To be insightful means to intuitively grasp things - an "aha!" moment!

About Me

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I am a member of the church of Christ. I have been writing things since I was little. Some have been printed, some posted. I write to teach or encourage; to blow off steam; and for fun! I had my own motorcycle in my 40s; I was a bluegrass music DJ for about 13 years; I've performed some. I am a member of the NRA. In 2003 (age 59), I became high partial legally blind; in 2005, I had to get hearing aids! Franklin Field said: "Poor eyes limit your sight; poor vision limits your deeds". And no kidding, the picture was made April, 2012!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOTHER

... who is 93 years old today. She lives 2 miles from me, in the house she designed and for which she drew the plans which the contractor used, and we all moved into August, 1959. Her father stayed with us some that summer in our old house, and he and I rode the city bus - I was 15, and came to the new house and did the inside painting and such. Mother packed lunches for us. Mother's from Oneonta, Alabama (pronounced ON-e-yan-tah, NOT "ahn-e ..."), and her grandfather built one of the covered bridges there, which still stands and was used until a year or so ago when some vandals tried to pull it down. It was used daily until that happened. Mother had 1 sister and 2 brothers. She's the only 1 left. She and Daddy married August 4, 1940. He passed to a better life on June 2, 2002, shortly before his 88th birthday, and 2 months before their 62nd wedding aniversary. I really miss Daddy and I know Mother misses him even more, but I'm glad that Mother is still here.

Friday, March 26, 2010

LOTTERY LOSERS

A couple of weeks ago, I posted some points about gambling. My sister sent a link to me which is worth looking up. On March 16, 2006, Andy Rooney, on CBS-TV's "60 Minutes", did a bit about lottery losers. He makes some good points. You can find it by searching "lottery losers". I also found a link to lottery loser stories. You might think twice about going to a casino, or a "charity bingo" place. Just because something is legal does not mean it is right.

One Saturday maybe 8 years ago, out of curiosity, I decided to pay $20 and ride a tour bus to Philadephia, Mississippi, to the casino. Because I do not gamble, I took along a book to read. That was my first and only time inside a casino.

The bus ride was OK, but it seemed that most of the riders were older women who didn't look like they had much of this world's goods. Inside the casino, the noise was almost deafening. The place was dark, except for a lot of lights, including strobes, which were enough to make you think you were hallucinating. You were directed to a counter to get $10 in coins and a voucher for a meal. I headed for the restaurant, stayed a good while, and ate too much. There were a few little shops, and I bought 2 bracelets for almost nothing. There was no place to sit other than in front of the slot machines. The day was nice, so I went outside and sat on the ground until time for the bus to leave.

It seemed that there were no "winners" on the way home because, while the trip there was like a noisy party, the trip back was mostly quiet. I wonder how much rent and food money was throw away. I won't say "lost" because I know where the money went. The only "winners" are the casino owners.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Two Days of RIDING the BUS

While this is not quite typical, it will give you an idea of riding both MAX VIP (our Metro Area eXpress paratransit, door-to-door scheduled buses) and MAX fixed route buses. I no longer have sufficient sight to drive safely. I had made plans to take last Thursday off and do 2 things, so decided to also go to a store, and had scheduled VIP. Plans for Friday were unexpected, with no time to schedule VIP, so I had to ride the big buses that run a fixed route. We do not have the best service, but I'm glad we do have bus service. Some was good; some OK; some problems the fault of some of the bus personnel; some the fault of a doctor.

Thursday:
8:30 a.m. VIP at my house to go to the doctor about 14 miles away.
10 a.m. appointment; I took crocheting to do while waiting.
11 a.m. VIP to go to a restaurant to meet a notary to sign some papers. Our appointment was at 1. I ate lunch and the notary arrived at 12:30. Called VIP dispatch to let them know I was ready about 45 minutes earlier than my scheduled pickup time, hoping there would be an available driver in the area.
Driver got me at my scheduled time. Said she could have gotten me earlier because someone on her manifest canceled. Dispatcher never radioed to let her know I was ready early. Driver took me to the store, was finished there earlier than planned but didn't waste my breathe to call dispatch to let them know I was ready early. Just waited inside the store door until the bus came.
5:30 p.m. - home.

Friday:
Doctor the previous day had written a scrip for me to have a non-invasive out-patient procedure at a hospital about 4 blocks from the doctor's office. Because of meeting the notary (a necessity), I didn't have the time to do that right after seeing the doctor. The doctor said I could "walk in" anytime at the hospital. The place where friend Shane works was closed this day, and he offered to go with me even though he didn't need to (he's 4 years younger than my son, also legally blind but, like me, with a good bit of usable sight; maybe I'll "adopt" him!), and I told him he could go back home any time he wanted to. He stuck it out and, as you'll see, it was a LONG day!

6:45 a.m. - about 36 degrees. Out the door to wait for 25 (route number of the bus that goes on the street 1/2 block from my house). Bus ran on time. Friend got on nearest his house, about 4 miles toward town.
8 a.m. arrived on time at Central Station.
8:35 - the route 14 bus was also on time.
9 a.m. - got off at the stop nearest the hospital, and walked there.
9:15 - got signed in at admitting and got an ID wrist band. Turned out the doctor should have made an appointment for me. Was told that if we had other things to do, OK, and if I returned about 1:00, they could probably work me in. I told them we didn't see well enough to drive, and had ridden the bus. I think they felt sorry for us!
9:30 - walked about 3 blocks to a drug store and got snacks. By now the temperature had warmed to 55 or 60! We sat at a concrete table and bench next door to the drug store and talked and ate.
12:30 - back to the hospital.
1:00 - was taken in for the test, and all was well.
1:30 - walked about 4 blocks to Subway for a late lunch.
2:00 - waited about 30 minutes for the trolley back to downtown but it never showed; maybe broke down or shift change, so walked 7 long blocks to the nearest street where most of the buses go on the way back to Central Station.
3:15 - got the first bus that came by.
4:00 - got one of the 2 buses that goes toward home.
4:50 - got off at Wal-Mart, went inside, bought a couple of things, ending with each of us getting a hot fudge sundae at McDonald's.
5:40 - got 25 on home, with Friend getting off nearest his house, and me riding on of course.
6:15 p.m. I walked in my door.
All 5 drivers were nice.

Even if I'd been taken on in at the hospital, to ride the fixed route buses there and back would still have taken me 5-or-6 hours, even though the hospital is only 14 1/2 miles from my house.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The ORIGINS of EASTER

I celebrate every Sunday as a very special day. We are commanded to remember the Lord's resurrection every Sunday, not just once a year.

Did you know that Easter, as with Christmas, is rooted in paganism and Catholicism?

Many people celebrate Easter as a very special Sunday, with the same importance they place on Christmas. It is one of two times a year that nearly everyone who claims to be religious attends some kind of church service. In some countries, the whole week from "Palm" Sunday to "Easter" is a holiday, but there is nothing in the Bible that makes this Sunday any more special than any other Sunday.

The word "easter" most likely comes from the name of an Anglo-Saxon goddess of fertility and spring, "Eostre". In her honor, sacrifices and gifts were offered at the vernal equinox - the beginning of spring. The word "easter" is used once in the Bible (Acts 12:4) in the King James' Version. Everywhere else, this same Greek word is correctly translated "passover".

Eggs symbolized new life that returns to nature in the spring. Ancient Egyptians and others dyed eggs in spring colors and gave them to friends, to "assure" a fertile, productive year. Like eggs, how appropriate that the rabbit also symbolized new life and fertility.

Often when Christians went into areas where pagan gods were worshipped, instead of encouraging the people to leave their pagan rituals, they were permitted to keep their pagan signs and ceremonies, but with a "Christian" substitution.

Soon after the death of the apostles, many Jews continued to keep their customs and religious practices even after they became Christians. The Passover, an important Jewish feast instituted by God through Moses, commemorated their deliverance from Egypt. It was during this feast that Jesus instituted the "Lord's Supper", thus Passover was then changed to remember Christ's death, as He died during Passover week and was offered as the Passover lamb for our sins (1 Cor. 5:7-8). It became a yearly observance - even though Christ instituted the Lord's Supper (not Passover) as the proper way to remember His death, burial, and resurrection (Lk. 22:14-20; 1 Cor. 11:23-26). Biblical and historical evidence indicate that the Lord's Supper was a weekly observance (Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 11:20-22; 10:16-17). The annual "Christian Passover" soon included other observances of "Passion" week, beginning with "Palm" Sunday. "Resurrection" Sunday, the day Jesus arose, became known as Easter.

Pope Victor I (A.D. 189-198) was influential in having an annual celebration of Jesus' resurrection on a Sunday. The Council of Nicaea (A.D. 325) laid grounds for all churches to celebrate on the same Sunday. By the 8th century, nearly all church leaders had begun to apply "Eostre" rituals and symbols to Christ's resurrection.

Jesus condemned the scribes and Pharisees for making traditions take the place of God's laws (Mt. 7:1-13). The apostle Paul observed some Jewish laws when it was expedient (1 Cor. 9:19-20; Acts 15: 1, 5; 16:1-3). If some still wanted to have lamb and eggs and bitter herbs, and to remember how God had delivered them from bondage, and to circumcise their sons, that was fine. The problem arose when some tried to bind practices on others as a requirement for salvation, when the Bible no longer required such. See Rom. 14:5-6; Gal. 2:3-5; 5:4-5; Col. 2:16-17.

Having special Easter observances in worship is going beyond the Scriptures - we are to abide in the Doctrine of Christ (2 Jn. 9; 1 Pet. 4:11).

So answer these questions for yourself. Can I observe "Easter" Sunday as a religious holiday? Can I have chocolate bunnies and colored eggs? Can I have lamb for lunch that day? Can that be a special day with my family?

- by Netagene, April, 2001. This has been printed in at least 2 church bulletins. References I used were The Interactive Bibel (http://www.bible.ca/), mostly "Easter: A Historical and Biblical Perspective"; also "Jesus Christ's Arrest, Trial, and Crucifixion" by Mario Seiglio (in "The Good News", a publication of the United Church of God, May/June 2000), and The Sierra Reference Encyclopedia.

Monday, March 15, 2010

GOD's NAME

I call the Name of Jesus, or Lord God when I pray.
The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are not by-words to say!
It bothers me to hear someone who takes God's Name in vain.
If I ever slip and do that, I know I'll be ashamed.
Some things are often cut, like saying "Golly Gee!" -
It's short for "God" and "Jesus". How can you speak so free!!!
Or "Jesus Christ!" - you just blurt out. I think, "What did you say???"
Why not use your own name, rather than He who made the day?
Or "Jesus, Mary, Joseph!" or sometimes "Holy Cow!"
Or sometimes "Lordy, Lordy" - the One to whom we bow.
I hear so often, "Oh my God!" or shorter: "O M G!"
A euphemism some things are - slang for Deity.
So you profane The Almighty, He who made us all!
What if such words are on your lips just as Death comes to call?
The Word says to judge rightly. It's not me putting blame.
It's not just "wrong" - it's sinful
To use God's Name in vain.

- written today by Netagene -

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Short funny old one

I told you I was leaving
As you were working in your shop.
I thought I saw you shed a little tear,
But you were building Spot a doghouse
As I was saying my goodbyes,
And what I thought was tears was only
Sawdust in your eyes.

- by Netagene, written February, 1985 -

Saturday, March 13, 2010

GAMBLING

Legalized gambling is constantly in the news here in Alabama. Of course if "charity" bingo was actually "charity", don't you think the Red Cross, Easter Seals, United Way, etc., would have been doing that years ago to raise money? I've also read that the "bingo" machines in the weeds that keep popping up overnight are nothing more than the usual "one-arm bandits", simply slot machines.

This is a bit long, but here are notes I took of a sermon that Steve Murrell preached on March 8, 2009 at the Huffman church of Christ here in Birmingham.

GAMBLING ... Consensual Theft

Gambling propogates an immoral, predatory, and exploitive industry. The amount of money does not alter the Biblical principles that it violates. Where do you draw the line?

1. Gambling breeds greed and covetousness - 1 Tim. 6:9-10. Take away the winnings. Would you play just for fun? Would casinos prosper? The love of money runs the industry.
2. Gambling violates the principles of stewardship - Mt. 25:14-30; Luke 12:42-43; 1 Cor. 4:1-2.
3. Gambling violates the "Golden Rule" - Phil. 2:4; Prov. 14:31; 22:16; Zech. 7:10. It is predicated on losses and the suffering of others and preys on the desperation of the poor. The poorest people (in the $10K range) spend an average of 10% of their income on gambling; those earning over $40K spend only 1%.
4. Gambling violates the principles of honest gain - Prov. 13:11; Acts 5:3-4; Eph. 4:28. The Bible gives 4 means of honest gain: honest work, fair exchange, investment (Mt. 25:14-30, esp. v. 26-27), gifts (Acts 20:35).
5. Gambling results in intemperance and addiction; otherwise, why have Gamblers' Anonymous? 1 Cor. 6:12. The results are often child abuse, domestic violence, divorce, suicide. (The National Gambling Impact Study Commission Act of 1996 [Publ.L. 104-169, 110 Stat. 1482, enacted Aug. 3, 1996] is an Act of Congress that was signed into law by President Bill Clinton. This legislation established the National Gambling Impact Study Commission in 1997 to conduct a comprehensive legal and factual study of the social and economic impacts of gambling in the United States. Results can be found at http://govinfo.library.unt.edu/ngisc/reports/fullrep.html)
6. Gambling sets a bad example/reputation - Prov. 22:1; causes others to sin (Mt. 18:6); shows lack of love (1 Cor. 8:13); and destroys influence (Mt. 5:13-14).
7. Gambling breeds other sins - things associated with gambling - Gal. 5:19-21; Col. 3:5. Is gambling a work of the flesh? or a fruit of the Spirit? Between 1992 (before gambling was legalized in Tunica, MS) and 1996, misdemeanors and felonies went from 689 to over 11,000.
8. Gambling destroys the home. In Biloxi, in 1992, before there was legalized gambling, the Gulf Coast Women's Crisis Center received 167 calls. In 1997, they had 715 calls, an increase in 4 years of 328%.
9. Gambling is associated with evil companions - 1 Cor. 15:33-34; Eph. 5:1-11; 1 Thes. 5:21-22.

Using Titus 2:12, is gambling:
Ungodliness?
Worldly lust?
Sober living?
Righteous living?
Godly living?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

MORE HOBBIES!

Deja is the 13 year old daughter of one of my co-workers. She took dance lessons from the time she was 2 years old 'til last year. Now in 7th grade, she dropped dance, but already has 2 years of clarinet lessons and is in the school band. I asked her mother, "Deja is into dance and music; what were YOUR hobbies when you were her age?" She looked kind of funny and said she didn't have any!

I know I am rather aimless, but I DO have hobbies and always have. I've told you about some, and shown pictures of some. One I haven't mentioned should be obvious: I like to write poems, articles, and songs.

Our library occasionally has a variety of free events that they call BPL@night, some weekday evenings 6:30 'til about 7:30 p.m. The library people set up a table with coffee, lemonade, water, and munchies.

The events are mostly in the main library downtown. I've seen/heard Carl Winters, the Kalimba King, playing African thumb piano, and singing; "After Class", all instrumentals, with hammered dulcimer, fiddle, guitar; a local improv troup (can't think what they are called - they do Shakespeare at Sloss Furnace); Delores Hydock, a professional storyteller; "Joy, the Queen of Clean", a local comedian; "Sam Banana and the Bunch", which started with some guys in a local high school glee club in the 50s and 60s who sound as good as Sha Na Na ... and so on. Tonight was a speaker, a local lady who's first novel was released this past January.

Irene Latham's lecture was entitled, "Writing What You Don't Know". She's married, white, probably early 40s - and "Leaving Gee's Bend" has as the "heroine", a 10-year-old black girl who's never been out of Gee's Bend. Her mother is sick and it's up to the little girl to go for help. If Gee's Bend sounds familiar, PBS has done a documentary on the quilters of Gee's Bend. You can do a search for it. Gee's Bend is a very small community on the Alabama River, SW of Montgomery.

I've actually written a couple of real short stories, one semi-autobiographical. Maybe I'll post it sometime, though it would have to be in a series. Seems I can't copy and paste to post here (or at least I haven't figured it out). It's 4 pages long, so would have to be 4-or-6 posts (or 1 that I would type a bit more every few days). Maybe I'll post it, but not tonight!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Remind me, Lord God

... that "This is the day the Lord hath made; we WILL rejoice and be glad in it." Psalm 118:24 (KJV - emphasis mine).

Saturday, March 6, 2010

In conclusion

It was 26 on my porch this morning, with frost. I waited 45 minutes for a bus that never came, only to learn that the driver missed the first couple of miles, and started the route at the community college 1/2 mile past my stop. Shane got on, called me, I called and woke Anthony (my neighbor who's often awake by then - it was 6:30), who then took me to WM. Frozen phlanges? They still hurt! Anthony was nice enough to come back to get us. Had we ridden the bus home (yes, it would have been the same driver), I'm sure both Shane and I would have felt like punching the driver for this morning's fiasco. Yes, I did e-mail the bus' executive director. Shane and I bought breakfast at McD's, then bought some for Anthony. Shane and I are an "odd couple": he's 38; I'm - ahem; with Anthony, we make an "odd trio": Shane and I are short and, shall we say, "chunky", white; Anthony's tall, slender, black. We have a great time together though, and it's especially nice to have a neighbor who doesn't mind being waked up to take a couple of blindies somewhere.

Then ... I'm sure I'm boring you but that's obviously not stopping me! ... Diana, my sister, was kind enough to take me to H&R Block to sign my tax stuff and pay for it. Then we went a few more places, and I treated her to lunch. She had some Hardee's coupons, which I used. I had a 1/3 pound thickburger and fries and a diet Dr Pepper. (I had diet Coke with McD's breakfast about 8:30 today, so I'm on a caffeine "high" this afternoon.) She had the same kind of burger, onion rings, and water. I've learned that one way to be able to eat all that meat - is not to eat but half the bun; those carbohydrates fill you up! It was the best burger I've had in a long time. The only "minus" was that there was only 1 thin slice of tomato (not vine-ripe either). I'm sure my arteries are yelling at me, but with all that protein, my brain should be OK! (Any questions as to what I mean, ask me.)

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