Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Since we moved back in January, my daily commute went from about a 20 minute, 6 mile drive (round trip) to a 60 minute, 34 mile drive (round trip). Needless to say, that has upped our budget for gas since I am having to fill up pretty much every week.

Recently, I met another guy that works in the same company as I do that lives just down the road from me. We figured since we both have relatively the same schedule and have to drive the same route every morning, why not carpool? We would meet up in a church parking lot just down the road from the both of us and then ride in together.

This is now the second week we've been carpooling and so far it has been working out pretty good. We carpool only 2-3 times a week and trade off taking turns driving. I figure that for every day I ride with him, I save about $5.25 in gas or $15.75 for a 3-day carpooling week. Not sure how much he saves when he rides with me, but it's probably not quite as much since his car more than likely gets better gas mileage than my truck. While I'm glad that carpooling helps the environment (even if it is miniscule), I must confess that saving $5.25 a day is a much greater incentive for me.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Bush Vetoes Federal Funding for Embryonic Stem Cell Research

In another great decision for Pro-Life supporters, President Bush vetoed the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2007. Here is his written response:


I am returning herewith without my approval S. 5, the "Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2007."

Once again, the Congress has sent me legislation that would compel American taxpayers, for the first time in our history, to support the deliberate destruction of human embryos.

In 2001, I announced a policy to advance stem cell research in a way that is ambitious, ethical, and effective. I became the first President to make Federal funds available for embryonic stem cell research, and my policy did this in ways that would not encourage the destruction of embryos. Since then, my Administration has made more than $130 million available for research on stem cell lines derived from embryos that had already been destroyed. We have also provided more than $3 billion for research on all forms of stem cells, including those from adult and other non-embryonic sources.

This careful approach is producing results. It has contributed to proven therapeutic treatments in thousands of patients with many different diseases. And it is opening the prospect of new discoveries that could transform lives. Researchers are now developing promising new techniques that offer the potential to produce pluripotent stem cells, without having to destroy human life -- for example, by reprogramming adult cells to make them function like stem cells.

Technical innovation in this difficult area is opening up new possibilities for progress without conflict or ethical controversy. Researchers pursuing these kinds of ethically responsible advances deserve support, and there is legislation in the Congress to give them that support. Bills supporting alternative research methods achieved majority support last year in both the House and the Senate. Earlier this spring another bill supporting alternative research won overwhelming majority support in the Senate, and I call on House leaders to pass similar legislation that would authorize additional funds for ethical stem cell research. We cannot lose the opportunity to conduct research that would give hope to those suffering from terrible diseases and help move our Nation beyond the controversies over embryo destruction. I invite policymakers and scientists to come together to solve medical problems without compromising either the high aims of science or the sanctity of human life.

S. 5, like the bill I vetoed last year, would overturn today's carefully balanced policy on stem cell research. Compelling American taxpayers to support the deliberate destruction of human embryos would be a grave mistake. I will not allow our Nation to cross this moral line. For that reason, I must veto this bill.

June 20, 2007.

And of course, the liberals were quick to fire back their approval, forgetting the facts of Bush's response, and instead painting him as "cruel" and "irresponsible." Here is Ambassador, World-peace initiator, and general all-around-do-everything-that-isn't-my-job Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi's response.

"Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued the following statement today in response to President Bush’s veto of the stem cell bill:

“Once again, the President has ignored the will of the American people, of leading medical researchers, and of a bipartisan majority of the Congress. His cruel veto says ‘no’ to the hopes of million of families across America.

“Stem cell research offers the potential of lifesaving treatment and enjoys the overwhelming support of the American people.

“Every family in America is just one diagnosis, one phone call, or one accident away from benefiting from embryonic stem cell research. Science has the potential to answer the prayers of America’s families; it is irresponsible for the President and many Congressional Republicans to stand in the way of such progress."

That's right, because of Bush's "cruel" and "irresponsible" act, EVERY family in America is now doomed. Let's not bother with the fact that, as Bush stated, there has already been given millions of dollars to fund stem cell research, that stem cells can be successfully harvested from umbilical cord blood without needless creating life only to destroy it or the fact that stem cells can even be found in human fat tissue. Yes, everyone is most certainly doomed now that Bush has once again stood up for the sanctity of human life and said "NO" to senseless killing, all in the name of trying saving lives. I don't know about you, but Pelosi certainly doesn't speak for this American.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

More Satire!!

I like satire.

I like parody.

I like them even better when it's Christian satire or parody. There's something about pointing out our own idiosyncracies, stupidities, or other absurdness that is so often incredibly funny. It's like a caricature - it takes little things/flaws, focuses on them, blows them way out of proportion and the end result is something that vaguely looks like the real thing, but in a much more comical way. Two excellent sites, in my humble opinion, are Larknews and the Wittenburg Door.

I am pleased to present to you a third site, which has quickly climbed to being one of my all-time favorites - With an encouragement to "think inside the box," Thomas Slawson, with help from his brother, "Brother Slawson" and another fella called "Elder Eric," regularly posts some incredibly funny satire poking fun at everything religious from Benny Hinn to Fred Phelps to Pensacola Christian College (and, hey, I'm all for THAT!). After taking the time to read all the archives (believe me, it's worth it!), I can say that I haven't read such creative, yet painfully funny satire in a long time - including stuff from the Door and Larknews.

Just to give you a taste, you'll find articles such as "Child Named Judas 'Not Iscariot' to Help Clarify," "Your Best Teeth Now!" (a la Joel Osteen), "Pastor Struggles with 'Terrible Sermon Illustrations,'" and an article that addresses what we've all been wanting to say - why is everyone talking about Paris Hilton (complete with 8-part sermon series)?! They even have a few products like NetFinney, Arrr-mini-ohs ("a cereal you can freely choose!"), and The Puritan Message: John Owen in Contemporary Language

So go ahead and follow the link. You'll not be disappointed.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Quilt and Shadow Box

Here are some pictures of the quilt that was made for Mom and the shadow box for Dad. Michelle did a great job on the quilt and in getting everything together for Dad's box. Thanks Michelle! Each blue patch is a boy's name and each pink patch is a girl's name.

And in the middle is this patch.

And here's Dad with his shadow box. He was VERY surprised and pleased.

Again, Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Happy Anniversary, Mom & Dad!!

FINALLY!! I can blog about this! You have no idea how hard it’s been not saying anything about this.

Back in December, Sarah had a great idea of inviting my parents and all my brothers and sisters to Roanoke for a family reunion for my parent’s 40th anniversary. We then decided that it should be a surprise for Mom and Dad, not telling them about my sisters coming (my brothers would already be in Roanoke). This was the first time since 1999 that all of Mom & Dad’s living children were together, and definitely the first time for most of the grandkids. At first, Sharon (my younger sister) didn’t think she was able to make it, but after much persuading was able to come with her little boy, Josh. THEN, Michelle thought they might not make it because one of her girls broke her hand. We convinced Mom & Dad to come out for a visit, but had to let Dad in on the secret of Michelle (my oldest sister) coming to get him to agree to the dates.

Many e-mails flew back and forth, and it seemed like Sarah was on the phone with Michelle quite a lot, getting all the details worked out. They did an excellent job of planning the meals and different activities that we could do on a couple of the days.

Finally, the day came. Michelle and Sharon flew in, rented a car and drove to our house where they would be staying, along with Mark and his family (Needless to say, we have had a houseful!) Then we all went to the airport to meet Mom & Dad when their flight arrived. It was rather funny because with each plane that flew overhead as we were driving, we kept saying “I hope that’s not them!!” It would have been so terrible to have gone through all this planning only to have them get to the airport before we did! Thankfully, that didn’t happen. We all lined up with our “Welcome Papa and Nanny” signs and waited for Mom and Dad. It was so cool to see Mom’s face when she saw everyone, especially Sharon and Michelle.

But that was only half of their surprise. We all went to the Szechuan Restaurant on Friday evening for a special dinner. Afterward, we shared our special memories of Mom & Dad. It is a great testimony to them that most of the memories shared centered around the fact of how every one of us knew that Mom & Dad loved each other – from Dad’s “HUG ATTACK!!” to the fact that they never fought or yelled in front of us. Then came the gifts. Michelle had been working feverishly (and that’s an understatement!) on a special quilt for Mom that had their name in the center patch as well as their wedding date. Then around that were patches with each of their children’s and grandchildren’s name (blue patches for boys, pink for girls.) The look on Mom’s face when she realized what the quilt had on it was priceless. She spent some time looking at each one and then gave Michelle a great big hug. Dad opened his last and his reaction was one of shock – not just surprise, but full blown shock. With Mom’s help (Mom thought it was for Father’s Day), Michelle had gotten Dad’s dog tags (“Saved Baptist, B positive!”) and managed to find every medal or commendation that Dad had received during his 12 years in the USAF. All this along with his uniform name tag, a picture of a VERY young Pops, and an American flag was placed in a beautiful display case. When Dad opened his gift, all he could say was, “I’ve been waiting for this for 30 years!” Although Dad has been out of the military for a long time (even before I came around), he is still very much into the military. So this was perhaps the best thing we could have gotten for him.

We’ve had some other activities over the weekend and some more to come, but I wanted to blog about Mom & Dad’s surprise simply because I could now!! I’ll put some pictures up later on. To Mom & Dad – WE LOVE YOU!!