Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Summer Time Reading

It is summer! Rejoice!

Despite the hectic pace that life has assumed recently in preparation for the wedding, I have been taking time here and there (like during the morning bath ritual) to do some light reading. I know I ought to be reading The Body Electric and other scientific books on on body's ability to produce and use electricity in preparation for my advanced kinesionics course. But alas, the summer sun calls me to play, so play I do.

I have been re-reading Dorothy Sayers' Lord Peter Wimsey mystery novels. (One of the advantages of creeping age, memory loss and senility is that you can read the same novels over and over and enjoy them as though you were reading them for the first time.) I love Dorothy Sayers' novels because they are intelligently written. And even if I don't get every literary and classical allusion she makes, I at least recognize when she is making it.

When I first started reading the Bertie and Jeeves books by P.G. Wodehouse, I had this feeling that I had met Bertie and his man somewhere before. It wasn't til later that I realized that Bertie and Jeeves were the comedic version of Wimsey and Bunter.

So, whenever I have the chance, I am going to kick back and enjoy a spot of mystery this summer. What is everyone else reading for fun?

Let the Deluge Begin!

Well almost. Tonight the first of our guests are scheduled to arrive, and true to form, we are going to be ready for them by the skin of our teeth. Marc stayed home from a meeting last night to work on the bathroom vanity, but Elodie was disconsolate without mama and so the work was impeded. Hopefully he will be able to get everything installed tonight after work, but I won't be holding my breath because he also has a few business phone calls to take care of. As long as it is in by Wednesday night, I will be happy. That is when two more girls are arriving for one night before moving on to other accomodations.

Yesterday Trista came over and did a lot of cleaning for me; bless her. That allowed me to go out and pick up a few more supplies for the week. Today I have to bake some bread and muffins and put some finishing touches on cleaning some things. I have this morbid dread of not having enough food in the house, or that there won't be anything that they like.

Nathanael and Trahern will be deputized to pick people up from the airport later this evening and then deliver them to their destinations. I have a very large roast to go into the oven tomorrow and will be having a number of young people here for supper. The last of the company should be arriving on Thursday, and I think I'll have one or two showing up on Saturday, but that has yet to be confirmed. There is still a fair amount of musical houses going on with people switching where they are going to be and very few firmly settled. And still the cakes weigh heavy on my mind...

Friday, June 25, 2004

An Epigram

Some women are not beautiful ~ they only look as though they are.
Karl Kraus

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Justification for a Favorite Pastime

"When I needed money, it justified itself. It was a job of work, and I did it as well as I could, and that was that. That was enough. But now, you see, it has no necessity except itself. And, of course, it's hard; it's always been hard, and it's getting harder. So when I'm stuck, I think, this isn't my livelihood, and it isn't great art, its' only detective stories. You read and write them for fun.'

'You underestimate yourself, Harriet. I never thought to hear you do that.'

'Normally I have the pride of the devil, you mean?'

'The pride of the craftsman, yes.'

'There can be intricate and admirable craft in entirely frivolous objects, Peter,' she said. 'Like those cufflinks, for instance.'

He was wearing jade cufflinks carved intaglio with the Wimsey mice. 'Frivoligy can give a good deal of pleasure,' he said, mildly. 'but I don't like to hear you call detective stories frivolous.'

'But aren't they? Compared to the real thing?'

'What do you call the real thing?'

'Great literature; Paradise Lost; novels like Great Expectations, or Crime and Punishment or War and Peace. Or on the other hand real detection with real crimes.

'You seem not to appreciate the importance of your special form,' he said. 'Detective stories contain a dream of justice. They project a vision of a world in which wrongs are righted, and villains are betrayed by clues that they did not know they were leaving. A world in which murderers are caught and hanged, and innocent victimes are avenged, and future murder is deterred.'

'But it is just a vision, Peter. The world we live in is not like that.'

'It sometimes is,' he said. 'Besides hasn't it occurred to you that to be beneficent, a vision does not have to be true?'

'What benefits could be conferred by falsehood?' she asked.

'Not falsehood, Harriet; idealism. Detective stories keep alive a view of the world which ought to be true. Of course people read them for fun, for diversion, as they do crossword puzzles. But underneath they feed a hunger for justice, and heaven help us if ordinary people cease to feel that.'

'You mean perhaps they work as fairy tales work, to caution stemothers against being wicked, and to comfort Cinderellas everywhere?'...

...'You have rather an exalted view of it, Peter.'

'I suppose very clever people can get their visions of justice from Dostoyevsky,' he said. 'But there aren't enough of them to make a climate of opinion. Ordinary people in large numbers read what you write.'

'But not for enlightenment. They are at their slackest. They only want a good story with a few thrills and reversals along the way.'

'You get under their guard,' he said. 'If they thought they were being preached at they would stop their ears. If they thought you were bent on improving their minds they would probably never pick up the book. But you offer to divert them, and you show them by stealth the orderly world in which we should all try to be living.'

'But are you serious?' she asked.

'Never more so, Domina. Your vocation seems no more frivolous to me than mine does to you. We are each, it seems, more weighty in each other's eyes than in our own. It's probably rather a good formula: self-respect without vanity.'

'Frivolity for ever?'

'For as long as possible.' he said, suddenly somber. 'I rather wish the Germans were addicted to your kind of light reading."

Excerpted from Thrones, Dominations by Dorothy L. Sayers and Jill Paton Walsh

Tuesday, June 22, 2004


I just spent the last hour reading various news articles on various websites. Without sin and disaster, there would be no news. The cumulative effect of reading this sort of thing is to make one feel impotent, finite, and helpless -- helpless to stem the tide of corruption and sin.

It makes one fall on one's face and cry, "God be merciful to us poor sinners."

Our only hope is in the cleansing bought by Christ.
Brain Stimulation and Beyond: An Emergent Mind/Brain Technology That Can be Either Used for Treatment, or Can Potentially be Abused

The above linked article is written by Nicholas Regush, an investigative medical journalist who has worked for the likes of Peter Jennings' 20/20 and the Fifth Estate.

This is an intriguing article because it delves into the complex issues that face humankind in its quest to overcome brain disease and dysfunction, as well as the potential for using some of the developing technology as a means of controlling people.

Says Regush: "On the dark side, of course, is the possibility that greater understanding of how the brain works and the emergence of far more precise technology may one day translate into more potential for not-so-nice manipulation of human behavior.

"And just keep in mind that neuroscience hardly existed as a field until the 1960s. You might say the road map is still very imprecise, but the mapping system is now in high gear. "
Hot! Hot! Hot!

Yesterday was a scorcher with the temps getting up to 33 degrees celcius. Yes, I know. Those of you who live in the US are likely used to temperatures much hotter. But hey, this is Canada and one of the reasons I live here is because I don't like the heat! It makes me feel ill. Thankfully, a thunder storm blew in and cooled things down so that it was tolerable to sleep.

Some of the kids got a bit too much sun yesterday and went to bed slathered in Emprizone, a hydrogel product with aloe polymannins in it as well as other healing agents, and this morning they are not sore, but they look nicely rosy and tanned.

Today is promising to be as warm as yesterday, but we are going to keep indoors with the curtains drawn, sheets over the top of some, and things kept as cool as possible.

We are definitely noticing a shift in the climate in these parts. In our first winter in Prince George, we had tons of snow and it even snowed right into May. In past years we haven't seen snow that stayed until the middle to end of December. Our summers are getting warmer and dryer and forest fires are already threatening some of our towns, villages and cities.

This article makes me very thankful to be living in the country, especially when it is so hot out.

Monday, June 21, 2004

Guess What?

It looks like I am getting a bathroom sink installed next weekend!!! [Cheryl does a happy dance around the computer.] Oh joy! My company won't be brushing their teeth out of the toilet or bathtub.
Evidence that We Still Make New Brain Cells

I am no scientist, but I find all the new data that is coming out on how the brain functions to be extremely interesting.

Lately I have been listening to motivational type audio tapes on Neuro Linguistic Programming, and it is fascinating to me to see how you can change your emotional state just by how you think or even position your body, use your tone of voice, and use your facial muscles.

Here is a fascinating article on the NLP technique for building rapport with others rapidly. I have been experimenting with this and it actually works.

Of course, with any form of relationship-building techniques, it only really works if you are genuinely sincere and caring of the people you are practicing these on. People can spot a phoney so quickly.

Thanks to the utter stupidity, arbitrariness, and anal retentiveness of US Immigration people, one of my wedding cakes will not be needed for the reception. The couple in question filled out all the required paperwork, jumped through all the hoops, and then were told after they married in the US, that the bride cannot leave the US because they would deny her re-entry to the States if she comes back here for her wedding reception amongst family and friends in her home and native land.

Oh well. Doralynn and Jordan now will have not only a wedding cake, but a chocolate groom's cake for their wedding.
Super Size Me

It looks like the fast food industry will be getting its come-uppance with the documentary "Super Size Me" featuring Morgan Spurlock.

"A few days into his grand experiment of eating all McDonald's, all the time, for 30 days straight, the New York film-maker Morgan Spurlock started complaining of headaches and other unpleasant side-effects: listlessness, depression, chest pains, shortness of breath, sexual dysfunction and more. His headaches, however, almost certainly pale in comparison to the giant, throbbing one his much-discussed documentary Super Size Me is causing the executives who run Ronald McDonald's global empire."

What kind of effect has the documentary had?

"The Australian distributor, Dendy Films, reacted to the McDonald's television advertising campaign by claiming that cinema managers were having to spend longer cleaning up auditoriums where Super Size Me has been showing because people alarmed by the dangers of bad eating presented on screen were leaving behind full cartons of popcorn and soda cups."

I wish I could be certain that this sort of junk-food abstention would be long lasting.

This documentary has had something of an effect on McDonald's because they are trying to sell what looks like, cosmetically, to be a healthier alternative. However...

"One of the most galling aspects of Super Size Me, from the company's viewpoint, must have been its illustration of the calorie and sugar content of even these new "healthy" items. The film demonstrates - using McDonald's own nutritional data - that some of the salad dressings are as bad as anything else on the menu. The Caesar salad with chicken première, for example, contains more fat than a cheeseburger."

"Another McDonald's announcement came on the very eve of Super Size Me's US release on 6 May: the introduction of the "Go Active Happy Meal", complete with salad, free exercise manual and a Stepometer for customers to monitor their daily walking regime. Again, the company insisted the timing was a coincidence."

And in case you read any articles or hear any spokesmen for scientific communities defending McDonald's and other fast food companies, consider the following:

"an outfit called the American Council on Science and Health started ripping into Super Size Me in a series of press releases, op-ed pieces and capsule opinions offered by purported dietary and health experts. Another organisation, called Tech Central Station, offered itself as a clearing house of opinion and factual evidence, condemning Spurlock's film as a scurrilous, misleading, "disgusting", "dangerous" and "dishonest" piece of work.

The American Council on Science and Health has not publicly disclosed its corporate donors since 1991, but in the past they have included crisp manufacturers, chocolate manufacturers, Burger King and Coca Cola (a business partner of McDonald's). Tech Central Station, meanwhile, is backed by the oil giant ExxonMobil, General Motors and, yes, McDonald's.

One op-ed piece, by the food industry lobbyist Jim Glassman, made its way into a couple of US papers, including the St Louis Post Dispatch, which apologised after it discovered his direct links to McDonald's."

Now if only someone would do an expose on Tim Horton's donuts and coffee.

Saturday, June 19, 2004

Yet Another Reason...

...for keeping your kids out of public school. There are plans to screen the entire US with the help of public schools, to determine who is or who is not mentally ill. Those who qualify will be put on anti-depressants and psychotropic drugs to the delight of the multi-national pharmaceutical industry who promise to profit handsomely as a result.

The pilot project for this program was undertaken in Texas when Dubya was governor there. "The Texas project started in 1995 as an alliance of individuals from the pharmaceutical industry, the University of Texas, and the mental health and corrections systems of Texas. The project was funded by a Robert Wood Johnson grant—and by several drug companies."

Bush's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health has commissioners who have served on advisory boards for the pharmaceutical companies that stand to profit. Moreover, there are intimate ties between Big Pharma and the Bush family. The political campaign contributions by Big Pharma to Bush are three times that which they gave to John Kerry.

Is it just me, or does something stink here?

Friday, June 18, 2004

The Beginning of the End?

It appears that I am now starting to shift gears physically. My body has started to do the strange things that are associated with the pre-menopausal stage. This likely means no more babies for me. Of course, it is still quite possible that a baby could happen, but the prospect just doesn't excite me the way it used to.

Of course, as a person with quiverfull convictions, I believe that God is the One who opens and shuts the womb. God is the author and finisher of all life. If another baby comes, I will welcome the baby and enjoy him/her. But I have lost the baby lust of former years and I guess that is ok. After all, there is a time for everything and it would be silly and unsanctified to practice discontentment when you knew that more babies would not be in your future.
Another Item Crossed Off My List

I have set myself Twelve Labors of Cheryl for the month of June. So far, four of the Labors have been completed:

~I baked and froze two wedding cakes with a total of six layers measuring from 14 inches down to 10 inches in diameter.

~I planted my flower bed out front.

~My oven and the oven drawer are now clean

~Today I extracted 20 pounds of dirt, cat hair and gravel from my carpets and living room furniture.

There is nothing like steam cleaning your carpets to convince you of how absolutely unhygenic and disgusting carpeting is. I wish now I had taken Don Aslett's advice in Make Your House Do the Housework and installed ceramic tile or wood floors through out the entire house. It costs more upfront, but it is easier to clean, wears for far longer and looks good indefinitely. If I am ever so dotty as to build another house again, I will NOT have carpeting in it. Carpets suck. I will also hire a carpenter to build my kitchen and bathroom cabinets. [Grumbles to self as she considers how she still does not have upper cabinets or cabinet doors on the lower cabinets in the kitchen or even a sink in one of the bathrooms after 13 years! I have wasted a good chunk of my life in wiping out the shelves on the lower cabinets daily because all the dirt falls in there and looks unsightly. The first thing you see in my kitchen is all the guts of my cupboards.]

Speaking of housecleaning, I wonder if some of the rules that we live by in this life will still be in operation in Heaven? For instance, in this life, it can take hours to clean a house well, depending on how thorough you want to be. It takes only minutes for a well rested toddler at the top of her form to trash it. Will things in heaven stay clean for as long as it took to clean them or longer? Will it work the other way instead? Five minutes to clean and weeks of results? Will we clean? Will we care?
What are Stem Cells and Why Should You Care?

I have been posting a little bit about stem cells lately because embryonic stem cell therapy is a Frankensteinian quest to develop therapies for treating a variety of diseases. Embryonic stem cells are harvested from unborn babies and in the process destoys (murders) them. These babies are obtained in four different ways:

1)Fertility Clinics
During in-vitro fertilization, clinics routinely fuse more than one egg with sperm. That way, if implanting a fertilized egg doesn't work the first time, they can try again. This practice has left thousands of unwanted babies stored in clinic freezers. James Thomson, the first scientist to establish a human stem-cell line, used such babies.

2)Aborted Babies
John Gearhart, the Johns Hopkins biologist credited, along with Thomson, with first culturing stem cells, extracted his from babies donated by women (how generous of them -- pardon me while I puke) at a nearby abortion clinic.

Advanced Cell Technology of Worcester, Mass., acknowledged last week that it is trying to create cloned human babies (euphemistically referred to as "entities") as sources for stem cells. The company has considered selling its stem cells to other researchers.

4)Made to Order
The Jones Institute in Virginia, where the first U.S. test-tube baby was conceived, has mixed sperm and eggs expressly to create babies as sources for stem cells.

Does anyone besides me see any sort of ethical problem with creating babies in order to murder them for their stem cells?

What are Stem Cells?
Some call them magic seeds, for their ability to replicate indefinitely and morph into any kind of tissue. Stem cells are nature's blank slates, capable of developing into any of nearly 220 cell types that make up the human body. Scientists believe they will lead to cures for diseases once thought untreatable.
Certain primitive cells found in the brain, blood and elsewhere in the body remain undeveloped enough even in adults that they can grow into a limited number of cell types.

Now, I think that stem cell therapy is definitely an exciting and viable field of research provided it is done ethically and breaks none of God's Laws! Through the providence of God, it now looks like this can be done.

What follows is a short summary, written by Noni Kaufman, of what Dr. Reg McDaniel is saying about how to activate Stem Cells in your body.

Dr. Reg McDaniel talked about first seeing new stem cells in the peripheral blood of clients using Glyconutrients many years ago and not recognizing these cells as stem cells. They were 10 times the size of white blood cells and they were given the name "Gee" cells for some time as that's what Dr. Reg said when he observed these new cells that no one could identify!

Now we have the tools to identify these cells appropriately as stem cells which can be used as "master keys" to move to places in the body as the body calls for. About a year ago there was an article in JAMA regarding the stem cells implants of male cells into female bodies of women with leukemia who had received a stem cell transplant. When these women died, male marked cells were found as neurons in the brain.

Reg realized that this might offer an explanation in the many children with fetal alcohol syndrome that were doing so well with the Glyconutrients and others who had advanced so far beyond their perceived genetic limitations. He told the story of several adopted aboriginal children in Canada who had fetal alcohol syndrome who have done remarkably well, improving from IQ's estimated to be around 50 to levels around 100. One girl who had difficulties with reading and numbers and was in remedial classes after 3 years with Glyconutrients was able to read a Harry Potter book in a week and discuss what she had read.

When they measure the before and after stem cell counts in the blood, virtually none are detectable prior to Glyconutrients. Within a week of giving Glyconutrients, there are 200-400 stem cells seen in a micro liter of blood with about 5-10 thousand white blood cells. If one extrapolates to the whole body, it is possible that there are 1.7-3 trillion new stem cells throughout our body as we add in Glyconutrients. We're at the beginning of understanding all of what is possible with stem cells.

There is an article in the June Scientific American if you want to read more about stem cells.

Thursday, June 17, 2004


I should be used to this, but I am not -- seeing someone recover who was given up for by the medical community. This scenario is being played out more often in my life these days.

No, it isn't because I am such a great kinesionics practitioner, it is because people are adding things back into their diets that have been missing.

Call me thick and stupid if you will, but the lights came on for me the other day. Vitamin C deficiency results in scurvy, heart disease, and other bad things. Vitamin D deficiency causes rickets and other health problems. Vitamin B deficiency causes pellegra and insanity and contributes to neurological problems like schizophrenia and bi-polar disorder. We generally know this and most food is fortified to protect us from these diseases. So where does the "thick and stupid" part come in? I have been promoting glyconutrients for about 8 years now and it only occurred to me recently that the reason people develop chronic, debilitating and/or life-threatening auto-immune disorders like cancer, lupus, AIDS, and fibromyalgia, is because of a diet-related deficiency of glyconutrients which leads to a deficieny in the appropriate glycoproteins being made. I knew that glyconutrients were building blocks that the body used to repair itself, but for some reason I hadn't made the connection between why these worked on people who took them in sufficient quantity over a long enough period of tme and the deficiency aspect.

How critical are glycoproteins? You literally cannot live without them. Every cell in your body requires glycoproteins in order to communicate and live. When there is insufficient or defective glycoprotein synthesis, cells start to malfunction and miscommunicate. When the number of cells that are malfunctioning and miscommunicating are large enough, you have a disease, though it may take a long time for the symptoms of it to manifest. Cancer is a good example of this. Everyone has cancer cells being made in their body every day. If your immune system is functioning properly and your cells are communicating right, your immune system is able to destroy the cancer cells and take care of the problem. If the immune system is not communicating properly, it doesn't recognize the cancer cells and they are allowed to proliferate. Cancer is an evidence of an under-active immune system. Most cancers aren't discovered until you have had it for at least 15 years.

What about when the immune system is over active like in allergies and things like lupus? Again, lack of proper cell to cell communication is responsible. "Institute of Food Research experts found two types of cells critical for regulating the immune system stopped talking to each other.

This 'deafness' means certain cells continue to work when they would normally be programmed to switch off. "

The immune system turns on and forgets to shut off because the necessary components that allow communication to take place aren't there.

The relatively new information about glycobiology is beginning to trickle out to the mainstream now. For instance, Psychology Today recently published an article on the need of glyconutrients in the diet for proper cellular communication.

Expect to hear more and more about this in the near future. Mannarelief, a charitable organization that is dedicated to providing glyconutrients to sick, fragile and orphaned children around the world, will be taking part in 6 "Live Aid" concerts that will be telecast around the world. Mannarelief and glyconutrients were chosen as being one of the best means of assisting children born with AIDS to overcome their disease.

When I see people recovering from terminal cancer; when I see people who didn't have a life anymore because of chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia being able to live a normal life, and when I see people with intractable and untreatable conditions recovering as a result of these supplements, it makes me rejoice that God brought them into my life and enables me to share them with others.

A Time to Play

I have such a strong compelling need to be always busy with something that often I forget how important it is to play once in a while.

Yesterday was a gorgeously beautiful Canadian summer day. It was warm, the sky was blue with a few puffy clouds, and a lovely breeze was blowing to keep it from getting too hot. It was also the day of our homeschool association's end-of-the-year picnic, so I abandoned the house early, without even cleaning (!!)it for a day at the park.

It was glorious. The children played on the playground equipment or in the water at the spray park, and the mom's visited for several hours. We had lunch together, shared our goodies and talked some more and then laughed as the children participated in races or games.

There is nothing like a day out in the sunshine enjoying one's self and living in the moment to bring a kind of resting and quiet refreshment to life. I think I need to play more often.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Getting There

Sometimes the anticipation of doing something is far worse than actually doing it. I have this bad habit of setting seemingly impossible goals for myself and then fretting myself to death as the deadline for the goal to be accomplished draws near. The latest goal has been that of making wedding cakes for two very dear girls.

Even as I type, the first 14" cake base for the white cake is baking in the oven and should be ready to come out in several minutes. I made one chocolate wedding cake yesterday that was only two layers and it is now frozen in a neighbor's freezer. There are three more layers to bake of a white cake today and then these too will go in the freezer. I have the bases that the cakes will rest on already bought. Now all I need is the dowling in order to hold each layer up from the other, and to figure out what I am going to do as far as decorating.

You can forget fancy scrollwork in icing. The chocolate cake will have a rich chocolate pudding type of filling and a chocolate glaze on the outside. I am also thinking of using chocolate shavings to decorate it. The white cake will have a rich, fluffy buttercream icing that is delicious and not too sweet and a vanilla cream type of filling. Both cakes will have either real or silk flowers for toppers, and I am thinking of making white chocolate leaves for the white cake. The only thing that is really troubling me now is the making of the icing for the white cake. I have no idea how much I will require. I have some made up in the freezer which I am going to thaw and try working with. If I can make it up ahead of time and it freezes or refrigerates well, that will relieve a lot of my anxiety. Then I have to decide on what type of sugar syrup to use on each cake. I am thinking creme de cacao for the chocolate one. Grand Marnier for the white? Or just plain sugar syrup? I have two weeks to decide.

Saturday, June 12, 2004

Some Days I Feel Like This...

"As the taxi lurched along the rainy Embankment, he felt for the first time the dull and angry helplessness which is the first warning stroke of the triumph of mutability. Like the poisoned Athulf in the Fool's Tragedy, he could have cried, "Oh, I am changing, changing, fearfully changing." Whether his present enterprise failed or succeeded, things would never be the same again. It was not that his heart would be broken by a disastrous love -- he had outlived the luxurious agonies of youthful blood, and in this very freedom from illusion he recognised the loss of something. From now on, every hour of light-heartedness would be, not a prerogative but an achievement -- one more axe or case-bottle or fowling pice, rescued, Crusoe-fashion, from a sinking ship."

Dorothy Sayers, Strong Poison

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Happy Father's Day, Dad!

I was so proud of myself last week. I went to the store and found an appropriate Father's Day card that expressed my sentiments of you, my father. I then brought the card home and addressed it, thinking that for once in my life, I had got it done in plenty of time for you to receive it. Well guess what? It is still sitting on my desk.

[Bangs head on keyboard.]

So, Dad, I STILL intend to send you your card AND give you Father's Day greetings EARLY even if the card doesn't get there in time.

I was fooling around on the Kabalarian website and this is what came up with your name on it:

As James, you have a natural interest in the welfare of your fellow man, and a desire to help and serve others in a humanitarian way. You are responsible and generous, although somewhat scattering and disorganized at times. Any jobs requiring systematic and conscientious effort, or involving any form of drudgery, dismay you. In your work, you would seek a position offering self-expression through contact with people, such as sales or teaching, or a position giving scope to your creative, artistic talents. You are good-natured and likeable, and people tend to confide in you and seek your advice in personal problems. Others sense your sincere interest and desire to help, and you can always be counted on to see the bright side of any problem.

I think that is a pretty accurate description of you. For as long as I can remember, you have always wanted to help others and have loved people. And they love you back. As one of your brothers once said, "Walking through the mall with Jim is like walking around with Santa Claus. Everyone knows him and greets him."

One memory of you that stands out in my mind is the sight of you sitting in the front room of our house on Peck Street. You had your Bible in your lap, and your head was bowed in prayer. Iwillalways carry that picture with me.

I am blessed to be your daughter, and blessed that my sons want to emulate you. Thanks for being there for us all.

Love you lots,
Cheryl Ann
Family Photos

I have caved in to the many demands for pictures of the Grenon gang. You asked for it; you got it. I make no apologies to those who damage their heads by fainting.

Back row: Patricia and Bag Lady holding Elodie; Front row: Tamara, Bethany, Trista holding Keiannah, and Hannah Posted by Hello

Reading left to right: Sam, Trahern, Ben with Garnet in front of him, and Nathanael Posted by Hello

This is Garnet, aka The Pirate Who Doesn't Do Anything Posted by Hello

This is a picture of the Bag Lady, captured without her bag. Please take careful note of the hemp necklace, peasant shirt and granny glasses. Posted by Hello

This is my husband Marc Posted by Hello

This is a picture of my whole gang, including my granddaughter. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

A Cheryl by Any Other Name...

Ok, out of curiosity, I had a look at what Samantha was talking about with regards to her name and here is what it comes up with for Cheryl:

The name of Cheryl brings opportunities for success in business and financial accumulation. It fires you with ambition and promotional ideas, ideas that are original, progressive, and large-scale. With this name, success to you is a foregone conclusion, for you cannot conceive any reason for not reaching all your goals, as you have self-sufficiency, supreme confidence, boundless energy, and enthusiasm. As long as you have a sense of freedom from monotony and drudgery, and can see progress being made, you feel buoyant and optimistic.

Now my parents and relatives call me, not Cheryl, but Cheryl Ann. Here is what it says for Cheryl Ann:

Your name of Cheryl Ann has created a practical, responsible, stable nature, and you desire to direct the efforts of others rather than to take order or ask permission. You have a determined, self-reliant, capable nature and resent any interference, although in your desire to help you are inclined to become involved in the lives and decisions of other people. You like to make your own decisions and to be the master of your domain. You feel a limitation in your own expression when it is necessary to reach another through tact and understanding

Generally speaking, I would say both of these are fairly accurate, including the part about having to work at being tactful and understanding. I have no idea how they came up with this, and this should not be construed to be an endorsement of numerology or Kabalarian Philosophy.

Naming something has special significance. Adam named the creatures when God brought them to him. Names in Scripture had significance for those named as well. Those in Christ will be given new names in glory. This is merely speculation on my part, but I think it is possible that these new names the saints are given will be a sort of summing up and definition of all we were intended to be. Naming has metaphysical overtones to it that I don't understand, but do observe.
A Tribute to Ronald Reagan

I subscribe to an economic newsletter that Gary North puts out. Most of the time which I don't bother to read it because it is pretty depressing. Today's issue, however, is a touching tribute to Ronald Reagan that I thought I would post in its entirety (leaving out my subscription information at the bottom).


Issue 350 June 8, 2004

[This is written by the only living writer who
voted for William Penn Patrick in California's
1966 Republican gubanatorial election because
Ronald Reagan's conservatism was too soft core.]


Ronald Reagan died on Saturday, June 5, 2004. Of all
days on which he could have died, this was the best
possible day for his reputation's sake. Even in death, his
timing was perfect.

Saturdays are low-news days. Businesses and
governments are shut down. Most people are enjoying a day
off. Weekend editors are always looking for Sunday's lead

Last Saturday was different. Every editor had
selected the lead story for Sunday: the 60th anniversary of
D-Day. President Bush was at Normandy. With 1,000 World
War II vets dying every day, and with three-quarters of
them gone, this would be the last major memorial of D-Day
in which vets would participate. D-Day was the defining
day of the war.

Then the news came from California: Ronald Reagan was
dead. Across America, Sunday's lead story changed. The
headline and two subheads of the "Arkansas Democrat
Gazette" are representative:

Former president Reagan dies

Arkansans remember his optimism
America mourns lost leader

Under his photo was this quotation:

"I've always stated that the nearest thing to
eternal life we'll ever see on this earth is a
government program." (April 9, 1986)

There it was, in one quotation: his humor and his
message. Combined, they inflicted utterly unexpected
losses on the political establishment of 1912-1980. Not a
defeat, but serious losses.

We are now seeing what America has never seen before
and will likely never see again: the entire nation is
saying a fond farewell to a President who did not die in
office. This mourning is not grief. It is more like
relief. When Lincoln was assassinated and Franklin
Roosevelt died and Kennedy was assassinated, they were in
office. The outpouring was grief more than mourning. Only
one non-sitting President has ever generated the emotional
response that has now begun and will last until Reagan's
funeral: George Washington. But his legacy was that of
"father of his country" more than it was his role as

Ronald Reagan had begun his death as no other
president had: the day, ten years ago, that he was told he
had Alzheimer's. That was a death sentence. By the time
he died, he did not know who he was or what he had done.
There was nothing left of him worth writing about.

In the years between his retirement and the
announcement of his Alzheimer's, anyone who had anything
negative to say against him had his opportunity. On
Saturday came the announcement of the fulfillment of the
fait accompli. The critics by then had nothing left to

There is something else which no one else will say in
print, so I will. I am a card-carrying member of the NASC:
the National Association of Scribblers and Chatterers. We
make our livings with words. Take away our ability to
write and speak, and we are nothing. Our definition of who
we are disappears. So, we live in fear of Alzheimer's.
Diagnose us with any other disease, with the exception of
the worst of all ways to die by disease, hydrophobia, and
we think, "I can at least die in dignity with this." But
Alzheimer's strips us of the two things that matter to us:
our ability to write and our ability to speak. There is a
tendency for writers to stop criticizing any victim of
Alzheimer's. Ronald Reagan received Kings-X on the day
that he wrote his letter of goodbye. Charlton Heston is
receiving it now.

So, the critics had already said their two cents'
worth on June 5. Reagan's day had long since turned into
night. In a sense, we were all standing outside 668 St.
Cloud, Bel Air, California, waiting for the announcement.

The announcement came on the day before the memorial
of the day of days for his generation. This gave the TV
networks time to make final edits on the videotapes that
they had no doubt prepared years ago, and broadcast them on
a Sunday, which above all other days, is the special day
for the TV networks' news departments: talking head
morning. This day, they got their Nielsen ratings.
Normally, no one tunes in until golf or NASCAR.


Of all professional actors in man's history, Reagan
got the ratings. He got the ratings because of his
extraordinary sense of timing. We have never seen anything
like it. You and I will not see anything like it again.

Historians search for continuity and discontinuity in
life: that which is predictable and that which isn't. They
look for grand patterns and quirky turning points. If
everything were governed exclusively by a grand pattern, we
could not explain why any fact is unique. After all, every
fact is just one cog in a grand machine. But if everything
were governed exclusively by unique facts, then this world
would be all cogs and no machine. Whirl would be king.

Whirl was not king in the life of Ronald Wilson

He started out as a sports broadcaster during the
Great Depression. He had done some acting at tiny Eureka
College. He had tried to get a job at Montgomery Ward in
1932 to run the sports department: $12.50 a week. He did
not get that job. A door closed. In the worst year of the
Great Depression, closed doors were a way of life.

He then decided to get a job as a sports announcer.
He had played football in college. He had acted on stage.
Why not sports announcing? In the Great Depression, sports
were second only to the movies as revenue-generating
entertainment activities. Radio was the cheapest
technology of escape on earth.

He got an announcing job at a small station in Iowa.
He learned his trade rapidly. He had the innate ability to
do what few people can do: instantly convert into words the
unique yet structured events on a field, so that his words,
coming out of a box, enabled listeners to imagine what was
going on. In the 1930s, this skill was central to sports
lovers' lives.

Within months, his career jumped several notches when
the small-town station he worked for merged with a large
station whose signal covered the Midwest. He became a
major regional sports announcer. He made his way up the
broadcasting ladder until he was announcing the games of
the Chicago Cubs. (The Cubs took as much optimism to
believe in then as they do now.) That job eventually took
Reagan to baseball training camp on Catalina Island -- "26
miles across the sea," as an implausibly popular song said
two decades later. It was close to Hollywood. Through a
series of improbable events -- as always -- Jack Warner
made the decision to hire him in 1937.

There were three categories of films in Hollywood
prior to the cineplex: the A-picture, which was what people
paid to attend, the B-picture, which was what kept them in
the theater long enough to get hungry, and the C-picture,
usually a Western, which drew kids into the theaters on
Saturday mornings. The C-pictures were produced mainly by
small independent companies, not the main studios. They
called the C-pictures B-pictures, but this was misleading.

The B-picture let the studios present new faces in
front of audiences to see if some newcomer could become a
potential star. There was no scientific, statistical study
of audience reactions until the early 1940s, so Reagan
entered the industry when studio heads guessed. He was a
second banana in A pictures before World War II, and a
leading actor in B-pictures after the war.

Then, over time, his popularity with fans waned. His
last starring role of substance was in "The Winning Team"
(1953), co-starring a bankable star, Doris Day. It was in
fact a B-picture, though my favorite Reagan film in my
youth. It was the story of baseball pitcher Grover
Cleveland Alexander, who came back from double vision and
alcohol to become a star again. That role, as it turned
out, was the model for Reagan's career.

Reagan was a political liberal in these years. He had
also been elected repeatedly to the Screen Actors Guild.
He had influence even though he had a small viewing
audience. He was a member of the United World Federalists.

As an SAG official, he gave speeches. He gave anti-
"neo-fascist" speeches -- which was a safe topic in
Hollywood. Then, at a men's club at Hollywood Beverly
Christian Church, which he attended, a pastor came up to
him after the meeting. He suggested that Reagan make clear
in his speeches that he also opposed Communism. That brief
comment was to change his career and change our world. He
told the pastor he would look into this. He did. He
mentioned the possibility of the threat of Communism at
another meeting. There was no applause. A woman who had
been in the group wrote to him and pointed this out to him.
She told him the group was a Communist front. He later
said, "I began to wake up to the world."

He began reading about Communism. He learned that
there was a small group of Communist sympathizers in
Hollywood, mainly among script writers and the crews. In
1946, there was a Hollywood strike that led to bombings and
physical violence. Reagan opposed it. He began mentioning
Communism more and more. He began getting anonymous
threats to his life. He began wearing a shoulder holster,
at the suggestion of the FBI.

Years later, a reporter asked Sterling Hayden, perhaps
the most left-wing non-Communist major actor in Hollywood,
what had stopped the Communists in the industry. He said
it had been Ronald Reagan. He called him "a one-man
battalion of opposition."


It was as the President of SAG that Reagan was
approached by a starlet named Nancy Davis, who came to him
when her name appeared on a list of Communist actors. It
was not her, she told him, but someone with the same name.
Could he straighten it out? He asked her for a date. His
first wife, Jane Wyman, had divorced him. There is no
doubt that Nancy Reagan became his shield and supporter for
the next half century.

As his ratings slipped in one market, they rose in
another. From second banana in the 1930s to headliner in
B-movies in the late 1940s to SAG President: every time one
door closed, another opened.

In the mid-1950s, he left the movies. He had been
hired by General Electric to be its spokesman. He
introduced the GE Theater on TV. He began reading about
the free market. Slowly, his ideology shifted. He began
to shed his politically liberal outlook. He mastered the
art of speaking in front of crowds of workers, mainly GE
workers. He once estimated that he spoke to 250,000 of

The "Reagan Democrats" of the 1980s were preceded by
the GE blue collar capitalists of the 1950s. They liked
him. They liked hearing him. He liked speaking to them.
That would never change.

Ed Rollins, Reagan's campaign manager, revealed in an
interview that all through his presidency, Reagan would
schedule secret meetings with average workers. This was
known to few of his staff and none of the press corps. He
would talk with average people, one on one, trying to find
out what they were thinking.

We Americans love to believe this can happen to all of
us. We want to believe that it's a pattern that gives
meaning to the unpredictable, painful events in our lives.
We want to believe that personal perseverance pays off,
that closed doors are the prelude to open doors. In all of
American history, no president's pre-political career
better illustrates this faith in action.

Reagan had faith in a providential world. With the
exception of his failed first marriage, which for a time
seemed to crush him, he never lost this faith. The
"Morning for America" theme that marked his presidency was
born here.

There was something else. He was not a great actor.
He knew this. He was in his share of turkeys. He got his
share of bad reviews. He learned to shrug them off. Much
later in his career, he told people that this experience
had prepared him for his job as President. Criticisms had
little effect on him.


If you have seen "Chariots of Fire," you know the
story of an athlete who had a door closed to him, but who
went through another door. Eric Liddell, Scotland's
greatest athlete, 1920-24, refused to run his best race,
the 100-meter dash, in which he was considered the most
likely British runner to beat the Americans at the 1924
Olympics. The race required that he run a heat on a
Sunday, and he was a strict sabbatarian: a
Congregationalist. Scottish Protestants for centuries had
a kind of theological monopoly: strict sabbatarianism.
They did not work for money or play sports on Sundays.

Liddell switched to the 400-meter dash. This took
place months before the Olympics, unlike the movie's
version. He trained for a longer distance event than he
preferred to run. He won the gold medal in the 400,
setting the world record (a one-turn 400-meter track
helped), won the bronze in the 200, and opened the door for
teammate Harold Abrahams to win the gold in the 100. It
made a great movie.

What has this to do with Reagan? A great deal. There
was an American Eric Liddell. No one has made a movie
about his life. His name is Donn Moomaw. In 1950 and
again in 1952, he was a 1st team All-American linebacker on
the UCLA football team. He was drafted by the NFL. He
turned down the offer. It would have required him to play
on Sundays. Instead, he went to Princeton Theological
Seminary. Soon after graduation from seminary, he was
ordained as a Presbyterian minister. He returned to his
old stomping grounds, close to UCLA, when he was called to
become the minister of one of the two choicest plum
congregations in the conservative evangelical wing of the
Presbyterian Church: Bel Air Presbyterian. (The other was
Hollywood Presbyterian Church.) Moomaw believed in, and
his career testified to, a providential world in which a
closed door, or an open door that we should not go through,
leads to another, better open door.

Ronald Reagan became a member of that church in 1964.
Moomaw found himself as Reagan's spiritual counsellor just
as Reagan's political star began to rise: in the year of
"The Speech" for Goldwater, in the last days of the
Goldwater campaign. That speech elevated him into the
candidacy for governor about 18 months later. In an
interview in "Christian Life" magazine (May 1968), Moomaw
told the writer, William Rose, that Reagan had spent hours
with him in prayer.

The following event is now long forgotten:

When he stood in the rotunda of the capitol
in Sacramento for the oath of office during the
first minutes of 1967, he surprised the assembled
guests and the television audience by declaring
his intentions to conduct his office according to
the teachings of Jesus Christ and to seek God's
help in the discharge of his office. . . .

Today, after 16 months in office, the
Governor says, "While prayer always has been a
part of my life, I have spent more time in prayer
these past months than in any previous period I
can recall."

The writer was able to get an interview with Reagan.
He asked Reagan directly if it was true that he had
committed his life to Christ, as rumors had said.

"Yes! Yes!" came the reply. "I've always
believed there is a certain divine scheme of
things. I'm not quite able to explain how my
election happened or why I'm here, apart from
believing it is part of God's plan for me

Then, with his pleasant smile turning into a
grin, he said, "There are some days I ask 'Why am
I here?' more than others."

Reagan believed in a providential world in which men
are not cogs but which is not random. He did not believe
that men make their own destiny in the way that spiders
spin webs.

According to those around him in Washington, Reagan
had no inflated ego. Rollins said on camera that Reagan
was the only politician he ever knew who had this quality.
Yet others have said that Reagan kept his own counsel, that
he was guided by some inner vision that he failed to
explain to those around him. I think both statements are
true. He saw himself as God's tool. George W. Bush has
taken a lot of heat for saying something similar, but he
has not lived what appears to be a charmed life. He was
born rich, lived wild, got sober, got religion, and got
elected. Reagan's life is a story of rags to riches, of
closed doors that always opened -- except for the final
one, Alzheimer's. Reagan's life, like his never-ending
success with his audiences, is an enigma to most

He was called the Teflon President, and he was. So
was Clinton. But there was a huge difference: Reagan
believed that he was called to something higher than
getting elected. He, unlike every other President, came
from success in another field, the field of movies and TV
and entertainment, which seem to be a pinnacle of success
in the thinking of most people: a never-never land. As he
told Mike Wallace, he was dragged, kicking and screaming,
into politics. Ronald Reagan did not need politics. The
voters knew that. Even the press knew that. It made a
huge difference in how people perceived him and assessed


The year 1979 was the greatest disaster year since
1939. The disaster was worldwide, and it appeared to be
systemic. It had to be changed. By 1989, it had been.
Completely. Unpredictably. The political landscape was

In 1979, Soviet Union troops invaded Afghanistan.
Their tanks rolled down the road system that the Soviets
had built, and the United States government had financed,
in the mid-1960s. The Soviets' decade-long road to
military and political disaster had begun.

In Great Britain, the economy was in shambles after
years of Labor Party rule. The coal miners, whose trade
union was run by a near-Communist, looked like they could
shut down the newly elected Conservative government of
Margaret Thatcher.

In the United States, inflation was rampant eight
years after Nixon had announced that the U.S. Treasury
would cease redeeming central bank-held dollars for gold,
thereby ending the Bretton Woods monetary agreement of
1944. He had floated the dollar, which immediately headed
down. President Carter in 1979 somehow persuaded the
hapless Chairman of the Federal Reserve System, G. William
Miller, to resign. He put the 6'7" cigar-loving Paul
Volcker in Miller's place. Volcker, pressured by the other
Board members, ceased inflating the money supply in
October, 1979. Within six months, this decision would
drive the American economy into a major recession and the
highest interest rates in American history.

A year later, Reagan was elected President with this
line: "Are you better off under Carter than you were four
years ago?" He suggested a measure of economic pain: the
rate of inflation plus the rate of interest. It was hard
to argue with those numbers!

Across the Pacific Ocean, China's Deng Xiao Ping was
facing a growing population that was in turn facing near-
starvation conditions. The Chinese economy was locked in
permanent stagnation at a subsistence level. There would
be too many mouths to feed. So, Deng did the impossible.
He introduced capitalist ownership to agriculture, all in
the name of Communism.

By 1989, that world was ancient history.


In August, 1980, there was a huge political rally held
in Dallas at Reunion Arena. That event is rarely mentioned
today. Only a few references to it, mostly mine, appear on
Google. That was the meeting at which the New Christian
Right -- Falwell, Robertson, et al -- and the new activist
conservatives first got together. Phylis Schlafly was
there. So was Paul Weyrich of the Free Congress
Foundation. I even spoke. It was the largest crowd I ever

About 13,000 attendees showed up on the final night,
when Ronald Reagan spoke. Jimmy Carter had been invited.
He refused to come. Third party candidate John Anderson
had been invited. He refused to come. So, Reagan shared
the podium that night only with evangelist James Robison,
in his fire-breathing period. There are few men who can
hold a large audience the way Robison used to, and his main
rival in this regard, black pastor E. V. Hill, also had
spoken earlier that week.

For three days, pastors and previously non-political
fundamentalist laymen listened to political activists tell
how it is done and why it must be done. The two groups
agreed by the end of the convention: Ronald Reagan was
their man. That opinion never changed.

If you want to date the public origin of the
Republican Party's evangelical swing vote, date it with
that assembly. Reagan made it happen.


Nine years to the day before Reagan died, an obituary
appeared in the "Washington Times." No one noticed. No
one except me.

The writer was the former editor of the newspaper,
Arnold de Borchgrave. The deceased was his cousin,
Alexander de Marenches, who had been the head of France's
spy system for years. De Borchgrave then did what I have
never see any other ex-reporter do: he admitted that his
reputation as a scoop-master had been based on the fact
that Marenches had repeatedly tipped him off to imminent
hot spots. De Borchgrave would get on a plane and be there
when the place exploded.

He told of a meeting that he, Marenches, and Reagan
had, before Reagan's inauguration but after his election.
Marenches told Reagan that the Russians were bogged down in
Afghanistan. If Reagan would supply Stinger missiles to
Afghan troops, this would force the Russians to fly their
support planes too high to provide effective support to
ground troops. Second, he told Reagan that if the Russians
lost that war, the Soviet Union would disintegrate. Third,
he referred to the USSR as an evil empire. Reagan, de
Borchgrave said, accepted Marenches' analysis.

Reagan adopted the term, "evil empire," much to the
consternation of the State Department. It took five years
for the Reagan Administration to implement the Stinger
plan, because of infighting between the State Department
and the CIA. As soon as the Afghans got Stingers, Soviet
air-support tactics shifted, and within four years, the
Soviets had been defeated. Within three years of the
Soviet Army's exodus, the USSR had ceased to exist.


Mrs. Thatcher was not only very smart, very
determined, and a first-rate economic thinker, she was also
eloquent. There were no "uhs," "ums" or "you knows" in her
Parliamentary debates and on-camera interviews. One does
not think of Mrs. Thatcher saying, "like, I mean."

Reagan was the finest stump speaker in the history of
the American Presidency. His stump was in front of TV
cameras. Teddy Roosevelt called this a bully pulpit.
Little did he know.

Between the Thatcher and Reagan, the terms of debate
in English-speaking politics shifted. By 1990, it was no
longer wise politically to be known as a liberal outside of
Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Washington, D.C. In one
decade, it had all changed. The New York publishing houses
started publishing books by conservatives.

This had its effects across the Pacific, when the New
Zealanders elected a Labor government that turned out to be
pro-free market.

Critics on the right -- I was one of them --
complained that there was no roll-back of the Federal
government's bureaucracy. The Department of Education
survived. So did the Department of Energy. Reagan vetoed
almost no spending bills. The Federal deficit soared. He
invariably handed to Congress budgets that were larger than
Congress sent back to him to sign.

Thatcher had similar problems in Great Britain. But
she ramrodded a full-scale privatization of government-
owned monopolies, and this was a great benefit. The
British economy did recover under her leadership.

The two of them talked the talk even when they did
not walk the walk. Talk matters. It matters tremendously.

Each of them was replaced by a man of no strong
economic or ideological opinions. I remember a cartoon
from an English newspaper that had a giant pair of high-
heeled shoes, with tiny John Major standing in them. I can
even remember a taped extract from a speech on the floor of
Parliament by a Labor Party member. He was emotional. He
said to the assembled body, "Maggie, they can't hold a
candle to you," or words to that effect. He was right.
Nobody since then, on either side of the Atlantic, has held
a candle to them.

Everyone knew in 1989 that everything had changed.
Especially Gorbachev.


The USSR was ruled by a bunch of old men in 1980-85.
Three of them died in office -- Brezhnev, Andropov, and
Chernenko -- before Gorbachev rose to power.

Reagan was as old as they were. But there was an
enormous difference. Reagan looked young.

My friend Angelo Codevilla, a master of the details of
foreign policy, the ghost writer for Gen. Dan Graham's
original "Star Wars" book, and then the senior Republican
staffer at the time on the Senate military committee, once
told me of the effect in the Kremlin of TV broadcasts of
Reagan at his ranch. Reagan was out there riding his
horse, chopping wood, mending fences. These film clips
were not for network consumption. He was the working head
of that ranch, which he loved.

Codevilla told me at the time: "Think of the Kremlin's
leaders. They are old men. Here is this man, as old as
they are, who seems to be a cowboy. He has energy. He is
riding around on a horse. It scares them."

Reagan was physically strong, really strong. He
lifted weights. His upper torso was large. For a man his
age, he was built like a night club bouncer. This probably
saved his life when Hinckley shot him. The bullet was
stopped by muscle just an inch from his heart.

Then came the PATCO strike. The air traffic
controllers' union walked out. Reagan stood his ground,
just as Thatcher would three years later with the coal
miners. PATCO was a union working for the government.
Legally, it could not strike, but it did. Codevilla said
that the Russian leaders watched this event very carefully.
Reagan fired all workers who did not return to work within
48 hours, and he replaced them without any major problem
for airline traffic. The Russians knew they had a problem.

That problem ultimately bankrupted their already shaky


Reagan had an estimated thousand jokes that he could
recite from memory. He understood that humor can disarm a
critic. He mastered this skill as no President ever has,
although Kennedy was close in his press conferences.

In 1981, Bill Adler's book was published, "The Reagan
Wit." It was a collection of one-liners and quips going
back several decades, but concentrating on his political
years. It went to the printers in May, after Reagan had
visibly recovered from his gunshot wound.

When he was shot, he retained his humor. He told the
doctors at the hospital, "I hope you are all Republicans."
The doctor's answer was perfect: "Today, Mr. President, we
are all Republicans." On that day, the whole country was
Republican. He told his wife, "Honey, I forgot to duck."
He endeared himself to the nation.

When he came out of the hospital a month later, his
public approval rating was so high that the House of
Representatives, then controlled by Democrats, could not
resist when he submitted a bill to cut marginal income tax
rates by 10% for three years in a row.

Timing? A fraction of a second, a fraction of an
inch, and he would have died.

Six weeks later, the Pope was shot, also by a man
carrying a .22 instead of a .38. The Pope had just bent
down to see a emblem of Our Lady of Fatima on a little
girl's dress. His shift in position saved his life. (On
this, see Malachi Martin, "The Keys of This Blood", 1990,
p. 46.)

People speak of luck. They also speak of fate. Both
are impersonal. Reagan spoke of providence. It is not


Reagan's career is surely consistent with how
Americans like to think of America. As Adlai Stevenson
once said, "Any American can be elected President. It's
one of the risks you take." He, too, was a master of the
quip. But he ran for President against a general who had
come up from nothing and nowhere, not as Stevenson had
grown up, the grandson of a Vice President. (His
grandfather also was a quip-master. Someone asked him,
"Has Mr. Cleveland consulted you to that extent?" He
replied, "Not yet. But there are still a few weeks of my
term remaining.") Eisenhower had been a very careful
planner of his own career. Reagan just seemed to fall into
things, one by one. Good or bad things, he always came out
smelling like a rose -- until Alzheimer's.

Yet even Alzheimer's was a blessing -- not to him or
his immediate family, but to the rest of us. It allowed us
to prepare, through the long goodbye that Alzheimer's is,
to say goodbye this week. We have not as a nation said
goodbye in this way to any retired President.

Why Reagan? Because he was a common man with uncommon
abilities: speaking and acting. He was not long-winded.
He did not pontificate. He did not bloviate. He always
got to the point. People identified with him because of
his jovial demeanor and his gifted rhetoric. They trusted
him because he talked straight. And then he was struck
down by a disease that we all fear.

Dan Rather narrated a half-hour Reagan special on
Saturday. He closed with words that were audibly
emotional. Rather is surely no Reaganite conservative.
Yet the effect of Reagan's Presidency, and I think also his
personal demeanor and unflagging good will, spread even
into the news rooms, where political cynicism reigns
supreme. Most of us really do want to believe that it is
morning for America, especially today, in the midst of
obituaries trickling in, day by day, from Iraq. Like
yeast, Reagan's personal influence took time to rise.

Reagan took us from what looked like military
armageddon to the last days of the cold war. He never got
the budget balanced. It is doubtful that any President
ever will -- not without a prior default, either openly or
through inflation. But he talked the talk even when he did
not walk the walk. He walked enough of the walk to deliver
us from a great evil. He turned Communism into a joke --
the same way he handled every other bad thing he ever
encountered, even Alzheimer's. He said, "The good thing
about Alzheimer's is that you meet new people every day."
Anyway, this quip has long been attributed to him. It sure
sounds like him. Even if it is apocryphal, it is a tribute
to how we think of him.

Reagan did not view the world as a machine, a game, or
a tale told by an idiot, signifying nothing. He viewed it
a place where men are called upon to do the best they can.
That is what he told David Frost, twice, separated by two
decades. On his gravestone, he wanted it said that he did
the best he could.

The best he could do will still be in the history
textbooks in two hundred years, maybe even Russian history
textbooks. Mr. Gorbachev never did tear down that wall,
but he refused to intervene when the people did. That was
enough. The wall came tumbling down.

If we stay the course, maybe we can tear down some

(If you want to read a book on Reagan, read Peggy
Noonan's "When Character Was King.")


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The Gipper is Gone

I was sorry to hear of the passing of former president, Ronald Reagan. I am somewhat cynical of politicians, but he was one president I actually liked and felt a measure of respect for.
Willena, Don't Read This

Knoxknoxwhosthere is poisonous! Induce vomitting if ingested.


From Go-Quiz.com

Monday, June 07, 2004

Gerbil De-Population Program

This is a continuation of the ongoing saga of the Grenon Gerbils. Or should I say "gerbil" singular?

Until today we had a total of 8 gerbils living in two cages with no possibility of increase. Our ability to support unlimited amounts of gerbils was not very good, so we separated the males from the females and only let them gaze wistfully at each other through their cages.

Now one of the problems you get when you have a 7 year old in charge of 8 gerbils is that the cages don't get cleaned as often as they should. The result is that the bedroom starts to smell like a giant gerbil cage and people who pass the doorway tend to faint if the door happens to be open. I knew we had a problem when I found Elodie passed out cold on the hallway floor.

Tamara was told to take the gerbils outside and change their bedding and clean things up. The cleaning was to extend not only to the bedding in the cage, but all the litter on the dresser they were kept on, the litter on the floor, and the general muck and messiness that exuberant gerbils cause when gaily tossing litter and scratching in their cages.

In the course of the cleaning, I was heard to mutter that I thought it would be best if the gerbils were found a home outside since I didn't enjoy seeing the girls' room turned into a giant gerbil cage with bedding everywhere, including their dresser drawers. Tamara decided to take me at my word and left the gerbil cages outside in the woodshed.

Alas, she neglected to put the cages up out of reach of the two water on the brain Cheseapeakes we own, and the dogs mistook the family pets for doggy treats.

We are now down to one gerbil who is enjoying the luxury of a room of its own.

Somehow, I just don't think we were cut out to be rodent owners.
Now Here's A Reality Show I Would Watch...


By RFD Editor, Nicholas Regush

Here's the pitch:

Mainstream medical scientists and doctors who cling to cherished beliefs about how things work would be “screened” and “reviewed” by those on the outer edge holding new and challenging views. This would be a no-mercy “debate,” featuring any sort of name-calling and perhaps even kicking and screaming.

Extreme Medical Reality would reveal how medical science is rife with the type of back-stabbing and conflicts of interest that rule the manner in which so-called “knowledge” is spread.

Unlike in the daily world of medical science where the “Established View” dominates and works tirelessly with duped media to censor the competition, those on the outer edge of medical science would now have the full opportunity to present their views and stir things up, without fear of immediate retaliation, such as losing access to research funds and having their academic employment terminated.

Of course, those holding mainstream medical scientific views would also be encouraged to feel guilt-free in publicly trashing the ideas of their accusers.

Each team would have an on-air support/research staff of near-naked “assistants.” Armed guards would be on hand to prevent extra extreme encounters
Breasts: The New "Must Have" Fashion Item for Teens

TV makeover shows that have ugly ducklings turned into beautiful swans after things are pulled, tucked, liposuctioned and surgically altered are fuelling the idea that beauty is yours if you have the bucks. Teens are now getting breast implants as a graduation gift from their parents. One wonders why there is no widespread protests coming from the medical community over this.

Oh wait. They make money from cosmetic surgery.
From Redflagsdaily.com :

The Warnings Began A Long Time Ago. We Were Advised That A Terrifying Nightmare Would Be Slowly Unleashed If Doctors Didn't Change Their Prescription Habits. Now It's Happening...

One man dies and 50 others are infected in Australia. In the U.S., this bug is also on the rise even in the community. And in Canada [PDF File], where similar infection is occurring, there have also been major outbreaks of yet another type of infection that is spreading in the community and affecting major hospitals. To make matters worse, experts in the U.K. warn that a new big bug, a nightmarish one that drugs can't kill, and one they call the "mother of all superbugs" will become a major threat to health. All this, mainly because doctors continue to be irresponsible in the way they prescribe antibiotics.

Moral of the Story: Take your glyconutrients, children. Your immune system is your best defense.

I am a knife!

what kitchen utensil are YOU?

You are a knife! You enjoy stabbing things, and that's about it, really. You also enjoy being in charge, but don't forget, you can't do things by yourself all the time. Give the fork a chance.

O saints who share His love, in Him be glad,
Who loved you, ere you a being had!
Why should you doubt His love to you, because
You cannot in yourself perceive the cause?
Twas not your worth of goodness could deserve
That He at first from death should you preserve
Nor will your worthlessness, nor vileness make,
Your loving Lord your souls again forsake.
It was the goodness of His sovereign will
Engaged him first, and will engage Him still,
And since He loved you from eternity,
Believe He'll do the same eternally.
Lay by your doubtings, then ye saints and raise
Melodious songs to your Redeemer's praise.

Hugh Clark

Those who lack the comfort of the doctrine of God's sovereignty in salvation lack the one thing that ensures a steady peace and trust in God. God's sovereignty over the affairs of man is the bedrock upon which our peace and comfort is built.

Saturday, June 05, 2004

Lawful, Ethical, Wonderful Stem Cell Research!

One of the most abominable and wicked practices being carried on in scientific research these days is stem cell research that utilizes aborted babies as a source for research and as a source for stem cells for stem cell therapy.

It now appears that this type of research is completely obsolete and redundant and even counterproductive. In fact, it even appears that embryonic stem cells invariably cause tumors and other problems compared to stem cells that we produce as fully born individuals.

We all have stem cells that can be counted and observed for their function. The evidence is piling up that suggests that things that were considered irreversible, like Down's Syndrome, or Alzheimers may now be reversed because our own stem cells can be activated through glycoprotein technology. There are now a sizeable number of Down's children who have had their Down's reversed to the extent that even their facial features have changed (look at the bottom of the page). This is even more astounding -- the evidence seems to be coming in that suggests that cell repair is happening even at the DNA level.

It appears that we may have a glimpse of just how we will see a sinner dying young at 100 in the millenium. (Isaiah 65:20)
Vanity, Thy Name is Woman

The Only Officially Sanctioned Photo in Existence of Cheryl (for those with enquiring minds). Sorry that you can't see the hair beads or perm real well in this one. Posted by Hello
Pig Hooey!

We Grenons have strange ways of entertaining company.

Last night my daughter, son-in-law, and grand-daughter came over for supper and a movie. It was a fairly normal meal, though rather casual as some of us ate inside and some ate outside, fending off black flies, mosquitoes, and dogs. We did a partial cleanup after eating and sat down to watch the videos. So far so good.

The real excitement came when my guests were getting ready to leave. Trista went to find her father who was over in the back 40 visiting the two pigs that Trahern and a neighbor boy are raising as 4H projects. We soon heard calls for help and Adam and I trotted over, leaving Elodie and Keiannah to play in the car by tooting the horn repeatedly.

Somehow, both pigs had escaped their pen and were running round and round its perimeter while being urged on by half a dozen children with sticks who were unsuccessfully trying to herd them into the pen. The pigs, having gotten a newfound taste of freedom, and seeing a wide world of foraging in front of them, most decidedly did not want to re-enter a pen that was de-nuded of every blade of grass and shrub that had been there not a week before.

Marc was in hot pursuit of one of the pigs and made a flying leap and landed on the smaller of the two pigs. The pig did not like this and with many a protesting squeal, wriggled mightily and with great vigor and got away. Again, Marc was up after it and this time managed to land squarely on the pig with Adam not far behind. At this, the pig began to shriek like a ring wraith in its death throes. I ran over and grabbed the pigs front legs and together the three of us hussled the wriggling bundle over to the pig pen and tossed it in. The pig immediately ran to its mud hole and coated itself in mud, perhaps with the hope that wrestling a muddy pig would be less to our liking and we would leave it alone.

The second pig was larger and faster, yet Adam and I managed to bring it down with great skill by collapsing on it. Sam ran up with a rope he had made into a halter, and Marc took my place on the pig and proceeded to put the rope over the pig's head and then hog tie the pig's feet. Unfortunately, in his excitement, he hog tied one of his feet to the pig as well. I had no intentions of dragging the pig AND Marc to the pigpen, so I told him to stop fooling around and untie his foot. For some reason, he bared his teeth at me.

We finally managed to disentangle Marc from the pig, and he and Adam quickly dragged the protesting porker to the pen and with a mighty heave launched it into the enclosure.

Our pleasure in viewing the newly imprisoned inmates diminished somewhat when we realized we were all covered in...

Friday, June 04, 2004

What's In a Name?

Below you have the acronym for my Username, my blog name, and my first name. It appears that I can be somewhat double minded at times.




Name / Username:

Name Acronym Generator
From Go-Quiz.com

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Crazy Busy

Crazy busy seems to be the theme of my life lately. Already this week I have done a meeting on Monday night for my dh who was not feeling well, Tuesday I had to help a neighbor who had a back spasm and couldn't move. (I used a method called Bioenergetic Triggerpoint Therapy to relieve the spasm and some EFT to relieve the pain and restore movement. It never fails to surprise and delight me over the often dramatic and remarkable ways this simple method works.) Then I got my license in the afternoon with Trista. Yesterday I got toxic hair in the morning (read "perm" and now I really look like a hippy and, according to my sons, much younger and more hip), and then spent the evening at a Society meeting. Today I helped a business partner with an order, did another telephone consultation for EFT (and again got remarkable results) and then had the joy and delight of fellowshipping with some gals from my church as they assembled lasagnes for a wedding reception in a month's time. Tonight I go grocery shopping and pick up some school curriculum and hopefully hit the gym.

Life is full and busy, but I feel so happy, especially when I have been able to be of material benefit to someone. It is food and drink to me.