Categories
Culture England Humor Life Money

Away…It’s Retirement Time

My friend Dean sent me this wonderful story.

image001

From The London Times:
A Well-Planned Retirement

Outside England ‘s Bristol Zoo there is a parking lot for 150 cars and 8 buses. For 25 years, its parking fees were managed by a very pleasant attendant. The fees were 1 pound for cars ($1.40), 5 pounds for busses (about $7).

Then, one day, after 25 solid years of never missing a day of work, he just didn’t show up; so the Zoo Management called the City Council and asked it to send them another parking agent.

The Council did some research and replied that the parking lot was the Zoo’s own responsibility. The Zoo advised the Council that the attendant was a City employee. The City Council responded that the lot attendant had never been on the City payroll.

Meanwhile, sitting in his villa somewhere on the coast of Spain (or some such scenario), is a man who’d apparently had a ticket machine installed completely on his own; and then had simply begun to show up every day, commencing to collect and keep the parking fees, estimated at about $560 per day — for 25 years.
Assuming 7 days a week, this amounts to just over $7 million dollars! …..

And no one even knows his name……

Smiling, I advance the moral in this story: Find a need and fill it. You’ll make a good living.

Something else occurs to me; was he dishonest?

Categories
America Children Christianity/Religion Culture Education England Evil Family Life The World

Values and Principles

“The moment you give up your principles, and your values, you are dead, your culture is dead, your civilization is dead. Period.” — Oriana Fallaci

In a western region of the United States the teacher stood before the challenged couple, the young mother holding their newborn child. “You need to get married now, be good parents, make a home for your baby.”

“But I don’t want to get married,” the teenage mother said to the teacher.

The teacher was plainly not expecting that response. “Well, your baby needs a mother and a father.”

The mother’s smooth, matter-of-fact response spoke to her having given extensive thought to the situation. “Oh, she has a mother and a father.” She nodded her head to the boy who stood mutely beside her. “Just not a husband and a wife.”

The exceptionally beautiful baby lay asleep, oblivious to the difficulties and deprivation she will suffer.

Recently England churned out this scene:

A British school was blasted Friday after kids as young as 11 were told to shout obscenities during a lesson in swearing.

Expletives like the f-word and c-word were written on a blackboard before a teacher explained their meaning to 30 seventh graders.

S.t Laurence School in Bradford on Avon, Wilts, claims it was part of a sex and relationship education program to “dispel” the myths of swear words.

But parents say they were not consulted by head James Colquhoun about the class and say kids were left “deeply upset.”

Some pupils claim the teacher told them not to tell parents about the lesson.

More here.

Frequently now,  I feel as though I have stumbled into a rabbit hole and have entered a strange and bewildering land where ordinary principles and values evaporate as does steaming water from a heated kettle. Shame is rare. Common sense has disappeared. Moral standards that were widely accepted in recent years are disdained and mocked.

In 2006, for the first time in U.S. history, a majority of all births to women under age 30–50.4 percent–were out of wedlock. Nearly 80 percent of births among black women were out of wedlock.

From Hub Pages

It is against school regulations to hand out aspirin to students, but a girl may legally have an abortion without her parents being notified. “Sexting” is wide-spread among teen-agers and young adults. “Gay” couples demand their unnatural unions to be declared legal marriages. It’s a world gone mad.

Each of us occupies a small stand of ground, we’ve been set as guard at a compact circle of people; a few children and young people turn to us for wisdom. Though our sway may be less compelling than we wish, and our rank notched on the lower end of the scale, let our fist stay tight, let our grip stay firm on those values and principles that lie at core of Christian values. For if such go…I fear for our existence.



Categories
Children England Family

Twins Such As These? Two Chances In A Million

We mix so well ... the four Durrant girls

Black and white twins Hayleigh and Lauren Durrant proudly hold their new sisters Leah and Miya — who incredibly are also twins with different colored skin.
They were already a beautiful family; mom and dad, and twin girls–who, by the way, were remarkably different in appearance. Surprise! Now the twins are 7, and mom and dad produce another set of twin girls–who by the way–are also remarkably different.
Ebony and ivory ... Alison and Dean Durrant with two sets of twins - Hayleigh and Leah on left, and Lauren holding Miya

Ebony and ivory … Alison and Dean Durrant with two sets of twins – Hayleigh and Leah on left, and Lauren holding Miya

Read the complete intriquing Sun story here.
Categories
America Courage Culture England Firearms Humor

A Message from the Queen by Way of Australia

My delightful Aussie blogging friend Greg the Explorer posted the following comment on one of my columns. Having come to the definite conclusion that some of you fail to gulp in every opinion–inane and otherwise–etched in the pages of my site, I’m using his words to fashion my post for today, so that all who come here may have these choice morsels of information, and furthermore to enable us to be aware of the queen’s edict…and choose whether or not to obey. It’s hilarious…and would you not agree that in these tension-laden days leading to the election, a tad bit of hilarity may well serve us.

MESSAGE FROM, HRH THE QUEEN

To the citizens of the United States of America from Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
In light of your failure in recent years to nominate competent candidates for President of the USA and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective immediately.
(You should look up ‘revocation’ in the Oxford English Dictionary.)
Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths, and territories (except Kansas, which she does not fancy).
Your new Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, will appoint a Governor for America without the need for further elections.
Congress and the Senate will be disbanded. A questionnaire may be circulated next year to determine whether any of you noticed.
To aid in the transition to a British Crown dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:

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1. The letter ‘U’ will be reinstated in words such as ‘colour,’ ‘favour,’ ‘labour’ and ‘neighbour.’ Likewise, you will learn to spell ‘doughnut’ without skipping half the letters, and the suffix ‘-ize’ will be replaced by the suffix ‘-ise.’ Generally, you will be expected to raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels. (look up ‘vocabulary’).
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2. Using the same twenty-seven words interspersed with filler noises such as ”like’ and ‘you know’ is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication. There is no such thing as U.S. English.. We will let Microsoft know on your behalf. The Microsoft spell-checker will be adjusted to take into account the reinstated letter ‘u” and the elimination of ‘-ize.’
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3. July 4th will no longer be celebrated as a holiday.
—————–
4. You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers, or therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows that you’re not quite ready to be independent. Guns should only be used for shooting grouse. If you can’t sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist,then you’re not ready to shoot grouse..
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5. Therefore, you will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more dangerous than a vegetable peeler. Although a permit will be required if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public.
———————-
6. All intersections will be replaced with roundabouts, and you will start driving on the left side with immediate effect. At the same time, you will go metric with immediate effect and without the benefit of conversion tables. Both roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the British sense of humour.
——————–
7. The former USA will adopt UK prices on petrol (which you have been calling gasoline) of roughly $10/US gallon. Get used to it.
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8. You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call French fries are not real chips, and those things you insist on calling potato chips are properly called crisps. Real chips are thick cut, fried in animal fat, and dressed not with catsup but with vinegar.
——————-
9. The cold, tasteless stuff you insist on calling beer is not actually beer at all. Henceforth, only proper British Bitter will be referred to as beer, and European brews of known and accepted provenance will be referred to as Lager. Australian beer is also acceptable, as they are pound for pound the greatest sporting nation on earth and it can only be due to the beer. They are also part of the British Commonwealth – see what it did for them. American brands will be referred to as Near-Frozen Gnat’s Urine, so that all can be sold without risk of further confusion.
———————
10. Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as good guys. Hollywood will also be required to cast English actors to play English characters. Watching Andie Macdowell attempt English dialogue in Four Weddings and a Funeral was an experience akin to having one’s ears removed with a cheese grater.
———————
11. You will cease playing American football. There is only one kind of proper football; you call it soccer. Those of you brave enough will, in time, be allowed to play rugby (which has some similarities to American football, but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full kevlar body armour like a bunch of nancies)..
———————
12. Further, you will stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable to host an event called the World Series for a game which is not played outside of America. Since only 2.1% of you are aware there is a world beyond your borders, your error is understandable. You will learn cricket, and we will let you face the Australians first to take the sting out of their deliveries.
——————–
13. You must tell us who killed JFK. It’s been driving us mad.
—————–
14. An internal revenue agent (i.e. tax collector) from Her Majesty’s Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all monies due (backdated to 1776).
—————
15. Daily Tea Time begins promptly at 4 p.m. with proper cups, with saucers, and never mugs, with high quality biscuits (cookies) and cakes; plus strawberries with cream when in season.

The challenge has been issued, my friends. What will be your response? Will we fold our cherished Red/White and Blue, disband Independence Day, pay $10.00 a gallon for gasoline, suffer abysmal socialized medical care (she forgot to mention that), and call off the World Series immediately? Or will we rise with new Revolution in our (ahem–excuse me, your Majesty) guts and grab another hamburger with supersized french fries, snatch up our rifles and bag another moose, scan Google instead of the Oxford, have a slab of apple pie ala mode (with ice cream on top), inform the queen WE fashioned Microsoft…and one of our distinguished ones even invented the internet?

Can’t wait to hear from you. Hey, and you from Kansas–you must be furious. She doesn’t like you!

Categories
Children England Family Medical/Technical Photography Science & Technology Social The World Uncategorized

Extremely Rare Identical Triplets Are Born–Home from Hospital

Edit: October 15, 2008 Now another set of naturally conceived identical triplets–of the boy variety, though–have gone home from the hospital. Healthy!

Desmond, left, and Kerry Lyons, of Irvington New York, hold their newborn identical triplets Kevin, right, Declan, center, and Cormac during a news conference at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell, Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2008 in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

©2008 Google – Map data ©2008 Tele Atlas – Terms of Use

NEW YORK (AP) — Forgive Kerry and Desmond Lyons if they sometimes mix up their sons’ names. After all, they’re brand new and look alike.

The rare set of identical triplets conceived without fertility treatments left a Manhattan hospital Tuesday for their suburban

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Some say it is a 200 million to one chance they would be born. But here they are: three beautiful identical triplets. They’re of the girl type, were naturally conceived, born in England and are named Gabriella, Alessia and Olivia

The proud parents with their identical triplets (left to right) Olivia, Gabriella and Alessia

The girls were kept on an incubator in Peterborough Maternity Unit where they built up their strength until they were taken home to the house Miss Testa shares with the proud father, her fiancé Richard Rees, 22.

As a midwife, Miss Testa was aware just how exceptional her pregnancy was. ”I found out at my 12-week scan I was having triplets,” Miss Testa said.

More of the story here. From Telegraph.co.uk

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My devotional blog is here.

Categories
America Conferences/Seminars Courage Culture England Life Photography Science & Technology Social Space The World Travel

Stephen Hawking Speaks in Honor of Nasa’s 50th Anniversary

In his lecture yesterday, in which he spoke to the probability of life in other worlds, famed astrophysicist Stephen Hawking held forth on extra-terresstrial life, saying, “Primitive life is very common and intelligent life is fairly rare.” Then in a light and (perhaps) joking moment, he added, “Some would say it has yet to occur on earth.”

I greatly admire Stephen Hawking and have written of him often. He is a brilliant 66 year old British cosmologist who suffers from ASL and who speaks through a mechanical device. Hawking’s comments on Monday were part of a lecture at George Washington University.

So should you worry about aliens? he continued. He concluded that alien abduction claims come from “weirdos” and are unlikely. He is a strong proponent of the colonization of the moon, and of other planet exploration, especially that of Mars.

Again, I honor Stephen Hawking, who despite incredible physical limitations, continues to make great scientific contributions to our world. By honoring Mr. Hawking, my intent is also to honor all those, who despite considerable limitations, live productive lives and contribute to the wellness of our society.

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My devotional blog is here.

Categories
America Culture England Life Science & Technology The World

Two Studies That Please Me

Just because I like their results, I’m telling you of a couple of research conclusions. In my flair for honesty, I admit that next week or next month or next decade, another series of experiments may prove these current conclusions wrong. Go figure.

A Daily Cup of Coffee May Halt Alzheimers

By Rebecca Smith

Last Updated: 1:45am BST 03/04/2008

Drinking one cup of coffee a day could protect against Alzheimer’s disease, according to research.

These results please me because: 1. I like coffee 2. I don’t want to come down with Alzheimers.

No benefit in drinking eight glasses of water a day, scientists say

By Rebecca Smith, Medical Editor

Last Updated: 2:02am BST 03/04/2008

The idea that drinking eight glasses of water a day is good for your health has been dismissed as a myth.

This pleases me because I find it hard to drink eight glasses of water every day, and sometimes people say I should drink more water, and now I can retort, “Not according to
Dr Dan Negoianu and Dr Stanley Goldfarb, of the Renal, Electrolyte and Hypertension Division at the University of Pennsylvania.”

I’m taking a break now. Time for my first cup of coffee, and, watch me, I’m not drinking water. 🙂

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My devotional blog is here.

Categories
Animals Culture England Humor Life Photography Social The World Valentine's Day

Valentine is His Name, of Course

Valentines piglet

When the little piglet was born a couple of weeks ago, on the spot, he was christened Valentine. What else could he be called? One of a litter of seven, born at Byford’s Farm in England, Valentine’s bristly white hair was interspersed with black hearts all over his baby piggy body. It was as though he had been stamped with a huge heart stamp, and sent along especially for Valentine’s Day.

Farmer Eric Freeman, 75 – a founding member of the Gloucester Old Spot Pig Breeders’ Club – said Valentine’s mother Mandi Lou has already got used to her piglet stealing the show.

More here.

Piggy and I wish you a happy, loving Valentine’s Day. 🙂

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My devotional blog is here. 

Categories
America Animals Art/Architecture Culture England Life Photography Science & Technology Weather/Nature

Monday Morning Mysteries

Well, last week’s mystery of the UFOs in Texas has been solved.(At least to the satisfaction of some.) But here at the beginning of the week, a couple of other unexplained phenomena have emerged, and knowing the caliber of you who read here, I’m submitting them for your examination. Smack your Sherlock hat onto your head, gather your investigative tools, and solve these mysteries, please.

In Herefordshire, England, Russell Bird snapped this picture of a flock of sheep who strangely formed a circle, baffling the farmers and others who saw this strange occurrence. There were about 100 in the ring. Strangely, another circle of sheep had formed in a pasture three fields over. The formations lasted about ten minutes before dispersing.

Clues here.

Closer to home is this mystery surrounding the Empire State Building.

NEW YORK — It’s been dubbed the “Empire State Building Effect.” And now questions are being raised as to whether the famous skyscraper may really be Manhattan’s version of the Bermuda Triangle.

Every day about 10-15 cars and trucks simply stop working within a 5-block radius of the 102-story building, according to a report in the New York Daily News.

In one recent incident, a person said he had to lock his vehicle manually because the keyless remote-controlled lock was disabled. He came back to find he was locked out and had to call a car service which used a crowbar to get the door open, the Daily News writes.

New York City clues here.

Okay, there you are–two mysteries laid out for you to solve. Jerry and I must run to Phoenix today and won’t be home until tomorrow, although I might be able to check my site this evening–not sure. Anyway, I’ll be expecting your wise comments and proffered solutions.

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My devotional blog is here.

Categories
Children Courage Death England Family Goodness of man Life love Medical/Technical Photography Science & Technology The World

A Noble Love Sacrifice

“You have liver cancer,” the doctor said to the woman who was four months pregnant. “The only way we can treat you is to abort your baby.”

“No,” she courageously said.

She insisted on waiting long enough (before beginning treatment) to give her unborn son a chance to survive, telling her husband Martyn: “If I am going to die, my baby is going to live.”

She waited, treasuring every day she could give her son a chance at life. Then at 25 weeks she went into labor and he was born, tiny, but healthy.

Immediately, the chemotherapy was begun. But it was too late. On January 18th, two months after the birth of her son, Liam, this courageous mother died.

There are some beautiful, noble people in this world. The name of one of them is Lorraine Allard.
More pictures and details on Daily Mail site.
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My devotional blog is here.