You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it. Robin Williams

Location: Kentucky, United States

Monday, December 30, 2002

Most requested poem replay

The Deacon's Masterpiece

HAVE you heard of the wonderful one-hoss shay,
That was built in such a logical way
It ran a hundred years to a day,
And then, of a sudden, it--ah, but stay,
And I'll tell you what happened without delay,
Scaring the parson into fits,
Frightening people out of their wits,--
Have you ever heard of that, I say?

Seventeen hundred and fifty-five,
Georgius Secundus was then alive,--
Snuffy old drone from the German hive.
That was the year when Lisbon-town
Saw the earth open and gulp her down,
And Braddock's army was done so brown,
Left without a scalp to its crown.
It was on the terrible Earthquake-day
That the Deacon finished the one-hoss shay.

Now in building of chaises, I tell you what,
There is always somewhere a weaker spot,--
In hub, tire, felloe, in spring or thill,
In panel, or crossbar, or floor, or sill,
In screw, bolt, thoroughbrace,--lurking still,
Find it somewhere you must and will,--
Above or below, or within or without,--
And that's the reason, beyond a doubt,
A chaise breaks down, but doesn't wear out.

But the Deacon swore (as Deacons do),
With an "I dew vum," or an "I tell yeou,"
He would build one shay to beat the taown
'N' the keounty 'n' all the kentry raoun';
It should be so built that it couldn' break daown:
--"Fur," said the Deacon, "'t's mighty plain
Thut the weakes' place mus' stan' the strain;
'N' the way t' fix it, uz I maintain,
Is only jest
T' make that place uz strong uz the rest."

So the Deacon inquired of the village folk
Where he could find the strongest oak,
That couldn't be split nor bent nor broke,--
That was for spokes and floor and sills;
He sent for lancewood to make the thills;
The crossbars were ash, from the strightest trees,
The panels of white-wood, that cuts like cheese,
But lasts like iron for things like these;
The hubs of logs from the "Settler's ellum,"--
Last of its timber,--they couldn't sell 'em,
Never an axe had seen their chips,
And the wedges flew from between their lips,
Their blunt ends frizzled like celery tips;
Step and prop-iron, bolt and screw,
Spring, tire, axle, and linchpin too,
Steel of the finest, bright and blue;
Thoroughbrace bison-skin, thick and wide;
Boot, top, dasher, from tough old hide
Found in the pit when the tanner died.
That was the way he "put her through."--
"There!" said the Deacon, "naow she'll dew!"

DO! I tell you, I rather guess
She was a wonder, and nothing less!
Colts grew horses, beards turned gray,
Deacon and Deaconess dropped away,
Children and grandchildren--where were they?
But there stood the stout old-one-hoss shay
As fresh as on Lisbon-earthquake-day!

EIGHTEEN HUNDRED; -- it came and found
The Deacon's masterpiece strong and sound.
Eighteen hundred increased by ten;--
"Hahnsum kerridge" they called it then.
Eighteen hundred and twenty came;--
Running as usual; much the same.
Thirty and forty at last arrive,
And then came fifty, and FIFTY-FIVE,

Little of all we value here
Wakes on the morn of its hundredth year
Without both feeling and looking queer.
In fact, there's nothing that keeps its youth,
So far as I know, but a tree and truth.
(This as a moral that runs at large;
Take it,--You're welcome.--No extra charge.)
FIRST OF NOVEMBER--the-Earthquake-day,--
There are traces of age in the one-hoss-shay,
A general flavor of mild decay,
But nothing local, as one may say.
There couldn't be,--for the Deacon's art
Had made it so like in every part
That there wasn't a chance for one to start.
For the wheels were just as strong as the thills,
And the floor was just as strong as the sills,
And the panels just as strong as the floor,
And the whipple-tree neither less nor more,
And spring and axle and hub encore,
And yet, as a whole, it is past a doubt
In another hour it will be worn out!

First of November, 'Fifty-five!
This morning the parson takes a drive.
Now, small boys, get out of the way!
Here comes the wonderful one-hoss shay,
Drawn by a rat-tailed, ewe-necked bay.
"Huddup!" said the parson. Off went they.
The parson was working his Sunday text,--
Had got to fifthly, and stopped perplexed
At what the--Moses--was coming next.
All at once the horse stood still,
Close by the meet'n'-house on the hill.
--First a shiver, and then a thrill,
Then something decidedly like a spill,--
And the parson was sitting up on a rock,
At half-past nine by the meet'n'-house clock,--
Just the hour of the Earthquake shock!
--What do you think the parson found,
When he got up and stared around?
The poor old chaise in a heap or mound,
As if it had been to the mill and ground!
You see, of course, if you're not a dunce,
How it went to pieces all at once,--
All at once, and nothing first,--
Just as bubbles do when they burst.

End of the wonderful one-hoss shay,
Logic is logic. That's all I say.

Oliver Wendell Holmes

And the stories just keep coming

SANAA, Yemen (Reuters) - A Yemeni shot dead three American doctors and critically wounded a U.S. pharmacist Monday at a missionary hospital in the south of the impoverished country.

Yemeni officials named the gunman as 32-year-old Abed Abdel Razzak Kamel and said he was an Islamist militant who had told police after his arrest that he had shot the two men and two women to "cleanse his religion and get closer to Allah."

The U.S. embassy confirmed the victims were U.S. citizens and said they were working at the Jibla Baptist hospital in Ebb province, some 105 miles south of the capital Sanaa.

"The gunman confessed to being a member of (Yemen's) Islamic Jihad group and said he shot the Americans because they were preaching Christianity in a Muslim country," one Yemeni official said.

Friday, December 27, 2002

I am starting the New Year's Resolution custom thing a little early this year. I recently discovered our youth leader's husband got a new bike for Christmas. There are about four other people who ride seriously at our church. I have four months to get back into riding shape and I intend to start now. Lance as always is my role model. (I wish he could get more consistent recognition in our country. This SI award is just a good start.)

Monday, December 23, 2002

What I did over my weekend vacation

Spent the weekend in Louisville. The wife and I holed up in a little hotel. We left the boys at some friends for an all nighter LAN party. Let the fragging begin! Bev and I had dinner at a restaurant in the Highlands named "Steam". I kept referring to it as "Sweat". One of our youth kids plays Jazz piano in a five piece band there. It was a nice evening but we prefer a place more romantic with less crowd noise. The music and the food were both wonderful though. The next morning we slept in and then had lunch at Ditto's Grill. I had a grilled vegetable and goat cheese pizza which was much better than it may sound. We then spent the afternoon at Bev's sisters before seeing Rachel and Robby off to Columbus for Christmas at Robby's parents.

Back to work this morning and the weight of depression I've been under has lifted enough to look forward to the holidays. Even had the mental energy to finish my CEU's in one frenzied push to keep my respiratory license, yee hah!

Looking forward to tomorrow evening when we will open presents at home with the boys. Bev has to work Christmas eve night so this way she can sleep in before we go to my parents house Christmas afternoon.

Merry Christmas everyone.

Friday, December 20, 2002

And the award for the worst place to spend the holidays goes to...

Even after seeing this I don't believe it.

Thursday, December 19, 2002

Once again Islam shows its true colors

MULTAN, Pakistan (Reuters) - A Pakistani man has been sentenced to life in prison under the country's blasphemy laws for being a follower of a self-proclaimed prophet, court officials said Thursday.

Ahsan Azamtullah, 45, was convicted of being a disciple of Sardar Ahmed, a self-proclaimed prophet who died in prison last year after a prolonged bout of mental illness, officials said.

Azamtullah was also fined $1,700 in the verdict handed down Wednesday by a court in the eastern Pakistani town of Faisalabad. Another man and woman are being sought to answer similar charges.

In Islam, the prophet Mohammad has been declared the last messenger from God. Under the law in Pakistan, an Islamic nation, those claiming to be latter-day prophets are guilty of blasphemy, which carries the maximum death penalty.

Friday, December 06, 2002

Chistopher Walken on Cats

"We don't have any children but we have three cats. I've always had cats because they fascinate me. They know how to live. Humans haven't learned that art yet."

Hey! yose gonna argue with the King of New York?