Monthly Archives: February 2009

Riddle

The richest want it;
The poorest have it;
if you keep eating it, you will die an untimely death.

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Filed under Blogging, humor

The Monday Metro Zoo Madness!

Well, no more Armchair QB’s for a while.  This is your Monday blog.  I decided to take my nieces to the zoo today, and Kelly was OK with Kourtney skipping a half day of school to go with me.  McKenna and Kourtney were anticipating it for more than a week, so I hope their expectations were filled.  I doubt that it all lived up to the hype.  We didn’t get to see the chimps going nuts, which to me is the best part of the zoo.  The dog’gone monorail now costs $3 per person.  Now, nobody at all rides it (except me and the girls).  Also, the zoo added a section called the Amazon and Beyond, which was great.  The jaguar was in hiding, unfortunately.  I was really looking forward to seeing the jag.  We did get to see the tigers fed (11:00 AM they get a snack) and that was cool.  But the best part of the day for the girls was playing in the play areas.  Forget the animals, they love to slide, swing, climb, and run. Kourtney played in the water park area and loved getting soaked.  That’s so much better than some dumb gorillas or lions.  🙂

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Filed under animals, children, family, FL, Miami

Sunday Life Pointe Talk Soup

  • This morning was week 2 of the New Testament Challenge.
  • I guess I set my alarm wrong because it did not go off this morning at 6 AM.  I woke up at 6:50 needing to be at the church theater by 7:00.  I rushed and got there by 7:20 on the nose.
  • We changed up our worship set this morning because Diego was sick and the plans were for Reina to lead this morning.  Jesse took over instead.
  • July sang back up, Alex was the beat machine and did an excellent job as usual.  Matt played bass, Jesse on the rhythm, Josiah played rhythm and lead, and I played the keys.  It was nice to have the Roland FP2 back this 
  • We sang Always Greater, I Could Sing of Your Love Forever and Better Days with Healer for the communion led by Julie.  Honestly, the music sounded great this morning.  For “halftime”, Alex kicked a seriously funky beat and Matt played a bassline that Alex wrote.  They drew an ovation for their efforts.  One family was heard saying “the music was jamming!” as they exited the theater.
  • Travis had some great nuggets of wisdom this morning as he spoke about the difference between judgment and being judgmental.  Remember that the same manner you judge others, you will be held to that standard.
  • His story about road rage was classic.  He also had some corny lines about Ah-nold in The Terminator.  He wondered why he always wanted to be Bach and not Beethoven “I’ll Be Back”.

For another perspective on this morning at LPC, be sure to visit:

Ritz, Trav, Mike, Jesse, or Kelly.

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Saturday Top 5: Big Cats

I am a fan of nature and animals.  These are the top 5 big cats from around the globe that are still around today.

#5 Cougar – This large predatory cat is the second largest New World Felidae behind the Jaguar, but it is the largest of the genus Puma (which only has two members, the Cougar and the Jaguarundi).  It’s found all over South America and it ranges over the western half of North America.  Here in South Florida, we have a subspecies of the North American Cougar called the floridana or Florida Panther which is critically endangered with only about 100 left in the wild.  I would love to see one in the wild, and there have been reports that a female has been seen roaming the Turkey Point area.  Genetically, this cat cannot survive without new blood which is why a group of females were shipped in from out west to put a little water in the gene pool.  This cat can grow up to about the same size as the leopard, but is typically smaller.  They have spots when born that fade or completely disappear as they mature.  They are both stalk and ambush predators, feeding on ungulates, birds, or rodents.

#4. Leopard – This is the smallest of the Panthera.  It’s a beautiful animal with spotted markings that keep its body outline broken up and blended in with its surroundings.  It can reach as large as 75 inches head and body weighing up to 200 lbs (males).  This cat is extremely fast reaching a top speed of 37 miles per hour.  It is the “jack of all trades” when it comes to hunting.  It’s considered opportunistic in that it hunts and eats whatever it can find, from small rodents and birds up to ungulates almost twice as big as itself.  It hunts by stalking or ambushing, depending on it’s habitat.  The leopard also lives in diverse habitats ranging from plains, to jungle, to rain forrest, to desert terrain.  It has to stuff it’s dinner up into a tree to protect it from scavengers and larger predators.  It’s not considered threatened at this time.

#3. Jaguar – The jaguar is the only member of the genus Panthera found in the New World.  It’s the third largest of the big cats.  Males can reach a body size of 6 feet and weigh as much as 350 lbs.  The size greatly varies depending on it’s habitat and diet, with the lower end of the range being as low as 80 lbs.  It is easily capable of hunting and eating the largest species of animals in South America.  It also has a unique kill technique.  It’s jaws and canine teeth are designed to crack into very hard objects.  Because of this, it can eat turtles and other reptiles that have protective scales.  It uses its teeth to crush the skull of its dinner killing it instantly.  It does not typically suffocate its prey as most other predatory cats do.  It is an ambush predator, and is considered near threatened.

#2. Lion – Lions are pretty much unique in that the male grows a mane and the females live in a group called a pride.  The pride does all the work, from hunting to child bearing/rearing.  What does the male provide?  Protection from other males, and fertilization for reproduction.  The male lion is a huge animal which can grow about 8 feet head and body, and weigh up to 550 lbs.  They hunt by stalking their prey to position themselves for the best attack.  They chase down their dinner and either break the neck with their huge jaws, or suffocate their prey from the neck or nose.  If the poor critter is small enough, they will just eat it alive.  The male eats first.  This species is considered vulnerable, but is not endangered.

#1. Tiger – The tiger is not only the largest of the natural big cats, but to me is also the most beautiful.  It’s pretty much a solitary animal and it hunts by ambush, waiting for an unsuspecting critter to pass by it’s location and it pounces on the creature and quickly kills it.  It’s powerful jaws rip the meat right off the bone, and some bones are just crush completely.  The lateral stripes help them to blend into their surroundings whether it’s grassland, forrest, or jungle underbrush.  Unfortunately, these huge predators are endangered and disappearing from the wild, and several subspecies are critically endangered with no real possibility of being saved.  A few have recently become extinct.  The largest subspecies of tiger is the Siberian Tiger which can grow 90 inches long and up to 700 lbs.

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Friday Bottom 3: Weather Events

These are the three worst weather events directly impacting my life.

#3. 2005 Hurricane Triple Header – Florida received a 1-2-3 punch combo in the Summer and Fall 2005 hurricane season. Homestead received one of its highest precipitation totals ever recorded and most of Dade and Broward counties were out of power for extended periods while much of Homestead’s power outages lasted weeks. Katrina, Rita and then Wilma had South Florida residents putting up shutters, taking them down, and repeating two more times. Just about everywhere you went standing water blocked vehicle progress and flooded homes.

#2. The Winter Storm January 1996 – I was returning to Lee University in Cleveland following Christmas break with Andrew Hoomook when an ice storm hit the east. From Atlanta north into TN, roads were closed for three days. We ended up grabbing a room for two nights in Cold-lanta to try and wait out some of the nastiness. At one point for several miles, we were slowed to almost idle speed to keep from sliding off the ice covered roads. The conditions occurred because a layer of rain froze on the road was followed by freezing rain falling on top. I saw numerous cars blown off the road by wind, people losing control and being stranded in ditches, and semi tractor trailers barrelling down the road at speeds well above the rest of traffic. It was frightening to say the least.

#1. Hurricane Andrew, 1992 – Thank the Lord I did not directly experience the wind of Hurricane Andrew. That weekend, my mom and I were in Cleveland, TN helping Travis get moved into his dorm for his freshman year at Lee University and my dad evacuated with Ron Cable (one of the HCOG church members who was working at Turkey Point with Bechtel, down temporarily from Fresno, CA). They evacuated west to Punta Gorda, FL and then traveled east to Central FL on the east coast, and followed the tailed end of the hurricane as it exited the state across Naples and into the Gulf. I stayed up all night Sunday evening at my cousins’ home in Atlanta watching the weather channel as the radar image showed that destructive storm land in Homestead while the weather people were stating that it was heading for Titusville, then Palm Beach County, and the Miami. I kept thinking they must be blind since I could clearly see that it made a direct hit south of Miami, and had been on a straight line for Homestead since it went across the Bahamas. When we made our entrance to Homestead with our family friend David Barron (he was there to help us dry in the house and salvage anything from the mess that we possibly could), it took us a couple hours just to make it the 30 or so miles from near the airport in Miami south into Homestead itself via Florida’s Turnpike. The best way to describe the damage in Homestead was ground zero of a massive bomb. The few trees that were not toppled were completely stripped of leaves, every home in our neighborhood was practically destroyed, cars were destroyed, all mobile home/pre fab homes were flattened and debris strewn everywhere, many roads completely impassable by car, boats were found miles inland, and even the grass was destroyed by driving wind and salt water tidal surge (in areas). We slept on a picnic bench outside the house for a couple nights since the house was covered with fiberglass insulation and rain water. The contents of Travis’ room was sucked out when his shutters failed, and my room was soaked from rain which fell through the destroyed roof. We were without power for 4 months, though we did have generated power for some lighting and refrigeration a few weeks into our recovery. It really was a tough but learning time for me, though I know I had it good compared to so many other people. At a later time, I can go into more details of the events, experiences, sad and funny things I saw and did during that defining time in the life of my family. I am sure my dad also has many stories to share that you may find fascinating.

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Filed under Bottom 3, Homestead, Hurricanes

Chilled Thoughts

-The weather station on the front porch read 42 degrees this morning. My front porch is facing west so it captures and holds some heat in the afternoon. I estimate that it was below 40 degrees F this morning.

-I was prepared thanks to Chris’s cold weather alert this week.

-I’ve had a second jacket come up missing at work. I left it in one of the security waiting areas and it disappeared. It’s frustrating that I can’t even leave my jacket on a designated coat hanger at work without someone just straight up stealing it.

-I’m taking Kourtney and maybe McKenna to the Metro Zoo on Monday. Kourtney is excited to be going to the zoo for her first time. We’ll see the chimpanzees, tigers, and elephants for sure! Hopefully we will get a chance to see my favorite part of the zoo, the Wings of Asia aviary.

-I’ve booked my cruise for April 5-12. We’ll be departing Miami for Cozumel, Grand Cayman, and Ocho Rios Jamaica. I got an excellent deal on a private balcony for less than $600/person. If anyone wants to go, there’s still plenty of tickets available.

-We will snorkel in Cozumel and Grand Caymen (with the stingrays), and hike Dunns River Falls in Jamaica. It should be a fun-filled and action packed time on land with plenty of relaxation time on the ship at sea.

-Last nigh, Marcela and I got a head start on the cruise by having one of the best dinners I have had in a long time. We had rib eye steaks medium rare on the grill, and Bahamian rock lobster tail with drawn butter. I could have eaten 2 more of those lobster tails even though they weighed in at around .4 pounds a piece.

-I’m looking forward to my third week in a row at church. Last week we were over staffed and this week is my regularly scheduled weekend. I’ll see you there!

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Filed under church, food, thoughts, vacation

Nancy Pelosi, Please Shut Up

How did she get elected?  Further, how did she get selected by her peers as the Speaker of the House?  The population of the USA is about 300 million, yet we could lose 500 million jobs?

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Filed under money, politics, world events

Wednesday Quotable

America is a land of taxation that was founded to avoid taxation.  ~Laurence J. Peter

Obviously Peter knew what he was talking about. Originally, we revolted from England because of taxation without representation, but taxation with representation ain’t so hot either.

As a political conservative, it burns me to see big pro-tax liberals like the former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle who pushes for higher taxes for the rich yet he tries to avoid paying the taxes he is legally required (to the tune of $150,000). President Barack Obama said that he fully supported Daschle, that he is a good man who made a simple honest mistake and corrected it. One issue is that Daschle did not pay the back taxes and penalties until he was nominated for Obama’s cabinet yet he knew about it since July of 2008. Another issue is that any other normal citizen would have been prosecuted for tax evasion for an “honest mistake” of this size. The truth of it all is that the federal government owes an apology to Al Capone for being mistreated.

Well shoot, maybe he would have qualified under the Obama administration as a Secretary of Health and Human Services, or maybe the Secretary of the Treasury, or possibly the Performance Czar.

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The Max Factor

Poor Max had his first sick day.  We noticed Saturday night that he was especially mellow, content just to lay there and chill out most of the evening.  Then when I woke for work on Sunday morning (4 AM), he did not let me know that I was supposed to take him outside like he normally does.  I took him outside anyway.  As I get ready every morning, he has his chance to get a drink and eat a little food.  He drank a little, but did not eat.  As some of you know, I went home around 5:45 AM since they were overstaffed at work.  When I got home, Max was asleep upstairs and didn’t really show interest in getting up like he normally does.

After church, it was clear that he was not feeling his best because he hid in the corner of the front entrance area behind a plant and slept there.  At one point we were looking all over the house for him and he was nowhere to be found (he was tucked away hiding in a corner asleep).  By the time the Super Bowl rolled around, he felt very warm and was shivering.  Marcela tried to get him to drink but he wouldn’t.  He would get up every 30 seconds or so and re-situate himself, but he seemed confused and was looking back and forth with the saddest eyes.  Eventually, I got a turkey baster and filled it with water, held his mouth open and put the water in there and he drank quite a bit.  For the next hour or two he steadily got better.

By bed time around 10 PM, a noise outside woke him and he growled and barked for the first time all day, and he woke up and found a paper towel on the coffee table.  He took off with it, tore it up, and then we knew he was feeling a lot better.  The short of it is that we never found out what was wrong with him, but he’s back to his normal mischievous self now.

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Filed under animals, Max, Pets

Monday Armchair QB

I believe I will bring one more Armchair QB, for the Pro Bowl, but I’m not sure about that. Well, unfortunately my prediction for the Super Bowl came true. Pittsburgh’s defense was ultimately too much for the Cardinals. Ben Roethlisberger had the experience and determination needed to win the big game in spite of Kurt Warner who also showed resiliency and determination. Larry Fitzgerald was incredible putting on a second half show of two TD’s one of which was the spectacular fade with the catch off the helmet reminiscent of last year’s helmet catch by the Giants.

This Super Bowl will go down in history as one of the greats with two highlights specifically that will be replayed over and over for years to come.

#1. The longest play in Super Bowl history, James Harrison drops into coverage on a faked blitz and picks off Warner on the goal line and goes rumblin stumblin tumblin down the field through the entire state of Arizona (as one broadcaster put it) to score a TD as the time expires. The implications of this play were enormous. Instead of going into the half up 14-10 or at least tied 10-10, Arizona ends up trailing 17-7. Somebody for Arizona should have stopped Harrison. At least 2 or 3 guys did not try hard enough.

#2. Santonio Holmes grabs perhaps the greatest TD catch in the history of Super Bowl football tiptoing the boundary of the end zone. That, my friends, was legendary. Big Ben put it the only place that could have been caught surrounded by three defenders without the possibility of an interception. Credit should go to Big Ben as well as Holmes.

This was one of my favorite Super Bowl games I’ve watched. I am a bit saddened that Antrel Rolle, Edgerrin James and Calais Campbell didn’t get a ring, but they all played well and contributed in a where the outcome was not determined until 5 seconds left.

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Filed under football, NFL, sports, TV