Thursday, August 30, 2007

What Not to Do When you Graduate In Colorado

From the same state that gave us a school that has banned playing the game "tag" on playgrounds, we get this wonderful news:

Mention Jesus Christ in your valedictorian speech and we'll withhold your diploma until you apologize.

A 2006 Lewis-Palmer High School graduate who mentioned Jesus Christ during a valedictorian speech and had her diploma withheld until she wrote an apologetic letter, has sued the district for allegedly violating her free speech.

Erica Corder was chosen to conclude a commencement speech shared by 15 valedictorians at the Tri-Lakes-area high school in May 2006. Although students’ 30-second speeches were first rehearsed for the principal, she added evangelical comments when her turn came during the ceremony.

Seriously, how messed up has this country gotten? Apparently "In God We Trust" is just a saying anymore. I'm not sure what makes me more upset, the fact that she is supposed to apologize for speaking freely of her religious convictions in a country built on alleged freedom to do so, or that fact that the district tried to extort an apology by withholding something she obviously worked very hard to achieve.

What inflammatory rhetoric did she include at the last minute? Well, this will shock you:

“We are all capable of standing firm and expressing our own beliefs, which is why I need to tell you about someone who loves you more than you could ever imagine. He died for you on a cross over 2,000 years ago, yet was resurrected and is living today in heaven. His name is Jesus Christ. If you don’t already know him personally I encourage you to find out more about the sacrifice he made for you so that you now have the opportunity to live in eternity with him.”

Double thumbs down, three boo-hisses and a "you're a major nugget" to (now "Former" thank goodness) Principal Mark Brewer.

Thank you multiculturalism for working hard to produce a generation of pansies that do not know how to compete or win, and may be inhibited to stand firm for that in which they believe.


Brad Lakeman claims credit for it. I heard a guest on the Dennis Miller Radio Show yesterday mention it (could've been Brad...). I like it. The term is "momentarian."

Here's an excerpt from the entire interview last year with Mr. Lakeman and Tucker Carlson on MSNBC (an interview most people likely have never seen--since it was aired on a program that most people have never seen): emphasis mine

BRAD LAKEMAN: The vast majority of Iraqis do not hate us. I coined a term, we've become momentarians in this country. We live for the moment. That's not what makes America great. That‘s not what makes our society free and a peaceful world. We have to look to the future and that's what George W. Bush is doing.

TUCKER CARLSON: Wait a second, momentarians - wait a minute. Who is the momentarian? Who looked at 9/11 and said, oh, a new world order. Who sort of forgot the several millennia of history that preceded 9/11? Millennia in which the people of Iraq lived without democracy in a tribal society that was hostile to outside influence and had almost nothing in common with the West? All of the [sic] sudden that was forgotten, as you put it, in a moment. The White House totally forgot about all that. History didn't exist. All of the sudden we're in a new age, a new world. The people want democracy, they want it really, really bad, but they didn't and they don't and it's time to face reality on this one.

BRAD LAKEMAN: No. There are people who want instant gratification. They want instant results. And democracy is not a switch you turn on. It's something that people fight for. And that people go to the polls for.

I think many Americans have become momentarians. Many Americans--and America has no corner on the market--sacrifice the big picture at the altar of instant gratification and poll results. Case in point? Once positive news was finally allowed unfettered into the MSM in America post-surge, Pres. Bush's approval ratings began to climb--while the Democrat-controlled Congress's ratings hit an all-time low.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Cool. Really cool.

I've posted on this before. One thing about living near a larger city is the airport overhead traffic. One thing about living near an AFB is the overhead traffic.

Just caught a pair of F-16s flying in formation over our place. Oh, Say Can I See.

Awesome. Simply awesome.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

It's Official. I'm Above Average.

According to an AP/Ipsos poll, whose results were released today, I am a more avid reader than 25% of Americans. I'm also above the median for men--five books in the past year--and women--who reported reading nine. Of course, not counting kids' books, I still beat the curve.

A short list of some of last year's reads for me:

The Last Templar, Raymond Khoury
John Adams, David McCullough
The Bible, God (with a little poetic license taken by man)
The Book of Mormon, God (translated by Joseph Smith, Jr.)
Godless, Ann Coulter

I'm in the process of reading 1776, also by David McCullough. The more I read these accounts of America's Founding Fathers, the more I realize they did a lot of reading of the third book on my short list.

Monday, August 20, 2007

All Hail My Wife

In the ultimate gesture of love, my wife took a cooking class about a month ago at The Basque Market in downtown Boise. The gesture comes in that it was a class on making paella, a dish that she has, in no uncertain terms in the past, told me she "doesn't care for." She does, however, know that paella is one of my favorites. She bought the paellera, and last night, she christened it. I am now a member of the Church of Yummy, with my wife as High Priestess.

So I ask: What did your spouse make you for dinner last night?

Tastes sooooooooooo good!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Why I love Provo #1

Not to be outdone, my alma mater, the one with the "Y" in the middle of the "B" and the "U" had their own fantastic finish.

Let the new season begin. And may the results be quite the same. Or more of a blowout. My heart can't take this on a repeated basis.

Why I Love Idaho #11

I didn't graduate from BSU...although my undergrad alma mater has a "B" and a "U" in its acronym. I just moved here in 2006--before the football season started. I'm not really a "BSU" fan. But I do know a football game when I see one.

So in preparation for this year's football season, and the ensuing blue/orange rush I'm sure I'll see on the streets (probably win or lose, but I don't know) here in the Boise area, I offer this look back to what was the best college football game I think I've ever witnessed.


Here's something interesting I learned from the Human Calculator.

Take your age, add the digits, and subtract that number from your age.

The resulting digits will add up to nine.

Example: I'm 38. 3 + 8 = 11. 38 - 11 = 27. 2 + 7 = 9.

Now I know what the Beatles were droning on about.

Number nine. Number nine. Number nine. I'm really scared, too, because when I played hockey, I always chose the number nine.

Thursday, August 16, 2007


I cried as I listened to this passionate Marine tell it like it is.

Needless to say, he gets it. Do we?

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Clever Bumper Stickers

My wife always gets on my case about slowing down for cyclists, but since I am one, I believe in karma--and in not getting flattened by a motorist. I figure if someone sees me seeing a cyclist, then I may exponentially help my own chances of being seen. That having been said, we always chuckle when we see the "Start Seeing Motorcycles" stickers.

We see them. On our recent cross-country drive, we saw them. We saw them without helmets in Idaho, Montana and Minnesota. (Didn't notice in North Dakota--we were too rapt in the flat nothingness.)

The bumper sticker that does stick out from our trek was found on one of those mobile houses classified as an RV. You know, the one that cost more than your house (and your neighbor's--combined)? It read:

"Zero to sixty in fifteen minutes."

I'm guessing his carbon footprint is bigger than mine. Chew on that, Al Gore. Hah!

Cross-Country Travel in a Van

Aaah, the priceless joys of endless miles of open road in front of you. I suppose that if there's one thing I enjoy about the driving is the wide variety of "interesting" things you find in the most mundane places. Take this photo at a McDonald's in Butte, Montana (home of Levi Leipheimer, but you didn't ask). What you can't see is that the word "convenience" has been replaced by the word "indoctrination." What you can see is that the "c" in "changing has been oh-so-cleverly removed to create a baby "hanging station." This is the logical progression from the road graffiti of my youth, where equally-clever folks would scratch out the "w" on the electric hand dryers to reveal "rub hands under arm air" just below where the "on" in "button" had been etched away to reveal the important instructions to "push butt" (again, to be executed before you rub hands under your arm air).

I'm not sure which is a sadder image: the hanging station itself or the thought that there I was on the throne snapping a picture of it with my cell phone.

Pathetic? Yes. I was snickering as I typed this post. I need to grow up, yet strangely, I refuse.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Peace in the Basque Country?

Here's a nice little article from Smithsonian Magazine. My sister subscribes and saved the January 2007 issue for me knowing I'd want to read it. There is something wonderful about the Basque Country and the Basques that just penetrates my soul.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

I-35W Update

The Star-Tribune has just noted that two more individuals were taken from the wreckage of the bridge collapse about two hours ago. My sister, my wife and I went to downtown Minneapolis on Tuesday evening and walked out onto the balcony of the Guthrie Theater, which overlooks the Stone Arch Bridge and the Mississippi River. Off to the right, we could see the lights on the 10th St. Bridge--and the remnants of the green steel framework of what was the I-35W bridge. The feeling in the air is best described as "eerily peaceful."

The flags around the metro area are flying at half-staff.

The MN-280 detour around the site is working flawlessly.

With all of the road construction on the weave (where I-35E and I-694 meet in Vadnais Heights/Little Canada) as well as MN-36 in North St. Paul, I'm really impressed with the way the detour around the bridge is working. I haven't been on it during rush hour, but I think people are just being smart and doing the best they can to help in this situation.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Why I Love Idaho #10

No poo on the beach. Actually, no beach. But hey, no beach = no poo on the beach.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Hal Fishman Dead at 75

If you've never lived in SoCal, you probably have little idea who Hal Fishman is. If you have, you know exactly who he is, and you've probably gotten your news from him on more than one occasion. He's even played a newsman in the movies. Hal Fishman, like he said, was not easy on the eyes and had less-than-average hair, but he was believable. Most folks in SoCal if asked, could probably not name another main-desk anchor on the news in California. Hal was sort of a caricature for me when I first moved to SoCal in 1994, 30+ years after he started broadcasting, but I could always count on Hal's intelligent commentary on the news when needed.

RIP Hal.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Start to Finish MS

Due to some creative computing (read: a hard drive crash!) since my last MS ride, I have been nothing short of a schmuck in sending personal thank yous to all who donated to the cause last year. Seriously--the first year I planned to do something really unique and special--and wait until after the ride to thank anyone "personally" hard drive crashes. No files salvageable. No backups. No files available on the MS site to rebuild my donor list. I couldn't even image the hard drive to recreate anything. Now I know how Mom's synapses feel. We just couldn't do what we wanted to do--no matter how much we wanted to do it.

So here I am getting a late start on this year's MS ride support drive. My personal page link is here. Please log on and donate whatever you can. Just click on the green "donate to Craig" button and follow the easy steps. We ride in October--so time is of the essence. Thanks in advance for your help!

I did a little calculation. Last year, you helped me raise $1500. This year, I'd like to reach out to one hundred people and get each to donate $30. That will double last year's total. If you'd like to donate more than $3o, please do, as not all will be able to give $30. I'm going to get it started with the first $100.

Will you donate to help me beat Multiple Sclerosis?

Friday, August 03, 2007


I happen to be in the Twin Cities for a family reunion this week. I also happened to be on 35W the other night when the bridge collapsed. I missed it by about a half-hour, thank goodness, but it was oddly surreal watching as we saw signs saying "accident at river--highway closed" and then heard/saw police cruisers and fire rescue vehicles, some towing boats, drive by on the shoulder at a rate of about one every 15 seconds. I was heading to NE Minneapolis with my sister to practice a song we're singing on Saturday for our parents' 50th wedding anniversary. My sister looks over at me and says, "we left late, just think if we'd been on time?" We held hands for a second and were left to ponder the fate of those on the bridge. What were their stories? Had someone left early and missed it? Had someone raced through a light changing to red to "make it" only to be on the bridge when it went down? This sort of thing really puts things in perspective.

My prayers are with those who were affected by this. I trust that all is well--or will be made well soon.