Another Unanswered Question

My finger is healing nicely, which is good news. It’s just going to be another day or so before I can type normal again.

We took the new cat to the vet today and as expected, the new cat is a boy, not a girl. Carroll County Animal Control needs a few lessons on determining the sex of young cats. I thought it was boy, and had mentioned so several times since Christmas day.

This evening we picked up some groceries for dinner and while we were at it, we picked up a small bag of catnip for Mr. Kitty (aka Indy). He loves me again, at least for another week before he goes in for a little nip and tuck, so to speak.

I’ve been wondering about something most of the day, so here it is.

Was Eric Holder, or at the very least the law firm he worked for, responsible for the attempted terrorist attack on Christmas day?

At least one leader of al-Qa’ida’s branch in Yemen, where the failed bomber of a US-bound Christmas flight was allegedly trained, was freed from the US prison in Guantanamo, Cuba, a Pentagon list reveals.

The list, released in May, names 27 former prisoners who resumed terrorist activities after being released from Guantanamo, including Said Ali al-Shihri, who was transferred to Saudi Arabia in 2007 and later implicated in the bombing of the US embassy in Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, last year.

There is an additional and intriguing angle involving Yemen, creating a confluence between, that country, Ft. Hood and the Obama administration, in that U.S. AG Holder’s former law firm, Covington & Burling, represented a number of Yemeni detainees who are/were being held in GITMO.

Al Nashiri [born in Saudi Arabia] is part of a group of 15 Yemeni GITMO detainees who are represented by David Remes a member – until he was either booted or saw the handwriting on the wall and “resigned” on July 18, 2008 – of Attorney General Eric Holder’s law firm, Covington & Burling

Go read the entire thing and then make up your mind.

At the very least, the law firm should release pertinent documents so as to remove the appearance that they could any way be responsible for the actions which occurred on Christmas day.

Where has he (Eric Holder) been anyway? Not one word from him since the attempt to blow hundreds of Americans out of the sky? That’s just a little strange isn’t it?

What is it with the Obama administration and all the questions? It seems every time there is any sort of controversy, we’re always left with an unanswered question.

Well, That Went Well…

Our heads finally hit the pillows around 3:30 yesterday morning. While my preparations for dinner were right on time, we had a few delays getting some things wrapped, and planning the reveal of ‘The Kitty’.

We set our alarm for 7:00 am so we could get her into her spacious kennel and get her ready to meet her boy. We rolled out of bed at 7:15, and I took the dogs out and the cat was placed under the tree. Within minutes of taking the dogs out, Josh woke up.

After a 5 minute delay while he made his bed (I can’t believe he actually made his bed before he checked out his presents under the tree), he stumbled into the living room. As he entered the room, she called out. In his sleepy mind he thought he heard a bird. Then he heard her again. He was bewildered about the noise he was hearing, and I told him to walk over to the back door to see if he could see what he was hearing.

He walked right by the kennel, then she called out again. He looked down, saw the giant tag on the kennel, and almost started crying. He couldn’t believe that ‘Santa’ brought him a cat for Christmas.

After spending five minutes with her, he gave her a name.

Meet Amelia.

 

Welcoming her to the family couldn’t have gone any better, in fact, it was the perfect Christmas morning, at least it was until moments after this photo was taken.

In my infinite wisdom, things were going well so I decided it was time for Amelia to meet Chuck and Stitches. Needless to say, that was a very bad idea.

Amelia was laying next to Josh as the dogs rounded the couch coming to greet the boys. I realized that Amelia was not going to handle things very well, so I moved between her and Josh. As I moved one way, Stitches (the Cairn Terrier) moved the other way, and Amelia freaked. She freaked all over me. She bit my finger, then sliced it wide open with her claws. As I tried to move away from the boys and I raised my hands to get away from her, she latched on to my left hand in the palm with her front claws and my right palm with her back claws. She tore down my right leg, claws still extended, and the dogs followed her into the kitchen.

All of this took place in 2.4 seconds. After which I was leaving a blood trail to the kitchen sink, and she was sitting more than 6 feet off the floor (and 30 feet away) on a shelf of knicknacks just 4 inches wide. It’s a miracle that she didn’t break a thing.

I stopped the bleeding almost immediately, although by that time I was already going to pass out. I barely made my way to our bed while keeping pressure on my finger. After several minutes I was able to sit up, bandage the finger, and continue on with my day. (Don’t worry, she is current on her shots so there is no worry that I may start foaming at the mouth. Well, no more than normal anyway).

The first item on the agenda was putting the dogs outside for the day while we planned a little space management. We put a pet gate up in the boys hallway giving Amelia access to the two oldest boys’ bedrooms, the hallway, and their bathroom.

Once we got her settled, we spent the day cooking delicious food, enjoying the company of my mother and our friend Bill, and watching the boys play sports games on their new Nintendo Wii. We missed having my sister here, and we all decided tonight that we cannot allow that to happen again in the future. From now on, if she can’t come here, we’re all going there.

By 7:00 pm I was ready (and my finger was healed enough) to re-introduce the cat to the dogs with a nice sturdy divider between them. This evenings introduction went much smoother than our attempt this morning, as the dogs were exhausted from running all day and Amelia was quite content in her castle (also known as Josh’s room).

As I sit here finishing this post tonight, my finger is still slightly numb where she sliced it, and the scratches on my palms are burning like crazy. I am keeping everything nice and clean with an antiseptic and Neosporin is my new best friend.

I realized as I was typing tonight, that the last time we saw George he bit me on the same finger Amelia ripped into this morning. Is that fate or what?

I hope you enjoyed the day with your family and friends, and I hope you had a very Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas

The Birth of Jesus

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

The Shepherds and the Angels

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ[a] the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

Merry Christmas!

Twas The Night Before Christmas…

As many of you know it’s been a tough year around here. I was laid off in the first two weeks of the year and although it’s been a rough ride, I really cannot complain. I have my health, I have a wonderful family, I have great friends, and most of all I have a great God.

With so much uncertainty facing us earlier this year, we used what little money we had to get a couple nice things for the boys just in case things were really tight. It turns out that wasn’t such a bad idea.

The best present of the season, however, didn’t cost an arm or a leg. In fact, tomorrow morning our oldest son will awaken to a special gift from ‘Santa’ that he’s been wanting for more than two years.

Meet ‘The Kitty’.

 

She’s a “shelter cat” that was going to spend Christmas alone at the Carroll County Animal Shelter, and well, to be honest, we just couldn’t let that happen. Not this year.

Five years ago, on Halloween, our cat George disappeared into the night. He was acting funny all day, lounging around the house. He never just ‘laid around’ and when I picked him up to see what was going on with him, he bit me on my index finger and ran out the door as the kids were coming in. We searched for him late into the night and the next day, but we never saw him again.

Not long after George disappeared, when Josh realized the cat probably wasn’t coming back, he asked for a new kitten. We resisted temptation at the time, hoping his desire for a new cat would fade in time. It didn’t. He has asked for a kitten off and on for the past five years.

We took care of a neighborhood cat for a while (Oreo) but she set off Gidget’s allergies really bad, so she went to live on a farm with someone in Alabama so she could mouse all she wanted too. Josh didn’t bond with Oreo, but the short time she was in our lives made him want another cat even more.

This year, knowing our financial situation, Josh asked for just three small items. He didn’t ask for anything more than a birding book, and two small lego sets he had his eye on. When he first sat down to write his list though, he thought of adding a cat, but changed his mind at the last minute.

It seemed almost as if he had given up on a dream, or at least that one special Christmas wish he had been hoping for. That’s when we caved. An eleven year old should never give up on their dreams or lose hope at Christmas time. Especially not my eleven year old.

Tomorrow morning he will awaken to the sounds of dainty little cat calling out from a spacious kennel underneath the Christmas tree and his dream will come true.

Tomorrow he will spend the day cuddling his new found love and his hope for the future will be restored.

Tomorrow night I will lay in bed and thank God for sending us his own son, and for allowing me to live a life full of happiness and joy, with friends and family, with the ability to make my sons dreams come true.

That my friends, is what Christmas is all about.

Our Small Town Christmas Parade

Talk about a shocker. Yesterday I made the following statement.

We’re waiting now for the annual Christmas parade in our small town. The boys love seeing all the different police cars and fire trucks, as well as all of the floats from the different civic and church organizations. I’m planning to take video of the entire parade, which usually lasts about 10 minutes or so.

It turns out, there were some obvious cutbacks to our annual small town Christmas parade.

There was just one police car in the parade. No County Sheriff cars, no State Patrol cars, and sadly, no fire trucks. The fire station is only a mile down the road, they couldn’t bring one truck to start the parade?

The Temple High School band did great, as always, even if they were drowned out by the passing of a Norfolk Southern freight train. If it wasn’t for the various churches in our area, it seems there wouldn’t have been any floats this year either.

Where was the representation from the County Commission? Where were the politicians? The Shriners were there, but where were the veterans or any other representatives from the military? Carroll EMC, our power company, forgot to send a truck, and even Waffle House, which spread the Christmas cheer last year, was nowhere to be seen.

Santa was riding as a passenger in a red Thunderbird (not even a classic one) at the front of the parade rather than driving his sleigh at the end, and the parade was just five minutes and 15 seconds long.

There were beautiful horses at the end of the parade. I was waiting for the guy with the garbage can following the horses, but then I remembered that only happens with Sherman and Mr. Peabody.

I don’t mean to sound to harsh, but I think the people of Temple were expecting to see a bit more effort put into the parade and their children were expecting more eye candy, not actual candy.

I think it was the shortest parade I have ever seen in my life.

The following is my video of the parade. The video is completely unedited, and appears as shot from my Kodak Zi6. I did throw in some music in various places to highlight parts of the video. I hope you like it.

The Birth Of Jesus Christ

The Birth of Jesus Christ

This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” — which means, “God with us.”

When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

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