Monday, September 29, 2008

Donation Time Again: Two Recommendations

It's that time of the year when that one person at the office starts dunning everyone in sight for donations to the United Way.


I hate that. That one person (and every corporation, business, government office, outhouse, whatever has one) all of a sudden is your best friend. They're always on the phone asking if you got the donation form, sending emails and text messages about how the money will be used to benefit those that need it, you just gotta fill out that form cause every bit helps... AAAAAHHHG!

Once they sense that you aren't interested in donating to the United Way, that person (who often has been unfairly tasked with compelling a positive response by upper management) morphs into a charter member of the Children of the Corn complete with piercing stares and freakish monotone statements. I've often wondered if I need to check my vehicle for sabotage after yet another refusal to participate...

Anyway, I do contribute to worthy causes. I do NOT contribute to the United Way. That is my choice.

The two charities I support are The Big Oak Ranch and Tupelo Children's Mansion. Both help kids in need and I know that every bit of help they get is spent on their kids.

Please click on the two links above and see how these fine people are helping children in dire need become valued adults by providing them with a loving and supportive home environment.

John Croyle and his wife, Tee, have seen their dream of building the best children's home in America grow into three separate facilities in Northeast Alabama: Big Oak Boys' Ranch in Gadsden, Big Oak Girls' Ranch in Springville, and Westbrook Christian School, Inc. in Rainbow City.

The Big Oak ministry grew out of John's desire to give hurting children a chance. John successfully played football at the University of Alabama under the legendary coach Paul "Bear" Bryant. Faced with one of the most important decisions of his life -- whether to play professional football or to start a children's home -- John followed the Lord's leadership and established Big Oak Boys' Ranch in 1974. Big Oak Ranch, Inc. was incorporated in the State of Alabama as a 501(c)(3) Corporation in that same year.

John's vision to start the Girls' Ranch evolved from a court case involving "Shelley," a 12-year old girl who had been physically and sexually abused by her father. John pleaded with the judge to let Shelley live at the Boys' Ranch, but the judge refused and placed Shelley back with her parents. Shelley was beaten to death by her parents three months later. The Girls' Ranch was built in 1988 after John felt the Lord's calling to start a girls' home in Shelley's memory.

Our mission is to offer hope through the love of Jesus Christ to orphaned or disadvantaged children by providing their physical, spiritual, emotional, social, and educational needs . . . contributing to their health, security and happiness, and equipping them to lead productive lives.

Founded 55 years ago, the Mansion is recognized as one of the oldest and most trusted organizations of its kind. Our beautiful campus spans 40 acres with 27 buildings including: residence halls and staff housing, a Christian school, gymnasium, an on-campus church, and a thrift store.

Our caregivers, including social workers and counselors, have the experience, training and educational background to properly care for our children. Our other dedicated staff spans departments of administration, sponsor relations, food service, maintenance, and other support services.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Hangin' Out the Ole Out of Bidness Sign

We done gone Fishin'

Well, just this blog, anyway. I developed quite a readership here for all the topic U-turns and absences. As of this week I'm averaging 100+ unique visitors with a bunch more page loads.

So why quit? Cause I can't blog about everything I want to blog about on just one blog. Also, some of the things I had worked on during my summer sabbatical did not come to pass...

I'm not really quitting -- Just trying something new.

My viewpoint content is moving to a new blog we are calling Pax Parabellum. Most of the old stuff is already there and new viewpoint/politics items will be posted there. [UPDATE] As soon as the net updates itself the blog's new addy will be

My Sports (mostly Redskins) ramblings will go to Zorn Again! Redskins fans get the joke...

My Chess content will move to the rebirth of Steve's Correspondence Chess Adventure. All one of my friends from waaaay back when will remember the blog template. I've added another (my second) event win at ICCF after several failed attempts and I intend to blog about that over there. I STILL love the Caro Kann! Also, we added a new blogger at ChessUSA and I'll be participating in examining the shenanigans of our various "chess politicians" over there from time to time.

A great big THANKS goes out to all of you that have made this blog an enjoyable experience. It was my first effort and I learned a lot of things about blogging, but more importantly about life and people from all sorts of persuasions.

Isn't that what life is about -- learning?

Finally, go visit the blog that the oldest (in terms of tenure, he could be a 13 year old teenybopper for all I know rofl) reader here authors. IrishSpy has a lot of great content and a truly unique outlook on things.

Thanks again and do join me at Pax and the other blogs that hit yer fancy!


Friday, September 12, 2008

Remembering from
I had intended to post something about the events of seven years ago yesterday. I experienced technical problems.

I couldn't find the words.

I have before, but for whatever reason, not yesterday. My thoughts wandered from
"Next time you run into an anti-war protester, just repeat these words:
'They dug them up with their hands, and raced the sun.'"

- Rich Galen,, 4/7/03
the impromptu, yet masterful, speech of President Bush amid the rubble of the Twin Towers, to the heroism on that day and in the years following, particularly those of the Special Ops team that rescued PFC Lynch and her fallen comrades of whom Major General Victor Renuart said, "While the rescue was ongoing, other team members were led to a burial site containing bodies they thought might be American. They did not have shovels in order to dig those graves up, so they dug them up with their hands. They wanted to do that very rapidly so that they could race the sun and be off the site before the sun came up -- a great testament to the will and desire of coalition forces to bring their own home."

In his remarks at the dedication of the 9/11 memorial at the Pentagon yesterday, former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said:
We have been "acquainted with the night." We have taken its measure. In the darkest of times, we have stood together. In defiance, our nation has pressed on toward morning. With resolve renewed, and with the certain strength of the American people, our nation will force the dawn.

Friends of freedom and Liberty take comfort and find hope in those words; tyrants and terrorists should heed them and tremble.