Sunday, November 30, 2008

Home for the Holidays A Success

Home for the Holidays was a huge success in downtown Harrodsburg over the weekend. Below are some pictures from the festivities my daughter participated in.

The first picture is from the play "Christmas Cookies" by S.E. Hackney. Christine is the girl on the right; she played the mother.

This picture is from the play "The Diner" by Tony Sexton. Christine is the 3rd from the right.

This photo is Christine reading "Home for the Holidays". This is a story I wrote, but I wasn't able to read it without crying. Christine volunteered to read it for me.

And this is the one and only photo you will ever see of me because I hate to have my picture taken. I am reading the story "The Little Lawnmower's Christmas" by S. E. Hackney.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday Death

Another reason I don't go out on Black Friday:

From New York Daily News:

A Wal-Mart worker died after being trampled when hundreds of shoppers smashed through the doors of a Long Island store Friday morning, police and witnesses said.

The 34-year-old employee, a temporary maintenance worker, tried to hold back the unruly crowds just after the Valley Stream store opened at 5 a.m.

Witnesses said the surging throngs of shoppers knocked the man down. He fell and was stepped on. As he gasped for air, shoppers ran over and around him.

Check out New York Daily News for the full story.

Black Friday

Black Friday is the Friday after Thanksgiving in the United States, where it is the beginning of the traditional Christmas shopping season. The term "Black Friday" originated in Philadelphia in 1966 in reference to the heavy traffic on that day, an implicit comparison to the extremely stressful and chaotic experience of Black Tuesday (the 1929 stock-market crash). The news media frequently refer to Black Friday as the busiest retail shopping day of the year, but this is not always accurate. The busiest retail shopping day of the year in the United States (in terms of both sales and customer traffic) usually has been the Saturday before Christmas.

Here are my feelings on Black Friday - a day I normally never leave the house!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

My Brother-in-Law

Here is an interesting "vintage" news article about my oldest brother-in-law, Don Rightmyer. On Dec. 9, 1971, Don Rightmyer was the designated wing representative to speak at the dedication of the Minuteman III missile in front of the new field house.

Academy Missile launches officer’s career

By Master Sgt. Dean J. Miller

Public Affairs

In the course of any Airman’s career, opportunities to step-up to a leadership challenge present themselves. Experts on leadership believe these early events, and how they are handled, are key to developing character that often defines an individual. Class of 1973 Graduate, Maj. (retired) Donald Rightmyer, is a classic example.

As a cadet, Rightmyer stepped up to many challenges. Often these would merge his two greatest passions: history, and Air and Space power. As a cadet, he was honored to bring the silver goblets of the Doolittle Raiders to their Annual Reunion in 1972 where he met General Jimmy Doolittle and other surviving Raiders; it was an event that left a profound impression on the 21-year-old Rightmyer. Rightmyer also chaired the Cadet Heritage Committee, a place where air power and history often merged. It was in this capacity he found himself on Dec. 9, 1971, center stage outside Clune Arena, side-by-side with Brig Gen. Salvatore E. Felices, then Strategic Air Command’s deputy chief of staff for materiel. Rightmyer was named to represent the Cadet Wing at the dedication of the Academy’s new Minuteman III ICBM display, a gift from SAC.

“I remember that day so clearly,” said Mr. Rightmyer, retired since 1993. “That dedication just brought one more really important element of Air Force mission and heritage to the aircraft, the weapons, and statues already displayed at the Academy.

“These displays both preserved and demonstrated our heritage,” said Mr. Rightmyer. “I thought it was so important when SAC gave us that missile, and I was privileged and honored to represent the Cadet Wing at the ceremony. It was one of many really, remarkable things I got to do as a cadet.” Rightmyer, today a retired cold-warrior in his own right, is reflective as he contemplates the retirement of a Cold-War icon he help dedicate, “There’s a note of sadness as we see the aircraft and weapon systems we trained and served in being retired. But, there’s also a huge feeling of accomplishment for the service these aircraft and missiles allowed us to provide to our nation’s defense through our years of service in the U.S. Air Force. As we walked by the Minuteman III missile and various aircraft at the Academy on a daily basis, they reminded us of the rich heritage of air and space power which the Air Force has forged. I am very encouraged by the young men and women who have passed through the Academy since I graduated and continue in that same tradition of service to our country today.”

From the Academy in 1973, Lieutenant Rightmyer, with a degree in military history, went on to serve as an F-4 aviator, flying in Korea, England and Germany. He served as a historian in the Headquarters Air Force History Office and later served as an intelligence officer on the Soviet Awareness Briefing Team in Washington D.C. In 1983, he returned to flying, this time in F-111s at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. Later, Rightmyer served as editor, TAC Attack Magazine, Tactical Air Command’s Safety Publication, a war plans officer at 16th Air Force in Madrid, Spain, and as editor, Air Scoop, U.S. Air Forces in Europe’s Safety publication, before his retirement in 1993.

Today, Mr. Rightmyer is a State Government employee in the city of Frankfort, Kentucky, serving as editor, Kentucky Ancestors, a quarterly publication of the Kentucky Historical Society. He resides in Danville, Kentucky.

On the 12th Day of Thanksgiving

The 12 Days of Thanksgiving

On the 12th day of Thanksgiving, I'm thankful I could spend time with my family, even if my hubby had to work. My youngest daughter and I are currently watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, then we will leave to go to my parent's home. I will get to visit not only with my parents, but my brother and sister-in-law, my nephew, my niece and my two oldest daughters and their boyfriends. Later in the evening, I will meet up with my mother-in-law and we will go to her oldest son's home for another meal. I will get to spend time not only with my mother-in-law, but my two brother-in-laws and their wives and my niece. My hubby will be arriving as soon as he leaves work.

All in all, I have much to be thankful for - a loving family, my health, my job, my friends and so many other things that I sometimes take for granted. I'm thankful to God for allowing me to have such wonderful people in my life and for allowing me to live my life well.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!!

The Morning After "Bones"

Season 4, Episode 11: The Bone That Blew

Bones has conflicting emotions when father Max - Ryan O'Neal - lands a teaching job at the Jeffersonian. Bones can't get past the fact that he is a convicted felon. But when he ends up helping out with a new murder case, Bones is upset by his sudden presence in her professional life. Dr. Sweets tries to analyze her, but gets no where. Booth is finally the one to make Bones see reason.

As for the murder, this one took a turn that I wasn't expecting. Not only do we get to see how the filthy rich live, but we also see how the children of privilege are educated and raised.

Cam plants a see in Hodgins and is finally able to see it grow. Since Zack's confinement in the psych ward, Hodgins has been unwilling to do any more experiments. With the help of Max and the new intern - again, a returning intern from earlier in the season - Hodgins completes an experiment that proves to be critical in solving the case.

I really should give up on the Bones' Intern-O-Meter because they have started to recycle interns, but I just can't help it! I'm changing the count to include each episode (the first one technically counts as 2, but not for my count) and the returning interns

Bones' Intern-O-Meter is 3 for 10

(10th episode, 3rd returning intern)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

On the 11th Day of Thanksgiving

The 12 Days of Thanksgiving

On the 11th day of Thanksgiving, I am thankful for my two future son-in-laws. If you've followed my blog at all, then you know my oldest two daughters are getting married next year - one in June, the other October. They are both marrying super guys - both named Jason, if you can believe that! - and I feel lucky that my girls were able to find such good men to be their partners. All I have ever wanted for my children was for them to be happy, and these two men make my girls happy.

Now, if I can just survive two weddings in one year - not to mention having to deal with my ex and his family - that will be something to truly be thankful for!

Way Back Wednesday - Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

This week's Way Back Wednesday will be a little different because I'm featuring an annual television event instead of a movie.

The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is an annual parade presented by Macy's Department store in New York City and it starts every Thanksgiving at 9:00 a.m. EST. Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade tradition started in 1924. Large animal-shaped balloons produced by The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company in Akron, Ohio and Felix the Cat was the first balloon to make its debut. The balloons for the parade are inflated the day before (Wednesday) on both sides of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. The inflation is open to the public the afternoon and night before the parade.

I have watched the parade every year for as far back as I can remember. It has always been a tradition to watch the parade with my children. This tradition continues today with my youngest daughter, who is 16 this year.

It still fills me with emotion to see the large balloons bobbing above the parade route and listening the the wonderful marching bands from all over the country. And I always seem to have tears in my eyes when Santa first makes his appearance.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

On the 10th Day of Thanksgiving

The 12 Days of Thanksgiving

On the 10th day of Thanksgiving, I want to give thanks again for the health of my mother-in-law. We have a follow-up doctor's appointment this morning, and it amazes me what incredible health my MIL is. She turned 84 this summer and with the exception of some minor aches and pain she is still a go-getter. Because I'm the only daughter-in-law who lives close by (she has 3 sons), I am typically the one who accompanies her on medical visits. I pray for her continued good health and happiness. (My own parents are 20 years younger than my MIL - I'm the oldest child; my hubby is the baby).

Try-It Tuesdays - Meg Mackintosh Mysteries

For this week's Try-It Tuesday, I'm highlighting a children's book series I recently discovered. Although this series has been around for about 10 years, until I recently started doing book reviews for my newspaper and public library, I had never read them. These solve-it-yourself mysteries of Meg Mackintosh are by writer and illustrator Lucinda Landon.

The Meg Mackintosh Mysteries by Lucinda Landon (drawing from the official website.)

Meg is a modern day, albeit younger version, of my childhood favorite Trixie Belden. Her ability to track and solve mysteries will keep young readers turning the pages and clamoring for more.


Current Meg Mackintosh books available:

Meg Mackintosh and

(#1) The Case of the Missing Babe Ruth Baseball

(#2) The Case of the Curious Whale Watch

(#3) The Mystery at the Medieval Castle

(#4) The Mystery at Camp Creepy

(#5) The Mystery in the Locked Library

(#6) The Mystery at the Soccer Match

(#7) The Mystery on Main Street

(#8) The Stage Fright Secret

(#9) Solves Seven American History Mysteries

So, if you have a young reader in your home, these would make great Christmas gifts! Or check them out from your favorite public library, which is where I found these wonderful books.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Burton in Wonderland

I love Tim Burton and Johnny Depp, and whenever they work on a movie together, it's that much better! I have always been a fan of Alice in Wonderland, so I am excited by the collaboration of these two on a beloved project.

Here is a first look at Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland

First look at Johnny Depp, aka The Mad Hatter. This character has always been scary to me, but Depp looks downright frightening!

Also starring in the movie are:
Mia Wasikowska as Alice
Helena Bonham Carter as The Red Queen
Anne Hathaway as The White Queen
Alan Rickman as the Caterpillar
Crispin Glover as the Knave of Hearts
Matt Lucas as Tweedledee and Tweedledum
Michael Sheen as The Cheshire Cat

Christopher Lee is also rumored to be included in the cast.

The film is scheduled to be released on March 5 of 2010.

On the 9th Day of Thanksgiving

The 12 Days of Thanksgiving

On the 9th day of Thanksgiving, I am thankful for the rain we are receiving. Even though it is a cold rain, after the drought of this summer, it is good to have rain again. I have always been a person who loved cold, rainy days, so this day seems perfect to me.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Knitted Christmas Gifts

I have been a knitting fool this weekend, completing 3 scarves for Christmas gifts.
This is the first basket weave scarf I have ever knitted. I've always been afraid to try a different patter, but I decided what the heck. I think it turned out well. My hubby has asked for a gray one like this. I think this basket weave pattern would look great on a shawl or a throw. I may have to try this after the rush of Christmas is over.

I also knitted two with fake fur - this blue one and a pale pink one. I love working with fake fur - it makes a fabulous scarf and it is very forgiving with mistakes.

I've also started a varigated blue scarf that I'm making in a striped pattern using knitted and purled rows. I've never tried one like this, but it is looking good.

On the 8th Day of Thanksgiving

The 12 Days of Thanksgiving

On the 8th day of Thanksgiving, I am thankful for a lazy Sunday afternoon to spend with my family. After the hassle of a long work week and the rush-rush of evening activities, it's fun to relax with the family, eat too much, talk too much and catch up on television we missed during the week. We also get to catch up on projects, plans and goals for the coming week.

'Fraidy Cat

I am such a 'fraidy cat. For people who know me, this is nothing new, but recently I took being scared to a new level. One night last week when I let our dog outside for his nightly romp and “business”, I heard a strange noise in the front yard. Because it was ten o’clock and about 25 degrees outside, I stood in the front doorway, bathed in the yellow light from the bug light. The pale yellow glow only projected a few feet from the porch, so I couldn’t see which direction the dog went.

At the moment the dog bounded off into the blackness, I heard a metallic scraping noise from the corner of the house. At first I thought it was my overactive imagination, but when I opened the door to call for the dog, I heard the noise again.

My hubby had recently been up on the roof to retrieve a wayward Frisbee, and he had left the metal ladder laying next to the front porch, so I thought maybe the dog had bumped into it. But the dog wasn’t answering my calls, and every time I opened the door and stuck my head out, I heard the noise again.

The hairs on the back of my neck were standing on end and I had cold shivers run down my spine. I closed the door and said to my hubby, “There’s someone in the front yard.” He laughed and said it was probably the dog, but by this time I was convinced someone was standing near the ladder, just a few feet from the front door.

Hubby got up and came to the door. He opened the door, and I heard the noise again. “Did you hear that? There it goes again!” He stepped out onto the porch and whistled for the dog. Then my hubby started laughing harder.

“Is that the noise you heard,” as the squeaky noise sounded again.

“Yes, who is that?”

My hubby nearly doubled over with laughter as the dog came bounding back into the house.

The lurking stranger who was waiting to murder us all in our sleep was actually the English Ivy that had grown up to the front porch and was rubbing on the metal door every time it was opened.

Needless to say, pruning was on my to-do list for the next day.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

On the 7th Day of Thanksgiving

The 12 Days of Thanksgiving

On the 7th day of Thanksgiving, I am thankful for our new president-elect Barack Obama and his team of hardworking people. I am hopeful that under his tutelage, our wonderful country will finally be back on track. Three wars - Iraq, Afghanistan and Terror - have left our country broken, scarred and depleted. Under Obama's leadership I would like to see our America rise again and be the great nation of the world - for the sake of my children and grandchildren.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Speaking Out II

Thursday, November 20th was the first class for Speaking Out II - a workshop lead by Betty Dean Coleman and Roni Gilpin.

The class introduced themselves by reading short essays composed at the beginning of class. We then read and discussed a personal essay by local author Charles Semones.

For next time, write about a unique incident in your life. This can be a poem, personal essay, song, or whatever method you wish to convey your story.

Next meeting:
Thursday, December 4th at 6:30 pm

On the 6th Day of Thanksgiving

The 12 Days of Thanksgiving

On the 6th day of Thanksgiving, I am thankful my hubby, my oldest 2 daughters and I still have jobs. My hubby works in the media, so I guess there will always be news. I'm a Church secretary, so I guess people will always need their religion. But my girls both work at the same Brake Parts factory and I'm worried about the slow down and failure of the automotive industry. I pray we will all be able to hold onto our jobs to provide a decent living.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Morning After "Bones"

Season 4, Episode 10: The Passenger in the Oven

Booth and Bones are on a 13 hour flight to China, because Bones is scheduled to identify pre-historic remains. However, knowing a murder must be lurking around the corner, there flight is interrupted when a fully cooked human body is discovered in the plane's industrial-sized microwave. Can we all say ewwwwww!!!!

Booth and Bones are able to send evidence (high resolution pictures) to the Jeffersonian for processing. They discover the victim was a travel writer who had recently written a controversial piece about airline pilots. We also learn from her jealous employer that the victim had been dating a married man.

In true Bones fashion, there are several suspects on the plane and Booth and Bones must race to solve the case before the plane lands and they lose jurisdiction.

In other storylines, this infatuation Angela has with her ex-lover Roxie is getting annoying. Why can't she just get back together with Hodgins? They are perfect for each other. We also got to see more of Caroline Julian - I have missed her sarcastic wit this season!

Bones' Intern-O-Meter stands at 1 for 6 - there was no intern this week.

And on another note, I received Bones Season 3 Disc 5 DVD from Netflix today. Disc 5 is supposed to contain the special features from Season 3. I was TOTALLY disappointed when I found out that the only thing on this disc is the first 4 episodes of Season 4 - the current season! I know the writer's strike missed up the number of episodes, but why have a bonus disc if there is not going to be any bonus material on it???!!!

On the 5th Day of Thanksgiving

The 12 Days of Thanksgiving

On the 5th day of Thanksgiving, I am thankful for my health and for the health of my family. Although my hubby and I have both had some health scares over the past few years, we are back on the right track to healthy eating and living. Like my Granny Devine used to say:
"If you have your health, you have everything."

Here's to many more years of health and happiness!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Day of Sadness

Today would have been my baby sister's 43rd birthday. Her death in 2005 at the age of 39, has left a hole in my heart that is very slow in mending.

Although my sister and I had our ups and downs like every other sibling, during the last few years of her life we had grown especially close. She was not only my sister, she was my friend.

So, on this day of sadness when we should be celebrating, I am trying to remember the good times we spent together:

--Watching The Dark Side of the Rainbow

--Playing Ozzie Osbourne loud enough to vibrate the entire house

--Taking long rides in the country just to see the sights

--Giggling until our sides hurt

--Watching every vampire movie we could get our hands on

--Christmas shopping together

--Spending hours just talking about our lives and our future plans

I miss you, are in my thoughts daily.

Amy Carter Sallee
November 19, 1965 - January 11, 2005

On the 4th Day of Thanksgiving

The 12 Days of Thanksgiving

On the 4th day of Thanksgiving, I give thanks that both my wonderful parents are still alive and fairly healthy. Also my mother-in-law, who celebrated her 84th birthday this summer. I realize many people my age have already lost their parents, so still having my parents in my life is a joy every day.

Way Back Wednesday - A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (1973)

What would Thanksgiving be with A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving? This video was one of my favorites as a child, and it was also a favorite of my children's - especially my youngest, Christine. Christine has always had the love of anything Peanuts, so this is a classic we watch every year.

I remember when I was a child, way back in the 1970s, my siblings and I were allowed to stay up and watch the specials that came on TV for the holidays - back then, they were only on once every year.

This 30 minute video finds the Peanuts gang preparing to host a traditional Thanksgiving feast. It is full of classic Peanut's moments: Lucy pulling the football away from Charlie Brown, Snoopy and Woodstock cooking up something good, and Linus explaining to everyone the true meaning of Thanksgiving (he does the same for Christmas).

This Emmy Award-winning cartoon is a classic which will be admired by many more generations of children - as well as their parents.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

On the 3rd Day of Thanksgiving

The 12 Days of Thanksgiving

On the 3rd day of Thanksgiving, I am thankful for the hearing and eyesight the Lord graced me with. Without these, I would not have been able to enjoy the Christmas play rehearsal of my youngest daughter tonight. Out of the mouths of babes, clarity has entered my life.

Home of the Holidays

The weekend after Thanksgiving, the community of Harrodsburg will be hosting "Home For the Holidays." This event is geared to draw more people into the downtown area and promote the business, as well as tourism.

I belong to a local writers group - The Writers of Mercer County - and we will be producing several Christmas plays to be performed during this weekend event.

Yours truly has written her very first play - I never even knew I had the desire to write a play. The title of my play is "Christmas Cheer in the Chair" and it is basically a skit between a dentist and the patient in the dental chair. This play is meant to be funny, while driving home the true meaning of Christmas.

My youngest daughter has parts in not one but 3 of the short plays being performed that weekend! Tonight was the second night of rehearsals this week, and I enjoyed watching her perform her roles in the different plays. She makes me so proud!

It's hard to imagine my once shy little girl has grown into a dependable and delightful young woman.......

Monday, November 17, 2008

On the 2nd Day of Thanksgiving

The 12 Days of Thanksgiving

On the 2nd day of Thanksgiving, I am thankful for the home my family has built and for the wisdom to know that home is not necessarily a house or apartment. Home is where the heart is.

Dan Fogelberg

A local radio station has already started playing Christmas music, trying to get us in the mood for holiday shopping. Mix 94.5 (WMXL) in Lexington launched its Mixmas 2008 on Friday morning and they will continue to play Christmas music all day, every day until December 25th. Although this format will get very old before Christmas, the first few days, sometimes weeks, really puts me in the mood for the holiday season.

On the way in to work this morning, I was shocked with a blast from the past, Dan Fogelberg singing "Same Old Lang Syne" from the album The Innocent Age. This will be a sad Christmas for all Fogelberg fans, because Dan died December 16, 2007 after a long battle with prostate cancer.

Fogelberg was one of favorite singers from the time I was 11 years old. Over the years I've seen him numerous times in concert - several of these at Kings Island in Ohio (at TimberWolf Theater).

Fogelberg trivia (Thanks Wikipedia):
--"Run For The Roses" was written for the 1980 Kentucky Derby.
--In a Bloom County comic strip, the character Lola Granola confesses to having a tattoo of Dan Fogelberg's face. Her boyfriend, Opus the Penguin, is oblivious and refers to him as "Dan Fogerburp".
--Jay Leno cited Same Old Lang Syne as one of his favorite holiday songs.

Same Old Lang Syne

Met my old lover in the grocery store
The snow was falling Christmas Eve
I stole behind her in the frozen foods
And I touched her on the sleeve
She didn't recognize the face at first
But then her eyes flew open wide
She went to hug me and she spilled her purse
And we laughed until we cried
We took her groceries to the checkout stand
The food was totalled up and bagged
We stood there lost in our embarrassment
As the conversation dragged
We went to have ourselves a drink or two
But couldn't find an open bar
We bought a six-pack at the liquor store
And we drank it in her car
We drank a toast to innocence, we drank a toast to now
And tried to reach beyond the emptiness but neither one knew how
She said she'd married her an architect
Who kept her warm and safe and dry
She would have liked to say she loved the man
But she didn't like to lie
I said the years had been a friend to her
And that her eyes were still as blue
But in those eyes I wasn't sure if I saw doubt or gratitude
She said she saw me in the record stores
And that I must be doing well
I said the audience was heavenly but the traveling was hell
We drank a toast to innocence, we drank a toast to now
And tried to reach beyond the emptiness but neither one knew how
We drank a toast to innocence, we drank a toast to time
Reliving in our eloquence, another 'auld lang syne'
The beer was empty and our tongues were tired
And running out of things to say
She gave a kiss to me as I got out and I watched her drive away
Just for a moment I was back at school
And felt that old familiar pain
And as I turned to make my way back home
The snow turned in to rain...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

On the 1st Day of Thanksgiving

Thanks to Jessica for hosting the 12 Days of Thanksgiving!

On this first day of Thanksgiving, I am so thankful for my loving hubby, who sticks with me through thick and thin.

I am thankful for my 3 beautiful daughters, who have each turned into lovely women with goodness, kindness and humility in their hearts.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Kentucky Youth Salute

You must excuse me while I do a little bragging on my 16 year old daughter, Christine.

Recently, on the website Bluegrass Mom, I wrote about my dauther applying for the Youth Leadership Program. She was accepted into this program and has been working hard with community leaders to implement strong leadership values among teenagers.

Today we learned she has also been nominated for and accepted into the Kentucky Youth Salute. The Youth Salute is conducted annually through the National Council on Youth Leadership in cooperation with the Central Kentucky Council on Youth Leadership. Students must be nominated by their high school counselors, teachers, principals and other community leaders to participate in Youth Salute. All nominees must be high school juniors at the time they are nominated, have at least a 3.0 grade-point average and have been elected to at least two leadership positions in a school, religious or community sponsored organization during the past two years.

Sometime during the coming spring, her photographs will be on display at the Fayette Mall with all the other recipents. I'll keep you updated on when this will happen.

Needless to say, my hubby and I are so proud of our baby!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Which Twilight Female Are You?

Which female character from Stephenie Meyer's Twilight universe are you?

I'm a Esme! I found out through Which Twilight Female Are You? Take the quiz and find out!
Take the Quiz and Share Your Results!

Thank you Twilighters Anonymous!

Gun Crazy in America

Let me begin this with saying, I have nothing against legal, responsible gun ownership. Both of my oldest daughters are avid hunters and my father has a large collection of guns. I have been around guns all my life.

However, I am disturbed by the rapidly increasing gun sales in the United States. Gun sales were reportedly 14% higher than 3 months ago. Commentators have 2 theories on the increase of gun sales: 1.) the rotten economy and fear of being robbed; and 2.) the fear Obama will outlaw ALL gun sales (which is ridiculus).

For many years now, I have been in support of stricter regulations for buying firearms and a longer wait period before purchase. After all, why do hunters or people wanting to protect their property need an assault rifle?

There are too many convicted felons, underage children, illegal immigrants and mentally ill with access to guns. I feel a longer wait period and a more thorough background check would stop some of these people from gaining access to guns.

Case in point, from yesterday's news: 15-year-old kills student at school.

The Second Amendment (Amendment II) to the United States Constitution is the part of the United States Bill of Rights that protects the pre-existing individual right to possess and carry weapons (i.e., "keep and bear arms") in case of confrontation. The wording of this amendment states: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

The meaning of the 2nd Amendment depends upon who you talk to. The National Rifle Association (NRA), which has the 2nd Amendment (minue the militia clause) engraved on its headquaters building in Washington, insists that the Amendment guarantees the right of individuals to possess and carry a wide variety of firearms. Advocates of gun control contend that the Amendment was only meant to guarantee States the right to operate militias.

According to the National Education Association (NEA): 3,012+ children and teens are killed each year by gunfire in the United States - that equals one child every three hours; eight children every day; and more than 50 children every week. This does not include the 15,000+ kids and teens who suffer from non-fatal firearm injuries every year. They also state: Faulty records enable terrorists, illegal aliens and criminals to purchase guns. Over a two and a half-year period, at least 9,976 convicted felons and other illegal buyers in 46 states obtained guns because of inadequate records.

Other statistics from the NEA: Every day more than 80 Americans die from gun violence; the rate of firearm deaths among kids under age 15 is almost 12 times higher in the United States than in 25 other industrialized countries combined; and the stat that scared me the most: Only 2% of federal gun crimes were actually prosecuted. Eighty-five percent of cases prosecuted relate to street criminals in possession of firearms. Ignored are laws intended to punish illegal gun trafficking, firearm theft, corrupt gun dealers, lying on a criminal background check form, obliterating firearm serial numbers, selling guns to minors and possessing a gun in a school zone.

No one wants to take your guns away, but there needs to be some accountablity for all the handgun violence in America. Someone needs to protect the innocent from becoming another statistic of "the right to bear arms."

The Morning After "Bones"

Episode #9 - The Con Man in the Meth Lab (2-part opener counted as 2 episodes)

As the State Police are practicing a police raid on a meth lab, a really gross body is found - with a bang.

As Bones and Booth begin their investigation, a second body is found, complicating matters just a bit. There is a wide range of suspects for the murder.

Also in this episode, we get to meet Booth's baby brother, Jared. After Cam has to break a date with Jared, Bones ends up taking her place. Later, Jared does something stupid and Booth has to once again bail him out of trouble.

I really enjoyed that we learned so much about Booth's background. He holds everything so close to the vest, that we have no idea what his childhood was like.

This episode had too many twists and turns to keep up with and the climax was awesome - totally not what I was expecting. No wonder this show just gets better and better.

Of course, this episode has really screwed with the Bones' Intern-O-Meter because Dr. Clark Edison was back. This is his second appearance this season, in addition to the two episodes from last season. This week's Intern-O-Meter should be 0-6, but since we're recycling interns, I guess this will technically be 1 for 6 - Clark neither quit or got fired, so I have a feeling he'll be back. Eight (9) episodes - the 2 part opener counted as 2 shows - 6 total interns.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Way Back Wednesday - Dances With Wolves

Dances with Wolves is one of my top 10 favorite movies. I'm not a huge fan of Kevin Costner, but he was perfect in this movie.

(from Wikipedia):
Dances with Wolves is a 1990 epic film which tells the story of a United States Lieutenant who travels to the American Frontier to find a military post. He eventually befriends a local Sioux tribe. Developed by director/star Kevin Costner over 5 years, the film won 7 Academy Awards (1990) and the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture. Much of the dialogue is in the Lakota language with English subtitles, unusual for a film at the time of its release. It was shot in South Dakota and Wyoming.

After surviving a near fatal wound, Union Army Officer Lieutenant John J. Dunbar (Costner) requests a military transfer to the western frontier. He arrives at his new post - Fort Sedgwick - only to find it deserted except for a lone wolf he befriends and dubs Two Socks from the coloring of its front legs.

Dunbar soon meets his Sioux neighbors, first meeting the medicine man Kicking Bird (Graham Greene); and they soon become friends. Kicking Bird's "adoptive" daughter is Stands With A Fist (Mary McDonnell), and when we first meet her, she is attempting suicide after the death of her husband.

Just a few minutes shy of four hours, this movie takes Dunbar from a lonely soilder in an abandoned military post, to his uneasy acceptance into the Sioux tribe, to the relationship between himself and Stands With A Fist. Dunbar is eventually renamed Dances With Wolves, because of his playfulness with Two Socks.

I never get tired of watching this movie and, although it makes you cry, it's a good kind of cry - perfect for a cold winter afternoon.