Write an email to Columbia University.

They’re bringing Ahmedinejad in to speak to the University.

There are a lot of reasons why I am opposed to this.

But there is only one reason I can think of that might cause Columbia to pull his invitation. So I sent an email to President Bollinger this morning.

I asked why Columbia was hosting a man whose entire government supports the killing of homosexuals.

Maybe that will cause Bollinger to rethink Columbia’s offer. Try it.

Please be respectful. His address is: bollinger@columbia.edu

Parasites, low body temperature, and food allergies

I’m reading on the net and found an interesting article on Positive Health in which a correlation between low body temperature and food allergies is presented.

I have low body temperature, 96.8 average untreated. On my thyroid medicine, it has inched up to 97.5.

But this guy is saying that maybe low body temp keeps the parasites in your body alive and you could kill them off, and get rid of your food allergies, if your body temp were just a bit higher.

How do you warm up your core body temp?

Nightshades Food List

tomato/potato are obvious. But what else should I avoid? The best list I’ve found is at the World’s Healthiest Foods. I find the name ironic, but it is helping me get healthier.

The most famous food members of the nightshade family include potatoes (Solanum tuberosum), tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum), many species of sweet and hot peppers (all species of Capsicum, including Capsicum annum), and eggplant (Solanum melongena). Less well know, but equally genuine nightshade foods include ground cherries (all species of Physalis), tomatillos (Physallis ixocapra), garden huckleberry (Solanum melanocerasum), tamarillos (Cyphomandra betacea), pepinos (Solanum muricatum), and naranjillas (Solanum quitoense). Pimentos (also called pimientos) belong to the nightshade family, and usually come from the pepper plant Capsicum annum. Pimento cheese and pimento-stuffed olives are therefore examples of foods that should be classified as containing nightshade components. Although the sweet potato, whose scientific name is Ipomoea batatas, belongs to the same plant order as the nightshades (Polemoniales), it does not belong to the Solanaceae family found in this order, but to a different plant family called Convolvulaceae.

Nightshade spices

The seasoning paprika is also derived from Capsicum annum, the common red pepper, and the seasoning cayenne comes from another nightshade, Capsicum frutenscens. Tabasco sauce, which contains large amounts of Capsicum annum, should also be considered as a nightshade food. It may be helpful to note here that black pepper, which belongs to the Piperaceae family, is not a member of the nightshade foods.

Other relevant posts:
Discussion of solanine in nightshades and how it isn’t really an allergy. But it acts like one. “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” And an allergy by any other name hurts.
A collection of internet comments on nightshades that were relevant to me or my family.
Night Shade Allergies, my post with the most comments, I think.

BFL day 9

I’m doing BFL again. It works well and I can do it.

I’ve lost four pounds so far. Haven’t measured because I seem to be having bloating from something.

I am riding my bike 3 days a week, walking the dog for about an hour one day a week, and lifting weights three days a week. I also take one day off and do nothing.

I want to do the MS150 in April. They recommend rides to lead up to that. There’s a Bike the Bend ride, 10 or 19 or 36 or 52 miles, in November. I’m sure I could do the 10, but it’d be nice to have built up to be able to do longer. It’s a total of five hours course open. But I’d really like to have the right kind of bike for that.

Thomas E. Burnett, Jr.

It’s not September 11th today, but still we remember.

According to the website, Thomas E. Burnett, Jr. didn’t get a memorial for 2996.

So I thought I would look him up.

I think 2996 was wrong. There is a memorial for him.

It’s at The Post Gazette.

It’s also at Wikipedia.

And another still at Flight 93 Memorials. It quotes verbatim the Post Gazette entry.

There is a short memorial at Legacy.com.

And another, a collection of shorts really, at Newsday.

And that was just the first page of Google.

The Post Gazette made me laugh. It said that as a young man Thomas thought “if he could ever earn $25,000 a year and have a company car, he would be king of the world.” I am older than Thomas by a year, so I know he must have been a very young man when he thought that.

It’s good to know we can still laugh because of them.

The Tom Burnett Foundation, begun by his family, tells many things about him. One of them touched me, bibliophile that I am. “Tom was an avid reader, often choosing a subject and reading as many books on the subject as possible.”

Tom left behind four daughters. I will pray for them.

You may wonder why I no longer read the news

It’s because of things like Wired’s 9/11 post in which the evil is discussed in terms of which sectors of the country made money from the disaster. That was the most important thing.


I’m not linking to it. You can go find it yourself.

In the tech world, 9/11 and President Bush’s subsequent declaration of a “war on terror” led to some nice profits in some sectors, especially among businesses involved in communications, surveillance, security and weapons technology.
More insidious is the intrusion of sophisticated surveillance technology into everyday life.

BFL and goals

I started BFL today. It’s what works best for me and I don’t want to be fat. I know I’ll never be a size 3, or even a 6, but a 10 and even an occasional 8 would be preferable to what I am now (a tight 12 or 14).

So I was thinking of motivation. I’m not a singular person. I like hanging with people. Do you think I could get my family to agree to the following motivational rewards?

At 175 R and both boys go with me for one bike ride in the next week. The boys would only ride 15 minutes each. The boys would also lift weights with me once.

At 170 R and I would go to Nacadoches or somewhere to go antiquing. (Yeah, he doesn’t love it, but he could spend time with me!)

At 165 both boys would go with me for two bike rides in the next week. Again the boys would only have to ride 15 minutes eah.

After 1 week at 160, R would start bike riding with me two mornings a week for two months. (As long as I stay below 160.)

After 3 months at or below 160, I get $200 to buy new clothes. (I’m going to see if my parents might be interested in sponsoring this motivational reward.)

After 6 months at or below 160, I get another $200 to buy new clothes. And R and the boys bike ride with me once a week for three weeks.

After 9 months at or below 160, I get another $200 to buy new clothes. And R and the boys bike ride once a week with me for six weeks.

After 1 year at or below 160, I pay for M’s phone for a year and E gets a Game Force party. And R and I go for a three day weekend somewhere.

After 2 years at 160, R and I go with M and D for their trip to Mexico.

I wish I thought I could get down to 150, which was my goal last time I went on BFL. But the lowest I got was 155 and I was seriously frustrated, switched to other systems which did not work, and have, over the last three years, regained most of my weight. So I wanted to pick a reasonable goal for me, one which will put me in a size 10 and keep me there. If, over the course of years, I can actually get down to 150 and stay there, that will be great. But I want to look good, not be frustrated.

After four+ years on BFL, with no nightshades, I will be in the best condition of my life. So when I hit 50, I’ll be hot.

September 11 Remembrance

It has been six years. Our lives have gone on. But some things have changed. Some lives, obviously, have changed more than others.

Today my church had its annual service thanking and honoring our area fire fighters. Some can never come because they actually work so far away that they can’t risk not being able to get to a fire. But we have a lot come. They come in their uniforms, with their families. And we thank them.

One thing 9/11 did is that it reminded us of those who offer their lives in service to us.

If you are a fire fighter, police officer, service member, or someone else whose job it is to take care of me and mine, Thank YOU!

Poetry class ideas

I Spy riddle writing

Grades 1-6
Have your class compile their poems into a class anthology. Students can create a table of contents, staple, and photocopy all the poems together. Then they may add the anthology to the school library. Students may wish to also make a book of their own “published” poems, and add drawings to illustrate each one.

Grades 1-8
Invite students can act out their poems, or create dance or movement pieces to accompany them.

Grades 2-8
Set up a special poetry hour, and ask your students to take turns reading their poems to the class. Invite other classes to take part, and ask questions.

from Scholastic

Ideas and PDFs for teachers from Scholastic again. Includes I am poems and Fold it poem (seems to be called Exquisite Corpse on other websites).

I am page.

Exquisite Corpse: Fold it poem page,.

Act out nonsense poems. See what a group of kids do with “Jabberwocky.”

We’re coloring in “Father William.”

Sea People Diet

They prepared meals in a characteristic sealed pottery vessel suited to long cooking times at low heat, while most inhabitants of Canaan at the time used open pots and faster cooking methods. The bones found at the Philistine cities showed that their diet was also different from those of their neighbors. While the Canaanites and Israelites ate mainly beef and lamb, the Philistines ate mainly pork, with an occasional meal of dog meat. The Philistines’ wine culture was also very well-developed.

From Haertz Israel News

for Dielli

I was called to witness today

and I didn’t do a very good job.

A couple who are Baptist, atheist, Lakewood, seeking came into the bookstore looking for a book to tell them what Mormonism believes. I pointed out where such books were. They eventually purchased the “Dummies” and “Idiots” guides.

But we talked a lot. The reason they were interested in Mormonism is that a friend’s son is such a good boy and has done mission work. The reason they are no longer at Lakewood is Osteen Sr. asked the elderly to give up their second homes and cars for the church and requested seats that cost $1500 each.

I told them that just because one person did something good didn’t mean his beliefs were right and vice versa.

In another section of the discussion the wife said that her husband was a tither, giving to church or parachurch organizations, but that she didn’t believe in that. She wanted to help folks herself. I told her that in the US most people who need help can get it. I also said that she’s not in another country where some people can’t get medical help or jobs. There are groups who help those people.

I explained what the Mormon belief of “we’re aliens from outer space” actually is.

I tried to point her to a book, no, I did point her to a book, but she rejected it, that was written by an ex-LDS person saying what is wrong with Mormonism. She wasn’t interested in that.

I do not feel like I was a good witness for Jesus, but I’m not sure what I could have said.

God, please touch this couple’s life and let them see you in your glory. Amen.

A prayer for a child

Psalm 25

Of David.

I pray that E will lift up his soul to you, and put his trust in you.
Do not let him be put to shame, nor let the Enemy triumph over him.
No one whose hope is in you will ever be put to shame. Let E put his hope in you!
Bring E to a place where he will say, “Show me your ways, O LORD,
teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.”
Remember, O LORD, your great mercy and love, for they are from of old.
Remember not the sins of E’s youth and his rebellious ways;
according to your love remember him, for you are good, O LORD.
Good and upright is the LORD; therefore he instructs sinners in his ways.
Instruct E in your ways O LORD!
He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.
LORD, bring E to a place of humility and guide him and teach him your ways.
Bring E to a place where he will declare, “All the ways of the LORD are loving and faithful
for those who keep the demands of his covenant.”
Let E be a covenant keeper!
For the sake of your name, O LORD, forgive his iniquity, though it is great.
Make E a man who fears the LORD and instruct him in the way chosen for him.
LORD, confide in him and make your covenant known to him.
Let E’s eyes be ever on you LORD, let him realize that only you can release his feet from the snare.
Let this become E’s prayer,”Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted.
The troubles of my heart have multiplied;
free me from my anguish.
Look upon my affliction and my distress
and take away all my sins.”
See how E’s enemies have increased and how fiercely they hate him!
Guard his life and rescue him; let him not be put to shame, let him take refuge in you!
Let E choose to walk in integrity and uprightness, because his hope is in you.
Redeem E, O God, from all his troubles!

received from a friend who transformed it as a prayer for her daughter

What is/are your besetting sin/s?

This question has been brought home to me recently. My husband has gone to God and the word as he has not in years and his practice of daily living has changed significantly. He is gentler, calmer, and quieter. This only heightens the clarity of my anger. It doesn’t make me angrier; it just makes it clearer when I am angry. Anger has never been my husband’s besetting sin. But it is one of mine.

How has that played out in my life?

I don’t hit my children. I did spank them when they were little, but not when I was angry. (Which meant that sometimes they didn’t get a spanking because I didn’t calm down.)

But I yell. And I have a “scary” yell. I know it. For years I thought I had overcome this tendency, this evidence of a besetting sin. I didn’t yell at my roommates, or my family, or my husband. So I must have been over it.

Then my children were born. And I love them. They are very dear to me. And I get so frustrated with them, so angry sometimes, that I yell- loudly and wrongly. (Yes, I think it is possible to yell without being wrong. When I call them downstairs I am yelling, but not wrongly.)

I have worked on this audible exhibition of my anger for years. I used to pay them a quarter when I yelled. Then I put it into a kitty. (Didn’t want them to try to get me to yell.) But then I also often made excuses. “If you hadn’t talked back to me…” “If you would have done what I asked you to do….”

The problem isn’t really my yelling. The problem is my anger. And it is, in fact, one of my besetting sins. When I was younger, I told God I wasn’t willing to give up my anger. “It’s who I am. If I am not angry, I’ll be someone else. How do I know I’ll like that person?”

Doesn’t that make clear to you that anger is one of my besetting sins? I clung to it as a baby clings to its mother.

It also played out in my relationship with my husband. Early on in our marriage I was often furious when he could make me give over my anger and laugh. I felt as if he were cheating. He wasn’t “letting” me be angry. He was taking over my life and taking away my anger. What was I thinking?!

It has been years since I repented and asked God to take away my anger. But He hasn’t done it. Maybe because I am expecting him to take all my anger, bundle it up, and burn it in the backyard like my grandfather used to do with the trash.

My anger is the burden I have to give to God every day. And I don’t always. It is one of my besetting sins. It is a sin that is easy for me to fall into. I have dug the ruts in my heart, mind, brain, and spirit deep for anger. I only have to let go a little to be angry.

And I want to abjure it.

God, I have let anger rule my life for too many years. It has impacted my relationship with R, with the boys, and with you. Please help me to fill in those ruts, to change the habits of years, to let go of the exultation in anger. Please help me to be a less angry person, being angry only as you would be angry. In the name of Jesus, amen.

What is a besetting sin?

This isn’t just a rhetorical discussion. It’s not just about the language and the Christian heritage. I am setting up a confession here. But I want to be clear on the definitions.

“Besetting sin” was common parlance in evangelical circles for several centuries until the last few decades. The concept derives from Hebrews 12:1 where this word makes its only appearance in the New Testament. “Therefore let us also, seeing we are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.”

Thomas Hewitt argues for besetting sin as one that “clings so closely … to some … who, failing to break from it, were still at the starting-post of the Christian life.”9 E.K. Simpson writes that besetting can “be used in a pejorative acceptation of a state of beleagurement, or exigencies and straits … like … a “squeeze.'”10

John Calvin writes of besetting sin.

“This is the heaviest burden that impedes us. … He (the writer of Hebrews) speaks not of outward, or, as they say, of actual sins, but of the very fountain, even concupiescence or lust, which so possesses every part of us, that we feel that we are on every side held by its snares.”11

John Owen devotes three paragraphs to “besetting” in his Annotations to Calvin’s commentary on Hebrews.”12 He concludes in this way:

“The (Greek) word euperistaton means literally, ‘well-standing around’ … or ‘the readily surrounding sin,’ that is the sin which easily surrounds us, and thereby entangles us, so as to prevent us, like long garments, to run our courses. … If the word be taken in an active sense, then what is meant is the deceptive power of sin….

Noah Webster in his 1828 dictionary defines “beset” as “1) to surround; to inclose; to hem in; to besiege …; 2) to press on all sides, so as to perplex; to entangle, so as to render escape difficult or impossible.”13 As an adjective, he defines “besetting” as “habitually attending.”

The above is Dr. Frederick Payne, Jr.’s definition of besetting sin from the Journal of Biblical Ethics in Medicine. It is relevant to my confession.

Coming up, confession at nine. Or later.

Names I might use

A writing tip I thought was fun was Interesting Names.

The author said, in part, to “begin to keep a record of interesting character names and place names.” I thought I would work on some for my Dielli story which has stalled out. I need to print it and send it to Daw.

Ilir Galt Fai Farley Pak Parn Rahj Rom
Rilla Rin Ojal Okal Odus Oona Oya Vash
Zachi Zara Zenevieva Sapora Zuri Zoy
Taber Zitka Taleeni Tarn Teleri Teranika
Terehasa Tema Tiva Tiya Tocho Topher
Zosha Pex Piri

Atarata Malidithu Muallidita Hammon Miilqartu
Tanitha Tanita Ib Dido Elissa Ahiram Ashiram
Emsa Berytus Batrus Balbek Qaana Sayda
Zibduul Aljatuun

Haroun Abed Abicho Abelin Abia Abiathar
Avieser Ablain Avisha Avishag Avner Bram
Acar Adah Adomina Adeana Adiv Adna
Edno Ahava Ajjaj Bajjaj Akiva Amatale
Arden Arieh Asisa Avivi Atalia Azania
Azmiilqart Balzer Bartol Bazma Venia Bethya
Bilah Bodashart (Ph) Braka Brina Kanok Kaya
Dayen Dayenel Matusa Erez Arza Eshmon
Shemoun Mefle Hadassa Adessa Olo
Anolo Itobel Yakubu Yakibu Melkarshama
Shimso Umma Euriel Hezqel Yahya Zabal
Zeeb Zulika