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!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Wednesday again

Not today of course! I actually got to the church house about 6:00 last night! Wonder of wonders! Worship is 6:30 to 7:30. The 4th Wednesday night of the month is singing night. Steve, our preacher and best song leader, and Marlene are on vacation this week. Charles made the announcements then we had a prayer. Danny took over the song leading chores. He said, "The song leaders, in this order, are me, Don, and Bill. After that the next 3 song leaders are me, Don, and Bill." The 3 men did a good job and it was enjoyable as usual. About a year ago, Steve asked me if I could write a song about a certain verse. The lyrics came easy but it's a pain to notate a song, so I not only don't have much on paper, but I can't find my notes! Then a couple of weeks ago, during a slow time at work, I wrote another set of lyrics, using the same Scripture! I do have that one about half notated. When I get it done, I'll try to get someone to scan it so that I can put it here.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

BAD in today's paper

Maybe I should title this "STUPID" ... some people are suing a casino for the money they lost when they played electronic bingo (nothing but slot machines of course). What happened to personal responsibility? I wonder who forced them to go to the casino and who forced them to drop their hard-earned (or government subsidy) money into the slots ...

Do some back-tracking and read what I've written about gambling.

GOOD in today's paper

GOOD also stands for the "Governor's Office On Disabilities" of which lawyer Graham Sisson heads. He is in a wheelchair because of an accident when he was a teen. He said that once years ago when he was downtown, wearing a suit and tie, and with a briefcase - dressed like a lawyer - waiting to cross the street, someone put some money in his lap - thinking he was begging!!!

In today's "Birmingham News" ... a 6-year-old boy who was born with no legs at all, only a few inches of an arm on his right side, and a complete left arm - is a competitor swimmer! He was adopted when he was a few days old by a couple here in Alabama who have 2 natural children, a few they've adopted, and a whole lot of foster children. The mother always teaches the children to swim, but the father thought this little boy never would. To her amazement one day, somehow he got into the pool - and was swimming! He can also drive a small battery-powered car, using his nub to start it, and steering with his left hand. Don't tell HIM he's handicapped!

I also read in today's paper, that yesterday the McWane Science Center downtown had special activities for handicapped people. I love that place - it's a lot of fun. Had I known, I think I would have chanced the heat and the crowds and been there!

And the reason for the McWane activities? Tomorrow is the 20th anniversary of the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act. There will be special events in a lot of cities, including here. It will be at the Sheraton Hotel downtown, from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. I'm taking the day off work to attend. I'm sure part of it will be boring, but I'm also sure a lot will be interesting and informative.

I said in the "about me" section that one of my favorite movies is "Murderball". It is, and I've seen the guys in person. It ties in with all of the above. Look it up!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

GUARD ME FROM EVIL

Devilish things hide in the darkness -
In the shadows of the nights -
So when I'm lured to watch bad things,
Lord, guard my eyes from evil sights.

Musical beats are often catchy -
Speech and lyrics ever abound -
But listen closely - some words are bad,
Lord, guard my ears from evil sounds.

We all learn from each other.
We repeat things we have heard.
Let what I say be pleasant.
Lord, guard my mouth from evil words.

Good and bad go into us -
Through eyes and ears, what we've been taught.
We only say what's in our hearts.
Lord, guard my mind from evil thoughts.

- by Netagene, written in a few minutes today - The last line of each verse is a 4-line prayer that friend Shane said this morning on the bus on the way to work. He said he thought about using only 1 line: "Guard all portals to or from my soul from evil", but I like his 4 simple lines much, much better. Don't you?

Here are a few appropriate verses: Exodus 23:2; Psalm 34:13-14; Proverbs 4:23; 13:3; Isaiah 29:13; Matthew 12:34; 15:11,19; I Peter 3:10-11.

It's Wednesday again

Remember what I wrote about last Wednesday? It happened again today ... off work as usual at 4:30 - driver did not get me until about 6 p.m. - a van rather than a bus - "sardines" - 7 plus the driver - I think all but one work at AIB (Alabama Industries for the Blind, in the back of the AIDB building). I got home about 7:15. Worship is 6:30 - 7:30. Sure wish our transit company had dedicated funding. If you've never read or seen the docu-drama, look up "Taken for a Ride". It's about how GM and others (if I remember correctly: Firestone and Standard Oil) pretty much killed city transit companies.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Meetings

I had a choice of 2 meetings to attend tonight. Our underfunded public transit company needs volunteers to ride the fixed routes and do counts of how many people get on and get off each stop. Yes, I know that that should be a paid job (and I think has been such in times past, with "temps"). There was to be a meeting at Central Station at 6 this evening for anyone interested in being such a volunteer. I had both called and e-mailed about it and was going to do it a few days.

But neighbor Anthony wanted us to go the the Neighborhood Association meeting, which was also tonight. I went to a few of those back when I could still drive, and Anthony went to the ones in the neighborhood where he used to live (the airport expansion got his house 2 years ago). Considering that there are some problems on the street where we live regarding noise, too many cars blocking the street and driveways, and some vandalism, that meeting was more important.

An officer from the East Precinct was there and was the first speaker. He mentioned a burglary a block from Anthony and me, and told of some young men who are in gangs. He said that he'd recently caught some of these, with the youngest being 14 and the oldest being 19 - and that one of the younger ones "talked" but when he caught another one on the kid's 18th birthday, this older one lied. He said it felt good to be able to take the older one as an adult now, because now he's off the streets for awhile.

No one from the fire station was there, but the policeman said there was only one fire in our neighborhood since the meeting a month ago.

Someone from the nearest library mentioned some events there, and someone from the mayor's office was there.

I think everyone spoke up with various issues: flooding in houses and yards because of a pipe (owned by the city) corroding, weeds and tall grass, garbage men not putting the cans back in the yards but throwing them in the street, trespassing, a new school going up with both a bar and a liquor store within 200 or 300 feet of the new school (the bar and store have been there for years) ...

The meeting started at 7 and lasted a little over an hour.

Speaking of the buses: I get off work at 4:30. Yesterday the driver didn't get me until 5:25, and I didn't get home until 7:45. I'd love to be able to quit my job - because of the bus situation.

And speaking of the mayor and city council: a few weeks, some man went to the council meeting, gave them a song and dance about his going to have a motorcycle rally which would bring in a lot of money to the city, but he needed $25,000. Without doing any investigating, the council gave the man the money! Then the promoter moved the rally to the next county, almost no one showed up, the man himself was at the rally only a couple of hours, had cashed the check and, according to the newspaper - turns out that he was a convicted felon. The council does not know where he - or that $25,000 - is.

So much for our mayor and city council. Look where greed got them. The bus company and other businesses sure could have used that $25,000. By the way, I didn't vote for these people.

(I am listing this as "family" because that's what we as neighbors should be.)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

CRYING

I don't cry easily, though sometimes I wish I could. But one thing always chokes me up so bad I can't speak and I even have trouble breathing. That is when someone is baptized for the forgiveness of their sins.

This morning, an elderly lady was baptized. All I remember is that her first name is Nancy. Steve preached a good sermon, as usual, about discipline, and today's was about the discipline of teaching. When the invitation song was sung, Ms. Nancy and a younger lady, I guess her daughter, walked to the front. I'm sure they already had planned to do so, because the sermon wasn't one to really cause someone to decide to become a Christian - it was more of an encouraging sermon for those of us who already are Christians.

I think it was the first time that Ms. Nancy, the younger lady, and a younger gentleman visited the church I attend. Turns out the younger couple was from Georgia. Ms. Nancy lives in Aliceville, a small town about 2 hours' drive SW of Birmingham. She'd recently had surgery here in Birmingham. She stated that she wanted to be SURE that she was baptized for the right reason - not to join some church, but to meet with the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ and have her sins washed away by His blood.

Of course it is always so touching when anyone decides to obey God (Mark 16:16) but even more so when an older person obeys.

And I cried and could not sing the closing songs.

The angels rejoice when one person is saved.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

WIP

I recently mentioned "WIP". That stands for "Work in Progress" and can apply to a lot of things. I am a WIP (aren't we all), but I usually refer to things I'm knitting or crocheting as a WIP. I always have several things going on at the same time.

Right now, on my porch swing, I have 2 crochet WIPS: an afghan (gift for my usual driver-to-worship), and a capelet. The afghan is grey, brick, medium sage, tan, with the MC (main color) being medium country blue. The pattern is "Jacob's Ladder" and I got it from the internet. I'm using worsted weight "I Love This Yarn" which is the store brand for Hobby Lobby.

The capelet is red, using "Vanna's Choice" yarn by Lion. The pattern is in a crochet book called "The Happy Hooker". I've sold a capelet in magenta, and one in white. I've also got 3 other capelet WIPs: one each in sapphire, grey, and black. I wasn't sure about using black (because of my sight) but it's the last of the capelets (so far!) so by now, I pretty much have the pattern memorized. Also, the yarn is worsted weight, so it's kind of large. I'm having to tie the knots and weave in the ends by feel though.

I also have a shawl WIP using white Lion silk mohair. I was on a roll with it and didn't realize that the last row is different, and almost ran out of yarn. The yarn is very fine (even with my eyesight, I can use it because the pattern calls for a size "I" hook) and so strong it's almost impossible to break, but because of the tiny, tiny fibers, it's also extremely hard to unravel.

(Another term for unraveling is "frogging", as in "ribbit" ... rip it! I think everyone who knits or crochets has to rip back sometimes. I've done that, usually when I have trouble figuring out a pattern. I've always been able to read a pattern, but lately find that frequently looking at a schematic is more helpful that the way the designer has written the directions. A "frogged" sweater, scarf, etc., is one in which the yarn is some that you've ripped - unraveled - from something else, maybe a thrift store item, or something you've knit or crocheted that either didn't turn out right, or you just gave up on making.)

I've GOT to stop buying yarn! It's hard to turn down when it's on sale. Used to, I bought it mostly from Michael's, but I also buy on line from Herrschner's, Patternworks, Annie's Attic, Joann's, Mary Maxim's, and once in awhile from another site or two. I usually look for the sale items. I usually buy the fancier books from CrochetMe and Interweave Press. (I crochet better than I knit.)

Because of riding paratransit buses, I usually have a WIP in my tote bag, and work on it while riding. Since I can't go out at lunch time, I work on things then, too. I've got enough yarn to keep me busy making things probably until the end of my life! Lately at least I've been buying more patterns and more pattern books.

I'll post a few pictures of these WIPs when they are no longer WIPs!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

FLOWERS for MOTHER

Flowers for Mother, though they're not home-grown.
It's the best I can do when you are alone.
All colors of flowers - I don't know what kind -
A mixture of odd ones - I hope you don't mind.
I know you are hurting in body and heart.
I wish I could help you, but where would I start?
I know that these flowers may not help at all,
But they'll break the monotony of the same ol' four walls.
The dead can't enjoy flowers, nor smell or see -
Flowers for funerals - that's wasteful to me.
Sometimes I send flowers - I don't usually plan -
I just send some flowers whenever I can.
So Mother, I thank God for you every day.
I ask Him to bless you each time that I pray.
Please know that I love you, and I know God cares,
So Mother, here's flowers, though I can't be there.

I wrote this in a few minutes today. Yesterday at work we got word that a lady who retired in April from over 30 years, is in the hospital in SICU. She had diverticulitis and had to have a foot of her colon removed, and had to be given 8 units of blood! I called a florist and ordered flowers for her (they'll be delivered when she's out of ICU), and while I was at it, ordered some for Mother. I asked for the cheapest they would deliver, but it still cost about 8 times as much as a bunch from the grocery store. I asked the florist to chunk in whatever odds and ends she had, along with carnations and daisies - all colors. When I can, I buy flowers from the grocery store for Mother, but only when my nephew takes me, and can take them to Mother. I started giving her flowers a lot not long after I moved back here. Even though we live only 2 miles apart, since I don't drive, it's hard for me to get to see her.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

WORSHIP SERVICES & Rides

The church I attend has Sunday Bible study at 9:30 a.m. (opening with a short prayer), then preaching service (every Sunday consisting of announcements, prayers, congregational singing, the Lord's Supper, the collection, and a sermon). Sunday afternoon we meet at 5 p.m. for another hour.

Wednesday evening service starts at 6:30 and lasts about an hour. It is prayers, Bible study, announcements, and a few songs.

We have no public transit on Sunday so I usually have a ride. I made it last Sunday morning, but not Sunday afternoon. My usual ride (actually 3 in the same family) attended the visitation for a relative of theirs who died last Friday night.

I get off work at 4:30 and ride the city bus paratransit. Today my driver did not get me until 6:25 ... too late to make it to worship this evening. It was not the driver's fault. I think there are more buses in what I call the "bone" yard, than on the ready lot. The one I was on awhile ago, like so many, was one in which the air conditioning did not work. It was still 90 degrees on my front porch when I got home about 6:55.

I'm glad I have a job, and I'm glad we do have public transit; I only wish the area mayors and city councils felt like supporting it.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Bible Lessons, etc.

I have gotten a few interesting comments about what I wrote about superheroes, talking vegetables, etc., and about what Christ died for. I tried to publish them a couple of times, but somehow got an error message so gave up and trashed them. I did read them all. Thanks for reading what I write though, and taking the time to respond.

I stand behind what I wrote. Isn't it wonderful that we live in the USA where we can voice our opinions and not worry about being mutilated or killed if our opinions differ?

A person does not learn by having things "dumbed down" to them. Have you ever seen a grammar school reader or math book from years ago? Some of them would be real hard today. Some actually taught the Bible, and I'm not talking about a modern English translation, but the Shakespearean English of the version authorized by King James I and which was finished in 1611! Who do you know today who says, "I wot not" for "I don't know"? (See Romans 11:2 and Philippians 1:22.)

A baby bird never learns to fly if it doesn't do something it's never done before. A child or adult will not grow mentally if all they hear or read is what they already know. If all a child eats is cookies and milk, that child will not grow, at least not the way it should. I've heard of churches who would put, say, a $5 bill under one seat, and whoever sat there, got to keep the money. But what happens when there is no bill taped to the seat? What happens when the fun and games end? You know as well as I know - the person, whether child or adult, quits showing up. They were there for the "fun and games", not for something substantial, not for something that will last for eternity.

Where I attend worship to God, we do not have a fellowship hall or a kitchen. We do not sponsor a scout troop. We do not have a basketball court. The money that is collected goes for what is necessary for the teaching and preaching of God's Word: a building in which to meet (along with pews, water, electricity, etc.), song books, Bibles, Bible class materials, etc.

Schools and families are for things such as recreation and secular learning and physical exercise. Of course parents are also the "first line" in teaching children about Jesus, and about morals: honesty, kindness, courage, patience, and so on. (See Deuteronomy 6:8-9; 11:18-19; Proverbs 1:8; 4:1; Ephesians 6:4; II Timothy 1:5; 3:14-15.)

Jesus did not die for us to play a ball game, or for us to have a weenie roast. (See I Timothy 4:7-8.) Jesus died so that, when we pass from this life, we will go to Heaven.

Here's one I heard years and years ago: "A church that has afternoon teas, ice cream socials, and chicken suppers - is as weak as the tea, as cold as the ice cream, aand as dead as the chicken.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Christ died for ...

Sometimes I pass a little Methodist church with a cemetery on the grounds.
It's been there about a hundred years. The folks all stay around.
It's a little off the beaten path, and such a pretty sight.
The members there all love that church and think they're doing right.
Today I passed that little church. Two signs outside I spied.
"Vacation Bible School this week" was there in letters wide.
I wonder what of God is taught since "Bible" is in the name.
Other things were on those signs ... "Recreation" ... "Games" ...
There'll also be a petting zoo and a "SonHarvest" county fair.
So why then call it "Bible" school when God's not mentioned anywhere?
"Flowers, painting, slip 'n' slide, music, hiking, pony rides, fun inside and sun outside!"
Is this the reason Jesus died?

- by Netagene, June 14, 2003, regarding a church on Sweeney Hollow Road, about 4 miles from my house - I've also seen the same sign elsewhere, on other church property.

CRITTER in the CAN!

Today was garbage day. I don't take my garbage can to the street unless I just have a whole lot of stuff in it, preferring to take just 2 or 3 small grocery bags with what little trash tied in them, to the curb. It bugs me when I get home only to have to walk in the street to get the can which the men on the truck have plopped in the street rather than back in the yard. (Yes, I know that sometimes wind will blow it out of the yard.)

I keep the can under my carport, and at 5:30, even on the longest day, it's a bit dim there, plus of course I have only half sight. I glanced in the can - and thought I saw something about the size of my hand, and furry ... but of course my eyes might not have seen correctly; it could have been a piece of ratty old towel that I'd tossed in, or some dirty paper towels.

Nonetheless, since neighbor Anthony was taking his trash out, I asked him to come over and see if he saw what I thought I saw.

He did. It was. He borrowed my white cane, held it at arm's length, and pulled the garbage can down on its side. In a few seconds, the can started to rock a little. I didn't see the critter run out, but Anthony did.

It was a baby possum.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Isaiah 49

September 20, 2008, Steve, the preacher as well as one of the elders where I worship, asked if I could write a song about a verse dealing with our being engraved on God's hands. I found the verse. Almost immediately some words came to mind, and part of a tune. A couple of days ago, out of the blue, I came up with another poem/song, and a tune. Regrettably I haven't notated either one, but here are the 2 poems, which I'll set to music eventually when I'm in the mood to sit at the piano with a #2 pencil, an eraser, and some manuscript paper, or when the weather is tolerable to sit on the porch with a keyboard.

In the first, written September 21, 2008, I refer to Genesis 1, Job 38, Jeremiah 1:5, and Philippians 4:19, as well as Isaiah 49:5, 13-18.

I know God (I know God) made everything,
It was good (it was good), very good.
And to Him (and to Him) I'll pray and sing.
God is good (God is good), very good.

Chorus:
Salvation for me! Jesus came to earth and lived as a man.
With the nails of Calvary,
He has inscribed me in the palms of His hands.

Before my birth (my birth), God knew me.
He is pow'r (He is pow'r), Creator, pow'r.
With His love (His love), He set me free.
God is pow'r (He is pow'r), all might and pow'r.

God will supply (He'll supply) all I need.
He is wise (He is wise), all knowing, wise.
Christ died and rose (He arose), for me did bleed.
God is wise (He is wise), omniscient, wise.

- by Netagene, September 21, 2008 -

I use only verses from Isaiah 49 (8, 10, 13, 15, 16) in this new poem/song from a couple of days ago:

God hears me, and God helps me. God saves me,
And by His mercy leads me to springs of wa...ter.

Sing, O heav'ns. Be joyful, O earth. Break into song, mountains,
For God comforts and remem...bers me.

Chorus:
For I ... am chosen of God, when I ... choose to follow God.
I ... will sing unto God,
For He has engraved me on the palms of His hands.

- by Netagene, July 8, 2010 -

TOO HOT!


As much as I love my 10x16' screened in front porch, and for what I paid to have it built, lately the temperature has just been way too hot to sit there. I have a swing on the porch, where I have knit or crochet WIPs, usually the newspaper and a book or 2, a stool to prop my feet, a little low square table for food ... but when the temperature is over 85, and lately 95-to-100 degrees, I don't spend much time there. And I didn't make it to worship this evening because my regular ride did not go.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Saints and Superheroes

Also in today's paper is a big article about a group from North Alabama who, a few years ago, decided to organize summer camps and such in poverty stricken areas of our state. I am definitely not against anyone doing that. But today's article showed a picture of and talked about what goes on there. I have no problem with most of it, but one thing in particular bothers me.

The picture shows some of the campers and counselors doing a skit with David and Goliath - and Spiderman! Spidey was helping David. Wiill someone please tell me which person in the Bible is Spiderman (like Clark Kent is Superman)? Maybe one of David's brothers hid behind a tree and morphed into red striped clothes and a mask so he could help his little brother? Also, since when is God not enough to help David? As a chimney-corner scripture says, "One man and God is a multitude",

It reminded me of the videos of "Little Dogs on the Prairie" and "Veggie Tales", which, as one news article I read several years ago said, "makes learning Bible stories FUN!" Since when do Bible stories need to be "fun"? And don't most children, even little ones, know what colors are and what a coat is and what mean people are and what a hole is? Why do children need talking prairie dogs or a talking tomato to tell the story of Joseph and his coat of many colors?

Reverend

I see in today's paper that the president has appointed someone to "oversee international freedom". I thought that was more of the domain of our military, or rather not that we, the USA, are the watchdogs of all the other countries, but to oversee our, the citizens of the USA's, freedom.

Where I really have a problem with this - I have always been curious about this (and this is not exclusive to today's news article), is why anyone wants to be called, or uses the title: "reverend", unless they think they are on the same level as God. Psalm 111:9 says "holy and reverend is God's name".

Monday, July 5, 2010

EYEs

In yesterday's paper, as usual, was a lot of ads and coupons. To let you know a little bit of how I see, I'll give 2 examples.

Evidently, there is a "good" spot about in the center of my right retina, which is why I can again see fairly well with that eye. But maybe because it is so small, I have to be looking right at something to actually see it. I lack such peripheral vision that I can't even see a billboard on the side of the road unless I'm looking right at it!

I've had maybe 36 months of piano lessons, between early grammar school, and my last semester of junior college. Because of my eyesight, if, at worship, we sing a song that's new to me, I can get either the words - or the notes - correct. Even though the words and the music are no more than 1/2" apart (usually less), I cannot see both at the same time.

As to the ad in the paper ... and I even got a chuckle out of this ... it was was for Tide. I read the blurb as "pain relief" (say huh?). I saw "ain" and "relie", maybe because of the mood I'm in (not good today).

The ad said: "stain release".

Thursday, July 1, 2010

MOVIES I HAVE NOT SEEN

When I was growing up, we called them "picture shows", not "movies" or the "cinema".

There are a lot of movies that I have not seen. Today I bought "The First Wives' Club" to add to my collection of movies I have not seen. It stars Bette Midler, Diane Keaton, and Goldie Hawn. I hope it's good. It cost $5. I rarely pay more than that for a DVD.

In my stash of movies I have not seen are "My Big Fat Greek Wedding", "Napoleon Dynamite" (highly recommended to my by a friend close to my age who has retinitis pigmentosa, is married, and has 3 grown children), and "Mr. Bean's Holiday". I remember watching "Mr. Bean" on public TV 30 or 40 years ago!

Also in the bin of $5 movies was both the "Smokey and the Bandit" movies, and "Blazing Saddles". I almost bought them. I saw them when they first hit the theaters. Speaking of "Blazing Saddles", a friend and I saw "Space Balls at the matinee the day it opened. Almost everyone in the audience was almost rolling in the aisle, laughing! Another favorite by Mel Brooks is "Young Frankenstein".

I've listed a few favorite movies in the "about me" section, so that's another idea to write about. I'll give you time to look them up before I write about them though!

Followers