Thursday, May 31, 2012


To think I only proposed without the music or dancing (and we are still married).  This is a great video, but it raises the bar for those of you who have yet to propose.

In the style of  from Grand Rapids, there are some clever people out there!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Choral Humor

My LW found this neat site of choral humor (

A Concise Guide To The Choir 

In any choir or chorus, there are four voice parts: soprano, alto, tenor, and bass.
There are also various other parts such as baritone, countertenor, contralto, mezzo-soprano, etc., but these terms are mostly used by people who are either soloists, or belong to some excessively hotshot classical a cappella group (this applies especially to countertenors), or are trying to make excuses for not really fitting into any of the regular voice parts, so we will ignore them for now.
Each voice part sings in a different range, and each one has a very different personality. You may ask, "Why should singing different notes make people act differently?" Indeed, this is a mysterious question which has not been adequately studied, especially since scientists who study musicians tend to be musicians themselves and have all the peculiar complexes that go with being tenors, French horn players,tympanists, or whatever.
However, this is beside the point; the fact remains that the four voice parts can be easily distinguished, and I will now explain how.
THE SOPRANOS are the ones who sing the highest, and because of this they think they rule the world. They have longer hair, fancier jewelry, and swishier skirts than anyone else, and they consider themselves insulted if they are not allowed to go at least to a high F in every movement of any given piece. When they reach the high notes, they hold them for at least half again as long as the composer and/or conductor requires, and then complain that their throats are killing them and that the composer and conductor are sadists.
Sopranos have varied attitudes toward the other sections of the chorus, though they consider all of them inferior: The altos are to sopranos rather like second violins to first violins--nice to harmonize with, but not really necessary. All sopranos have a secret feeling that the altos could drop out and the piece would sound essentially the same, and they don't understand why anybody would sing in that range in the first place -- it's so boring.
Sopranos think tenors, on the other hand, can be very nice to have around; besides their flirtation possibilities (it is a well-known fact that sopranos never flirt with basses), sopranos like to sing duets with tenors because all the tenors are doing is working very hard to sing in a low-to-medium soprano range, while the sopranos are up there in the stratosphere showing off.
To sopranos, basses are the scum of the earth -- they sing too damn loud, are useless to tune to because they're down in that low, low range -- and there has to be something wrong with anyone who sings in the F clef, anyway. One curious fact, however, is that although the sopranos swoon while the tenors sing, they still end up going home (and/or to bed) with the basses.
THE ALTOS are the salt of the earth -- in their opinion, at least. Altos are unassuming people who would wear jeans to concerts if they were allowed to. Altos are in a unique position in the chorus in that they are unable to complain about having to sing either very high or very low, and they know that all the other sections think their parts are pitifully easy. But the altos know otherwise. They know that while the sopranos are screeching away on a high A, they are being forced to sing elaborate passages full of sharps and flats and tricks of rhythm, and nobody is noticing because the sopranos are singing too loud (and the basses usually are, too). Altos get a deep, secret pleasure out of conspiring together to tune the sopranos flat.
Altos have an innate distrust of tenors, because the tenors sing in almost the same range and think they sound better. They like the basses, and enjoy singing duets with them -- thebassesjust sound like a rumble anyway, and it's the only time the altos can really be heard. Altos' other complaint is that there are always too many of them and so they never get to sing really loud.
THE TENORS are spoiled. That's all there is to it. For one thing, there are never enough of them, and choir directors would rather sell their souls than let a halfway decent tenor quit, while they're always ready to unload a few sopranos or altos at half price. And then, for some reason, the few tenors there are always seem to be really good -- it's one of those annoying facts of life.
So it's no wonder that tenors always get swollen heads -- after all, who else can make sopranos swoon? The one thing that can make tenors insecure is the accusation (usually by the basses) that anyone singing that high couldn't possibly be a real man. In their usual perverse fashion, the tenors never acknowledge this, but just complain louder about the composer being a sadist and making them sing so damn high.
Tenors have a love-hate relationship with the conductor, too, because the conductor is always telling them to sing louder because there are so few of them. No conductor in recorded history has ever asked for less tenor in a forte passage.
Tenors feel threatened in some way by all the other sections -- the sopranos, because they can hit those incredibly high notes; the altos, because they have no trouble singing the notes the tenors kill themselves for; and the basses because, although they can't sing anything above an E, they sing it loud enough to drown the tenors out. Of course, the tenors would rather die than admit any of this.
It is a little-known fact that tenors move their eyebrows more than anyone else while singing. And it's true what Liszt said: tenors have resonance where their cerebra should be.
THE BASSES sing the lowest of anybody. This basically explains everything. They are solid, dependable people, and have more testosterone and facial hair than anybody else. By the same token, they also tend to baldness more than any of the other parts. The basses feel perpetually unappreciated, but they have a deep conviction that they are actually the most important part (a view endorsed by musicologists, but certainly not by sopranos or tenors), despite the fact that they have the most boring part of anybody and often sing the same note (or in endless fifths) for an entire page. They compensate for this by singing as loudly as they can get away with -- most basses are tuba players at heart.
Basses are the only section that can regularly complain about how low their part is, and they make horrible faces when trying to hit very low notes. Basses are charitable people, but their charity does not extend so far as tenors, whom they consider effete poseurs. Basses hate tuning the tenors more than almost anything else. Basses like altos -- except when they have duets and the altos get the good part.
As for the sopranos, they are simply in an alternate universe which the basses don't understand at all. They can't imagine why anybody would ever want to sing that high and sound that bad when they make mistakes. When a bass makes a mistake, the other three parts will cover him, and he can continue on his merry way, knowing that sometime, somehow, he will end up at the root of the chord.

Of course, I love a Soprano (bass in the above description).  I also liked the lightbulb of the conductor:

Q: How many choral conductors does it take to change a light bulb?
A: No one one's looking!

Also our group has 2 men who started as Baritones:

Q: What's the dictionary definition of "tenor"?
A: Any baritone who joins a choir that doesn't already have enough tenors.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Memorial Day

I was fortunately lucky enough to not see death when I was in the military.  Being in Subs, the Vietnam War was more about being not detected and spying then "real combat."

But I have friends that did serve with death around them.  It is an honor to know these people.  To our fallen heros, I say thank you for the ultimate sacrifice and serving this country and perserving our way of life!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Bible Translation

This month, the Assemblies of God (AOG) USA and the Presbyterian Church of America (PCA) study committees have released their reports on the use of Father and Son in translation. ....
The Assemblies of God World Missions’ April 2012 document was made public on May 15, 2012, and entitled, “The Necessity for Retaining Father and Son Terminology in Scripture Translations for Muslims.“ Its summary statement read:
“Our Fellowship is unrelentingly committed to the authority and infallibility of Scripture. While we appreciate the challenges missionaries and translators face in intercultural communication, we will neither compromise nor dilute God’s eternal truth, nor change its intended plain meaning. We, therefore, urge all believers to reject these and any other Scripture translations, whether for Muslim or non-Muslim audiences, for both public and personal use, that do not literally translate Father and Son terminology.”   (Pages 16-17)
In a similar fashion the PCA study committee released their findings on May 18 under the title “Like Father, Like Son: Divine Familial Language in Bible Translation.“ Like the AOG document it makes reference to the materials in the Fact Check of the Biblical Missiology petition, and also has strong concluding recommendations:
“Bible translations geared for Islamic contexts should not be driven by concerns that Muslims may recoil from biological terms applied to God or Jesus. That revulsion originates primarily out of religious conviction, not any communicative limitation of the terms themselves. The essentially biological terms (Hebrew, ben and ab; Greek, huios and pater) are divinely given and therefore should be translated into comparable biological terms. Footnotes, parentheticals and other paratextual comments may be used to explain the biblical and theological riches of Scripture, while never subverting the important truths embedded in the biological contours of Scripture’s words.(

The translations have altered references to God as “Father” and to Jesus as the “Son” or “the Son of God.” One example can be seen in an Arabic version of the Gospel of Matthew produced and promoted by Frontiers and SIL.
It changes Matthew 28:19 from “baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit” to “cleanse them by water in the name of Allah, his Messiah and his Holy Spirit.” (

It seems to me that the Bible's major emphasis should not be changed.  It seems that "politically correct" language has gone rather far, allowing perversion of the Bible's main message.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

14 Videos

I took videos of the Swedish Glee Club Spring Concert.  In total, I processed 14 videos of the singing.

It took 88 GB of data on our computer.  I used iMovie to convert the data to m4v videos and then uploaded them to YouTube (actually at the moment I still need to upload the last 5 to UTube).

So if you are interested, all of the Swedish Glee Club videos are at (or will be at later today) SwedgleeClub channel.

In many respects, iy is easier to sing the songs, then process them & upload them!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Real Federal Deficit

If congress did not exempt itself from nearly all laws, the federal deficit would be $5 trillion.

The typical American household would have paid nearly all of its income in taxes last year to balance the budget if the government used standard accounting rules to compute the deficit, a USA TODAY analysis finds.
Under those accounting practices, the government ran red ink last year equal to $42,054 per household — nearly four times the official number reported under unique rules set by Congress. ....

The big difference between the official deficit and standard accounting: Congress exempts itself from including the cost of promised retirement benefits. Yet companies, states and local governments must include retirement commitments in financial statements, as required by federal law and private boards that set accounting rules. ....
The deficit was $5 trillion last year under those rules. The official number was $1.3 trillion.

•Social Security had the biggest financial slide. The government would need $22.2 trillion today, set aside and earning interest, to cover benefits promised to current workers and retirees beyond what taxes will cover. That's $9.5 trillion more than was needed in 2004.
•Deficits from 2004 to 2011 would be six times the official total of $5.6 trillion reported.

•Federal debt and retiree commitments equal $561,254 per household. By contrast, an average household owes a combined $116,057 for mortgages, car loans and other debts. (

My generation is going to bankrupt my grandkids.  In general, I believe is spending less than we make, if only our federal government believed in that, we might have some hope for our kids!

“The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money.”
― Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Kids Play

Yesterday when I was putting up the banners (it is Pentecost on Sunday) at our Church, Little Bear (a Christian preschool housed at Trinity United Lutheran Church) was practicing for the school graduation program.

This got me to thinking about when I got to watch our kids perform.  It is a great feeling to watch your kids (or grandkids) do something.

My daughter was (and is) very talented at singing.  She starred in A Birthday Party and other plays when she was younger and was brilliant.  Fortunately, she gets her vocal skills from her mother (my LW).

Most Saturdays, we got to watch my son play soccer,  He was often (IMHO) the best player on the field.

I miss those days when we got to be proud parents of the stars.  Of course, now we have grandkids, which is great too!

Spring Concert

This past Sunday at St. Mark's Lutheran Church, the Waukegan Swedish Glee Club and the Waukegan Swedish Women's Chorus held their Spring Concert.

The above video is of one of the combined numbers, Alleluia by Randall Thompson. The Glee Club & Chorus sang as total of 18 songs, both in Swedish and English.

The intermission group was Lekspel, which consisted of an accordion, a violin, and a guitar.  They played various Swedish dances and were very good.

Amy Nelson played a trumpet solo with Jeff Delay on piano, which was excellent.

It was fun to perform, I wish I was better, but at least I try!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


We are coming out of the Mother's Day holiday season.  Every store had "gifts for mom" and ideas for under $500, etc..

I saw some of the first ads for Father's Day!  It's not like Father's Day is a real holiday.  Everyone (well most people anyway) celebrate Mother's Day.  Which only right, since as Bill Cosby's mother used to say "I bought you into this world boy (and I can take you out)."  (For some classic Cosby on parents

It is interesting the "gifts" available for the 2 "holidays."  Mother's Day is flowers and candy and jewelry and iPads.  For Father's Day, it is gardening equipment and shaving gear and GPS's (since we refuse to ask for directions) and auto stuff.  So we look lousy, need to cut the grass, can't find our way out of a paper bag, and need to make the car look nice for the LW's.

Some Dads like candy at least!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Article Mishmash

(NaturalNews) In a bombshell revelation of the depth of the food police state that now exists in LA County, California, NaturalNews has learned that the LA County health department has unleashed door-to-door raw milk confiscation teams to threaten and intimidate raw dairy customers into surrendering raw milk products they legally purchased and own.
According to Mark McAfee (see quotes below), both LA County and San Diego county have attempted to acquire customer names and addresses from Organic Pastures ( for the sole purpose of sending "food confiscation teams" to customers' homes to remove the raw milk from customers' refrigerators. Using both phone calls and home visits, these teams intimidate customers and try to force them to give up their milk.  ...

"I received a phone call yesterday morning from a wonderful young gal, a 36-year-old mom out of LA County. She's one of our UPS customers that we deliver overnight raw milk to her house. When the CDFA was in here the other day on our recall, they demanded to have all our delivery addresses for overnight UPS delivery. We screwed up and [inadvertently] gave it to them, they got it from one of our secretaries here. The LA County health department started calling her, six or seven times, demanding that she give up her raw milk from her own home to the health department.
She refused, then they showed up at her house and demanded that she give her raw milk to them. She was getting ready to call 911 for the Sheriff's department and have them removed from her front doorstep, and she was threatening to use her camera to take a picture of them and post it on Facebook for harassing her over her raw milk... The investigators left after she told them she was not going to give them the raw milk and to get the Hell off her property.(

I don't drink raw milk, but I don't like the idea of people who chose to use it being harassed by the government.  Sometimes people need to live their own lives without the GOV!

The violence in northern Nigeria is mistakenly viewed as a religious conflict rather than simply a tribal dispute over land, according to the Obama administration.
Despite the ongoing Muslim destruction of churches and the slaughter of Christians – including many murdered during worship services – the U.S. Agency for International Development claims that the misunderstandings make it difficult to administer aid programs. ...
The unveiling of PEACE comes as the slaughter of Nigerian Christians is on the rise.

As WND reported earlier this month, an international Christian ministry says Muslims recently killed hundreds of Christians gathering for worship.
Patrick Sookhdeo, international director for Barnabas Fund, said at the time: “The simple act of going to church on a Sunday has become a perilous one for Christians in many parts of Nigeria.”
Indeed, Nigerian media have reported that the Muslim jihadist group Boko Haram has pledged to “eradicate Christianity.” (PEACE is Programming Effectively Against Conflict and Extremism from PO that will cost $600 million). (

Sometimes violence against Christians is just violence against Christians.  PO seems to believe that "radical" Muslims don't really dislike Christians they are only rebelling against poverty!

Davis High School has been fined $15,000 after they were caught selling soda pop during lunch hour, which is a violation of federal law.
The federally mandated law prohibits the sale of carbonated beverages after lunch is served. The program is an effort to help fight childhood obesity and to have young students make better food choices.  
The mandate allows for carbonated beverages to be sold before lunch, but restricts students from buying lunch, then purchasing carbonated drinks afterward. 
“Before lunch you can come and buy a carbonated beverage. You can take it into the cafeteria and eat your lunch, but you can’t first go buy school lunch then come out in the hallway and buy a drink,” said Davis High Principal Dee Burton.
Principal Burton said he does not understand the law with rules that seem to be contradictory.
“We can sell a Snickers bar, but can’t sell licorice. We can’t sell Swedish Fish, we can’t sell Starburst, we can’t sell Skittles, but we can sell ice cream, we can sell the Snickers bar, Milky Ways, all that stuff,” said Burton.
The school is bound to obey the law, however, if they want the $15,000 the federal government gives to subsidize their school lunch program. (

Why can't the federal government just let parents control thier children, why must they make stupid and conflicting laws?  Well, when you except anything from the Federal Gov, their is a cost!

Sunday, May 20, 2012


I saw this headline and just had to comment:

World leaders set to tackle Afghanistan's future (

How arrogant of the "world" to think that they can decide Afghanistan's future.  I might believe that Afghanistan should act in a certain way; but it is up to the Afghanistian people to decide there fate.

To quote from the article: World leaders weary of war will tackle Afghanistan's post-conflict future — from funding for security forces to upcoming elections — when the NATO summit opens Sunday.

Afghanistan has defeated the Russian and everyone else that tried to "solve" their problems, I don't think that "world leaders" can make the correct decision for Afghanistan!

Voice 2

Along with the pitch problem, there are 2 staffs; a treble clef and bass clef.  These are right above each other (treble on top).  You might think that they are an octave apart (at least I might think that), but they aren't.  The sopranos use the treble staff but tenors and basses (one of which I usually am) usually use the bottom one, but sometimes we use the top.  To top that off, sometimes we switch during the song!  Plus there are flats and sharps, most times these are hidden in the start of the staffs, but sometimes they put them on individual notes.

Along with dynamics, there is duration.  The left hand picture on the bottom has the note durations in order; whole note, half, quarter, eight, 1/16th. and 1/32nd. notes.  1/16th notes are usually very fast, they are so quick that they are usually gone before I can look at them; this means that I am behind everyone else and it is not that easy (for me) to figure out where I should be in Swedish. To add to the confusion (for me) they sometimes put little dots next to notes to add 1/2 of the duration.  Then there is 4/4, 3/4,2/2,2/4 etc. time which tell (some people) how many notes of what duration per measure.

So I look at the (especially) Swedish word, try to figure out how to pronounce it, then I look at the note (pitch) and try to figure out where that note is (how high or low), then I look at the duration (this process takes some time for me) and the dynamic (they use > and < or cresc or dim or who knows what else to increase or decrease the volume) then go forth with song!

Singing use to be simpler when I knew less!  Just sing along with the majority of people and follow the melody (don't get me started on how easy the sopranos usually have it, they usually sing the melody!). 

It might be hard to recognize from this rant but I really do enjoy singing with the Swedisg Glee Club!

Friday, May 18, 2012


Since we have our Swedish Glee Club Spring Concert coming up (5/20 at St. Marks Lutheran Church at Delaney & Yotkhouse in Waukegan, IL at 1500 [3PM for non-military types]), I have been worrying about my pitch; if I have a strong singer next to me I can usually hone in on the correct notes, but if not I am sometimes not so good!

So I took to the internet to see if I could find some help!

 Release any tension from the muscles in your face and neck.
 Open your mouth in a relaxed manner by dropping your jaw and slightly tilting your chin inward toward your chest.
 Hum an "oooo" sound at a pitch that seems natural. Don't even plan the pitch. Just produce an extended tone at a comfortable volume level.
 Inhale and produce the same pitch. This time, as you produce the pitch, begin to slide upward with your voice so that your sound becomes high. Don't strain your voice, but imagine that you are creating a child's "oooo" sound, as if the child has just seen something amazing.
 Inhale again if necessary and slide your voice back down. This time try to go lower than your original pitch.
Record yourself changing your vocal pitches. Review the recording to see if you can hear the changes in pitch.
Play any key near the center of a piano or keyboard. Hum that note. Play the next five to eight notes to the right of the original note and hum along. This will cause you to raise your pitch. Go back to the original note and play the next five to eight keys to the left of the original note in order to lower your pitch. (

Now, there are 2 distinctly different scenarios having to do with singing off pitch.
The first is a question of hearing, where the singer cannot hear the music, either the accompaniment if there is one, or the music inside him/herself, and therefore sings approximately near the note he/she's going for, but not THE note. This mostly occurs when the singer is singing a cappella, which means without a musical accompaniment. This problem with pitch is cured with ear training exercises that re-program the body's muscle memory to literally "remember" where the notes are in the body's internal keyboard. Matching pitch, playing a mouth instrument like a recorder or flute, and consistent practice are very helpful in curing ear difficulties.

The second scenario has to do with breath and support. Simply said, when you don't take in enough air, and you don't support the emission of the sound from your body, you can sing off pitch, and whether or not you sing flat or sharp depends on the resonation placement. No breath and no support tends to make the head voice go sharp, and the full voice go flat.   ...

When a pianist wants to learn how to play the piano, he practices a lot, but also listens to piano music to get ideas for how to interpret the music. The same goes for a guitar player. How many young boys, (my own included), spent hours listening to Eddie Van Halen, just to learn his licks?
Well, I believe that when your chosen "instrument" is the voice, you learn your songs by listening to them sung by the artists who sing them on the radio. You sing along with a song whenever it comes on and to you, you may sound great!

Well, what happens when you sing the song in the shower, without the radio, and without any music at all? You sing off key! Why? Because you can't hear the music in the your head. Why is that? Because when you learned the song, you were listening ONLY to the singer, and not to musical accompaniment. And when you sing a cappella, there is nothing to guide you. You didn't "learn" that part. You only learned the words and maybe the melody, but you never learned the Harmony!

It shouldn't amaze us then when singers audition with no accompaniment and think they sounded fine, when they didn't, should it?

Lesson? Well, when you learn a song, listen to the instruments as well as the voice. Spend some time committing the orchestration to your cell memory so that when you are called upon to sing a cappella, you can call it up in your head and stay on key!! (

I also found a computer program that records you as you sing notes and compares it to the real note/s. 
( So got only $67 (regularly $97), I could improve my singing by singing into my computer.

Next comes voice dynamics, i.e., how loud/soft!  Will it never end?

Thursday, May 17, 2012

6 Commandments

“Thou shalt not edit” is not among the famous list of God’s Laws from the Bible, but a U.S. District Judge has suggested that reducing the Ten Commandments to just six would help solve a dispute between the ACLU and the Giles County, Va., School District.
The school district does not want them removed and the case remains in U.S. District Court.
Now federal Judge Michael Urbanski has offered a compromise. He suggested scrapping the first four commandments and leaving just the final six. Urbanski suggested that could resolve the dispute since the first four commandments directly refer to mankind’s relationship to God and the final six concern mankind’s relationship to creation, other people, and things.
“You can’t have a display or discussion of American history and law without reading about, or mentioning God,” Mathew Staver of Liberty Counsel told WND. “It’s just part of who we are, it’s what shaped our Western Civilization.”
Liberty Counsel, which is representing the school district in court,  rejects the judge’s proposal and so is the parent, who is allied with the American Civil Liberties Union and the Freedom from Religion Foundation.(

For those of you who don't remember the first 4 are (from Exodus):

You shall have no other gods before me.
You shall not make for yourself any carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.
You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.
Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your manservant, nor your maidservant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.

Compromise is not always a good thing.  Sometimes you have to stand up for your beliefs!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Happy Birthday to my Love

Today is the birthday of my Lovely Wife, she is xy years old.  I'm pretty sure she is over 21 years old since we have adult children over 30.

Here are some pictures of her from various years (isn't she pretty?)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

More Obama Admin

Obama's Mother's Day proclamation:

He (President Obama) also issued a statement regarding Mother’s Day. But the result, according to Independent Women’s Forum chief Sabrina Schaeffer, was a “pretty lousy Mother’s Day greeting.”
That’s because it was politicized, she said.
At the White House website, visitors had the option of sending out Mother’s Day e-cards to, according to the site, “help you show some appreciation for the mom in your life.”
Two templates were offered to be sent through email, Twitter, or Facebook. One touted Obama’s Affordable Care Act with the caption “Being a mom isn’t a pre-existing condition”  ...

But starting last year, Obama became the first president to cite his own political achievements in the document. The proclamations were reviewed at UC-Santa Barbara’s “The American presidency Project.”

In his 2011 proclamation, Obama wrote in a 625-word document, “We are striving to help mothers in the workplace by enforcing equal pay laws and addressing workplace flexibility as families balance the demands of work, child and elder care, and education.”

 Mother’s Day proclamations pay homage to mothers and their importance in shaping the nation, such as Ronald Reagan’s 1981 address when he wrote of mothers: “They shape the character of our people through the love and nurture of their children. It is the strength they give their families that keeps our nation strong.” 


Must he always be running for office, Mothers are not just a voting block!

WND reported last month that the federal government was creating obstacles for Tombstone, Ariz., to restore its water supplies following last year’s forest fire and monsoon-triggered floods in the nearby mountains. The federal government said crews could not use machinery to rebuild pipelines and spring-water collection systems.
Now, a letter contradicting longstanding federal practice asserts a claim to water in arid Western states, such as Utah, Montana, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and others, that supersedes all other authorities, including decisions by state water courts.  ...

Decker’s letter said water is not “legally” available for some users who may want to develop property in the area, because “the expressed federal reserved water right created by Congress is senior to all junior water users who initiate uses after the date of the establishment of the reservation.”
Nick Dranias, who holds the Clarence J. and Katherine P. Duncan Chair for Constitutional Government and is director of the Joseph and Dorothy Donnelly Moller Center for Constitutional Government at the Goldwater Institute, called it an “existential threat to the Western states.” (

I wonder if the founders of the country would have joined in the union of states; if they knew how the federal government has become, commanding ALL the issues are federal against the states.

(Bill of Rights)
Amendment X
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Alpha Male

We conservatives like to think we are alpha males (the ones that are male at least).  It is interesting that the new "Idol" is what we use to call "Wimpy"or girly.  Of course, we are all combinations of many types.  The above video gave me something to think about, hopefully, it is interesting to you!  Many of the references are to shows that are no longer on, so the younger genration might not get them.

The alpha male was needed when the country was first started since it was wilderness and needed taming.  We tend to think that we don't need that type any more, maybe that is why things are going to H*** in a handbasket!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Sour Faces

I was thinking of sour/serious faces and how prevalent they can be.

There are the politicians who pretend to be serious/unhappy when revealing something bad about their opponents (while concealing the happy smile underneath).

There are the joggers on the bike trail who feel that jogging is a horrible way to get exercise with their sour faces as they strive to get yet another step further.

There are the bell choir members who feel if they smile they may miss the next note (I think bell choirs could recruit more members if at least one of them was allowed to smile).

My LW smiles when she sings and is a great advertisement to get others to join her choruses; others frown like "why are we here, singing is so hard" and "why are we singing this Swedish stuff in this Swedish Women's Chorus."

When I was in operator licensing and giving exams, we had to not give away how well or bad the operators were doing; so there we had to have a blank/semi-serious faces.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day Gift

My mother's day gift to my NOT my mother (i.e., my LW) was Pumpkin Waffles.

The recipe is:
Pumpkin Waffles

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
Set up the waffle iron on a countertop or table within easy reach of the cook. Plug in the iron to preheat it. (Remind your child never to touch the surface of the iron; she should touch only the handle and always cook with adult supervision.)
In a medium-size mixing bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, melted butter, and pumpkin. Pour the wet ingredients over the flour mixture and stir just until combined.
Coat the preheated waffle iron with cooking spray. Pour the waffle batter onto the center of each section of the iron. (You will need 1/4 to 3/4 cup of batter for each waffle.) [I used 1/2 cup.]
Cook the waffles for about 4 to 5 minutes or until they are crispy and light brown. (Read the manufacturer's directions for details about how long you should cook the waffles in your particular waffle iron.) Serve immediately with maple syrup and butter. Serves 4. (It made 6+ [one small one plus 6 others].)

My LW really likes waffles but it takes awhile to make, so I thought it was a nice (if cheap) gift to the mother of our children.

Mishmash Articles

Socialists want others to live as common folks (some pigs are more equal than others):

France's new Socialist president owns three holiday homes in the Riviera resort of Cannes, it emerged today.
Francois Hollande, 57, who “dislikes the rich” and wants to revolutionise his country with high taxes and an onslaught against bankers, is in fact hugely wealthy himself. 
His assets were published today in the Official Journal, the gazette which contains verified information about France’s government.
To the undoubted embarrassment of the most Left-wing leader in Europe, and a man who styles himself as “Mr Normal”, they are valued at almost £1 million.
It will also reinforce accusations that Hollande is a “gauche caviar”, or “Left-wing caviar” — the Gallic equivalent of a champagne Socialist.
Among his other assets are three current accounts in French banks — two with global giant Société Générale and one with the Postal Bank.
But it is the fabulous property portfolio which is causing the greatest stir among millions of ordinary French people who voted for Hollande over the conservative Nicolas Sarkozy last Sunday.(

The catholics "catholic" Nancy Pelosi (i.e., for abortion):
Nancy Pelosi: My Catholic Faith "Compels Me" to Support Same-Sex Marriage (YouTube video)(

Giving up citizenship to avoid taxes:

Eduardo Saverin, the billionaire co- founder of Facebook Inc. (FB), renounced his U.S. citizenship before an initial public offering that values the social network at as much as $96 billion, a move that may reduce his tax bill
Facebook plans to raise as much as $11.8 billion through the IPO, the biggest in history for an Internet company. Saverin’s stake is about 4 percent, according to the website At the high end of the proposed IPO market capitalization, that would be worth about $3.84 billion. His holdings aren’t listed in Facebook’s regulatory filings.
Saverin, 30, joins a growing number of people giving up U.S. citizenship ahead of a possible increase in tax rates for top earners. The Brazilian-born resident of Singapore is one of several people who helped Mark Zuckerberg start Facebook in a Harvard University dormitory and stand to reap billions of dollars after the world’s largest social network holds its IPO. (

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Mother's Day Gift

I sent my mother some chocolate candy for Mother's Day(MD), but I think a better gift will be calling her which I will do later today.  When we first had kids, I celebrated more MD with my wife since the kids were too young to do much.  Now I don't since as my brother said "She's not my mother."  So it is up to the grown kids to call her!


I found this article, in my opinion very inappropriate for MD:

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a New York Democrat, has a great idea for you when it comes to honoring your other for Mother’s Day. She thinks the best thing you can do is make a donation to one of the wealthiest pro-abortion groups in the country.
In an email she sent this afternoon, Gillibrand primes the pump for donations for Emily’s List, a leading pro-abortion political action committee, using Mother’s Day as he reason for supporting them.
“This Mother’s Day, I can’t think of a better way to honor all the mothers in the country — past and present — than with a contribution to EMILY’s List,” Gillibrand writes. “They’re the ones working tirelessly to elect the pro-choice Democratic women who are making sure that our freedoms are protected for generations to come.”(

Celebrating abortion on MD is very crass at best!


When I mentioned that we drink pop on Fridays, I forgot to mention that it is diet pop!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Study at

I always thought that EMT's studied at least 1 year, was surprised by the video in that respect.

We do need licensing for certain vital occupations, but perhaps not washing hair!

Government feels that it has to do something even if it doesn't make sense rather than leaving well enough alone.  Too much government is destroying this country's freedom.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Can't Help Ourselves

The above ad was on the web page ( which said:

Federal agencies should step in if industries that promote high-calorie foods to children do not implement common nutrition standards within two years, the influential Institute of Medicine (IOM) said Tuesday. 
The recommendation came as part of a 478-page IOM report on the U.S. obesity epidemic that outlined broad policy changes the panel says are necessary to stave off a healthcare crisis.
The changes are aimed at a complete overhaul of the United States's "obesogenic" environment, the panel wrote.
"People have heard the advice to eat less and move more for years, and during that time a large number of Americans have become obese," panelist Shiriki Kumanyika of the University of Pennsylvania said.
"That advice will never be out of date. But when you see the increase in obesity you ask, what changed? And the answer is, the environment.
"The average person cannot maintain a healthy weight in this obesity-promoting environment," she said.
Strategies like a possible soda tax and new zoning laws to encourage walking and biking are designed to "reinforce one another's impact to speed our progress," said panel Chairman Dan Glickman, a former secretary of Agriculture.

(OBESOGENIC A strange-looking word, it comes from obese plus the ending -genic, something tending to generate or create. It refers to conditions that lead people to become excessively fat — a worrying trend in developed countries, especially among young people, who are eating too much of the wrong things and not taking enough exercise. The problem is variously put down to social causes (too many sedentary pursuits available; fear that the outdoors in cities is dangerous, leading to less cycling, walking and running about) or to the results of our consumer lifestyle (eating pre-prepared meals that contain excessive sugar and fats). The term seems to have appeared in the last decade (the first example I can find is from a British newspaper in 1996) and is not as yet mainstream, though it is increasingly turning up in newspapers and medical journals. Its opposite is not often called for, but if you need it, it’s leptogenic, leading to weight loss, from Greek leptos, thin, fine or delicate.)(

I actually believe that people can maintain a healthy weight in this environment.  But many people believe that only government can save us from ourselves!

Taxes on pop is another "great" way to "help" us, my personal pop consumption is about 12 ozs. a week on pizza day (another no-no, oh please help us Gov!).  Though I do believe in making it safer to walk and bike.

I know that I am old-fashioned in believing that people can do what is right without the government's help.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Protect Us Gov

The following is from Boston:

Bake sales, the calorie-laden standby cash-strapped classrooms, PTAs and booster clubs rely on, will be outlawed from public schools as of Aug. 1 as part of new no-nonsense nutrition standards, forcing fundraisers back to the blackboard to cook up alternative ways to raise money for kids.
At a minimum, the nosh clampdown targets so-called “competitive” foods — those sold or served during the school day in hallways, cafeterias, stores and vending machines outside the regular lunch program, including bake sales, holiday parties and treats dished out to reward academic achievement. But state officials are pushing schools to expand the ban 24/7 to include evening, weekend and community events such as banquets, door-to-door candy sales and football games.
The Departments of Public Health and Education contend clearing tables of even whole milk and white bread is necessary to combat an obesity epidemic affecting a third of the state’s 1.5 million students. But parents argue crudites won’t cut it when the bills come due on athletic equipment and band trips.
State Sen. Susan Fargo (D-Lincoln), chairwoman of the Joint Committee on Public Health, said the problem of overweight children has reached “crisis” proportions.
“If we didn’t have so many kids that were obese, we could have let things go,” Fargo said.
“But,” she added, “this is a major public health problem and these kids deserve a chance at a good, long healthy life.” (

I admit I always hated it when our kids had to sell candy or whatever to fund school or sports activities.  But it was necessary to raise the funds for their activities.

I wish parents would do what is necessary to keep their own kids from getting fat.  Our grandkids are active and don't overeat or eat extremely bad things for them (though they do get desserts sometimes).  Our kids are parents!

(I don't know what "crudites" are either! Must be Bostonian for something.)

Monday, May 7, 2012

May Showers

After a fairly dry April, the skies have opened up during May.  Driving home from a visit at a nursing home yesterday,  the rain came down extremely hard, hard enough for people to slow down to 30-35mph on a 55mph highway.

When ever it rains hard, our basement feels that a nice trickle or two of water is appropriate.  Fortunately, the temperature has increased downstairs so that the dehumidifier works.  I turn on a fan in the direction of the streams of water and turn on the dehumidifier.  Of course, the same boxes that don't have the sense to move out of the way of the water get wet again!

Since there was lightning this morning, I took the car into the Y.  Rain tends to break up my routine!


Gas has decreased $0.10 a gallon at the place I bought it on Thursday!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Gov Waste

Another compassionate government program that became bloated and out of control.  The idea was that to get a job, you need a means of communication. So the government (i.e., you and me), would give phones so people could be contacted and have an emergency means of communication.

It seems that the government can not run any program without immense waste.

Here is a link to the sponsor of a bill to "correct" the problem (

Saturday, May 5, 2012


I can make quick decisions.  Many of my jobs required a quick decision especially in the military.

Unfortunately, not all of my decisions are correct.  My LW takes more time to make decisions, but she is almost always right.

One of my many faults is wanting others to make the decision right now!  I know I should not be frustrated but that doesn't help.  So often, I just go ahead and make the decision without input.  This is really not a good way to act!

What bought this on was my daughter's blog entry Making Choices and thinking on the dog walk about how I am not like that!


I bought some gas on Thursday (the day prices went up about $.30/gal).  I read that gas prices (per barrel) have decreased to less than $100/barrel; so it looks like my control is back yet again!


New unemployment claims were up over 200,000 this past week and new jobs were 115000, but the unemployment rate decreased 0.1% to 8.1%.  It looks like PO is reducing the unemployment rate by getting people out of the job market instead of policies that increase employment.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Life of Julia

President Obama has a slide show of the cradle to grave government "care". (

Some interesting comments / articles on the subject (warning what follows is anti-PO, remember I am right winged):

Let's, for the purposes of this post, set aside the misleading generalizations regarding policy in the ad (no one is innocent on that account, obviously). What we are left with is a celebration of a how a woman can live her entire life by leaning on government intervention, dependency and other people's money rather than her own initiative or hard work. It is, I'd say, implicitly un-American, in the sense that it celebrates a mindset we have -- outwardly, at least -- shunned.
It is also a mindset that women should find offensively patronizing. When they're old enough, I hope my two daughters will find the notion that their success hinges on the president's views on college-loan interest rates preposterous. Yet, according to the "Life of Julia," women are helpless without the guiding hand of Barack Obama. (

If they begin to make the culture of cool uneasy about Obama, and increasingly comfortable treating him (as it is inclined to treat everyone) as a self-important windbag, they could do serious damage to his standing with precisely the intended audience of the Life of Julia: young liberals, who must turn out in uncharacteristically large numbers if Obama is to have a decent chance of re-election. If those young liberals come to see the president not as a cool modern idealist in on the joke but as a bloviating panderer who buys his own shtick, he’s in big trouble. If you puncture Obama’s balloon, there is not much left of him, and he seems to be running the risk of puncturing that balloon himself.  
Above all, though, the Life of Julia is deeply telling of the view of American life underlying contemporary progressivism. Mitt Romney has taken to describing President Obama’s vision of America as one of a government-centered society. It’s hard to imagine a more perfect illustration of what he means than this. (

Her life is framed to show that she gets more from President Barack Obama than from Republicans. The same contrast could be achieved differently. She could lose her web-design job and go on unemployment, which President Obama always wants to extend despite Republican objections. With her family’s income dropping, she could resort to the food-stamp program, which has expanded massively under President Obama despite Republicans’ inveighing against the trend. These examples don’t suit the campaign’s purposes, though. They show government to be a poor substitute for the robust recovery that President Obama hasn’t delivered even as he has endeavored to make Julia’s birth-control pills free.
The point of view of “The Life of Julia” is profoundly condescending. It assumes that giving people things will distract them from larger considerations of the public weal — the economy, debt, the health of the culture. This view’s infantilizing tendency is captured by Obamacare’s insistence that, for purposes of health insurance, young adults are children who belong on their parents’ policies until the age of 26. It devalues self-reliance and looks at us less as independent citizens than as drab Julias, bereft without the succor of our life partner and minder, the state. (

And probably the best is another slideshow showing how life for this woman would actually be under PO.

Thursday, May 3, 2012


Just some fun videos of a politician!  Every once in a while you find a politician who says what he believes and not just being politically correct.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


Since I am trying to sing in Swedish, I love Google Translate.  You can put Swedish into it and have it translate to English (or Polish if you wish).  Then you can have it speak it to you!

This is great for us language challenged people.  So when I noticed that Blogger has a translate gadget, I added it to my blog.  Just think of the joy it can bring to people to see my blog in Swedish or Spanish or any of the 50 languages that are available!

Think of the millions of poor people who wanted to read my brillant thoughts but who were not able to due to the English language.  Of course, I hope that they can read the Translate label or at least figure it out!

I sure like google's products.  They have google drive which works on my mac even though most other cloud types need the next operating system (10.7 I'm running 10.6 right now).

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


I was thinking on the dog walk this morning about the choices I made and the consequences from them.  I applied to 2 colleges when I was getting ready to graduate from high school.  MSU and U of Mich, MSU offered me a tuition scholarship and a job (bus-boying) since I did not have much money I decided to go to MSU.

While I was at MSU, I met Vic and we became roommates.  One of the girls that Vic dated was my Lovely Wife.  We double dated to a movie ?Dead Heat on a Merry-Go-Round."  Later I asked her to marry me and she said yes (a couple of years later, not right after the movie, I don't remember who my date was).

Due to the decision to go to MSU & go on a double date, we had 3 children and 5 grandchildren.  Without those decisions, we probably would not have met and there would be many fewer people in the world.  I am glad that I did and she said yes!  We have been married for many years and I am a very lucky guy.