The Debate

The one, the only, the one I mostly ignored while working. I did, however, go upstairs and listen to it and watch it live for about a quarter of an hour.

In that time I have to say that Kerry was very articulate. He did not fumble. I did not think his “He-he” chuckle response to “What mistakes do you think Bush made?” to have been very favorable.

During my short venture, I thought that Bush looked like my dad when he is hacked about something and still trying to smile. I’m expecting comments in the media on it. He fumbled for words a couple of times. He is definitely not as polished a speaker as Kerry seemed to be for that fifteen minutes.

However, I’ve been reading live bloggers. Is it true, as the New Yorker (10-4-04) says, that rule 98 forbid the mention of Vietnam? If so, then how did Kerry get away with so many references? The rule said that if it was mentioned that the debate was over. Why wasn’t the debate then over? Did someone not read the rules?

I hate Google News. It’s official. “President Bush Made Mistake, John Kerry accuses” puts the emphasis where it ought not to be, unless Google agrees that Bush made a mistake. John Kerry accuses would put the emphasis where I think it ought to go.

Many Bush bloggers agree that Kerry was more polished. Big shock they weren’t convinced by Kerry.

However one poll says 3% of the undecideds now like Kerry more on Iraq. He’s up to 43% from 40%. But Bush maintains his incredibly strong lead with 54%. I am sure someone somewhere will say that Kerry is Pulling Away.

Work Again

Tonight I am teaching my own class and subbing for another, so I won’t be home till after dinner.

Tomorrow we are studying the Assyrians and Jonah in Heroes. We are also going to hear about a modern soldier in Nineveh.

I have the devotional tomorrow at school. I am supposed to speak for five minutes. I’m going to speak on prayer. Hopefully I can make it relevant and involve the kids.

100 Things I Like About My Husband

1. R recognized that I had been hurt and helped me deal with the long term consequences.

2. He makes me laugh. When we first met, we chased each other around a building trying to write on each other. And we were in our mid twenties.

3. He studies. Right now he’s reading a book that he’s read before that he wants to make more of an impact on his life and on ours.

4. He’s smart. He can figure out algebra and geometry. I still haven’t been able to understand geometry.

5. He likes nice cars. He cleans them up well too. Mine upon occasion.

6. He makes wonderful homemade ice cream.

7. He is willing to try new things. And, as long as they’re in Texas, he often enjoys them.

8. He used NLP to help me get over a phobia. He’s not trained, but he studied so he could make a difference.

9. He decided where he wanted to live and then looked for a job there the last two moves we’ve made.

10. He is very careful about food preparation and enjoys the more involved recipes.

11. He can make me smile even when I’m mad at him.

12. He is a very involved sex partner.

13. He sometimes holds my hand when we are walking.

14. He is very complimentary about the way people look, dress. If he thinks they look nice, he makes sure he says they do.

15. He likes to read. And he doesn’t mind that we have more books than we have bookcases.

16. He thinks I’m smart.

17. He’s never upset when I spend money on clothes or art.

18. He likes to take me out to restaurants.

19. He brings me flowers, sometimes for no reason at all.

20. He doesn’t mind spending all day cooking.

21. He goes for walks with me in the evenings.

22. He goes to work, even when he doesn’t feel like it.

23. He never cusses at me or the kids.

24. He encourages me to try new things. I tend not to want to do things because I think I can’t or I won’t like them. Often I don’t, but I would never try if it weren’t for him.

25. He is good at making other people feel comfortable.

26. Even though he’s an introvert, he likes having people over for dinner.

27. He doesn’t pick on me for not knowing how to use a computer as well as he does.

28. He cares about his own health and is willing to do something about it.

29. He made the bed yesterday when I had to be up and gone first. I think he’s done that a lot recently, if I am the first one up.

30. He likes for me to have new clothes.

31. He goes shopping with me for new clothes and enjoys it.

32. He knows I like art so the last two years I have received an art piece that I wanted. One is in the living room and is a beautiful oil pear, blue, and the other is in the media room and is a Tarkay.

33. Even though our decorating styles are different, he does not complain about my tastes or the way I have things.

34. He encourages me when I am working out.

35. He likes for us to go on dates.

36. He cares about the boys’ education.

37. He is not a fanatic about having the house spotless. –Which is a good thing since I apparently have a previously unknown gift for blowing up vaccuum cleaners.

38. He helps keep the house picked up.

39. He is teaching the boys how to mow the lawn.

40. He remembers our anniversaries and birthdays and always wants to do something nice.

41. One year he gave me a surprise birthday party. I was actually surprised.

42. When my favorite available in America chocolate was still sold, he would drive me across town to buy a bar.

43. He also went across town when we were out of town to buy me the soda pop I wanted. That was delicious. (It’s a Brazilian soda pop, which is not available at most stores.)

44. He doesn’t complain even though my favorite foods aren’t normal American fare.

45. He eats Mexican steak. (Of course, I think he’s crazy for not loving it, but… He doesn’t.)

46. He makes a great homemade pizza.

47. He is incredibly gifted in his work.

48. He is not predictable.

49. He enjoys change.

50. He likes having the furniture moved around. So if he comes home from work and things are in a different place, he doesn’t complain.

51. He’s a Dr. Pepper fan, like I am.

52. Even though he’s not crazy about my family, he gets together with them. We see my family, sincce they live close, a lot more than we see his.

53. When he asks my opinion, he actually wants it. He isn’t just being polite.

54. He doesn’t love neutral colors. So our house is blues and greens and reds and pinks.

55. He makes the most incredible chocolate chip cookies. Two Saturdays ago he made three different recipes so that we could try them and see which ones we liked the best. I like the chewy the best.

56. He’s not afraid to eat something he likes, even though it’s not good for him.

57. He holds me when we sleep.

58. When I wake up screaming with a nightmare, he grabs me and soothes me and holds me till I go back to sleep. And he never complains about being startled out of a deep sleep.

59. He’s cute.

60. He has written me long love letters. I have more than enough to fill a shoebox.

61. He deals with all our computer related problems because he’s our Mac genius. Permanently on staff.

62. He doesn’t mind that I don’t enjoy movies. He goes alone or with a friend. He also takes the kids to the ones they want to see.

63. He encourages me when I want to do something different.

64. He is very supportive of our family homeschooling.

65. He enjoys having a wife who he can brag about. And he does.

66. He took off work early to go to my mom’s last-minute birthday party.

67. He ichats me when he’s at work.

68. He goes hiking with me sometimes. We don’t live far from a national park. The boys, however, don’t like to walk.

69. Whenever I am mad, he wants me to talk it through.

70. When I am sad, he tries to cheer me up.

71. He never tells me I am stupid for what I feel.

72. He spends time with the boys. Supposedly the average dad sees his child 5 minutes a day. R spends more than that talking to each one of them.

73. Even though he thinks the painting looks like it is of two lesbians left out in the rain, he doesn’t ask me not to display my Tarkay I bought on a trip.

74. He likes popcorn. Since that was a special family food, I am glad of it.

75. He encourages the boys in their interests.

76. When I cut his hair way too short because I was tired and not thinking, he didn’t rant or rave.

77. He never rants or raves.

78. He rarely raises his voice.

79. He apologizes.

80. He enjoys talking about things we have both been reading.

81. Even though he can’t stand my favorite author, he doesn’t make fun of me when I’m raving about some new book.

82. He doesn’t complain about my hobbies.

83. Of course there are basic things that many people don’t have. He is clean. He doesn’t hit me or the kids. He doesn’t gamble away the rent.

84. He listens when I want to talk, even when he couldn’t care less about the topic.

85. He asks about my day.

86. He answers my questions about his day.

87. He calls me on his lunch hour.

88. He encourages me in my weight loss.

89. He kisses me.

90. We have private jokes. Like the fact that my hair is everywhere.

91. We have favorite movies together. Tremors, Princess Bride, Galaxy Quest, and She’s Having a Baby.

92. He’s a Trek fan.

93. When he doesn’t know how to do something, he reads up on it and learns so that he can do it.

94. He has incredible patience. He taught me to use a computer.

95. He drove me to school for an entire year when I didn’t want to spend the time away from him.

96. When my work is too stressful, he is willing for me to quit. (I never do because I’m stubborn.)

97. He tells me he loves me.

98. He changed poopy diapers, even though the smell made him throw up.

99. He worried about me when I was in the hospital. And when our friends didn’t offer any support on their own, he asked for it.

100. He’s committed. He doesn’t give up.

People I Am Glad to Hear About

Dutch by Birth, American by Choice talks of his father who experienced the Nazi concentration camps when he was only ten.

Someone You Should Know tells amazing stories of armed service personnel the world over. They are people we should know and people we should be thankful for.

Why we should have gone to war, by someone who went is an incredibly articulate argument of the type I expected to find in the media, but never did because they are, after all, incredibly left wing.

Military Servicewoman Morgenthaler , in since Vietnam, writes about her experiences in Iraq and on R&R at home with her two kids, her husband, her dog, and her cat. They have a full house there.

An article about another American hero in Iraq who joined the reserves “for the children.”

I wish I thought I could get through a discussion of the lives of some of these people (for my Heroes and Villains class), but I’ve been through four kleenex just reading them myself. If I tried to talk about them, I would not be able to.

A soldier’s response to the cricitism of the president for visiting the carrier. (I’m still reading flack about that today. Don’t know why it is coming up in blogs again.)

Politics and a Voice In It

I have read many articles and blogs recently suggesting that Americans no longer know what the issues are because they feel that their vote does not count. Although I hate to say this, didn’t they hear the response to the Florida election? Every single vote counts.

But I am not so sure that all of America is ignorant of the issues, the facts. I certainly am not. Neither is my 11 year old son. Perhaps my 13 year old son is, but I doubt it. He knew enough to argue that the National Review’s cover wasn’t persuasive. It was funny. But not persuasive. It convinced no one who did not already agree that Kerry was a lying self-promoting hate mongerer.

Why do I not vote for Kerry?

The first thing about Kerry which turned me off, besides the fact that he’s a Democrat, was his lack of responsibility. He fell when he was skiing, but he didn’t accept that fact. He blamed it on the curse word Secret Service guy who was supposed to take a bullet for him. That’s discourtesy at its worst, in my opinion. Also, he lied. He fell often. And even if it had been the Secret Service guy’s fault, I would have been more impressed with the high road.

Another reason is he doesn’t work at what he’s supposed to. 76% of the time, at least, Kerry didn’t show up to vote for the Senate committee he was on. It wasn’t that he didn’t speak; he didn’t attend. Not exactly what I want of a president, someone who doesn’t do his job.

He fought in the Vietnam War, good. He came home and claimed that he and every soldier with him was a war criminal. That’s beyond bad. That’s downright criminal. Unless it was true, then it was a necessary evil. But he’s not claiming to be a war criminal now, is he? No, he’s claiming that he is a war hero. Which he might have been in that short tour in Nam. But he wasn’t any kind of hero when he arrived home, in fact he was the exact opposite.

I disagree with President Bush on immigration. I think if we need the Armed Services on our borders to keep people from breaking our laws then we should have them. If the voters want to change the law and let in law-abiding immigrants, that’s one thing. But for Pres. Bush to say we should pardon the law breakers, again- this has been done before, and start fresh, that is criminal. He’s saying we should reward law breakers. He says we should break the law we have and not have any consequences for that. I am opposed to Bush on immigration.

I am also opposed to Bush on education reform. While I think no child should be left behind, creating a larger government bureaucracy at all levels is not the way to ensure that a child gets an education. I would recommend public sale of schools, charter schools, home schooling, perhaps (though I am off the party line for homeschoolers here) even vouchers for parochial schools or wherever. There is a limited use to government. Being sure that each child receives an education is not one of its uses.

I agree with Bush in most particulars on the War on Terror, the war in Iraq, and our national safety.

Which of these issues do I think is most important? National safety. Hands down I’d rather trust a fly boy from the Guard than a decorated veteran who turned on his comrades as soon as he got home. Kerry hasn’t shown he can do anything. Bush has shown he can lead the nation.

I’m voting for Bush.

Self Education

My eldest has a strong grip on Buddhist and Hindu theology. I didn’t know he had it and I am still not quite sure where he got it.

Perhaps we need to work more on Bible, which is a subject I have not worked on with the boys in years.

He was asking questions just the other day about the Bible and how its authenticity can be argued. I gave him a book to read, but he said it didn’t answer his question and he moved on to something else.

I wonder what the boys know and what they believe.

Wired on Education

Apparently it is not sufficient for Wired News that evolution is taught in the school system as a fact when it is, according to even the most vehement evolutionary scientist, simply a theory. Now they are upset that another theory will be taught. This is the theory of Intelligent Design.

This article argues that Darwin “spoke to” the question of Intelligent Design. And since Darwin spoke, of course, it means that he was right and there is no other option in theory.

In fact, Darwin’s theory has been bashed even by evolutionary scientists. If they don’t believe the grampa themselves, why should the grampa have the last word when bashing someone else’s theory?


This is the fourth day in a row that I have experienced fairly severe headaches. My eyes hurt, my head hurts. It is not any fun. Sometimes drugs help, sometimes they don’t. I am definitely part of my family, because I put off taking medicine until the pain is debilitating.

I’ve taken 16 Naproxen in the last four days. And I haven’t taken any yet today. Although I am going ot take some right now.

Pain. Pain. Pain.

I looked up migraines and while some of my symptoms seem to be migraines, others don’t. I hope they go away and stay away. I vaguely recall having had a few headaches in a row a few months ago. I need to keep a record, so that if it turns out I am having cluster migraines, I’ll know.

Yesterday I was fine until I ate a Myoplex bar. Then the headache was debilitating. Last night my headache was so bad that I went to bed early. Sleeping felt better.

Today I was fine till I ate four french fries. Then the headache was bad. It has been constant but not a constant level of pain.


I think after reviewing the data, the actual culprit is the caffeine pills that I was taking and have not been taking for the last 5 days. I took 2 Naproxen and made a dent in the headache, but didn’t cure it. I took 1 caffeine pill and the headache went away.

Looks like I may need to wean off those instead of going cold turkey.

Job Change

I’ve been looking at Monster and at Houston Jobs for computer work for R. He’s tired of work, hating it and his boss.

I’ve also been looking for teaching positions that are full time in the area. There are some available.

The real problem is that we’re too rich and spoiled. Our lifestyle requires at least a $48K take home, with insurance for health not included. I can’t make that as a university teacher.

Teaching at the local community college full time, when such a position becomes available, would pay me at least $50K. That’s pretax, however. There is a job in January available and the deadline is October 1 for application. It’s not near here, but it’s not clear the other side of town either. Maybe we need to look at that possibility.

Maybe we could get by with less. I don’t know. Have to sit down and look it over, I guess. If we could, I could apply for this job and we could switch. That’d be different. Me being gone, R being home.

I can see where that might be good for a while, though. I wonder if we could.


I feel like I need a vacation.

I worked yesterday. I worked today. I work tomorrow.

Sunday I can’t skip evening service, because Jeff’s doing the study and we need to be there for that.

I am, however, not teaching Sunday morning, so I can skip that. Maybe I will. Except that it’s change Sunday and we have a can that I filled up ages ago to turn in. (Stole all R’s change to do it, too.) I guess we could skip class.

Maybe R and I can go out for dinner. I can make dinner for the boys early and we could go to Carraba’s or something.

I still have to grade papers for tomorrow morning but I’ve put it off. I may be up late tonight and early tomorrow.

Then I have more papers coming in on Tuesday. Two sets I think. The Tuesday morning ones are rewrites, though, which will make them easier to grade. The Tuesday afternoon ones are the second paper from that class.

Busy bee, that’s me. Can’t I be a crocodile instead?

Internet dependence

Yesterday the server was down. Today my husband’s server is down, because they are moving.

I hate not being able to ichat him about whatever is going on when I am home. We can’t even talk about substantive stuff.


I miss the internet.

Only Some?

“Some Americans believe journalists are guilty of political bias.”

That’s a direct quote. From the Christian Science Monitor.

If only some Americans believe that, we’re a lot more stupid than I have given us credit for.

The article talks about bloggers, not in a glowing way. And I think they don’t give as much support/encouragement to blogging as they should have.

Yes, blogs have biases. But they state their biases. Often in red-white-and-blue coverage.

Yes, the media has biases. TV mostly leans far left. Radio mostly leans far right. Fox tries to be more middle of the road, but lots of conservatives get their news there because it is less left on the TV. But the media tends only to complain about the other person’s biases. Never to discuss their own.

Of course, I was amazed/appalled/something else to hear someone argue that journalists are supposed to be unbiased. No, they are not. They’re supposed to report the truth. But I haven’t expected journalists to not have a bias since I was about 10. And my kids have never expected that.

Day 8: BFL

I am having trouble being as strict with my diet as I should be. I am being careful, though.

I have done 3 weightlifting sessions and 4 aerobics in the last eight days, so I am right on track.

I was down to 154.8 again. I would like to get below that and actually have muscle.

Motivation for sticking with the program closely needs to be developed.

Seraphic Press

This is a blog belonging to a Jewish screenwriter who this last year watched his son die of lung failure. It is the haunting, extremely articulate expression of loss and pain.

I skipped service tonight because I had grading to do and because the topic for the panel discussion was losing a spouse. Did God want me to think about loss tonight anyway?

Moxie Post and Comment

I was reading a Moxie Post from September 17th. Read the comments, too, although some of them tend to get out of hand.

These didn’t. But I wanted to comment without giving my email address. Couldn’t do it. Even though I gave my URL, which is legit, I couldn’t post. I don’t want to give people my email address. I don’t even want to give them a fake one, which would be a lie.

However, I did want to comment on the Vashti comment in the comment. Vashti is not the “villain queen” in the Esther story. Vashti was the first queen. She was dismissed as queen because she refused to come out and dance for a bunch of drunken diplomats. Haman was the villain in the story.

Science and Religion

We read Dr. Feynman’s article, “The Relationship of Science and Religion,” in class on Tuesday. Quotes from it can be found here.

Today I find that a small journal has published an article on intelligent design. I am looking forward to reading it as soon as I finish grading papers and doing the evening’s dishes.

Update: As one would expect of a scholarly journal, it is not a quick read. I am slogging through it even with skimming. But I think it brings together many cogent points in a way that would appeal to a scientist.

French Friendship

The Telegraph says the Italian who passed on the fake uranium intelligence was paid to do so by THE FRENCH.

Fox says Chirac blames Bush for stamping out poverty. 110 countries signed a nonbinding initiative that does squat. But since we didn’t sign it, we are trying to keep people poor.

Another story reiterates the old news that France was making big money in kickbacks from Saddam.

Did you know the EU has specifically set up rules which limit only US products? Since the US is the only “non-metricated” country in the world, to whom else does the ban on goods with ANY measurements other than SI apply? Metric Methods may be selling goods, but they aren’t lying about this.

We are not loved. We are not “the good guy.” They want to take us down.

What is Poor Here- Not Much

According to this opinion article on Fox News, poverty levels in America generally describe families who own their own homes, have air conditioning, at least one car, a washer and dryer, a microwave, two TVs, a VCR and/or DVD player, and get cable or satellite.

Wow. That must mean I’m poor.

The average “poor” in the US has a much larger living space than the average Parisian, Athenian, Londonite, etc. Most have 2 rooms per person in their home.

I’ve been poor. That ain’t it.

Home Education Difficulties

One of my problems with being a homeschooling mom is that I hate it when the kids whine. So sometimes we get behind just because I can’t stand to hear them. Eventually, of course, we make the work up, most often by working in the summer as well. They can’t move forward unless they have finished the full year and they have to move forward each August.

I often give them a bit of work to do when I’m going to be gone for two hours. While I am gone, one of them usually finishes the prescribed work and one of them doesn’t. The youngest doesn’t want to do the work unless I am sitting with him and making him. When I am, he does just fine at it. Letting him do it on his own, however, means not getting it done.

I realized today that we (the youngest and I) are a bit behind in grammar and mathematics. It is day 21 of school. We are ahead in literature, history, and science. Of course, what I am behind in makes more of an impression. M and I worked a “double shift” on his grammar and mathematics today, once I determined we were behind. We will catch up with math tomorrow. It may take till the end of the week to catch up in grammar. I am not going to drop back on lit, history, science, or spelling (where we are on schedule). Sometime we might get sick, or whatever, and it’s better to be ahead and finish early than behind and finish late.

Home education is supposed to allow students to progress at their own rate. In a way it does. If M is having trouble with his multiplication tables, we can spend a lot of time on the multiplication tables, working with flashcards, etc. Since we have more time in the day, because there are only two students in my classroom, I can do this extra work with them. But we still have to maintain a specific level of quality in the work and progress. Actually, technically, that is not true. The laws in Texas do not require that my sons pass their grade level and progress to the next higher level. I require that, though. So, in a way home education allows your child to progress at their own rate, because they can do more work with subjects they are having trouble with and move ahead in subjects which are easy for them, but in another way, it’s a required progression. I want my son to move up at least one grade each year. If I thought my child were unable to progress, then I would not require that. Remediation can be done in the homeschool of course. But if my kids were allowed to progress at their own rate, meaning the rate at which they wanted to do school work, I don’t think we’d be getting anything done.