Went and saw the movie tonight. It was only on one screen. Only shown five times. Not a fully packed theater.

But it was a good movie. Made me jump several times. Made me cry once. (Not a real tear jerker. I just cry easily.) Had some sad bits. Some scary bits. Some parts that made me angry.

“Government ought not to meddle.”
You must believe. In something.

Note: I’ve only seen twenty minutes of Firefly. That was “two by two, men of blue” crazy people crazy River. Ship. Doctor. And now you know as much as I did after that 20 minutes. So you don’t have to have seen the show to have seen the movie and understood it and liked it and cared about the characters.

Some things were knit together. Some things were torn apart. Many times what I expected didn’t happen. Sometimes it did.

Though I am writing in a very fragmented manner, the movie is not fragmented. It knits a seamless whole in a way that anyone can follow. It is fascinating, interesting, involving. I never wanted to walk out of the theater, although I would have liked to have my hand held in a couple of places. I think that I was writing short gusts because I didn’t quite know what to say to make you want to watch it, and I didn’t want to give the plot away, but you should see it. It’s a violent movie, beware, but an excellent show.

One thing I didn’t like was the sound. I kept having to ask R what someone said. And not always the same someone. I thought it was just me; I am deaf in one ear and certain pitches I have more trouble with than others. But R said the sound was muddy. I expect that was only the theater we watched it in and not the movie itself. (I certainly hope not and none of the reviews I read mentioned it.)

It’s an excellent movie. Very interesting.

Being a Family of Average Means

Or Being Normal, a great post written by New World Man.

Being normal is figuring out what card you should put your first night out in months on.

Being normal is thinking about getting a job closer to home because of gas prices but deciding you’d rather stay where you are because you like what you do.

Being normal is having hot dogs and buns on hand for when you make something for dinner the kids don’t like but the adults do, like salmon with basil cream sauce.

Being normal is half full cans of pop and half eaten bowls of cereal, which bug you more because you have to clean them up than because they’re a waste of money.

Being normal is ill-advisedly bringing home dogs and cats people are giving away or that you met at the pound.

Being normal is refinancing your mortgage because the one you got three years ago was a 3/27 adjustable whose payments were about to spike.

Being normal is grousing about the higher electric bills in the summer but using the central air anyway.

That was just a sample. Go and read it all.

Texas Voting: Propositions

Prop. 1: Pay with my money for railroads owned privately to move around and be developed.
I’m all for railroads, except the one Houston Metro built. But why should I pay for moving railroads? I’m assuming someone wants them moved for something. But I don’t know what.

Prop. 2: Marriage is one man and one woman only. No civil unions allowed.

Prop. 3: Local economic development loans don’t equal debt. We’ve got a cap on debt.
So they want to make this not debt. Exactly what is it? It’s debt. They just want to break the cap. Forget that.

Prop. 4: Criminal defendants who’ve broken their bail before can’t get bail again.
You mean this isn’t already a law? Obviously we have to make it a law. Otherwise our judges, with their discretion, let bail jumping defendants have another opportunity to bail jump. I would have thought common sense would have been sufficient in these cases, but I guess not.

Prop. 5: Commercial loans can charge as much interest as they want.
Obviously a libertarian would be for this. Unfortunately, I’m not a libertarian. I think we’d see some inflated commercial loans.

Prop. 6: Another public member and a constitutional county court judge would be added to the State Commission on Judicial Conduct.
It looks like they want to add a county court judge and so have to add a public member to get an odd number. There are already four public members on the SCJC.

The original commission was composed of 9 members: 2 appeals judges and 2 district judges (named by the Texas Supreme Court), 2 members of the State Bar (named by the State Bar), and 3 citizen members (named by the Governor). In 1977, the name was changed to the Commission on Judicial Conduct, which was now enlarged to 11 members: 5 judges (one appellate judge, one district judge, one county court-at-law judge, one justice of the peace, and one municipal court judge), all named by the Supreme Court; 2 lawyers (who must each have ten consecutive years of practice in Texas) named by the State Bar; and 4 public members (who must be at least 30 years old and not licensed to practice law) named by the Governor.

from TX State Library and Archives Commission

Prop. 7: Allow a line-of-credit advance for a reverse mortgage.
I have no sense of whether this is good or bad, except Texas history. Until recently you couldn’t get a line of credit on your house, because that would put your homestead at risk. They’ve changed that in the last few years.

Prop. 8: This appears to be relinquishing state ownership of 5,500 acres of land.
I don’t know why we would do that or want to do that. Does someone want to buy it that we can’t sell it to? Or are we giving it away? What’s going on with this?
I would say that this is not a topic that will get a lot of hype and we may end up with something a special interest group wants that no one else does, if we don’t watch it. Not that I’m saying that is true of this, but it could be.

Prop. 9: Staggering the 6-year terms of service for those on the regional mobility authority.
I’d guess that’s a good idea. Keeps it from totally turning over. But who the heck are they and what do they do?
This is there official website. Apparently they’re in charge of our roads, in a different way than the Highway Department. So they’re the people in charge of getting us moving on evacuation routes. Which would mean they’re the people who don’t consider 59 an important route. It isn’t even an evac route. I vote we hang them all. (Oh wait, that’s not what we’re voting on.)

You can read it for yourself.

If you’re in Texas, October 11 is the voter registration deadline. Register. Vote.

Bilingual: Texas Voting

The US does not have an official language. As a native English speaker and a native US citizen I am a bit distressed by this. I don’t want to end up like Switzerland, which has four official languages.

Why has this come up?

Well, I looked up the ballots for the Texas vote on November 8. They are in English and in Spanish. I am told in some places they will also be posted in Vietnamese.

I think we need one language. And I’ll even learn Spanish if that is going to be it. But I wish we’d decide soon. If it’s going to be some other language, I want to get busy making sure my sons learn it. (And myself as well.)

Texas Voting

I haven’t seen anything about the vote this November. Then I got two emailed copies of this letter:

Texas State Constitutional Marriage Amendment Ballot on Nov 8, 2005

A letter from Kelly Shackelford, of Free Market Foundation, Dallas, Texas:

Dear Fellow Texans, What I’m writing you this month is different from usual. I’m concerned. As I talk to people across the state, most don’t even know an election on marriage is coming on November,8,05. And the few who do know about the Constitutional Amendments Election are mistakenly overconfident.
Let me explain. The Texas Marriage Amendment is one of nine constitutional amendments on the ballot on Nov. 8th. The Texas election to keep marriage between one man and one woman is completely different from the elections which passed marriage amendments in 13 states last year. Those states did so in conjunction with a presidential race, which brings large percentages of voters to the polls, thus passing the amendments.
There is no presidential or governor’s race in the upcoming Texas election. The typical turnout for a Constitutional Amendments Election is only five to seven percent. Just three-and-a-half percent may win the election! And the side opposing the marriage amendment is planning to do just that – flood the polls to defeat the Texas Marriage Amendment.
Last year, homosexual activists and pro same-sex “marriage” groups from across the country had to split their time and money between 13 states simultaneously. Now, they can focus their whole effort on Texas, the only state with a vote on marriage this year. Homosexual activists already have full-time, paid staff across the state, city leaders in the 35 largest cities in Texas and have lined up more than 120 organizations opposing the Marriage Amendment. They also have purchased statewide advertisements to oppose the Texas Amendment on marriage.
I want to make sure you know that this is not an election one side can take for granted. People need to know about this election and vote. It is historic – the first time Texans will be able to vote directly on the definition of marriage. If the pro-marriage side does not wake up, they could be in for a shock. Texas could very well be the first state in the country to vote down a marriage amendment.
Together we can reach millions of Texans to alert them about this monumental election. We are producing 3 to 4 million more Voters’ Guides than we have ever produced in a Constitutional Amendments Election. To receive these non-partisan, educational guides, please call 972-423-8889 x104 or e-mail
It is a privilege to work with you. Le! t’s spread the word about the November 8th election to our family and friends in our neighborhoods, churches and state. This is an historic election, deciding if marriage in Texas will be limited to one man and one woman. Sitting on the sidelines is not an option.
Sincerely, Kelly Shackelford President, Free market Foundation, 972-423-8889,
IMPORTANT DATES: Oct 11, – Voter Registration Deadline/ Oct24-Nov 4, 2005 – Early Voting


I don’t want marriage to be anything other than between one man and one woman. Did yall see the news yesterday about Amsterdam’s polygamous civil union? If you want to read about how the breakdown started, with divorce being easy, go here.

Why Evacuation is Important

While we were leaving Houston, my brother called several times to make sure we were actually leaving. He was very upset about our folks not evacuating. Why? One of his buddies in Louisiana evacuated. He no longer has a house. But his neighbors on both sides “hunkered down.” They and their houses are gone.

Don’t Mess With Texas

Being a Texan, born and bred, I smiled at this list of Top Ten Reasons Not to Mess With Texas.

I laughed at #9, pondered #8 (and then agreed), thought #6 was a bit too clunky, … What are your reactions?

Please remember, I’m the person who thought Blogotional’s joke was hysterical. And there’s no one who fits that “Southern Republican” label better than a Texan.

Go and read the post. It’s pretty funny.

Pray for Us

I was reading and found that Sen. Biden’s bishop is asking the Catholics in his diocese to pray about the pro-abortion stance our politicians are taking. The prayer can be found here.

I’m not a Catholic, but I ask folks here to pray for me. I have no problem asking someone who is already over there to pray for me, too.

But most of this prayer seems to be glorifying Thomas More, who lost his head for his faith.

This is the most important part of the prayer:

“Intercede for our Statesmen, Politicians, Judges and Lawyers, that they may be courageous and effective in their defense and promotion of the sanctity of human life – the foundation of all other human rights. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.”

BTW, Thomas More is the patron saint for those guys capitalized in the above sentences. (Well, obviously not Christ’s patron saint. The other guys. The ones who need it.)

found via Happy Catholic

Problems with Teaching Critical Thinking

It’s not actually the teaching part I’m having trouble with. My sons have been taught since they were old enough to talk, and probably before that, to listen to the message and look at what it actually means. They’re very good at dissecting information. They don’t just listen to people and agree with them. (Me, included.)

However, tonight my youngest walked out of class at church because his teacher disagreed with him. The teacher asked what the Bible was about. My son said, “Love, grace, redemption, and mercy.” His teacher said no. And then he proceeded with his two page plan on what the Bible was about: man, sin, Abraham, Moses, the Babylonians, the kings, Jesus’ death, Jesus’ resurrection… M stayed for the whole of the Old Testament discussion and part of the New Testament discussion and then he left. Perhaps the teacher thinks he went to the bathroom.

So, what did I tell him? I told him he was correct about the meaning of the Bible and he was wrong to walk out of class. I told him that even if the teacher were totally wrong, he could still listen. (And I mentioned our old preacher saying things like, “You’re not a good Christian if you have any debt.”) And I mentioned listening and gleaning the good/the point out of the other person’s point of view. (Which is why I read two left wing blogs on top of multiple right wing blogs that sometimes don’t agree with my perspective.)

Now he doesn’t intend to go back to Wednesday night class ever again. His dad doesn’t go. His older brother doesn’t go. Why should he have to go?

And I am sad in my heart for the joy lost and for the easy way of not going back chosen. But he’s right. The only reason the two of us were going is because he wanted to go.

Preparedness Kits: Winds’ BOK

Bug out Kit, as opposed to Bug out Bag (Bob) that we’ve used at our house.

Listing this in case WOC decides to disappear like Kim du Toit did.

Winds of Change’s BOK

This is a small, cheap day pack that we can leave in the car or at the office.

It contains:

Light hiking boots (hell, we own them, and why leave them in the closet where they just take up space?)
Socks (I’m likely to be wearing dress socks, and TG is likely to be wearing hose)
Pants and a sweatshirt
A poncho
Five or six Power Bars
Five or six GU Gel packs (food you squeeze)
Two bottles of water, and some water purification tablets
Two bandanas
A Leatherman multi-tool
A decent knife (Spyderco Delicia)
50’ of 4mm perlon cord
A locking carabiner
More first-aid stuff (pretty much what I carry in my motorcycle suit):
– 2 battle dressings
– 2 – 4 x 4 gauze pads
– 1 CPR shield
– 2 pairs nitrile gloves
– vial with core prescriptions
– bottle of aspirin
– Imodium
A spare pair of prescription glasses for each of us (what else do you do with old glasses?)
Two black heavy-duty trash bags
4 – 6” zip ties
Scorpion Streamlight
2 spare lithium batteries

…and a partridge in a pear tree.

I think anyone can safely leave out the partridge in a pear tree, although both partridges and pears are good food.

This post has much more. Go read it.

Preparedness Kits: Blaster’s Blog

As I was not expecting Kim du Toit to disappear, I didn’t copy his list. Now I’m paranoid.

Blaster’s Blog says:

Here is the list that I maintain for the Bug Out Box:
Safety Pins
Baby Wipes
Baby Rice Cereal
Contact Lens Soln
Dried Fruit
UHT Milk
First Aid Kit
Cooking Utensils
Leatherman Tool
Instant Coffee
Paper Towels
Pass the Pigs
Plastic Cups
Garbage Bags
Map Eastern US
Dust Masks
Money Belt
Cloth Diapers
Power Bars

Preparedness Kits: Winds of Change

Because I was relying on Kim du Toit’s page to always be up, I didn’t copy down the stuff from his grab and go. So, in case anyone else decides to dump their blog because they are needing to find different employment:

Winds of Change recommends:

Things to wipe, clean, and disinfect with:

Qty Item

6 Povidone-Iodine Prep
4 Benzalkonium Chloride Wipe
10 Povidone-Iodine Ointment (in zip lock)
5 Neosporin
1 Eyewash/cleaner (Benzalkonium Chloride)
1 Tincture of Benzoin or Mastisol
15 Instant tears
1 Sheet Moleskin
1 Sheet NuSkin

Bandages, splints, wraps

Qty Item

10 Band-Aids
10 Telfa Non-Stick Sterile Pad
5 Shur-Strip Skin Closures
2 rolls Tape, Adhesive, Surgical, Camo. (cloth)
1 roll Tape, Transpore
4 x 4 Gauze Pads
2 Eye Pad
4 Bandage, Muslin, Compressed, Camo. (Gauze Bandage)
1 Splint, (SAM)
6 Dressing, First-Aid, Field, Individual. (Battle Dressing)
1 Bandage, Elastic (ACE Wrap) 2″
1 Bandage, Elastic (ACE Wrap) 4″
3 Bandage, Cohesive, Flexible (Co-ban, Co-flex, Vet. Wrap)
1 ACS Chest Seal
1 12″ x 24″ 3/8 wet suit material
5′ Gaffer Tape (not duct tape)


Qty Item

1 Penlight, Exam
1 CPR Shield
1 CPR Mask
10 pair Gloves, Nitrile, Examination (in zip lock)
6 Zip lock bags
1 EMT Shears/scissors/tweezers/penlight in pouch
1 Pocket Medic Book
1 Recovery Blanket
3 Instant Cold Pack
5 paper thermometers
1 Metal mirror
1 box Waterproof matches
1 stick Wax firestarter
4 Batteries for penlight
1 Bulb for penlight


Qty Item

2 packs Tums
2 tubes Tylenol
20 Motrin
10 Imodium
10 Benadryl
1 vial Ipecac Syrup
6 Burn Gel

plus misc family prescriptions (things we take chronically or that might be useful)

The base kits were designed by John Holschen of Insights Training, Inc., and have proved to be extremely useful over the last several years.

Positives to TV Watching

Reading in Live Science will tell you what I already knew from watching Mythbusters. The particular episode is this one from the second season.

I am amazed at how many of the Mythbusters I have not seen. I’ve seen about half of the first season. I thought I’d seen them all.

BTW, the Live Science article is about a U of Amsterdam study. I know that academic studies take a long time to set up, start, do, and write up. It is quite possible that it was begun before the Mythbusters’ show was taped.

Peace Protest

For a Marine’s take on the peace protest, and several other things, go read his blog. Howdy works in DC, so he was there. But his blog talks about other things… Coming home to “peace protestors” on his hometown’s streets, the divorce rate among combat personnel, being stuck in Kuwait.

I’ve added him to my links and blogs I read on Net News Wire. I found him via euphoric reality.

Write the NY Times

if you are wondering why the case of identity theft of a lt. has not been reported. Sen. Schumer had two staffers who stole the SS# of the governor and ordered his credit report. Schumer has known since July since the two were suspended. But Lt. Gov. Steele was only notified last week. And the NYTimes hasn’t covered it at all.

To send them a suggestion to cover it write I did.

via Michelle Malkin