Sunday, October 30, 2005

Quote for 10/30/05

"What then is time? If no one asks me, I know what it is. If I wish to explain it to him who asks, I do not know."
Saint Augustine

Yeah... that's kinda how I feel about Daylight Savings Time. We all follow it, but none of us really knows why. All we know is that every October we get to regain that hour of sleep we lost in March. Or do we lose the hour in March that we gained in October? I dunno! Somebody else can figure this one out.


Saturday, October 29, 2005

Excuse me if this seems out of line

Me and the Boy went to Phantom Fright Night at Kennywood tonight. It was an enjoyable evening, for the most part. I would've liked to have stayed longer, but Bob wasn't really feeling well. Besides, he wasn't too keen on the idea of waiting in line for an hour or so for some of the haunted-house type features. And neither of us fancied the idea of riding roller-coasters and what-not when it's only 40-ish degrees outside. But all in all it was an OK time spent out of the house.
However, to address the title that I've chosen for this post, I must ask a couple of questions that I hope aren't rhetorical. But I doubt that I'll get any solid answers to them. Feel free to comment if you think you might know.
1) How is it that teenage girls can still manage to dress "slutty" when it's only 40-ish degrees outside? Aren't you girls freezing those things off having them uncovered like that?
2) Why are black people, especially black women/girls, so easily frightened out of their wits? Does it have something to do with the whole horror-movie-genre thing about "the black person always dies first"?
These were just a few of the things that both of us observed tonight.

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Wednesday, October 26, 2005


That's me today.
Could I say that age is only a number? Yes, I could. Because I certainly don't feel any older than I did yesterday. Nor do I look any different to myself when I look in the mirror (except for that zit on my cheek).
I am still the same man that I was a year ago. Maybe a bit more gray in the temples. Perhaps a bit slower to get out of a nice comfy chair. And I'm finding that it doesn't have to be so cold before I get a slight chill. But I am essentially the same person who started this blog nearly a year and a half ago.
I am still a conservative Christian with a weird sense of humor and a passion for a good discussion. I still love my kids. I still care about what happens to my eventual-EX wife. I still like all of my favorite foods, music, books, movies and TV shows. I still make my co-workers laugh, And I'm still surrounded by friends who love me. Do I need much more than this?

I do, however, wish to share a few thoughts on what everybody keeps calling my mid-life crisis. First, and foremost, I'm not having a mid-life crisis. I'm not making any attempts to recapture my youth. Nor am I changing anything about myself for the sake of making myself appear younger than I am. I've been told that I don't look my age, and that's good enough for me. The gray hairs are just fine. Besides, the Bible tells me that they're a blessing from God.
Second, I'm not quite sure that all mid-life crisis' are actually so much a crisis as a display of what one can finally do. I've come to the realization that my kids will be all grown up very shortly. Aliesha will be 18 in August, and Bob will be there in about 3 and a half years. By the time they are both 21, I'll only be 47. Once they've moved out, and are on their own, I will have a ton of money to work with for my own purposes. I think that's what has been misappropriately called a mid-life crisis. When somebody who's always wanted that Camaro can finally afford it because the kids have moved out, that's not a crisis. That's just being responsible. Put the kids first, then get your toys.
And finally. I've seen enough people go through their mid-life crisis to know that I don't want to have one. In a sense, I'm watching the eventual-EX go through hers as she attempts to make a life for herself around going out and hanging out with a bunch of people who are much younger (mostly) than her. I don't need that. I am content with what I have (for the most part), something else the Bible tells me I ought to do/be. But I also recognize the fact that we all grow old, and eventually die (and most of you know that I've already been there). So I'm prepared for both, because that is not something that I can change by hanging out with the right people, or people who are younger than I am.
So let me just finish this by saying that I'm very pleased that God has seen fit to allow me to live this long. I've been through a lot, many of you have read about some of those experiences here. I have learned that everyday is a blessing that we ought to cherish, and that we aren't promised a tomorrow. Still, I hope to be here for many more years. And I hope that all of you are also. God bless you all.

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Quote for 10/26/05

"While one finds company in himself and his pursuits, he cannot feel old, no matter what his years may be."
Amos Bronson Alcott


Tuesday, October 25, 2005

A moment of self-indulgence

Just thought I'd post this little note to let some of you know about my most recent update to my Bullet Awards. Typically, I don't say anything about my updates anymore, but this one is just plain messed-up!
That's all... you may continue your regular reading, now.


Just thinking...

I saw a co-worker pinch one of his fingers in a piece of equipment at work today. Immediately he stuck that finger in his mouth. And I know that this is a common response for many people when they've banged up a finger or thumb. But it left me wondering...

Why do people stick their fingers in their mouths after they've been bumped, pinched, smashed or even burned when it really doesn't seem to help that your tongue is already in your mouth when you bite or burn it?

Just thought I'd ask.

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Aging gracefully

Tomorrow will be my 40th birthday.
No, I'm not struggling with this "milestone", but I will have a post tomorrow that expresses some of my thoughts about it, and about getting older and mid-life-crisis'. But more importantly, I just wanted to let everybody know that you are all welcome to join me for dinner. At least, those of you who are close enough to be in Monroeville at around 6:30. I will be celebrating with Bob, JT and anyone else who shows up at Red Lobster. Then we'll be heading to 'becca's for cake.


Sunday, October 23, 2005

Quote for 10/23/05

"A lie told often enough becomes the truth."
Vladimir Lenin

Read the next post, too.


I can relate to this

Stumbled across this story and couldn't help thinking about the above "Quote...".
Our mainstream media would like us to believe that the war in Iraq is not only unjust, but is also a miserable failure. Meanwhile, the Iraqi people have just voted on their own constitution. And their former dictator is already on trial under their own legal system.
We hear very little about these events because it makes our military efforts look honorable, but the media doesn't want that. Likewise, we hear very little of the other positive news that our soldiers see everyday (you can check out some of the military blogs out there if you don't believe me). Simply because it doesn't fit into their agenda. It isn't that the media is lying to us, they're merely neglecting to share all of the news with us. But then again, half-truths are just as misleading as un-truths.

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Friday, October 21, 2005

Quote for 10/21/05

"Political Correctness is the linguistic trick of making your problem into my problem."
Jim Quinn

I really felt compelled to add my own thoughts to this. You can read them in the next post.


My thoughts on it

There are those of us who are old enough to remember a time when people were allowed to speak freely in this country. A time when anyone could speak his or her mind without fear of being accused of "hate-speech", "sexual harrassment", "intolerance" or "bigotry". And that time really wasn't all that long ago.
I remember when Political Correctness began to slowly creep into the lexicon of our common language. At first it was a joke. When somebody chose to use a PC reference to someone or something, most of the rest of us would chuckle at their overly sensitive attempt to not offend someone else. And that was supposed to be the purpose of PC speech, to avoid offending someone.
But somehow it went beyond being merely polite, beyond tolerating someone elses perspective. It grew on the idea that we could avoid ever offending anyone with our words. And from there it began to shift the entire position of any issue which it touched. It removed any responsibility from the offended party, and placed the fault of any conflict onto the shoulders of the other person.
Think about these examples:
Homophobe - If I say that homosexuality is a sin, then I am called a homophobe. It is not enough that the homosexuals disagree with my views, they had to invent a word that makes my convictions seem to be an irrational fear. Their problem with the concept of sin is made into my problem. This also precludes the fact that, depending upon which use of the word "homo" you're utilizing, the word means either an irrational fear of "same-ness" or of "man". And I have neither.
Racial Profiling - When certain ethnic groups are identified for being the disproportionally larger percentage of individuals who are involved in either criminal behavior, or acts of terrorism, then how is it wrong to look for suspects of those ethnic backgrounds? Yet, we have this word (phrase) that seems to indicate that we shouldn't be looking for the people who we're really looking for.
Sexual Harrassment - I've discussed, at other times - in other posts, the notion that Sexual Harrassment is an undefined crime. The employee handbook at my workplace actually says that it is "defined as, but not limited to", which means that it really has no definition, because it must be either "defined as", or "not limited" but it can't be both. Instead, harrassment is in the eyes of the victim. And there is no way that the offending person can even know that they've harrassed someone until after the victim has decided that they've been harrassed.
These three examples are all ways in which language is used to shift one persons problem onto someone else. I could come up with more, but I'm sure you get my point with these three. And that's all I'm going to say on this issue... for now.


Thursday, October 20, 2005

Don't ask...

Alright, you can ask.
Why did I sign up for a Xanga account?
Well... originally because I wanted to leave a comment at someone's site, and you have to be a member to leave comments. I figured if Miciani was kind enough to leave such a pleasant comment to one of my poems. Then I should be kind enough to respond.
But then I started to play with some of the settings for the free site, and I kinda liked the way it looks. So I've decided that I'll go ahead and maintain that blog as well. But I'm only using it for periferal stuff. I'm utilizing the link service to post "What I'm currently..." listening to, watching, reading, etc... that's all. I don't think I'll post anything substantive there. It's just something different. It's just for some of the stuff that I don't post about here.


Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Quote for 10/19/05

"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse."
John Stuart Mill


Everybody's talking

With the Powerball being $340 million dollars, all I hear about at work is what my co-workers would do if they won. The first thing any of them say is "Quit this job.". To which I always interject my voice of reason "Do you realize that nearly 90% of all multi-million dollar lottery winners end up bankrupt within 5 years because of that?". You can't imagine some of the looks I get when I say that. So this is what I always end up explaining to people...
Most people are under the impression that nobody could possibly spend $340 million in a lifetime, but they fail to recognize the fact that you don't get all of the money. If you take the annuity, you get it all, spread out over 29 years. Which ought to be great, knowing that you've got an annual income of nearly $12 million for the next 3 decades. But everyone seems to forget that the IRS is going to take nearly half of it, and then the state and local tax authorities are going to take their chunk out of it as well. But most people want the cash up front, which is already less than half of the full amount. Then you get into the whole tax thing again, and you're looking at keeping much less than you ever anticipated. It should still be enough to live on, for the rest of your life, but that depends on what else you do with it. And all of this is based on the idea that you alone have the winning ticket. If you're spliting it with another lucky soul, or with the rest of us in the "pool" the winnings just get smaller.
Now all the geniuses who've quit their jobs have no idea what they're losing out on with not having a job. Having a job doesn't merely provide you with a paycheck, it actually enables you to maintain some control over your finances. It keeps you occupied for at least 8 hours everyday, 8 hours which you might otherwise be spending a lot of money during.
Your job, more than likely, provides your medical insurance. You might think that this is no big deal, but have you ever priced insurance as an individual? You have no idea the discounts and reductions that your employer gets, that individuals don't. And if you just happen to have a serious health problem, later in life, you'll find your money flying right out of the bank into the hands of a multitude of health specialists.
Your job provides you with social interaction that doesn't cost you anything, in fact, it pays you to interact with others. Otherwise, you could spend a great deal of your money "entertaining" others in order to meet your needs for social contact.
And... your job also provides a somewhat stablizing force in your life. It keeps you grounded in reality because it keeps you in sight of "normal" people, not just those who've been attracted to your wealth.
But the people who quit their jobs do so, and then they allow their wealth to alter their lifestyle in a way that they can't truely manage. They buy expensive homes, sports cars, motorcycles, boats and a slew of other "indulgent toys" and never think about how much they're going to have to pay for taxes and insurance on these things. have you thought about any of this?

But I still gave them my two bucks for the chance to win. If we do win, many of my co-workers will quit, but I hope some of them will consider what I've just shared.
Wish us luck! And, if you've played, "Good luck"... and remember who it was that just gave you this little piece of advice.

Incidentally, I'd keep my job, but I'd never work another minute of overtime again. And I'd invest my money so I could retire comfortably within 10 years. But that's just me.

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Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Quote for 10/18/05

"Rebellion against tyrants is obedience to God."
Benjamin Franklin


Monday, October 17, 2005

Birthday Wishes

Since many of you who read my blog also read JT's blog, I figured that I'd mention that today is his birthday. So those of you who do visit his blog might want to leave him a birthday wish. Of course, he probably won't see it before tomorrow since he doesn't have internet service at his new apartment yet. Besides, he has plans for the evening.
Just thought I'd let everyone know.

Happy B-day, JT!


Saturday, October 15, 2005


So... I'm checkin' out my sitemeter to see who's been visiting and what kind of searches have been leading people to my blog. One of which was "first person to cook lobster". Which is cool because I know that I've posted similar inquiries here before. But among the other sites listed in the search was a soccer forum in which some Euro-Weenie decide to post his Top 10 Reasons to Dislike Americans. I have, in turn, decide to post my own Top 10 list of Reasons to Dislike Euro-Wennies.

1) Socialism: Regardless of the fact that this socio-economic system of governance has failed multiple times throughout history, the Euro-Weenies continue to cling to the notion of a Utopian Ideal through this adolescent ideology. Haven't these geniuses realized yet that socialism only works for the ruling class?
2) Appeasment: The inability of the European leaders of the last century to identify tyranny, or to respond to it properly, was the main catlyst for two worldwide wars. By the same token, todays European leaders are unable to identify evil as it attempts to spread itself throughout the world in the form of radical Islam. You would think that they would've learned from history. Instead they find themselves being targeted by the same extremists that they refuse to deal with head on. And once again, it looks like the American armed forces will have to bail their sorry asses out of their problems.
3) Oil for Food: In addition to their inability to recognize evil and tyranny, Euro-Weenies also seem to have the uncanny ability to profit from the suffering of those who are being oppressed by those evil tyrannies. Which also contributed greatly to the desire to appease the dictator who was insuring their continued profitability. That is, as long as they continued to turn a blind eye to the atrocities that were being commited.
4) Decaying Morality: In spite of the fact that many European nations have "state religions", they seldom seem to act upon the tenets of those faiths. What we see instead is the evergrowing "nanny state" which has taken the place of God and set itself up as the arbiter of morality. Is it any wonder they can't seem to identify evil when it rears it's head? Whatever is legal, in the eyes of the state, is "good" and anything that the state deems to be illegal is "bad". So, in many European nations Prostitution is "good" (legal), while Free Speech is "bad" (illegal by means of Hate-Speech Legislation). What a wonderful god the Euro-Weenies have.
5) Lack of Foresight: I suspect that most of the Euro-Weenies who complain so much about us Americans do so out of envy and jealousy. But I also suppose that under their breath they curse their own ancestors for not having the foresight to know how much better off they'd be right now if only their great-grandparents had left the Old Country for the New World while it was still new. They only wish they had it as good as we do.
6) Lack of Hindsight: The Euro-Weenies have learned nothing from history. As I stated above, in my blurbs about socialism and appeasement, they continue to make the same mistakes that they have always made. It's always a matter of "We haven't done enough of it." or "We haven't spent enough to solve it.", but never consider that there are better options. Real progressive thinking there.
7) France: Never won a war... except for the one they fought with themselves. In fact, the only other wars that they were even on the winning side of, were wars in which the Americans were on their side. What else do we need to say about the country that decided that snails are food?
8) Anti-Semitism: The Holocaust wasn't bad enough! Now anti-semitism is on the rise in Europe. In part because of the growing Muslim population in many European nations. But there are also those Euro-Weenies who use US support for Israel to justify their hatred of the Jewish people. They side with the terrorists by default simply because the terrorists also hate America and Israel. "The enemy of my enemy...", right?
9) The U.N.: European support for this corrupt organization is beyond me. The U.N. is not about democracy it is about socialism. What it lacks in any real substance it makes up for in it's arrogance. The U.N. has no power that it doesn't derive from the cowtowing of it's member nations. All of their "efforts" to bring "peace" to the world have met with absolute failure. In many cases, leaving things much worse off than if they hadn't been involved at all. And many Euro-Weenies support the idea that the U.N. ought to have the power to levy taxes on the citizens of it's member states. Don't these idiots pay enough in taxes to their own socialist governments?
10) Gun Control: Many Eurpoean nations are convinced that guns are the cause of violent crime. Such being their deluded conviction, they have enacted a multitude of laws to take guns from the hands of law abiding citizens while doing nothing to ensure their safety. As a result, violent crime is increasing in leaps and bounds in those nations where strict gun laws are in place. Apparently, the criminals aren't obeying the laws... DUH! Additionally, the laws are so oppressive that the victims face stiffer penalties and longer jail terms for defending themselves than the criminals do for commiting a violent crime.

So that's my list. Feel free to let me know if I missed anything

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Thursday, October 13, 2005

A lesson learned

I was looking at my calender today and saw that it is Yom Kippor. If I'm not mistaken that means Day of Atonement. It is one of the holiest of holy days of Judaism. And why does this mean anything to a professing Christian?
Aside from the fact that Christianity couldn't exist if it weren't for the Jewish people. I learned a very important lesson on Yom Kippor, many years ago. And not the kind of lesson you might expect someone to learn on a holy day.
What I learned about was a war that started on Yom Kippor, in 1967. A coalition of Arab nations attacked Israel on this holy day in the hopes of catching the Israeli army unprepared. It was not the first time that such a war was initiated by one of Israels "neighbors", but it was the last one. The response of the Israeli army was so swift and decisive that the entire conflict lasted only 7 days. During which time the Israeli army annexed the Gaza Strip as a buffer zone, a strategic position from which to avoid further incursions by their "neighbors".
It was an impressive story for someone like myself who is something of a war buff. But there were other lessons that I learned from this, and they were:

1) The Jewish people are still God's chosen people. Since Israel was recognized as a nation, in 1948, they have been in several wars with the surrounding Arab states. They have never lost. Even the US of A, as blessed as we have been by God, haven't been able to maintain such an impressive record. Of course, the only war we lost was not a military loss, but a political dog and pony show - but I won't get into that right now.

2) American military hardware is the best on earth. During the 7 Day War of 1967, the Israeli army was heavily dependent upon equipment that they acquired from the US military. The Arab nations, however, had Soviet made weapons and equipment that proved to be no match for the Israeli's.

3) Islam is not a religion of peace. Nor is it a religion of honor. In wars throughout history, holy days are traditionaly given a certain amount of reverence. Typically, holy days (holidays) are times of "cease-fire"s and "observance of non-hostilities". Yet the Muslim nations chose the holiest of Jewish holy days to initiate an attack that was meant to drive Israel right into the sea. Since then, Israel has been plagued by countless acts of terrorism, and mayhem, by these Islamists. And still, the Israelis have made effort after effort to find a peaceful resolution to whatever conflicts the Muslims seem to be "protesting" with their atacks. So I'm not surprised by the terrorist actions of the most radical of Islamists. Especially since terrorism, like screaming insults in a debate, is the clearest sign that they've lost and have no solid ground to stand on - and that they know it, too.

And that's what I learned on Yom Kippor. Sorry it couldn't have had more of a spiritual significance. Maybe next year I'll have something to fill that gap.

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Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Quote for 10/12/05

"Conquering any difficulty always gives one a secret joy, for it means pushing back a boundary-line and adding to one's liberty."
Henri Frederic Amiel


Monday, October 10, 2005

Quote for 10/10/05

"Don't worry, I'll be black. You guys stay white here."

Charmae is one of our "Temps". She's recently been assigned to Material Handling for us, and this was one of her best lines today. She's a total crack-up, and fits right in with the rest of us.
Do I need to mention that she's African-American?


Sunday, October 09, 2005

My gratitude

I wanted to thank those of you who took the time to comment to my last post. I intentionally waited to respond because I wanted to see what kind of comments I was going to get. I appreciate your encouraging words regarding my parenting skills. It's good to know that people recognize my efforts to do the right thing as a father. Sometimes that's all a dad needs to hear to keep going.
I'm also encouraged by the fact that so many of your thoughts seem to reflect many of my own. Especially when I consider the fact that I'm a hardcore conservative and most of you aren't. That only confirms my convictions that porn is not really as "normal" as we've been led to believe. And it reaffirms my belief that most of us understand just how much of a negative impact it's having on our culture.
But just so you all know, I do expect to continue to have these kinds of conversations with Bob, as long as he's willing to have them with me. We do make the effort to talk about nearly everything that has to do with our lives. I think we have a good relationship in that respect, but I also recognize some of my shortcomings in other areas. But I think I still have time to deal with those.
It's hard for me to admit this, but I get the distinct feeling that my separation, and pending divorce, have been instrumental in making this possible. We have grown very close in the time since Jo left. Kinda sucks for me, in certain aspects of my life. But it seems to be working out for the better for other aspects. Which makes it very awkward for me to be thankful to God for the whole situation, but I am. And I am also thankful for the way that all of you have been so supportive of my efforts.
I suspect that you'll be reading about this, or similar issues, fairly soon. As long as me and the Boy keep having these kinds of conversations.


Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Having "The Talk" with the Boy

To be completely honest, this wasn't the first time that I've had "The Talk" with Bob. Instead, I have discovered that "The Talk" actually takes several talks spread out over years of conversations. However, I must admit that this is sometimes a bit unsettling. On the one hand, I'm glad that he's willing to have these conversations with me. On the other hand, I'm moderately disturbed by some of what he shared with me.
Tonights discussion began after our Tuesday Night Family Service at church. It was the kind of conversation that seems to develope on occasion as JT, becca and myself sit around and get caught up with what's going on in each others lives. And somehow, tonights discussion touched on pornography. I'll spare you the details.
Anyways, as the Boy and I were driving home, he began to ask me questions about why is it so easy for kids his own age (14) to get porn, and why do they want it, and what's so great about it, etc...
So I explained to him that while pornography has been around for a very long time, it has only recently been "normalized" by people who stand to get very rich off of the male propensity to become stimulated by visual imagery. I also told him that while I knew kids who had porn when I was his age (and, yes, I saw it), it wasn't anywhere near as common (or hardcore) then as it has become these days. Then I told him that it wouldn't be surprising to me to find out that many of these kids are merely accessing their parent's stash. Such is the level of "normalization" that porn has achieved.
As for why his classmates want to see it, I told him that, in a sense, this is a normal curiosity. At this age every young man has hormones that are raging out of control. Porn is a way of exploring sex without actually experiencing it. Which is not to say that this sort of exploration is a good thing, but it is somewhat understandable.
That's where the idea of what's so great about it came up. I tried to explain that porn is "fantasy". Guys like to see girls doing the kinds of things that they do in porn. But not every girl is like that. So, by watching porn, his classmates are actually setting themselves up for some great disappointments. Eventually they will find themselves in relationships with girls who aren't pornstars, and when those girls don't do the things that their boyfriends have been seeing in porn, they will become very frustrated with the relationship. That, or they will pressure their girlfriends into doing things that she doesn't like, and then she will become frustrated with the relationship. And that's when he dropped the bomb on me.
He already knows kids who are having sex (not a surprise to me) but he also knows that there are girls who do the kinds of things that the guys see in porn... because the girls are watching it, too.

So this is what we have to look forward to with the next generation. And how much worse will it get before my grandkids are teenagers?
Porn has undergone a slow, and very deliberate transformation over the last decade or two. Mostly because major corporations have dicovered the potential for great profit from it. The infamous Girls Gone Wild videos are a tribute to this truth. But also because certain special interest groups have found the porn industry to be suitable to their agenda. Does anybody else remember a time when Feminists used to condemn porn for it's "degrading portrayal of women as objects"? Now, the Feminists condone porn because they consider it to be "empowering". Likewise, with the growing acceptance of porn, a multitude of other perversions have been able to ride the coat-tails of the industry's success into near-normalcy. The concept of "Gay" Marriage has been thrust into the forefront of the political debate. Also, NAMBLA has an increasing presence in our courtrooms (thank you ACLU).
So, now porn is no longer laughed at because of the shame that was once attached to it, but because it is so prevalent in our culture that so many of our young people (those within the target demographic) relate so easily to it. Porn used to be the industry that bad actors/actresses ended up in after they failed in legitimate theater. Now it's a stepping stone to wealth and fame (thank you Howard Stern, and E! for your tireless efforts to bring pornstars into our homes via cable TV).
I know that there are many people who don't see this as a problem. There are many people who might call me a prude for the way I think, for what I believe. but this is a problem that will only contribute to the further breakdown of our society by continuing to chip away at the foundation of our family unit. Our only hope is that there are enough parents out there who are willing to do better with their kids. The only way that we can change our culture is to do it one person, one heart, at a time. And it has to begin in our homes.

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Saturday, October 01, 2005

Quote for 10/1/05

"I would rather live my life as if there is a God and die to find out there isn't, than live my life as if there isn't and die to find out there is."
Albert Camus


Quotes from 9/2005

Quote for 9/7/05

Quote for 9/8/05

Quote for 9/10/05

Quote for 9/19/05

Quote for 9/26/05

This was a lousy month for my "Quotes...". I should've had a lot more than this.
Oh, well. What can ya do?
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