Tuesday, May 31, 2011

"I can tell by your sticker your a real artist."

Back in 90 somethin or thereabouts my friend Betsy told me about the Paseo festival. I knew where it was because A. I had gone to beauty college at Pauls beauty College down there in the 80s  and
B I used to go see my friend Alan when he worked at Medinas.

I didnt know much about it I had gone to the little bars that were various and sundry incarnations and a few parties at the apartments on the circle. I liked hanging out there. I imagined it was like Henry Millers life where painters and sculptors and writers and musicians and all sorts of people doing those art things or interested in those people doing those things would be like. Lots of conversations long into the night about EVERYTHING and nothing. It filled a niche for artists, a community of support.

The first Paseo Fest I went to they didnt have allot but if memory serves they were artists in those booths with paintings, pottery, drawings, jewelry, and all manners of creative expression. People just sitting around on folding chairs listening to music together or in little clusters someone playing a guitar and singing, maybe a troupe of actors dressed in costumes putting on a little skit, the belly dancers under the tent chachinging around and trying to get the audience to come up and dance. And the less talanted or maybe just taking the day off from it enjoyed the diversity of those performers just doing thier own thing entertaining all of us. And maybe you dropped a couple of bucks into a coffee tin for them while you sat and drank your beer and were glad for some shade. You walked around and enjoyed talking to the artists and enjoying the sense of freedom in that little enclave....

It has changed. Now the booths have quite a few people who I notice are not from Oklahoma. Don't get me wrong I believe in enterprise but I was really happy to toss my money back into Oklahomas art community. I miss that sense of solidarity. Not only that but its lost its sense of hippiness. If Paseo fest were a woman I'd say she has seemed to trade in her charming mismatched self with a tank top, long skirt and sandals for a  Harolds linen dress and ballet flats.

Monday we were enjoying a young girl sitting in the grass with a ukalele playing and singing she was very entertaining. But then a Festival official came up and this is what happened...

Fest Lady: "You will have to stop playing."

Uke girl: "Why?"

Fest Lady: "You don't have a sticker and this is for the real artists to make money."

Really? The REAL artists? You mean the ones that started out just like her? Isn't that where this all came from?

It sure made me feel sad that what started out as a real festival , the minstrels and artists and misfits with heartmade wares and songs and pictures and stories are all about having a sticker, homegenized and cleaned up. Where "ART" is a space taken up with more and more plastic purses and bedazzled tshirts and less real life....

Monday, May 16, 2011

Just for Fun "DEATH BY TOILET" 3/6/2007

Well you know this morning I stumble to the bathroom and sit down and crack the seat breaks. Now this would not be a big deal but when my husband bought the toilet we had to buy a special seat for it. On the package it said Indestructable toilet seat. So I go in and tell him he needs to go to Lowes and get a new seat he says it's supposed to be indestructable. Well Darlin I guess they lied did'nt they? He said when he bought a new one it did'nt say indestructable anymore.

So we know toilet seats are not indestructable and toilets probably are not either but it got me thinking about this, what about Elvis? and if he died on a toilet how many other deaths were toilet related so I did a little surfing and came up with the following... Toilet-related injury, accidents, and deaths: wow what can i say?

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Toilets can be the cause or location of many injuries and deaths
There are many toilet-related injuries and some toilet-related deaths throughout history and in urban legends.
In young boys, one of the most common causes of genital injury is when the toilet seat falls down while using the toilet [1]. Smaller children run the risk of drowning if they fall headfirst into the toilet. Injuries to adults include bruised buttocks, tail bones, and dislocated hips from unsuspectingly sitting on the toilet bowl rim due to failure to ensure that the toilet seat was down. Other injuries can be caused by the feet slipping or the toilet bowl collapsing under the weight of the occupant. Pinch injuries can also occur due to splits in plastic seats, and to the various parts of a seat in different configurations. Older high flush cast iron cisterns have been known to detach from the wall when flushed (by pulling a chain) causing injuries to the user. Injuries are frequently sustained by people standing on toilet seats to reach a height. There are also instances of people slipping on a wet bathroom floor, or from a bath and concussing themselves on the fitment.
Most of the injuries described in this article have been with Western-style toilets. Occurrences with squat toilets must undoubtedly exist, but remain to be better documented.
The 2000 Ig Nobel Prize in Public Health was awarded to three physicians from the Glasgow Western Infirmary for a 1993 case report on wounds sustained to the buttocks by collapsing toilets[2].
1 Famous toilet-related deaths
1.1 Possible occurrences
2 Occurrences in popular culture
2.1 Linked to external factors
3 Urban legends
4 References
5 See also
6 External links
[edit]Famous toilet-related deaths

George II of Great Britain died on the toilet on 25 October 1760 from an aortic dissection. According to Horace Walpole's memoirs, King George "rose as usual at six, and drank his chocolate; for all his actions were invariably methodic. A quarter after seven he went into a little closet. His German valet de chambre in waiting heard a noise, and running in, found the King dead on the floor."
American film producer Don Simpson was found dead on the toilet on 19 January 1996. Although his death was officially attributed to natural causes, rumours and tabloid magazines claim he died from a drug overdose.
[edit]Possible occurrences
It is often reported that Elvis Presley died on or near the toilet after suffering a heart attack, with gastrointestinal problems combined with a weak heart causing his death. Several sources also say that drug use was implicated in Elvis' death on the toilet. These details were not confirmed by the coroner, however, though the event did take place in the bathroom. The belief that Elvis died on the toilet is so widespread that popular culture often parodies that event. Examples of this are Eminem's music video Without Me and the Married With Children episode I'm going to Sweatland.
Edmund II of England died of natural causes on 30 November 1016, though some report that he was stabbed in the bowels while attending the privy. Similarly, Uesugi Kenshin, a warlord in Japan, died on 19 April 1578 with some reports stating that he was assassinated on the toilet.
Lupe VĂ©lez committed suicide on 13 December 1944, using secobarbital as her drug of choice, in Beverly Hills, California after the end of her relationship with Harald Maresch, whose child she was carrying. She retired to bed after taking the drug, but instead of sending her to sleep the drug upset her stomach and she was actually found dead in her bathroom. Her suicide and the circumstances surrounding it inspired a film by Andy Warhol in 1965 entitled Lupe.
Catherine the Great died of a stroke on 5 November 1796, with some believing that it occurred while she was on the toilet.
Novelist Evelyn Waugh died on 10 April 1966 after having put on a lot of weight. The sleeping pills he took, combined with a heavy intake of alcohol, cigars and little exercise, weakened his health, and there have been many reports that he died on the toilet.
Lenny Bruce died of a morphine overdose on 3 August 1966 while sitting on the toilet.
[edit]Occurrences in popular culture

Injuries and deaths related to toilets have been portrayed in film and other media on many occasions. These appear across many genres, from comedy to action movies:
Slim Newton's comic 1972 country song "Redback on the Toilet Seat" tells the story of a man who gets bitten by a poisonous redback spider while using the toilet, and ends up in hospital, "a sad and sorry plight".
In the 1985 film Back to the Future, Doc Brown came up with the idea of the flux capacitor (which is what makes time travel possible) after slipping from his toilet and bumping his head. The idea came to him in a vision he had after being knocked out.
In Alan Moore's 1986-1987 graphic novel Watchmen, Rorschach drowns a prison gangleader in the toilet.
In the 1989 film Lethal Weapon 2, Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover) finds his toilet booby trapped to explode as soon as he gets up.
In the 1992 film Home Alone 2, one of the characters has his head lit on fire then he attempts to put out the flames by sticking his head in a toilet full of kerosene.
In the 1993 film Jurrassic Park, the lawyer character is eaten by a Tyrannosaurus Rex while on a toilet.
In the 1994 Kevin Smith film Clerks, a man dies from a heart attack while masturbating on the toilet in a convenience store.
In the 1994 Quentin Tarantino film Pulp Fiction, Vincent Vega is shot dead by Butch Coolidge as he exits the bathroom. The mortal wound causes Vincent to fall back into the bathtub and die there.
In the 1995 James Bond film GoldenEye, James Bond attacks a Soviet Soldier on a toilet whilst infiltrating a Chemical Weapons facility.
In the 1997 film Austin Powers: International Man Of Mystery, one of Dr. Evil's henchmen is drowned in a toilet by Austin.
In the 1998 BBC comedy series Big Train, an intergalactic tyrant (who looks like Ming the Merciless from Flash Gordon), suffers the indignity of being in a British public hospital after slipping on the mat around the toilet. A "Get well card" from the people of the planet Zordon is not enough to raise his spirits, however.
In the 2001 Sopranos episode He is Risen, the character Gigi Cestone, a young man, has a coronary on the toilet.
In the 2003 film The Italian Job, the character Left Ear (Mos Def)'s nickname is attributed to a childhood prank involving cherry bombs in a toilet at his middle school.
In the 2004 film Soul Plane, a character sues the air plane company after being sucked into the toilet during flight.
In the Curb Your Enthusiasm episode The Weatherman, Larry David pees sitting down because he doesn't have to turn the light on when he goes to the bathroom at night. However, Larry injures himself one night after his wife, Cheryl David (played by Cheryl Hines), forgets to put the seat down.
In the multiplayer deathmatch segment of the PC game Half Life 2, death by flying toilet, propelled by the gravity gun, is a common occurrence. It has become somewhat of a cult phenomenon.
In Scrubs, J.D. was afflicted by a disorder in which he fainted when he used the toilet.
[edit]Linked to external factors
Toilets have been shown as a location for incidents and have caused problems in other ways:
In the One Foot in the Grave episode Endgame, Victor Meldrew puts a lit match down the toilet which catches on fire because Margaret had been using Turps to clean the Bowel.
In the 1993 film Jurassic Park, a lawyer trying to hide inside a public theme-park toilet was plucked off his seat and eaten by a Tyrannosaurus Rex.
In the 1994 Quentin Tarantino film Pulp Fiction, John Travolta's character, Vincent, causes Bad Things to happen every time he uses the toilet. After returning from dinner with Mia Wallace (Uma Thurman), she snorts heroin while he uses the bathroom and ends up overdosing. Later, Bruce Willis as Butch enters his apartment to retrieve his father's watch, only to find Vincent coming out of the toilet. Butch shoots Vincent with a silenced MAC-10 sub-machine gun. In a flashback scene at the end of the movie, Vincent is shown reading a book on the toilet in a diner while Pumpkin (Tim Roth) and Honey Bunny (Amanda Plummer) hold the customers hostage.
In the 1999 film Boondock Saints, one of the brothers drops a toilet onto a Russian mobster's head from a very great height.
In the 2003 film Dreamcatcher, a human host is killed by expelling a worm-like alien parasite while sitting on the toilet. One of the movies' characters later discovers the alien, trapping it in the toilet by sitting atop the seat.
In the 2003 premiere of TV series Dead Like Me, the series' protagonist Georgia Lass (played by Ellen Muth) is killed on her lunch break by a toilet seat which falls from the Mir space station.
In the 2003 film Big Fish, a character dies of a heart attack while reading Playboy on the toilet.
In the X-Files episode War of the Coprophages, a man is apparently attacked and killed by cockroaches while using the toilet, though Dana Scully suggests he may in fact have suffered from an aneurysm while straining.
In book three of the A Song of Ice and Fire series, A Storm of Swords, Tywin Lannister is killed by his son whilst sitting on the privy.
In the short film Rollover Training FA Style, two American soldiers knock over a portable toilet while one of their comrades unknowingly sits inside. The film, produced by a US Army unit deployed in Operation Iraqi Freedom and distributed over the internet, parodies military instructional materials.
In the 2006 film Snakes on a Plane, a character is killed by being bitten on the penis by a snake hiding inside the toilet on an airplane.
[edit]Urban legends

There has been a range of urban legends reported regarding the dangers of using a toilet in a variety of different situations. Many of them have been shown to be false. These include the presence of poisonous spiders[3] (primarily due to the Australian red-back spider's reputation for hiding under toilet seats[4]). In large cities like New York, sewer rats often have mythical status regarding size and ferocity, resulting in tales involving the rodents crawling up sewer pipes to attack an unwitting occupant. Of late, stories about terrorists booby trapping the seat in order to castrate their targets have begun appearing[5].
An urban legend with many variations recounts an "exploding" toilet. These scenarios typically include a flammable substance either accidentally or deliberately being introduced into the toilet water, and a lit match or cigarette igniting and exploding the toilet. Some of these have been examined on MythBusters.
Other common stories relate to the use of vacuums in the toilets of aeroplanes[6].

"SA damages after toilet collapse", BBC News, 18 May 2005.
"Power surge explodes 'superloo'", BBC News, 4 February 2004.
Categories: Hazards | Toilets

RELATIVES of a man who was crushed by a falling wall while urinating along the street last year are suing a property developer and a demolition company for 510,000 yuan in compensation.

The Yangpu District People's Court heard the case yesterday, but didn't announce a verdict.

Chen Jiuliang was urinating at one corner of Shanghai Wanda Commercial Plaza in Yangpu District last September 14 when the wall fell down, his wife told the court.

Part of the plaza was undergoing demolition at the time. 

After the accident, Chen's 37-year-old wife Wang Zhengmei filed suit against Shanghai Wanda Commercial Plaza Co Ltd, which manages the plaza, Shanghai Le'an Demolition Company and the China Construction Second Engineering Bureau.

Wang's attorney told the court Wang had just arrived in the city so her husband took her out for a look around the Wujiaochang area.

When they arrived the plaza, Chen said he desperately needed to go to the bathroom, and began to urinate on the corner of the wall.

"The wall fell down before he finished urinating," said attorney Wu Guoliang.

The attorney for Shanghai Wanda argued in court that Chen was not urinating but collecting scraps.

"According to an accident report from police, Chen Jiuliang was knocked down by the wall when he was collecting scraps," the attorney pointed out.

Wu showed the court a temporary resident permit to prove Chen had lived in Shanghai for three years and couldn't be a waste collector. 

But the defense pointed out that the name and ID number on that permit didn't match the name and number on Chen's identification card. His wife said he wrote his name down wrong as Chen was illiterate.

(12-09) 12:28 PST Chicago (AP) --
The gunman who fatally shot three people in a law firm's high-rise office before he was killed by police felt cheated over an invention, authorities said Saturday.
Joe Jackson forced a security guard at gunpoint to take him up to the 38th floor offices of Wood, Phillips, Katz, Clark & Mortimer, which specialized in intellectual property and patents. He carried a revolver, knife and hammer in a large manila envelope and chained the office doors behind him, police said.
Jackson, 59, told witnesses before he was shot that he had been cheated over a toilet he had invented for use in trucks, Police Superintendent Phil Cline said Saturday.
He was holding a hostage at gunpoint Friday when a SWAT officer shot him from about 45 yards away, Cline said earlier. There were no negotiations and the hostage was unharmed, police said.
"He had already shot four people. He had reloaded his gun," Cline said Saturday. There were 25 to 30 other people on the floor at the time, Cline said earlier.
Mayor Richard Daley said police did a "tremendous" job handling the situation.
The confrontation at the 43-story Citigroup Center sent office workers fleeing and stranded commuters who use a train station in the building.
The Cook County Medical Examiner's office identified the victims Saturday as Michael R. McKenna, 58, of Chicago; Allen J. Hoover, 65, of Wilmette; and Paul Goodson, 78, of Chicago.
Colleagues told reporters Hoover was a partner at the firm and McKenna was a patent attorney who rented space from the firm and also had offices in suburban Northbrook and in Hawaii. They said Goodson worked part time at the firm, sorting mail and making deliveries.
Jackson had McKenna's business card in his pocket, Cline said.
"We know he went there for Mr. McKenna, then he continued to shoot other people," Cline said Saturday.
Cline said Jackson had tried at least one other time Friday to go up to the firm's offices but was turned away.
Jackson had three criminal offenses on his record, Cline said. In 1968 he was arrested for unlawful possession of a weapon and in 1977 he was arrested for a stolen motor vehicle and disorderly conduct.
Police said McKenna's longtime paralegal, Ruth Zak Leib, 57, of Oak Park, was wounded. She was treated for a gunshot wound to the foot and was released Friday night, Rush University Medical Center spokeswoman Kim Waterman said.
A partner at the law firm, Stephen D. Geimer, declined to comment Friday night.
Fire officials said they received reports of shots fired on the 38th floor around 3:15 p.m.
Cindy Penzick, secretary in a law firm on the 37th floor, said that after a co-worker told her she had heard gunshots, a police officer with his gun drawn appeared on their floor and yelled at them to get out.
Penzick said she is usually calm, "but I have to tell you this was scary as hell."
Keegan Greene, who works at Verizon Wireless on the first floor, was helping a customer when fire alarms went off.
"One of the security guards came up to us and started saying "Run, run, run, run, run!" Greene said.
___ accident
14/08/2006 14:05 - (SA) 
Cops try flush out loo thieves
Big loos for 'fat' Aussies

Tashkent - Seven people were killed in Uzbekistan when an effort to excavate a toilet went badly wrong, the press-uz.info internet site said on Monday.

The accident in the southern rural province of Surkhondaryo occurred when a father and son were digging an overflow pit for an existing outdoor lavatory, the site said, citing the province's prosecutor.

As they were digging the seven-metre pit, the sides of the original toilet collapsed and its contents engulfed the two men.

Five neighbours then rushed to the men's aid, lowering themselves into the pit, but succumbed to poisoning caused by accumullated gas.

Mr Helper Man 3/17/08

So its Friday night we had some dinner and decide to run over to Borders and look at books cause that’s what we all love. Conor was pretty exciteable and kinda bouncing around we thought going out for awhile might calm him down a little.

So we pick some books out, wander around for an hour then and get to the line Conor almost knocks a book stand over so Larry gets him by the Shoulder/neck pulls him over and says "If you don’t calm down right now your gonna be in big trouble.."

We hear someone say "Don’t grab that kid like that."
We thought it was a friend teasing us but no....

We all turn around and DADADAH! Its MR. Helper Man! He with a bad attitude who’s gonna fix everything whether it needs it or not! Defender of Imagined injustice and conflict resolution resolver. His motto is "If I think it needs a nail I’ll put it in with a sledge hammer!"

Larry says "Pardon me?"

MHP " You heard me don"t jerk that kid around like that how would you like it if I did that to you you fat fuck? How bout I take you outside and do that to you?"

Larry "Im not hurting him."

MHP "Oh right"

Me " So are you the world police?"

MHP "Well no"

Me " I can assure you he’s far from abused. You seem overly affected by it why, did your Dad grab you and push you around?"

MHP " No he was not a PRICK like him. "

Me" You need to back up right now and HOW DARE YOU use language like that in front of my son!"

MHP"Im sure thats the least of his worries."

By this time Im so angry my ears are ON FIRE! I have not been pissed like that since, my neighbor told his OBNOXIOUS plumber he could come thru my back yard with a giant back hoe and he tore my yard up like a construction site! It takes all my Jesus Lovin control to not come over the aisle, grab this guy by the ears and smack him in the mouth. The F word is simmering on my lips like deep fryer of potatoes at McDonalds. I thought BLOOD was gonna shoot outta my eyes.

I can hardly hear Larry saying "Come on Honey lets go now." It’s only because of Gods Grace and my son that I managed to pull myself together. I leaned over about six inches from this guys nose and said very quietly" You are an ass." Larry is gently pulling my arm " Come on honey..."

We get to the car and Conor says"What was wrong with that guy Dad?" 
Larr" He thought he was helping you COnor."

Conor" Mom did you almost say the F Word? "

Me "Yes but I was trying not to."

Conor" He made me want to say the F word too!"

We talked about it with Conor so he would not be worried. Larry teased me and called me the Chihuahua because of the way I went after that guy. 

I was proud of Larry. Because of all his Martial arts not to mention his size he could have snapped that guy like a twig. I know he was angry and embaressed but he didnt show it he was very calm. But BECAUSE of his Aikido training he just blended with the situation and let it roll over him like rain. I was glad because I would not like Conor to see his Dad hurt someone even if they deserved it. We got home and I was still ramped up he said "Suz just breathe it out..." 

That night for prayers we lifted up Mr Helper Man and asked God to help him calm down and not hurt peoples feelings. I really struggled. Because you see Mr Helper Man you bullied my family, My Husband by accusing him of being an abuser, and my son with your language and attitude, and that in turn helped me turn into a raging ball of temper who was thinking of doing VERY bad things to you.

But I do owe you a thank you. You helped my son and all those people see how a REAL man acts when he’s confronted with a bully like you..... I guess God works in mysterious ways.
0 Kudos

You gotta love a plan 11/21/2006

You gotta love a plan..... Thanksgiving 
Current mood:  artistic
So here we are in 1608 North America. Hardly any white folk around but lots of indians, ( this will not be PC because I am a indian and do not mind being called one) some friendly, some fierce as if they had a premonition about how crappy it would be after the tourists come and never leave. 

In this one tribe in Massachussetts on the coast there was a tribe called the Patuxets who were really friendly and trusting, the sort of people who would help anybody. In this day and age they would be the ones you see at the side of the road helping somebody change a tire, or working for Habitat for Humanity building a house, or if they were female going thru and taking all the hand me downs in the house to the Salvation Army. 

So one day this group of young braves ( thats indian for boys) were hanging out at the shoreline dreaming of the day that television and MTV was invented or some of them Football, when this one who was about 12 saw a giant ship and hollahed at the others. 

Tisquantum or Squanto for short was about as cool a cat as you could ever want to hang with. He was really everybodys kinda guy, the most popular one. He had his hair cut in the latest style and had Santa Fe style beadwork on his moccs and he looked really amazing. 

He saw that these men looked different they wore really strange clothes and had allot of hair, all over but the white guys did not know about organic hair and shaving products. So they were stinky, dirty, and hairy. All over. But that did not scare Squanto. 

He had heard the older guys talking about this sort of stranger coming and bringing Bling Bling, pampered chef cookware, and shiny knives. And they were not too bright all they wanted was animal hides, half the time they took the ones left in the recycle pile. 

So Squanto said " Hey lets jam down there and see what kind of loot they have to trade with us." They all ran down to the edge where the strangers offered them some hot wings and cheese sticks but all of a sudden the strangers just went off and jumped on the braves and wailed on them and then tied them up and dragged them to the big ship. Then they threw them in the hold and slammed the door shut and laughed loud and maniacally. Probably having a Bi Polar episode. Squanto was scared now, I'm guessing he wished he had a way to tell these guys that he got seasick but it would not have done any good. They were kidnapped and off to take a cruise but without the buffett and girls in bikinis. I'm pretty sure that everybody was hurling at one time or another.

Squanto could not believe this had happened to him, one minute your out with the guys having a great time, the next your in a smelly, ship, tied up in the dark. They sailed for a really long time. So long that Squanto believed they would never get there. Sort of like being in Dallas rush hour traffic.

But finally the ship landed and they hauled Squanto and his entourage out into the daylight.They stuck them in these boats and took them to the shore. It was hot, dusty, and bright, in Malaga, Spain. Unfortunately there was not a Mariachi band waiting to welcome them.

Then the bad guys forced the braves to stand around while they sold them off one by one
Squanto watched while each one was led away. It was really depressing. He knew that he was in trouble and just could not imagine it getting much worse. All because he was curious about the snack tray...

But the big guy was looking out for his little dude Squanto. He had sent some of his gang to the dock that day with some heavy cash to pick up a few things. So one of the gang hollered when Squanto came up and the seller took the cash and turned Squanto over to the Gang of men. 

Now the Gang members were kind to Squanto they took him to thier crib to hang and got him cleaned up, some new threads, some good food and let him know they were not going to hurt him. So when they could help him understand they told him the gang was called the Monks and they worshipped God who can see everything thats ever happened and all that will happen to all of the world. They said Hey little Dude God loves everybody, including you, he takes all the stuff that happens and makes it allright if you just believe and trust him.

So Squanto hung out with the Monks and learned some Spanish, and the Monks learned some indian and they taught each other about the different ways to cook and grow and how to use herbs for different things. They could have put Martha Stewert to shame. But sometimes the monks could see that Squanto was sad and knew he was homesick. 

They all got together and decided that they would help him go back to America. But first he had to get to London, England, because all the trading ships went there before sailing across the Atlantic. They had to load up on all the Stuff they were taking to all the other countries who they traded with.

So after 5 years Squanto and the Monks threw down a big going away bash and Squanto hugged everybody and went off to London. The Monks made sure that Squanto would be OK and sent him to live with a Merchant named John Slanie and his family. A merchant is kind of like the people who own the little convenince store where you get your gas and lottery tickets. 

So Mr. Slanie told Squanto Hey look its gonna be awhile til a ship is going to your place but while we are waiting I'll teach you english,and how to act like us ( not the bad guys the good ones) and maybe you can get a job on one of the ships because they need trilingual guys and you could definately fit that in so lets make a 5 year plan for you OK?

Squanto said Hey no prob, can I crash here and work, I like horses I could do that for my room and board? So he stayed with the Slanies til 1618 when he finally found a ride back to America. He could not believe it had been 10 years since he had been home. He waved goodbye to the Slanies and the ship sailed along til it got to Newfoundland where he stayed til spring. he hung out and learned French and then when it was time got back on the ocean and sailed on his way home. 

He wondered whether anybody had changed, and if they would remember him. He could not wait to eat some Indian Tacos and tell everybody all about his adventures.

When they finally got there he could not believe he was finally home, he was thanking God for getting him there and he ran faster than Lance in the Tour De France back to his village he was so excited.

But when he arrived there was nobody there. It was emptier than a box of Chicken after a picnic, so he ran as fast as he could to the neighbors and they had awful news. A virus had killed everybody even the animals. 

Squanto was so bummed out he could not bear it. Why had this happened to him? all that he had been thru to get home and now this... The neighbors wanted to help him so they tried to make him feel at home there. They got him his own little bachelor pad and some stuff to put in it but Squanto could not help it, everytime he looked at the people he thought of everything he had lost. He felt like he was in the dark without a light anywhere. He felt so alone. 

He thought maybe a weekend wilderness retreat might help so he took his camping gear and went to commune with God in the beauty of the forest. He was full of pain about losing his family, full of doubt about what he was created for, what was the reason for all this? 

So he lived all winter in the forest and God waited on Squanto to trust him again because he's faithful like that. Pretty soon Spring came and then Bambi, Thumper and all the little Disney critters were everywhere and flowers and stuff and Squanto had a visitor. 

The man was from another village and his name was Samoset.He said Hey Squanto you look good, fit, you been living organic Huh? Samoset told Squanto about this group of aliens who had landed in a ship at Squantos old place and were living there. Samoset said, Wow man its crazy you have to come and see this you won't believe it they look like freaks the way they dress and everything. So Squanto said Hey whatever I could use a walk.

You gotta remember Squanto had seen allot in his 22 years so it was hard to freak him out. But he was surprised at how the village looked, and these Aliens they were English people. Squanto walked up and said Hey how you doin? The english people were amazed and Squanto filled them in on what all had happened to him to be there and know all about Londontown and being English.

Then they told him about how they were trying to find a new place to live. They were called Pilgrims but not like when John Wayne says Pilgrim in the cowboy movies. Like the guy on the oatmeal box. See they wanted to worship God in a different way but the King arrested them and threw a bunch of them in jail.

So everybody got together and ran away to Holland and had a pretty good life, there was the tulips, the clogging, the fish but they were afraid that the kids would forget about being English so they all decided to try this place called the New World. They really trusted that God wanted them to be free ( hmmmm so many people come here for that) and would help them find a new home.

So they landed and called it Plymouth because that was hometown for most of them.But it was really hard they were weak from the voyage, the snow came and they could not get the houses built fast enough, they didnt have enough to eat, it was bad real bad. Some of them just could not make it. Squanto knew what it was like to lose all the people he loved, and he admired them for being so brave. About that time the governor ( yes they had a governor even if it was just a few dirty little huts in massachussetts) William Bradford said Hey Squanto you know in the bible Joseph got kidnapped and sold for a slave. But you know God saw the big picture and put Joseph where he could do the most good. So even tho it was all bad it turned out all good. Do you think maybe You are our Joseph?

Squanto liked the sound of that and he liked the Pilgrims so he stayed and taught them how to grow food, where the best fishing holes were, how great Lobster was even without butter. 

Well the Pilgrims wanted to have a big party to honor God and his goodness. They asked Squanto and Samoset to come and bring some friends. Well Squanto and Samoset were raised by great Moms who taught them never go visit empty handed so they gathered up about 88 other guys and they came with deer and turkeys and lots of veggies and the pilgrims were like Wow you shouldnt have gone to all the trouble but come on in!

So after everything was cooked and a place was made for everybody the big kahuna Governor Bradford said a prayer, Thanks allot God for our good buddy Squanto. We know that you led him on his life journey and brought him thru all his troubles so he could be here to help us when we had just about gave up. 

(See Squanto was like Obi wan Kenobi in the Star wars movie. He saved the good guys when it looked really bad.)

So Squanto opened his heart to God even more and said Thanks God, you know my gang the monks told me you had big plans for me but I could not see it til today. What a great thing you have done bringing us all together the way you have, I love you man, Amen.

Sheep, Wolves, and Sheepdogs

This goes out to all the shepherds/sheepdogs. I pray they will remember who they defend and why, and to be uncorrupted by the very power they hold over the darkness.....

Sheepdogs defending sheep from wolves graphic.....

Sheep, Wolves and Sheepdogs

Miss Edwards, I read of your "student activity"
regarding the proposed memorial to Col. Greg
Boyington, USMC and a Medal of Honor winner. I suspect
you will receive a bellyful of angry e-mails from
conservative folks like me.

You may be too young to appreciate fully the
sacrifices of generations of servicemen and
servicewomen on whose shoulders you and your fellow
students stand. I forgive you for the untutored ways
of youth and your naivete. It may be that you are,
simply, a sheep. There's no dishonor in being a
sheep - - as long as you know and accept what you are.

William J. Bennett, in a lecture to the United States
Naval Academy November 24, 1997 said: "Most of the
people in our society are sheep. They are kind,
gentle, productive creatures who can only hurt one
another by accident." We may well be in the most
violent times in history, but violence is still
remarkably rare. This is because most citizens are
kind, decent people who are not capable of hurting
each other, except by accident or under extreme
provocation. They are sheep.

Then there are the wolves and the wolves feed on the
sheep without mercy. Do you believe there are wolves
out there who will feed on the flock without mercy? 
You better believe it. There are evil men in this
world and they are capable of evil deeds. The moment
you forget that or pretend it is not so, you become a
sheep. There is no good or safety in denial.

Then there are sheepdogs and I'm a sheepdog. I live
to protect the flock and confront the wolf. If you
have no capacity for violence then you are a healthy
productive citizen, a sheep. I f you have a capacity
for violence and no empathy for your fellow citizens,
then you have defined an aggressive sociopath, a wolf.
But what if you have a capacity for violence, and a
deep love for your fellow citizens? What do you have
then? A sheepdog, a warrior, someone who is walking
the uncharted path. Someone who can walk into the
heart of darkness, into the universal human phobia,
and walk out unscathed.

We know that the sheep live in denial, that is what
makes them sheep. They do not want to believe that
there is evil in the world. They can accept the fact
that fires can happen, which is why they want fire
extinguishers, fire sprinklers, fire alarms and fire
exits throughout their kids' schools. But many of
them are outraged at the idea of putting an armed
police officer in their kid's school. Our children
are thousands of times more likely to be killed or 
seriously injured by school violence than fire, but
the sheep's only response to the possibility of
violence is denial. The idea of someone coming to
kill or harm their child is just too hard, and so they
chose the path of denial.

The sheep generally do not like the sheepdog. He
looks a lot like the wolf. He has fangs and the
capacity for violence. The difference, though, is
that the sheepdog must not, can not and will not ever
harm the sheep. Any sheep dog who intentionally harms
the lowliest little lamb will be punished and removed.
The world cannot work any other way, at least not in a
representative democracy or a republic such as ours.
Still, the sheepdog disturbs the sheep. He is a
constant reminder that there are wolves in the land. 
They would prefer that he didn't tell them where to
go, or give them traffic tickets, or stand at the
ready in our airports, in camouflage fatigues, holding
an M-16. The sheep would much rather have the
sheepdog cash in his fangs, spray paint himself white,
and go, "Baa." Until the wolf shows up.

Then the entire flock tries desperately to hide behind
one lonely sheepdog. The students, the victims, at
Columbine High School were big, tough high school
students, and under ordinary circumstances they would
not have had the time of day for a police officer. 
They were not bad kids; they just had nothing to say
to a cop. When the school was under attack, however,
and SWAT teams were clearing the rooms and hallways,
the officers had to physically peel those clinging,
sobbing kids off of them.

This is how the little lambs feel about their sheepdog
when the wolf is at the door. Look at what happened
after September 11, 2001 when the wolf pounded hard on
the door. Remember how America, more than ever
before, felt differently about their law enforcement
officers and military personnel? Understand that there
is nothing morally superior about being a sheepdog; it
is just what you choose to be. Also understand that a
sheepdog is a funny critter: He is always sniffing
around out on the perimeter, checking the breeze,
barking at things that go bump in the night, and
yearning for a 
righteous battle. That is, the young sheepdogs yearn
for a righteous battle. The old sheepdogs are a little
older and wiser, but they move to the sound of the
guns when needed, right along with the young ones.

Here is how the sheep and the sheepdog think
differently. The sheep pretend the wolf will never
come, but the sheepdog lives for that day. After the
attacks on September 11, 2001, most of the sheep, that
is, most citizens in America said, "Thank God I wasn't
on one of those planes." The sheepdogs, the warriors,
said, "Dear God, I wish I could have been on one of
those planes. Maybe I could have made a difference." 
You want to be able to make a difference.

There is nothing morally superior about the sheepdog,
the warrior, but he does have one real advantage. 
Only one. And that is that he is able to survive and
thrive in an environment that destroys 98 percent of
the population There was research conducted a few
years ago with individuals convicted of violent
crimes. These cons were in prison for serious,
predatory crimes of violence: assaults, murders and
killing law enforcement officers. The vast majority
said that they specifically targeted victims by body
language: slumped walk, passive behavior and lack of
awareness. They chose their victims like big cats do
in Africa, when they select one out of the herd that
is least able to protect itself. Some people may be
destined to be sheep and others might be genetically
primed to be wolves or sheepdogs. But I believe that
most people can choose which one they want to be, and
I'm proud to say that more and more Americans are
choosing to become sheepdogs.

Seven months after the attack on September 11, 2001,
Todd Beamer was honored in his hometown of Cranbury,
New Jersey. Todd, as you recall, was the man on
Flight 93 over Pennsylvania who called on his cell
phone to alert an operator from United Airlines about
the hijacking. When they learned of the other three
passenger planes that had been used as weapons, Todd
and the other passengers confronted the terrorist
hijackers. In one hour, a transformation occurred
among the passengers - athletes, business people and
parents -- from sheep to sheepdogs and together they
fought the wolves, ultimately saving an unknown number
of lives on the ground.

"There is no safety for honest men except by believing
all possible evil of evil men." - Edmund Burke. Here
is the point I like to emphasize, especially to the
thousands of police officers and soldiers I speak to
each year. In nature the sheep, real sheep, are born
as sheep. Sheepdogs are born that way, and so are
wolves. They didn't have a choice.

But you are not a critter. As a human being, you can
be whatever you want to be. It is a conscious, moral
decision. If you want to be a sheep, then you can be
a sheep and that is okay, but you must understand the
price you pay. When the wolf comes, you and your
loved ones are going to die if there is not a sheepdog
there to protect you. If you want to be a wolf, you
can be one, but the sheepdogs are going to hunt you
down and you will never have rest, safety, trust or
love. But if you want to be a sheepdog and walk the
warrior's path, then you must make a conscious and
moral decision every day to dedicate, equip and
prepare yourself to thrive in that toxic, corrosive
moment when the wolf comes knocking at the door.

This business of being a sheep or a sheep dog is not a
yes-no dichotomy. It is not an all-or-nothing,
either-or choice. It is a matter of degrees, a
continuum. On one end is an abject,
head-in-the-sand-sheep and on the other end is the
ultimate warrior. Few people exist completely on one
end or the other. Most 
of us live somewhere in between.

Since 9-11 almost everyone in America took a step up
that continuum, away from denial. The sheep took a
few steps toward accepting and appreciating their
warriors, and the warriors started taking their job
more seriously. Its ok to be a sheep, but do not kick
the sheep dog. Indeed, the sheep dog may just run a
little harder, strive to protect a little better and
be fully prepared to 
pay an ultimate price in battle and spirit with the
sheep moving from "baa" to "thanks".

We do not call for gifts or freedoms beyond our lot.
We just need a small pat on the head, a smile and a
thank you to fill the emotional tank which is drained
protecting the sheep. And when our number is called
by "The Almighty", and day retreats into night, a
small prayer before the heavens just may be in order
to say thanks for letting you continue to be a sheep.
And be grateful for the 
thousands - - millions - - of American sheepdogs who
permit you the 
freedom to express even bad idea

Thanks for reading this. May you think upon it. May
you, too, remember the rancher - he is responsible for
his sheep and his sheep dogs and for ridding his ranch
and aiding those ranches nearby in ridding themselves
the wolves. That rancher is a busy man and is quite
often appreciated even less than the sheep dogs. Too
bad there is so much misunderstanding - even within

Griswald Family Christmas 2007

No its not my tree but mine looks that big

So I can't believe that the Holidays have already come and gone. I feel like a bobble head in a NASCAR. I am looking at my living and dining room. Christmas has thrown up in my house. I mean its everywhere. I have been working and working trying to get it all put away but its like it grows overnight. Not to mention I am still finding paper all over under chairs, on cieling fans it was wild. 

I tried this year to cut down on the amount of decorating in the house but Larry and Conor helpfully unpacked every box ( 7 giant tubs) for me one day while I was at work so I did it all one more time. We figured out our tree is like 15 years old now. It was larrys and he inheritied it from his folks. He actually would decorate it with these artificial poinsettas and it looked OK till they sarted to turn brown from being oh I dont know 100 years old? I was feeling ambitious and went and bought the last tree at Lowes for next year. I did not however look at how tall it is, and after loading it ( HEAVY!) driving with the hatch open to storage unit ( Mommy I am freezing!) and dragging it into the unit I realized it is 9FEET TALL. Yes its a Griswald family Christmas in 2007. We will just cut a hole in the roof and call it done. I told Conor we can tape our red plastic light up star to the top with Duct tape and use a couple of extension cords so it lights up. I thought maybe we should put a red light on the outside too so Santa does not run into it when he lands on the roof. It will look just like a radio tower.

My Dad was here for the week of Christmas. First one I ever spent with him. It was kinda wierd. I did not want him to feel left out so I went and bought him a stocking and some gifts to open with us. I felt like I was mothering my Dad ICK! I do not want to fall into that, he has done fine without me for my whole life . I have a hard enough time mothering Larry and Conor and the animals. Yes even the animals need to mothered and all you pet lovers don't even pretend that you don't know what Im talking about I know that you bought your animals Santa Stockings too!

New Years. I loved both days. I love to be with people who are so comfortable you call them family even tho you are not related by blood or marriage. It is so nice when they know about you and you can just be yourself. They know about the time you got drunk at the country club and put glow in the dark wires on your head lke antennas just to freak out all the rich peoples kids. They may have been out on a date the same night you were at the bar but you can spot shoes under the bathroom door at Dennys and know its them. They have made you laugh til you want to throw up. They have seen you cry, seen you sick, seen you so in the throes of new parenthood covered with baby barf and tired as hell. I am lucky. I have Becky, Margie, Will, they have known me long enough. They know all my issues and I don't have to explain anything to them and its just the best. 

My wish is for you to have somebody like that in your life too.