Showing posts from September, 2008

I Have Lost Several Friends to Cancer

over the last few years, and it's nothing to laugh at. But I have to chuckle and admire columnist P.J. O'Rourke's approach to his challenge. Opening paragraph:
I looked death in the face. All right, I didn't. I glimpsed him in a crowd. I've been diagnosed with cancer, of a very treatable kind. I'm told I have a 95% chance of survival. Come to think of it -- as a drinking, smoking, saturated-fat hound -- my chance of survival has been improved by cancer....I have, of all the inglorious things, a malignant hemorrhoid. What color bracelet does one wear for that? And where does one wear it? Rest of the article here.

This Year's Presidential Decision

is not much different from any I have voted, except maybe for the sheer amount of information available, due to today's technology - internet, 24 hour news channels, etc. Bottom line: we seem to always try to pick the lesser of two evils, the candidate who will hurt us least.
I always lean a certain way, but I have a quick exercise I use as a sanity check against my own biases: I mentally reverse the party alliance for each candidate. That is, Obama becomes an R, McCain becomes a D, etc. This way, if I am leaning toward voting R, Obama becomes my favorite guy; I am biased for him. Now examine the candidate from a positive point of view, rather than negative.
For example, if you are Republican, pretend Sarah Palin is a Democrat running against a Republican Joe Biden. Do you still like/dislike both's qualifications, ideas, track record, etc. equally? From a Republican perspective, what things make Biden the better candidate?
I find this exercise forces me to vote the person rather …

This Is Cool!

I received a comment on the family tree website I am working on regarding my Great Aunt Jess. She was the older sister of my paternal grandfather, who was also his surrogate mother (although I don't think they used that word back then). According to my Aunt Shirley, it seems my grandfather was a late birth in my great-grandmother's life, and she was not "up to raising" him, for whatever reason. So, the raising duties fell to Aunt Jess.

Anyway, the commenter described himself as the descendant of one of Aunt Jess' cousins, and said he had a copy of Aunt Jess' obituary, and that said obit describes quite an accomplished life.

I sent him an e-mail with my address, so I hope to get my hands on that copy. I'll share it with both of my readers...

Good News

the polyp removed during my colonscopy 2 weeks ago was benign. The only down side is that they want to take another look in 7 years. Oh boy. I can't wait.

A Little Monday Humor

An Irishman was running close to being late for the christening of his brother's new baby. He especially did not want to be late, as he was to be the child's godfather.
As he approached the church, all the parking spots appeared taken, so he said a little prayer, "Heavenly Father, I need your help. I can't be late, so if you can help me find a parking place, I promise to give up drinkin' for a whole year!"
Just as he turns the corner, lo and behold there's an empty spot right alongside the church. He tilts his head upward and says, "Never mind, Lord. I already found meself one!"

Some Shakespeare

for some reason came to mind the other day. This is one of my most favorite soliloquies:
The quality of mercy is not strain'd, It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven upon the place beneath. It is twice blest: it blesseth him that gives, and him that takes. 'Tis mightiest in the mightiest: it becomes the throned monarch better than his crown. His sceptre shows the force of temporal power, the attribute to awe and majesty, wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings. But mercy is above this sceptred sway. It is enthroned in the hearts of kings. It is an attribute to God himself. And earthly power doth then show likest God's, when mercy seasons justice.From the Merchant of Venice, Portia's eloquent entreaty to Shylock to spare Antonio from parting with a pound of flesh.