Friday, October 10, 2008

Not all change is good change.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

What do you trust?

Where is your hope?

Many people trust different things many of which are tangible or intangible. Some folks trust in their abilities and in their track record of getting stuff done. Others trust in the cash or assets they have.

The Christian and Muslim trust that there is a God, the atheist trusts that there is not one.

Some trust in their doctrine or theology, trusting in their vast knowledge of Biblical texts.

But when you’re down and all you can see is absolute chaos, what are you trusting in; where is your hope?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Your SUV and George Bush are destroying Mars!

I just read a fascinating article about similarities between Alaska and Mars.

Click her for source article.

A pair of scientist, noticed that some formations in a Martian photo were similar to some in an Alaskan photo. They set out to find what caused the pattern in the Alaskan photo. They determined that it was avalanches. A side note in the article said that they speculated that these avalanches were being caused by climate change.

They sent their results to NASA. Sometime later, NASA was able to get a picture of a real life avalanche happening on Mars. Pretty cool. The avalanche was being cause by ice breaking up.

I suppose this avalanche also was being caused by climate change on Mars. Everybody knows that global warming and climate change is happening because of your SUV and George Bush. I just did not know that the problem was as bad as it is! So bad that we are affecting the climate on Mars! Quick! Somebody needs to alert Al Gore and the United Nations!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Airing Laundry In Public

Disclaimer: This post lacks much tact and borderlines, if not crosses the boundary into pure gossip. In fact, this post is very immature. I believe that every man has an adolescent living in him; perhaps that's why I'm posting this.

Background: My neighborhood is somewhat uppity. Maybe a better word is wannabe uppity. Or even better description would be, others think that we're uppity. Yeah, that's really how it is. We're just regular folk - like the name of this blog. By US standards, my house and the other houses here are kind of regular, somewhat humble. (What we do have better than US houses is that our houses are made of 100% concrete - which rocks!) Our houses are just much smaller than US middle class houses.

The neighborhood behind ours sits somewhere between ours and zero on the "neighborhood class" spectrum; so the folks from there have hinted to me. I've heard people specifically make distinctions between my neighborhood and the one behind ours (and most of those folks happen to be from the neighborhood behind ours). The funny thing is, if you get on my roof, you see that it really looks like one neighborhood - us with them as one. In fact, the back wall of my house touches the back wall of the house in the neighborhood behind mine.

The Story: A new family moved into the neighborhood. Great! New neighbors! So I try to be friendly, maybe too friendly. I'm careful to always say hi and talk with them, engage in small talk - you know the general kind of stuff to make people feel welcomed. Then one day, to everyone's dismay the Mrs of this family started doing this to the vacant lot in front of her house:

WHAT THE HECK !!!!????
This, actually is a more pleasant photo. At times we can see clothes that you really shouldn't just do stuff like this with. So, my wife and I talked about this for 2 or 3 weeks. I told her, that I would politely speak with this lady to get her to stop this practice. But every time, I tried to bring the subject up, I just chickened out. Finally after having enough, my wife politely brought the subject up with her. I was not present, but she assured me that she chose her words carefully and tried to be as polite as possible. The translation of a cut of what transpired is that my wife mentioned to her that it was somewhat ugly and we should do all that we could do to keep the neighborhood looking nice. This lady responded that her daughter also said that it was ugly and that she shouldn't do it. So great, my wife is on the same page with this lady's daughter. (It's also worth mentioning that the word "ugly" in this case might be better translated as "not so nice".)

That evening, I was playing soccer with my kids in the street. This lady left her house probably to get something from the grocery store around the corner. I waved, but she was obviously very bothered and ignored me. When she got back, she called me over. Her story and the story that my wife had of their conversation were very very different. Amazing. In her story, my wife used very strong words and was very belittling of her.

So what to do? I assured her of our genuine aspirations to maintain peace with her and her family and at the same time I firmly sided with my wife's stance of keeping the neighborhood looking nice as well as questioning whether she used "feo" or "HOR-I-BLE!!!" ("ugly" or "HORRIBLE!!!").

Lesson Learned: For me, this was a very eye opening culture experience. This lady would've rather that we gossiped about her behind back, even going as far as posting this on the internet than have us confront her face-to-face to complain about an issue that we had with her. I'm over 35 years old and I never quit learning. This one experience helped shed light on a lot of things for me of which I will not get into here.

So, what happened? Well, she keeps putting her clothes out there on the fence of that vacant lot. Not that much now, but in defiance she still does it.

As for me, the adolescent in me thinks its kind of funny and does not run out of ideas of what to do about this. Unfortunately, I haven't acted out on any of those childish prank ideas that he keeps coming up with, yet. I think its the mature adult in me that's keeping that adolescent in check. But, wait! I didn't tell you, that there's an old man in me who's in his late 60s who agrees with that adolescent; so its hard to say how this is going to play out.

I know everybody hates those neighborhood associations micromanaging people and lording power over folks; but we sure could use one here!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

You are responsible for yourself

Breaking News from Drudge:

There's some infighting going on, on the Democrat side. Big deal. That's just how it is on any side.

Jesse Jackson said something stupid concerning Obama that was meant for private but got public.

Here's a clip of what bothered me the most about what he said (copied straight from

_My appeal was for the moral content of his message to not only deal with the personal and moral responsibility of black males, but to deal with the collective moral responsibility of government and the public policy which would be a corrective action for the lack of good choices that often led to their irresponsibility.

This statement exposes the heart of the problem with Democrats. What bothers me about his statement is his point of view. He's implying that poor decisions with the government led to folks being irresponsible. That's probably the key problem with the Democratic party: They look to government to take care of them instead of them taking care of themselves.

I can rephrase this statement: Democrats believe with absolute conviction that the government must take care of the people.

Let me go one step farther: so much so, the government must take care of the people at the expense of other people.

When the government doesn't "take care of someone" that someone has an excuse to be irresponsible.

Lets exam this premise, there are all kinds of problems with Democrat thinking.

1. They don't believe in individual responsibility but they believe that the government must take care of individuals.
2. If someone has it together and is responsible, the Democrats want to punish that person by taking away the fruits of his labor and give them to someone else who is irresponsible.

Why can they not see that this is truly absurd, backwards thinking?

Some folks mistakenly think that Democrats help people. Democrats don't help anybody. They enslave people with their socialist programs; extinguishing any flame of ambition that their new found slaves once had. While doing this, they are robbing from producers in our society, likewise throwing water on this metaphorical flame of ambition.

My advice to Jesse Jackson, Obama and other Democrats is to stop looking to government for the solutions to your problems. Doing so, only encourages government to try to solve your problems, which in the long run creates even BIGGER problems for everybody.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Boldness and Conviction

What would the men who signed their names to the document below have to say about things now? Nonetheless, the Declaration of Independence is one of the most beautiful and powerful works of all history. It takes serious boldness and conviction to send something like this to your authority.

The Declaration of Independence

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. --Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain [George III] is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us, in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by the Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor. The signers of the Declaration represented the new states as follows: New Hampshire: Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton Massachusetts: John Hancock, Samual Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry Rhode Island: Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery Connecticut: Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott New York: William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris New Jersey: Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark Pennsylvania: Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross Delaware: Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean Maryland: Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton Virginia: George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton North Carolina: William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn South Carolina: Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton Georgia: Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton

Can God Be Impressed?

Is it possible for the Almighty to be impressed by anything let alone anyone?

When Stephen was martyred, one gets the impression that God was impressed, as Jesus was standing.

When Jesus met the Canaanite woman, he seemed impressed with her faith.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Kick His @$$

A 14 year old thought that it was funny pushing somebody's grandpa off a dock.

Click here for the source article.

Yeah sure, he's a juvenile. I don't care. The punishment should fit the crime.

If you were a state legislator, what kind of punishment would you come up with for something like this?

If I were a state legislator.......the punishment would be:
  • public @ss beating of some form
  • Fine of $2500 to $15000 to be given to the victim.
  • 6 months to 1 year hard juvenile boot camp
And, if I were a by stander.......

Friday, June 20, 2008

Transformer Politics

Is it just me? Does anyone else see the similarities? Maybe its because I grew up in the 80s and at the same time I'm very political.

Here's what I'm talking about:

Obama is really kind of like a Star Scream, and Bill Clinton would probably be a better fit for Megatron. But, Obamatron sounds better than Clintontron. One could also make the argument that Hillary Clinton is more like a Star Scream and Obama the Megatron. Anyway, Obamatron sounds better than Clintontron; and Obama clinched it for his party. Therefore, he is: Obamatron!

Now McCain being a RINObot makes complete sense. The Dinobot, Grimlock was constantly testing Optimus Prime's authority. Now here are the parallels: McCain is not a true fiscal or social conservative and has tested the 'authority' of the Republican Party in the past; or at least severely tested the folks in the Republican base. Also, the Dinobots are in the form of Dinosaurs. Many keep bringing McCain's age into the equation..... And finally, Dino rhymes really well with RINO. For those of you who don't know the right wing jargon, RINO = "Republican In Name Only", hence a moderate or a liberal calling himself a Republican.

And Optimus Prime, who is he? He would either be Ronald Reagan, the "spirit" of Ronald Reagan, the general consensus of true US-Capitalistic-Social Conservatism the essence of the US Constitution. Optimus Prime is the good guy in the story who is the real fighter for Liberty.

As for Obamatron, I'm not through with him yet. Megatron is a Decepticon. Obama is a Democrat. Obamatron then is a Deceptocrat. Notice "Decept" for Deception. In the recent Transformer movie, the Decepticon Police Car had written on it the motto: "To Punish and Enslave" as opposed to "To Protect and to Serve". I liked the parallel of the authority image of the police car. The same for Obama, he wishes to be our authority, supposedly to serve us; but in reality to enslave us with more socialism. Currently the average family works from January to May just for uncle sam. With Obamatron in office, will we work from January until July?

And Grimlock, I mean McCain, I mean the RINObot, what about him? Our founding fathers gave us a Constitutional Republic with the idea of keeping us free men. Since the beginning of our country, there have been few presidents who have run with the torch of Liberty. Reagan was the last one so far. Bush tried to cloak himself in the Constitution, but as many can see, he has a lot of RINObot tendencies.

McCain is completely a RINObot:
challenging US Constitutional principles
Obama is Obamatron completely fighting US Constitutional principles.

One, a thorn in the flesh
of "Constitutionist Prime"
the other
an enemy
of "Constitutionist Prime"

Sunday, May 25, 2008

The Police State

So, it looks like someone in Colorado called in a prank phone call to 911 in Texas. The state of Texas then proceeds to abduct over 400 children from families of some religious group that most of us might consider odd.

I've been wanting to write about this ever since it happened. Shame on us for not going to Texas and standing beside those people! If there is abuse going on, then the state needs to handle this on a case by case basis.

Thank God that the court is acting properly in this, as it has ruled that the kids must be returned. Hopefully those kids will get returned to their families soon.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Transformer Politics

Where is Constitutionist Prime?

What do you mean, that a Rinobot is leading the charge against Obamatron and the Deceptocrats?!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Crown Update

Last Sunday, we had a Crown graduation at the church. This is the 3rd group that we've lead since being here. (We each led 1 group at the same time in September to November 2008).

This time around 4 folks graduated and 2 co-leaders completed their 2nd run of this; making them now ready to lead their own group.

One lady did not graduate because she missed 1 too many classes. I really felt bad for her. It seems that she has a lot of pressure on her, with her mother, husband and kids all competing for her attention. I am hoping that she participates again in the future.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

77 Years Ago and Approximately 25 Percent of My Collective DNA

The man behind the check out counter is my great-grandfather (Moritz). This is a picture of the grocery store that he owned and started in Atlanta. The lady in the background at the meat counter is his wife and my great-grand mother (Clara).

My great-grand father was born in Texas sometime in the 1890s. He grew up on a ranch herding cattle and sheep. His grandfather (Richard) migrated from Germany to Texas with 4 or 5 brothers in the early 1840s.

Moritz met his wife in Clara during World War I. He served in the US Navy and spent time on a destroyer in the South Pacific as a cook and a boxer. My great-grandmother was from Decatur, Georgia.

From what I've been told, they married and tried to settle down on a ranch in Texas. Clara did not like the solitude life on the ranch, so they picked up and moved to Decatur. To make money, Moritz fell back on what he knew cooking and butchering. He started some kind of food delivery service that eventually grew into a butcher shop and ultimately a Gourmet Grocery Store on Peachtree Street in downtown Atlanta. That store finally closed in the late 1970s.

The two pictures are of a predecessor store to his final and ultimate store which was on Peachtree Street.

My grandfather told me that these pictures were taken 77 years ago; therefore I'm guessing that the year was 1931.

Inserted Addendum
Great grandchildren most likey carry 12.5% DNA of one of their great grandparents. I say most likely because genetics are very random and could cause the number to be more or less, but its probably close to 12.5 %. Think about it, most people have 8 distinct great grandparents.

100% / 8 = 12.5%

In this picture are two of my great-grandparents.

12.5% + 12.5% = 25%

(continue with original post....)

One quick story about my great-grandfather:
He was on an overnight hunting trip with my granddad and some other guys. My granddad was a kid at the time. A preacher was at the campsite hanging out with them. Apparently this preacher had a brother who was also a preacher and involved in some kind of scandal with some woman at a hotel. The story goes that the preacher was telling them what happened and was defending his brother at the same time. The preacher's account is that his brother was at a hotel at some convention or something when he received a knock on his door from some desolate woman. He did not want to turn her away, so felling sorry for her, he allowed her to come into his room. The woman quickly began to make advances toward this fellow. She sat on the end of his bed, then she moved closer, etc.... I cannot remember, how the story of this fellow ended but in the end supposedly nothing happened and he was able to fight her off.

Now word was on the street, that this preacher had hooked up with some strange woman in a hotel in another city at that convention. And his brother was trying to squash the gossip with their version of the story.

Upon hearing the account, Moritz responded; saying that he would've done exactly as the preacher in the hotel room had done.

The preacher telling the story was glad to see that someone was seeing it his way.

After a brief pause, my great-grand father followed with, "But....... I wouldn't have lied about it."

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Woes of Traveling Between 2 Countries

It seems that half the time we are traveling (between the US and Costa Rica) we have some kind of international-travel-technicality mishap with one of our family members. Six weeks or so after my daughter was born in Costa Rica, the authorities would not let her leave the country because they did not have official permission from me to let her travel. The problem was, I was back in Georgia waiting for her! Nevertheless, that problem was resolved within 24 hours after a lot of phone calls and hanging out the next morning at the Costa Rica Consulate office in Marietta. The Consulate there was extremely helpful!

We were bit with that same problem again on a visit 6 months later in December of 2005. They said that the permission we provided last time was not permanent and we had to file another one. Fortunately, we had that taken care of within an hour or so and were able to fly.

On our recent return trip to Costa Rica, December 2007, in Atlanta, we were told that we had to purchase tickets right then to return to the US within the next 3 months or they would not let us fly. Well, me and the kids were told, my wife having her CR passport did not have to. Why did we have to buy return tickets? Because you can only stay in Costa Rica for 3 months at a time if you are not a citizen or resident. The kids and I had that taken care of, but we were not traveling with proof. In fact, the girl was even a citizen of Costa Rica, but the counter agent would not recognize that her birth place according to her US passport was indeed San Jose, Costa Rica. How did we get around this problem. We bought 3 REFUNDABLE tickets to return to Atlanta. That night, once we finally got home, I canceled all 3 of those tickets and got my money back.

Right now, my wife and kids have 2 sets of passports. I have an official Costa Rican Permanent Residence card. You would think that we would be ok. Well, I think that we're ok; but my wife doesn't think so.

Here's the deal: In a little more than one week, we are scheduled to fly to Atlanta. We are again scheduled to return at the end of May. My son's US passport expires in June of this year. Apparently there's some kind of rule supposedly where the airlines will not let you travel if your passport is set to expire within 6 months. My wife is pretty worried about this and is pushing the US Embassy to get my son a new passport or something ASAP.

I think though that we could be ok. If we get to the ticket counter and the ticket agent sees that my son's US passport is about to expire - it seems to me, they have to let him return to country indicated on his passport. In late May, when we return home to Costa Rica, we present the Costa Rican passport to the ticket agent - again, it seems to me that the agent has to let him return to the country indicated on his passport - in this case Costa Rica.

What do you think?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Door Mat or Place Mat?

The kids are always asking for cookies and crackers and the like. They ask for them as "premios". Which is Spanish for "prize". Supposedly they have to do something good for a premio. They usually just ask for a premio and half the time they get it. So in my household, "premio" is really just synonymous for "snack" because they really don't earn it much.

Anyway, yesterday, to my utmost horror, the girl was sitting in the door way between the garage and the entrance of the house eating cheese filled Ritz crackers right off of the door mat where everybody wipes their shoes before entering the house.

What she was doing is a notch or two above licking the side walk in downtown Cartago.

The old me, might've panicked and rinsed her mouth out multiple times with mouth wash. (7 or 8 years ago, I did that to my dog after she ate cat crap.) But nah, not now, no time for that. I just wrote it off as an immune system booster and told her not to do it again.....

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Chimeras, Polygamy and the IRS

Chimera is the name of a mythological beast that is made up of whole parts from a lion, snake and a goat. Scientist use this same name for a complete organism that is made of whole parts that have different DNA; an organism with 2 sets of DNA.

Chimeras are created naturally and in laboratories.

In laboratories scientist have combined for example a goat and a sheep to make a Chimera. This is not a hybrid. There is a difference. One way that a Chimera is made is by fusing two embryos together. A Hybrid is typically created by using a sperm from one species and an egg from another.

With A Hybrid, the offspring has characteristics of both species but usually blended very well together. A Hybrid has one set of DNA.

A Chimera is not very well blended at all. A Chimera contains whole parts or patchy spots of the two DNA sets scattered across its body. A Chimera has 2 distinct sets of DNA.

So far a Chimera sounds kind of Frankensteinish.

In nature, a chimera occurs when 2 embryos inside a mother fuse together for some reason. This is apparently rare but does happen. The result is an individual who has 2 sets of DNA from his parents. This person is his own twin. (It would be interesting to know the percentage of humans who are born as Chimeras.)

A sign that someone might be a Chimera would be patchy skin or asymmetrical sides of the body like one eye a different color than the other.

Reading about this got me wondering: What if my wife or what if one of my kids is a Chimera? I don't think that my wife is, but if she were one, then I would be a polygamist.

I think that my son might be one though. Why do I suspect my son of being a Chimera? Well, he doesn't have scales or anything and he doesn't have hooves. However, one of his eyebrows looks like mine and the other one looks like that of my wife's.

If I do find out that he has 2 sets of DNA:

1. Do I have to obtain another social security number for him?
2. Can I claim another dependent on my income taxes and use another child tax credit?
3. Should I give him another set of names?

Here are 2 articles on the subject of Chimeras:
Short Medical Article on Chimeras (Fraternal Twins sharing blood, etc...)
Long article with a lot of detailed information on Chimeras

Friday, April 11, 2008

New rules for dating

There are general guide lines or rules one should follow before entering into a serious relationship with one of the opposite sex.

A few of these rules are:
  • You must be compatible
  • Its best to have similar political views (this isn't always true, but does help)
  • Its best if the two families can at least get along.
  • You should be of the same religion. This really comes into play once you have kids.
It turns out there's a new rule that should be added to the list.

You should both be members of the same gang or compatible gangs.

A fight broke out between a couple recently. A man belonging to a different gang than his girl friend had a violent disagreement with her concerning which gang their 4-year-old should join. Only if they had known about this new relationship rule, all of this could have been avoided. Someone should let Dr. Laura know about this!

See source article here.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

UFO in Costa Rica playa Carrillo - Samara

Ok, I've been up to my eyes in politics for a while. Here's something a lil different. Who knows about UFOs, Roswell and Area 51 and all that? Perhaps UFOs are from some alien race, perhaps they are controlled by demons or maybe they are indeed created and flown by humans from some secrete branch within the US government or another government. A good friend of mine here in Costa Rica swears that he saw one for a good 15 minutes some 25 or 30 years ago on top of Volcano Irazu while working as a guard up there.

I became more intrigued with the subject last summer when a worker for the national telephone company (ICE may God help them) took a picture of a UFO in Ochomogo a few miles from my house when he was getting off work early in the morning. The locals say there have been many sitings in Ochomogo. Around the same time, a tourist from Europe, the US or Canada (I can't remember but I think Europe) was going throw his Costa Rican vacation pictures and noticed a strange object in the sky that he captured with his camera by accident.

Since then, I've been going through my fotos and paying particular attention to the sky. I've got a picture from December of 2005 where there is a white object in the sky. Perhaps it was just a star as I took the picture at dusk. That pic was taken while in Tierra Blanca (a town on the side of Volcano Irazu). I was facing north, toward the summit of the Volcano. From there you cannot see the summit due to the obstruction of a ridge. But over that ridge, in that picture you can see something white. Perhaps it was a star, I don't know?

Last night while reading speeches by Ron Paul, I was also going through my pictures paying special attention to the sky. In this day and age lots of us have an abundance of pictures that just pile up on our cameras and our computers as the price of taking a picture is much cheaper than it was 10 years ago because we don't need to use film.

While going through the pictures of our trip to Carrillo, Guanacaste (Costa Rica) I noticed a smudge in the sky. On closer observation, I see that this smudge has the traditional saucer shape of a flying saucer plus the center dome of the object that most people associate with a UFO. Again, I have no idea what this is. I find it interesting. Most of my friends know me to be somewhat of a joker and at the same time I would wager that most of y'all consider me a very honest guy. All I can say is that with this picture, I have not doctored or done anything and I am not joking around. Perhaps its really a bird or a plane. Who knows? What do you think?

Here are two pics from the series that I took. I was taking a 360 degree shoot from a mountain top 3km from the beach. The object can be seen in the first pic but not in the second. In the first pic, it is to the left of that bushy tree.

UFO is to the left of the bushy tree.

A few moments after
The object cannot be seen. Proof that there's nothing on the camera...
Close up from first pic

Even closer from first pic

Sunday, March 23, 2008

This guy really put into words something that's been bugging me.

This is a link to a 10 minute video. The 2nd half is what I'm talking about.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Democrats and Communist

Something is going on in China right now. Tibet, a province on the western end of China is in an uproar. To be honest, I've only half way been following it so I don't know the reason for the rebellion or many details save what I've been skimming in the drudgereport.

However, one thing did catch my attention:

Zhang Qingli, the secretary of the Tibet Autonomous Region has said (reported by

"The Communist Party is like the parent to the Tibetan people, and it is always considerate about what the children need," Zhang said last year. He later added: "The Central Party Committee is the real Buddha for Tibetans."

Doesn't that make you want to throw up? I'm not Buddhist by any means but 2 things jump out at me from this statement.

1. The Communist party essentially claiming to be their god. Well, there's just not any words for this. Just sick really. This makes me think that communism should be redefined as a cult.

2. The part about the Communist Party is like the parent of the Tibetan people. This now, reminds me of the town hall meeting back in one of the presidential elections in the 90s. Some hippie joker cried out to Bill Clinton saying, "Are we not your children?"

Monday, March 3, 2008

The price of Liberty

Liberty is a very expensive commodity.

Liberty is bigger than any one person.

Liberty is more important than the operation that someone's grandmother needs for a hip replacement.

Liberty is more important than the liver transplant to keep an 18 year old alive.

Liberty is more important than the food that starving children need to survive.

Our fathers died for us to have Liberty. Why have we been giving it up over the past 80 years or so?

Friday, February 15, 2008

Let's Strengthen the Electoral College

In a time when many are calling for the elimination of the Electoral College, I believe that we shouldn't eliminate but in fact make it stronger. Why do I think this is a good idea? Because I do not think the American people are best suited for electing a president.

The voting for president should not be a popularity contest. In fact, the founders thought that the office should look for the man, not the man for the office. (Now a days we can say man or woman...)

I really think that we should take the electoral college system one step further: members of the electoral college should decide for themselves who will be president. You may be thinking, that's not Democratic and takes away the people's voice. I ask you to hang in here as I try to explain my reasoning.

First I really think that the common man or woman are not in a position to know what kind of person the office of the presidency needs. This is a generalization but think about this:

What do the following know about the requirements for the office of the presidency, or who will be best suited as a president?
  • An 18 year old fresh out of high school.
  • A grocery store cashier.
  • Your average pastor or priest.
  • A project manager in some IT shop.
  • A stay at home mom.
  • A taxi driver.
  • A doctor.
  • A lawyer.
  • A welfare repeat user.
  • The guy who picks up your garbage.
  • A fashion model.
  • A software developer.
  • A drug addict.
Reading through this list might make you whence. You may think that some may know better than others. It could be that the garbage truck driver does know more than the lawyer. In general, I really think that most people lack the wisdom and technical ability to select a president. We do however know people who we consider wise, who have proven themselves to one degree or another. I think that the electoral college should be made up of these wise people. We should elect these people to choose our president.

Another degree of separation with which I would be very comfortable is to have the state legislatures themselves choose the members of the electoral college. One side benefit is that the state legislature would be better watched by the people. As it is now, it seems that the people are more focused on the Congress in Washington than the legislatures in their own states.

Bottom Line: The American public is not fit to elect an American President. They are more fit, to elect an American Idol.

State Owned Telecoms and ISPs - Not So Good Idea

The state owned telecom here in Costa Rica is ICE (pernounced /ee-say/). ICE also oversees RACSA, the state owned ISP. ICE is the only phone company in Costa Rica. RACSA is virtually the only ISP (they have given a concession to at least one cable ISP that I know of.) This cable ISP has the right to provide internet to about 10 or 20 city blocks in downtown Cartago.

Late December, a friend of ours agreed to lease me some space for an office. Immediately, we went to ICE to apply for a telephone line. Finally, during the first week of February the line was installed. It took them about 6 weeks! We got it this quick because we know someone in ICE and we kept hounding him. I still cannot use the office though because now, I'm waiting on ICE/RACSA to get the internet connection going for me!

We've been told that RACSA is out of internet ports. They're waiting on users to cancel their internet service, from there the port will be returned to a pool. There is a waiting list of at least a 1000 people in front of me. This is their story. We do have the option of transferring our existing port (that I'm using right now) from our home to the office. No word right now on when that can be done. 6 weeks ago, they gave me the impression that it would be something that could be done almost immediately. I'm still waiting........

This is just my case. How many other business people are suffering in Costa Rica because of this slow state-owned monopoly? Fortunately, there is an answer that will be coming in the future. That answer is competition via CAFTA (Central American Free Trade Agreement.) I'm not really a proponent of this agreement because of concerns about eroding national sovereignties; however, this agreement is going to allow for competition to exist in the telecom industry here in Costa Rica. These companies are going to come in here and eat ICE's lunch. It will be a much welcomed change on my part.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Socialized Medicine is a BIGGER Problem

As many of you know, I am 100% against any kind of socialized medicine.

Reason #1
: Socialized Medicine is blatantly unconstitutional. The opening paragraph of the Constitution says (my emphasis in bold):

"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. "

Notice that the common defense is to be provided (that is a role of government); however, the general welfare is to be promoted (the government should do things to promote the general welfare of the citizens - not provide it) In many cases this is simply just getting out of the way of the private sector.

Also, notice the verbage: "and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity". Any act of the government confiscating property or income from one group of people and redistributing it to another is not a form of Liberty. It is a form of servitude or slavery.

Reason #2: It goes against basic economics - supply and demand. The more demand that exists for a service or a product the higher the price for that commodity.

If the Federal Government steps in to provide health care for the masses, the demand will increase. The poor and even parts of the middle class have absolutely no restraint. If they have something for free, they will abuse it. This abuse for health care will manifest itself in the over use of medical services. With this increase demand the prices of health care will go up. Doctor's and other medical professionals will be able to charge higher prices. There will even become a greater shortage of nurses.

Who will pay for these higher prices? Tax payers will in the form of higher taxes. Once the tax payers complain too much, government will then go back to the medical industry to set some kind of price controls. Once this happens, the quality of health care will plummet. It will be nothing like it is today.

Part of the problem with health care now is that the Federal government and the states already participate in socialized medicine to some degree. This has already caused the price of medical services to increase. In the cases where the government has a cap on what it pays out, doctors and hospitals regain their losses by charging a little more to other clients for other services.

The Solution
1. We need to get away from employer based health care.
A side benefit to this is that whatever the business sells will go down in value because the embedded cost of employee health care will not be present. Putting extreme pressure on someone to stay with an employer because of a child with some kind of illness is a knock against Liberty.
2. We need to quit using insurance for general doctor visits; this causes insurance premiums to be higher. When you take your car for an oil change or service, do you use your insurance?
3. HSAs appear like they may be part of the solution. HSAs are great in that we can save money tax free for medical expenses. Usually an HSA comes with a high deductible. We should only use insurance for worse case scenarios anyway. In doing this, insurance premiums will be much lower. Having something like a high deductible HSA makes sure that the user shows restraint on the use of medical services. This also helps the price of medical services go down in general.
4. Do not use tax money to buy medical services for anyone. If someone is too poor to go to the doctor, then I call on Christians to step up to see to it that the children of the poor are taken care of. In the US we have many great charities like the Red Cross and Salvation Army. Why would a charity be better than the government? A charity helps insure some kind of restraint on many levels. With the government, a person is demanding for the service and does not see the true expense. With a charity a person generally feels more appreciative and will be less likely to abuse as they realize that the expense was paid for by a generous person. I also want to point out that the poor in the United States are wealthy compared to the poor in Bolivia, many parts of Africa, South East Asia and many other parts of the world. We don't have it that bad at all in the US.
5. Let the private sector solve this problem The government needs to back off a little bit and let the private sector step up. In a free market society, where a problem exists an enterprising person is not held back and can provide an economical solution. When you have a bunch of creative people competing with each other the price of that solution drops.

I'm interested in your comments. Please critique this and help me make this article better.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Crown Update

We are scheduled to start Crown on Feb 14th. (Yes Valentines day, because of that we may move the date). This time around we have 6 or 7 people for the group. Not as much interest as last time; however, one couple who completed the course in November approached us about being co-leaders this time around. I was impressed that they took the initiative. We're also going to get another couple or individual to help co-lead too, as way to grow the Crown leadership in the church faster.

Christian Dog

Yesterday at church during the sermon, a dog walked down the center aisle shortly after the preaching started. At first, he sat down about midway down. One guy hissed at him to get him to leave. The dog just got up and walked closer to the pulpit. He finally laid down about 7 rows or so from the front. He remained there the entire sermon.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Monday, January 7, 2008

Right winged tree huggers?

Yesterday, Bryan broke a tree limb while sitting in a hammock. The Costa Ricans with us suggested that we just rip the limb right on off and not worry about it. However both Bryan and I saw that the limb had a chance and could be mended back to the tree. We bought 30 meters of twine and fixed it the best we could. Bryan thinks that the limb may have a 50% chance of healing.

We both thought it very ironic that the two most anti-socialist, staunch republicans there were the only ones who took action and made an effort to fix the tree.