Tuesday, August 31, 2004

I'm a Redhead

...although I was born a brunette. I showed up via King County Adoptive Services at eight days old with a shock of dark brown hair, kind of a baby "Calvin" but brunette. If only it had stayed so nice and dark, but, alas, 40 years later it's a kind of mousy brown. So I've turned, over the years, to various methods of enhancing the color.

In the '80s I would go to the cosmetology school in the "U" district and get a "cellophane" in a nice cinnamon brown color. Later, I discovered the joys of henna, and that's my MO these days. I like it because I know what it is (ground-up leaves of the lawsonia shrub), it goes back to pre-history as a home-made cosmetic, and it smells great! Plus, I can play with additives to keep the color subdued. I add walnut hull powder, clove oil, olive oil, and use coffee instead of water. Did I mention it smells great?

Last night I hennaed my hair and I can still smell it. Oh, and it's also mildly astringent, so it's great for your scalp in hot weather (like right now). Once, a few years ago, I decided to treat myself and actually go to a salon and have somebody else do it. The well-meaning gal who worked on me took the henna mixture...and added some nasty-smelling over-perfumed conditioner to the paste. The lovely green, spicy-smelling henna now smelled like a perfume counter. Bleh. Talk about "unclear on the concept." Anyway, I feel better now.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

The Limitations of "Secular Only" History

From the Boar's Head Tavern courtesy of M Spencer:

"George Eldon Ladd. Simple. Brilliant.:
"The secular historian feels bound to interpret all ancient records, sacred and secular, in terms of known observable human experience, historical causality and analogy. In history as thus defined, there is no room for the acting of God, for God belongs to the theological category, not to that of observable human experience. However, the biblical records bear witness that God has acted in history, especially in Jesus of Nazareth, that in him God has disclosed his kingly rule. If this is a true claim, the secular historian has no critical tools for recognizing it, for his very presuppositions eliminate the possibility of God acting in history. Therefore, the secular approach cannot understand the Bible. A method must be employed which allows the interpreter to understand the New Testament as the record of God’s act in the Jesus of history."
This is something that has been rattling around in my brain for a few years. I needed somebody else to sum it up so nicely.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Spiritual War - Texas theater: calling in fire

Just this minute got a call from our buddy Darrell MacAlexander down in Houston, TX. Darrell is one of Gordon's movie cavalry buds, and has been his bugler on a number of pictures (Ride with the Devil, The Patriot, etc.) . I know many men talk about their ex-wife as "the woman from Hell", but in this case it may be pretty close to reality. "Psycho" is a euphamism. "Vindictive" is kind. "Self-serving" is generous. The divorce, which happened not long after we finished Patriot four years ago, was not benign, and their son (a minor at the time) became the object of a bitter custody battle...which the mother won. Against the desires of the son.

The boy is 17 yrs old. He is wheelchair-bound with a number of maladies. I believe MS is the biggie, but to add to his misery he also has scoliosis. So what was the call about? Against the wishes of this 17 year old boy, they carted him to the hospital and had the radical "steel rod up the spine" surgery. He has not been doing well, to put it mildly. Among other things, he has suffered a stroke and struggles with lucidity. The mother has gone all out to try to keep Darrell away from his son, and he's only been able to gain access to him a few times, during which visits he holds his hand and reads to him from the Bible and prays over him (activities which, needless to say, are not on the mother's menu).

The prayer chain is large and some big guns are being called in. Please join the strike force and pray for this situation. For healing for the son (also named Darrell), and for victory in the legal tangles that are plaguing this situation. It has been my impression that this woman has used this boy over the last four years purely as a weapon against his father, to twit him any way she can. The wishes, feelings, and well-being of this kid don't seem to mean squat to her. Let's get some artillery fire on this LZ before it gets even uglier. Thanks.

Friday, August 27, 2004

What I did today...

I cleaned the catboxes. I only mention it because it was the one thing I did that was actually on my list of things to do. Of note is the fact that I finally got paid for that Japanese TV show (July 13) I did over a month ago. this enabled me to do some major shopping yesterday and today: flour, cornmeal, brown rice, hamburger, chicken...lots of staples.

Looks like I may have to buy eggs for the first time in months, because Iris (grey chicken) hasn't laid for days. Looks like she's molting, too. I'm gathering quite a collection of feathers for the fly fisherman across the street. It comes of being crabby, I think. She won't let me catch her anymore for "love", while Henrietta (red chicken) is always happy for a pat on the back.

Other than that...Gimli is turning into the Tasmanian Devil. As soon as I have the cash he's going in for the operation. Today he climbed a "tree" about 1 1/2" in diameter and hung swaying about 7' off the ground swatting at me while I talked to a neighbor. He's special.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Angels & Demons & Codes; oh my!

Finished reading Angels & Demons last night in a typical late night page turning frenzy. Once I got past the first 240 pages, chock full of church/Christian/faith-bashing, it settled into being an amusing, if not particularly elegently-written, adventure thriller. I'll be curious to see what Brown cranks out next, because A&D and Da Vinci Code are virtually the same novel...


Back in the Saddle

One month after his high-speed encounter with rocky hardpan on Mt. Diablo (see "Weekend Warriors" 1 & 2) courtesy of Twister the Amazingly Touchy Horse (aka the prince & the pea), Gordon drove us out to the stables to "see the ponies". We actually saddled up and rode in the arena for a few minutes, which was good for them and us. Gordon, wisely, didn't push things. Even after only 2o min or so his ribs (separated) were starting to ache. Plus, Twister has lost his rear left shoe somewhere. Kids.

Sword Discussion: weapon, tool & symbol of faith

Alert surfer Gordon gave me a heads up on this interesting discussion over at My Armory on the sword as symbol and tool. Is the image of the knight kneeling with his sword held in front of him like a cross mere Victorian romanticism, or does it have some basis in fact? I suspect Victorianism/pre-Raphaelite-ism, but this may be an outgrowth of the 14th century Cult of Chivalry nonsense.

Regaining Our Sense of Quality

A friend of Gordon's loaned us his DVD boxed set of Hallmark's Lonesome Dove collection: Dead Man's Walk, Lonesome Dove, and Streets of Laredo. We started the first one today(well, technically yesterday since I'm up waaay too late), but only made it about 15 minutes in before chucking in the towel. Bad history and material culture faux pas aside, it was just bad filmmaking. When Gordon walks away from a western you know it's bad. The thing of it is, a year ago he probably would have stuck with it. Why? He said it before I could: our standards are higher because we don't watch TV anymore. More accurately, the only time we turn on the tube is to watch a movie or something else pre-recorded. We don't get cable, satellite, or even local broadcast these days...and we don't miss it.

What does watching the shlock that passes for entertainment do to people? It dulls them to the point that they think mediocre movies are worth watching. Watch enough drivel and even an Adam Sandler movie becomes bearable (by comparison, I guess). My time is too precious. I would have sat through the Larry McMurtry train wreck just to be sociable for my hubby, but luckily he lost patience pretty quickly. Lonesome Dove is pretty well-made, but neither of us were up for that depression-filled epic just now, so we went back to our books...


I logged out (don't ask why) and now can't get back in!!! I'm posting this from Gordon's computer. I've tried everything: clearing cookies, clearing cache, making sure Java was enabled (it was)...this is nuts! I even uninstalled SpyBot...all to no avail. I've emailed the service folks at Blogger but just keep getting a notice to clear my cache...help!

Update: I finally cleared my "blocked cookies" file and life is back to normal. I must have been in a blocking frenzy one day and blocked something I shouldn't have. Duh...

Friday, August 20, 2004

What Purpose College?

Helpful, real-world discussion going on over at the Boar's Head re. college and whether it's worth it or not. Lots of good input, but I like this post by Jack Heald ("'Education' and 'School' are not necessarily the same thing...) the best.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Hot Weather Bites

Just checked the forecast...and we're going to drop 10-15 degrees in the next few days! Wooo! I guess the whole West coast has been plagued with unusual heat...which is NOT unusual down here, usually. This poor little house (ca. 1946) has NO insulation to speak of, and leaky windows; so we roast on hot afternoons until it's cool enough to open the few screened windows and doors we have. Erk. Anyway...put in an application at Trader Joe's yesterday, too.
Manager: "Why do you want to work here?"
"Well, I shop here constantly...and it's three blocks from my house." To which the food sample girl chimes in, "So she won't always be late like me!!" :-D

Also, I think I'm going to bite the bullet and start holding small dance classes in the front room. This will force me to clean house at least once a week (the horror). Plus it will get me off my hinder and back in shape. We'll see what the man has to say. I'm guessing anything that generates income will be approved.

Monday, August 16, 2004

First Application...

...Barnes & Noble. Books are good. You can't eat them...but can you have too many?

Pounding the Pavement

Money is tight. Gordon has been pretty much laid up since his horse wreck. I'm going to look for a part-time job. Since I hate working outside the house, I'm going to look for work at places I like to go, like book stores and Trader Joe's. Stay tuned...

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Missing Stella

My youngest cat, 7 mo. old Gimli, is missing his little "cousin" Estella, who was visiting all last week. Just now he found an old collar of hers (blue, with a little bell). He is carrying it around and crying pitifully. I hate to anthropomorphize, but I really think he misses his little friend :-( Eric (the alpha) will need to be on his guard...

Friday, August 13, 2004

Ben Stein Testifies!

This just in from my pal Wm. Dunniway: "Subject: Ben Stein's Final Article I never really gave Ben Stein too much thought, other than I considered him one of the premier dry witted comics. His article is truly one to be reasoned with. Reading it puts the 'rich and famous' of Hollywood on notice. For many years Ben Stein has written a biweekly column for the online website called Monday Night At Morton's. Now, Ben is terminating the column to move on to other things in his life. Reading his final column is worth a few minutes of your time because it praises the most unselfish among us; our military personnel and others who protect us daily and portrays a valuable lesson learned in his life." Read article...

Robert Farrar Capon: my first go

There is much discussion of the writings of Robert Farrar Capon at any given time over at the Boar's Head Tavern, so I thought I'd give him a look-see. The local library didn't have much, so I'm trying Health, Money, and Love: And Why We Don't Enjoy Them. I feel like a bit of a Philistine, because I'm not "taking" to it right away, but once I get used to his style I'm sure the quality of his subject matter will shine through. Am I just an anti-Ent, or does he seem to take a long while to get to the point? Hoom hom...

This just in: "American Prophecies"

cover The American Prophecies Debuts at #10 on NYT List
BRENTWOOD, Tenn., Aug 6, 2004 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ --

"Tremendous pre-sale demand has put the recently published, The American Prophecies (Warner Faith Hardcover/August 2004), on the New York Times bestseller list before its official release date- a nearly unheard of feat for any book. The American Prophecies will debut at No. 10 on the August 15 List, just days after its official release on August 9.

"In his latest book, noted Middle East analyst Michael D. Evans sheds light on political events from a prophetic perspective. He reveals how the hatred from the Arab world for the West, and toward America in particular, can be traced entirely to this nation's identification with Israel. 'America flirts with danger,' Evans says, 'when it accommodates the Arab world merely for the sake of oil.' According to Evans, hatred for America began long before September 11, 2001. America is targeted because of its friendship with Israel, its foundation on a Judeo-Christian system, and its basis in democracy. All of these factors contribute to the enmity of terrorist groups and, he suggests, the attacks will continue."

A Nice Visit

Gordon's oldest, Lizzie, spent the week on a temp job here in town and camping out with us (with her terrorist kitten :-O). It was kind of fun getting to know her a bit better (she's been away at college or in Oakland with her fiance since before her dad and I finally married). She's good people and seems to have her head on straight. She's a pretty typical college-aged person who is asking the questions she should and finding out who she is...but atypical in that she already seems to have her life partner picked out. Hey, not everybody is cut out for the "Ranger" existence I fell into early on, with a long perilous quest and nomadic lifestyle before finally finding a fellow warrior to hook up with.

It's interesting to hear her talk about her future in-laws, a very "high strung" set of intellectual over-achievers and academics. She feels a bit sub-standard around them at times, which she shouldn't, but I understand her position and can empathize. When I was her age I was peripherally part of a group of friends by way of my best girlfriend Angela. Not only was I a middle-class, Protestant, tea-totaller undergrad while they were (mostly) Catholic, upper-crusty, graduate types, but I was also the youngest by far. Even now, when I see this gang on occasional visits to Seattle, I still feel like a "poor relation" in the culture, intellect, and social status departments. When we would go to movies or on other outings I was forever in fear of committing some faux pas or another, and much of their conversation was outside of my experience. It's totally irrational, because if they had seen me as some kind of misfit they wouldn't have invited me along when they did. Nevertheless, I still felt oafish much of the time.

It sounds trite, but she's marrying in to a family who loves her for what she is, not what she isn't. Most of this family are well into high-power careers, and she is fresh out of a four-year degree. Frankly, it sounds like she has a lot to offer them, as well, in terms of just, well, lightening up a bit. I'm sure her future husband seems a bit "type-A" at times, but this can be a very good thing if channelled in constructive ways. Trust me, it's harder to channel a lack of enthusiasm...I speak from personal experience.


As you can see, I'm getting a handle on posting (or rather "linking to") pictures and adding content to the sidebar. It's starting to be the kind of page I like. Have I mentioned I'm a WYSIWYG* weenie? I hate HTML code...I just haven't used it enough for it to make sense to me, so it's a lot of copying what I think is the right code, then tweaking it until it finally does something close to what I want (read: it's a pain in the patootie).

* "What you see is what you get" or "graphic interface (GUI)"

Learning this new blog thing

Well, a short while ago I started this new blog, and I'm still struggling with formatting it. I'm having a heckuva time trying to figure out how to link to pictures so I can put one in my profile and in the text of my entries. I've just noticed that it's 0100!!!! I started this a couple of hours ago and now I have a headache. Time to crash...

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Patrick Gaul runs the arquebusiers through their drill Posted by Hello

Nicholas Worthington schools the company of Foote Posted by Hello

Dame Juliana presides over the Military camp Posted by Hello

A Visit to Ye Faire...

We made the (almost) annual pilgrimage to the N Cal Ren Faire last Saturday. It was our only window of opportunity for this year, and so, of course, it was the hottest day of the faire this year! I am fated to never visit a Ren Faire in California and be comfortable. The idea of re-enacting the Renaissance in Summer in California is ludicrous to begin with, but, there it is. As usual, I have pictures of other people, but not me...and not even Gordon (oops!). The sun fried my brain and I became the Incredible Stupid Melted Person after a very short while.
I did manage to catch Hahbi 'Ru's early show (before I turned completely to slag), and it alone was worth the price of admission. They are pretty much without reservation my favorite troupe of ME dancers! If I lived closer to the Bay Area you can bet I'd be auditioning for them. Probably wouldn't make the cut, but then I'd have a good excuse to take classes from one of them! Anyway...they opened with a nifty Tunisian number (see pic above) which was SO REFRESHING after Suhaila (bless her heart) and her "solid gold dancer" choreographies. Don't get me wrong, Suhaila's troupe (pic above) is hot...but not really olde tyme dancing. Anyway...when I see a truly outstanding live performance it can literally bring tears to my eyes, and I did some significant sniffling at this show!