Beginning January 1st, one of my favorite comic strips, FoxTrot, will be published on Sundays only. I love FoxTrot primarily because it assumes intelligence and knowledge on the part of its readers; only the negative and condescending way Roger, the father, is portrayed dampens my enthusiasm. The more positive approach of Frazz, along with its respect for readers' intelligence and knowledge, is why that strip is now number one on my list.

But I will still miss seeing FoxTrot every day.
Posted by sursumcorda on Wednesday, December 20, 2006 at 6:50 am | Edit
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A break in the weather (in which the winds on the mountain are predicted to be "only" 60 mph) is expected to set off an intensive search and rescue operation for the three climbers stranded on Mt. Hood. Please pray for the success of the effort, and for the safety of the searchers. The mountain is still very dangerous, with high risk of avalanche because of the recent storms.

Some of you who read this blog know Frank James, brother of one of the climbers. All those years of teaching seminary students have made him a highly articulate spokesman for the family, as you will see if you follow the news conference links below. I know I should be just as concerned if those involved were total strangers, but the personal connection always makes it easier to realize that these faceless strangers are human beings, somebody's husband, father, brother, and son. (Listen to Frank's description of their mother in the first video; it will make you smile despite the gravity of the situation.)

Thursday's news conference
Friday's news conference
KATU home page for updates
The mothers speak (in three languages; warning: this is hard to listen to)
Saturday morning
Saturday night
Sunday morning
Sunday noon
(for later updates see Comments)
Posted by sursumcorda on Saturday, December 16, 2006 at 7:53 am | Edit
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Terrorism? War? Disease? Crime? Not being able to communicate? For the places I'm likely to go, the biggest danger is none of these, but in being an Ugly American. An Ugly, Ignorant American.

Consider, for example, the experience of a friend, who recently returned from East Africa. (More)
Posted by sursumcorda on Friday, December 15, 2006 at 7:30 am | Edit
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I've already written (here and here), about some of the dangers of epidural anesthesia during childbirth.  Today's reports bring still more bad news to those who see epidurals as an important part of the birthing process: an apparent link between fentanyl (a component of the anesthesia) and subsequent problems with breastfeeding.
Posted by sursumcorda on Monday, December 11, 2006 at 10:04 am | Edit
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I do feel sorry for Lake Brantley High School's band. When our kids played in it, many of the members secretly (or not so secretly) wanted the football team to lose so they wouldn't extend the marching season by making the playoffs. (An understandable side effect of the unreasonable rule requiring students to play in the marching band if they wanted to be part of the concert band.)

Still, even the hardest-hearted (that would have been me, had I known) must have felt a thrill when Brantley became the first Seminole County football team to play in a State Championship game, which was held at Miami's Dolphin Stadium last night. (More)
Posted by sursumcorda on Sunday, December 10, 2006 at 7:29 am | Edit
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We went for a long walk around the neighborhood tonight, looking at the many inventive and beautiful Christmas light displays. But the very best light show of all occurred just as we reached home: the night liftoff of the Space Shuttle Discovery. Daytime launches are wonderful enough, but night launches are sublime.
Posted by sursumcorda on Saturday, December 9, 2006 at 10:25 pm | Edit
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In a moment of weakness, I brought home a Rubbermaid bin full of family books, papers, and photographs from my sister's house when we were there for Thanksgiving. It only made sense: I'm the genealogist in the family; I have many other boxes of family material already; these are things I need to sort through, analyze, and scan eventually; and my sister was cleaning out her basement.

On the other hand, what was I thinking? (More)
Posted by sursumcorda on Saturday, December 9, 2006 at 12:25 pm | Edit
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The Seminole Indians never surrendered to the U. S. Government; perhaps they knew that time and patience would be the keys to eventual success. Florida's Seminole Tribe has conquered the Hard Rock Empire. As far as I know, no blood was shed in the acquisition, but nearly a billion dollars changed hands.

(For those who care, I use the politically incorrect term, "Indians," because that's what the local Seminole folks said they preferred.)

The sad part of the story is that I remember when many of the Seminole leaders argued that they didn't want to become involved with casinos because that would be immoral. I can't really blame the Indians for taking advantage of any legal means to lift up their people, but it's sad.

I also fear for them, not only because sudden wealth often leads to disaster, but also because I doubt there is any situation in which large amounts of money can be made that does not attract the attentions of organized crime.

In the meantime, it is sweet revenge on the descendants of their conquerors—as if tobacco weren't enough.
Posted by sursumcorda on Friday, December 8, 2006 at 6:54 am | Edit
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I'm not holding a grudge, and have recently fallen in love with Japan and her people, but history, remembrance, and memorials are important, so it is sad to note that FDR's date which will live in infamy is mostly ignored.

Yet Ed Hayes came through, as did BC and Mallard(More)
Posted by sursumcorda on Thursday, December 7, 2006 at 7:02 am | Edit
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Yesterday I tried to buy Porter some razor blades. It may be the biggest shopping season of the year, but some people are making it awfully difficult to spend my money.

It was bad enough last week when it took just short of a passport and my firstborn child to buy a small package of Sudafed. There was no extended paperwork nor photo ID requirement to buy razor blades, but the process was actually much more annoying. (More)
Posted by sursumcorda on Tuesday, December 5, 2006 at 10:14 am | Edit
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