Tuesday, March 17, 2009

"Water with your milk?"

In my history of activism, I have written to and called Doctor James Dobson’s "Focus on the Family" many times. They have usually rebuffed me, or completely written me off, Then, they procede to send me emails and newsletters.

I usually read them, and always throw them away immediately afterwards. Inconsistency of message, watering-down of responsibility to a 200 word essay, or even blatant contradiction in message (in one magazine) have made me roll my eyes and head for the trash can (Tossmass, I believe they call it!?).
For instance, in a November magazine, the feature talked about how parents should not lie to thier children. The ending "question and answer" section had Doctor Dobson himself advocating telling your children about Santa Claus (as in, telling them he is real, coming, has a flying sleigh, and a certain amount of mythical animals that can also levitate—I don’t even know how many there are!) for the "special memories" that he considered priceless and his children had also enjoyed.

In another magazine (or was it the same, memorable one) their President Jim Daly wrote about how much he enjoyed adding "holy-day traditions" to their normal family holiday routine…like celebrating the days of Advent and Lent. I threw up my hands in horror…. Now, they are not only pseudo-Baptist, we are advocating Catholic and Anglican-Orthodox heresies *hem *…….er….traditions! (yes, thats the word!)
I have considered telling them to stop sending stuff to me, because they are wasting money that they beg their radio listeners for all the time. However, being a born procrastinator, and finding amusement in the foibles of others, I have not done so.

This blog post is about the watering-down of Christianity.
Unlike my former self, ranting here a couple months ago, I now find it obvious that a poli-two-speaker like two-faced/two-party McCain would appeal to their set. They have no problems adopting and adding to their faith and doctrine. A good mix is the key to full flavor, I’m sure. They add in public schooling, adolescence theories, church going as the basis for estimating Christianity, and various shades of self-help advice. (like how to estimate the total amount of "pay withholding from a worker’s W-4")

If there is a "revival" of Christianity, it will not come from this outlet. They are entrenched firmly in their "pro-government" mentality that accepts government education (and then asks for money so they can help de-louse the youth from all their statist instruction)

I must add, in their favor ( and it even shocked/surprised me) there were actually TWO whole pages with the world (dare I say it) homeschooling on them. One, was an add for Christianbook.com and the other for a completely Biblical homeschooling curriculum.
In the entire magazine, there were 7 verses quoted (three in the main article, about death, when asking about the favorite verses of comfort). Two were references for two-hundred word essays on Transition, and "having-a-big-group-of-church-friends-so-your-kids-can-have-multi-generational-community". The last one was stuck on a bio of a guy who makes wooden crosses to give away free.

The last article, and the one that sparked this posting, was about Guitar Hero. Although I have not posted any material, I have about 5 posts buried in my drafts section about rock music and such. I have not actually had the time (or wish to read all the depressing and horrible stuff again) to format them into coherent, readable format.
The article talked about the objectionable material inherent in the system, and the guidelines some families had used (Is the singer modest; Is the concert atmosphere appropriate (i.e. not a bar?); And are the lyrics "acceptable"). Then talked about all the former/previous had-beens who are delighted with their music coming back into circulation.

They ended with these oh-so-politically-correct admonitions:

" …parents can’t afford to sit this one out. Since rhythm games are here to stay, we should strive to understand why our children connect with certain music, then channel those deep desires into healthy, positive outlets. One option is Guitar Praise: Solid Rock, a Guitar Hero alternative featuring dozens of tracks by popular Christian bands. Most important, help children sort through the values zipping at them in their music—whether they’re coming from a stereo, and iPod, or a frenetic virtual fretboard."

I don’t know how much more "Would you like some water with all your milk?" we can get.
While advocating "family worldwide" they allow the parents to cater to the children’s selfishness, tell the children that new, worldly fads are "Ok, with a ‘detox’ bath afterwards", and then wonder why so many see through the mist-screen and turn away to spit on the values they were taught.

They weren’t taught to be dumb. And their inner instincts know that when two opposing things seem to intersect, one has to be right, and one wrong.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Pro patria mori


This is a very strange and scary poem. Not for the very impressionable, or those prone to nightmares. Yet, since I read it....I have been captivated by the utter desperation and hopelessness of it. And the undertone of seething anger and sarcasm in the last couplet.

It tells of life in the "meat grinder" of the 1st World War. It tells of the futility of governments sending their citizenry out to die for the fatherland, because of handshakes, paper treaties, and "national interests" of alliances and nations across continents.

At least America had an excuse...but no... our men died as well.
And the Europeans who had been lapping up our products and begging us for help (oh! the war would end in a stalemate without us!) after giving 10 million men a "Finally!" for a welcome, left our men to die of disease and be peacekeepers afterwards while they ferried their men home to safety as fast as their dinghys could carry them.

But did we learn? Americans are fools. Oh no...in 30 years we made the same dumb mistake again....and again in less than 10 years after that, and then in another 10 years, and since then it has been war, after skirmish, after attack, after another.
Fool me one, shame on you, fool me twice, three times, and again and again....I deserved it!

War is the Health of the State.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Incapacitations resulting from my knee injury.

People have often asked me exactly how/when my leg/knee hurts. So, I have compiled a list of certain things that have/still do hurt.

At first:
Straightening leg to a 180 degree angle –impossible. I eventually got it by exercising it and it now does not hurt.
Bending leg less than a 85 degree angle.
Putting weight on leg—(i.e. walking) etc. (see below)

Bending leg less than 60 degrees –and that includes, bending your legs under you and sitting them, or twisting them to one side while bent.
Running –Think of how you bend your knees and throw your weight forward.....let us simplify this to "redistribution of weight".
Having people brush past me—see above
Jumping—lets’s just say I have no wish to try!
Falling—(i.e. missing a step!) which is a "redistribution of weight" problem, which causes little balls of fire to run up and down my leg muscles.
Pivoting—think of when you ball up your calf muscles in order to launch in a certain direction. See also "running"
Swiveling—as in keeping your feet facing one direction and turning from your knees or waist to face another direction.
Kneeling—as in anything that involves one’s left knee....for instance falling to your knees, walking on your knees, etc. I can do this ONLY when I am careful to put all my weight on my right knee, which wears out that knee.
Bending—see "redistribution of weight" also "line of balance"

The "leg incedent"

I have received a strange anonymous comment asking to hear about "the leg event". Now, readers, as strange an "event" as this may seem you need not be dubious as to its appropriate-ness.

As some of you may know, our family delights in the winter sport of skiing. I personally, while still detesting the cold, the snow, and much of the elements that make skiing possible (for instance the bent-knee boots, etc) greatly enjoy barreling down a hill at full speed and coming to an abrupt stop near a lift, ready to do it again. However, I am a more cautious skier, as I have some fear of heights and an even greater fear of falling and hurting myself. Since I had not skied in 2 years, I was rather cautious, doing all of the green slopes, and only three of the blue I had been on previously (I had been to that mountain in 2005).

The second time we went skiing, the 1st of February, I was more confident, and definitely ready to tackle the harder slopes. I did a couple greens behind the little kids, and watched Caleb most of the morning. He went up the Terrain Park with Daddy eventually, and I glided off for some solo speed-runs. I went up twice, having great fun, and doing different slopes from my norm. The third run, and my second one on a rather twisty-turny blue, I felt that I was going too fast. I began doing S-curves to slow down, only I mis-calculated the trail. At one turn to the left, the slope fell steeply, but the right side sloped gradually. I realized this and had the classical "split-second" to make a decision. I turned sharply to the right. Due to my boots being a bit looser than they were previously (they gave me a bruise on my calf that lasted a couple weeks), the fact that the snow piled up along the edge of the slope, and that I was going too fast to turn as sharply as I needed to, I went off the edge of the steep part (I estimate 65-70 degrees across about 100 feet) sideways, and fell down until I hit the snow and began rolling. When my weight and crossed skis finally dug into the snow...I wasn’t sure what hurt most, and I just hoped no one plowed into me.

An expert skier nearly did, but he then took off his skis immediately, and tried to help me. I was still in a daze, and didn’t want to move....but he was pulling me trying to get me out from the middle of the slope and under the hill (you cannot see down the slope until you are going over it, and then it is hard to stop). As I stood groggily to my feet, a brash snowboarder whooshed passed, and was cursed out by the good-Samaritan skier. I worked my limbs, and found that except for an acute pain in my left calf, I was in working order, and I could walk fine. I figured that I strained it a bit, and that I would be FINE. I told the skier that, and he finally begrudged not calling the ski patrol and took my skis down to where the slope went back to 30ish degrees, and curved gently. I then had only to walk down to them, with my poles for support. I began my descent presently, and had only a little difficulty in making sure that I didn’t slide, and that my boots were firmly on the snow. About 4/5ths of the way down, I stepped firmly on my left foot, and it gave way suddenly with a distinct, little "pop". It sent fire up and down my leg as well, and I could not move for some time. I decided to slide down the decreasing angle (about 45-50 degrees, now) to my skis, and work it from there.

Anyone who has sat down on a hill near a lift knows that all this time, the certain people who actually have hearts (and not one snowboarder) ask you if you need help, if you are ok, what happened, etc, etc, etc, etc. I once sat down and made a snowman at Shawnee, and got so annoyed with the well wishers, that I abandoned him. This time, as I didn’t have skis, and was going slowly, I had obviously had trouble. I was mostly able to point to my skis down the hill and people would let me off.

When I finally got to my skis (after sliding past and having to kneel, and crawl back UP the hill to them), I took off my scarf and gloves, and ate some candy, and prepared to re-embark on the lovely day full of skiing. (the day WAS lovely! The first time, the snow was icy, and things were NOT as nice as they could be. This time, the snow was soft and powder-y and the sun was not turning it into ice....although it was warm enough)

About the time I put all my accessories back on, Daddy and Caleb and the girls came up the lift, and were probably quite surprised to see me in such a position. They came down to me, and laughed at me a bit, then helped me get my skis in position. Being that the slope curved to the right, and my skis were all the way on the right side of the slope, my right leg was down-mountain, and every skier knows that you put on your down-mountain ski first. That went on with no problem, so I set up the other. Somehow, my knee would not maneuver so they had to force the boot into the ski, but I could not bring enough pressure on my heel to snap the boot in place. The girls were dispatched to the ski patrol and Daddy and Caleb sat it out with me.

If you think I got a cool ride on a snowmobile, you are wrong. I though that too, and I was wrong. The only option was a toboggan with one person gliding, and another holding strings from behind. I decided to try to ski down, as my leg was once again, feeling fine. The Ski Patrol helped me get my skis in place, and they forced my boot to lock into the ski. Once it locked, I felt fine, and I moved my legs to see how it felt. It felt fine...I was good!

I skied forward, horizontally across the mountain, only to have my left knee suddenly give way and hear a distinctive "pop"! This time, instead of fire, my entire leg felt like it was being twisted into a pretzel shape, and tears jumped into my eyes and I couldn’t help letting the pain out by crying. I told the Ski Patrol about the "pop" and they became suddenly serious and grave. They called for the toboggan, and hurried me to the Emergency station. I would post pictures, but I was wearing rather tight pants under my snowpants, since I didn’t expect to show them to anyone. However, the pictures are not those I would show online.

I was given a leg-splint, which went up my whole leg, and told to have it examined ASAP, because it could be serious, and told not to ski for some time. I then had to hop back to the lodge with crutches (that needed to be returned), and was abandoned as everyone else went out to get their money’s worth of skiing. I listened to music, called grandparents and friends, slept, and cleaned up after all the mess that people leave!

There. That, dear readers, is the "leg event".