Problem with my emergency bars:

from Fit Over 40:

“I noticed that the fewer bars I consumed, the better I felt and the more weight I lost.”

I’ve been eating a bar a day because they keep me going and keep the calorie count low. I think I may have to restrict that a bit more. But I am not sure what I am going to be able to eat that I can take with me while I am driving… I will have to think about that.

I, Robot: the movie

I guess that I watch movies with other people and not with my husband because I think it would be rude not to watch with my friends. I think I should give my husband just as much respect as I give my friends.

Sorry, honey. I apologize for not watching Galaxy Quest with you.

I saw I, Robot tonight. It was very good. It was really interesting. I could have done with a more complete ending, but… It was good.

I’m in North Carolina

The airplane trip was delayed for an hour by weather (lightning and heavy rain). They loaded my baggage in the rain, because my clothes were wet when I got here.

My brother picked me up at the airport and took me to my sister’s to get the truck.

Then I drove to BevG’s house. I’ve been having fun with her and the kids. Mei has grown a lot. Paul looks more like James than he used to. And Mark looks more like Paul than he used to.

I’m glad to be here. Tomorrow I am going to Charlotte to see one of my other friends for life.

Will the circle be unbroken? Or will it be a crescent?

The Memorial Project claims to have an innocent explanation for why the
central feature of the Flight 93 memorial is a giant Islamic shaped
crescent. As architect Paul Murdoch has been saying since September 2005,
the flight path breaks the circle, turning it into what was originally
called the Crescent of Embrace.

But this isn’t a memorial to an airliner. It is a memorial to human beings.
So just who is it that architect Paul Murdoch is depicting as breaking the

As a secular symbol, the circle signifies peace and harmony. There is no way
that the heroic passengers and crew can be charged with breaking the circle.
It is the terrorists who broke the peace.

Think what that means thematically. The terrorists broke our peaceful circle
and turned it into a giant Islamic shaped crescent that just happens to point to Mecca. You could not come up with a more blatant
depiction of al Qaeda victory.

This is what the Park Service is claiming as an innocent explanation: that
they are depicting a circle-breaking crescent-creating action that logically
can only be attributed to the terrorists. Are they really too dumb to figure
out what that means?

Take action

How about a couple hundred of us call up the Memorial Project (814 443-4557)
and ask them just who is being depicted as “breaking the circle”? If they
try to say “Flight 93 broke it,” we can ask for clarification. Do they
really mean to include our forty heroes amongst those who broke the peace?

They might even admit that it can only be the terrorists who are depicted as
turning the circle into a crescent, and they might even realize: “oops.”

Maybe we should send a few emails as well,
and cc the local press
, who might be prompted to ask Memorial Project
spokesmen how they are answering our pointed questions. (Click link for
addressed email form. Feel free to cut and paste text from above. Sincerely,
your name and state.)

The circle is a Christian symbol

In addition to being a secular symbol of harmony, the circle is also a
Christian symbol, as referenced in the country-gospel line: “may the circle be unbroken, bye
and bye, Lord bye and bye.” (Hat tip, No Compromise.)

The origin of the circle as a Christian symbol is the rising sun, which is
today seen as the primary reason why many Christian churches conduct their
liturgies facing east. (For some early churches, this was also the direction
to Jerusalem.)

As Pope Benedict explained (back when he was Cardinal

The cosmic symbol of the rising sun expresses the
universality of God above all particular places and yet maintains the
concreteness of Divine Revelation.

The circle and cross are seen
together in the Celtic
, thought to have been introduced to Ireland by Saint Patrick in
the 5th century:

Celtic cross

Nobody knows exactly what Saint Patrick had in mind, but the circle is
thought to represent the sun.

Given that architect Paul Murdoch clearly has religious symbolism in mind
(the repeated Mecca orientations in his design prove that), it is
reasonable to infer that he is aware that the circle is a Christian symbol,
and that the circle remaining unbroken is a Christian ideal.

Thus the Islamic victory symbolized in the crescent memorial is not just
over the secular west, but in particular signifies the smashing of
Christianity, and the triumph of Islam in its stead.

Just the fact that the crescent design CAN be interpreted in these ways is
enough to make the design inappropriate, but these are not just POSSIBLE
interpretations. They are the only logical interpretations. The breaking of
the circle can only be attributed to the terrorists.

The drag lines were removed because they did not fit with Paul
Murdoch’s circle-breaking, crescent-creating theme

Last week’s blogburst explained why architect Paul Murdoch was determined to
get rid of the gigantic strip-mining derricks that were just up the slope
from the impact crater. They were infidel artifacts, obstructing the view
towards Mecca from within Murdoch’s giant Mecca pointing crescent:

Drag line with flag

Can’t have that majestic American flag interrupting the view towards Mecca!

Amazingly, the Park Service’s off
icial explanation
for the removal of the drag lines is that they don’t
fit with Paul Murdoch’s circle-breaking theme:

National Park
Service Deputy General Superintendent Keith Newlin said the National Park
Service has a tendency to preserve landscapes and key elements of memorial
sites if it will help people understand what happened there. The draglines
weren’t in the airplane’s flight path, though they have been used as a
reference point to explain the plane’s trajectory to first-time visitors.

“The draglines didn’t contribute to the overall understanding of Flight 93,”
he said. “We heard comments that we should keep one as a flagpole, but when
we weighed everything, we decided against it.”

The pair of giant
cranes didn’t mark the flight path? They marked its termination! To
everybody in the area, these WERE the marker: “Up by the drag lines!”

Where did Newlin ever get the idea that the direction of the flight
path somehow trumps the point of impact? He got it from Paul Murdoch, whose
design is all about orientations. He positions his circle just right so that
a “break” at the point where the flight path crosses the circle (together
with another break 2/3rds of the way around the circle) will create the
giant Mecca oriented crescent.

Now here we have Newlin asserting that it isn’t the crash site that matters,
but these Mecca orienting angles!

For the memorialization of OUR heroes, the drag lines were an ideal marker:
an actual manifestation of the dramatic achievements of ordinary citizens,
saluting the towering achievement of the citizens of Flight 93.

The only “understanding” they didn’t fit was the narrative of Islamic
victory that architect Paul Murdoch is trying to impose, where our American
circle gets supplanted by a giant Islamic crescent.

To join our blogbursts, just send your blog’s url.

20th anniversary

is China (traditional) or Platinum (modern).

The last time we bought each other anniversary presents was our fifth anniversary, when we purchased wood. He received two wooden candlesticks and I got a beautiful jewelry box.

What would we do for this anniversary?

20 years ago this past Saturday

I met my husband, used my toes to untie his shoelaces, and had a Blizzard at the Dairy Queen with him and two mutual friends.

Twenty years ago this past Saturday I met my husband. To whom I have now been happily married for almost 20 years.

Wash your hands after paying for things

The authors of a recent paper hypothesized that banknotes may be one of various possible influenza vectors and may offer opportunities for infection. In Switzerland, a small country with a population of approximately 7 million, it is estimated that 20 to 100 million banknotes are exchanged each day, and billions of individual notes are exchanged daily worldwide. So could influenza be transmitted by money?

from MicrobiologyBytes

From my reading on the net

From a philosophy professor’s interview at Chicago Maroon:

I have a friend who recently died, but he actually decided to show kids what a sacrifice looks like, so he sacrificed a lamb at Easter time. “We talk about it so much—here’s what it looks like!” Half the class puked, half the class had angry letters from mommy and daddy. But he did demonstrate that it’s not just a metaphor. It’s a messy and not altogether pleasant process. Since [then] we’ve converted it entirely into an economic question. I ask students the meaning of sacrifice, and they always start talking about “mommy and daddy sacrificing so I could go to college.” We’ve been at war for four years, and I haven’t heard one person yet say some soldier sacrificed themselves. That language is gone. It’s entirely economic. (Bolding mine.)

On conspicuous consumption and why people spend money in a visible way, from The Atlantic:

[A]ll else being equal (including one’s own income), an individual spent more of his income on visible goods as his racial group’s income went down. African Americans don’t necessarily have different tastes from whites. They’re just poorer, on average. In places where blacks in general have more money, individual black people feel less pressure to prove their wealth.

The same is true for whites. Controlling for differences in housing costs, an increase of $10,000 in the mean income for white households—about like going from South Carolina to California—leads to a 13 percent decrease in spending on visible goods. “Take a $100,000-a-year person in Alabama and a $100,000 person in Boston,” says Hurst. “The $100,000 person in Alabama does more visible consumption than the $100,000 person in Massachusetts.” That’s why a diamond-crusted Rolex screams “nouveau riche.” It signals that the owner came from a poor group and has something to prove.

And, from the same article, how conspicuous consumption is a developmental phase:

It declines as countries, regions, or distinct groups get richer. “Bling rules in emerging economies still eager to travel the status-through-product consumption road,” the market-research group Euromonitor recently noted, but luxury businesses “are becoming aware that bling isn’t enough for growing numbers of consumers in developed economies.” At some point, luxury becomes less a tool of public status competition and more a means to private pleasure.

The Ninja family (not their real name, but they snuck out of our house this morning without waking anyone) have a daughter who is having blackouts, so I went and read this NYTimes article from a doctor about a child who was having stroke-like symptoms, with frequently occurring attacks. If PJ were blood pressure tested lying down and then sitting up and it changed, she might have POTS. Don’t know what they do for it, but at least they’d know what it was.

Yahoo News writes about the finding of possibly the world’s oldest Christian church, found in Jordan.

Car updates

I took it in when I had 30 miles on the trip meter. I could only add one gallon of gas. That was for in town driving. Very nice.

My sister said my dad would have given our trade-in to my brother. Dang. I wish she hadn’t said that. I couldn’t afford the cost of gas in the car. But I sure should have asked Dad about it first, I guess.

I hate being given things and then feeling like I shouldn’t have done something with them.

I guess I need to start saying no to things.

Stuff on our car from Carmax website

ABS Brakes
Cruise Control
Air Bag(s)
Power Locks
Air Conditioning
Power Mirrors
Alloy Wheels
Power Steering
AM/FM Stereo
Power Windows
Automatic Transmission
Rear Defroster
CD Player
Rear Spoiler
Cloth Seats
Traction Control (Aah. So that’s what the TC stands for.)

2.2L engine
4 cylinders
EPA mileage 26/35
145 torque@4400rpm
140 horsepower@5800rpm

It’s a 2WD automatic 2004 Saturn ION 3 4D Sedan.

Trauma and Silence

from Reuter’s

People who don’t talk about their feelings after a traumatic event are no more likely to have problems down the road than those who do express them, new research shows. In fact, they may be better off.

“If someone doesn’t want to talk about it, that can be perfectly fine,” Dr. Mark D. Seery of the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, one of the study’s authors, told Reuters Health.

The study was examining 9/11, but it reminded me of earlier work I did.

I wonder if there is a way to differentiate between silence and silenced.

The study referenced is from the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, June 2008.

New Car

Well, new to us.

It’s two years newer than our trade-in. It gets better gas mileage. It takes regular gas instead of premium, like our trade-in.

It is the same color, champagne (think muted gold) with beige interior. It has many of the same features as our trade-in, though not the leather seats.

It cost us $170.

I like that kind of car.

It’s a Saturn Ion.

I do not love Texas right now.

Normally I am very proud of my state, but I just realized that we have never received the titles for our cars or our house from Texas.

We’ve got them. They belong to us. But we have no paperwork showing it.

Which means that I can’t sell my car, because I have no proof that I own it. (My husband found one title and it’s the one for the car we went to sell. That’s good.)

I called the Title company about our house and got put on hold “for two minutes.” I hung up at ten minutes.

I went online and found what I am supposed to do to get a title from Texas. But I don’t know if they will have it, how long it will take to get it, or where I have to go. They gave me an address, but Yahoo Driving says it is not a real address.

So now I am on hold for the stupid TxDOT.

I hate this crap.

Car shopping

I found out that I have a problem with buying a car. The sellers want you to buy now, today. I don’t want to buy now/today. I’ve done that and I didn’t like it.

So, what else did I learn from car shopping, both IRL and on the internet?

Carmax charges about $2000 over true market value, even taking into account that they are certified vehicles.

The Mazda dealer we went to gave us a discount “off MSRP” but not really the actual cost of the car, which is what he said he was doing. He was about $600 off True Mkt Value from a dealer.

The Dodge Dealer gave me a quote that was $2300 off the sticker price, which is below the True Mkt Value. However, I had already told them I wasn’t going to buy that day, so maybe they were giving me a low ball figure that they had no intention of keeping.

I looked at Costco for car deals and it is hard to see what they would charge you. It’s based off invoice, not off MSRP, which is good, but still.

Jeremiah 29:11-13

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

This was my homework from two places this week to memorize. I’ve been working on it.

For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. Plans to prosper and not to harm you. Plans for a hope and a future. Then you will call on me ad come and pray to me. I will listen. You will seek me and you will find me when you seek me with all our heart.

Close. I’m not there yet.


Okay, I now feel like I am on vacation. I think I need something to do. I was supposed to be taking a class at CC1, but I missed the first day of class. (Dang it!) So that is out.

I am reading lots of books. R has purchased about twenty that would be interesting to read.

Some of them are even on writing. Those would be good for me to read.

I need to take the Escalade to Carmax and see what they’ll give us. We need more gas-efficient cars, not big ones. I’m hoping we can buy a smaller car, like a Corolla or Camry. (I’d love a Prius, but those are out of our price range.)

It’s nine o’clock and I am thinking about going to bed.