Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Spirit of the Season

About four hours into my marathon pie-making session on Christmas Eve my son (aka the Evil Teenager) looked up from his computer and asked, "What are you doing?" I explained to him that there would be a lot of people working on Christmas day and I just wanted to do something nice for them. I hinted that maybe he might want to help--he didn't take the hint, so I tried something a little more straight forward, "Why don't you give me a hand? I need whipped cream and sprinkles on these." He looked up, but didn't get up. That was a little disappointing. I could tell from his look that he wasn't anxious to get involved.

About 10 AM Christmas morning, after gifts were opened, all the used wrapping paper gathered and hauled out to the recycle bin, I announced, "It's time to get dressed; it's gonna take about four hours to deliver the pies." I truly expected that he would push back, delay, make excuses . . . but, he didn't. He got up from the couch, went upstairs, changed out of his sleeping clothes into his jeans, came back down and said, "You know Dad, this is really a pretty cool thing you're doing."

I don't know that he'll ever understand the impact that sentence had--and, it got better. He didn't complain once during the trip. The weather was terrible, driving was treacherous, he couldn't use his iPad, but he didn't say one negative word. The topper was when he commented, "Yeah, I guess it's a not great to have to work today." I think he got it.

I hope my employees enjoyed the pies. We delivered 12 pistachio cream pies (with whipped cream and spinkles on top) to 10 different locations, got a lot of smiles and thanks, and it was gratifying. But, more important than all that, the Evil Teenager took a tiny step out of the dark into the light.:)

Friday, December 21, 2012

eBooks only 99 cents!

Great Christmas gifts---both Nook and Kindle editions of Mike Madison, Intrepid Explorer and Friends and Foes? for only 99 cents through the end of the year. Great, wholesome family mystery and adventure.

Santa didn't bring you a Nook or a Kindle? Download free eReader software for your PC, MAC, tablet, or smartphone at Barnes and Noble or Amazon.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Ignorant zealots, guns, God

I usually keep to myself on topics such as these; mainly because I have strong opinions and those who disagree with me are ignorant zealots who don’t respond to reason or logic. But, here goes: I’m watching the news, looking at the faces of the children all brutally murdered this week and I’m astounded that there are people out there, so stupid, that they believe the right to own a gun trumps the rights of these babies to live. The boy who killed them used his mother’s guns—guns she bought “for protection.” The zealots won’t see the irony (she was killed with those guns and then her crazed son used them to kill 26 more innocents). They’ll cling to their moronic pro-gun slogans, “Guns don’t kill people, blah, blah, blah.” I wonder if the killer would have been as efficient had he ‘pulled the trigger’ on a knife.

My heritage includes gun ownership, but I reject that part of my heritage. I buy my meat at the supermarket; I don’t have to protect my family from bears or mountain lions. I believe that desperate circumstances can drive men to desperate measures—in other words, I am prepared to kill or die to protect those I love; but, I will not own a gun no matter how slim the chance it might be used illicitly. Any of the zealots who think it can’t happen are just simply fools—twice this week multiple murders were committed with stolen guns. I’m also reminded, usually about this time of year, of my 16 year old nephew killed by an ‘unloaded’ handgun—a buddy ‘found’ it in a box in his father’s closet. I’m sure the zealots can defend that.

I’ve also heard that a “well-armed citizenry” is our best defense against crazed mass-murderers. Great idea! Let’s give M16s or TEC9s to the cafeteria ladies, janitors, and bus drivers at all the schools—that’ll make our children a lot safer. That’s called ‘sarcasm’—look it up.

There appears also to be great concern among the zealots that our ‘asshole’ president is going to take away their guns. First, I’m a patriot and I have too much love for my country and respect for my President and Commander-in-Chief to ever call him an asshole—I can respectfully disagree with him without resorting to name-calling. Second, the President couldn’t do that, even if he wanted to. But, that brings me to my point—something has to be done. Start at the top—gun manufacturers don’t make guns as an act of patriotism, to help zealots realize their constitutional rights. They make guns for the same reasons Apple makes iphones—to make profits for their owners; and, they vehemently deny any responsibility for where or how their guns are used. Gun dealers make the same denials—it’s not their problem that some gun buyers are not responsible owners. And, like I said in the beginning, the ignorant zealots believe their rights trump all others. Sad. Unless somebody from within the ‘gun culture’ steps up to make the necessary changes—then someone from without has to.

Worse than all this—I’ve seen several posts lately about God being banned from the schools (one said he was banned from the US)—and that being the reason He wasn’t there to protect the children. The 50 year-old court decision that banned prayer in school did not ban God. That notion is arrogant, absurd, and a grotesque insult to the babies who were murdered, to the parents who lost a child, the heroic teachers who died, and to God. Does He need someone’s permission to protect babies? Would God forsake these babies to prove a point? I don’t believe that. I’m not very religious, but I believe in a God that battles evil on our behalf, a God that does his best to protect the innocent, a God who does not need permission from the Supreme Court to watch over us. Nor, do I believe He’s so petty as to sacrifice children to make a point. If you disagree with the courts say so, but don’t blame God or the courts for this senseless slaughter. God tries hard, but sometimes evil prevails.