Friday, November 30, 2007

Laus Deo

There is an email going around about the Washington Monument, Washington DC, and George Washington.  I checked it out at and it is mostly TRUE.   See for yourself, it's interesting and a little thought provoking.
I am grateful for the faith of America's Founding Fathers.
The world would be a better place if the leaders and citizens of today would return to our heritage of faith and service.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Golden Compass - NOT the Liahona

THE GOLDEN COMPASS, a new movie targeted at children, will be released December 7, 2007. This movie is based on a the first book of a trilogy by atheist Philip Pullman. In the final book a boy and girl kill God so they can do as they please. Pullman left little doubt about his intentions when he said in a 2003 interview that 'My books are about killing God.'

The movie is a watered down version of the first book and is designed to be very attractive in the hope unsuspecting parents will take their children to see the the movie and that the children will want the books for Christmas.

The movie has a well known cast, including Nicole Kidman, Kevin Bacon, and  Sam Elliott. It will probably be advertised extensively, so it is crucial that we get the word out to warn parents to avoid this movie.

 You can research this for yourself. Check with,, Google.
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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

No longer flying under the radar

Sunday, Bishop’s 1st Counselor called me in for a little interview.

He did tell me an interesting story about interviewing my Andrew for temple baptisms in a shower stall in the temple!!

He asked if I would serve on the Activities Committee. I agreed. Then he asked if I would consider accepting a 2nd calling. I said it depends on what it is. He called me to Cub Scout Committee Chairman.

Of course as a parent, I am also a member of the Scout Troop Committee which met that evening. The Committee Chair, the Assistant Scoutmaster for 11 year old Scouts (Ray H), and me.

We met at what apparently was Rosemont’s traditional time - during the youth fireside. Convenient for the parents - one trip does all - except they didn’t come. Not too practical for having the Scoutmasters/YM leaders or Senior Patrol Leader come as they were all at the fireside. Next time we are trying the Thursday after Roundtable.

The Scout Troop Committee serves all the Scouts from 11-18, which in Perkins Ward and throughout the Stake apparently, is 4 different groups. We will see how this works. Vivian S, our Chair, is a dedicated Scouter, so I am sure that she will really work for the boys. She says that we really do have a Venture and a Varsity Program, not just empty titles. I hope so. I also hope that the Scouts do some things in combination.

No one knows anything about summer camp yet. Rosemont usually had ONE fundraiser dinner to cover camp costs. Apparently there is big money in having people bring desserts and then bid for them in auction. Maybe if the people involved have big money to spend. Perkins west is not so flush. Hopefully, it will work.

I am a little bit excited about my new callings. I just hope I can manage the time. I spent all my break time on e-mails to the WAC chair and to Cub leaders. WAC is supposed to have a calendar to the Bishopric by the first of the month. She says we are supposed to do activities every other month. I told her about some of our good activities. On the Cub side, I was telling them about training opportunities - especially University of Scouting coming up in January.

oh, I got my Visiting Teaching route, too.

On the home front, I donated probably hundreds of dollars of 20-30 year old Tupperware to DI last Saturday. I still have plenty. A little breathing room in a couple of cupboards and a few inches of actual visible counter space. Pathetic baby steps, but for us ACCOMPLISHMENT.

The boys and I also worked on our not so secret Christmas project. Orange Marmalade. Few of us have ever tasted it, none of us have made it, but we have oranges and not much money. We only made one batch of 7 jars, but we will do more. When? not sure, but hopefully before Christmas! This will be our gift to family and Home and Visiting Teaching peoples and my boss. We had a little bit left after filling the jars. Sunday morning we had orange marmalade on toast. We all wanted more. Success!

Tomorrow we face a canine invasion. Anna’s friend, Tuffy, is coming in the morning to be dog-sat for a week. And Sariah’s dog, Simon, is coming, I think in the afternoon, also for a week. Poor Velox! (The little black cat Joseph adopted. Our Found Cat signs produced several calls, but not from her former home.)

Wednesday, David and Teresa come to join the madness. They will not stay as long as the dogs. They are smarter. They leave early Saturday. We are lucky to have them that long. Teresa’s family has a tradition of gathering for chocolate dipping on the Friday after T-day, but David and Teresa are not going there this time.

I had planned on doing Thanksgiving Dinner at the church. Plenty of room, facilities, and chairs. Debi decided that we are eating at her new house, instead. Good, I have been wanting to see it. This does lead to some minor confusion about who’s in charge here, but I think she is. Was there ever any doubt really? Numerous e-mails between the whole group of us have gotten all the food assigned. Us and the Gonzalez’s. and Ingrid, the future Mrs. Robarts. poor thing. We are having turkey, goose, macaroni and cheese, among other things, of course.

Friday morning, several of us are doing a session at the temple. Weather permitting, we are all going to Fairy Tale Town in the afternoon.

Sariah and company will be in Sacramento until Monday or very early Tuesday, but they are in great demand. I don’t expect to see them Saturday, but they will come to church with us Sunday and maybe to Sunday dinner.

Maybe the boys and I will work on orange marmalade again Saturday.

I am supposed to be doing home evening and getting Christmas presents ready to go with the out of towners.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

another surprise

Remember the accounting exam (one of 3 or 4 "midterms") that I went to take immediately after my eventful dentist trip? 
It was a challenging chapter.  I am still struggling with the last concept.  I was just hoping to pass this one. 
I got an A!  
(One guy in the class had a perfect paper!  I am in AWE.) 
and I have an A overall in this class so far. 
We are now in the last unit, 4 more homework assignments, 3 more quizzes, and 1 more exam (sans dental appointment and happy news, I hope!)  I don't know if I can keep my A, but I should do ok.
Even though I don't think I really understand all this stuff.

Monday, November 19, 2007

More from Amazon - Is there hope?

First, please allow me to extend my most sincere apologies for any
frustration this matter has caused.

I can assure you that your concern is already escalated to the
appropriate department in our company for consideration.

Also, we are already made aware of our customers concern regarding
this products. Our investigation team is already working on this
matter and one they complete the investigation, they will make
necessary changes in this regard.

Please know that we respect your opinions and value your feedback.
Strong customer feedback like yours helps us continue to improve the
selection and service we provide, and we appreciate the time you
took to write to us.

Rest assured that this matter will be resolved to your satisfaction.
Your patience and understanding are greatly appreciated in this

Therefore before authorizing us to close your account, please read
the following information carefully. Further action is required in
order to close your account.

Once your account is closed, it's no longer accessible by you or
anyone else. You'll need to start a new account if you wish to order
more items on our site, participate in auctions, or take advantage
of any other features on our web site which require a password.


I am waiting a little while. Maybe I can still shop at

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Amazon Law of the Jungle

Distressed to read in the Humane Society News that sells such things as dog fighting videos and cock fighting magazines, I wrote to expressing my dismay and hope to hear soon that they will discontinue supporting suffering and cruelty.

Their reply:

"Thank you for writing to with your concerns.

I understand that you feel very strongly about this issue.

Let me assure you that does not support or promote hatred
or criminal acts; we do support the right of every individual to
choose his or her own reading material or entertainment.

As a retailer, our goal is to provide customers with the broadest
selection possible so they can find, discover, and buy any item
they might be seeking. That selection includes some items which
many people may find objectionable. Therefore, the items offered on
our web site represent a wide spectrum of opinions on a variety of
topics. believes it is censorship not to sell certain titles
because we believe their message is objectionable. Therefore, we
will continue to make controversial works available in the United
States and everywhere else, except where they are prohibited by
law. We also allow readers, authors, and publishers to express
their views freely about these titles and other products we offer on
our web site. However, does not endorse any opinions
expressed by individual authors, musical artists, or filmmakers."

I am not a big customer by any stretch, but I have certainly liked the convenience of shopping Amazon. In fact, I had just recently happily taken care of some of my Christmas shopping. However, I am terminating my account with them. There are some things I may disapprove of and know are wrong, yet agree to disagree, but I cannot knowingly support such torture and cruelty even in a small remote way. Some people say that we have no right to force our values on others, especially in the business place, but I say we must stand up for what is right. Taking a stand on what kind of business I choose to do does not force my values on others. They are free to make their own choices, but I will have no part in it.

My last email to Amazon: " Please cancel my account with you and remove my lists. I am not knowingly doing business with a company that promotes cruelty and torture such as dog fighting and cockfighting. I shudder to think what other reprehensible and cruel activities you support in your goal to provide customers with the broadest selection possible in ANYTHING they might be seeking. You have no morals and one less customer. "

Dear loved ones, in the future, please do not purchase gifts for me from Sorry, I know how convenient and easy it was! Instead of a gift, write me a note saying you supported my small boycott. Thing of the money you'll save!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

I think I may be living a rather bad sit-com

Q: What is worse than going to the dentist to have your tooth pulled just before an accounting exam?  
(besides not going to the dentist and having the thing continue to bother you)
A:  Going to the dentist to have your tooth pulled just before an accounting exam and running into your recent ex.
Q: What is worse than going to the dentist to have your tooth pulled just before an accounting exam and running into your recent ex?
A: Going to the dentist to have your tooth pulled just before an accounting exam, running into your recent ex and having him tell you that he is bringing his fiance to your Thanksgiving Dinner with the kids.
This is going to be an interesting Thanksgiving.
PS - to my loving friends and family - do not worried about me, I am more amused than anything except for being a bit concerned for the welfare of the future Mrs.


Thursday, November 8, 2007

Joe's "Job"

Last Friday, the boys spent the day downtown, mostly in my office. They successfully mapped my office and gave me an index. It has proven useful in sending them on errands, and both for me to find staff and to direct visitors to the people they want to see. It is a very good map. They helped a bit here and there, then we went to lunch. All you can eat lunch buffet at Roundtable Pizza. Nice! After lunch, Andrew and Benjamin went to the Downtown Ice Rink which was letting people skate free for opening day. And giving free light rail passes, so I didn't have to pay to take them home! Joseph and I returned to the office where Joseph made himself useful. Andrew and Benjamin came back and helped some more before quitting time. In fact, Mr. Promptness, made us leave a few minutes late so he could assemble "one more" in-box for the supervisor he was helping. The boys were immensely popular here!

This week, Benjamin returned to his Independent Studies at home, and Andrew to his computer life with some interruptions for chores and a little job hunting. Joseph has been working full time this week as an unpaid member of our office. Yesterday, he even came to staff meeting with me. The supers are loving him. One reminded him to put this experience on his resume, gave him her card, and told him he can use her as a reference. Another told me today that they are becoming dependent on him.

I like having him around, although we are both working so diligently in different cubicles, that we don't see each other much. He is getting some work experience and comfortable with the whole work/office thing. Finding out that he is smart and valued. Some of my co-workers are making headway on some back-piled work. It is a good experience all around. The only bad thing is that he is so busy, he hasn't had much time to look into applying for a state exam so he can get a job that actually pays. The good thing is that the experience is making him more comfortable and interested in the idea.
Today we are even working an extra half hour - me on both reducing my backlog and my vacation hours for Turkey time. Him because he is so diligent and generous.
We had thought that Joseph and Andrew would be with the California Conservation Corps by now, but apparently openings are harder to come by than we first thought. Time to stop waiting on that and get on with in the meantime or instead.
"Ben's supervisor" is hoping that he will soon have another available day. She thought he was very mature and helpful.
Andrew did not get attached to any particular supervisor, that I know of, but just made himself useful here and there. They would be glad to have him come again, too.
I do have a couple of IMAX tickets from the BloodSource.....