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I spoke too soon.

Drudge has switched to one of those ghoulish images of the dead Pope. Sigh ...

iTunes is currently playing: Never Die Young from the album Never Die Young by James Taylor.

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Is anyone else creeped out …

... by all the lying-in-state pictures of the Pope that are splashed across the home pages of most of the major news web sites? Thank God for Drudge, who has the good taste to instead show a collection of touching newspaper and magazine covers bidding John Paul a fond adieu.



(Interesting tidbit I learned while verifying the spelling of adieu: While we use the word to mean farewell, it is derived from "a dieu" which was Old French -- and later, Old English -- for "I commend you to God.")

iTunes is currently playing: Goodbye from the album Lost In Translation by Kevin Shields.
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My Blogging Tool of Choice

I use a nifty blogging utility called ecto. (I use the Mac version, but they have a Windows version, too.) The Wordpress interface makes it pretty easy to create and edit posts with a browser, but there are many advantages to using a full-featured blogging tool like ecto.

ecto is inexpensive ($17.95 for either version) and you can use it for a couple weeks before you buy to make sure you like it. The developer is constantly updating it and is very responsive to support questions, etc. If you do a lot of blogging, take it for a spin. Highly recommended!

iTunes is currently playing: Something To Talk About from the album Luck Of The Draw by Bonnie Raitt.

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haiku for a rainy day

THE JERSEY SHORE

torrents fall on house.
cats run in all directions
dreaming of L.A.

Kathy Hand
9/13/03

iTunes is currently playing: I Think It's Going To Rain Today from the album Guilty: 30 Years Of Randy Newman (Disc 1) by Randy Newman.

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Well, the flowers got water, didn’t they.

During an interview with CNN, Brian Schiavo [brother of Michael] called the Rev. Frank Pavone, a Catholic priest and close friend of the Schindler family, "a poor excuse of a priest, I'll tell you that. ... He made a comment that said the flowers in Terri's room were being treated better than she is."

iTunes is currently playing: Cold, Cold Heart from the album 24 Greatest Hits by Hank Williams.

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I grew up in Northwest Indiana …

... but I never knew that Kendallville, a small town in the northeast section of the state, was the WINDMILL Capital of the world! Read about it here (courtesy of CNN).

iTunes is currently playing: Only Way Home from the album A Drop Of Water by Keiko Matsui.

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Fun Web Sites

I have found a number of web sites where you can add your own text to an image of a sign or some other object to create a personalized image for your own use. Some sites offer you the opportunity to buy magnets made from your images. Here are some examples. Visit and enjoy!

THE ACME LICENSE PLATE MAKER

CA License Plate

THE ACME HEART MAKER

Candy Heart Maker

THE ACME LABEL MAKER

Acme Label Maker

ATOM SMASHER'S ERROR MESSAGE GENERATOR

OSX ROCKS!!

CHURCH SIGN GENERATOR

The Church Sign Generator

iTunes is currently playing: Getting Some Fun Out Of Life from the boxed set Portrait (Disc 4: Past Perfect) by Billie Holiday.
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That about sums it up.

Reuters quotes a gentleman outside Terri Schiavo's Pinellas Park (FL) hospice shortly after her death:

"Well they got their way," said a grizzled New York City man who gave his name as "Lifeboat" and knelt clutching a wooden rosary. "We've become barbarians. We've lost our humanity in this country."
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Cool Earrings

I really like the software (WordPress) that I am using for this web site. In my quest for "plug-ins" (WordPress enhancements) that I can use to make the site even spiffier, I stumbled upon the web site of ScriptyGoddess, a young lady named Jennifer who is a php/WordPress script writer extraordinaire.

In addition to her programming prowess, she is also an artist. She has an online business called Above The Fold that sells beautiful handmade origami earrings, among other things. I ordered the butterfly earrings shown below, but she also makes lovely crane earrings. Click here to visit her store.

Visit AboveTheFold.org for lovely handmade origami earrings.
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If starvation is so painless …

... why is Terri Schiavo on a morphine drip?

Schindler family attorney David C. Gibbs III said on CBS' "Face the Nation" that "They've begun giving her morphine drip for the pain.", according to the L.A. Times.

According to another article in the L.A.Times , some experts claim that "dying of starvation and dehydration is a peaceful end for the ill."

A third L.A. Times article says the following about a woman who allowed her son's feeding tube to be removed: For six days, [the mother] sat by her son's bed, watching him die. Blisters pocked his mouth and tongue. His frail body shook with muscle cramps. It was agonizing, she says now: "gruesome, prolonged." (This mother, incidently, believes that her decision to discontinue tube feeding was the right one for her son.)

Maybe the truth is that some people suffer horribly when deprived of food and others don't, and we won't know how a person will react until we stop feeding them.
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Sometimes it seems as if …

... the Catholic Church WANTS to chase people away.

From ABCNews.com: Like many Catholic children, Haley Pelly-Waldman, 9, had looked forward to her first communion. ... Four years ago, the New Jersey girl was diagnosed with a rare digestive disorder called celiac disease, leaving her unable to eat wheat — not even the tiny amount in the wafer at the communion table. In order to accommodate Haley's medical condition, her priest substituted the wheat wafer with one made of rice. But ... the Diocese of Trenton, said, "Bread, to be valid matter for the eucharist, must be made solely of wheat." The local diocese ruled that Haley's first communion didn't count, and reprimanded the priest who gave her that rice wafer. [Read the complete story here.]

So a priest has the power to turn bread into the body of Christ during Mass, but not if the host is made of rice? If we want to get picky here, a host (even one made of wheat) isn't really BREAD, is it? It sure doesn't look like any bread I've ever eaten.

Where did these flat little wafers come from, anyway? Hundreds of years ago they didn't use them, right? So at some point, they switched from bread to wafers. And someone chiseled in stone that the wafer had to have wheat in it?

Is it just me or does it seem utterly ridiculous to exclude this devout little girl from experiencing the sacrament of Communion but to allow someone like Terri Schiavo, who is pretty much unaware of her surroundings, to partake?
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testing123

xxxxxx
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Who says Peeps are just for Easter?

If you look forward to finding yummy, chick-shaped Marshmallow Peeps in the stores around Easter, you might want to pick up the Marshmallow Peeps Marshmallow Maker Machine from Wham-o.

Marshmallow Peeps Marshmallow Maker Machine



Yes, now you can have Peeps in a variety of shapes and colors all year round, assuming you are willing to concoct them yourself and then clean up the mess. (I like Peeps as much as the next guy -- okay, way more than the next guy -- but it seems like a lot of trouble to me!)
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Burning The Daze

Burning The Daze by Marc Cohn



Burning The Daze

by Marc Cohn

Marc Cohn's albums are a great blend of rock, blues and ballads, with lyrics that put one in mind of Randy Newman's non-humorous songs (think "Same Girl" or "Baltimore"). It is easy to see why Cohn's fans are chomping at the bit for his long-promised fourth album.






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Waking Hour by Vienna Teng

Waking Hour by Vienna Teng



Waking Hour

by Vienna Teng

Singer-songwriter-pianist (and former computer programmer) Vienna Teng is opening for Marc Cohn as he tours this fall. If you get a chance to see her (with or without Grammy winner Marc "Walking in Memphis" Cohn), jump at the chance. She is amazing.






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JT by James Taylor

JT by James Taylor



JT

by James Taylor

"... no more grey mornings. I think I'd rather die ... "



James Taylor has put out so much good music over the years that it is hard to pick a favorite, but if I had to choose ... I think this would be it. The man is a god.






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Gonna Wear Red by Wendy Woo

Gonna Wear Red by Wendy Woo



Gonna Wear Red

by Wendy Woo

One of these days Wendy Woo's career is going to move up to the next level and she'll finally get the national acclaim she deserves. Give her a listen.








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Soothing the Savage Beast

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Hey Nostradamus! by Douglas Coupland

Hey Nostradamus! by Douglas Coupland



Hey Nostradamus!

by Douglas Coupland

This novel by Vancouver-based author Douglas Coupland ("Microserfs") begins with a Columbine-like attack at a public high school. The opening chapter is narrated by one of the students who was murdered (a la "The Lovely Bones"). The rest of the book follows the lives of several people who were affected by the tragedy. Over a period of 15 years, we watch as they try to move past the events of that day. Some authors run out of steam after a few books. So far, Coupland is still going strong.





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Blackbird House by Alice Hoffman

Blackbird House by Alice Hoffman



Blackbird House

by Alice Hoffman

A beautifully written collection of related stories about the families who live in a Cape Cod house during a 200 year period. If you haven't read Alice Hoffman before, you are in for a treat. If you have, you won't be disappointed.






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