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10 Little Christians

Our pastor is currently doing a series called "Church Life by the Book." Last evening and next Sunday evening he's speaking on "Our Mission" - which is about our mission in reaching people. When I ran across the following poem in my files, I knew I should post it.

10 Little Christians
- author unknown

10 little Christians standing in line,
1 disliked the preacher, then there were 9

9 little Christians stayed up very late,
1 overslept on Sunday, then there were 8

8 little Christians on their way to heaven,
1 took the low road and then there were 7

7 little Christians chirping like chicks,
1 disliked the music, then there were 6

6 little Christians seemed very much alive,
but one lost his interest then there were 5

5 little Christians heading for heaven's shore,
but one stopped to rest, then there were 4

4 little Christians each busy as a bee,
1 got his feelings hurt, then there were 3

3 little Christians knew not what to do,
1 joined the wild crowd, then there were 2

2 little Christians, our rhyme is nearly done,
differed with each other, then there was 1

1 little Christian can't do much, 'tis true,
brought his friend to Bible study - then there were 2

2 earnest Christians, each one reached one more,
That doubled the number, then there were 4

4 sincere Christians worked early and late,
Each won another, then there were 8

8 splendid Christians if they doubled as before,
In just so many Sundays, there'd be 1,024

In this little jingle, there is a lesson true,
you belong to either the building or the wrecking crew!


My wife and I enjoyed visiting with our daughter Megan and little grandson Drew early this evening by webcam over Skype. What a blessing! Meg and Jim took him for pictures today at the photographer. I'm posting several shots below.


"The biggest obstacle to our doing God's will is our own willingness." - Alan Carper

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Most people want to serve God, but only in an advisory capacity.


I have seen three things in the last two days about humorous situations that have arisen, thanks to people's trying to communicate in a foreign language. I pass these on with at least a little bit of trepidation since I'm currently trying to review what little Chinese I learned two years ago this semester. My wife and I plan to go teach in Asia again this next summer unless some door closes to show us clearly that that is not what we are supposed to do. Anyway, on to the miscommunications (or is it missed communications?)...

I'll start off with a story we received by e-mail from our friend Ruth with whom we have taught in Asia. She writes...

Cross-Culture Non-Communication

The following is a true story, however impossible it may sound.

After teaching for three hours, I asked a sophomore student to go with me to the language lab director's office to find out the name of a Chinese male teacher who had taught in the room next to me the previous hour.

Thinking my request quite simple, I told the student to ask the director to please tell me the name of the teacher who had taught in room 206 the previous hour. I know the student asked the correct question since I could understand most of the Chinese words used.

The answer?...

Director: No, you teach in room 208.
Me: I am not talking about me. I am talking about the Chinese teacher in room 206.

Student translates

D: You are not in 206 you are in 208.
Thought: Hello, is anyone listening to me?

In walks a Chinese English teacher. The director asks her to tell me that my classroom is number 208.

Me: I am not talking about me or my classroom. I simply want to know the name of the teacher in room 206.
D: But she is not in 206.
Thought: Would someone just listen to my question!
Me: There is a male teacher in room 206. His English name is Bear. I want to know his Chinese name.
D: OH, OH, OH. You mean the MAN! Is he a little big (meaning fat) and no hair on the top?
Me: Yes,
D: His name is __ __ __.

What if I really had an emergency? I would be dead before anyone listened to me.

This evening we received the following short e-mail from Ruth:

The story I wrote about non-communication has a second chapter. The original story took place last Thursday. Yesterday, Thursday, in class my little translator sweetly came to me and said, "The reason the lady could not understand you last week was because you were giving her the wrong room numbers." UGH! There I had to swallow some pride and repent. So my whole story just lost its punch line and I learned a good lesson.


The following is an excerpt from a blog post by a man named Dave, who is currently teaching English in Asia.

He entitled it: I don't know what it is, but it likes ESPN2

I gave my first test last week, and as bonus questions, asked them to write a sentence using one of the slang phrases that I've taught them. A few students got them right. Many more failed in spectacular ways. Most of the difficulties centered on the phrase "couch potato." Seems simple enough, right? Maybe to you. A few of the (erroneous) attempts at capturing this phrase follow.

- He is a couch tomato.
- I was a sofa tomato.
- We should not be couch pasta [I know it's some kind of starchy food!]
- We are sofa and Pomato on the holiday.
- My sister likes laying Tomato, she always sitting on sofa.
- Tom A Couch Plato [These are not the ultimate Doritos, but merely shadowy copies of the true form].
- you watch TV, you will be crouch potato [Looks like the three-point stance to me]

And, in a guess at "baby boomer:"
- After the 2th World War, many boom babies borned.


The following is from the blog of Carol who is living in Asia with her husband Hal and their three kids. Carol and Hal are both former high school students of mine from way back in the last millenium. Carol's parents are there visiting them right now. Anyway, Carol writes...

Today I thought I would share with you YET another language blunder. This one took place last week while my mom and I were shopping. Here we have markets that we shop at where we have to bargain for our items and that involves speaking. Well as you know I am new to this language so I am learning all the time how to say things and new words to add to my ever building vocabulary.

When I am out and about I try very hard to use each word I can possibly use. Personally I detest having to have someone help me anymore. Perhaps that is my slightly stubborn side coming out but I am at the point where I want to say it and do it MYSELF. SO that means I have to put it in high gear and start getting more words under my belt. Practice times for me are often found at the market because I have to speak to them in order to make a purchase and people are typically very willing to let me try my words on them. :)

My mom and I were shopping last week and looking for some 'wedding lanterns' that would be sent back to the states for a wedding shower of a Chinese woman and her American fiance. I had a bit of a hesitation when I was shopping because I was unsure exactly which lantern was for wedding and which for New Years. They look alike to me except for the characters written on them. I am still not able to read them so I have to ask. I figured that was no big deal...I would just tell the worker that this lantern was going to be for a wedding and make sure it was the correct one. That is not out of the realm of my meager vocabulary. I had learned all of those words and could readily ask those questions. The problem came when I got one key word mixed up. As I was describing why I wanted to purchase this lantern I repeatedly use the word "divorce" instead of "marriage/wedding". OOOPS big mistake there. The fun was as follows:

(Ok, so imagine yourself hearing some weirdo foreigner say this to you:)

"Are these lanterns used for the divorce of a man and woman?"

HMMM....no response...just odd looks....so let me try this again.

"I would like to purchase a lantern to celebrate a friend's divorce."

Ok, so that didn't go over real well...they are now just staring at me...one more swing at this...let's rearrange the sentence a little and see if it flies....

"An American and a Chinese person will be getting divorced and we would like to have 2 lanterns for the party."

Ok, I am talking Greek or something so may be I should describe the event...here's another feeble attempt...

"In America we give gifts, eat food, talk and celebrate 2 people getting divorced."

Ok...you you get the picture, huh? Those poor people just kept saying "no" and looking at me all weird and, I am sure, wondering about all of us sicko Americans out here that celebrate a divorce this way. They kept stepping back from me and shaking their heads and looking at me REALLY oddly.

THEN...it hit me. I realized I was using the wrong word for "marriage" and instead was saying "divorce". So I told them "oh I am sorry, I forgot the word" and when I fixed it and told them "wedding" they immediately took me to the correct lanterns for THAT occasion. AMAZING how one word can change the whole situation!!

SO...I have now given them something fun to go home and disuss at the dinner table. :) When I told an Chinese friend here what I said/did, she said, "They will now tell all their friends what the crazy American woman told them today." :) Guess I will be the talk of the town...me and my divorce celebration.


"What a cheap imitation of glory is living for what will soon pass away!" - Dr. Tony Fox

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When the seed store was robbed, the authorities suspected that the evidence was planted.


This past week has been quite full - lots of grading to do here at midterm time. Plus today's blog post has taken me quite a while to put together, so that has delayed my posting it.

I recently saw a pretty neat website about elevators. I had thought about sharing the URL with y'all, but there were several problems with it. First of all, I did not at all care for the language used on the site and wouldn't want to send people there for that reason. The second problem was that all of the images load from other sites.

The post I did a while back about bridges is one of the most viewed posts on my blog, and it received a large number of comments. People seem to have love/hate relationships with bridges and with elevators. Today's instant vacation took me a l-o-n-g time to prepare, which is not my usual M.O. But I enjoyed doing the searching and researching. I did not include anywhere near all the unique elevators (lifts) in the world. As with the post on bridges, if you have a favorite elevator you'd like to share, just click on the comments link at the end of this post on the blog itself and comment away!

I hope you will find today's post uplifting. 😉

Paternoster lift

The Paternoster lift was first developed in 1884 by Londoner J. E. Hall. A Paternoster or cyclical elevator consists of a chain of open compartments (each usually designed for two persons) that move slowly in a loop up and down inside a building without stopping. When you reach your floor you 'simply' step off the lift while the elevator is still moving. Even if you miss your floor and get to the top of the chain, the cabin will stay vertical and lift you over the top where you will start to descend on the other side. You can then step off on the desired floor. Sales were slow at first, probably because the Paternoster did not stop for the passengers to enter or alight - alarming! There are actually a few still in operation today in Europe.

Below is a picture of one still in use in Berlin...

Below is a drawing of the concept...

You can also watch a YouTube video showing a Paternoster elevator in action by clicking here.

Gateway Arch elevator

One of the "must sees" of St. Louis, Missouri, is the Gateway Arch. The Gateway Arch reflects St. Louis’ role in the Westward Expansion of the United States during the nineteenth century. The Jefferson National Expansion Memorial (part of the U.S. National Park Service system) is a memorial to Thomas Jefferson’s role in opening the West to the pioneers who helped shape its history. Visitors are first amazed at the height of the Arch. Below is a picture from the ground looking up at the Arch.

To go to the top of the Arch, passengers in groups of five enter an egg-shaped compartment containing five seats and a flat floor. Eight compartments are linked to form a train. These compartments individually retain an appropriate level by periodically rotating every 5 degrees, which allows them to maintain the correct orientation while the entire train follows curved tracks up one leg of the arch. The trip to the top of the Arch takes four minutes, and the trip back down takes three minutes. The car doors have narrow glass panes, allowing passengers to see the interior stairways and structure of the Arch during the trip. Below is a picture of one of the cabins.

My wife and I have been on the elevator in the Gateway Arch - it's not our fave!

AquaDom elevator

The AquaDom in Berlin, Germany, is a 82 foot (25 meter) tall cylindrical acrylic glass aquarium with built-in transparent elevator. It is located at the Radisson SAS Hotel in Berlin-Mitte. The DomAquaree complex also contains a hotel, offices, a restaurant, and the aquarium Sea Life Center.

The AquaDom opened in December 2003. It cost about 12.8 million euros. The acrylic glass cylinder was constructed by the U.S. company Reynolds Polymer Technology. The outside cylinder was manufactured on-site from four pieces; the inside cylinder for the elevator was delivered in one piece. The Aquadom has a diameter of over 36 feet (11 meters) and is filled with about 237,750 gallons (900,000 liters) of seawater, containing about 2600 fish of over 50 species. The feeding of the fish and the cleaning of the fish tank is performed daily by divers.

Below is a picture from underneath.

You can watch a YouTube video from inside the elevator by clicking here.

Bailong elevator

If you're afraid of heights, you might want to stay away from the Bailong Elevator, a glass elevator built onto the side of a huge cliff in the Zhangjiajie National Park in China. The stomach-dropping ride takes you 1,070 feet high! The future of this elevator isn't certain - apparently it's bad for the cliffs to have a gigantic elevator stuck on the side of them. If you feel like experiencing this one, you'd better do it now while you still have the chance, since it might be dismantled in the near future.

Below are several pictures of the elevator...

You can watch a YouTube video from inside the elevator by clicking here.

Hammetschwand Elevator

The Hammetschwand Lift, the highest exterior elevator in Europe, is located in Switzerland. It connects a spectacular rock path with the lookout point Hammetschwand on the Buergenstock plateau overlooking Lake Lucerne.

At the time of its construction between 1903 and 1905, it had a speed of three feet (about one meter) per second, and the ride up took nearly three minutes. Its cab consisted of wood fitted with a zinc sheet and could carry 8 passengers. The elevator has been upgraded several times with lighter materials and better engines, resulting in faster travel. The elevator entrance, the engine room and the first 46 feet (14 meters) of this ascent are completely the inside the mountain, while the remaining voyage allows a view of surrounding area. At the top station of Hammetschwand about 3,700 feet (1132 meters) above sea level, one has a breath-taking outlook on the Lake Lucerne and the Alps.

The most recent lift was built and opened by the Schindler Group. It whisks passengers up to the summit of the Hammetschwand in less than one minute which was regarded as a pioneering feat in those days and is probably nothing to sneeze at now!

Below is a picture of the Hammetschwand elevator...

Here's a collage of several pictures of the area...

Taipei 101 elevator

Taipei 101 has been the world's tallest building since 2004.

Toshiba Elevator and Building Systems Corp announced the installation of the world's fastest passenger elevator just exactly where it is needed - in Taipei 101, the world's tallest building. The elevator runs at a top speed of 1,010 meters (3,333 feet) per minute when ascending and 600 meters (1968 feet) per minute on the way down. It can go from the fifth floor to the 89th floor in 39 seconds! And it's official - Guiness has certified it for the 2006 edition.

The world's fastest elevator offers the following new technologies:

- The world's first pressure control system, which adjusts the atmospheric pressure inside a car by using suction and discharge blowers, preventing those riding inside the car experiencing 'ear popping'

- An active control system which cancels vibrations by moving the counter mass in the opposite direction based on the vibration data from a sensor installed in the car

- Optimization in the configuration of the streamlined car to reduce the whistling noise produced by a car running at a high speed inside a narrow hoist-way. This is based on pressure analysis of the atmosphere in the hoistway and on the car surface during operation

Below is a picture of the statistics panel inside the elevator...

You can watch a YouTube video of the stats panel during the ascent of this elevator by clicking here.

I don't know if I'd like this elevator - maybe I'm just not a Taipei personality...?

CN Tower elevator

The CN Tower, located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, is a communications and tourist tower standing 1,815 feet (553.33 meters) tall. It remains the signature icon of Toronto, attracting more than two million international visitors annually. CN originally referred to Canadian National, the railway company that built the tower, following the railway's decision to divest non-core freight railway assets, prior to the company's privatization in 1995. Since local residents wished to retain the name CN Tower, the abbreviation is now said to expand to Canada's National Tower rather than the original Canadian National Tower; however, neither of these are commonly used.

Below are two pictures of the tower, one by day and one by night...

Below is a picture of someone standing on and looking down through the glass floor...

Sky Tower elevator

The Sky Tower is an observation and telecommunications tower located on the corner of Victoria and Federal Streets in the central business district of Auckland, New Zealand. It is 1,076 feet (328 meters) tall, as measured from ground level to the top of the mast, making it the tallest free-standing structure in the Southern Hemisphere. The upper portion of the tower contains two restaurant levels (one with revolving seating) and one cafe level, as well as two observation decks (including some with sections of glass floor). Climbs into the antennae portion are also possible for tour groups.

Below is a picture of someone standing on and looking down through a section of the glass floor.

The elevator itself has a glass floor...

You can watch a YouTube video of the descent of the elevator as seen through its glass floor panels by clicking here.

The tower also features the SkyJump, a 630-feet (192-meter) 'fan descender' jump (an experience between a bungy jump and a base jump) from the observation deck, during which a jumper can reach up to 53 mph (85 km/h). The jump is guide-cable-controlled to prevent jumpers from colliding with the tower in case of gusts.

You can watch a YouTube video of someone doing the jump by clicking here.

Is this really an elevator?

Normally we take an elevator to get to where we want to go. But this elevator seems to take that concept to its extreme!


"We can shorten our lives, but we cannot lengthen them." - Rob Loach

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Why are they called buildings, when they're already finished? Shouldn't they be called builts?

The World According to Student Bloopers

We're anxiously awaiting the end of "Native American summer" here in South Carolina! I've enjoyed all the 90+ degree weather that I care to for a while. If the meteorologists are to be believed, we should get back to more seasonable temps before the weekend. Phew!

This week is/was Columbus Day. It bothers me a little that Columbus Day is now celebrated on a Monday rather than on October 12th, the day that a sailor on board the Pinta first sighted land in 1492. The first recorded celebration of Columbus Day in the United States took place on October 12, 1792, the 300th anniversary of that event. For centuries October 12th was Columbus Day here in the USA, but I guess it's more important that an extremely small number of people have a Monday holiday and a day off. Strangely enough, this year that long weekend would still have been possible since the 12th is on a Friday this year.

What bothers me far more than moving holidays is the rewriting of history that's happening fast and furious. It's all too common nowadays to have our nation's heros portrayed as villains or simply totally ignored in history books. And worse yet, villains and nobodies are painted as heros. (It's kind of like the "black and white" theme in my last blog post, only this is calling white black and black white.) It was weird to read that there were actually protests resulting in arrests in connection to Columbus Day festivities this past weekend, like Christopher Columbus was some kind of evil person! I say that if history is to be rewritten, it should be done by people who don't know any better - like history students - rather than by those who call themselves historians!

Today's iv is a compilation by Richard Lederer of bloopers from students in history classes. This compilation is from a published work called Anguished English.

The World According to Student Bloopers
Richard Lederer

"One of the fringe benefits of being an English or History teacher is receiving the occasional jewel of a student blooper in an essay. I have pasted together the following "history" of the world from certifiably genuine student bloopers collected by teachers throughout the United States, from eighth grade through college level. Read carefully, and you will learn a lot." - R. Lederer

History of the World

Ancient Egypt was inhabited by mummies, and they all wrote in hydraulics. They lived in the Sarah Dessert and traveled by Camelot. The climate of the Sarah is such that the inhabitants have to live elsewhere, so certain areas of the dessert are cultivated by irritation. The pyramids are a range of mountains between France and Spain. The Egyptians built the pyramids in the shape of a huge triangular cube.

The Bible is full of interesting caricatures. In the first book of the Bible, Guinesses, Adam and Eve were created from an apple tree. One of their children, Cain, asked "Am I my brother's son?" God asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac on Mount Montezuma. Jacob, son of Isaac, stole his brother's birthmark. Jacob was a patriarch who brought up his twelve sons to be patriarchs, but they did not take to it. One of Jacob's sons, Joseph, gave refuse to the Israelites.

Moses led the Hebrew slaves to the Red Sea, where they made unleavened bread, which is bread made without any ingredients. Afterwards, Moses went up on Mount Cyanide to get the ten commandments. He died before he ever reached Canada. David was a Hebrew king skilled at playing the liar. He fought with the Finkelsteins, a race of people who lived in Biblical times. Solomon, one of David's sons, had 500 wives and 500 porcupines.

The Greeks were a highly sculptured people, and without them, we wouldn't have history. The Greeks invented three kinds of columns--Corinthian, Doric and Ironic. They also had myths. A myth is a female moth. One myth says that the mother of Achilles dipped him in the River Stynx until he became intolerable. Achilles appears in "The Iliad," by Homer. Homer also wrote the "Oddity," in which Penelope was the last hardship that Ulysses endured on his journey. Actually, Homer was not written by Homer but by another man of that name.

Socrates was a famous Greek teacher who went around giving people advice. They killed him. Socrates died from an overdose of wedlock. After his death, his career suffered a dramatic decline.

In the Olympic Games, Greeks ran races, jumped, hurled the biscuits, and threw the java. The reward to the victor was a coral wreath. The government of Athens was democratic because the people took the law into their own hands. There were no wars in Greece, as the mountains were so high that they couldn't climb over to see what their neighbors were doing. When they fought the Parisians, the Greeks were outnumbered because the Persians had more men.

Eventually, the Romans conquered the Greeks. History calls people Romans because they never stayed in one place for very long. Julius Caesar extinguished himself on the battlefields of Gaul. The Ides of March killed him because they thought he was going to be made king. Dying, he gasped out: "Tee hee, Brutus." Nero was a cruel tyranny who would torture his poor subjects by playing the fiddle to them. Rome came to have too many luxuries and baths. At Roman banquets, the guests wore garlics in their hair. They took two baths in two days, and that's the cause of the fall of Rome. Rome was invaded by ballbearings, and is full of fallen arches today.

Then came the Middle Ages, when everyone was middle aged. King Alfred conquered the Dames, King Arthur lived in the Age of Shivery with brave knights and prancing horses and beautiful women. King Harold mustarded his troops before the Battle of Hastings. Joan of Arc was burnt to a steak and cannonized by George Bernard Shaw, and there were many victims of the blue bonnet plague. Finally, the Magna Carta provided that no free man should be hanged twice for the same offense.

In midevil times most of the people were alliterate. The greatest writer of the futile times was Chaucer, who wrote many poems and verse and also wrote literature. Another story was about William Tell, who shot an arrow through an apple while standing on his son's head.

The Renaissance was an age in which more individuals felt the value of their human being. Martin Luther was nailed to the church door at Wittenberg for selling papal indulgences. He died a horrible death, being excommunicated by a bull.

The government of England was a limited mockery. Henry VIII found walking difficult because he had an abbess on his knee. As a queen, Queen Elizabeth was a success. Her navy went out and defeated the Spanish Armadillo.

It was an age of great inventions and discoveries. Gutenberg invented removable type. Another important invention was the circulation of blood. Sir Walter Raleigh is a historical figure because he invented cigarettes. Sir Francis Drake circumcised the world with a 100-foot clipper.

The greatest writer of the Renaissance was William Shakespeare. Shakespeare was born in the year 1564, supposedly on his birthday. Shakespeare never made much money and is famous only because of his plays. He lived in Windsor with his merry wives, writing tragedies, comedies, and errors, all in Islamic pentameter. In one of Shakespeare's famous plays, Hamlet rations out his situation by relieving himself in a long soliloquy. In another, Lady Macbeth tries to convince Macbeth to kill the King by attacking his manhood. The clown in As You Like It is named Touchdown. Romeo and Juliet are an example of a heroic couplet.

Writing at the same time as Shakespeare was Miguel Cervantes. He wrote "Donkey Hote." The next great author was John Milton. Milton wrote "Paradise Lost." Then his wife died and he wrote "Paradise Regained."

During the Renaissance America began. Christopher Columbus was a great navigator who discovered America while cursing about the Atlantic. His ships were called the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Fe. Later the Pilgrims crossed the ocean, and this was called the Pilgrim's Progress. When they landed at Plymouth Rock, they were greeted by Indians, who came down the hill rolling their hoops before them. The Indian squabs carried porpoises on their back. Many of the Indian heroes were killed, along with their cabooses, which proved very fatal to them. The winter of 1620 was a hard one for the settlers. Many people died and many babies were born. Captain John Smith was responsible for all this.

One of the causes of the Revolutionary Wars was the English put tacks in their tea. Also, the colonists would send their parcels through the post without stamps. During the War, Red Coats and Paul Revere was throwing balls over stone walls. The dogs were barking and the peacocks crowing. Finally, the colonists won the War and no longer had to pay for taxis.

Delicates from the original thirteen states formed the Contented Congress. Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin were two singers of the Declaration of Independence. Franklin had gone to Boston carrying all his clothes in his pocket and a loaf of bread under each arm. He invented electricity by rubbing cats backwards and declared "a horse divided against itself cannot stand." Franklin died in 1790 and is still dead.

George Washington married Martha Curtis and in due time became the father of our country. His farewell address was Mount Vernon. Then the Constitution of the United States was adopted to secure domestic hostility. Under the Constitution the people enjoyed the right to keep bare arms.

Abraham Lincoln became America's greatest Precedent. Lincoln's mother died in infancy, and he was born in a log cabin which he built with his own hands. When Lincoln was President, he wore only a tall silk hat. He said, "In onion there is strength." Abraham Lincoln wrote the Gettysburg address while traveling from Washington to Gettysburg on the back of an envelope. He also signed the Emasculation Proclamation, and the Fourteenth Amendment gave the ex-Negroes citizenship. But the Clue Clutz Clan would torcher and lynch the ex-Negroes and other innocent victims. On the night of April 14, 1865, Lincoln went to the theater and got shot in his seat by one of the actors in a moving picture show. The believed assinator was John Wilkes Booth, a insane supposed actor. This ruined Booth's career.

Meanwhile in Europe, the enlightenment was a reasonable time. Voltaire invented electricity and also wrote a book called "Candy". Gravity was invented by Isaac Walton. It is chiefly noticeable in the autumn, when the apples are falling off the trees.

Bach was the most famous composer in the world, and so was Handel. Handel was half German, half Italian and half English. He was very large. Bach died from 1750 to the present. Beethoven wrote music even though he was deaf. He was so deaf he wrote loud music. He took long walks in the forest even when everyone was calling for him. Beethoven expired in 1827 and later died for this.

France was in a very serious state. The French Revolution was accomplished before it happened. The Marseillaise was the theme song of the French Revolution, and it catapulted into Napoleon. During the Napoleonic Wars, the crowned heads of Europe were trembling in their shoes. Then the Spanish gorillas came down from the hills and nipped at Napoleon's flanks. Napoleon wanted an heir to inherit his power, but since Josephine was a baroness, she couldn't bear him any children.

The sun never set on the British Empire because the British Empire is in the East and the sun sets in the West. Queen Victoria was the longest queen. She sat on a thorn for 63 years. Her reclining years and finally the end of her life were exemplatory of a great personality. Her death was the final event which ended her reign.

The nineteenth century was a time of many great inventions and thoughts. The invention of the steamboat caused a network of rivers to spring up. Samuel Morse invented a code for telepathy. Louis Pasteur discovered a cure for rabbis. Charles Darwin was a naturalist who wrote the "Organ of the Species". Madman Curie discovered radi0. And Karl Marx became one of the Marx Brothers.

The First World War, caused by assignation of the Arch-Duck by ananahist, ushered in a new error in the anals of human history.


In reference to the recent passing of the famous mime Marcel Marceau... "Do you suppose they observed a moment of noise in his honor anywhere in France?" - Barry Ray, Greenville Journal

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Did Washington just flash a quarter for his ID?

Black and White

When I did a word search in my files in preparation for my last post where I mentioned Sputnik, one of the words I used in the search was "satellite." One of the files that turned up is what I'm posting today. It's something I read and saved years ago and frankly had completely forgotten about. When I reread it, I thought to myself that it would be a nice piece to post on the blog sometime in the future. Well, the following morning I heard on the radio that the program Leave It to Beaver was celebrating its fiftieth anniversary. They had a little sound clip from "the Beav'" and from his older brother "Wally." Wally's voice sounded the same, only more mature!

My mind went back to some of the really good, family-friendly shows from my childhood, shows that had valued right and didn't glorify wrong. Not only were the images black and white, but most of the issues were also. Looking back on those programs now as an adult, I realize too that those old shows were laced with "little white lies" and situation ethics. But there were generally always uncomfortable or even unpleasant consequences for the wrong doing and good triumphed in the end. I must admit that I am not a big TV watcher and haven't been for years now. I simply hate to be assailed with profanity, innuendo, violence, immorality, calling wrong right and right wrong, and on and on I could go with the litany of what TV has become.

Today I'm posting the words to a song about the "good, ol' days" of black and white TV.

(If you're under the age of 50, you probably won't fully understand or appreciate this poem about a period of time when, even though it took five minutes for the TV warm up, there would be something actually worth watching...)

Black and White
by Steve Vaus

You could hardly see for all the snow,
Spread the rabbit ears as far as they go,
Pull a chair up to the TV set,
"Good night David, Good night Chet!"
Depending on the channel you tuned
You got Rob and Laura, or Ward and June.
It felt so good, it felt so right.
Life looked better in black and white.

I Love Lucy, the Real McCoys,
Dennis the Menace, the Cleaver boys,
Rawhide, Gunsmoke, Wagon Train,
Superman and Lois Lane,
Father Knows Best,
Rin Tin Tin and Lassie too,
Donna Reed on Thursday night.
Life looked better in black and white.

I wanna go back to black and white.
Everything always turned out right.
Simple people, simple lives,
Good guys always won the fights.
Now nothing's the way it seems
In living color or on the screen.
I wanna go back to black and white.

In God they trusted, in bed they slept.
A promise made was a promise kept.
They never cussed or broke a vow.
They'd never make the network now.
But if I could I'd rather be
In a TV town in '63
It felt so good, it felt so right.
Life looked better in black and white.

I'd trade all the channels on the satellite
If I could just turn back the clock tonight
To when everybody knew wrong from right.
Life was better in black and white.


Here are pictures of a dozen shows to evoke good memories for some...

The Little Rascals (a.k.a. Our Gang)

Spanky and Our Gang

Sky King (and his niece Penny)

Out of the blue of the western skies comes Sky King!

Howdy Doody (and Buffalo Bob)

It's Howdy Doody Time!

Rin Tin Tin

the troops at Fort Apache adopted the orphan Rusty and his German Shepherd Rin Tin Tin

The Lone Ranger (and his faithful companion Tonto)

Hi-Ho-Silver and away!

I Love Lucy (our favorite episode - in the candy factory)

Lucy in the Candy Factory

Captain Kangaroo

Captain Kangaroo

Leave It to Beaver (the Cleaver family)

the Cleavers - Wally, June, Ward, and Theodore (Beaver)


Lassie and Timmy the boy who loved her

Father Knows Best

the Andersons - Bud, Kitten, Jim, Margaret, and Princess

The Andy Griffith Show

Barney, Andy, Opie, and Aunt Bea

The Beverly Hillbillies

Granny and Jed


"Make every decision based on doctrine. Doctrine is not peripheral - it is foundational." - Dr. Drew Conley

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Have you ever noticed that nostalgia isn't what is used to be?