Thursday, April 30, 2009

More Signs of Panic

The State of Quintana Roo has shut down bars and restaurants on the Mexican Riveria:

"As a further preventive measures, the government of Quintana Roo ordered the closure of nightclubs, bars and restaurants with capacity to serve more than 80 people in Cancun and the Riviera Maya. Ecotourism parks Xcaret and Xel-Ha also were closed."

HT: A Canuck in Cancun

In fun local news, two HISD schools and one private school (Episcopal HS) closed today; the HISD schools each had an unconfirmed swine flu case and EHS had one confirmed case.

"Three Houston schools aren't holding classes today, shut down in an attempt to prevent the spread of a swine flu outbreak that has spread to at least two area residents, including the city's first case announced today." [my emphasis]

Oh my goodness! TWO AREA RESIDENTS! Goodness gracious, whatever shall we do? Sound the alarm, call Scotland Yard!*


*Peter Pan

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The End: Coming to a State Near You

Texas has suspended all high school athletic competitions until at least May 11th.

Apocalyptic, isn't it?

Monday, April 27, 2009

Fly By

It was refreshing to see (or hear, rather) NPR get up off its knee pads for five minutes today during their story of the White House NYC photo op disaster. The NPR reporter described the panic that ensued in NY and NJ, discussed how furious the mayor was, and then ended his report by saying (in paraphrase): well, at least they got some good pictures - it was a bright, sunny day ... [long pause] ... just like September 11th.


Quote for the Day

"When I come before the judgment throne, I will plead the promise of God in the shed blood of Jesus Christ.

I will not plead any work that I have done, although I will thank God that he has enabled me to do some good.

I will plead no merits other than the merits of Christ, knowing that the merits of Mary and the saints are all from him; and for their company, their example, and their prayers throughout my earthly life I will give everlasting thanks.

I will not plead that I had faith, for sometimes I was unsure of my faith, and in any event that would be to turn faith into a meritorious work of my own.

I will not plead that I held the correct understanding of "justification by faith alone," although I will thank God that he led me to know ever more fully the great truth that much misunderstood formulation was intended to protect.

Whatever little growth in holiness I have experienced, whatever strength I have received from the company of the saints, whatever understanding I have attained of God and his ways--these and all other gifts I have received I will bring gratefully to the throne. But in seeking entry to that heavenly kingdom, I will, with Dysmas, look to Christ and Christ alone.

Then I hope to hear him say, "Today you will be with me in paradise," as I hope with all my being--because, although looking to him alone, I am not alone--he will say to all."

--- Richard John Neuhaus, Death on a Friday Afternoon

Friday, April 24, 2009


That's me, crabby, cranky, you name it. Why? Well, this time it's because of this ridiculously misleading entry on the Joshua Project's website.

What the JP does here is misleading in 2 ways - first, they use the term "Bosniaks" and "Bosnians" interchangably, despite the fact that the first refers to the Muslim population of the country of Bosnia, and the latter refers to all citizens of that country. JP further confuses the issue by stating in 2 different places that the population of the country, the number of Bosnian language speakers and the number of "unreached" people all equal 1.9 million. How can this be if the CIA Factbook stated in 1991 that the country was more than 50% Christian?

My suspicion is, of course, that the Christians in Bosnia don't count as Christian for people at JP. They aren't the right kind, you see. They're Orthodox Christians and Roman Catholic (you remember, those two churches that have been around since the Book of Acts); the "unreached" kind of Christian, at least if you're an Evangelical.

Sometimes you gotta wonder about some people ...

Autism and Antibodies

A summary of an interesting study done that indicates that a mother's antibodies developed during pregnancy may contribute to the development of autism in her child.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Sopranos Go To Washington

An offer he can't refuse ...

Chicago politics have always been like this; why is anyone surprised?

HT: Instapundit

The Other Art Teacher

When we left art classes for the last time on Tuesday, Two also had his own style of encounter with his teacher, with whom he has taken classes for two semesters. He gave Ms. G. a big hug, told her she was the best art teacher he'd ever had!, and then winked at her.

As we left the room and started down the hall, he skipped along, then stopped and said in a self-satisfied voice "there, I did it. AND I gave Ms. G. a wink." Skipping resumed, until we turned the corner to climb the stairs to pick up One.

Sometimes I think "if only that child knew the power of those winks of his!" And then I realize ... he does.

If cheerleaders start calling in Middle School I'm disconnecting the phone. That's all I'm sayin'.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Get Out of this Car Right this Minute!

Did this mom do the right thing or the wrong thing? 10 and 12 years old? I'm maybe thinking, no harm, no foul ...

One way or the other, you have to sympathize.

HT Ann Althouse

The Art Teacher

Yesterday was the last day of art class for the boys, and One's sculpture teacher bid him farewell with this:

"Goodbye One, It's been great having you in class. Someday you'll grow into that head of yours."

It was a compliment, of this I am sure.

Earlier in the year he asked me if the boys "were Montessori". When I assented, he responded "you can always tell ... they think differently from the other children."

I love it. Thanks, Mr. D.

Earth Day, Earth Day - Oh Joy, Oh Joy!

It's the annual week for child indoctrination at school, otherwise known as Earth Week. Somehow Earth Day has morphed into an entire week, and our otherwise delightful school uses it to best advantage to teach the children how awful it is we live in a modern society that allows their parents to earn enough money to pay the tuition at said school, and to own cars that allow them to drive said children miles and miles to said school (we have +30 zip codes represented at school, so many of us have a solid school commute every day - ours is 13 miles each way).

Ahhh, the sweet smell of white jasmine in the Texas springtime air - or is that hypocrisy I smell instead? Oh, never mind. There's really nothing like being lectured by a fully-indoctrinated 9 year old on water usage. He went to town on all of us last night, and I gently steered the conversation towards the need for people around the world to have access to clean water. When the Earth-worshippers start caring about people more than they care about nature - and by that I don't mean me, but people in the developing world who truly need more of us to care about them and help them - perhaps I'll be a little more willing to listen to a lecture about how the world will end if I don't turn off the water while brushing my teeth.

Tonight I think we'll celebrate the Earth by eating high on the food chain and running the AC at 72. Protein is good for growing boys, after all. Steak, anyone?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Juvenile Doesn't Even Begin to Cover it

Ann Althouse has a summary of some of the puerile comments made by the media yesterday while reporting on the nationwide Tea Parties. Go ahead, read it. You need to be so nauseated you miss a meal. Consider it a short-term diet.

Every single one of these "journalists" should be fired for some of the most crass behavior on TV outside of South Park, and for a complete lack of anything remotely resembling professionalism.

I think I'm going to puke. Living in this alternative universe makes me dizzy.

The "S" Word

Well, I can't say I agree with Governor Rick Perry's legal reasoning, but I have to give Captain Blowdry credit for the first time ever - yesterday he said that if Texans weren't happy, we might just secede.

Yes! We just might, damnit!

And for the Texas governor to stand up and say so took guts.

"There's a lot of different scenarios," Perry said in Austin. "We've got a great union. There's absolutely no reason to dissolve it. But if Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people, you know, who knows what might come out of that. But Texas is a very unique place, and we're a pretty independent lot to boot."

From here.

Amen, Governor Perry.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Psalm 148

Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord from the heavens, praise Him in the heights! Praise Him, all His angels! Praise Him, all His host! Praise Him, sun and moon! Praise Him, all you shining stars! Praise Him, you highest heavens, and you waters above the heavens! Let them praise the name of the Lord! For He commanded and they were created. And He established them for ever and ever; He fixed their bounds which cannot be passed. Praise the Lord from earth, you sea monsters and all deeps, fire and hail, snow and frost, stormy wind fulfilling His command! Mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars! Beasts and all cattle, creeping things and flying birds! Kings of the earth and all peoples, princes and all rulers of the earth! Young men and maidens together, old men and children! Let them praise the name of the Lord, for His name alone is exalted; His glory is above earth and heaven. He has raised up a horn for His people, praise for all His saints, for the people of Israel who are near Him. Praise The Lord!

Just trying to remember what's really important...

Right Wing Extremism

You have to read this DHS report that came out yesterday - quelle surprise - the day before the Tea Party events were scheduled. Apparently, right wing extremism is on the rise, and it might lead to domestic terrorism. Yup, sure. Here's a brief description of who they're worried about:

"Rightwing extremism in the United States can be broadly divided into those groups, movements, and adherents that are primarily hate-oriented (based on hatred of particular religious, racial or ethnic groups), and those that are mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely. It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration." [my emphasis]

Is this the Chicago Political Machine in action or what? Don't fight your opponents on the issues - bring them down however you can. Use your government cronies for personal attacks, whatever it takes - that's the way things are done in Chicago - oh, excuse me - Washington, DC.

A New Toy

I think Two is just the right age for this, don't you?

What is it, you ask? Why. it's the Playmobil Wine Bar. I absolutely love it!

HT: Instapundit and Toy Whimsy

Tax Protest Press Coverage

Is quite a few places today, even in the mainstream media!

NY Times
ABC News
CBS News
Fox News
LA Times
Boston Globe
Austin American Statesman

I am so pleasantly surprised to find the MSM reporting the news. What a treat!

Happy Tax Day

From PJ O'Rourke:

"Pete Sepp of the National Taxpayers Union did some complicated mathematics and says, 'By my reckoning, somewhere between 85 and 95 million households out of 115 million total have a smaller tax liability than the per-capita spending burden.' The breadwinners for 18 to 26 percent of our households are shoveling coal in the engine rooms of the ship of state, while everybody else is a stowaway, necking with Kate Winslet like Leonardo DiCaprio in Titanic."

Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy, doesn't it, to know that roughly 80% of the households in the US get more in taxpayer-paid-for benefits than they pay out in taxes each year? Yeah. Me too.

Tea Again Today

Here is a beautiful map of all the Tea Party protests going on today - over 450 events listed.

Find one near you and get there! Do something constructive with April 15th - the day the government officially steals our hard-earned money and throws it away.

Also, read Glenn Reynolds in the WSJ today; he makes a lot of good points about the Tea Party movement and how its message is less Republican-oriented and more "throw ALL the bums out".

"...that's the good news and the bad news for Democrats. It's not a big Republican effort. It's a big popular effort. But a mass movement of ordinary people who don't feel that their voices are being heard doesn't bode well for the party that positioned itself as the organ of hope and change."

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Busy Houston

Today through the 19th, Wordless Days has some pictures from the one of the busiest parts of Houston, the Galleria. Enjoy.

Monday, April 13, 2009

I Was Happy

I was fairly happy today, even though I discovered the TAX DEFICIENCY from Hell late this afternoon, but now, I'm not. Chocolate is in my immediate future.


I learned about this:

The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence Annual Easter gathering:

A sample of the schedule:

11a to Noon: Children's Easter
Noon to 2p: Live Entertainment
1p: Bonnet Contest, with Beach Blanket Babylon
3:40p: Hunky Jesus Contest

Yes, if you live in San Francisco, you too can take your children to see this:

Don't forget to stay for the highlight of the afternoon:

As we all know I am a well-known prude about such things. But really, honestly, GO FIND YOUR OWN DAMN HOLIDAY, PEOPLE!

Not in a Hurry

The boys, however, have other things besides hurrying on their minds:

Here they are with friends they made while I was picking up the tax return today.

Me, on a Sign

This sign is in the short-term parking at the boys's school; I'm considering taking it and wearing it around all the time.

What do you think?

A Dream Realized

Two checked a major personal goal off his list this afternoon:

He met Aflac the duck.

Tax Day Tea Party in Houston


WHEN: Wednesday April 15 , 4 p.m. until ?

WHERE: Jones Plaza, 600 Louisiana, Houston TX 77002 Google Map

THEME: Your tax dollars at work!

More info here.

Join us!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Oh Dear!

Towards the end of church today, during communion, Two whispered to me: "Mommy, someone touched my hair!" I asked him who it was, and he tried to make me turn my head to look at the three twenty-something young women behind us. Uh huh. He then got up and stood with his back against the pillar next to our pew, smiled, and winked at me. Immediately, like little birds came the sound of three voices twittering with laughter behind me - all in reponse to my six year old Romeo's wink.

In a church full of dark-haired women, what's the mother of a golden blond boy to do?

Friday, April 10, 2009

Putting One to Bed

One doesn't like to fall asleep, in part because his overactive imagination makes him prone to nightmares, and also because he knows if he fails to drop off, I will make him a large mug of this:

12 oz lowfat milk
1 scoop unflavored whey powder
generous squeeze honey
1 Yogi Tea - Bedtime flavored - tea bag

Combine the first 3 ingredients in a saucepan with a whisk, then add the teabag. Stir gently over very low heat until warm. Let rest for 5 minutes or so to allow the tea to steep a little more, pull out the tea bag (squeeze all the yumminess out before you pitch it), whisk one more time, and serve.

You will have one very sleepy youngster on your hands in a matter of minutes, I promise.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

On the Block

Casa Grass Widow:

Max, the block mascot:

Speedy Mc Nine Year Old:

I love playing in the street at sunset.

Mommy's Little Food Connoisseur

Two: "Raise your hand if you love pork rinds!"

Childless Society

Just to creep you out a little, Mark Steyn and cats from The Corner.

A Message to The Rich

Here is a wonderful piece by Bill Whittle at Pajamas Media:

"So let me now send a personal message to The Rich in America…

As an American and a patriot, I implore you – I go to my knees and beg you – LEAVE NOW.

Leave. Just go away. Retire to the Cayman Islands or Bermuda or wherever, but do it now, please, while you still have some love for this country. Close your companies, fire your employees, shutter your factories and offices, sell your property, and take all of that somewhere else… better yet: somewhere scenic but poverty-stricken. Somewhere that could use some wealth creation. Somewhere that people simply are grateful to have a job in the first place. Somewhere where you will be appreciated.

You are not welcome in America any more. Take your wealth and prosperity and inventiveness and hard work and vision and insight and bold risk-taking and joy in seeing growth and wealth creation and just go away – right now, before it’s too late. Because if you stay, Joel Berg and Barack Obama and Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi and Barney Frank and Chris Dodd will continue to come after you for more and more and more and they will not ever stop – not ever – until you are forced to flee. And when that day comes, you will go with not with fond remembrances and a desire to return home, but rather a black heart and hard and bitter memories."

And to which all I can say is, AMEN.

HT: Dr. Helen. Read the whole thing, as her husband would say.

Finally, an Answer!

I've found out why I was so skinny in high school.

Career Advice for a 9 Year Old

One has a passion for archaeology, but is 9 too young to give him some career advice?

"To sum up, my advice to young people who want to study archaeology is this. Become an engineer, a doctor or a lawyer, work four days a week at this well-paid and fulfilling job, and devote the fifth day to amateur archaeology. Because archaeology makes a really bad main career."


Full post here.

Sometimes You Feel Like a Nut ...

Are nut bans for children really necessary, and are they reasonable given the risk involved?

A NYT article worth reading.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Dad Interview

I stole this from Nicole at Here's the Diehl, and boy was it fun!

1. What is something dad always says to you?
One – Hmmm. “To the moon, Alice, to the moon!” – whenever I ask where we’re going to eat

2. What makes dad happy?
One – Good food and being with us
Two – I’m trying to guess here. Us being here

3. What makes dad sad?
One – Having to work too much and not getting to see us
Two – When we’re not here

4. How does your dad make you laugh?
One – Tickling and jokes
Two – When he’s tickling me

5. What was your dad like as a child?
One – Bullied by his brother
Two –Um. A baby

6. How old is your dad?
One – 40 this year
Two - 29

7. How tall is your dad?
One – 5’10 or 11
Two – From here to here (up on the bed with his hands over his head)

8. What is his favorite thing to do?
One – Be with us
Two – Stay home

9. What does your dad do when you’re not around?
One – I don’t know because we’re not around (He is sooooo pedantic sometimes!)
Two – I don’t know. Eats maybe, I should say

10. If your dad becomes famous, what will it be for?
One – I don’t know
Two – That’s a hard one

11. What is your dad really good at?
One – Being funny
Two – Basketball

12. What is your dad not very good at?
One – At faking he’s sad
Two – That’s the hardest one of all

13. What does your dad do for his job?
One – He’s a lawyer. He argues (I love this answer)
Two – Works

14. What is your dad’s favorite food?
One – I can say Mexican, probably, but that’s only an educated guess
Two – Hot Italian

15. What makes you proud of your dad?
One – He’s such a good dad
Two – When he’s crazy (non-responsive?)

16. If your dad were a cartoon character, who would he be?
One – Snaggletooth
Two – Race Bannon

17. What do you and your dad do together?
One – Oh, play, joke, hang out
Two – Play

18. How are you and your dad the same?
One – Hmmm. I don’t really know
Two – Our skin is the same color

19. How are you and your dad different?
One – He’s older than me
Two – Because our hair – his is black and mine is gold-ish blond and long

20. How do you know your dad loves you?
One – He says so
Two – He hugs me

21. Where is your dad’s favorite place to go?
One – I’ve never asked him
Two – I think Schlitterbahns (Oh really? At least neither of them said Buc-ee's)

22. What is your dad’s favorite song?
One – Our House by Madness
Two – I don’t know because he turns on different music all the time

Tax Day Tea Party Map

Isn't this a beautiful picture? Come out and protest with thousands of your fellow citizens on April 15th!

More information here, and HT goes to Instapundit, of course.

How it's Done

Bellaire and Stafford police should take note:

"A [HPD] SWAT standoff at a barbershop on Houston's south side ended this morning after police stormed the building and subdued an armed man with help from a dog and a Taser...No shots were fired and no injuries were reported."

Watch and learn, boys.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Only the government can save you.

"A pregnant woman, her husband and their three-year-old son were killed in a house fire early yesterday as police who arrived before the fire brigade prevented neighbours from trying to save them. The woman screamed: “Please save my kids” from a bedroom window and neighbours tried to help but were beaten back by flames and were told by police not to attempt a rescue."

The police wanted everyone to wait for the firemen, you see.