November Wrap-Up

I think the first snow of the season fell in Kentucky, but I haven’t heard from Leive yet.  Here in Connecticut, it has been a month since the great October snowstorm I told you about, with not a snowflake falling in the meantime.  Altogether it has been a dry November for us; for the first half of the month we got no rain or snow at all.  Nobody is complaining, though; in August, September and October we got much more rain than usual, and the melting snow at the beginning of November was worth half an inch of rain, at least.

Last Monday night, Leive finally got to have a belated Thanksgiving feast with our in-laws Gene and Rezia.  This year I can’t post any pictures of the spread, because I wasn’t there, alas.  She told me it was the same as our previous Thanksgivings:  turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans, and Philippine recipes like pancit and lumpias.  Also no word yet on how Brin-Brin behaved.  He dislikes Gene so much (and Rezia, because she married Gene) that on previous get-togethers, he would go down to the bottom of his cage and cry!  What a silly bird.

Yesterday I heard some good news concerning college basketball. At this point in the season, the University of Kentucky has been rated the number 1 team. Also, last weekend, UConn, last season’s NCAA champions, were beaten by a school that’s not known for its athletic program. That school was the University of Central Florida — my Alma Mater!

It looks like I will be staying in Connecticut past early December after all.  I learned on Monday that the job does not automatically end next week; I won’t have to fill out a new set of forms should I come in next Monday.  The temporary agency that brought me here just promises that the job will last at least six months, if I prove to be a good match with the company.  Now they’re saying I can stay until a year goes by or the available work runs out.  And while my supervisor is not promising anything past December 22, the temporary agency and my co-workers are promising there will be plenty of new projects to work on in January.

There’s still the challenge of a week without work or income at the end of the year, because the office is not expected to be open from Christmas to New Year’s Day.  Of course, if I can make some sales with LegalShield (formerly Pre-Paid Legal Services), it won’t be so bad.  I am also looking into how feasible it would be to go home for Christmas with Leive and Brin-Brin.

The Popess of San Francicso

Okay, it’s official.  House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi admitted last week that she doesn’t have a conscience.  I guess it’s better for somebody on that side to say it, then for us to accuse them of it.  What happened this time is that Pelosi said Catholic bishops oppose abortion because “they have this conscience thing.”  Here’s the story:

Pelosi Bashes Catholics:  "They Have This Conscience Thing"

What I find irksome is her arrogance; last year she claimed she is not only a devout Catholic, but also knows more about Christianity than the pope.  Since then, whenever Pelosi has been in the news, I have wondered why the Catholic Church does not excommunicate anybody anymore.  Isn’t submission to the pope’s authority one of the most important Catholic doctrines, the one that distinguishes it from other churches?  If Catholics no longer have to obey the Vatican, then they might as well be Episcopalians.

Kids Tell Us Who to Marry

Art Linkletter used to tell us that kids say the darndest things.  Well guess what – they still do.  Here is a funny list of quotes that just arrived in my inbox:

HOW DO YOU DECIDE WHO TO MARRY? (written by kids)

You got to find somebody who likes the same stuff. Like, if you like
sports, she should like it that you like sports, and she should keep
the chips and dip coming.
— Alan, age 10

No person really decides before they grow up who they’re going to
marry. God decides it all way before, and you get to find out later
who you’re stuck with.
— Kristen, age 10

Twenty-three is the best age because you know the person FOREVER by
— Camille, age 10

You might have to guess, based on whether they seem to be yelling at
the same kids.
— Derrick, age 8

Both don’t want any more kids.
— Lori, age 8

Dates are for having fun, and people should use them to get to know
each other. Even boys have something to say if you listen long enough..
— Lynnette, age 8 (isn’t she a treasure)

On the first date, they just tell each other lies and that Usually
gets them interested enough to go for a second date.
— Martin, age 10

I’d run home and play dead. The next day I would call all the
newspapers and make sure they wrote about me in all the dead columns.
— Craig, age 9

When they’re rich.
— Pam, age 7

The law says you have to be eighteen, so I wouldn’t want to mess
with that.
– – Curt, age 7

The rule goes like this: If you kiss someone, then you should marry
them and have kids with them. It’s the right thing to do.
— Howard, age 8

It’s better for girls to be single but not for boys. Boys need
someone to clean up after them.
— Anita, age 9 (bless you child)

There sure would be a lot of kids to explain, wouldn’t there?
— Kelvin, age 8

And the #1 Favorite is……..
Tell your wife that she looks pretty, even if she looks like a dump
— Ricky, age 10

Another Mouse, and Turkey Time News

Okay, here is what has been happening with my family over the past few days.  On Tuesday night the land line failed in our house in Kentucky.  Fortunately we still had our cell phones, so Leive could go around the house and make sure no phone was off the hook.  A repairman from our phone & Internet service company came over the next day, and he found the cause was four bad wires near the circuit breaker box in the basement.  He replaced two of them, which got our phone service back, and said that the other two could fail in the near future; an electrician will be needed for those, because a hole will have to be cut in the wall to get at them.  Therefore Leive arranged to have our in-law Gene look at the wires, when he gets back from his father’s funeral.  Incidentally, our parrot Brin-Brin did his part, spooking the repairman by doing his screaming routine when the poor guy was in other rooms of the house.

On Wednesday I learned I got at least a partial extension of my job, past the scheduled ending date of December 6.  My supervisor promised there would be work for me at least until December 22, but he won’t promise anything after that.  My co-workers, on the other hand, are saying there will be plenty of new projects come January.  The killer time is the last week of the year, from Christmas to New Year’s Day.  I’m hearing that during that week, the office won’t be open at all.  For the regular employees it won’t be a hardship, they can use their vacation time pay, but a contractor like me has no paid holidays, so if I cannot tighten my belt enough, I’ll have to come up with another option.  An all-out push for LegalShield (formerly Pre-Paid Legal) comes to mind.

Remember I told you about mice in my Connecticut apartment?  I caught another one at sundown on Thursday.  Not with a mousetrap, but with the same bucket that caught one on October 13.  Like the first mouse, it fell in and could not jump out.  Here’s how it looked in the bucket:



This time I put the lid on the bucket, drove it to Candlewood Lake, and turned it loose there; once released, the mouse ran a full circle around me before scurrying into the grass and leaves.  My odometer said I was 1.7 miles from home; hopefully that’s far enough away to keep it from coming back.  However later in the evening, I did the peanut test again.  I dropped a peanut near the stove, and like the others, it soon disappeared.  In fact, I think I heard this one being carried off, so not only do I still have at least one more mouse, but this mouse is a clumsy one.  Who was the nitwit who coined the phrase “as quiet as mice?”  That doesn’t apply to the rodents that keep me awake at night!

After I disposed of the mouse, I went to church, where they were having a Thanksgiving dinner that evening.  It was tasty, didn’t cost anything, and the people there were nice, but otherwise it left something to be desired.  I was the only person attending from the Sunday morning English language service, to start with, so I didn’t know anybody there; the pastor in charge preferred to speak only Portuguese most of the time.  Also, they got started awfully late; they told us to arrive at 6 PM, but they did not serve the food until 7:30.  In the meantime they had six singers and musicians performing Christian songs up front.  Finally, I wasn’t stuffed the way I am at one of Leive’s feasts, because the Brazilians have their own idea about Thanksgiving courses.  Although they had turkey and ham, those weren’t the most important dishes; what they served was a little meat and a lot of rice, both white and yellow!  I did not stay for dessert, because I needed to get up early for today.

Today I worked for four and a half hours, and was told I can come in for another four hours tomorrow.  Not enough to make up for the time lost by having Thursday off, but every little bit helps.  Boy, the office was even emptier than it normally is on a weekend; nearly four hundred people work there, but today I could count on my hands how many people showed up!

That’s the news from me; in the meantime, I hope your weekend is going well.

Happy Thanksgiving 2011!




May everyone reading this have a most blessed holiday with family and friends!

In 1789, President George Washington issued his official Thanksgiving Day Proclamation, where he gave four good reasons for a nation to celebrate this kind of holiday.  All of them are still relevant today:

“It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor.”

Finally, I have a short but funny video from The Red Green show.  In the past I have posted several videos from the fellow I call the “Canadian Tim Allen”; for today I particularly recommend the video I posted on December 4, 2010.  In today’s video he tells us exactly what he’s thankful for.  Give thanks and enjoy your feast!


The Warriors of Goja

So you think the contestants on a reality show like “American Idol” or “America’s Got Talent” will do anything to win? This Indian group puts them to shame. I like bhangra music, but whatever you see in this video, DO NOT TRY IT AT HOME. Leave self-abuse to the professionals. You have to feel sorry for the judges as they are watching, too.

A Tough Pre-Thanksgiving Monday

Not for me, but for my family back in Kentucky.  I’ll get to that shortly, but first I’ll tell you about something strange I saw here in Connecticut.  On Sunday afternoon, in the back corner of a 7-11 parking lot, I spotted something white, about three feet wide and six inches high.  I went to investigate, and sure enough, it was a snowdrift.  Three weeks after our famous pre-Halloween snowstorm, it had managed to survive.  How it did so is beyond me; it has been a week and a half since I saw snow anywhere else, and daytime temperatures have been at least in the 50s.  My guess is that the nearby trees keep the sun from ever shining on it.

Anyway, Leive had two errands to run yesterday, a doctor’s appointment and Thanksgiving shopping.  She got her car half a mile down the road before it stalled, so she called our in-laws Gene and Rezia King, and they came from their side of town to get her where she needed to go.  After that they returned to the car, and were able to start it and get it home.  Because the last couple of days have seen a constant light rain, it looks like the rain got into the distributor, as has happened when I left my car outside through April showers.  Now I think I have convinced Leive to put the car in the garage when she’s not using it, for as long as I am away.

Two hours later, Leive got the sad news that Gene’s father died.  He passed away peacefully in an easy chair, one day before his 80th birthday.  Previously Leive had been planning to have Thanksgiving dinner with Gene and Rezia, but now that’s out, as they go to Hopkinsville, KY to deal with the funeral arrangements.  Please pray for the King family in this time of loss.  To refresh your memory, here is the picture of Gene and Rezia that I took in June 2007:

As for Leive, maybe she can go to our pastor’s house on Thursday.  After all, they took me in for Thanksgiving five years ago, when I was alone in Kentucky.

A Tribute to Filipinos and the King James Bible

Yesterday I read an article by a Saudi Arabian entitled “Imagine a World Without Filipinos.”  He told about a florist who lost his Filipino workers, and missed them so much that he went to Manila to find some more.  The article also tells how more Filipinos work in Saudi Arabia than any other country.  I would have thought the US was their biggest employer, but if that’s where the money is these days, so be it.  Then it discusses what makes the Filipinos special:  they speak very good English (the article doesn’t say they’re fluent because they used to be part of the United States), they are good sailors, and even better doctors and nurses.  I can agree with all that, and would add that everybody in the Philippine archipelago is musically inclined, able to sing or play an instrument.  Finally, the world is a funnier place because of them; see my message from April 24, 2010 for more about that.  The article is three years old, but still up to date.  Here’s the link:

Imagine a world without Filipinos


2011 marks the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible.  This is important not only for its spiritual impact on the lives of English-speaking people, but also because the Bible, along with William Shakespeare’s works, established a standard form of the English language that hasn’t changed much since, except for the words English has “borrowed” from the other languages it has met.


Producing the King James translation was a long-term project, beginning in 1604 and finishing in 1611.  I don’t know the exact completion date, but the British royal family celebrated it last Wednesday.  Here’s the link to that story, too.

King James Bible anniversary marked by Queen

Happy Anniversary!

Three Quarters of a Century later

Today my mother would have been 75 years old.  Accordingly, today I am sharing this message from a friend on Facebook:

There are moments in life when you wish you could bring someone down from Heaven. Spend the day with them just one more time, give them one more hug, kiss them goodbye or hear their voice again. One more chance to say I LOVE you. Copy and paste in remembrance of someone in Heaven who is not here.