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Abraham Lincoln Quotations

picture of Lincoln

Today is the 200th birthday of two famous men - Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin. I was surprised (but probably shouldn't have been...) to see which of the two men Google chose to highlight – Darwin. I decided to honor President Lincoln by sharing some well-known and not-so-well-known quotations from him. Some of them are quite powerful, while others show that he had a highly developed sense of humor.

Quotations from Abraham Lincoln

A woman is the only thing that I am afraid of that I know will not hurt me.

What is conservatism? Is it not adherence to the old and tried, against the new and untried?

It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt.

Tact is the ability to describe others as they see themselves.

Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.

When you have got an elephant by the hind legs and he is trying to run away, it's best to let him run.

We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.

Common looking people are the best in the world: that is the reason the Lord makes so many of them.

I am rather inclined to silence, and whether that be wise or not, it is at least more unusual nowadays to find a man who can hold his tongue than to find one who cannot.

I don't know who my grandfather was; I am much more concerned to know what his grandson will be.

How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg?
Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn't make it a leg.

I happen temporarily to occupy this big White House. I am living witness that any one of your children may look to come here as my father's child has.

If I were two-faced, would I be wearing this one?

I have stepped out upon this platform that I may see you and that you may see me, and in the arrangement I have the best of the bargain.

It is said an Eastern monarch once charged his wise men to invent him a sentence to be ever in view, and which should be true and appropriate in all times and situations. They presented him the words, "And this, too, shall pass away."

If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee.

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power.

No matter how much cats fight, there always seem to be plenty of kittens.

No man has a good enough memory to make a successful liar.

The best way to get a bad law repealed is to enforce it strictly.

Whenever I hear any one arguing for slavery I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.


Do you have a favorite quotation from Abe Lincoln to share or a comment to make on one of these quotations?


"I know that the Lord is always on the side of the right. But it is my constant anxiety and prayer that I and this nation should be on the Lord's side." - Abraham Lincoln

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"He can compress the most words into the smallest ideas of any man I ever met." - Abraham Lincoln

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Putting It All Together

Lego logo

Many children and maybe even more grown-up children enjoy playing with Lego. Lego is a contraction of two Danish words - leg and godt or "play well." Later, someone realized that in Latin lego means "I put together," which seems to be as appropriate as the Danish name.

Recently I was reading an interesting article about Denmark (the homeland of Lego) and was reminded of some interesting Lego lore I had come across - a Lego OSU stadium, a Lego church, a Lego tower, and a Lego artist.

Lego stadium

A scale model of the Ohio State Stadium took 2+ years of work (July 2002-October 2004 - over 2000 man hours). It is a 1:275 (approximate) scale, built entirely with Legos, and weighs around 38 pounds, not including the plywood base. Jim Stricker, the person who built it, had certain "rules" to help guide the project: no modifying of pieces, no glue, and no paint. This model is held together entirely by the interlocking features of the Lego bricks and gravity. Because of problems of space and expense, Stricker had to make certain compromises - notice the absence of yard lines, for example. One challenge was obtaining a horseshoe shape with square Lego pieces. Up close, the appearance seems rough, but everything blends together well when viewed at a distance. The builder lives over 200 miles from the stadium (in Michigan, of all places!) and had to rely on pictures and very infrequent visits to the real stadium.

picture of Lego stadium

picture of Lego stadium

Lego Church

I received an e-mail a while back with amazing pictures of the Lego church. It features a balcony, a Narthex, stairs to the balcony, restrooms, coat rooms, several mosaics, a nave, a baptistry, an altar, a pulpit, and an elaborate pipe organ. You can visit the site of the woman who built it by clicking here

Here are a few pictures of the Lego church:

picture of Lego church

picture of Lego church

picture of Lego church

picture of Lego church

Lego tower

At Legoland in Windsor the Lego brick tower stands nearly 100 feet tall and is shaped to resemble a Viking longboat mast. This tower, composed of nearly 500,000 bricks, was put up to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Lego bricks in May of this year.

Click here to read an article about the Lego tower. Here are a couple of pictures of the tower.

picture of Lego tower

picture of Lego tower

Lego artist

One of my former students has a hobby/sideline of making portraits with Legos.

Here's a picture of his son Christopher with his portrait.

picture of Lego portrait

You should check out his website - http://www.duckingham.com

If you're interested in learning about the history of Lego, you can click here or for a more detailed history, click here

Did you grow up with Legos and love playing with them? Do you enjoy playing with Legos as an adult? What did/do you like best about Legos?


"Prayer and pride are enemies." - Dr. Drew Conley

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An unbreakable toy is useful for breaking other toys.

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What’s a Billion?

picture comparing numbers
It's hard enough for me to get my mind around one million, but to try to understand the concepts of a billion or a trillion is beyond my finite mind. (You math teachers out there, please be patient with me and thank the Lord that He wanted me to be a French professor instead!)

A million is a hard concept to grasp. Did you know that a stack of a million one dollar bills is about 358 feet tall?! I read somewhere that for a person to count out loud from 1 to 1,000,000 it would take 23 days, counting day and night, without breakfast, lunch or dinner, without sleep, television, a phone call or a bathroom break!

Here are several more concrete comparisons of a million, a billion, and a trillion:

A million seconds is 12 days.
A billion seconds is 31 years.
A trillion seconds is 31,688 years.

A million minutes ago was 1 year, 329 days, 10 hours and 40 minutes ago
A billion minutes ago it was the year 107 AD.
A trillion minutes ago was over 1,900,000 years ago!

[added the evening of October 2 - for a really clear comparison of a million and a billion, take a look at Andrew's comment to this post]

Between World War I and World War II, Germans had to deal with astronomic numbers daily because inflation was so high and their currency was so devalued. It cost 200 billion Marks to buy one loaf of bread! Imagine having to deal with numbers like that! You can read a very good article about it by clicking here. Here's a picture of a German one billion Mark bill from 1923:

Whatever you want to say

Evolutionists throw the words million and billion around pretty freely. Here's a story I love that highlights that:

Tourists in the Chicago Museum of Natural History were amazed at the dinosaur bones. One of them asked the guard, "Can you tell me how old the dinosaur bones are?"

The guard replied, "They are three million four years and six months old."

"That's an awfully exact number," said the tourist. "How do you know their age so precisely?"

The guard answered, "Well, I was told that the dinosaur bones were three million years old when I started working here, and that was four and a half years ago."


Lately politicians are throwing the word billion around like it's chump change. The following article is from the website of one of our local TV stations WYFF 4:

If the $700 billion price tag attached to the bailout plan that failed sounds like a lot, well, it is.

You can spend $700 billion in a lot of different ways. For instance, you could buy a war — the U.S. has spent $648 billion on the war in Iraq so far.

That much money could ensure universal health care coverage for six years or upgrade the country's most deficient bridges four times over. Or you could build 1,750 bridges to nowhere. Surely all of those would eventually take you somewhere.

With $700 billion you could easily run Denmark, which had a paltry gross domestic product of $312 billion last year.

That much money could also pay back every single outstanding student loan, fund the national intelligence budget beyond 2020, or help the Gulf Coast recover from five Hurricane Katrinas.

The next time you hear a politician use the word billion in a glib, casual manner, you might want to think about how wisely politicians are spending your tax money. I guess if you can be glib about a billion, what's a measly $700 billion bailout?! It's just 700 of those billion-thingies....

Several people have expressed their thoughts about the bailout in their comments to my post the blame game. I'd be interested in reading what my readers think about the prospect of our government bailing out these failing businesses.


"The certainty that Messiah reigns produces calm in the face of current affairs, patience with the events of one's own life, satisfaction with the Lord's management of all things, expectancy that a glorious future is coming, and confidence in the One who sits upon the throne." - Walter Chantry

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"The god of the 'American Dream' doesn't seem to be coming through right now." - Dr. Drew Conley

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Memory Lane

The first year I taught high school, fresh out of college, I had several seniors in my second year French class. Those seniors turned 50 a year or so ago. This year those who were sophomores and in my first year French class that year are now turning 50. Such a sobering reminder that little Drew is not the only one who's aging!

Someone sent me an e-mail recently to test my memory. I either watched too much television as a child or I am really old - surely not both! 🙂 The e-mail said that the test was a pushover for anyone over 50. You younger readers may struggle with some of these, and some will be a great trip down memory lane for a lot of people.

So here you go, test your memory (or your ability to make intelligent guesses):

1. What builds strong bodies 12 ways?
A. Flintstones vitamins
B. The buttmaster
C. Spaghetti
D. Wonder Bread
E. Orange Juice
F. Milk
G.. Cod Liver Oil

2. Before he was Muhammad Ali, he was...
A. Sugar Ray Robinson
B. Roy Orbison
C. Gene Autry
D. Rudolph Valentino
E. Fabian
F. Mickey Mantle
G. Cassius Clay

3. Pogo, the comic strip character said, "We have met the enemy and...."
A. It's you
B. He is us
C. It's the Grinch
D. He wasn't home
E. He's really mean
F. We quit
G. He surrendered

4. Good night, David.
A. Good night, Chet
B. Sleep well
C. Good Night, Irene
D. Good Night, Gracie
E. See you later, alligator
F. Until tomorrow
G. Good night, Steve

5. You'll wonder where the yellow went,
A. When you wash your clothes with Tide
B. When you lose your crayons
C. When you clean your tub
D. If you paint the room blue
E. If you buy a soft water tank
F. When you use Lady Clairol
G. When you brush your teeth with Pepsodent

6. Before he was the Skipper's Little Buddy, Bob Denver was Dobie's friend,
A. Stuart Whitman
B. Randolph Scott
C. Steve Reeves
D. Maynard G. Krebbs
E. Corky B. Dork
F. Dave the Whale
G. Zippy Zoo

7. Liar, liar...
A. You're a liar
B. Your nose is growing
C. Pants on fire
D. Join the choir
E. Jump up higher
F. On the wire
G. I'm telling Mom

8. Meanwhile, back in Metropolis, Superman fights a never ending battle for truth, justice and...
A. Wheaties
B. Lois Lane
C. Freedom of speech
D. World peace
E. Red tights
F. The American way
G. News headlines

9. Hey, kids, what time is it?
A. It's time for Yogi Bear
B. It's time to do your homework
C. It's Howdy Doody Time
D. It's Time for Romper Room
E. It's bedtime
F. The Mighty Mouse Hour
G. Scoopy Doo Time

10. Lions and tigers and bears...
A. Yikes
B. Oh no
C. Gee whiz
D. I'm scared
E. Oh my
F. Help! Help!
H. Let's run

11. Bob Dylan advised us never to trust anyone
A. Over 40
B. Wearing a uniform
C. Carrying a briefcase
D. Over 30
E. You don't know
F. Who says, "Trust me"
G. Who eats tofu

12. NFL quarterback who appeared in a television commercial wearing women's stockings.
A. Troy Aikman
B. Kenny Stabler
C.. Joe Namath
D. Roger Stauback
E. Joe Montana
F. Steve Young
G. John Elway

13. Brylcream...
A. Smear it on
B. You'll smell great
C. Tame that cowlick
D. Greaseball heaven
E. It's a dream
F. We're on your team
G. A little dab'll do ya

14. I found my thrill...
A. And you can too
B. With my man, Bill
C. Down at the mill
D. Over the windowsill
E. On Blueberry Hill
F. Too late to enjoy
G. With thyme and dill

15. Before Robin Williams, Peter Pan was played by
A. Clark Gable
B. Mary Martin
C. Doris Day
D. Errol Flynn
E. Sally Fields
F. Jim Carey
G. Jay Leno

16. Name the Beatles.
A. John, Steve, George, Ringo
B. John, Paul, George, Roscoe
C. John, Paul, Stacey, Ringo
D. Jay, Paul, George, Ringo
E. Lewis, Peter, George, Ringo
F. Jason, Betty, Skipper, Hazel
G. John, Paul, George, Ringo

17. I wonder, wonder, wonder, wonder who...
A. Who ate the leftovers?
B. Who did the laundry?
C. Who are you?
D. Who wrote the book of love?
E. Who am I?
F. Passed the test?
G. Knocked on the door?

18. I'm strong to the finish...
A. Cause I eats my broccoli
B. Cause I eats me spinach
C. Cause I lift weights
D. Cause I'm the hero
E. And don't you forget it!
F. Cause Olive Oyl loves me
G. And outlast Bruto

19. When it's least expected, you're elected, you're the star today...
A. Smile, you're on Candid Camera
B. Smile, you're on Star Search
C. Smile, you've just won life's lottery
D. Smile, we're watching you
E. Smile, the world sees you
F. Smile, you're a hit
G. Smile, you're on TV

20. You can trust your car to the man who wears the star,...
A. It's the Lone Ranger!
B. And he will take you far
C. Our man Friday
D. He'll have you on the road in no time!
E. Deputy Dog
F. The big bright Texaco star
G. Sheriff Matt Dillon

Now for the answers....

1. d - Wonder Bread
2. g - Cassius Clay
3. b - He Is Us
4. a - Good night, Chet
5. g - When you brush your teeth with Pepsodent
6. d - Maynard G. Krebbs
7. c - Pants On Fire
8. f - The American Way
9. c - It's Howdy Doody Time
10. e - Oh my
11. d - Over 30
12. c - Joe Namath
13. g - A little dab'll do ya
14. g - On Blueberry Hill
15. b - Mary Martin
16. g - John, Paul, George, Ringo
17. d - Who wrote the book of Love
18. b - Cause I eats me spinach
19. a - Smile, you're on Candid Camera
20. f - The big bright Texaco star

For those who don't know Pogo...

This has been a good week - much less busy and hectic than recent weeks have been. A week from Sunday (March 9) our grandson Drew will be a year old already! Those of you who were reading my blog at the time of his birth will be amazed that his premature birth was almost a year ago! He's doing very well - crawling all over, smiling with six teeth, and pulling himself up on furniture. Grandma and Aunt Nora will be driving up for a long weekend to help celebrate his birthday. Grandpa will be holding down the fort here, quenching his students' thirst for knowledge and feeding the livestock (our herd of two cats). I'm sure they'll send me pictures to post.


"We often minimize our sin because we don't see it as an act of defiance against God." - Dr. Drew Conley

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If Barbie was so popular, why did you have to buy her friends?

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Several thoughts colliding in my mind made me think of what I'm posting today. The first thought is of all the news of toy recalls because of the dangers they pose to children. The second thought is an amusing/disturbing event this week. I'll try to relate this as concisely as possible. A colleague stopped me in the hall to ask my age, to which I replied, "I'm 56." She said that that's what she thought, since she thought we were about the same age. She went on to explain that one of my students used me as an example in a project on Erikson's Stages of Psychosocial Development for her class. My student said that I was an example of someone in the "Integrity vs. Despair" stage of life - the eighth and final stage of life! She said that I was a grandfather in his mid-sixties. Yikes! I must look really old! Maybe I need a make-over....

Well, anyway, thinking about safety concerns for those in Erikson's stage 1 - a stage I went through WAY back in the last millennium - and about the fact that as doddering as I am, I've somehow still survived reminded me of something I've received about other survivors like me.

Can You Believe We Survived!?

According to today's over-zealous regulators, those of us who were kids in the 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, and maybe even early 70s, probably shouldn't have survived.

First, we survived being born to mothers who took aspirin, ate bleu cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn't get tested for diabetes.

Our baby cribs were covered with bright colored lead-based paint. We slept on our backs or our stomachs, whichever way was more comfortable. And we slept in back rooms or upstairs with the doors closed so no one would wake up.

We had no childproof lids or locks on medicine bottles, doors, or cabinets.

As infants and children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, booster seats, seat belts, or air bags. It was a sad rite of passage, when as a child, you were too tall to stand up in the back seat and look out!

Riding in the back of a pickup truck on a warm day was always a special treat, and the more the merrier!

We drank water from the tap and even the garden hose and not from a bottle.

We ate cupcakes, white bread, and real butter and drank Kool-aid made with sugar, but we weren't overweight because, WE WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING!

We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle, and no one got sick or died from this.

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride down the hill, only to find out we had forgotten the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem.

We would also build our own skateboards from a board and an old pair of skates. We rode our homemade skateboards and our bicycles, and we skated - with no knee pads, no elbow pads, and no helmets. We learned that falling hurt, and we learned to avoid falls.

We would leave home in the morning and play all day, and often well into the evening after supper. No one was able to reach us during any of this time. No cell phones or pagers, just Mom yelling out the front door or calling our friend's house in an emergency. And we were OK.

We did not have Playstations, Nintendo 64, X-Boxes, no video games at all, no 256 channels on cable, DVD movies, surround sound, personal cell phones, personal computers, Internet, or chat rooms.

WE HAD FRIENDS! We went outside and found them!

We played dodge ball, and sometimes, the ball would really hurt. We fell out of trees, got cut, some even broke bones and teeth, and there were no lawsuits from these accidents. They were accidents. No one was to blame but us. Remember accidents? They were what we called things that happened usually because of our own carelessness.

We had fights and punched each other and got black and blue and learned to get over it.

We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, made up games with sticks, stones, string, and cans, and although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes.

We rode bikes or walked to a friend's home and knocked on the door, or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them.

Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with the disappointment, to get better at the game, or do something else.

Some students weren't as smart as others, so they failed a grade and were held back to repeat the same grade.

Tests were not adjusted for any reason. Our actions were our own. Consequences were expected.

The idea of parents bailing us out if we got in trouble in school or broke a law was unheard of. They actually sided with the school or the law!

Those generations have produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers, and inventors, ever! The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas.

We had freedom, failure, success, and responsibility - and we learned how to deal with it!

If you're one of the kids described above and survived to read about it, CONGRATULATIONS!


Now I will say that we have learned somethings through the years, and my generation probably took some unnecessary risks because we just didn't know better. But it is interesting to consider how out-of-proportion some of aspects of life have become. I guess it's job security for those who know better than we do what's best for us....


"Our fears always pale when compared to the power of an omnipotent God." - Jon Daulton

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If ignorance is bliss, why aren't more people happy?

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