Monday, July 31, 2006


Oh, My Democratic Dog!!

One of my favorite liberal blogs to visit is knoxviews. I know who some of the people posting on it are and it helps me keep up with some of the "goings on" in my hometown area. I also gather a little insight into the liberal psyche.

For instance, one post simply contains the headline: How Conservatives Have Become Authoritarians and What it Means. He's referencing a column by criminal, ex-Nixon aide, John Dean.

The column begins, "Contemporary conservatives have become extremely contentious, confrontational, and aggressive in nearly every area of politics and governing." He goes on to call conservatives authoritarian, mean-spirited, etc. all the while calling this a new development. Hmm, seems Mr. Dean has forgotten the administration for which he worked.

The poster of this once referred to those who oppose gay marriage and abortion as "fascist Nazis" (Or was it "Nazi fascists"? Is there a difference?) At least he's not mean spirited. But he apparently forgot the old "Don't buy books from crooks" slogan.

Occasionally, I'll post a comment there under the name Crimsonnape. I began this because one of the open minded liberals, same guy as above, called me a redneck. Of course, if you're a redneck anything you think, say or do doesn't count.

If you want to review multiple cases of Bush Derangement Syndrome, this is the place to go.

Various people post on the blog and have their sub-blogs. This makes is easy and convenient for them to preach to the choir.

Today a post about a woman's dog getting run over and killed caught my eye. The post was titled "Randy Tyree's Compassion". This attracted me because Randy Tyree is a former mayor and safety director of Knoxville currently running for sheriff of Knox County. As safety director he made a big name for himself busting college students and others for possession of marijuana. He was much disliked by those of the liberal persuasion. Now, it seems he's their darling for sheriff, not that I care. Here is the story:
We had our house party for Randy Tyree today. After it was over, my mother was leaving the garage and my aged dog, Kennedy (I name all my dogs after Democrats), got under her tire. Randy was still there. My mother called me and by the time I got back to the house, he was gone.

His fur and fluids were on the driveway (My mother insisted on taking him to the vet to be sure) when we left. Randy was still there and when we got back, sans Kennedy, who is being cremated, Randy had cleaned up the drive way. I doubt Timmy would have done the same.

To Kennedy, named for a fine Democrat, overseer of my family and all around great dog. He will be missed.

And a very special THANK YOU to Randy Tyree for staying with my mother, offering comfort and cleaning up a mess I was not looking forward to cleaning up. Vote for Randy.
First, I have to wonder about someone who names all her dogs after Democrats (or Republicans for that matter). I always find it sad when someone's pet is killed. I also find it amusing how TallGirl used the opportunity to slam Randy Tyree's opponent, whom I know nothing about except that he is current Sheriff of Knox County. Maybe he busted someone for having illegal single malt Scotch.

Obviously, Randy Tyree was quite nice to help clean up the mess left by a flattened dog. I can't imagine any political candidate who had just been a guest at someone's house not doing so. It's a perfect opportunity to show your compassion. I suggest that TallGirl invite over Tim Hutchison, run over another dog and see how Tim reacts. Equal time.

In the comments, one commenter, Ralph, states, "My condolences on this sad incident. It's also sad you chose to make a political statement with the unfortunate happening."

Ralph is immediately chastised by Knoxquerious, "I have known Randy for 28 years. I am sure he did this out of the kindness of his heart, and he would probably rather not to make it a political topic. I hope you sleep well at night. "

Knoxquerious seems to miss completely that Ralph did not accuse Mr. Tyree of making a political statement but TallGirl. Of course, liberals have trouble with facts anyway. I had to follow up using my Crimsonnape name.
It is sad about your dog but Ralphie shouldn't be surprised you made a political point out of it. When someone only names their dogs after Democrats (or Republicans), obviously everything is political.

I find it amusing that the Randy Tyree so hated by the pot smoking hippies in the 70's is now garnering so much liberal support. But we all change. Hopefully for the better.
This is one thing I hate about politics. Some people, liberals and conservatives, are as immersed in it as any fundamentalist Christian. I imagine TallGirl to be one of those with whom in every conversation political references come up.

Final thought, since the dog's name was Kennedy I wonder if they administered an alcohol level blood test. It may have ran under the car due to extreme inebriation.

Maybe this is a dog tortured by a Democratic owner (PG-13 language). (Hat tip to Brannon Denning helping out at Instapundit.)

Friday, July 28, 2006


Lou Dobbs:
Government Breaking Its Own Laws
And Failing to Enforce Them

The other day Lou Dobbs wrote a column that didn't receive the recognition it deserved. Perhaps because it was headlined:

Dobbs: Why is the president ignoring our laws?

Bush, feds flout the Constitution by finding ways around laws

The headline is misleading because the column is about much more than Bush's problems. Dobbs points out how Bush has failed us concerning illegal immigration:
The Bush administration in its first four years was responsible for 318 fines against employers who hired illegal workers, an average of fewer than 80 each year. That's down from 5,587 fines against illegal employers during the eight years of the Clinton administration, according to the Congressional Immigration Reform Caucus, an average of 698 each year. And the problem is getting worse; in 2004 only three employers received fines for illegal hiring.

Work site arrests have fallen even more drastically under this president. From 1995 to 1998, there were between 10,000 and 18,000 work site arrests of illegal aliens each year. But during the Bush administration, work site arrests fell to just 159 in 2004.
Dobbs also points out how many local governments are in blatant violation of immigration law with no repercussions.
It is not only the federal government that had diminished our claim to be a nation of laws. More than 70 U.S. cities, including New York, Los Angeles, California, and Chicago, Illinois, have set up "sanctuary" policies that offer safe haven from the law to illegal aliens and their families.

"It most certainly is a blatant violation of the law," says Rep. Tom Tancredo, a Republican from Colorado. "There is a provision of the 1996 Immigration Act that is very clear: It says states and localities can't do this. The unfortunate thing is there are no teeth in it."
Dobbs then cites "As Abraham Lincoln said, if bad laws exist they should "be repealed as soon as possible, still, while they continue in force, for the sake of example they should be religiously observed."

In Blount County, Tennessee, a group of citizens are suing to force government to enforce and follow its own laws regarding zoning regulations and environmental study requirements. (Hat tip: R. Neal)

Ultimately we have no one to blame but ourselves because we keep electing these bozos. Odds are very strong that in the next presidential election I'm voting third party (again). Too many people think if you vote third party it's a wasted vote. Not true. Even if we don't win it sends a strong message.

Thursday, July 27, 2006


What To Wear? Slutty or Not

UPDATE: aup at just muttering quotes a Sam Levenson poem often used by Katherine Hepburn (according to aup) that very well describes true beauty. The poem begins:
For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.
For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.
For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.
Read it all.

The other day at Knoxviews. A post highlighted a column in the University of Tennessee student paper, The Daily Beacon titled "Sexuality not path to true love." In the column Sarah Pevey explores sexualality and the messages a girl/woman transmits by the way she dresses.
Dating is like selling a product. You advertise your asking price with your body language and appearance. The sluttier you dress, the lower your price drops. Anyone willing to show up and wait in line can afford you, or at least that’s the message you send.

This message does two things: attracts guys looking for the path of least resistance and repels guys who want quality. You might turn their heads, but that’ll be the end of it. You’ll never get a decent guy if you don’t act decently. Clothes send a message about your standards and self-esteem. Do you want your message to be, “Top-quality. High end. Top of the line.”? Or, “Free samples. No purchase necessary. Name your price. Everything must go.”?

Is there a fine line between slutty and sexy? Yes. It’s about the middle of your thighs, four inches above your nipples, halfway down your back, two inches below your belly button, and three inches under your heels, at a bare minimum. Do you think that’s too prudish? I can’t stop you--raise the hemline inch by inch. But remember this column the next time you complain about not being able to find a decent guy. You might be getting what you ask for.
I have to agree.

During my younger days I actually avoided potential romantic contact at least a couple of times because the female looked and acted so slutty that I was afraid of what I might catch. I can't vouch for other guys but I value the relationship with a woman far beyond sex.

This subject has been beat to death for years and most will dress as they wish. I try to impress upon my 10 year old daughter (who is obviously absolutely beautiful) that there is a big difference between being pretty and being sexy. Sexy isn't always pretty and is often "cheap."

Some of the commentors at Knoxviews don't seem to get it.
Then again, maybe after she lands some "nice guy" who will "treat her right" and she finds herself staring out the kitchen window with a pile of dishes under her chin and a long day at the office behind her, she will get it. Maybe how she will get it is by staring out that window at the guying cleaning the pool next door and saying to herself, "Hey, I'd hit it."
What will you be staring out of if you land some "bad guy?" What STD might you catch if you hit it?

Some commentors do get it. One quoted Wedding Crashers.
" on the lower back. Might as well be a bull's eye."
One thing my ex and I agree on is reasonably conservative dress and no tattoos.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


Cellphone Shoving

At some time or another we all wished we could shove someone's cell phone down their throat or up their ....

Well, here's a man who may, or may not have done it.
Prosecutors say 24-year-old Marlon Brando Gill was angry and jealous when he forced the phone into Melinda Abell's throat in December. But defense attorneys insist the 25-year-old victim swallowed the phone intentionally to prevent Gill from finding out who she'd been calling.
She testified yesterday that she couldn't remember how the phone got in her throat, saying she drank too much that night. Court records show that her blood alcohol content was three times the legal limit.
Lovely couple, I'm sure.


Apparently Randi Rhodes Can't Identify Genocide

EdCone points out Randi Rhodes distorted view of genocide. For those of you who may not know Randi Rhodes is a talk show host on Air America. I've tried to listen to her a few times but she must be the worst talk show host in America, liberal or not. The first couple of times I listened to her she spent the first 20-30 minutes of her show ranting about how Bush and others would be happier, kinder people if they had sex with her.

Here's rhetoric from genocidal want-a-be's.

Hat tip to Instapundit.

Sunday, July 23, 2006


Genocide: Is It Hard To Recognize?

Genocide: "The systematic, planned annihilation of a racial, political or cultural group." The American Heritage Dictionary

What should be obvious to any objective observer over the years of conflict between radical Islamic groups and Israel is that the radical Islamics' goals are genocidal. They wish to wipe Israel and all its Jewish citizens off the face of the Earth. Israel has no such intentions towards any group.

Below are posts I like regarding the Israeli/radical Islamic conflicts.

At GM's Corner:
I stand with Israel
Can this be confirmed?
Drawing Says It All

Dr. Sanity:
The Moral Difference (Referred to by GM above.)

One Cosmos:
What's With the Left's Broken Moral Compass? (HT to Dr. Sanity.)

Michelle Malkin:
There's lots of stuff at Michelle Malkin's blog. She tends to be caustic but accurate.

Volokh Conspiracy:
United Nations an Accomplice in Hezbollah Kidnapping (HT to Instapundit.)
Spanish P.M. Accused of anti-Semitism
The Party of God

Bill Maher Actually Says Something Nice About President Bush (Again, HT to Instapundit.)

Friday, July 21, 2006


Spain Declares "We Are Cowards"

Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero denounced Israel and donned a kaffiyeh (traditional Palestinian scarf).

I call this the "Terrorists, please don't bomb us again" tactic. Zapatero has also shown strong evidence of anti-Semitism.

More at Newsbusters and


More on Boys, School and Homeschooling

Thanks to Instapundit, I found this article regarding boys' problems in schools. The problems:
Girls have opened a big gap over boys in reading and writing skills, and that gap grows wider the longer they are in school. In many high school honors and advanced-placement courses, girls outnumber boys five to one. Boys’ share of college admissions has dropped to 42 percent and is declining steadily. Boys also are responsible for 80 percent of school discipline problems. They are almost twice as likely as girls to be suspended from school, while four out of five high school dropouts are male. And their problems extend far beyond the classroom. Boys are considerably more likely to commit violent crimes and go to prison. The suicide rate for boys has tripled since the 1970s, and is now four to six times the rate for girls.
The differences are greater for blacks and Hispanics than for whites and Asians but the problems cross all racial and ethnic groups. The article discusses the possible causes which include developmental differences, feminism, lack of male teachers, teaching patterns that favor girls, boys not valuing "being smart," and more. Obviously a complex problem.

One possibility not mentioned in parental involvement. It seems reasonable that female headed single parent families would have greater potential for detrimental effects on boys than girls. Without a father present on a daily basis to be a role model and to provide direction and positive reinforcement, boys can more easily become "lost" in their quest to successfully become men.

Considering some comments left in response to a previous post regarding boys and reading skills concerning parental involvement and homeschooling, the completely obvious struck me. Homeschooled kids must be much more likely to live in two parent homes. With a little effort I found supportive evidence.

About 80% of homeschooled children live in a two parent home compared to 65% for others. 61% of homeschooled children have a non-working parent. Only 26% of others have a non-working parent.

Most of us believe that parental involvement in education makes a big difference. Homeschooling is the ultimate in parental involvement. More parents and especially more fathers present and dedicated to a lifestyle thatemphasizess education. In the article referenced in the previous post it was noted that in homeschooled children reading skills of boys and girls showed no significant difference.

We have bigger houses, more cars, more TVs, more of everything than our parents did. To finance all this consumption both parents have to work. After working, cooking, doing laundry, mowing yards, fixing household problems many parents are too tired to give their children the attention they need and deserve. Maybe we need to learn from history so we can repeat at least part of it.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


Why Do Boys Read Poorly?
Schools Favor Girls

A study by psychology professor Judith Kleinfeld at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, reported in, lays the blame for boys' poor reading in the lap of schools.
the problem cuts across socioeconomic lines and pins part of the blame on schools, whose techniques cater to the strengths of girls and leave boys utterly disinterested.
nearly one-quarter of high school seniors across the United States who are sons of white, college-educated parents have woeful reading skills, ranking "below basic" on a national standardized test.
One single fact highlights that the role schools play in the problem.
"Here's a fascinating fact," she said. "There is no literacy gap in home-schooled boys and girls."

"Why? In school, teachers emphasize reading literature and talking about character and feelings," she said. "This way of teaching reading does not turn boys on. Boys prefer reading nonfiction, such as history and adventure books. When they are taught at home, parents are more likely to let them follow their interests."

Emphasis added
I have observed this in my children. All my children have excellent reading skills but the boys dislike fiction. A great part of the difficulty is that the Accelerated Reader program, which I've discussed before, that my kids schools use is heavily weighted towards fiction. My son has taken to reading biographies which are about the only non-fiction books on the list. But it is so much easier for the teachers, no reading book reports, etc.

Previously when I've blogged on school bias against boys there is always someone with a "so what" attitude. I wonder how long it will take before enough people care enough to take corrective action.

Monday, July 17, 2006


Al Gore, Much Maligned

Al Gore has been maligned by the press, bloggers (like myself) and many others for many years. Just the other day I took unwarranted potshots at Gore. Here some of the most popular myths regarding Gore are demystified:

In "Love Story" Al and Tipper weren't the models for the couple but "...Gore and his college roommate Tommy Lee Jones were the models for the male lead."

Inventing the Internet: "Al Gore never made that claim. His actual words were "During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet.""

Love Canal: "Gore was misquoted by both Katherine Q. Seelye of the New York Times and Cici Connolly of the Washington Post."

Now, Gore has become a movie star in his fight against global warming. Al has been "fighting" global warming a long time.
It now appears that in Goredom, Neville Chamberlain wasn't such a bad chap after all. Gore and Clinton have been the very model of what the ``Earth in the Balance'' authors dismissed as environmental appeasers when it comes to dealing with that pernicious enemy, the automobile.

American cars offered greater fuel efficiency under President Reagan, despite older technology, than they do under this ostensibly enlightened administration. Yet, no plan to fight global warming can succeed without reducing American consumption of oil.
Written in 2000. The reference is to the Clinton/Gore administration, not GW.

Please take it easy on poor ole Al.

Note: For added commentary hold your cursor over the blue words.

Sunday, July 16, 2006


Quote of the Month

From Just Muttering, where yarns are more than just spun, I found this:
Consider Edward R. Murrow's comment -
"Just because your voice reaches halfway around the world doesn't mean you are wiser than when it reached only to the end of the bar."
Ah, yes. Now, pass me another beer.

Saturday, July 15, 2006


Gone in a Flash, Nightmares Revisited

Reading a post by Patrick Armstrong at HurricaneRadio that begins
For the last four days I've gone to bed with the knowledge that when I wake up, the whole world may be at war again.
my mind immediately leaped to memories of the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Cold War. During the crisis I was 11 years old, old enough to understand the destructive power of an atomic bomb but not old enough to understand international politics.

Living in Knoxville, Tennessee, my school and home were within the thermonuclear blast range of Oak Ridge where weapons grade uranium is produced and other top secret activities go on. At school we were given handbooks describing the effects of nuclear bombs, radiation, etc. We were trained to hide or hit the floor at once when the flash of an atomic bomb was seen. Driving home after school we could see bomb shelters being sold in grocery store parking lots. Newspapers and TV news anchors gave graphic descriptions of the pain, suffering, death and destruction that would ensue with a nuclear attack.

I had nightmares for 15 years where I was in a room and suddenly there would be a flash outside so bright the window was a giant strobe light. I would always wake up with a start. I never slept till the shock wave arrived.

This is no way to live, or sleep. But what do you do about it? It makes no sense that the insane leaders of Iran and North Korea believe there is something to be gained through their actions unless mutual destruction is a goal. But, in the past mad men have led the world to the edge of the abyss when to the sane eye their actions would clearly create nothing good.

I'm still not old enough to understand international politics.

Friday, July 14, 2006


Israel Fighting to Prevent the Next Holocaust

Many accuse Israel of over reacting and/or responding too harshly to recent terrorist events. What ever you position in the debate two facts are undeniable by any reasonable person in touch with reality. 1)The radical Islamic enemies will never be satisfied until Israel is destroyed and as many Jews as possible killed in the process. 2)If radical Islamic terrorists, or other terrorists, left Israel alone, Israel would be quite content and not attack anyone.


Blogger Interviews John Edwards

Blogger Randy Neal interviews John Edwards for Facing South. I had more initial interest in John Edwards during the Democratic primaries last election cycle than any other candidate. I might have voted Democrat if he had been candidate for president and not vp. Instapundit believes he would have been a better candidate than Kerry.

Edwards addresses problems of education, poverty, crime and the poor state of children in the South. He avoids partisan politics and mud slinging. Edwards also supports an increase in minimum wage which I have mixed feelings towards. But minimum wage is not a swing issue for me. Edwards may be the breath of fresh air the Democratic Party needs. I just hope they realize it.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


Homeland Security Snafus

Today CNN ran this story concerning the Homeland Security funding list that included a bean festival but not the Statue of Liberty.
Instead, the department's database of vulnerable critical infrastructure and key resources included an insect zoo, a bourbon festival, a bean fest and a kangaroo conservation center. They represent examples of key assets identified in Florida, Illinois, Indiana, and Maryland.
Despite the obvious absurdity and expected, by me anyway, governmental incompetence of this situation, we should not forget the purpose to terrorism - to create terror and exaggerated fear.

Currently, I feel safe as long as I avoid federal government buildings and major financial centers. Living in the midwest, this is easy for me. But suppose bombs, poisonous gases, or biological agents were detonated or released at large flea markets, shopping malls, festivals and such a few times. Even if the number of fatalities and injuries were few, the level of terror would rise dramatically. No one would feel safe anywhere.

While the Statue of Liberty certainly needs protection, we need to remember that any gathering of people may be the target of a smart, evil terrorist.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


Inconvenient Truths

I haven't seen "An Inconvenient Truth" nor do I plan on seeing it. I go to movies to be entertained not to listen to the messages of an inflated ego and mediocre mind. It's not that I necessarily don't believe that the Earth is warmer I believe Al Gore is primarily interested in self promotion. I guess that being the inspiration for "Love Story" and the driving force behind the Internet wasn't enough.

Searching a few sites relating to global warming I find a few interesting facts. In this table of geologic time the statement, "climate stabilizes," concerning the last 11,000 years jumps out at me. In geologic time 11,000 years in a blink of the eye. Has the climate really stabilized or is it a lull between storms?

Elsewhere, I find this statement,
"Pre-industrial levels of carbon dioxide (prior to the start of the Industrial Revolution) were about 280 parts per million by volume (ppmv), and current levels are about 370 ppmv. The concentration of CO2 in our atmosphere today, has not been exceeded in the last 420,000 years, and likely not in the last 20 million years.
20 million years is less than one half of one percent of the age of the Earth. Thus even 20 million years may not give a representative sample of possible cycles in the Earth's climate.

Indeed, there is cause for concern but I doubt the near hysterical rantings of Gore are needed. As a leader of a cause he lacks the ability to attract the ears of many.

All that being said, what are you doing to fight global warming? Curiously, everyone I personally know that has seen the movie drives a car that get poorer gas mileage than my own. I also have installed highly efficient fluorescent bulbs in about 75% of my lights. A fellow blogger who rants about global warming, hates the evil corporations and loves Al Gore, recently built a house and purposely avoided fluorescent lights because he and his wife don't like them and have had "trouble" with them in the past.

I've taken these actions because I save money and save the environment by requiring less and thus less pollution being created to provide the goods and services to meet my needs and desires. I'm not doing this out of some altruistic motive but out of greed. I like clean air, clean water, large tracts of forest. I want the water in the creek behind my house to be clean enough to eat the fish that live there. Currently, the fish aren't safe for consumption.

It really pisses me off that many of those who scream about global warming, etc. aren't doing their part. If your car(s) don't get 30 mpg or better, shut up. If you're not using fluorescent light bulbs where ever possible, shut up. If you consume far more than you reasonably need, shut up. Hell, I don't even agree with you and I'm doing more for your "cause" than you.

UPDATE: In the comments to this post Ken Mithchell mentions the Vikings, Greenland, Iceland and Vineland. I got curious and found this at
Greenland's climate began to change as well; the summers grew shorter and progressively cooler, limiting the time cattle could be kept outdoors and increasing the need for winter fodder. During the worst years, when rains would have been heaviest, the hay crop would barely have been adequate to see the penned animals through the coldest days. Over the decades the drop in temperature seems to have had an effect on the design of the Greenlanders' houses. Originally conceived as single-roomed structures, like the great hall at Brattahlid, they were divided into smaller spaces for warmth, and then into warrens of interconnected chambers, with the cows kept close by so the owners might benefit from the animals' body heat.
So a little over a thousand years ago, Greenland was warmer and then got significantly colder. Makes me wonder.

Plus, some people just can't stand it when you insult Al Gore(as if he's never insulted anyone). At least, Patrick Armstrong can get past that and see what I'm really talking about. In the future I'll be more conservative with my insults because the message is more important.

Monday, July 10, 2006


Some Thoughts on Boy Scouts

Last Saturday my youngest son returned home from Boy Scout camp. This is the third consecutive year he has attended and he loves it. He earned merit badges in swimming, environmental science and camping. Learning to appreciate and respect nature ranks as one of the top values of Scouting. Scouts, hunters, fishermen, and other outdoors people were champions of conservation and preservation of natural habitats long before environmentalism became a cause celebre.

Better than the knowledge and experience acquired are the relationships formed. Scouts from 11 years old to 17 years old learn to interact and work together cooperatively. The boys form positive relationships with the adult staff who provide positive role models. Many of these relationships continue for years, nurtured through camp and other Scouting experiences.

Many may not be aware that there is a place in Boy Scouts for females. Presently there are many women involved in Boy Scout leadership positions. Additionally, Venturing Crews enable girls to participate in Scouting. Each year my son has gone to Boy Scout camp there has been girls in Venturing Crews present.

While I like the idea of facilitating girls having Scouting experiences, I worry that Scouts may lose its focus on boys. When I was growing up the YMCA was very much a male oriented organization. The only activity I remember in which girls participated was the swim team. Nowadays, YMCA's are family oriented and may even offer more activities geared towards females than males, cheerleader camps, dance aerobics, spin cycling, gymnastics, etc. Most of the activities that males typically enjoy are coed. The YMCA where I live is dominated by female staff. I suspect the only full-time male staff member is the maintenance man.

Interestingly, Girls Scouts and the YWCA seem to have made little effort, if any, to include males within its organization and activities. Once again, it seems boys are getting short changed in order to benefit girls. I hope the Boy Scouts continues to focus strongly in boys.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006


A Lesson in Faith

One of the rewards of parenthood lies in the lessons we learn from our children. At the age of 5 my son taught me the greatest lesson in faith I've ever had.

Driving along the East Prong of the Little River in the Great Smoky Mountains with my three youngest children, we decided to stop at Meigs Falls and make the short walk back to the falls. In order to reach the falls we had to "rock hop" across Little River.

Being late summer, the water was low and the tops of many rocks protruded above the water making the traverse and easy one for my 9 year old son. My 2 year old daughter slept on my shoulder as I held her in my left arm. My 5 year old son grasped on to my right hand as we began to step from stone to stone.

Reaching the middle of the creek, a small channel of swift, deeper water ran between two rocks that required a long step. At 6' 3" the step was easily within my stride but was well beyond that of my son. He hesitated with obvious anxiety.

"Daddy," he ask, "if I fall into the fast water will you come in and get me?"

"Yes, I will"

"Daddy," he asked again, "if I fall into the deep water will you come in and get me?"

"Yes," I replied.

"Daddy," he asked, not quite satisfied, "if I fall into the deep, fast water will you come in and get me?"

"Yes, Alex, I'll come in and get you."

At that all anxiety drained from Alex. He smiled and said, "OK, I'm ready." I made the long stride while he jumped. We made the next rock without difficulty and enjoyed the short walk to the waterfall.

What struck me about this experience was Alex's complete faith in me. Once he was assured, his faith was complete and devoid of doubt. Whenever I feel doubt and my faith is tested, I remember the lesson my son taught me.

BTW - My daughter slept on my shoulder through the entire episode.

Sunday, July 02, 2006


Synchronous Fireflies

During my vacation in mid-July, my children and I witnessed an amazing natural phenomena - fireflies flashing in synchronization. We witnessed this in the Elkmont area of the Smoky Mountains National Park. This event only occurs for a 2-3 week period in June of each year. The fireflies flash in a band across the mountain side and the band moves down towards the bottom. As the trail from which we watched was at the bottom the series of flashing bands moved towards us. Once reaching the bottom all flashing would stop completely and then start again at the top after about 5-10 seconds. National Park Service brochure HERE (PDF).

I highly recommend taking the time to see this display. My children compared it to a silent fireworks display and the lights on a huge Ferris wheel. If you plan to go next year, or ever, I recommend you contact the Smoky Mountain National Park.

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