Friday, January 12, 2007

Doggy Bloggin'

Today, we have more puppy photos, in celebration of the opening of the puppy eyes.

Above, is the puppy that was found a home within the first hours of her life. My parents will be taking her home with them when she is old enough so I'm positive she'll enjoy some massive spoiling. My parents have not had a dog since their little dog, Baby, passed away. My mother has called almost every day since her birth to ask what she's doing now. It goes something like "Um, now she's sleeping." "Oh, she's just eating." "Errr...sleeping again...stop calling me!" My dad emails and sends text messages repeatedly to ask what the puppy is doing now but I'm positive he's just mocking. This is a really big deal to my mom.

Baby came along shortly after I left home and filled the great void left in their lives (due to my own absence, I'm sure). As a matter of fact, I remember that first trip home and my meeting her like it was just yesterday. My brother had arrived before me for the same reason he visited more often than myself (to make me look bad), and was all too happy to introduce me to Baby. On the edge of his seat with childlike anticipation he kept offering to help me carry my bags to my room until curiosity got the best of me. Once in the doorway of my old room, before I could even take it all in, he announced with glee from behind, "They totally gave your room to their new dog...named Baby! Hahaha!"

Hahaha, indeed.

Gone was my little bed, along with matching vanity, bookshelf and anything else a cute little, might chew (which is pretty much everything). All of my things had been stored and replaced with a little puppy bed, the floor littered with newspaper and a mountain of puppy toys. There she sat, in the middle of my room, in all her cuteness. She even had my dark curly hair! Humph. I might have been replaced but I suggested I get my brother's room during that visit (as well as all future visits) because girls need their privacy.

He got the couch. Bwahaha!

Anyhow, they were so sad when Baby passed away that it has taken them all this time to even consider raising another puppy. The little pup above will have a terrific life with the two of them.

Next up -

This pretty puppy will stay with me. Forever. Naturally, they'll all stay with me until I've found good homes for them (and if I don't, then I'll just keep them), but I do want to keep one of Shadow's babies and she is my pick. Haven't found a name for her just yet though.

And for the rest -

The little golden fellow in the middle (the runt) is growling and barking at me already. He's certainly an interesting character. I never did get a photo of the sixth puppy. Shadow didn't seem irritated or anxious or anything, she just kindly took the last one from me and put it back in the box. That's so adorable, what do you say? "Alrighty then, no more photos!" That's what. I did snap a quicky bonus photo while she was looking the other way. ;)

That's all folks (until next week). Have a fabulous weekend!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Not So Lame Blogger Excuses- In Advance

For once, I will explain my lame attempts in the blogosphere before I disappear. Posting will be sporadic from now until...well, I don't really know when. Until I say so, that's when!

It's a pretty nifty tale so I will start from the beginning.

In a distant land, far far away (called Kansas), a dream was born. I, 25 year old Queen of my destiny, would finally just give in and submit some of the children's literature (written for a much younger uber-teen) for publication. After all, I was already taking writing courses geared specifically toward that end. On the other hand, I was thinking I might just skip the long and winding path of children's mags, just go for gold, and write a book. Decisions, decisions...

Then, before I could move on any decision, it became clearly apparent that I would need to educate my then seven year old daughter myself. Actually, it first became clearly apparent that she would not receive a good education if I didn't do something, and fast. After the "oh, woe is me!" phase (as we could not afford private education for her at that time and were not even sure if that was even the right answer for her), I kicked myself a few times for not recognizing her needs sooner (because I'd grown overly self-involved), and became a home educator within the week. I gladly put the previous goal behind me, in order to better focus on her education, and fell back on what I know best. I also became very involved with fellow home educators and "the movement" (cool sounding, huh?) in general, giving much of my extra time.

Interestingly enough, as our income increased (and we were eventually able to afford private education), the uber-teen continued to prefer home education over other options. Every now and then I made the offer to send her to a private school and she refused that offer every time. I'm pleased that she did because I am thoroughly enjoying all of this time that we have together. I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world.

So, fast forward nearly ten years. The uber-teen is still at home with me, though she graduated last year. Many assume she decided against going away to college last fall due to the tragic events of last spring, but we'd already decided together that she wasn't ready to leave the nest just yet and would continue DL courses until she was damn good and ready to face the world on her own. She is only sixteen. However, she will be seventeen this summer and even if she sticks to the decision to put going away to college off one more year (until the fall of 08), I know the end of this little adventure of ours, together anyhow, is drawing near. She plans to major in journalism (how cool is that?), minor in photography, and find her own way soon enough. I might feel silly for becoming a little sniffly just thinking about this if she didn't sniffle some herself.

Anyhow, enough mush! The good news is, it isn't over just yet. She and I have brought in the new year by deciding to write a book. As a matter of fact, we spent the last weeks of 2006 dabbling in ideas and character formulation. Over the next year, we'll write this together. I will finally write that book I've always wanted to write and she will co-author. I can't imagine a more befitting end. I no longer even care if it is published (ok, ok, maybe just a little). No matter, I'll cherish the end result every bit as much as the time together regardless of outcome, not to mention we'll both learn lots and have fun in the process.

I have no idea what I'll do with myself in the year 2008, after the uber-teen leaves for college. I'm already playing with the idea of looking in new directions (digital design is where it's at, baby!). All I really know for certain is that the year 2007 will be spent with her, creating something fabulous.

So, blogging will definitely be sporadic during this time, for however long it takes, though I will continue to visit all your blogs as regularly as possible.

Now if that's not the best blogger excuse you've ever heard, I'd like to know what is. :)

Friday, January 05, 2007

Do You Know What Day It Is?!

It's that day of the week when seemingly normal and intelligent individuals post photos of and drone on about their cats, otherwise known as Friday.

Yay for cat blogging!

This week, I present the crazy Precious one, helping me unpack Christmas decorations and decorate the tree this past Christmas.

Precious is not the kitten she once was, and ribbon is maybe not as exciting as it once was.

Definitely not.

A string of circular thingies that might roll all over the floor making one exciting mess if chewed? Yeah baby!

And that concludes this week's cat blogging.

Don't fret, there's sure to be more of the same next week!

Also, there's a new addition to the blogosphere. Everyone go welcome Captain Den, if you haven't already.(Sorry I'm a little late Capt!)

Hope you all have a great weekend. ;)

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Part II- What Then, Realistically Speaking, Can We Do?

First, let's take a look at some recent headlines (from the past week alone):

Ahmadinejad: Iran will press ahead with nuclear work- President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Tuesday that Iran would press ahead with its nuclear plans and that a UN resolution imposing sanctions on Iran was "invalid". 'If bullying powers ... want to resist Iranians' will, we will give them a historic slap in the face'

Iran: 3,000 centrifuges 'operational by March'- Some 3000 centrifuges currently being installed at the Iranian nuclear reactor in Natanz will be operational by March of this year, says Iranian government Spokesman Gholam.

Iran To Produce Nuclear Fuel Soon- Speaking at a public gathering in Gatvand, Khuzestan province in Iran, Ahmadinejad said, "Iran has access to full nuclear fuel cycle and we will soon push the button on nuclear fuel production for industrial uses. The Iranians are determined to achieve peaks of success and defend its interests powerfully."

Iran: Mahdi will defeat archenemy in Jerusalem-State media says, ‘Shiite messiah will kill archenemy in Jerusalem, will come during spring equinox' (This is possibly relevant if comparing the timing of Iran's 3,000 operational centrifuges with the knowledge that the nutjob thinks he can bring about the appearance of the so-called Shiite messiah through death, destruction and chaos but I'll admit, guessing what Iran may do and when based upon insane ramblings is always a risk. I've also read that this "messiah" is to rule from Iraq, suggesting this may be at least one of the reasons we see such heavy Iranian interest working against our own there, but having trouble running down a link on that one.)

Hezbollah offers pay-per-slay- Hezbollah is not only funneling Iranian money into Israel, but the group has marketized its terror aid by linking funding to the successful targeting of Qassam rockets from Gaza into Israel, with the payments linked to the number of Israelis killed or wounded.

New UN chief – Israel at the heart of the problem- This does not necessarily mean Ban believes Israel per se is to blame– Israelis have expressed the hope that he would be friendly towards their country. It strongly suggests, however, that under his leadership the international community which is pushing so hard to see Israel surrender its land to the Arabs will continue – and very likely intensify – that push; and all the more as an appeasement-inclined West becomes desperate to defuse the Iranian nuclear standoff.

News Analysis: In 2007, Expect PA Factions to Wage Civil War- This time around, the talk of "brotherhood" will likely be finally exposed for the myth it is. Fatah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other assorted terrorist gangs will participate, while outside sponsors such as Iran, Syria, and Jordan will supply the bullets, rockets, money and ill-will.

'Israeli weapons transfer to be used against Jews'
- Weapons transferred yesterday with the help of Israel to militants from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party will be used in attacks against the Jewish state, a senior Fatah militant told WND.

Iran has 1,400 Uranium Mines- The Iranian Atomic Energy Organization said 1,400 mines were available for the extraction of uranium.

Muslim sensitivity training for 45,000 airport workers- The Transportation Security Administration – created after 9/11 to safeguard America's airports – is providing Islamic sensitivity training to 45,000 airport security officers so they'll know what to expect when Muslims fly from the U.S.

N. Korea escalates 'cult of Kim' to counter West's influence- North Koreans are taught to worship Kim Jong Il as a god. In a manner unique among nations, the North exerts extraordinary control through deification - a cult ideology of complete subservience - that goes beyond the "Stalinist" label often used to describe the newly nuclear North.

China's Hu calls for powerful, combat-ready navy- Chinese president and commander-in-chief Hu Jintao urged the building of a powerful navy that is prepared "at any time" for military struggle, state media reported on Thursday. At a meeting of delegates to a Communist Party meeting of the navy on Wednesday, Hu said China, whose military build-up has been a source of friction with the United States, was a major maritime country whose naval capability must be improved.


Dems set to regain power in Congress- Highlights?

"A jubilant Rep. Nancy Pelosi was poised to become the first woman to run the House of Representatives as Democrats relished being the majority party on Capitol Hill for the first time in 12 years.

"The Democrats are back," Pelosi said after administering a ceremonial oath of office to the Congressional Black Caucus"

"House Democrats planned quick action on legislative priorities that included boosting both the minimum wage and stem cell research. Democrats also said they would pressure President Bush to bring the troops home from Iraq."

"Pelosi, taking over as House speaker, promised immediate steps to ban gifts from lobbyists and to clamp down on travel funded by private interests. Democrats also planned to vote next week to raise the federal minimum wage, increase federal support for stem cell research and allow the government to negotiate with drug companies for lower prices on prescription drugs for Medicare recipients."

The Senate, as is typical, was getting off to a slower start than the House, where rules and practice permit speedy debate and ensure tight majority power control over the agenda. After passage of a series of routine resolutions — including elevating 89-year-old Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., as President Pro Tempore, third in the line of presidential succession — the Senate floor was opening up for speeches about the upcoming session."

"House Democrats promised speedy passage of the first six bills on their agenda and a series of stiffer ethics rules." [Ahem..]

As several posters over at Daily Kos have exclaimed, "Let the investigations begin!"

Of course, I've also seen the phrase "SUPER Mandate" over there while the Democrats have the same "mandate" that Bush had (51%) when they said he had none. haha

For balance, I give you some some encouraging words from Mark Noonan over at BlogsforBush-

"We Republicans should be of good cheer - remember, these are Democrats; they will blow it. This is especially true as the leadership of the Democratic Party is mostly kook-leftist these days. As the Party of Congressional opposition, we'll have the fun task of picking to pieces every action of the Congress and pointing out how mind-bogglingly stupid it is. Democrats are also up to their necks in corruption (I know, I've co-written the book on the subject) and while they were in the minority status, a lot of things were allowed to slide because, quite honestly, the GOP had better things to do than run down Democratic corruption...well, we've got some free time on our hands now."

"For you younger GOPers, this will be an instructive time - being in the minority has its drawbacks, but it also tends to be a lot more fun, on a day to day basis. So, relax - make some popcorn, and watch the freak show unfold."

(Give me more!)

In any case, back to my point, the freak show is not interested in our safety and security.

Daniel Pipes gets to the heart of the matter in How The West Could Lose, by diagnosing the illness.

After defeating fascists and communists, can the West now defeat the Islamists?

On the face of it, its military preponderance makes victory seem inevitable. Even if Tehran acquires a nuclear weapon, Islamists have nothing like the military machine the Axis deployed in World War II, nor the Soviet Union during the cold war. What do the Islamists have to compare with the Wehrmacht or the Red Army? The SS or Spetznaz? The Gestapo or the KGB? Or, for that matter, to Auschwitz or the gulag?

Yet, more than a few analysts, including myself, worry that it's not so simple. Islamists (defined as persons who demand to live by the sacred law of Islam, the Sharia) might in fact do better than the earlier totalitarians. They could even win. That's because, however strong the Western hardware, its software contains some potentially fatal bugs. Three of them – pacifism, self-hatred, complacency – deserve attention.

Mr. Pipes goes on to discuss these three fatal flaws in more detail and ends with-

Pacifism, self-hatred and complacency are lengthening the war against radical Islam and causing undue casualties. Only after absorbing catastrophic human and property losses will left-leaning Westerners likely overcome this triple affliction and confront the true scope of the threat. The civilized world will likely then prevail, but belatedly and at a higher cost than need have been.

The notion that absorption of catastrophic human and property losses is our only hope (where the left is concerned anyhow), is not an uncommon one. It was only after 9/11 that our great nation experienced unity and the will to really do something about Islamic terrorism. The leftists really had no choice but cooperate at that time, but what about now? They seem to assume that the American public approves their pacifism, self-hatred, and complacency due to recent elections. Conservative voices will likely tell you that the left has managed to fool the public by running fake "conservative" Democrats and the public doesn't necessarily approve the "do nothing" attitude. I don't know. Be the approval real or imagined, I do think it is likely that the left will make decisions based upon the dangerous ideology of looking extremely busy while not really doing anything at all (much like the UN). The right certainly doesn't get a pass here either. We desperately need strong and honest leadership now, more than ever before. They need to hear this from us, often.

So what else can the average Joe do? Not only do we need to make our voices heard often in Washington, we need to help educate our fellow American (if we aren't doing so already). Not everyone is paying attention. Not everyone reads blogs. Not everyone seeks alternative news sources in order to get the entire story. Many are still relying upon CNN for information. It also seems as if some have gone back to sleep after the rude awakening of 9/11 though the world is a much more dangerous place today than ever before.

There is a wealth of information available via the Internet. How many times do we receive an email with 50 FWD in front of the subject having made its way to thousands of people throughout the United States just to open and discover contents that are incredibly silly and/or easily proven false according to or Trust me, if people don't mind passing some of the junk that makes its way to my inbox, they won't mind forwarding information that is meaningful and with substance. I'm tempted to start tacking "Jesus will cry, your computer will blow up and you'll burn in HELL if you don't forward this, it happened to my neighbor!!!" to informative articles. I won't, but it is tempting.

If you know people who don't have access to the Internet, you can always print things for them to read and consider. Talk to neighbors, friends and family. I know this isn't exactly a happy-joy-joy topic, but the misinformation and ignorance that continues to thrive is just amazing. I think perhaps it is not enough that we educate ourselves, we also need to help educate others. One single email can reach thousands, maybe more. The blogs are not only huge sources of information but interactive (and fun) so send links to great blogs as well.

The West will not lose, but how much must we suffer before being allowed to win?

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

2007 Part I- What Will It Bring? In My View...

I'm certain that this is where I am supposed to reach deep within and produce a "Hey, Look on the Bright Side!" post, but I am either unable (or simply unwilling) to do so.

I'm sorry, but 2007 does not look that good to me, no matter how you shake it.

While I honestly do believe the ability to look on the bright side is extremely important to our very survival (in the way that it encourages us to continue to try), there comes a point when one must admit the truth, ugly as it may be, in order to improve the situation as well. I feel that we are that point right now.

No, all is not lost and no, I do not honestly believe all will be ever be lost. I still believe in the will of the American people and I still believe that freedom will survive, every single time (when the battle is fought by freedom loving individuals). However, I do think that our most immediate future appears to be grim because, sometimes, things must become much worse before they can become better. Perhaps I use the words must and can out of turn here, but some of us are insisting upon this dangerous path and the rest of us are sadly being forced along. When "we" suffer as a nation, and I don't doubt that "we" will in 2007, we suffer as individuals as well. Some of us will suffer more than others and those of us who are able will need to triple our efforts to help our fellow American. I suggest we accept this strong possibility and actively prepare for it (as well as mentally). I am that certain that the need will eventually arise.

This is not to say we should ever just throw our hands in the air and give up, merely that it is in our best interest to be prepared for what appears to be inevitable. Yes, accepting reality is not always the easy choice to make, especially when the reality is harsh, but what many rational individuals don't seem to get is that we absolutely do have a choice whether or not we'll accept and deal with reality. Too many Americans are making the wrong choice at this point in time and that refusal puts us all in grave danger. Refusing to accept that which we cannot change may buy temporary comfort but will cause even more pain in the end. I believe we need to face the harsh reality of what doom and gloom may very well be headed our way in 2007 due to those who refuse to face the harsh realities of the threats our nation faces today. I'd rather not think of this at all, but there it is nevertheless.

Islamic terrorism is the single most important issue of our day. No other issue really matters all that much, economic or social, unless we face and conquer this threat. Not everyone recognises this fact. For various reasons, from honest differences of opinion to willful ignorance to self-defeating Bush-hating (I won't pretend to completely understand them all), it looks as if there are those who absolutely insist we experience death and destruction that meets, or perhaps even exceeds, the terrorist attacks on 9/11 before we are allowed to unleash our power and actually win the war on terror. Who knows, many may still insist we act with suicidal restraint even then, but many more will likely wake up to the fact that there is no question as to whether or not we should be at war because we are whether we want to be or not. The question, at this stage anyhow, isn't even can we win but do we want to win. As time goes, and the strength of the United States is weakened, this question may change (in my personal opinion, of course).

In A Self-Correcting Mechanism, Phillip Ellis Jackson over at the Intellectual Conservative writes-

"Wonder what future historians will say about the presidency of George W. Bush? It all depends on how far away you live from the blast zone."

Mr. Jackson goes on to warn-

"What I’m about to suggest is one of those good-news/bad-news things that started off as a joke, but unfortunately like all good parody and satire, has the ring of truth to it. I’ll let you decide whether to laugh, cry, or be offended, but in any case don’t simply dismiss it out of hand. I’m afraid we’re all about to receive a practical application of the old Biblical warning about reaping what we sew."


"If you take every statement made by that whack job in Iran, and all the other Islamo-fascists who threaten us, and use these statements to justify pre-emptive military action against Iran, the liberals/Democrats/press will have Bush impeached and put in prison for crimes against humanity. Their refrain will be something like this: "You should know these people are just playing to a domestic audience and don't really mean what they say. You killed a lot of innocent people for nothing, and made even more of the world hate us."

On the other hand, if these nut-cases go ahead and massacre a few hundred thousand Americans (or Israelis) with the A-bomb, the liberals/Democrats/press will have Bush impeached and put in prison for ignoring the flagrant, connect-the-dot signs that were clearly in front of his face. Again, you can almost hear their words: "They repeatedly telegraphed their plans to you for God's sake! They made their intentions as plain as day [insert 1000+ direct quotations]. How much more did you need to connect the dots! You got a lot of innocent people killed through your negligence."

Such is the state of political discourse in America today, thanks to the liberals/Democrats/press who'd rather regain political power at any expense than try to do the right thing for the people of this country."

And drives the notion home with-

"Had the Left not succeeded in the 2006 mid-term elections, I thought that Bush would have gone ahead and acted (with or without the Israelis) to eliminate Iran’s nuclear threat. If you’re going to be condemned either way for acting or not acting, then you might as well act.

But now that the Dems have taken over both Houses in Congress, I’m not so sure. Bush won’t pull out of Iraq, that much I’m certain of. But it’s less likely now that he’ll expand any action to remove other threats. With the first movement against Iran, Syria or Korea, he would be impeached — and convicted — with unprecedented haste by the Democrat majorities in both Houses."

The bright side in Mr. Jackson's article (which if you will remember "is one of those good-news/bad-news things that started off as a joke, but unfortunately like all good parody and satire, has the ring of truth to it") is a "terrorist blast against New York and Washington, perhaps LA as well, undoubtedly vaporizing all the liberals/Democrats/press who congregate along the East Coast".

Perhaps this is why I am either unable or unwilling to look on the bright side. I just don't live far enough away from the possible blast zone for comfort? Or maybe I've got it all wrong, feel free to convince me otherwise!

Continued- 2007 Part II- What Then, Realistically Speaking, Can We Do?

(Input not only welcome but desirable.)