Tuesday, January 31, 2006

A Little Political Heckling: Helen Thomas, Michael Moore, Michael Jackson

I've got to share a couple of hilarious posts I've read tonight. I guess they wouldn't be too funny to liberal democrats, but as an independent conservative, I thought they were amusing. The first is from Sparks From The Anvil. Nope, the only hint I'll give you is: Helen Thomas. You'll have to follow the link and read it for yourself. Ditto for Blue Star Chronicles. The hint for that story is the same as for the first one, but with Michael Moore and Michael Jackson thrown into the mix for good measure.

The State of the Union - My Thoughts

I'm listening to the State of the Union Address. It's humorous to watch the two sides -- Republicans cheering and applauding - Democrats sitting solemnly - sometimes. It's going very well, though. President Bush is giving a great speech. He's speaking with conviction and authority - exactly what we need right now. He's projecting a strong and confident image. I like his tie, too. Laura Bush looks dignified and classy. Beautiful dress, by the way.(Don't you love the fashion review?) Laura Bush is a wonderful asset to both President Bush and the entire country. It's rather scarey to think of who COULD have been First Lady. "Class" is an adjective not associated with that particular person.

However, it should be noted that Democrats are standing and applauding often enough. Maybe they're beginning to realize that their extremism is causing them to lose their standing with the average American. It's time for some common middle ground to be found.

It's funny watching how often the cameras show Hillary as she applauds or smiles. Yeah -- she's running for president already. I doubt if many are fooled by her obvious pandering for the cameras.

Well, President Bush is about to end the speech. I don't think I'll listen to the Democratic response since they will only give their tired, lame same old-same old sound bites.

President Bush just ended his address with these words: "MAY GOD BLESS AMERICA."


Here are some other bloggers that have posts about the SOTUS:

The Pirate's Cove has thoughts similar to mine about Hillary and the Democrats.
Beth at Blue Star Chronicles talks about the Democratic Response - the "eyebrows" have it.
Captain's Quarters live-blogs the speech.
Well, LOTS of folks were live-blogging. Here's another one: A Soldier's Perspective. And Polipundit was an especially fun read.

Cindy Sheehan Trying for Another 15 Minutes

They announced earlier that Cindy Sheehan had been arrested for trying to bring in an anti-war banner to the State of the Union address - banners aren't allowed. Of course that didn't stop Cindy because if she didn't do SOMETHING that's not allowed, how would she continue to get publicity? The news folks changed the report almost immediately to say she hadn't been arrested, after all - she had been "detained." Later - the report changed yet again - she was indeed arrested - had an anti-war t-shirt hidden under her jacket. She was charged with a misdemeanor for trying to protest inside the capitol. She was released on her own.

Well, she succeeded in getting her publicity out of it. She must be feeling a little lonely and forgotten since the Democrats are beginning to realize that she is hurting rather than helping them.

I remember when David Letterman was interviewing Bill O'Reilly, he asked O'Reilly how O'Reilly could feel anything other than compassion for Sheehan. Uhhhhh -- Dave, over here! May I answer that question, Dave? I can think of LOTS of reasons to feel anger, disgust and pity for her. I stopped feeling compassion for her a long time ago. She's a liability for our country. She's obviously a very sick, misguided and bitter woman. Nahh - won't say another word about her. She's not worth the space on this blog.

Chicken Cobbler (New Recipe)

I tried a new recipe for dinner tonight. I usually make adjustments to any recipe to reflect my own tastes, and this recipe is no exception. It tasted very good!

Chicken Cobbler

6 T. butter, divided
5 cups cubed bread (I used a few slices of sourdough bread that I cubed - other breads would be good, too)
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 T. chopped parsley
2 medium onions, chopped
1 cup buttermilk (you can substitute regular milk OR wine, depending on your taste)
1 (10.5 oz.) can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup drained/chopped roasted red peppers
2 1/2 cups chopped/cooked chicken (I used canned chicken)

(1) Melt 4 T. butter and toss lightly with rolls, cheese and parsley. Set aside.
(2) Saute onions in 2 T. butter until golden brown.
(3) Stir in the buttermilk.
(4) Add the soup, peppers and chicken.
(5) Heat in the saucepan until bubbly.
(6) Pour into a 9-inch square baking dish.
(7) Top with the bread mixture.
(8) Bake at 375 for about 20 - 30 minutes until browned.

February Starts Tomorrow - Want to Join THE MONTHLY MARATHON?

Over at The Monthly Marathon, we're walking the total of a marathon each month in 2006. It's not a difficult thing to do for most people. Just think - 30 minutes of walking a few times a week, and by the end of the month, you've walked a marathon!

I hope some more of you will join us for February. It starts tomorrow! Come on, you KNOW you'll feel better for it! Follow the link above and leave a comment, and you'll be put on the blogroll and be able to post to the blog.

It has been fun this month to keep up with each others' progress and to encourage each other.

Are you a Panty Martyr?

I'm still chuckling over a post I just read by Angie at Ficken Chingers. Now is there a mom anywhere that can't identify with THAT?

CRACK in the Windshield

Disclaimer: I received this via email yesterday (Thanks, JeNan). It's a little gross, most likely staged, and possibly offensive. . .But still funny! So don't read any further unless you can accept that!

I'm driving along on the highway at 65 miles an hour (the speed limit), minding my own business, when outta nowhere there's this big crack in my windshield!!

I swerved right,

and then left,

and it was still right there!!

There just ain't NO words for this!

Monday, January 30, 2006

"American Strength" - an American Soldier

Beth, at Blue Star Chronicles, has an excellent post entitled "American Strength." It is at once touching, sad and uplifting. Here are some highlights, but it's worth clicking over to read the whole post.

An American Soldier was laid to rest today. He was eulogized, honored and buried with full Marine military honors.

The ceremony was spectacular and heartbreaking.

It’s the extraordinary common man who holds this country together. It’s the guy who loves his country, his family, his community and his God. It’s the wife who waits for him, understands him and loves him.You probably know these people. They are probably down the street from you, living in your community.

They are the threads that make up the fabric of American society and the cloth of the American Flag.

Five to Get-to-Know-You Questions

Copy the questions and provide your answers. Link back so we can see how far this goes. I'm not "tagging" anyone. Use the questions as one of your own posts, or not. Here are my answers:

Five to Get-To-Know-You Questions:

1. What was your favorite game as a child? Pick-Up Sticks and jacks
2. What's the best thing about being you? My family
3. What's your favorite meal of the day, and why? Dinner (or as we say in the south, supper) - because I usually eat dinner with someone else. The other meals are often solitary endeavors.
4. Would you rather be exceptionally smart or exceptionally good-looking? This is going to sound very shallow...but I'd choose exceptionally good-looking. OK, now after thinking about it a few minutes, I will change my mind and choose exceptionally smart. Of course my mother would say I'm already both - but she's biased, to say the least.
5. How would you describe your underwear drawer? a little messy but basically organized

A Strictly Mathematical Viewpoint

You might consider this a little cheesy, but I like it anyway. And since whatever I like ends up in THE MEDIAN SIB, I'm sharing it here with you.

I've written a couple times of attending a small church near where we are going to build our house. It's a great place, and it has the friendliest and most welcoming people I've ever met in a church. The following was in yesterday's church bulletin at Hillsboro United Methodist Church. (hat tip to Pastor Tom who got it from Betty H.) I thought it was clever and right on!

What equals 100%? What does it mean to give MORE than 100%? Ever wonder about those people who say they are giving more than 100%? We have all been in situations where someone wants you to give over 100%. How about achieving 101%? What equals 100% in life? Here's a little mathematical formula that might help you answer these questions:

If: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
is represented as:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26

8 + 1 + 18 + 4 + 23 + 15 + 18 + 11 = 98%


11 + 14 + 15 + 23 + 12 + 5 + 4 + 7 + 5 = 96%


1 + 20 + 20 + 9 + 20 + 21 + 4 + 5 = 100%


look how far the love of God will take you
12 + 15 + 22 + 5 + 15 + 6 + 7 + 15 + 4 = 101%

Therefore, one can conclude with mathematical certainty that: While HARD WORK and KNOWLEDGE will get you close, and ATTITUDE will get you there, it's the LOVE OF GOD that will put you over the top!

Sunday, January 29, 2006

A House Plan - What do you think?

Here's the latest house plan that we're considering. It looks pretty for a house that will be out in the country - on a hill surrounded by woods. We're 99.99% certain this will be the one - and we'll build it exactly like in these plans - except we'll reverse it.

I had considered one other plan a few months ago - wrote about it HERE, but I think I like this one better. What do you think? (Sorry the floor plan is so small - I couldn't get it show up any larger. However, you can get the general idea from this.) Later Note: HERE is the webpage where you can look at the plan more closely.

What LES MISERABLES Character Are You?

Les Miserables is my all-time favorite musical. So I was excited to see this questionaire. Which character are you?

Congratulations! You're Enjolras, the revolutionary!

Which Les Miserables character are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

The Man of the House

The husband had just finished reading the book, MAN OF THE HOUSE. He stormed into the kitchen and walked directly up to his wife. Pointing a finger in her face, he said, "From now on, I want you to know that I am the man of this house, and my word is law! I want you to prepare me a gourmet meal tonight, and when I'm finished eating my meal, I expect a sumptuous dessert afterwards. Then, after dinner, you are going to draw me my bath so I can relax. And when I'm finished with my bath, guess who's going to dress me and comb my hair?"

His wife replied, "The funeral director would be my guess."

(Hat tip to RC for sharing this with me.)

Saturday, January 28, 2006

The American Soldier - What Ben Stein Thinks

There has been a lot in the news lately because of a column written by someone with the last name of Stein. I won't link to the article since he has already received way too much press for what he wrote. However, another Stein - this time Ben Stein - has written a response at The American Spectator. It is well worth following the link to read the article in its entirety.
The men and women of the United States military are fighting the remnants of a regime so evil that it pioneered the use of torture against children -- just for the amusement of Saddam and his family. The men and women whom Joel despises rid the world of a dictator so twisted and murderous that he openly admired Stalin and Hitler and sought to match their level of atrocities. The men and women who wear the uniform fought, bled, and died to rid the world of the most dangerous man on the planet in the most flammable place on the planet. They died to save a slave people from the genocidal control of a mad killer who thought nothing of gassing his own people, of wiping out entire regions, of setting up special rape rooms to allow his henchmen and his sons to rape women at will, who amused himself by pouring gasoline down the throats of totally innocent people and setting them on fire.
He continues to provide his description of the American solder.
They are saints in body armor, men and women of staggering moral virtue in a time and place when those words mean very little in the modern world. Their lives have the most meaning of any lives being lived on this earth right this moment. . . .Do I support the troops who have more moral decency in their toes than I do or anyone I know does in our whole bodies? I support them, pray for them, am humbled just to be on the same planet with them.
Others have weighed in on the subject:
Conservative Thinking has a post to which that other Stein responded.
Michelle Malkin offers ways to support our troops.
Baldilocks has two posts on the first Stein. Here and Here.

"Walk The Line" with Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon

PawPaw and I saw "Walk The Line" tonight. I'll preface my remarks by admitting my bias. I live in Nashville, and I like country music. So perhaps my opinion isn't the most objective. However, we both thoroughly enjoyed the movie. Although it's a 136-minute movie, we were so engrossed in the story that we hardly budged the whole time.

Great performances by both Phoenix and Witherspoon. So, two thumbs up for "Walk The Line."

Friday, January 27, 2006

Connie's Dad

I learned awhile ago that Connie's father, Billy, died this morning after a battle with cancer. Connie is one of my good friends -- someone who was there for me soon after my divorce. She helped me learn how to get out and have fun again. Some of my best memories are of parties at either Connie's house or mine - and trips we took with a group of our single friends.

Connie took a leave of absence from her job this past fall in order to take care of her father. She knew that his time was limited. She moved in with him so he wouldn't have to leave his home. I only met her father a couple times, but I know that he was a good man who was loved by his family and his community. May he rest in peace, and I pray that God will be with Connie and her brothers during this time.

The Democratic Party - What's Going On?

In my morning blog-reading, I came across this post at The Black Republican. The title is "A Slow Motion Train Wreck." Whether you're Republican, Democrat, Independent, or anything else, it's worth reading.
And while it would help our business to have our competitors run their train into a pit, it is still sad that so many innocent, helpless, naive people will be taken down as well. It's good thing for us I guess is that those who survive the wreck will think twice about riding a train driven by those people again. The bad part is that they may quit riding altogether.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Oprah: "I feel duped." Yeah, Me Too! James Frey Lied

I wrote a couple posts (here is one - I inadvertently deleted the other one) about James Frey and A Million Little Pieces. It was a fascinating book, and one that I couldn't put down once I started reading it. Some of the things he wrote seemed unbelievable, though, and as it turns out, they were.

Today Oprah had Frey back on her show, and she wasn't very happy about how he played fast and loose with the truth. Here is one account of the show and the controversy.

· In the book, Frey runs down a cop and a wild melee ensues. The police report tells a different story.

· Frey says he spent a week in jail following a 1988 drunk driving bust. A court docket sheet refutes his claim.

· Frey invented a role for himself in a train accident that took the lives of two female high school students.

· Frey claimed he was the chief target in an FBI probe into drug activity at Denison University. A police report has him as a minor player in a minor case.

· Employees of the Hazelden rehab center dispute Frey's depiction of his treatment.

The Chicago Tribune also wrote about the show. Oprah told Frey:
"It's difficult for me to talk to you because I really feel duped," she told Frey. "I'm just wondering, why do you have to lie about that?" And so on. With Frey offering only weaselly justifications about lying being a "coping mechanism" and the like, and with Winfrey buying none of it, it was riveting.

Oprah told Frey, "I feel duped." Yeah, me too.

Here are some other blogs that share their take on the story:
Box of Rain: "A Million Little Lies"
Random Words
Conservative Posts Blog
Freakonomics Blog
Reality Bites Back
GOP Bloggers
The Political Pit Bull

Politicizing Classrooms

In a post entitled "Teachers capitulate to Gay Agenda" California Conservative tells how teachers at one California high school are now REQUIRED to hang posters in their classrooms advocating tolerance for gay students.
Well, maybe we’ll see some “freedom of religion” posters coming next. Seems
fair. Or how about “Safe To Be Conservative Space” posters. They could
read: “It’s okay to speak your mind. Just because your teacher
is liberal, doesn’t mean she’ll give you a bad grade for expressing support for
Bush and Iraq.” One for every college classroom. So how about it?
That sounds right to me.

Why would a school advocate tolerance for a specific sexual orientation? Schools shouldn't advocate ANY sexual orientation. Why not have posters that simply stress tolerance? Period. Don't limit tolerance to gay students. Extend tolerance to ALL students - liberals and conservatives, atheists and evangelicals and gays and straights - and everyone in between. The only "advocacy" a school should be a part of is respecting and appreciating everyone?

Darren at Right on the Left Coast has a great post about this.

The Words That Strike Fear in the Hearts of Teachers

Scene: The school gym during morning bus duty

A fourth grader rushes up to me. His face is red and there is sweat on his brow. He looks anxious and upset. I immediately ask, “Carlton, what’s wrong?”

Then the words that strike fear in any teacher’s heart: I just threw up in the bathroom!” (Which I admit is better than throwing up at my feet which has happened on more than one occasion over the years.)

I can feel his hot breath on my face as he spits out the words. I utter the appropriate words of sympathy (and I truly feel sympathetic - he's obviously sick), and I send him to the clinic . . . while visions of the stomach virus germs in that hot breath dance in my head.

Thursday Thirteen - Thirteen Things I've GOTTA Do By Monday

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Things That Carol SHOULD Do Before Monday

(This will likely be the MOST boring Thursday Thirteen post ever!)

1. Go tent camping this weekend on the land where Ron and I plan to build a house

2. Attend church on Sunday

3. Babysit the grandkids for a few hours - I just enjoy being with them so much. We babysat them for awhile Wednesday evening, and it was just plain FUN! The best part was when we were sitting on the sofa, and Ron put his arm around me. Sunshine looked at him, moved his arm, cuddled against me and announced, "She's MY Grandma Carol!"

4. Walk 1-3 miles each day.

5. Do crunches every morning - without fail!

6. Replace the burned out light bulbs throughout my house

7. Clear out my storage room - It's a mess, but not for long

8. Take some boxes to storage

9. Buy some "for sale" signs for my house

10. Start working on a sales brochure for my house

11. Replace the shower head in my bathroom

12. Read some new blogs

13. Learn how to do trackbacks via Haloscan

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
(leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)








Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

A New Favorite Line.....Ignorance is Bliss!

Okay - I just discovered a new blog, Infinitely Pie, that got me with the first few sentences. Here's one:
My question is: if ignorance is really bliss, why is everyone so freakin' pissy all the time?
Just think about it... I love it.

TEN Improvements If WOMEN Ruled The World

Thank to my buddy, Laurie, for sharing these with me.

Carnival of Education - Week 51

It's Wednesday and that means that once again, the Carnival of Education (Week 51) is up at The Education Wonks. There are some great posts in all areas of education highlighted there - ahem . . . including one of mine.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Sign Language for Reading Strategies

Every day at school, I get so tickled - that's Southern for "amused" or "entertained" - at the kids who pass me in the hall or who are bus riders waiting in the gym each morning. They're just so funny! Before I explain what I find so amusing, though, I have to give some background, or it won't make much sense to you.

Part of my responsibilities as a reading specialist is to work with second, third and fourth grade classes on reading comprehension strategies. The first lesson I teach each class is on metacognition - being aware of one's own thinking.
Usually I use the book Edward the Emu by Sheena Knowles as the literature selection for this lesson. I read the book to them (They love that!), stopping often to "think aloud" - modeling how I am metacognitive as I read the story. At the end of the lesson, I tell the children that when I see them in the hallway, I'd like for them to tell me if they're remembering to use metacognition when they're reading or doing their school work. However, I don't want them to get into trouble for talking in the hallway. So, I show them how to make an "M" in sign language. Then IF they are remembering to be metacognitive, they should show me the "M" sign whenever they see me around the school.

The second lesson I do with each class is on making connections. For this lesson, I use Click, Clack, Moo! Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin. Great story - and great for making connections. Again, at the end of the lesson I ask the children to give me a signal if they're making connections in their reading and school work. This time I show them the "C" in sign language.

The third lesson is on self-monitoring - asking questions to clarify understanding. The text for this lesson is The Empty Pot by Demi - another wonderful text that provides great material to model questioning for understanding: Where is China? Is an emperor the same as a king? I wonder why Ping's seed wouldn't grow. What did the emperor mean by "the empty truth"? For this signal, I just ask the children to shrug their shoulders with their hands up - palms out - in the classic "Who knows?" gesture. (Sorry - I looked and looked online to find a graphic for this, but was unsuccessful.)

Anyway, the funny story is that now, every time I see children in the hallway or elsewhere at school (the cafeteria at lunch is a good time), invariably some of them are frantically giving me the signs and gestures for "M", "C", and "questioning." One sign after the other. If one child is showing me "M" then the next one over is showing me "C". They're just so funny! And this has been going on for months now! They very seriously purse their lips tightly to show they're not talking, but then gesture wildly with their C's and M's to catch my attention - only relaxing when I sign back at them. I just love it!

At first I was afraid they might be making signals without really understanding what the signals meant. However, each time I go to the classrooms for another lesson, we review the previous lessons, and occasionally I'll stop children in the hallway (if I know it's okay with the classroom teacher) to ask them to tell me how they've been metacognitive or to tell me about a particular connection they've made and how it helped them understand something better. Most of the time, I get wonderful responses that show me that they're learning to use the strategies. It's working - and it's fun.

The next lesson is on making inferences. I'll start that series next week. I'm still thinking of what signal to use for that!


Bozette tagged me this morning, but I've been gone all day. So I'm just now responding. There are TWENTY-SEVEN questions!!!

1. When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what did you think? At least it's a good hair day.
2. How much cash do you have on you? $0... I have a little cash in my purse, but nothing on me.
3. What's a word that rhymes with "TEST"? Rest
4. Favorite planet? Earth
5. Who is the 4th person on your missed call list on your cell phone? Larisa
6. What is your favorite ring on your phone? Fur Elise
7. What shirt are you wearing? A long-sleeve, striped t-shirt
8. Do you "label" yourself? Yes - too often
9. Name the brand of shoes you're currently wearing now: Azaleia
10. Bright or Dark Room? The brighter the better
11. What do you think about the person who took this survey before you? She seems very nice - she always leaves interesting comments on my blog
12. What were you doing at midnight last night? Logging off the computer and heading downstairs to bed - about an hour later than I SHOULD have been.
13. What did your last text message you received on your cell say? I have only received ONE text message and that was last fall, and I wasn't sure how to retrieve it. When I finally figured it out, it said " site #7" which was the camping site where some friends were camping last October - I was on my way to meet them there.
14. Where is your nearest 7-11? Wal-Mart (24-hr) is closer than any convenience store.
15. What's a saying(s) that you say a lot? Oh? Really?
16.Who told you they loved you last? Ron
17. Last furry thing you touched? My fake fur vest.
18. How many days of school did you miss this week? None this week - one last week.
19. How many rolls of film do you need to get developed? one disposable camera from several months ago that I keep forgetting to get developed. Otherwise - I use a digital camera.
20. Favorite age you have been so far? Uhhhh - late-forties
21. Your worst enemy? myself
22. What is your current desktop picture? Ron, the two grandkids, and me
23. What was the last thing you said to someone? "Bye - see you tomorrow."
24. If you had to choose between a million bucks or to be able to fly, which would you choose? A million bucks.
25. Do you like someone? I like lots of people.
26. The last song you listened to? "What a Wonderful World" - Louis Armstrong
27. Carmen Electra or Pam Anderson? Neither - both are too fake

I didn't see any instructions on tagging anyone else - and so I won't tag anyone. My end of this will stop here. (I can hear the sigh of relief from my family and friends).

Monday, January 23, 2006

Can Men and Women Be Friends? "When Harry Met Sally"

If you've ever watched "When Harry Met Sally" you know that the question Harry and Sally discuss throughout the movie is whether or not men and women can be friends. Harry asserts that they can't because the issue of sex is always there. Even if it's not acted upon, it is there. Sally disagrees with him (of course - otherwise there wouldn't have been a very good plot to the movie).

This morning I received a quote in my email. Here it is:
Between men and women there is no friendship possible. There is passion,enmity,
worship, love, but no friendship. -Oscar Wilde, writer (1854-1900)

I found a couple other quotes about men, women and friendship.
All love that has not friendship for its base is like a mansion built upon the
sand. -Ella Wheeler Wilcox

It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.
-Friedrich Nietzsche

So, what do you think? Can men and women be friends?

Thanks to Ruth for sharing the Oscar Wilde quote with me this morning.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Learning to Read

I guess the title should be "Reading and ADHD" to make sure it covers what this post is about. While surfing through some blogs on Blog Explosion, I came across "Red Monkey" and read THIS POST about reading. It's a good post, and if you'd like to read about one person's journey in reading and writing, check it out.

A Weekend in Georgia

I just got home from a weekend in Georgia visiting my mother (Ruthlace). On Friday night my sister, Beth (Blue Star Chronicles) came over and we visited for awhile. Then on Saturday night, I was able to go with my mother to the city auditorium to see a local production of the musical "The Civil War" in which my brother, Terrell (Alone on a Limb), had a part. He sang beautifully, as always, and the musical was just awesome. This morning while my mother went to church, I prepared Sunday dinner for other family members. So after church, my sister Debi (no blogging for her because she's busy making money with her writing - she was on a deadline to finish a book) and her son came over for dinner, along with Terrell's family. Soon after the meal I headed home. It started raining about halfway - and rained the rest of the way...and it has been raining ever since. I went by PawPaw's house to visit for a little while. We drove (in the rain) over to the land to look at building sites again. Then later I came on back to my place. I got home safe and sound - something I don't take for granted. It was a good - but over too quickly - weekend.

I tried out two wonderful recipes this weekend I'll share with you:

SWEET and SOUR Chicken (from my niece, Lyn)
8 oz. apricot preserves
8 oz. catalina salad dressing
2 pkgs. dry onion soup mix
4 - 6 chicken breasts
Mix the above ingredients well and pour over the chicken. Bake at 350, covered, for about an hour, uncover, and then bake an additional 30 minutes. Serve with rice. DELICIOUS!

Orange-Feta-Walnut-Field Greens Salad (From my friend, Becky)
1 ready-to-eat bag of field greens (or any salad mix you like)
1 small container feta cheese
1 small can mandarin oranges, drained
1 small package walnut pieces
Raspberry-Walnut vinaegrette (I like Ken's - but any brand would work)

Dump the greens, cheese, oranges, and walnut in a bowl and toss. Serve with the vinaegrette. DELICIOUS!

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Guppyman and a note from Iraq

Guppyman's Rant Zone has a great post written by a soldier in Iraq. It is well worth the visit. It is good to hear about the war in Iraq by someone who is there and knows what is going on first-hand rather than from protestors who often have no clue what they're protesting.

Pickup Lines

READER'S DIGEST is one of my favorite magazine, and it's one of only two that I subscribe to regularly. In the February 2006 issue, they have a list of pickup lines (p. 170) that made me laugh. What do you think? Have you heard worse? or better?
Are you a parking ticket? 'Cause you've got fine written all over you.
Do you believe in the hereafter? Well, then I guess you know what I'm here after.
Do you have a Band-Aid? Because I just scraped my knee falling for you.
Do you have any raisens? No? How 'bout a date?

Friday, January 20, 2006

Literacy Gaps in College Graduates

I just read about a study by the Pew Charitable Trusts. The study looked at the skills of graduating students and found that
more than half of students at four-year colleges - and at least 75 percent at two-year colleges - lack the literacy to handle complex, real-life tasks such as understanding credit card offers. . .
Three types of literacy were studied: (1) analyzing news stories and other prose, (2) understanding documents and (3) having math skills needed for checkbooks or restaurant tips.

Without "proficient" skills, or those needed to perform more complex tasks, students fall behind. They cannot interpret a table about exercise and blood pressure, understand the arguments of newspaper editorials, compare credit card offers with different interest rates and annual fees or summarize results of a survey about parental involvement in school.

"It is kind of disturbing that a lot of folks are graduating with a degree and they're not going to be able to do those things," said Stephane Baldi, the study's director at the American Institutes for Research, a behavioral and social science research organization. . .

Almost 20 percent of students pursuing four-year degrees had only basic quantitative skills. For example, the students could not estimate if their car had enough gas to get to the service station. About 30 percent of two-year students had only basic math skills.

Other posts on the topic: EducationWonks has other links.
Dr. Sanity discusses it, too.
Inside Higher Ed has a post about the study.

Hollywood - Pope John Paul II, and Mehmet Ali Agca

An Instanbul jail released the guy who shot Pope John Paul II back in 1981 , and now the would-be assassin is receiving mega-bucks ($8 million) to STAR in a Hollywood movie about the attack. He was unable to appear for his check-in with authorities after being released from jail because he was in seclusion working on the negotiations for the movie. Hmmmm - he can't follow the conditions of his release because he is on his way to being a movie star. Par for the course in Hollywood. He already feels above the law because of his soon-to-be status as a move star.

While it is shocking that a movie company would stoop so low, it's not surprising. In a post entitled "THE CULTURAL ELITE - DEDICATED TO DARKNESS" Dr. Sanity talks about Hollywood's general lack of producing anything without a political or social agenda. Forget entertainment. I wonder what the agenda is for this movie. Maybe someone can enlighten me.

Agca shot a man who is undoubtedly one of the most humble and godly men of our era, leaving him fighting for his life. Pope John Paul II never fully recovered from the attack. And less than a year after the Pope's death, his attacker is released from prison and is promised $8 million to star in a movie about the attack.

This is wrong on every level I can imagine.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Most Stupid Thing I've Read In A Long Time

This is from a post on Demoncratic Underground. (Oops! Misspelled the D-word, but it fits, so I'll leave it). From someone with the name "TallahasseeGrannie." Incredible!

(Speaking of Osama Bin Laden and the recent videotape) - and how it was probably a fake orchestrated by President Bush to swing public opinion his way)
Actually, I don't think he ever existed. I think he is a muppet. But if he IS real and IS willing to stop in Iraq and Afghanistan, that would be good news. Not that I want attacks here, but we can absorb them a lot lot better than those poor people. If it is real (and I hear you about the orchestrated element) it seems rather promising? Or am I drinking the Kool-aid. I really like the orange flavor.

Yes, you are drinking the Kool-Aid that the whole Demoncratic party - liberal wing is serving.
If it weren't so dangerous, it would be humorous. Oh sure, Bin Laden will stop in Iraq and Afghanistan. Everything he has said up to this point was a lie. He really doesn't want to kill Americans. Forget 9-11. Absorb that. Forget the beheadings. Absorb those. He's offering up an olive branch - Can't we all just get along?

The Best Line I've Heard In A Long Time

Larry at Blame Bush! has come through again with this gem:
Bush continues to deny that he has done anything wrong and insists that he will only eavesdrop on the telephone conversations of people who are “a threat to national security”. But that could describe just about any liberal Democrat in Congress.

Don't you just love it?

My Vast Right Wing Conspiracy Tells It Like It Is

My Vast Right Wing Conspiracy has one of the best posts I've read lately. I agree with every single word of it, and after watching and hearing all the dangerous idiocy from the left lately, I'm getting to the point of feeling as strongly.

Oldie but Goodie

How to Stay Married

A man and woman had been married for more than 60 years. They had shared everything. They had talked about everything. They had kept no secrets from each other except that the little old woman had a shoebox in the top of her closet that she had cautioned her husband never to open or ask her about.
For all of these years, he had never thought about the box, but one day the little old woman got very sick and the doctor said she would not recover. In trying to sort out their affairs, the little old man took down the shoebox and took it to his wife's bedside. She agreed that it was time that he should know what was in the box.
When he opened it, he found two crocheted dolls and a stack of money totaling $25,000. He asked her about the contents.
"When we were to be married," she said, "my grandmother told me the secret of a happy marriage was to never argue. She told me that if I ever got angry with you, I should just keep quiet and crochet a doll."
The little old man was so moved; he had to fight back tears. Only two precious dolls were in the box. She had only been angry with him two times in all those years of living and loving. He almost burst with happiness. "Honey," he said, "that explains the doll, but what about all of this money? Where did it come from?"
"Oh," she said, "that's the money I made from selling the dolls."

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

A Pause - A Vacation - A Hiatus

THE MEDIAN SIB is on hiatus for awhile - not sure how long. As of today, this blog is four months old -- averaging about 3 posts each day during that time. It's time for a break. Posting will resume someday possibly.