The Passing of a Generation

A week and a half ago, it occurred to me that we’re just a few years away from the centennial of World War I.  Now our link with that conflict is gone.  Frank Buckles, the last American World War I veteran, died yesterday, just three weeks after his 110th birthday.  I talked about him in two previous entries, dated November 11 & 12, 2008; that’s why I am mentioning him now.  You can read more in this story from the History Channel:

Frank Buckles, Last U.S. World War I Vet, Dies at 110

Rest in peace, Frank, you served your country better than we know.  Our collective hats are off to you.

Did We Lose December?

Do you get the feeling we lost a month around the end of last year? December felt more like January, January felt like February, and now February is feeling a lot like March. Well, let’s see if we get our April flowers early.

Yesterday it rained all day and we had a flash flood watch. We got more than two inches here, and in some parts of Kentucky it exceeded three inches. Near the southwest corner of Kentucky (Graves County), there is a report of an Amish family suffering a tragedy when they tried to cross a swollen creek in a horse-drawn buggy; the current overturned the buggy and swept away four of the seven children. Three bodies have been recovered so far, and a number (75 to 100) of police, firemen and volunteers are looking for the one that’s still missing.

Here in Lexington I’m hearing warnings on the radio to stay away from one of the main roads on the other side of town, because it’s flooded. Well, at least we got enough rain to make up for the dry spells we’ve had since the beginning of the year. Now the rain is done, and this morning we got a lot of wind, in gusts up to 40 MPH. Hopefully it will dry out my car enough that I won’t have trouble starting it, the next time I go out; the distributor gets waterlogged on the wettest day we get in the spring every year.

Arrgh, My Parrot Is A Liberal!

I suspected that Brin-Brin had Green Party leanings, because of a YouTube video where another parrot of the same breed, named Cardozo, gives advice to Ralph Nader (see my message from November 13, 2008).  Today at lunch time I turned on the radio, and Rush Limbaugh was on the first station I found.  This crazy bird screamed, climbed around, and started tearing the newspaper in the cage, so I switched to another station with a local talk show host.  He immediately calmed down, and stayed quiet for the rest of the afternoon.

T. A. N. J. (There Ain’t No Justice)

These are evil times we are living in, when criminals are rewarded for their misdeeds and law-abiding, decent people have so little to show for their efforts.  Consider these examples:

1. Elliot Spitzer is a bully, the worst governor New York has had since Lord Cornbury, and got booted out of office less than two years after getting elected, when it was discovered he had been seeing very expensive prostitutes.  Somehow CNN thought those were good enough credentials to hire Spitzer as co-anchor to one of their shows, along with the Orlando Sentinel‘s Kathleen Parker.

2. Michael Vick is back in the NFL, though everyone knows he is an animal abuser.  Even President Obama made it known he wanted to see Vick play football again.  Too bad the president isn’t as eager to see the rest of us with jobs.

3. Rahm “Dead Fish” Emmanuel,  a nasty politician if ever there was one, is no longer in Washington DC, but he had no trouble getting elected mayor of Chicago.

4. One of the executives at our local airport, the one who spent $5,000 of the airport’s money at a strip club, has just been hired by the airport in Anderson, Indiana.  You can read about it here.

Oh Lord, why do the wicked continue to prosper, and have no trouble getting jobs, while folks like me are left to wander, rejected and ignored by the corporate world?  I have heard that it won’t be this way forever, but it’s not a good testimony to leave the righteous stuck in poverty.  I was also led to believe the economy would generate new jobs after 2011 began, and instead my talents are going to waste.  Where are the jobs, or some other source of income?

Random Thoughts on Presidents’ Day

What do you think Barack Obama will get for Presidents’ Day?  I heard on the radio that he was disappointed with last year’s presents.

Last night it was cold enough to run the heating a bit, but this morning I checked the thermometer outside, and it is 61 degrees.  That just doesn’t seem right to this old Florida boy.  In Florida the temperature always went up by day, and down by night.  I don’t remember any time in forty years when it was warmer at sunrise than it was at the previous sunset.

In the news one of the headlines is the rioting in Madison, Wisconsin.  What’s up with that?  Did the folks there forget they are in the Midwest, and now think they are in the Mideast?

You’ve also probably heard about teachers in Wisconsin making six figures, and they’re taking fake sick days so they can join the demonstrations.  Well, when I taught a computer course at a Florida community college, the most I ever made was $12,000 a year (in 2003).  It was fun, but because it didn’t pay the bills, I was always looking for more work on the side.  That’s why I moved to Kentucky when I was offered something better.  Now when I hear what the Wisconsin teachers are making, it looks like I’ve been had!

My Endorsement for 2012: Herman Cain

Yes, it is still nearly a year before the first primaries and caucuses of the 2012 presidential election; does anyone else remember when that was considered a long time?  But these days, if you want to be considered a serious candidate for the presidency, you have to throw your hat in the ring at least a year in advance.  And often candidates run for longer than that; Mitt Romney never really stopped running after 2008, and people have been talking about Sarah Palin as a candidate ever since she appeared on the national scene as John McCain’s running mate.


Therefore the press is now talking about the race, and throwing out a series of straw polls long before we get to the polls that really matter – the ones done in voting booths.  Because we haven’t heard of any Democrats challenging Barack Obama for the nomination, so far all the attention has been on the Republican possibilities.  Palin and Romney are mentioned most often, and they’ve won the straw polls to this date, but while I would probably vote for either one of them in November, Palin hasn’t officially announced she’s running yet, and I doubt either could beat a charismatic Democrat like Obama.

There is a candidate that I feel has a better chance of winning, and that’s Herman Cain.  If you haven’t heard of him, don’t be surprised.  He’s currently a talk show host, but his show doesn’t play in hundreds of cities like Rush Limbaugh; when I heard him, he mainly acted as a substitute for Neal Boortz.  For those who didn’t read my message from July 26, 2010, here is why I like Herman Cain:

1.  He stands for the same values that I do, which include being a fine Christian.

2.  Unlike Obama, he has real executive experience.  Cain has run several companies and gotten them out of trouble, including being the CEO of Godfather’s Pizza and a vice president for Burger King.  Since the biggest issue we’re facing right now is fixing the economy, his skills are just what we need at this time.

3.  In recent years, the Democrats have been playing the race card to the hilt.  Well, they can’t do that against an intelligent black opponent like Cain.  In fact, I’ve been wanting to see the Republicans nominate a black conservative candidate since the 1990s, because that would cause the Democratic Party to tear itself asunder!

So far Cain has gotten little attention; in fact, the latest straw poll I saw listed eight choices, and Cain wasn’t one of them.  I also hear that he made a speech at a Tea Party rally in Wisconsin yesterday, but the media didn’t even notice.  Therefore if he does well in the primaries, we’ll call him a stealth candidate.  On Friday, February 11, he made a speech at the CPAC convention.  Here it is; may you find it as inspiring as I did.


The Temple Mount

Because of all the news coming from the Middle East these days, my pastor has preached two sermons on what the chaos in that region means for us.  Earlier in the week he asked me to make a presentation on the Temple Mount, because the church I attended in Florida was heavily involved with one of the groups that wants to rebuild the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem.  Well, I hadn’t done anything like that since my days as a teacher, but I was glad to oblige and gave the presentation tonight.  Overall I think it went very well.  Here is the PowerPoint show I made and shared:

The Temple Mount

Naturally the file was added to my Download Page on The Xenophile Historian.

And if you want to hear what I said, or the pastor’s sermon, use the links below to go to the podcast or PowerPoint pages of my church’s website (they should be up sometime tomorrow).

Sermon Notes


Mission accomplished!

Those Church Announcements Are A Scream!

You have to be extra careful when writing advertisements.  Just one wrong letter can change the meaning of the whole sentence.  I posted examples of such spelling errors in my messages from September 13 and September 23 (both in 2010).  Likewise, it happened with my favorite Christmas card:

Well, those church bulletin authors have done it again!  This morning my brother sent me an e-mail listing more hilarious bloopers seen in church bulletins.  I don’t why they happen so often; my guess is that it’s because you don’t need a college degree to write them.  You may not even need a high school diploma.  I remember a case in 2003 or 2004, where my own church’s bulletin misspelled “calendar” three times in a row, saying “calender” instead.  You’d think a spell checker would have caught that one!

Anyway, here are those wonderful church bulletin announcements, bloopers and all.  Sometimes it’s not a case of a misspelled word, but a case when the author chose the words poorly.  With one or two of them, I can’t even tell what they meant to say.  I hope this cheers up your day!


The Fasting & Prayer Conference includes meals. 
The sermon this morning: ‘Jesus Walks on the Water.’ The sermon tonight: ‘Searching for Jesus.’
Ladies, don’t forget the rummage sale. It’s a chance to get rid of those things not worth keeping around the house. Bring your husbands.
Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our community. Smile at someone who is hard to love. Say ‘Hell’ to someone who doesn’t care much about you.
Don’t let worry kill you off – let the Church help.
Miss Charlene Mason sang ‘I will not pass this way again,’ giving obvious pleasure to the congregation. 
For those of you who have children and don’t know it, we have a nursery downstairs. 
Next Thursday there will be tryouts for the choir. They need all the help they can get. 
Irving Benson and Jessie Carter were married on October 24 in the church. So ends a friendship that began in their school days.
A bean supper will be held on Tuesday evening in the church hall.  Music will follow.. 
At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be ‘What Is Hell?’ Come early and listen to our choir practice.
Eight new choir robes are currently needed due to the addition of several new members and to the deterioration of some older ones.
Scouts are saving aluminum cans, bottles and other items to be recycled. Proceeds will be used to cripple children.
Please place your donation in the envelope along with the deceased person you want remembered..
The church will host an evening of fine dining, super entertainment and gracious hostility.
Potluck supper Sunday at 5:00 PM – prayer and medication to follow.
The ladies of the Church have cast off clothing of every kind. They may be seen in the basement on Friday afternoon.
This evening at 7 PM there will be a hymn singing in the park across from the Church. Bring a blanket and come prepared to sin.
Ladies Bible Study will be held Thursday morning at 10 AM . All ladies are invited to lunch in the Fellowship Hall after the B. S. Is done.
The pastor would appreciate it if the ladies of the Congregation would lend him their electric girdles for the pancake breakfast next Sunday. 
Low Self Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday at 7 PM . Please use the back door.
The eighth-graders will be presenting Shakespeare’s Hamlet in the Church basement Friday at 7 PM . The congregation is invited to attend this tragedy. 
Weight Watchers will meet at 7 PM at the First Presbyterian Church. Please use large double door at the side entrance.
The Associate Minister unveiled the church’s new campaign slogan last Sunday: ‘I Upped My Pledge – Up yours’

Spring Advisory

What a nice day we’re having at last!  As I write this, it’s sunny and the outside temperature is 64 degrees.  What’s more, the forecast for the rest of the week is more of the same.  Can you believe it in the middle of February?  I guess we got our wish, and spring has arrived early after all.  And the last day of possible frost is still more than two months away; even in Florida that date won’t arrive until Friday.  Finally, I can dress like a normal human being when I go outside!