Wednesday, February 28, 2007

No rain, too much rain.

I am the only guy at work who is happy about a soggy February. That's ok, the grass is finally growing in the hills and the cows are putting on weight.

Also, one of our mares had a foal last night, pictures to come soon.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Cash up front or pay over time?

Having recently performed the funeral service for a family friend, I had a chance to talk about life, salvation and God to folks who don't regularly attend church, which is almost everyone I know. I had the occasion to speak to one man who said he believed in God but it was clear he had been through tough times and was wrestling with his sin. He sounded as though he had given up on God or perhaps he though God had given up on him.

'I am who I am, if you don't like it, too bad, I can't change'.
I have heard this statement from many people. I have probably said it myself a time or two.

That my friends is a cop out.

I told the man just that. I said that if you don't wake up with the feeling that today I am going to be a tiny bit better person than I was yesterday, then what is the point? Most Christians look at the ultimate example of Jesus and then look at where they are in their life, no wonder they get discouraged. We are broken, imperfect people, the idea that we should become the person we want to be without the work, struggle and sacrifice it takes is not realistic. Being a better person and a better Christian isn't impossible. It takes time, time with God, time reflecting on your strengths and weaknesses and the desire to live day by day and decision by decision. Are there days we fail? You bet. Does that mean we shouldn't try? Not at all.

For some people the acceptance of Jesus Christ leads to an immediate conversion where the bad habits and old life are pushed far back into a small corner of that person where they can mostly be kept in check. They still struggle against their sinful nature and it is a life long struggle. For others, it is like the Grand Canyon, the steady drops of water over time carve out a new landscape. They can't point to a date or a time when they put that sin behind them, but they know it doesn't hold the power over them it once did.

I include myself in the last group. As much I want to stop all my sinful ways in one day and go forth and sin no more, I can't do it. I usually struggle for a long time and eventually that desire or bad habit gets weaker and God get stronger until that sin doesn't hold the power over me. While the list of broken habits and urges is very short and the list of sins I struggle with is quite long indeed, I am making headway. Small drips each day, over time make a difference. On the days I fail and fall back, no matter how hard they are, I know I can regroup and with God's help I can start back up that hill.

As a final thought I would like to say I have been a very poor Christian, the only time my friends hear me talk about Jesus is at weddings and now funerals. I am trying to fix that, I have invited a few of my friends to church this week. I will keep asking them to come, maybe its my turn to drip on them.

Friday, February 23, 2007

The ACLU -protecting your right to hang rubber bull testicles from your truck

I do find the rubber bull testicles tacky and stupid, but do we need to have law enforcement spending one minute protecting the public from this terrible threat?
No, I didn't think so.

I think these young guys who put them on their trucks are also the guys wearing Big Johnson t-shirts. I wonder if they are compensating for something?

Almond Blossom Festival in Yolo County

The Capay Valley Almond Blossom Festival is this Sunday. It's a great time to visit the valley when the trees are blooming, and the ribs are cooking up in Rumsey. If you come through Esparto, check out the FFA breakfast at the high school and the classic car show. Then drive up the valley past the casino to get up to Rumsey for some great ribs. Along the way the small, and I mean small, towns of Capay, Brooks, Guinda all have something going on.

If you haven't taken a drive up highway 16 West through the Capay Valley in the spring, you really should. It is a beautiful place this time of year, Realtor season as we call it.. It is going to be crowded this year because the Chinese new year is this week and the casino traffic will be in full force, but if you get up to Esparto before noon, you should be ok.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

No blogging until the weekend

I have been asked to perform the funeral service for my good friend's father. I am honored they asked me, so I will be off line for while.

Larry was a great guy, he will be missed.
The family is doing well, I just hope I can make it through without crying.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Upside down and on fire, hmm this can't be good.

Not the way to cross the finish line in a NASCAR race. Come to think of it, upside down and on fire doesn't seem like a good condition to be in under any automotive circumstance.

This was a great finish, 500 miles and three feet to win.

I'm not a huge fan of 'Go Fast, Turn Left' racing, but the the last thirty or so laps are fun to watch.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

And life goes on after the fire

My wife and I will try to get up to Zamora today to watch some of the sheep dog trials at the Slaven ranch.Photo from Deo Ferrer/Daily Democrat

The scars of the devastating fire that swept through the rolling hills of Zamora and into the Hungry Hollow area are hard to spot now. The blackened fence posts are silent reminders of how the country looked last fall. The burnt grass has given way to a lush carpet of green. The last few weeks of rain and warmer weather came just in time for many in the livestock industry. For ranchers like the Slavens the effect of the fire is most evident by what you cannot see, sheep.

The rolling green hills should be offset by the bright white of newborn lambs. The lambs should be running and playing in the warm sunshine under the watchful eye of the ewes. That cycle has been cut short by the fire. There are only a few dozen lambs on the ranch this year. The Slavens will have to purchase new ewes to replenish their herd. Ranching is hard enough without starting over again from scratch.

It is easy to forget about the past on a day like today. Spring is on it's way, the grass will grow and the land will rejuvenate itself. The Slavens are great hosts for the dog trials, especially with the hard year they have had. Good people are hard to keep down too.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

I'm hit!

They got me.
The dang counterfeit corporate holiday conglomeration, the CCHC for short, made me feel so guilty I actually broke down and bought my wife a Valentine's day greeting card. I also bought cards for my son and daughter to give to her, giving me a grand total of three greeting cards and thus qualifying me to purchase a small stuffed dog for the discounted price of $3.99, it usually sells for 9.99. They sank their hooks in deep on this one so I bought the dog too. It actually looks a bit like my wife's Jack Russel terrier Lexi, the little ball of hate.

I came home tonight and rummaged through my daughter's coloring sets until I found a brown marker, they don't make many brown markers you know, and started converting the white beagle looking stuffed toy into some semblance of Lexi. It worked, the nose is little large for a JRT but the coloring is spot on.

My wife and I don't usually exchange gifts on Valentine's day, but the CCHC pressure was too much to bare.

Stop me before I buy a St. Patrick's Day card!

Monday, February 12, 2007

What a weekend.

I enjoy politics. I enjoy discussing politics and writing about politics, as my friends and my wife can attest to. This weekend I was able to pull back the curtain and see the wizard for myself.

It is easy to loose yourself in the world of politics. We all get to play 'what if' with the world around us. What if Iran gets caught transporting their latest surface to air missiles to the Shiite militias? What if someone asks Barack Obama a serious question and demands a detailed answer?

Those kinds of questions, and the answers they bring, can fill up the average newspaper and use a few billion pixels on computer screens around the globe.

That is one part of the political world. Another part involves people actually writing pages upon pages of the most seemingly uninteresting legal boilerplate that other people must decide whether or not to make into a new law, or bylaw or city ordinance or UN resolution. I took a peek inside this world if only for a moment at the Republican convention this weekend.

A spirited race for vice chair was the highlight for me. I met both candidates, spoke to many members from all over the state and heard their views on different topics and candidates. It was a political junkies dream. I was also able to attend a workshop for new members taught by our new party chair Ron Nehring. I learned a great deal from this workshop and came away with one phrase that I couldn't get out of my head.

The world is run by those who show up.

I am not sure who first came up with this statement but it is undeniable true as well as completely misunderstood by the general public.

Most people are happy to go about their busy lives and are not personally involved with the world around them. I say busy lives but I think there are very few of us who fill their time with important and meaningful commitments. Many of us have children with soccer games, basketball practice and other commitments we choose to fill our time with. and that is all well and good. Children are precious and I love to spend time with mine, but I want them to live in a place that still holds onto the values and ideas I love. It is easy to claim that I am too busy.

We are too busy to sit in on a city council meeting, a county board of supervisors meeting, a school board or parks commission meeting, the list goes on and on. Have you ever wonder why the city did this, or the county did that, or who's that person sitting in that high backed leather chair who is supposed to be representing my interests? You should know. You should show up.

The people whose politics and interests run counter to yours are at that meeting, and can you guess what they are doing? Telling the powers that be what they think about the issues that will affect your life. If you show up you may not make a difference on any one single issue, but you will have shown up, and by doing so you know what is going on first hand and you can influence people more effectively.

If you don't show up on election day, you are letting someone else make decisions for you. I would rather show up and loose than stay home and settle into the comfortable world of complacency. If you think there is no difference between the political parties, or they are all just bunch of crooks, that is what the people in power want you think. They less people sitting in on these meeting, or paying attention to how they vote, the less responsive your government is. The republicans in Congress just had a little taste of what happens when you get too far from your constituents and too close to special interests, including their own interests.

In about a week just over 30,000 people signed the pledge to stop funding the RNSC if they gave any money to any Senator who votes for the non-binding resolution to oppose the troop build up. The Republicans stood thoer ground. 30,000 regular folks paying attention gave the republican leadership a much needed dose of backbone at just the right time. They showed up.

This weekend I saw just one small corner of the sausage factory. What I saw did not make me give up sausage. This world is full of meetings, committees and commitments. It is not glamorous in the least. But it is important.

Is it important that Ron Nehring is the new chairman of the California Republican Party? You bet it is. The same is true for Tom Del Beccaro being our new vice chair. These are the people who will lead us in the next elections. One bit of advise to them as they go forward. I hope the GOP moves away from being the party of political infrastructure, my get out the vote effort is bigger than yours, and gets back to the party of my ideas are better than yours.

Ideas are what moves people. Ideas can make people show up.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Rudy day at the convention

It was definitely Rudy day at the 2007 California Republican Convention. Rudy's lunch was sold out, even the overflow room was sold out, but by a turn of good fortune I was tipped off to the location where I could snap this photo of Mayor Giuliani. From the three people I spoke with who listened to the Mayor's speech, all were impressed. I could only stand outside and wait for a photo op, but what the heck, I shook his hand.

This is me and the some dude in an Uncle Sam Elephant suit ( I am the one on the right)

These are the miserable folks who were protesting Rudy in the rain. (Sucks to be you today)
Someone needs to go back to protester school. Hey Rudy, Surge This! That was their message. Whatever.

The police were out in force making sure everyone behaved, this guy was hamming it up for my camera.

The convention is a bit overwhelming for a newbie, but I did run into one of my fellow Western Alliance bloggers Craig DeLuz and former WA blogger( a little bird told me he may be blogging in the future ) Aaron Park. I am going back Sunday to the convention, I just wish I didn't have to miss church.

I will report tomorrow.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Wish me luck

I am off to the 2007 Spring GOP convention in Sacramento. This will be my first state convention, time to dust off the sports coat and tie. On the bright side, I will have a chance to wear my good Rockports, they are the most comfortable shoes I own, and they look sharp too.

I hope my neighbors don't see me driving down the road, they might think someone stole my truck. They would find it hard to believe I used to dress like that all the time.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Cleared for takeoff?

Tower this is Lalapelosi 1, we are ready for takeoff on runway two niner East.

Roger Lalapelosi 1, please taxi to the end of the runway and you are cleared for takeoff on two niner East.

This is your captain, we are cleared for take off on route to San Francisco, one of our flight staff will be coming by to secure for cabin for take off, thank you for your cooperation.

Madam Speaker? Where is everyone? Maybe there are in the next section.


Hello? Anyone here? They must be in the special area she had made in the back.

Madam Speaker, can you please put down the gavel and take your seat.

In a minute, I am recreating my big moment, the grandkids get a kick out of it.

Don't some of these kids belong to Rahm Emanuel?

Yea, but my press people say that voters like me more when I am surrounded by children so I take them everywhere.

Won't Congressman Emanuel want them back some day?

I have them on a six month lease, don't worry, they go to school and everything, unless I have to give speech or speak at a fund raiser, then we bring their teachers along and some friends from school so they won't feel alienated.

Isn't that a lot of people to by flying around with you?

Are you from FOX News or something?, Just button it up missy or you will be flying a cargo plane out of Greenland for the rest of your life.

Mam, when ever you are ready, we can take off, but we can't let your niece fly the plane.


Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Shoebat rocks Freeborn Hall

Walid Shoebat has something to say, and he is going to say it. I was impressed not only by the man's passion, but his logic. He started the evening by holding up one of the propaganda fliers handed out by the Muslim Students Association protesting his lecture, he then went through each claim and debunked it, it was great.

He spoke of his ties to the PLO and Islamic terrorists and his conversion to Christianity and the repercussions of his conversion. It was a first hand glimpse into the radical Muslim mindset, very powerful, very personal.

I only stayed for a portion of the Q&A that followed but his comment to one older gentleman's question still has me thinking. The question was asked of Shoebat if he had plans to publish a book in Arabic to try to teach the next generation of Muslim youths the truth about the Jews and the West. Walid answered back that we have to first teach Americans about the real threat that radical Islam holds for this nation. He said we must teach this nation to wake up first before we can start teaching beyond our shores.

I agree. The longer liberals teach their multicultural garbage in our universities and public schools, the harder it will be to educate the nation to the very real threat of radical Islam and its supporters. I spoke to a blogger who attended the lecture, he said he was going to send in a post to Charles Johnson at Little Green Footballs, I am not sure if this is his post, but he had never been to Davis and was shocked when he browsed the UCD Bookstore and couldn't find any books that offered an critical look at Islam. I was not surprised at all.

It seems that at almost every public college and university in America you can slam and degrade every form of Christianity without any problems from anyone. Catholic, Protestant, LSD, they are all wrong and open to the most one-sided, hateful teaching by the faculty, heck at some places you can probably major in 'Christianity has ruined the world'.

Just try to take and honest, critical look into Islam. You will labeled at racist, a religious bigot or worse. Plus you have the added bonus of death threats by those who follow the 'religion of peace'.

For any of my Readers who are Muslim, it is time to think about your religion. If you want want to worship as a peaceful Muslim, you must start organizing in your mosques to reject the calls for martyrdom and Jihad. If your Imam is preaching hatred towards Israel and the West you must stand up and object. If they tell you to shut or you will be punished by God, you may want to rethink your beliefs. If you don't have a problem with the hatred of Jews, martyrdom and jihad, then you are the problem.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Walid Shoebat at UC Davis Tuesday the 6th

I hear that Walid Shoebat's speech will sell out by noon tomorrow, but I have my ticket. The best part will be wading through the scruffy protesters and enduring their chants as they try to disrupt Mr. Shoebat's presentation. I get a kick out the angry moonbats as they try to file injunctions to keep him from speaking. Nothing like a former PLO terrorist turned Christian to get the 'free speech' activists worked up. Why do they want to shout him down or get his presentation canceled?

He doesn't hate the Jews, and you can't have anyone comment on the Middle East who doesn't think that Israel is the main problem, that just won't do.

I will post a report Wednesday, if I'm not in jail.

I enjoy a spirited discussion, sticks and stones and such. But I will not be pawed at or pushed around. That is assault, and I don't the police to protect me from an assault, I am quite capable of defending myself.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

It's official.

Van Halen is back with diamond Dave as front man for the ego maniacal Van Brothers, and son now. I guess Michael Anthony was a little too cozy with Sammy Hagar this past year and now he has been replaced by Eddie's son Wolfgang.

Will I shell out 75 or 100 dollars to see Van Halen's Rockers with Walkers tour? I don't know yet. I saw them at the Cow Palace on their 1984 tour and twice again with Sammy out front. I may just stick with the great memories of the shows I saw. The only way I would go is if my son wanted to see them play live.

Eddie's playing is worth the price of admission, although he looks like a character from a horror film these days. What the heck happened to him? Maybe that cocaine and Marlborough diet he was on through the 80s wasn't such a good idea.

David Lee Roth can still sing and he is amusing although I think if he could lick himself all over he wouldn't leave his house.

I love me some me!

Is it too much to ask?

Can you just do your job, the one we are paying you for, and keep you social activism to your off hours? Don't hand them out from your tax payer funded office. If you feel so strongly about this cause I am sure you can mail your 'certificates' to the couples from your house.

With Lois Wolk termed out, I wonder if she has aspirations on the 8th assembly seat?

(From the Sac Bee)
Yolo County Clerk-Recorder Freddie Oakley plans to present "certificates of inequality" to same-sex pairs on Valentine's Day. She says she designed the certificates to ease her soul over having to deny marriage licenses to gays and lesbians.

Freddie, the former lobbyist, said at one time that she might defy the Governor and not hold the special election in 2004. She seems to hold a mighty high opinion of herself.

The law? Who cares. If it goes against my beliefs or politics, I"ll just ignore it, or make up some super cool certificates to show how unjust the laws are.

Did the Senate confirm Mrs. Oakley to the US Supreme Court while I was in Red Bluff last week?

No? I didn't think so, she is still just the Yolo County Clerk/Recorder.
Do that job first, leave the gay marriage laws writing to Mark Leno, I am sure it will be on the Governors desk again shortly.

I am sorry she feel the need to 'ease her soul' but c'mon, do it on your own time Mrs. Oakley.

Men doing man things.

The church I belong to is small but growing at a rapid pace. We have close to 200 people at our Sunday service and we are staring an earlier service soon to make room for the people who want see what this new kind of church is all about. Bayside Woodland is church for people who don't like church. It's fun, it's inspirational, it's touching, it's about God's word and how much Jesus loves each one of us and we want to show that love by reaching out to our community.

One of the things I am exited about is the growth of our Men's Ministry. In most traditional churches I have attended, the wives and mothers drag their husbands and son's to sit through hymns and preaching while the guys twist in their seats waiting for it to be over so they can smile at everyone and get to the parking lot as soon as possible. That is not the model we are building on.

As men, we want an environment where regular guys can come to church and be built up, encouraged, strengthened through fellowship with other men who are going through the same challenges, hardships, triumphs and learning how trusting God can help you in so many ways.

But I am not sure about hanging around a bunch of stuffy Bible thumpers you say? Relax, we are a regular guys, some of us are married, some are single, we are everything from contractors to accountants, we wear jeans and t-shirts to business casual. Everyone is at different step in their spiritual life, some are studying the Bible every night and others are just leaning who Jesus is and that's great. No one will roll their eyes if you don't any other scripture except John 3:16. Again, this ministry is for regular guys who love the Lord and want spend some time with other like minded men doing fun things. Man things.

We are just getting rolling here in Woodland but we have a bowling night coming up and we want to set up some golf outings, shotgun sporting clays, and I would like to see if we could get a group of ATV riders together to ride one Saturday or Sunday after church. Like I said, guy things.

Football season is just finishing, you can Tivo the Nascar race or basketball game if it starts early, the service is starts at 10:45, if your a man in Yolo County, you should come check us out, we would love to meet you. Bring the family if you have one, the music is upbeat and fresh and the message is relevant. Even my 'cool' teenage son likes it.

(I am not speaking for Bayside Woodland, I am just a regular guy who loves this church, please don't hold your opinion of my blog against Bayside)

Thursday, February 01, 2007

It's Friday eve.

I like Thursdays. Even when I wake and feel little tired and wrung out from a hard week, I have a bit more bounce in my step on Thursdays. Friday drags on at times and the same way the chase is sometimes better than the actual catch, some Fridays don't live up to their billing. But you can always count on Thursday to get your mind thinking of the weekend. Chores, honey do's, football, dang were almost out of football, the kids basketball games, and sometimes even a date with my wife.

Married couples should go out on a date from time to time, this means more than once a year fellas, find a sitter to watch the kids if you have them, find a good restaurant that has an early bird special and turn your phone off. The early dinner is a key at least for my wife and I. This past weekend I pushed her to the limits by staying out dancing in Red Bluff until midnight both nights but I made sure we slept in the next day. 11:00 PM might as well be 3:00 AM for my wife, she is in bed most nights by 9:30 and reads till 10:00 and then it lights out. An early dinner just to listen to her talk about what's going on at work goes along way.

Have a good Friday.