Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween!


This Halloween, I bring you stupid Halloween jokes to amuse (irritate) friends and coworkers (Have any really good Halloween jokes? Put them in the comments!)

Also, Halloween just isn't Halloween without spooky sounds (the "This is Halloween" mp3 is awesome). Here are some cool (and free) Jack o Lantern and pumpkin carving patterns for all your pumpkin carving needs as well.

Last but not least, here be a Halloween desktop wallpaper designed by yours truly (blogger isn't allowing me to post photos, not sure why but decided to just go around them and use photobucket instead). Here's another, designed on request (not all that Halloweenish in my opinion though still kinda cool).

Last Halloween I shared a terrific Halloween link (extreme pumpkin carving comes to mind) so go digging in those archives for some extra spooky fun.

Hope everyone has a fantastic Halloween, I'm off to hack...er...I mean carve a pumpkin. ;)

Halloween UpdateI- If, like me, you have fooled around til the very last moment and still haven't carved your pumpkin, I just stumbled upon yet another fabulous website chock full of terrific (printable) Jack o Lantern patterns (scroll down to the faces, good stuff) complete with directions and helpful tips at the bottom of the page.

Halloween UpdateII- So I chose the "rolling eye" Jack o Lantern carving pattern even though it was a little large for my short and plump pumpkin and now everyone says my Jack looks like a splody tard. Grr!

Halloween UpdateIII- Due to popular demand (ok, just Insolublog), I give you the brand new (yeah I totally recycled older art...but in a brand new way) Spooky Fishnet/Kennedy Dagger Halloween wallpaper.

You can run, Teddy, but you can't hide!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Bloggy Hiatus

Never fear! I will be back to blogging by the week's end.

Yeah, I know the usual thing to do would be to announce the Bloggy Hiatus at the beginning of the hiatus instead of at the end...but I have hundreds, no thousands, of lame blogger excuses so....I'm automatically excused. :)

On a more serious note, tomorrow -October 19th- is my daughter Cassie's birthday. At first, I thought this day would not be any more diffult than any other day (some days are difficult, some are not as difficult, and so it goes). I even thought it might just be a good opportunity to pull together and share in happy memories with family and friends. Her dad agreed. But as the day quickly approached, our minds began to drift back to birthdays past. These memories brought seemingly endless tears.

Friends from out of state arrived on the scene Friday afternoon in an attempt to make me smile (which was totally sweet and worked) and left Saturday afternoon. One very thoughtful friend actually gave me her excited 4 year old daughter (and my God-child) for the entire weekend, which made setting up the Halloween decorations a much more cheerful production. Yeah, she's pretty smart, and so is her mom.

Despite kind efforts, I fell apart as soon as the house was quiet, Cassie's dad fell apart next and the uber-teen fell apart after that.

The past weeks have been difficult but today we are more hopeful. I guess sometimes you just have to fall apart to get there, but we are reminded that we are not to mourn as if we do not have hope. Clearly there is a difference in mourning the loss of a loved one you are certain you will see again, and we are. This knowledge should enable us to share memories in happiness (even if mingled with tears) instead of just plain old painful tears. So, tomorrow will be filled with family, friends, and happiness (despite the inevitable tears).

It can be no other way.

So, while there is much to learn from all of this, I'd say the most important thing would be to love those in our lives like there really is no tomorrow. We cannot control everything all of the time, but we can control how much we love one another and how much effort we will put forth in showing it while we can. I would also add that even when we are at what seems to be our lowest point in life, all hope is not lost. I believe the latter more today than even this time last year when life was much happier, and I'm still learning.

Moving on..

Some have asked what they might be able to do to honor Cassie's memory on her birthday, and I thought I'd share that with you all as well, just in case any are interested.

Put on your most expensive clothing and go to dinner at the most expensive restaurant you can find (drive 50 miles if need be) and change your mind about exactly where you're going several times before finally settling on the original choice. On the way there, locate a wild-eyed and possibly diseased stray cat on a parking lot who is terrified of your calling kitty-kitty making you have to crawl around on your hands and knees in your best clothes chasing it down. Bite your tongue while others cheer and urge you on despite little kitty's flashing sharp teeth/hissy fits. Once you've set off multiple car alarms and ripped your pants dragging the poor little stray kitty from under an SUV by its tail, decide to skip the dining out. Go instead, straight home to disinfect your wounds and make an appointment with your local doctor and veterinarian, lock the kitty in your bathroom with food, water and litter box then hit the McDonalds drive through. Heh.

If this is not your cup of tea, you could just make a donation to a private animal shelter that does not put stray animals to sleep unless they are not able to save them. If this isn't complicated enough for your taste, you could always make up 20+ wild hypotheticals in order to conclude under exactly what circumstances they may or may not choose to put an animal down, just to be safe. (You should be really cute and aged 2-6 when trying this though, otherwise they'll propably just tell you to go away & close the door in your face.)

On the other hand, were she here with us today, Cassie would also be coloring like mad and making "presnents" to add to packages for service members in war zones. (the last of the few "baby words" I couldn't make myself correct her on because it's just so darn amusing). She'd be breaking out her little pocket calculator to make sure the packages were mailed so they'd be received right at Thanksgiving and Christmas, chattering about what she wanted to be this Halloween (and stilltrying to teach her mommy how to say "I love you" in ten languages). So anyhow, I think sending a service member a package and/or card would be a perfect way of honoring Cassie's memory on her birthday, if anyone feels so inclined. (No pressure, honest.) :)

All that said, I leave you with a funny. This time last year I had all sorts of children over making cards to add to packages for service members (because "cards from kiddies" always seems to go over so well with service members and children alike). One little boy, aged 9, kept spitting. I don't just mean the spit kind of spitting but the super gross sniffy-snorty then spit production kind of spitting. You said it! Ew. After about an hour of the inhumane grossness, I could take no more and finally asked him to "please not spit in my presence". Cassie looked horrified and pulled the nearest open package into her protective embrace and said, "Ew! Don't spit in my presnents either!" *g*

Support our service members - send presnents!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Our World

I thought I'd throw some links to news items from around the world that I've found particularly interesting all these past 4 days of October. After gathering the list of links, I sat back and read through and wondered what Churchill might say about current events. Well, Churchill certainly left us nuggets of wisdom so it isn't all that tall an order.

I present current news items with special commentary by Sir Winston Churchill.

North Korea Planning Nuclear Test But Also Said It Was Committed To Nuclear Disarmament, Suggesting A Willingness To Negotiate

When the eagles are silent, the parrots begin to jabber.

Or perhaps...

Never hold discussions with the monkey...

Ohhh, what was the rest of that quote? Ah well, never mind. A partial quote will suffice. :)

U.S. May Cut Military In S. Korea Unless The South Korean Government Agrees To Pay More Of The Cost Of Hosting American Forces

Myself I am an optimist - it does not seem to be much use being anything else.

Chinese Secret Agents Have Made Repeated Attempts To Poach An Australian Scientist Behind The Invention Of A High-Speed Gun That Could Revolutionise Warfare.

Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.

Israel Completes Withdrawal From Lebanon Handing Their Security Over To The Lebanese Army and U.N. Peacekeepers

Are they $#%^&*@ crazy?!

Ok, ok. That was me. Churchill would likely have said...

One ought never to turn one's back on a threatened danger and try to run away from it. If you do that, you will double the danger. But if you meet it promptly and without flinching, you will reduce the danger by half.

Hizbullah: "Our Weapons Will Stay Along Israeli Border"

To Israel-

Never give in--never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.

*Fatah, Hamas Preparing For War With Israel
*Syria Threat Over Golan Puts Israel On War Alert
*Assad Gives Israel 6 Months For Peace Negotiations
*Global Leaders Call For Action On Arab-Israeli Settlement
*Palestinian Authority President Abbas' Stated Recognition Of Israel's Right To Exist A Political Calculation Aimed At Destroying The State, Claims Terror Group Leader And Member Of Abbas' Fatah Party

They have taken crafty counsel against thy people, and consulted against thy hidden ones.

Oops, not Churchill but the Good Book. From Psalm 83: A Prayer For Israel. (Pretty music by Barry and Batya Segal.)

Iran Pushes France Nuclear Deal...

France falls down.

Yeah, I'm running out of Churchill quotes.

Still Waiting For The Imam's Return To Earth (Iraq War To Prevent The Return)

He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.

Muslim Rips Down Tribute To 9/11 Hero

We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.

Continuing Violence In Iraq

Never, never, never believe any war will be smooth and easy, or that anyone who embarks on the strange voyage can measure the tides and hurricanes he will encounter. The statesman who yields to war fever must realize that once the signal is given, he is no longer the master of policy but the slave of unforeseeable and uncontrollable events.

"Sensitivity Training" For U.S. Troops In Iraq

However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.

Spaniards Show Sensitivity By Toning Down Exploding Mohammad At Fiestas

Toning down exploding Fiesta Mohammad out of sensitivity? Now that's just too funny for Churchill quotes.

Russian Oil Grab Puts Western Supplies At Risk

I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia. It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma: but perhaps there is a key. That key is Russian national interest.

London- Hard line Muslim Teacher Who Denounced Pupils For Celebrating Christmas Has Been Made A Government Schools Inspector

To build may have to be the slow and laborious task of years. To destroy can be the thoughtless act of a single day.

French Philosophy Teacher In Hiding After Attack On Islam

Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities... because it is the quality which guarantees all others.

Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.

UK- Outcry as clergy say calling God 'He' or 'Lord' encourages wife-beating

The truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end; there it is.

Besides, these "clergygenderlessfolk" connect the dots like preschoolers hyped up on Coca-Cola Blak and Candy Cigarettes.

Monday, October 02, 2006

No Excuses For Terror

This is a British documentary you'll want to watch. (H/T Harry's Place)

“A terrific, unflinching documentary on Islamic terrorism by British left-wing journalist David Aaronovitch” raves LGF.