoms that you enjoy. And may you defend these rights, especially your religious freedom, for it has been given to you by God himself. May he bless you all. I ask you, please, not to forget to pray for me.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Friday Funnies

A man boarded an airplane and took his seat. As he settled in, he glanced up and saw the most beautiful woman boarding the plane. He soon realized she was heading straight towards his seat. As fate would have it, she took the seat right beside his. 
Eager to strike up a conversation he blurted out, “Business trip or pleasure?”
She turned, smiled and said, “Business. I’m going to the Annual Nymphomaniacs of America Convention in Boston."  He swallowed hard. Here was the most gorgeous woman he had ever seen Sitting next to him, and she was going to a meeting of nymphomaniacs!  Struggling to maintain his composure, he calmly asked, “What’s your Business at this convention?”  “Lecturer,” she responded. “I use information that I have learned from my Personal experiences to debunk some of the popular myths about sexuality.”  “Really?” he said. “And what kind of myths are there?”  “Well,” she explained, “one popular myth is that African-American men are the most well-endowed of all men, when in fact it is the Native American Indian who is most likely to possess that trait. Another popular myth is that Frenchmen are the best lovers, when actually it is men of Mexican descent who are the best. I have also discovered that the lover with absolutely the best stamina is the Southern Redneck.”  Suddenly the woman became a little uncomfortable and blushed.. “I’m Sorry,” she said, “I shouldn't really be discussing all of this with you. I don’t even know your name.”  “Tonto,” the man said, “Tonto Gonzales, but my friends call me Bubba".

At Least It Works

The ultimate nightmare upon returning to the U.S.

How'd They Do That?

Dogs Are Cool!

And colorful!

Look Out Below

I think I saw this one time in a cartoon!

Cool Pic

Great view!

Dogs Are Cool

Great Bookmark

And good advice!

Dogs Are Cool

Cool Pic

Unique Cup

Wow...look at that cup!  Looks like a grenade.

Thanks But...No Thanks

Don't even know if this is real but if it is I'm impressed that the stiffs at Harvard have a sense of humor!

Been There...Done That

Not fun!


I love IN-N-OUT!  Great burgers!

Cool Pic


How the hell does the guy above talk the guy below into this?

Looks cool, but...

How the hell do you control it?


There are lots of variations on this theme.  It takes years of experience, an knack for seeing what is not obvious, and a fair amount of wisdom to decode some pretty simple messages.  Good luck!

Uncanny Resemblance!

The Big Announcement

Not how to do it!

Darwin's Law

I think these guys may find out that this isn't a particularly good idea.


This about sums up what I think most people think about Bernie.  Hope he gets the nomination.  Remember McGovern?  Yep.

Good Lesson

A rather inarticulate explanation, but some lessons, once learned, are never forgotten.  This is a good lesson.  From a great teacher.


But the comeback is pretty good!  High horse...heh, heh, heh.

Tom Brady

Totally politically incorrect!  But pretty funny.

I've Got The Same Disease!

Sunday, September 20, 2015