Wednesday, November 23, 2011

"Put Away Your Guns and Knives"

Back when Virginia Tech was hit by the student shooting other students and teachers, it started with some colleges setting up an alert system of some sort, usually sending alerts to someone's pager via email or text. It also got me wondering how other students like me are able to keep from getting killed when this happens. It's too easy for deaf people to walk into the middle of a gunfight and be shot dead, never hearing the fatal shots. Same with those with walking issues, as they can't move fast enough out of the line of fire. So what is the best way to keep this from happening to them if the alert messages aren't received in time?

It's also not a time for anyone to make any sort of humor about this event. I had one or two teachers actually say "put away your guns and knives." Now just how heartless is that sort of quote when you have a tragic event like this happen and people died or nearly did? This is not the time for making fun of what happened. Teachers are, in a way, a first line of defense against something like this due to working with their students. Listen to your students. Maybe in the first few minutes of class, ask how your students are doing and how they're feeling.

But saying "put away your guns and knives?!" Report that teacher to the dean.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Gally Homecoming Game Win - 10/22

It was a pretty interesting Homecoming game on October 22 against Becker College. Gally won 44-20. A couple safeties, and a bunch of touchdowns and field goals. Just when it looked like Becker was going to catch up, Gally thundered ahead. It was 24-0 at half time.

Gallaudet celebrates Homecoming win over Becker, Matt Harris records seven sacks

The food choices weren't as much as last time, but there were still some nice choices. It looked like people added desserts and stuff around half time. It was a pretty big crowd as well.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Post-surgery knees - Part 7

I'm continuing to improve here and there, though I need to get out walking more.

I mentioned my being able to walk into the local grocery store. My ability to have longer shopping times have improved.

There's also an area in front of this building next to me that I've walked around to see how many laps I can make. Since the surgery, I can do just one lap easy, compared to barely shortly after the surgery. I just did two laps. Now to try doing more. I'm hoping to get to three or four by summertime.

We had a small flood at our house back in early September, and I was able to pull up part of the carpet with some help before someone came by and said we could stop. The cleanup service came by later that night. We were able to save some more cash by pulling up the tiles which had 4% Chrysotile. This kind of asbestos comes out of the body more easily than the other kind. The health issues that come up years later come from prolonged exposure. Our exposure time was a few hours, and we only broke about an average of one tile per row. Mopping the floor twice with a strong mixture of bleach and water was a bit tough, but it also cleaned up any remnants of mold and other dirt.

All that work is good for me. Still more work downstairs to do.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Suit to Add Handicapped-Accessible Cabs Unfar?

An even louder Bronx cheer, wetter raspberries and razzing, and an even smellier fart are directed in Bloomberg's general direction. I posted about this earlier in NYC Taxis Inaccessible! Shame on you, Bloomberg!.

Bloomberg says suit to add handicapped-accessible cabs unfair to 'average' riders, wastes gas, money

You have GOT to be kidding me, Mr. Mayor B! Unfair to average riders, wastes gas and money, and...

Disabled-friendly cabs are a health hazard, would cause injuries & spark lawsuits, mayor says

...a hazard? Hazard to WHO? Yourself? You have more to worry about hubcaps coming off other cars and them spraying water on you than a wheelchair user lobbing a golf ball-sized water balloon at you using a rubber band slingshot. YOU yourself can be a rider of the subways, as many officials, even mayors and related public officials, have been known to do.

Have you even ridden in one of those wheelchair-friendly cabs? Have you even spent time in the DC area seeing how the paratransit system and accessible cabs work? Have you even talked to the owners of those cabs to see if they really are hazardous? Have you been in a modified wheelchair-accessible van driven by a wheelchair user? I DON'T THINK SO. YOU can try riding these things not just once, but multiple times. I've been there, done that.

How about making the ENTIRE NYC subway system accessible, adding elevators and escalators? Adding newer accessible vans would be much cheaper than the huge bill of retrofitting the entire NYC subway system. But yep, looks like they're doing some accessibility work here and there, with 89 out of 468 accessible stations.

MTA Guide to Accessible Transit

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Funny Moment 9: Silly String

When I attended NTID, there were a few times I'd heard about and seen Silly Stringed hallways in the dorms. It gets even more impressive when you cover someone else with the stuff.

A friend and I were talking a bit and I had a can of the stuff in my hand, talking in the doorway of the dorm room. One girl walks by, and I give her a short burst of String spray. Next thing we know, she's screaming her head off, trying to brush the stuff off her while running down the hallway. Needless to say, my friend and I were nearly on the floor laughing til her boyfriend comes up and close to me. "Don't you ever do that again" he said.

It could have been worse, but we were too far gone laughing. I was only able to stop briefly til he left before we just fell over laughing again.

Last time we laughed like that, we were watching Brewster's Millions. The baseball game scene where John Candy's catcher character was insulting the batter put us on the floor for the next 5-10 minutes. We had to stop the movie til then.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Growing Up Deaf Update 5

Something else came to mind when I was talking with someone about their school years, related to the Growing Up Deaf Part 19 and Part 20 posts. Back when I attended the School From Hell, there were a number of times some kids angrily asked me why I was a year older than them. I told them maybe due to my birthdate being so early in the school year? Maybe something else. Or I just plain said I didn't know.

The truth was that I attended kindergarten not for the normal one year, but two years. Remember I said I lost my hearing around age 5 in Growing Up Deaf Part 5?

Had I told them, who knows what they would have done?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Bringing Down the House 3: Classroom presentations

This was shortly after what happened in the Bringing Down the House 2: Panels post, about a semester or two later. I had to do a presentation as a class requirement. It was based on the Internet's Request for Comments, known as RFCs. They're technical papers that propose protocol changes or other events like that to the Internet. In some places, there's humor, and I decided to include that.

So, come presentation time, I mentioned some of the things mentioned in there, the more common stuff. Then I added in some of the more unusual stuff including the more hilarious ones. By the time I nearly get to the end of the presentation, everyone's laughing some.

All I had to do was show the final slide and step back:

"RFC #3999: The Henny Youngman Proposal
Take My Professor, Please!"

The entire classroom was rolling including the teacher. I got an A for it.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Recipe: Chicken mushroom casserole

4 lbs chicken
2-3 cans cream of mushroom
3 green peppers
2 large onions
2 potato

Heat up the oven to 400 degrees.

You may want to add more or less cream of mushroom, though the general ratio seems to be for every two pounds of chicken, use one can cream of mushroom. We used three cans, and it still came out nicely. A large casserole dish works nicely for this.

Chop up the green pepper, onion, and potato. Add to the chicken and cream of mushroom in the casserole dish. Other veggies like zucchini, celery, and carrots can be used as long as they're not too wet, like tomatoes. Add more veggies to balance out the meat.

Bake for 45-60 minutes. Adjust cooking times if you use more or less chicken.

Serves four hungry people.

Thanks to a friend for passing it on to me.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Peter Falk/Columbo Passes Away

I know I'm late in mentioning that Peter Falk passed away.

Peter Falk, TV's rumpled Columbo, has died

Many TV viewers enjoyed his Columbo character, what with his way of playing the somewhat bumbling character. He was kind of a combination of Peter Sellers' Inspector Clousau in the Pink Panther movies and Monk on TV, but without Clouseau's accident-prone or slapstick behaviors or Monk's obsessive-compulsiveness.

Thanks for being the character, Mr. Falk.

*fake exit*

And another thing... I don't think anyone can easily replace him.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Hearing Aids STILL Cost Too Much

The Why Hearing Aids Cost So Much blog post on the SayWhatClub blog pretty much has nailed the question and issue right there. Then they follow up with The Cost of Hearing Aids–Why It May NOT Be About Supply and Demand.

I've always wondered why the prices of analog hearing aids have stayed sky-high over the years, despite many being made and sold? By now, we should have, for example, an Oticon 380P for less than $150. Have you looked inside? Many of the parts can be easily found off the shelf, thus making the total cost cheap, from most good electronics houses. There may be a few parts that may be hard to get. It helps if you have the skills to deal with the very fine wires, tiny parts, and even smaller solder points.

With the right skills and equipment, the hearing aids can be repaired. One website says you can build them for about $300, but it's possible to do for far less than this. You can make a hearing aid that costs less, has AGC, and has the abilities of other hearing aids.

Why do hearing aids cost so much? (Michigan news station)
Hearing Aid Cost
Bluetooth Headsets & Hearing Aids - also has a discussion list/forum
Hearing Aids - Too Expensive?

The slight drawback is you'll look a bit like a Borg if you don't make the circuits small enough and use too many flashing lights. Then again, we're starting to look like them anyway.

As for the marketing angle, marketers tend to make us want to spend more when we really don't need to do so.

Greed at its best.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Funny Moment 8: Make Me Laugh

Before we had to have passports to get back into the States from Canada, we used our drivers licenses. Today, you can't get back into the States without the passport.

I was at a Canada/US border crossing gate being interviewed by the guard, ID out.

Guard: "Got anything to declare?"
Me: (I'm in a Geo Metro hatchback) "Nothing to declare, but I got a bag of M&Ms if you want some (I hold it up), and a broken water gun in back if you want it (clearly seen in the back)."
Guard: (laughs) "You may go."

That's probably the only time I've gotten a guard like that to laugh. These days, it could easily get you in trouble.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Post-surgery Knees - Part 6

Been having some improvements here and there. I've been able to go on short walks here and there. That'll improve in time. I also had a couple milestones.

First was my being able to walk into the local grocery store without the wheelchair, just using the cart to help move around. I can do short quick stops there, but not longer shopping times, yet.

Second was my walking to the store from home before dinner at a friend's place. I was never able to walk that far til now. Then while Jamie went into the store, I sat on a bench outside, then we both walked to the friend's place.

Heading to an ASL dinner via the local metro/subway, I managed to walk around a bit more, going to a bookstore to look around some before dinner.

I still can't quite effectively use the elliptical/stepper machine, though I can use a leg press.

I've doing some gardening here and there. I can't quite do it all day, but it'll happen sometime.

How many rows can I mow this summer?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Got A Wireless Router? Password It!

Over the years, I've seen how people have gone from wired to wireless. I can understand the appeal, but the issues of security remain. Even though encryption is used, it takes time for the password to be cracked and the victim's service to be used and abused.

NY case underscores Wi-Fi privacy dangers

Not passwording a wireless router is asking for trouble, and quite a bit of it. If you can't seem to set the password, then TURN OFF the wireless part or ask for help from someone who has done it. That plus change the password of the router. The major reason an open access point is found is due to those who wardrive. Meaning, they look for access points, whether encrypted or not, by way of walking around, driving, or using a bike using something like Netstumbler. When I last wardrove about 2007 for a report for class, there were around 1700 access points. A little over HALF were encrypted!

The second reason is that there are websites that list default passwords for every router made. So if the router password isn't changed despite the wireless being turned on and encrypted, trouble can still happen.

In short, when a wireless router is used, either turn off wireless or set a password, and a good strong one, including the login password. Wired is still quite secure.

Friday, June 3, 2011

NYC Taxis Inaccessible! Shame on you, Bloomberg!

A big Bronx cheer, raspberries, razzing, and to quote Monty Python, a fart in Bloomberg's general direction.

City’s Next Taxi: A Nissan Van Short on Looks, Perhaps, but Full of Comforts
The Nissan Taxi Is Rolling In, to a Bronx Cheer (letters to the Editor)
United Spinal Denounces New York City Taxi Pick

NYC's Mayor Bloomberg and administration chose a non-wheelchair accessible taxi Nissan van that was not wheelchair accessible over an accessible Turkish van. Come on, sirs. You're blowing off and ignoring the disabled community in your city! There may be paratransit services, but this doesn't excuse the fact that even those with disabilities need a taxi! I oughta know, using a wheelchair from time to time due to my knee surgeries. I used a taxi van equipped with a wheelchair ramp or lift coming home from the metro/subway one time.

In DC, they just rolled out a program called rollDC.

Wheelchair-accessible cabs increase DC mobility

While most of NYC's subway stops aren't quite wheelchair accessible, some are. Compare that to DC's stations and subway cars, which are all accessible. I'm sure other cities are just as accessible. I've seen Memphis, TN's trolleys and and I think San Jose/San Francisco's subway trains use some sort of elevated platform for wheelchair users.

Again, Mayor Bloomberg, shame on you. You just passed up an opportunity to help improve your city's economy.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Funny Moment 7: Drop the Ball! Bark Not.

The same dog in Funny Moment 4 sometimes was a bit of a clown. Once I was playing with him, tossing around this large partially deflated ball.

I nearly fell over laughing when at one point it looked like he refused to drop the ball.

He couldn't because it was stuck in his mouth.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Transferring Data From A Sidekick To The SK 4G

I mentioned earlier the ways that the data can be imported from your old Sidekick from TMobile's webpage to the new Sidekick 4G.

Before transferring your service, place the SD card currently in the SK 4G into the old Sidekick and save your photos onto it. Next is download the utility to send your other info to the SIM card, and do the transfer. I didn't do it this way, but it could easily be a headache-free way to transfer your data.

What I did was a bit different since I was told to use synchronize when importing my data but it never worked for some reason. TMobile's site has a page called MobileLife. Go there and follow the prompts to upload the CSV or VCF file and then click synchronize. You may need to compare what's on the old SK with the info on the website. Then update and synchronize every now and then. If you transferred the pics as transferred above and put it back into the new SK, you're in good shape.

Next was a little troublesome for me for some reason. Use the USB cable to transfer your Notes from your export from the computer to the new Sidekick. You'll see a menu of choices, one of them is to use the SK as a mass storage device. Choose that. Your computer should detect the SK and set up a drive in My Computer for you to make the transfer. Then copy the files from the export directory onto that drive. In my case, it set up the SK as drive E:.

Some of you may have used Intellisync to do the transfers. Customer Service may be able to help if all else fails. I did a bit of research on this as well before doing my transfers.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

T-Mobile Sidekick 4G Review

The newer Sidekick 4G seems to follow in the footsteps of its predecessors that used the Danger OS formerly owned by Microsoft. And who can forget the 3-4 day data outage that cause a lot of problems and inconvenience for many people? The keyboard was a great advantage. Its built-in AIM client when the vibrating part was set right, was quite strong. In some cases, strong enough to vibrate itself off a table. I would venture to say it was strong enough to generate a few comedy bits...

"But officer, this big thing vibrated my car right into the pole..." We all know not to text and drive. In some cases, it felt kinda like a joy buzzer, making you look like when you're shaking hands with someone who had one.

If you were waiting for a relay phone call, you could easily put it under your head or chest and the vibrating could wake you.

On to the Sidekick 4G. The Android OS was a nice change including the touch screen. The trackball is still there, but not as a rolling, but as an optical. Just roll your finger over it. Some other basic features were kept like the Menu and other keys. It doesn't vibrate as strongly as the old Sidekicks did, but it's still a good vibration. The screen doesn't do a 180 degree flip, rather, you're pushing it upwards to open to show the tactile keyboard underneath. I'm a little worried about some people who tend to open their screens a little hard, thus possibly breaking the little plastic piece in back. The thing is probably a bit tougher than it looks. Rather than hold down the lower right button to put it into sleep mode, you tap the power button. Turning it off, hold it down and press "Power off" when the menu pops up.

The number of applications available, more free than pay, are quite a few. Some look better than others. One of the first things I installed was the AIM program. Next thing I noticed was that the vibration wasn't much of a vibration. Just a quick "boomp." Kinda felt like someone fell over and died unless I missed something in the setups. I looked around for other AIM and other IM clients and came across Meebo. It used a longer vibration time, about the same as the old Sidekick. But its buddy list isn't that great.

The included browser was pretty nice, and a little looking around netted me Firefox, Opera, and some other browsers. The browser had a couple bookmarks that you couldn't delete. A workaround was to create a folder, move them into that folder, and delete that. You can even uninstall and delete an app that you downloaded, but the included apps you can't quite remove.

Other included apps were Maps with GPS directions, Calendar, an office kind of editor, Files access on the SD card, front and back camera, YouTube, TV, and a whole lot more. One big thing is the YouTube application also includes captioning support, as evidenced from when I watched an Annoying Orange video.

Battery power seems to be a bit short, unless I recharged it wrong when I got it. It uses a standard Samsung EB504465VA 1500mah battery. The USB connector isn't the standard size connector but a smaller size one. Next post in a week or two will tell how to put your exported data back in.

The Sidekick 4G isn't exactly a smartphone killer, but it does the job for those who don't heavily use their phones like others do. But of course, there's always the pads, tablets, and netbooks out there.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Black Sand Review

A few weeks ago, MSSD's Malz Theatre showed Black Sand. This looks like a thriller style of movie, complete with a lot of suspense. But what made the movie move slowly in its two hour showtime were all the flashbacks. Despite that, it was fairly good. I had a hard time understanding some things due to the signing nature of some of the actors, but I managed to understand what was going on. I'll watch the DVD with subtitles.

The synopsis on the webpage:

"Four students descend upon a tropical rain forest resort in Costa Rica with the purpose of having an adventure for a vacation at an aunt's place. Beautiful waterfalls and lush green jungles are the first sign of heaven but there's also a darker side to paradise. The four are warned not to venture outside after dark. Something from the jungle is stalking the vacationers. Whatever it is, is it protecting a secret or is it something so unspeakable?"

The end was a bit of a surprise, with a few twists and turns thrown in.

I'm not going to reveal the ending if you've not seen it. I'll just say romance is in the air.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Bringing Down the House 2: Panels

Back in a previous post, I said I would post about bringing down the house. I was out at a costuming convention, and Jamie Berke was with me when I did a lifecasting panel. Lifecasting is the process of making a copy of your head and face by the use of alginate, plaster bandages, and bald cap, to list a few supplies. When I do panels, I involve the audience as well as pass around references, supplies, humor, and so on.

In this case, there was an Improv panel before mine, meaning they were a comedy improvisation panel. You can guess the rest.

I started out by a brief description of what's used and what to do and what not to do. Then I brought out my model, got him ready, mixed the alginate and applied to him. After that, it became more a Comedy Central panel than a lifecasting panel what with the humor the Improv people and I were throwing around, keeping everyone rolling in the aisles.

Once I was done with applying the plaster strips to the alginate-covered model, I sat down and let a few people draw on the drying plaster head with markers, thus bringing more laughter. As it turns out, the entire panel had just about every seat loaded and some people were standing in the back as well as in the doorway.

I then removed the entire mess from the model and showed the audience what it looked like inside. I didn't have time to pour the casting media in there as the curing time would take overnight. It was the end of the panel after a short question and answer period.

I later heard from a couple friends that they'd like to see me do the panel again. I think I could if those Improv people would invade. They helped in keeping the place rolling.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Shades of 1974!'s 1974 all over again...

Good grief... What weather we've been having. When CNN mentioned April 1974 in this story:

Experts: Severe weather across South could set tornado record

I remembered the one that hit Louisville, KY, but I was living in FL at the time.

Here's another page, April 3, 1974 - The Tornado Super Outbreak. Nearly
150 tornadoes hit 13 states! Google has more.

Tornadoes and hurricanes are nothing to laugh at what with property damage and loss of life.

Stay safe!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Persistent 4th Grade Reading Level Myth

I came across this article, Born deaf, a Pinellas County girl starts school - and hears the school bell. Then one paragraph I read made me think "not again."
“Unfortunately, people who have hearing aides only, really can only get to a fourth grade reading level," said speech language pathologist Sarah Wilson. "You can't get very far in school with that reading level. Research has shown people with implants can go in regular classes, graduate from high school, go to college. So, the impact on education is humongous."
Those who have hearing aids only? Just WHERE do they get that kind of info? Either that's what the audiologist said at the interview or the reporter screwed up majorly in taking interview notes. There's plenty of those who have hearing aids and have gone through college and their reading level and English skills are pretty high.

Karen Putz wrote in her recent Barefoot in the Burbs blog It's Not What You Can Hear, It's About Attitude. Dang... Definitely attitude and then some!

Here's one more on the myth: A Permanent Breakdown in Communication. Some good points are made in there, but this line:
"Prelingually deafened children raised using ASL or another of the signed English systems (which keep trying to force ASL to be more like English) have roughly a 10% success rate at reading English (or any other traditionally spoken language) on grade level above the 4th grade."
I'm pretty sure the number is MUCH higher than 10%. I was reading at or above my grade level and was reading and devouring books pretty quickly. So much so that my two brothers complained at times that I was reading too much!

So let's quit stereotyping the so-called "fourth grade reading level" bull droppings myth. We're smarter than that.

Friday, April 22, 2011

You Have To Be Hearing To Say Yikes!

Seek Geo's Deaf? YIKES!! got me laughing a bit. Sure, I've had my share of people who have said "I'm sorry" when they find I'm deaf. Nothing to be sorry about. Let's communicate!

Two of the most oddball things I'd ever heard, and fortunately, I've only heard them said once...
- Heard from a friend who heard it from someone else - "If I touch you, will I become deaf also?"
- This was from a Christian Scientist mother whose son I was friends with. She thought deafness was caused by spirits or something like that. She asked me if she could cure me. I didn't laugh, just thought I'd let her try. She then puts her fingers in my ears after I take off my hearing aids, says something which I've mostly forgotten, one part saying something about deaf spirits. But of course, no hearing improvement.

I even had one person who took one look at my hearing aids, tapped them, and said "are these things on?"

Maybe I should have tapped the other person in the forehead and ask "Is your brain on? Good. Same here. Don't tap me and I won't tap you."

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Why No Movie Subtitles on Flights?

It's been over 10 years since captioning was introduced. One place it has consistently never shown up is on planes. The airline industry keeps saying it's too expensive to add. How hard can it be to add in subtitle/caption support? Those little TVs and wall monitors can show the words. With some airline companies, the pre-flight instruction videos are captioned or subtitled. However, the movies aren't.

The circuitry is small and simple enough to be added to just about anything out there.

More can also be found on Google. It's a simple matter to turn on the subtitles if there's any. But to deny others enjoyment of a movie while on a long flight?

With portable DVD players getting cheaper and better, let's hope the airlines take notice of this. Keep spare batteries with you as well. Long flights can outlast batteries at times. Same goes with laptops with DVD players. Oh, wait, the airlines have noticed this but don't want to throw any money at it. Too bad. They'll probably have more satisfied flyers if they did.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Funny Moment 5: Delicious Hot Pizza!

I worked at this local pizza place as a delivery driver and sometimes had to make pizzas in between runs when we weren't that busy as well as other tasks. This one day, these two older ladies, one of our regulars, came in for lunch. They shared a small personal pizza and wanted jalapenos on it.

Later, I asked my manager how the pizza was for them, and he said it was a bit hot but good.

Should have seen his eyes bug out when I told him I used two scoops instead of one.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Westboro Baptist's Antics - Final Part

Wait a minute. "...does not bear the sword in vain?" Again, this brings up the question. Why picket the funerals if the soldiers were doing their basic jobs of protection and defense? This isn't a question of sin. Take a look at the Huffington Post article Supreme Court To Hear Military Funeral Protest Case.

It's a free speech conundrum here. The family has the right to bury their son at a funeral, but gets picketed by a church who has the right to picket.

Major ouch. It's a pickle of an issue and still is, as as mentioned in Supreme Court: Raucous funeral picketers allowed.

Did I read right? Margie Phelps says "Nation, hear this little church. If you want them to stop dying, stop sinning." Are they ordering us to "quit sinning?" Does that mean the soldiers should stop doing their jobs? Westboro and congregation would be FLATTENED in no time!

Nowhere in the Bible does it say to "love the sinner, hate the sin," as in this article titled, appropriately enough, Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin. But Matthew 7:3-5 comes to mind:
“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye."
Enough of the picketing, enough of the hate, enough already.

Just LET people grieve at the funerals, please.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Westboro Baptist's Antics - Part 4

What is a soldier's basic job? Protection and defense! Here's an interesting blog post titled The Ultimate Battlefield Tragedy by Ron Hutchcraft Ministries. Some rather good points here!

But picketing the funeral of an innocent CHILD who was at the Giffords event in Arizona?! What's the logic of that?

All this leads to some questions to answer.

- Can the church be prosecuted for harassment and stalking? They've been served protection orders in the past.
- How do they afford all the travelling they do and court time? (Southern Poverty Law Center's Westboro Baptist Church article and Slate magazine's "Subsidized Hate") This leads to the question of how to remove the tax exemption.
- Is the RICO Act applicable? (Go to the webpage and see the offenses list)

But come on... Let the families mourn their loved ones they're burying in peace.

Here's a blog post titled My take: Fred Phelps is wrong about the gospel, right about the law. Some very good points are made in here. Remember what I said above about a soldier's basic job being protection? Two paragraphs says:
"These wars are essentially wars to defend our nation from terrorism, and as such they are “just wars.” Therefore a soldier who fights in these wars to protect our nation is what the apostle Paul calls “God’s servant for your good” (Romans 13:4).

"In carrying a weapon to defeat a nation’s enemies, a soldier “does not bear the sword in vain” but he is “a servant of God . . . who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer” (Romans 13:4)."
Interesting. Not just terrorism. Invasions and other sorts of attacks as well.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Westboro Baptist's Antics - Part 3

We know that historically, many young men became soldiers. Numbers 1 has a common line:
"All the men twenty years old or more who were able to serve in the army were listed by name, according to the records of their clans and families."
Again I ask, just WHAT is the reason for all these soldiers being picketed, no matter where they're from? The Westboro picketers are always claiming homosexuality, terrorism, and a host of other sins. They forget that the armed forces, the soldiers themselves, are the first line of defense against those who wish to do evil against us. Now apply this soldier subject to law enforcement. Why isn't Westboro going after them? Why aren't they picketing every law enforcement officer who has died in the line of duty, especially the annual event at the National Law Enforcement Officer Memorial in DC? Many police officers were with the armed forces.

Again, here's a verse that shows how soldiers have protected people, in Acts 21:31-35:
"While they were trying to kill him, news reached the commander of the Roman troops that the whole city of Jerusalem was in an uproar. He at once took some officers and soldiers and ran down to the crowd. When the rioters saw the commander and his soldiers, they stopped beating Paul.

"The commander came up and arrested him and ordered him to be bound with two chains. Then he asked who he was and what he had done. Some in the crowd shouted one thing and some another, and since the commander could not get at the truth because of the uproar, he ordered that Paul be taken into the barracks. When Paul reached the steps, the violence of the mob was so great he had to be carried by the soldiers."

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Westboro Baptist's Antics - Part 2

Think about it... Where would we be without soldiers protecting and defending us? Where would Westboro be and what would they be doing, if anything? Even back in our country's early days, we didn't quite have the military. We had people who just took up arms and defended their city/state/country. Throughout history, we've had examples of when people are building something, like a wall, castle, home, etc., a weapon of some sort is nearby or at hand. If not that, then someone else standing watch, as seen in Nehemiah 4:13-18.
"Therefore I stationed some of the people behind the lowest points of the wall at the exposed places, posting them by families, with their swords, spears and bows. After I looked things over, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.”

"When our enemies heard that we were aware of their plot and that God had frustrated it, we all returned to the wall, each to our own work.

"From that day on, half of my men did the work, while the other half were equipped with spears, shields, bows and armor. The officers posted themselves behind all the people of Judah who were building the wall. Those who carried materials did their work with one hand and held a weapon in the other, and each of the builders wore his sword at his side as he worked. But the man who sounded the trumpet stayed with me."
There were even some brave soldiers who went into battle no matter what, as seen in 1 Samuel 14:52:
"All the days of Saul there was bitter war with the Philistines, and whenever Saul saw a mighty or brave man, he took him into his service."

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Westboro Baptist's Antics - Part 1

Before I start, one must remember that a blog is just that, one of opinion. This blog post wasn't just posted out of opinion, but has researched areas in there together with links. I have also asked questions. That being said, there will be five parts to this post.

I've been watching the antics of Westboro Baptist since around 1993. I thought their site was going to be a short-lived fad site and would burn out in a short time. Guess not. A lot of what they've done amounts to hate, according to the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center. Are they also a cult? Some anti-cult people say yes.

But picketing soldiers who died in wars and young kids who were innocently shot? Just WHAT does this have to do with homosexuality, 9/11, and/or terrorism? Just what gives these people the right to be so overly judgmental?

In the ChildCare Action Project (CAP): Christian Analysis of American Culture page titled Judge Not Lest Ye Be Judged!, it says in one paragraph:
"Yes, we do have the right and the authority to judge the behavior of others as long as we honor and obey His Word in doing so."
But picketing like this with these signs? John 7:24 says "Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment." They're no judges. Neither are they doing it in His honor.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Stairs and the Knees - Part 2

In the first post, Stairs and the knees, I mentioned it was a bit difficult to get down the steps carrying a laundry bag. I just toss the bag down the steps.

Going upstairs, I put the bag up a few steps, go up those steps, and repeat the process til I'm at the top. If I can, and the bag is light enough, I'll just toss it up the steps. Now and then I've done it Santa-style, on the back.

One other interesting thing is that it's getting easier to carry things around. With my volunteer job as computer refurbisher, I had difficulties a lot of the time in carrying the computer from a storage area to my work area. I had someone bring the computers to me at times. Now, it's getting easier to do that, making sure no obstacles are in my path.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Hills and Wind and Water after Knee Surgery

Booktoots posted Natural Way to Increase Resistance While Walking and it got me thinking...

Where I live is a steep hill going downhill going one way from the house. Going the other way is a gentle hill. You wouldn't really notice it if you weren't looking at it. But it's there. Walking to the store and back I can't quite do yet. Towards the store, you're going up the hill. It's a gentle grade, but it's still some good exercise. Going up my driveway is easier than going downhill. Can't quite do that when it's snowed or there's some ice around.

Where I used to live had hills galore of varying steepness. You could stay on the same street and go uphill a little, then downhill, then suddenly downhill, then turn a corner to another street, and go right back uphill. Then go round a corner, downhill a bit, then go around another corner, steep hill, then gentle hill. Back home, one gentle hill up and down. Wow... Good walking.

Personally, water walking does a great job.

When I was still able to use a bike in high school, I had this paper route that took me up a hill, then down. Think how hard it was for me to go up the hill when the wind was blowing hard. Now think how much harder it is when your bike is stuck in third gear...

Monday, February 21, 2011

Growing Up Deaf Update 4

Jamie and I were talking about the mumps when she was writing Mumps Can Lead to Deafness. I mention in Growing Up Deaf Part 1 and Part 5 about the diagnosis and how I lost my hearing. But she gave me a historical aspect that I had to check.

I have a paper from my doctor back then that my dad was "trying to locate record of MMR." I don't think it was ever found.

According to the Measles Vaccine Questions and Answers page, the mumps vaccine wasn't available til 1967. Neither was the MMR vaccine til 1971.

Seems I wasn't vaccinated in time. I'll find out the story sometime, somehow.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Funny Moment 6: Popcorn!

Some years ago, I was out at a computer show and was at the food counter to pick up a drink. A security guard was just leaving with some popcorn.

I couldn't resist.

"Ah, popcorn instead of donuts..."

I wonder what would happen if someone gave a bag of bagels to some cops.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Post-surgery Knees - Part 5

Whoa... It's been a few months since I last posted. Been a little busy with an online class and some other things.

I'm improving more here and there, though still using a store's electric scooter. One scooter I used ran out of power halfway through my shopping. I managed to walk to the front of the store to get a cart, take it back to the scooter, transfer the items and finish up my shopping. That was a little easier than I thought. One of these days, I'll do a quick bit of grocery shopping without the scooter.

A few weeks ago, the local area had about an inch of dry snow. I had to see if I could do it. After a little bundling up, I spent 30 minutes shoveling a path through the driveway and sidewalk without help. I had to stop once to rest. Then recently, we had a snowstorm which dumped about a few inches of snow. I managed to get half the driveway done, with Jamie taking finishing the rest. I did it again that morning to get the rest of the snowfall, again getting half the driveway done.

There was also this ASL dinner I went to between surgeries. I went back out there and had to stop a couple times to rest a bit. Getting my tray with food up the steps was a little difficult, but I made it, something I wasn't able to do last time I was there.

I'm getting there in terms of my endurance. It'll take time, though. Let's see how much of the lawn I can mow this summer.