Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Last night I watched Law & Order: SVU and the twist about 1/2 way through the episode was a child dying from mumps she had contracted from an un-immunized kid.
That of course took the discussion to a parent's choice of not immunizing and the public health risk it presents not only to her child, but the public in general - especially infants.
The parent of the kid with mumps said it was their choice, no government could make that decision for her and her child. Ok, we can debate that until we're all red in the face; and I really doubt we'll get anywhere.
What I see happening with this debate though, is people not taking responsibility for their choices. If you make a decision, be confident in it and be a big enough person to deal with the repercussions.
It is absolutely YOUR choice, BUT if your choice impacts others, sack up and take it!
My 2 cents,
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
This is the video of the NYC scare from yesterday as the "fake" Airforce One buzzed the city. Don't you find it odd that it's NO WHERE in any media??? No comments from the press secretary???
Anyway, here's the story:
White House official who approved ‘photo shoot’ apologizes...
A number of buildings in the New York City area were evacuated Monday morning after a trio of low-flying planes flew near the Statue of Liberty.
“An Air Force One lookalike, the backup plane for the one regularly used by the president, flew low over Manhattan on Monday morning, accompanied by two F-16 fighters, so Air Force photographers could take pictures,” the New York Times reports. “But a lack of awareness about the flyover led to the evacuation of several buildings in Lower Manhattan and Jersey City, N.J., and perplexed officials at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and other authorities were inundated with calls from anxious ferry passengers, office workers and residents in the area.”
Peters added, “We’ve gotten reports several buildings in Jersey City were evacuated.”
One eyewitness told the New York Times, “People came pouring out of the buildings, the American Express Building, all the buildings in the Financial District by the water. And even the construction guys over by 100 North End Avenue area, they all got out of their buildings. Nobody knew about it. Finally some guy showed up with a little megaphone to tell everyone it was a test, but the people were not happy. The people who were here 9/11 were not happy. New York City police were standing right there and they had no knowledge of it. The evacuations were spontaneous. Guys from the floor came out, and one guy I talked to was just shaking.”
Monday, April 27, 2009
#2 - Swine Flu...don't mess with texas (and/or Mexico)! Here's a super link to explain it in a real way that the media could use to accurately spell it out: http://scienceblogs.com/
#3 - This past weekend, I went turkey hunting (no turkeys, but did find over 200 morel mushrooms) and did lots of work on the farm (mending TONS of down barb-wire and cutting down trees, moving brush...it was tough but I wish I had these experiences more growing up - and by more I mean at least 1.)
#4 - Stars. They are beautiful and I don't see them enough being in the city. I need to take more time to just see the stars.
#5 - Don't buy or sell stuff to crazy craigslist killers.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Monday, April 20, 2009
Do you feel more polarized from Washington today, or did you a year ago?
Here's a quote from the weekend: "There will be no sacred cows, and no pet projects. All across America, families are making hard choices, and it's time their government did the same," Obama told Americans in his weekly radio address on Saturday.
I look at the legislation that's been passed these past 100 days and see nearly even split politics - every Democrat voting 1 way, and the Republicans the other. That is as polar opposite as you can get! I can't imagine writing a bill or law that EVERY single Democrat would 100% agree with and Republicans would 100% disagree with (or visa versa). Doesn't it seem hard to believe that someone couldn't find at least something positive to vote for (or against)?
I'm being critical of both sides here.
I'm not surprised though. Even though there are promises to "listen to what average Americans are saying," there was no presidential response to the tea parties of last week. Of course, the major news networks already made up the decision that not only were the tea party participants crazy right-wing-gay bashing-racists, but they took it the step further to make a gross sexual joke (that I would have made in 7th grade) on prime-time tv.
So, I guess we'll see what happens and if this polarization can be tamed.
I have my doubts.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
What did the worship service look like?
Let me guess...some singing, some preaching, a couple prayers, maybe communion. And that my friends is a "typical service" in the American church.
What if a worship service stopped being about singing our favorite songs in our preferred style or a preacher preaching at us for 15-20 minutes? What if the word "service" was an action, rather than something you attended? What if the church served, and that was it, that was the "service?"
Welp, that's what we did today at AWAKEN. Today we joined together to build packages for the House of Hope in Haiti that will be shipped this week.
We have a working relationship with HOH. I traveled there last October and spent a week with the kids there. And today, our worship service was hands on,
and maybe, just maybe, that's what EVERY week should look like...
(We're not quite there, but we try and make that the norm at least 1X p/month)
Saturday, April 18, 2009
We got it for $10 and it needs a little cleaning and repainting (black & white).
So success was had!
Friday, April 17, 2009
(initial thought..."marshmallowy goodness covered in sugar
and shaped like a wren...say whaaa?!!!")
(secondary thought..."do vegans eat peeps?")
(third thought..."vegans are nuts!")
So now were off to the zoo to further capitalize on that wonderment just a bit more.
Have a wonderful weekend everyone!
-Ross (& Cora)
Thursday, April 16, 2009
The reason I write today is not a bash, its not a "gotcha" blog, but rather an awareness piece and a critical piece towards the language we (we: America, American's, me, you, our leaders, our government, our representatives, our perception) uses throughout the world.
You've probably heard this week, that the Department of Homeland Security has labeled "Rightwing Extremism", terrorists and has made a pretty hefty list against our own citizens. I don't necessarily argue with DHS for making said list and preparing for the worst - that is indeed the essence of their job. And after all Timothy McVeigh was a homegrown terrorist that fits their description almost exactly.
Here's the DHS statement:
"Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment," said that while there is no specific information that domestic right-wing terrorists are planning acts of violence, such acts could come from unnamed "rightwing extremists" concerned about illegal immigration, abortion, increasing federal power and restrictions on firearms -- and returning war veterans as susceptible to recruitment.
So what's my beef...?
My real issue again comes with language and consistency. Our current administration has made it public that "no longer will we use the word 'terrorist' or 'radical Islamists' to describe those that we are combating now. Instead the new term is 'enemy combatant'. With the blur in language, I personally believe that we confuse clarity and the ambiguity de-emphasizes the truth of the battle and inevitably devalues the loss and risk we incur via the sad carnage of war (or conflict, or scuffle, or broo-ha-ha - not sure if we've changed that term too...).
However, I understand the political implication of these labels. With nearly two billion people on earth practicing Islam, and when we label even the 5% of radicalized Muslims as terrorists, we're still calling out 10 million followers - essentially, the city of New York being deemed 'terrorist.' So, just so we're all clear, I understand why the administration has changed the verbiage.
My issue though, is that the administration has no issue whatsoever calling its own citizens both 'radical' and 'terrorist.' It just makes no sense to me. Again, a bit of consistency will go a long way. Call the kettle black or don't, but be consistent with it please!
I hope this brings about some debate and conversation from all the readers. What's your take?
p.s. I'm probably on some "list" now :-)
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Please comment your answers. I need to know your thoughts!
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Ok, I need to say just a couple things...
#1...people are saying that the German zoo needs better security to deter onlookers from ending up in the bear exhibit...ISN'T A BEAR DETERRENT ENOUGH?!?!?!?!
#2...who throws a lady being mauled by a bear a life vest? think she might kick back and get some sun? seriously folks!
That's all I have,
Monday, April 13, 2009
(mouth full of eastery, chocolaty, goodness!)
(looking beautimus in her Easter dress)
(egg hunt in progress)
(and to top it all off...easter kabobs!)
Friday, April 10, 2009
But a couple months back he pointed me in the direction of PANDORA (the music genome project). Its an awesome FREE site that allows you to search an artist you like, then it continually plays similar artists. Its been great for me too, I'm an artist and a worship arts director myself. The constant pursuit of new and quality tunes can be daunting, but with Pandora, it significantly eases that task. No longer am I subject to 30 second clips on itunes or buying an album for 2 decent songs.
Anyway, check it out and enjoy...www.pandora.com
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Today is reffered to as Maundy Thursday within the Church. It's passover week (holy week) to many and tonight specifically focuses on Jesus' servant leadership. When we think of great, powerful leaders, the last thing we think of is someone stooping to such a level that we'd actually wash another dude's feet (and we wear nice shoes and socks - imagine walking barefoot across the middle east - that's some nast feet!) But that's exactly where we find Jesus tonight.
This week we continually find Jesus leading out of weakness.
I heard holy week explained intersetingly this morning on the radio...This week is the "salvivic equivelant of Fox's 24." It's a real-time experience of Christ's last week here on earth. It's interesting that in the rest of the church calendar we don't follow the day to day journey of Jesus. But in this week we find the re-creation of earth, the kingdom being brought here and now - through the death and ressurection of Jesus.
Tonight is Maundy Thursday and I'll be experiencing the elements of The Last Supper (you know, like the famous DaVinci painting). I hope you too experience a life-changing holy week!
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
#1...this is Cora interested and timidly closing in on whatever she is finding amusing. (in this case, its a black snake at the local conservation area)
#2...this is Cora saying, "Dad, look, I found the snake and I'm not 1/2 as scared of it as you are!" But inside I'm saying, "Cora, I'm wiser and have thought this whole snake thing through, long and hard, and yes they are terrible creatures. Just give it time and we'll condition the fear into you."
#3...Cora is telling the world how cool, mature, and magnificently brave she is...that her dad needs to sack-up and embrace the reptile world.
#4...Cora is destined to be a spy (a very cheerful spy). Here is her "sneaking up" pose as she quietly, and happy/enthusiastically stalks a goat.
#5...Here Cora is beside herself re-filling the new bird feeder in our backyard. She is a lover of life...a life-lover...and a feeder of birds...a bird-feeder (Ranger Rick would be proud - not to be confused with my uncle Rick, he collects Harley Davidson spark plugs...not cool Rick)
Welp, that's that for today. It wasn't long ago that Cora just tagged along for the ride. Now she drives the trip...what a great girl!!!
One proud Dad!
Monday, April 6, 2009
2. OPENING DAY CARDINALS
3. MY CRAPPY VIOLIN
#1 - ummmm, its April 6th and its freezing cold (windchill is in the TEENS) and its snowing in in STL! there's really nothing else to say about that. Al Gore, you're full of crap!
#2 - today is opening day for CARDINALS BASEBALL!!! Because I work in ministry, I get 2 free standing room tickets to every home game...awesome! Last year we went to 20 games and this year we plan to hit at least that many. Needless to say, I'm pumped!
#3 - So, if you've ever been to one of my concerts, you'll know that the electric violin jam sessions are a mainstay in my set and music. That's how I'm able to stretch a 10 song set into 3 hrs of rock-a-liscious rockdom. Welp, my violin crapped out on Saturday night. I had 200+ screaming fans and I couldn't deliver (SUCK!) So I changed the set on the fly and did the whole, stripped down, calm, singer/songwriter set, and inside I died a little. Oh well, I suppose it happens from time to time. It is quite amazing that in 9 years of touring 100+ shows p/year, this is the 1st time its happened.So, that's that.
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Friday, April 3, 2009
From time to time I like to give props to cool artists I run into or hear in concert. Today's shout out goes to Griffin House. He's an artist out of Nashville doing something a little different than the stereotypical singer/songwriter.
Actually, my buddy Jeremy Irwin's brother, Jeff plays bass in Griffin's band. Griffin House is a rootsy, Americana band. His newest album, Flying Upside Down is a good listen. Check it out and enjoy.
If you happen to be in the St. Louis area, he'll be performing at the Duck Room in University City Sunday at 8PM along w/ 9 other great Nashville artists. I'll be there.
Peace and have a wonderful weekend!
Thursday, April 2, 2009
That's right, Cora made her artistic debut today with Kate at the St. Louis Zoo. I can see it now...gallery presentations, philanthropic balls, cartoons in the New Yorker. And today each of you get to share in the moment of where it all began.
Horizontal and vertical lines, multi-colored, and I might add "multi-talented." Welp, by now you know I'm proud of my little artEEst (you have to say it that way too in order to get the full effect).
one proud dad
p.s. she didn't write her name...not yet...we'll save that for next week
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Ummmm, why didn't this alliance happen years ago??? Seem's like such a perfect match.
I can't tell you how many times I hear my friends saying, "well, we really just settled for the Honda, we were hoping for a Fiat." Or maybe, "ya, the Jeep is nice, but that Fiat was just so much more car."
Oh right, that never happened - because my friends aren't idiots.
I bet Chrysler is sleeping much better now. Crisis solved. Thank you Italy! (for pasta and the Fiat)