Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Congressional Reform Act of 2010

Here is something to chew on. I was sent this via email:

==============================================================

Congressional Reform Act of 2010

1. Term Limits: 12 years only, one of the possible options below.

A. Two Six year Senate terms
B. Six Two year House terms
C. One Six year Senate term and three Two Year House terms
Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.


2. No Tenure / No Pension:

A congressman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they are out of office.
Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.



3. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security:

All funds in the Congressional retirement fund moves to the Social Security system immediately.

All future funds flow into the Social Security system, Congress participates with the American people.
Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.



4. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan just as all Americans.
Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.


5. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.
Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.


6. Congress looses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.
Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.


7. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.
Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.


8. All contracts with past and present congressmen are void effective 1/1/2011.
The American people did not make this contract with congressmen, congressmen made all these contracts for themselves.
Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.


==============================================================

seems reasonable and without any gain for either party. What do you think?

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!


About that time Caesar Augustus ordered a census to be taken throughout the Empire. This was the first census when Quirinius was governor of Syria. Everyone had to travel to his own ancestral hometown to be accounted for. So Joseph went from the Galilean town of Nazareth up to Bethlehem in Judah, David's town, for the census. As a descendant of David, he had to go there. He went with Mary, his fiancée, who was pregnant.

While they were there, the time came for her to give birth. She gave birth to a son, her firstborn. She wrapped him in a blanket and laid him in a manger, because there was no room in the hostel.

There were sheepherders camping in the neighborhood. They had set night watches over their sheep. Suddenly, God's angel stood among them and God's glory blazed around them. They were terrified. The angel said, "Don't be afraid. I'm here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David's town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master. This is what you're to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger."
At once the angel was joined by a huge angelic choir singing God's praises:

Glory to God in the heavenly heights,
Peace to all men and women on earth who please him.

As the angel choir withdrew into heaven, the sheepherders talked it over. "Let's get over to Bethlehem as fast as we can and see for ourselves what God has revealed to us." They left, running, and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. Seeing was believing. They told everyone they met what the angels had said about this child. All who heard the sheepherders were impressed.

Mary kept all these things to herself, holding them dear, deep within herself. The sheepherders returned and let loose, glorifying and praising God for everything they had heard and seen. It turned out exactly the way they'd been told!

Luke 2:1-20

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

The Legend of the Christmas Moose


The other day, someone stopped me and commented on the stuffed moose in a co-workers cubicle. The co-worker asked what a moose had to do with Christmas. I replied, "Oh, that is the Christmas Moose." I quickly realized my co-worker had never heard the legend of the Christmas Moose. As the days have progressed, it has become obivious to me that a lot of people are unfamiliar with one of the most vital parts of the story of Santa and the reindeer. So, here is the legend of the Christmas Moose.

Several years ago, Santa had a run of misfortune. He experienced a bad landing almost turning over the sleigh and then someone took several shots at the reindeer as they were preparing to land at another house.

Once Santa and his team of reindeer returned to the North Pole, a townhall meeting was held to evaluate options and ensure the safety of Santa and the reindeer. Ideas and brainstorming ensued with suggestions ranging from satellite defense systems, arming the sleigh with sidewinder missles and a .50 caliber machine gun to cancelling Santa's historic trip.

Santa and his council of wise elves carefully evaluated all of the recommendations. The satellite defense system was ruled out as was arming the sleigh. But the option that Santa and the council carefully considered for a considerable amount of time was cancelling any further travel. The impact of stopping Santa's annual trip was not taken lightly by anyone as it would mean that children around the world would not receive their Christmas gifts that they had come accustom.

But Santa's safety and the safety of his one dozen flight crewmembers was not taken lightly either. After days of meetings, lots of fruit trays, doughnuts, cookies, and hot chocolate, it seemed that Santa was going to have to cancel his annual flight around the world.

Just as it seemed that the unthinkable was going to be decided, a moose stood up near the back of the great meeting hall and raised his hoof. The moose, named Monte, explained that he had been laid-off from his job as a personal security guard for a famous recording artist that no longer had any income after recording a single hit in the 1980s.

Monte the Moose offered the Santa and the council of elves a new solution. If the great council would approve, Monte would fly Santa's intended course a day early and check out the scene on all of the scheduled landings. Monte would select the best landing zones and determine what areas were not safe for landing.

In war ravaged areas, Monte would locate a DMZ or demilitarized zone where there were no threats posed to Santa and his team. Houses that did not contain children but were used for illegal drugs or other criminal activity would be noted as a NLZ or No Landing Zone.

Santa and the council of wise elves carefully considered the proposal and reviewed Monte's resume. It was noted by the elves that during Monte's service to the once popular recording artist that no harm had befell the artist, and Monte's record was without blemish.

After much deliberation and the consumption of more fruit trays, Santa and the council of wise elves voted unanimously to take Monte the Moose up on his offer and renamed him, the Christmas Moose.

Since being employed by the SIA or Santa's Intelligence Agency, Monte aka the Christmas Moose now flies around the world on December 23rd carefully locating safe landing zones for Santa and his team and prepares a list of locations that are NLZs or No Landing Zones that Santa avoids druing his annual gift delivery.

So whenever you stop yourself and ask, "I wonder why I have never seen Santa's sleigh on the roof of a crack house." You can thank the Christmas Moose.

(c)2009 - Allen Madding

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

It's Beginning to Look a lot like Christmas



With the myrid of things I miss about living in rural farmland, one of the things I enjoy about living outside the largest city in the south is the city during Thanskgiving and Christmas. Atlanta is beginning to take on all the trimmings for the season.



I wish a very happy Thanksgiving to you, your family and friends and encourage you to stop and consider the things in your life you have to be thankful.



And, I will go ahead and wish you a wonderful Christmas season as well.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

6 Benefits of Forgiving

My buddy Rick posted an awesome post about forgiveness and its positive effects on one's life. I probably need to read this three times a day.

This is a must read:

http://www.rickslark.com/2009/11/6-benefits-of-forgiving.html

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Veteran's Day


THANK YOU! to all the men and women who have served in our armed services putting themselves in harms way to protect the interest of the United States.

THANK YOU! to all the men and women who are currently serving in our armed services home and abroad.

To those currently serving in Afghanistan or Iraq, I pray for your safety.

To the Commander in Chief, I ask that you keep your word about bringing our troops home from Iraq. We haven't forgotten your campaign trail speeches about "Not next year, not next month, bring them home now." We await you to be a man of honor by keeping your word.

GOD Bless America.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Angel City


(photo from bikerhotline.com, not taken during this trip)

I left the house in a light drizzle Friday afternoon and began the crawl thru downtown Atlanta. For a significant amount of time it amounted to walking the bike thru Atlanta. Between Atlanta and Forsyth, GA the traffic began to ease up and the rain stopped and I finally was able to begin riding at highway speed. Three hours after I left, I arrived at Angel City.

Angel City is a "old west ghost town" built outside of Unadilla, Georgia that host motorcycle rallies and other events. And, it is the perfect rally spot. The "town" is a collection of old west buildings with covered sidewalks, a Saloon, restaurant, and various stores that vendors populate during events. For anyone that enjoys riding motorcycles and enjoys attending motorcycle rallies, they owe it to themselves to attend a rally at Angel City.

Our group cooked for the weekend event from 7am until 1am Friday and Saturday. After cooking breakfast Sunday morning, I was in the saddle and headed North on I-75. A cold front moved thru Saturday night and temperatures dropped 20 degrees. Fortunately, I had packed my UnderArmour and some warm layers of closing just in case I ran into cold weather. The layered clothing and my riding leathers kept me comfortably warm until I was back home.

Despite the weather and traffic jams encountered on the trip down Friday afternoon/evening. I had a great time. I had always wanted to see Angel City as I had heard about it since 2006. And, I got a chance to get out and do 300+ miles of riding for the weekend before Winter seriously sets in for North Georgia.

Make sure you click on the link to Angel City and check out their schedule of upcoming events. I understand the last rally they held that was open to the general motorcycle riding public drew around 1,700 people.

Good Times.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Ride for Will 2009

Will Davison Memorial Scholarship Fund
3rd Annual RIDE FOR WILL
www.willdavisonmemorial.com
Saturday, November 14, 2009

Ride begins at Lambert High School located at 805 Nichols Road, Suwanee, GA (Forsyth County) and will end at Paul’s Margarita Deck in Helen, Ga.

Registration will begin at 9:00am; with the ride starting at 11:00am

$25 for Motorcycles, $10 for Passengers, $30 Antique Cars and Trucks
Free “WILL” patch or t-shirt to first 125 entries

All of the proceeds will go to the “Will Davison Memorial Scholarship Fund” so that well deserving students may have a chance to further his/her education.

Click here for Flyer

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

HR Tips


Passiveaggressivenotes.com has this suggestion for the Human Resources Dept looking to reward employees...

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Southern Comfort


image source: http://www.btobmagazine.com


The term "comfort food" has been thrown around until it almost has lost meaning. But in the South, it has a more specific flavor. The term conjures up thoughts of biscuits and gravy, grits, fried chicken, sweet tea, and maybe even mint juleps and mimosas.

The Buckhead Diner in Atlanta's Buckhead area caters to that thought. We dropped in Sunday for their Sunday brunch. I sampled their Sweet Tea and instantly knew they had a firm understanding of Sweet Tea (as opposed to the swill the fast food places try to pass off as Sweet Tea). My wife ordered a Mimosa and was given the choice of it being made from orange juice or grapefruit juice. She ordered orange juice and was delighted with the mixture that was served to her.


image source: the author

I could not resist the shrimp and grits. A true Southern delicacy but not easily made to perfection. TO my delight, it was a well balanced flavor of grilled peppers, sausage, shrimp, and grits. The grits were ground to the consistency of mashed potatoes which made them even more enjoyable. The Buckhead Diner has this entrée' down pat.

My wife had pan fried chicken, sausage gravy, and biscuits. She reported the flavor was spot on and the biscuits were light and delicious.


image source: the author

Service was impeccable as well. The staff was engaging and enjoyable. Despite it being a bit of a drive for us, we will definitely be visiting the Buckhead Diner again in the not too distant future.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Free Speech

Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear.

-Harry S Truman, August 8, 1950
33rd president of US (1884 - 1972)

Fall is in the Air



46F this morning and the leaves are turning. That combination makes an old person's mind turn to fried apple pies, soup, warm beverages, apples, pumkins, and mountain views.



So we headed to Ellijay to purchase apples, pumpkins, jars of soup base and to nosh on fried apple pies and sip coffee and hot chocolate while enjoying the fall colors of the North Georgia mountains along the ride.

Along the trip we observed minvans and SUVs packed to the gills with families headed to Buck's Corn Maze, and an endless see of automobiles headed to Elijay for apples.





The families with small children head out into the orchard to pick their own apples. The grown folks with a little bit of weight hanging around their belts just wander into the market area and buy the apples that are already picked and bagged. Yes, you got it, we did not pick our own.



It was cold enough that I elected not to have ice cream on my fried apple pie, but that did not detract from the wonderful sweet taste of fresh apples in a lightly fried pie crust. McDonald's try as you may. You simply can't compete with this wonderful creation.



Three bags of apples, three quart jars of soup base, a gallon of apple cider, a head of fresh cabbage, and an assortment of pumpkins, and our shopping extravaganza was complete.





We decided to ride over to Jasper, GA after hearing recommendations for their Farmer's Market. Once we arrive we found it was not being held but there was a Halloween Festival going on instead. We took a few pictures of the downtown and then went back to meandering the winding roads of North Georgia and enjoying the fall colors.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

DC



Last night I watched the news from Washington, the capitol
The Russians escaped while we weren't watching them, like Russians will
- Jackson Browne, Lawyers in Love





My new job sent me to D.C. for a week. My wife had some time off to use before the end of the year so she was able to accompany me on my first trip to the Capitol.



After landing my first real introduction was the city's train system "the Metro". The Metro runs all over Washington in confusing different twisted lines that are color coded. The trick to manuvering the system is figuring out the right color line headed in the right direction and determining how much to put on a the paper fare card.

Additionally, there is a trick that I did not master while in town, and that is figuring out when the escalator's down into the bowels of the Metro stations were actually working. Much to our dismay, we found that the escalators were quite often broken leaving one to have to walk up or down a very long and steep escalator toting one's suitcase. Thanks, Metro.



On Monday afternoon, after completing my day's training, we set out for a walking tour of Washington's Mall area. We road the winding multi-colored Metro system and then walked several blocks and magically the Lincoln Memorial suddenly appeared on the horizon.

The Lincoln Memorial is awe inspiring. The shear magnitude of the monument is overwhelming. One one massive wall is an engraving of the entire Gettysburg address. On the opposing wall is an engraving of Lincoln's entire second inagural address.





From there, we walked to the Vietnam Memorial. The walk along the wall of names of the fallen soldiers is overwhelming. The wall stretches on to what seems forever with people kneeled making etchings of the listing of a loved one who gave the greatest measure of devotion.

As I walked along the wall, I could not help but wonder how many lives have been lost in the War in Iraq and when our current President would make good with his campaign promise to bring our boys home. On Friday, I learned he had been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize which seems ironic in the face of him sending more and more American troops to Afghanistan and still not withdrawing our troops from Iraq.



We then made our way to the World War II Memorial which was not contructed until President Bush was in office. Having had two grandfather's who fought in World War II, one of which was decorated three times for his service, it was very important to me to visit this particular memorial. I could not help but wonder why it took so many years for this memorial to be constructed.



From these memorials, one can clearly see the Washington Monument. If you look carefully at the Washington Monument, you can clearly see the different color limestone about one third up from the base. The construction ran out of money during the build. When it was resumed a different source of limestone was used, and it is clearly detectable.



As the day was quickly giving way to night, we began making our way back towards our accomodations at Dupont Circle. On the way, we discovered the Daily Grill.



After enjoying a well prepared steak and a refreshing beverage, we made our way back to our hotel for the evening.



We quickly discovered that the trendy, art-deco hotel we were booked in was right against the Dupont Circle which never sleeps. Alnight long drivers honked their horns if someone did not accelerate the exact moment a stoplight turned green. Every 15 minutes an ambulance and fire truck or a couple police cars escorting an foreign ambassador to the local Embassy Row passed by with screaming siren. It made for a long night of disturbed slumber.



I had never really focused on how anti-trendy that I am. But our stay illustrated that I lean more towards functionality versus trendy. Our hotel room was quite fashionable per modern standards, but I found the tray sink less than optimal for brushing teeth or shaving.



And, the open shower (no door, no shower curtain) looked very nice with its frosted glass exterior, but it left the bathroom floor and toilet quite wet with over spray if it was used to acutally take a shower.

For years I have heard about the Smithsonian Museum. For whatever reason, I had always assumed that it was housed in a single building. Much to my suprise, we discovered that the Smithsonian is a collection of museums that are located all over downtown Washington. And, much to our suprise, entrance to the Smithsonian museums is free.



We made our way down to the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery and Museum of American Art. We spent two hours taking in the portraits of Presidents, Generals and American figures.

Apparently, Washington is still celebrating defeating the South during the Civil War. They have named many of their Metro train stations after Generals from the Civil War, and had many large portraits of the Generals who led the Union forces during the war. My wife walked into one room of the Portrait Gallery as I gave the finger to a particular portrait and asked, "Who is that?". I replied, "That's the bastard that burned Atlanta."

We had about four hours to kill on Friday between my last session in the conference I was attending and our flight home. So, we manuevered the Metro's twisting lines and different routes and made our way to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. This museum is worthy of the trip to DC in and of itself.



After feasting on a $7.50 Quarter Pounder combo from the McDonald's outside the museum, we began to tour this fascinating display of aircraft and spacecraft.

I was stunned to see this aircraft which once belonged to Amelia Earhart which was in the process of completing a restoration and preparation for being put on permanent display.




The collection includes one of the lunar landing modules and a copy of the modules used in the Apollo-Soyuz spacecraft that docked in 1975.



The magnitude of the contents of the Air/Space museum escapes my ability to describe. But, I was like a small child marveling at the old Eastern Airlines DC-3, World War II fighters, and even a display of the Wright Brothers.



We then toured the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History which was the setting used for the filming of the "Night at the Museum" movies. One could spend endless hours touring this museum which houses numerous displays and IMAX presentations.

DC is a city that has addressed commuting in numerous ways including the Metro which I have already mentioned as well as being a walking city and a bicycle busy city. I also noted motorcycles parked all over the city.



Including some soul who evidently rode this Triumph.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

More Things I Just Don't Get



While out running errands today, my wife suggested stopping at the mall food court for a Gyro. Sounded good to me, so we entered the madness.

Once we had battled the masses and made our way to the chain gyro provider, my wife orders. The convo goes like this:

"I'd like a classic Gyro and a medium Coke."

"Would you like to combo?"

"No, thank you. Just a Gyro and a Coke."

He looks at me and asks for my order.

"I'll have the same thing, please."

"No fries?"

"No, just the same thing."

"Coke?"

"Yes, the same thing."

I really thought I had made things simple. I requested the same thing she ordered. I guess I overloaded his conceptual abilities?

Australia School Answering Machine



Someone finally got fed up with being P.C. and putting up with parents who refuse to take responsibility for themselves and their children. Bully for the lady who recorded this!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I don't get it



OK, so if someone can't read English and wants to learn. How would they read this sign in the first place?

SPLAIN