Saturday, November 13, 2010

Why the Mosque at Ground Zero is Neither

There has been a lot of talk in the past few months about the so-called Mosque at Ground zero. This media-promoted name is enough to make any red-blooded American protest. But if you examine further, you will find that this is not what is going on at all.

This building is not going to be a mosque. It is to be a community center. Sound like semantics? Not really. A mosque is a building used for Muslim worship, education and the settling of disputes ( While prayer space will be available on one of it's 15 floors, it is primarily a community center. It will boast a 500-seat auditorium, conference rooms, library, banquet room, classrooms, gym and pool. (

The proposed building is not at the location of ground zero, but two blocks away. It is not even visible from ground zero.

This project, named the Cordoba Initiative, is being spear-headed by Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf. He is a Sufi Muslim, author of the book What's Right with Islam is What's Right with America, and Imam of Masjid al-Farah in New York City. His life's work has been to serve as a bridge between the faiths. Sufi Muslims are a minority in Islam. They are a mystic sect and are not accepted by many Sunni and Shia Muslims. The terrorists on the planes on 911 were Sunni Muslims from Saudi Arabia but, more importantly, they were religious extremists.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Olympic Torch in Alabama 1996

I volunteered at this event in 1996. The Olympic Torch traveled to Jasmine Hill Gardens in Alabama. Jasmine Hill Gardens is an outdoor museum that contains/displays full-scale replicas of ruins and statuary of ancient Greece, including the Temple of Hera. This video, after a short tour of the grounds, records the ceremony of the Olympic Torch Lighting in Greece for the Centennial Olympics, part of the travels of the Olympic Torch and its arrival at Jasmine Hill Gardens in Alabama.


Friday, August 20, 2010

Who You Are

You are more than your ancestry and the culmination of all that has gone before you. Though that is a great thing. You are more than the execution of your DNA, inherited from your parents. You create yourself and demonstrate yourself through every new thought you execute, through every action you take, through every choice you make.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Goals: 8 Goals Between Now and July 1, 2011

On the 5th, I wrote that I have been working on my goal list for the next year. Here is that list. I have only eight things on the list, but I hope to accomplish all of them.

I will update my progress on this blog and use the tag: goals. I hope this inspires others to create their own list.


  • pay off a credit account and close it
  • get the siding fixed
  • go camping with my family
  • get emergency fund back up to 1000
  • finish 3 crochet projects
  • read 6 books
  • have a poem published in a magazine
  • hike at least 5 miles of the Appalachian trail

Monday, July 05, 2010

Personal musings, etc.

All week, at work, I think there are so many things I want to say-to blog about. But the weekend comes, and nothing. I just end up relaxing or running the kids around. It's like my brain is drained by the end of the week. I miss writing regularly on my blog.

Well, right now I am reading The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. I'm in the middle and it is starting to get interesting. I also started working on goals to accomplish by July 1st 2011. I got the idea here from Blade376. I only have about 12 things on my list, but I am pretty excited about it. I will share them on here, I don't have the list readily available at the moment.

On June 5th I had my gall bladder taken out. It was my first surgery, and it went fine. Just figured I'd mention it here. I am back up to 100% now.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Food, Toys, and Parental Responsibility

This past week, Santa Clara County (California) supervisors passed a law prohibiting the inclusion of toys in children's meals unless the meal meets certain caloric and sodium guidelines (no more than 485 calories or 600 milligrams of sodium). This is just another step in the ongoing movement to have government take away our choices and our responsibilities.

The most visible target of this ordinance is McDonald's. People see statistics on childhood obesity and want to do something about it. I can understand that. We had so much more physical activity when I was growing up. We had gym class more than once a week (which is how often my teen sons have it). We could join sports without having to make major monetary investments. We walked or biked almost everywhere. We went outside every day. We did yard work. And, yes, we also had McDonald's Happy Meals with toys. The difference there was it was a special occasion to go to McDonald's (or any other restaurant, for that matter). We ate most of our meals at home. Once every two weeks (for us), we would eat out somewhere. Some families ate out once a month, some once a year!

Our lifestyles have changed, and now we are trying to legislate ourselves some easy answers. But there is no "easy answer". Why should we penalize businesses for something that is our own fault? McDonald's (and most other fast-food chains) offer alternatives to the traditional, high-calorie meals. Children can choose (or parents can choose-imagine that, parents actually telling their kids what they will eat instead of having the government choose for them!) chicken nuggets or a hamburger instead of the cheeseburger, apples instead of fries, and juice or milk instead of soda. They still get the prize. And then they can burn off the calories running around the McDonald's Playland. Better yet, they can walk to McDonald's (on their once per two-week excursion).

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Notable Movies of 2009

(Note: This list is subjective and is chosen only from the movies I have seen. See list at end of this article.)

Best Movie: Public Enemies

Best Family Movie: Up

Best Comedy: The Hangover

Summer Blockbuster: Terminator Salvation

Best Cinematography: Earth

Best Special Effects: Avatar

Most over-hyped: Avatar

Disappointing sequel: (no entry)

Pointless Remake: Fame

Just for Fun: Zombieland

Most Innovative: Avatar

Better than expected: District 9

Best Car Chase: The Taking of Pellam 1 2 3

Best Actor: Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds)

Best Actress: Meryl Streep (Julie and Julia)

Best Animated Film: Coraline

Best Action Sequence: Sherlock Holmes (in the meat processing plant)

(Reference) I saw 34 movies that opened in 2009:

Paul Blart: Mall Cop
Watchmen (my personal favorite for 2009)
I Love You, Man
Observe and Report
X-men Origins: Wolverine
Star Trek
Angels and Demons
Terminator Salvation
The Hangover
The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3
Year One
Public Enemies
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
The Ugly Truth
Funny People
Julie and Julia
District 9
Inglourious Basterds
Couples Retreat
A Christmas Carol
Old Dogs
Sherlock Holmes