Write an email to support the Marines

All you have to do is send an email to this address:

RCT-6lettersfromh at gcemnf-wiraq dot usmc dot mil

They’re collecting the emails and handing copies out to Marines who are in the field.

Read about it at their blog. Two days ago they had 3000, but were despairing because they had slowed to a trickle. They’ve gotten 6000 now.

But according to what I can find on the net, there are about 22,000 Marines in Iraq right now. If they want a single email for each one, they’ve got a way to go.

It’s easy. It’s simple. Just address an email to:

RCT-6lettersfromh at gcemnf-wiraq dot usmc dot mil

The Spirit intervenes

When I was in high school, my pastor died. He was 33. He left a wife and three small children behind. In order to give some relief to his family, our church decided that we would fill the role of the pastor with the members for one year, continuing to give the wife and children the pastor’s salary.

That entire year, the Spirit directed the worship. The songs chosen tied in perfectly with the lesson. The communion thoughts tied in perfectly with the songs. The communion thoughts tied in with the lesson. It was amazing. It was awe-filling. And one of our elders would make the point that “the Spirit did this.”

Two weeks ago, my husband was going to start teaching the high school class’ Bible lesson on Sunday morning. I was filled with trepidation, whether my husband was or not.

And the communion thought tied specifically to R’s discussion of faith. In the lesson, the pastor said some things I had told R he couldn’t say. In addition, the pastor brought up the point that we don’t always do a good job of studying the Bible. This led in to my husband’s discussion of why apologetics is important.

The Spirit intervenes, working in various people who have not contacted each other, to make a coherent point to his people.

It is amazing to me when I see that!

It’s been a month

since I broke my elbow. I still have soreness and pain in my hand/wrist area and right at the elbow, if I put it down on something hard.

The doctor says it can take several months for that to wear off.

But I have been exercising my arm, straightening it out, moving it up to my shoulder, etc. because I don’t want to lose my range of motion. The doctor told me to do that and I did a little. But then MP from church said that he has a friend who can’t straighten her elbow beyond about 25 degrees because she didn’t move it enough. So then I really got busy working it.

I can use it a lot now.

It still hurts to turn a doorknob that goes more than 45 degrees. And I can’t move my hand certain ways without pain. I’m still moving it though.

Learning to shoot

While my family went shooting on a regular basis, it was only the boys who went. My brother shot a rabbit when he was six. My cousins shot a hole through the floor of their car that their mother didn’t know about for several years.

I never went shooting, though.

After R and I had been married for several years (ten? twelve?), he went and got his concealed carry. But I, though very pro-gun, had not learned to shoot.

He took me to the range twice. I picked the target range and did very well. I figured I was “good enough.” And I thought that even though I know that there have been instances of police officers, who have been training with guns for years, who, when in a high adrenaline situation of need, have emptied their guns and not hit the perpetrator once.

But, even though he had passed the CHL shooting test, he wanted to learn to shoot better. He went looking on the net and found a newsletter about how to shoot. He read every single one. When he had finished one, he would come home and tell me all about it. I was intrigued. He sent them to me and I began reading them. They had good information, interesting personal highlights (like stories of celebrities learning to shoot for TV shows), and kept you thinking. The newsletters were from Front Sight.

So we went to Front Sight. We went for four days, eight hours a day, of shooting and instruction. It was intense. It was a learning experience for both of us.

If you want to learn to shoot better, before you even get to the range, here are some links that can help:

Titles

I wrote sometime about the titles for my series. I’ve highlighted my personal favorites for today.

1. Propitiation
Prophet in the Making
The Price of Prophecy

2. Redemption
Prophet Bought and Sold
The Limits to Prophecy

3. Deliverance
Prophet Revealed
The Rewards of Prophecy

And then I suggested book 4 which is listed in my files as “Circle of Ancestors.” I have a few stories for that already.

“The Slave Who Would Be King” about some Kalhun king
“Kawa’s Story” about the true dream
“Hallstat” about Wynne
“Toban’s Story” duh
I still haven’t written “Unexpected View.” I think it would be a good tale to write up for the book, though, even though we have a summary of the story from the princess in book 2.
I also want to write “Boat Baby, Conquering King” which, I think, will be the life story of Tiglatal. (Nasty piece of work he is, but an interesting story. If I leave it before he starts torturing people in job lots, it should be readable. Only a die-hard fan would recognize the name.)

Hey, babe. Call me.

If you see this, call me. Yeah, my phone works. Yeah, I can call you. But I seem to be catching you at bad times. And I’m lonesome for you NOW, but you’re asleep, so I am not calling.

So give me a buzz.

Love you.

Pennsylvania

We went to the Wizards of the Coast comic book convention. It was… different. Spiderman needed a cod piece so his little head wasn’t staring at everyone. And the twenty or so storm troopers obviously weren’t clones. Iron Man had an excellent/expensive costume. There were multiple dark Lords of the Sith, including one who had his girlfriend in black and red and something… There was a leather bikini on a woman who was also wearing chaps. It was eye catching. Lots of high heels on ladies.

We went to two comic book presentations. They talk for ten or fifteen minutes and then they take questions. Since I didn’t know what they were talking about, it was a bit boring.

Then we came to the hotel. I left to go find a new charger for my phone which had died. Got lost because the person giving the directions said left for right and Front for Broad. But I found it with the help of a nice police officer. Then I went and got some bread and soda. I also bought popcorn, thinking we had a microwave. We don’t. So that was a waste, unless there’s one downstairs in the lobby.

You have to pay for parking at this hotel. If it weren’t for the fact that we have a suite (!), I would say we should have stayed downtown. But we do have a suite, so it’s good.

Our Trip

First day we went to Valley Forge. Best thing: You use your cell phone for the audio tour.
Best thing about the hotel: .1 miles from the mall.

Then we came up to NJ. We went to Washington’s HQ. History changes. Last time I was here, 12 years ago, they said that Washington hosted balls at the Ford Mansion. I wondered about that. The place is big, especially for a town of 250 people. But I couldn’t imagine more than 20 people dancing in that entryway. It’s about the size of the room over my garage, maybe 300 sq ft. But they’ve done more research since then and have discovered that the dances took place at the storage center downtown.

We went to Jockey Hollow after that. JH was a much better presentation than Valley Forge. They had a better/more accurate movie and the inside of the hut was better. At JH I went on a three-mile hike. When I got back I took the boys around on the 3 mile car tour.

Our hotel wasn’t hard to find. It’s not big or nice, but it does have two beds and free internet.

Next day we went to Liberty State Park. We used to go there a lot with the boys because the Science Museum there is a great one for kids. M even remembered it. We took the ferry to Ellis Island where the “many great restaurants” turned out to be one very overpriced cafe. We went on a tour with a guy whose grandfather came from Germany, long ago. (This guy was in his sixties.) He was definitely pursuing an agenda, pro-no quota immigration. But it was still interesting.

I learned that wop, a pejorative for Italians, came from Ellis Island. It means without papers. Lots of folks immigrated without the official papers they needed. (Don’t know why they needed them. Maybe it was birthdates and stuff.)

He exaggerated numbers considerably. He said that on average 5000 people came through Ellis Island every day. But according to the official numbers on the brochures, it was less than 3000 on an average day and in the highest year it was only about 4000 people a day. That year, in April, he said that one day there were 11,000 people processed. That’s amazing.

I’ve always wondered why less than 3000 people were killed on 9/11. He said it was a primary day. NY gives off two hours to go vote. Most people take that time in the morning. (Probably whether they vote or not.) He said normally there would have been between 25,000 and 125,000 people in each tower. I don’t know how many would have normally been there, but I know it was way more than the number that was there.

Ellis Island took in several elementary schools out of NY. The kids were cared for there.

We saw the Statue of Liberty. After 9/11 it was closed for 4 years.

Yesterday we took the train into NY. We went to the Morristown station because that was the nearest one where we could actually purchase tickets. As we were standing on the platform I realized I hadn’t paid for the car, so I went running down there, pushed in $5, and ran back up.

The train was nice.

We went to Penn Station. It was huge. There was a tourist/info center. That guy had to know everything!!

We got on the subway to go to the Cloisters. Since I found out about it when I was 15 I have wanted to go there. I said next time I came to the area I would go. So we went.

We took the subway uptown to 190th. (from 7th and 33rd) Then we walked ten blocks on a bike section of the road, through lots of glorious trees and park area, to the Cloisters.

Sheesh it’s expensive to do things in NY. Taco Bell costs 2x as much as at home. And the museum fee was $20.

We took the subway back downtown, asking directions along the way and always getting a polite answer. (That is something that was true when I was a girl, too.)

We ate. E ate at Taco Bell and M and I had pizza. This pizza he liked. I thought it was good but a little too thin.

Then we went up to the street level. There were hundreds of people on every block. It wasn’t rush hour or anything special, but the sidewalks were filled with people. It was a sea, a series of rivers, something strong and fluid and moving. M was astonished that there were so many people.

NYC is 5x as big as Houston, but the amount of people on the streets is easily 100x or more.

We walked up one block and over one block and found a Borders where we parked ourselves for all of rush hour. The bookstore had a fire alarm practice that went on for about twenty minutes. I finished reading the book I had bought at the Barnes and Noble in NJ, but the Borders’ copy. Then I began another. When it was time to leave, I bought it.

We went to the Empire State building. M remembered going up in it when he was little.

After that we went back to Penn Station, asked directions again, and made the Dover Express.

9/11 is still influencing the northeast

New Jersey has the US flag up on all overhead walkways over the highways.

New York’s Penn Station has multiple soldiers and police hanging about.

NJTransit has a permanent announcement up on the flashing signs to “Report Suspicious Activity.”

The Borders had a five minute test of its fire alarm. I’ve spent LOTS of times in bookstores and never sat through a fire alarm before.

We didn’t make it to Ground Zero, but we saw that it is still impacting folks around here.

And understandably so, they were here. It happened here, in their back yard, in their front yard, in their home.

Christian stumbles.

Bible Map, which lets you pinpoint where actual places are in the Bible. I couldn’t figure out where the places were, but it was still interesting.

Early Christian Writings lists them by dates and has whole pages of weblinks and info on each that I clicked on. Very nice.

A Backslidden atheist shows his stuff, says what he thinks, points the way.

This is an amazing story. It’s a graphic classroom example of Jesus. Donuts in the classroom. I wish I knew that it were true.

Historical stumbling.

The 10 Most Puzzling Ancient Artifacts confused me. I kept wondering if it were a parody until I came to some artifacts I have read about other places. Very cool.

An Exhibition on Ancient Petra is fun, interesting, light historical reading.

Vlad the Impaler offers a discussion of differences between Vlad and Dracula, among other things. If I ever teach Dracula, this would be a fun site to start with. [Apparently I like this one. It is in three of the four lists I have stumbled upon so far.]

The Online Reference Book for Medieval Studies includes info for the non-specialist and teaching references, though the one I clicked on is a 404 error message (site not found).

The Ancient World seems to be a personal site, but with lots of timelines and information. How accurate it is I don’t know. It went farther back than my research.

I stumbled upon some cool places.

Go to Stumble Upon for some fun websurfing.

One word lets you write for sixty seconds on the word of their choice.

Then there’s the generating fool who can generate fantasy names, characters with quirks, place names, fictional wars, and fantasy plots. Fun, not serious.

Vlad the Impaler offers a discussion of differences between Vlad and Dracula, among other things. If I ever teach Dracula, this would be a fun site to start with.

Very cool! A superstitions database. I like it. Wonder if I can still use this in my new and improved writing class in the fall.

For a light and entertaining discussion on how to die, go to the exquisitely illustrated Ars Moriendi.

Weird converter will tell you all kinds of odd things. How much does a million dollars in one dollar bills weigh? Am I really that much overweight? (American female = 162)

What’s special about this number? I didn’t understand most of it, but I still liked the idea. Maybe I can use it to stump E.

This one is more odd than cool. The industrious clock, which will tell you the time, but may also drive you crazy from the lack of cessation of movement.

How about a huge picture made of eggs?

Did you know a criminal engraved the Lord’s Prayer on the head of a pin? He was in Sing-Sing.

I don’t know how accurate it is, but Human World has some cool trivia.

Sir Winston Churchill rationed himself to 15 cigars a day.

Eau de Cologne was originally marketed as a way of protecting yourself against the plague.

Harry S Truman became the President of America on 12 April 1945. The initial S in the middle of his name doesn’t in fact mean anything. Both his grandfathers had names beginning with ‘S’, and so Truman’s mother didn’t want to disappoint either of them.

Widows in equatorial Africa actually wear sackcloth and ashes when attending a funeral.

The national flag of Italy was designed by Napoleon Bonaparte.

Folks wouldn’t even know you were homeless, if you camped out in one of these. You’d just have to park somewhere that wouldn’t tow you off.

Into Medieval Macabre? Galleries here.

I may keep stumbling, but this should get you started.

D-Day

To those who were there: Thank you for your presence, your participation, and for your contribution to our liberty.

To those who lost loved ones there: I am sorry. Thank you. God bless you. They are not forgotten.

“Support the troops” turns Dems off.

I took an online poli sci survey on Monday. It asked me questions like “Are most Democrats corrupt?” I said no. Most Democrats, I thought, are people just like you and me who are doing the best they can to make the right choices. I don’t often agree with their understanding of what the right choices are, but…

However, yesterday I was listening to some pollster on Sean Hannity. He said that he polled 31 Ds at the debates. They had a dial that went “more positive” or “less positive” based on what the speakers were saying. Anytime someone used the phrase “Support the troops,” the dial went to less positive. …Glad I didn’t know that when I took the quiz. Their “compassionate” rating might have tanked.

I took the survey off Musing Minds.

If you want to take the survey for the Stony Brook poli sci folks, go here.

What can we do for the families of our fallen soldiers?

Georgia passed a law granting the widowed spouses the soldiers’ scholarship benefits.

“HB 131 — Surviving Spouse HERO Scholarship legislation passed unanimously in both the House and the Senate.” From the Loganville Tribune.

Illinois folks are having a 5K run for scholarships for the surviving children.

I wonder whether Texas has done anything like that? Our legislature only meets once every two years, so it may be too late for now, but I’ll see.

These answers found at Blackfive.