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Saturday, December 31, 2005


It was a pretty good year

Here's to 2005 it was a pretty good year. Listen to the Lettermen sing a fitting musical tribute for 2005 Click to listen

We began the year by attending a Mardi Gras Ball. This was the first year John went with us. My dad turned 80 and we traveled to Kansas City to celebrate his birthday.

Hobo experienced his last Mardi Gras and donned his beads one more time. I ran the Mardi Gras Marathon in New Orleans. Ben ran the half marathon and won his age group.

March was a sad month. We said goodbye to Hobo after nearly 14 years. I honored him with the construction of Hobo Garden.

I realized a dream in April by running in the Boston Marathon. John was surprised by his grandfather, who gave him a boat for his birthday.

With Hobo gone, I turned my attention to feeding birds and squirrels. Then the vet called about a dog who needed a good home. Bear bounced on to the scene and began worming his way into our hearts.

I ran the Goat Milk Marathon in Utica, MS the first of June. Hobo Garden began to fill in nicely.

In July we took a trip to Vicksburg Mississippi and I enjoyed running in the National Military Park. Barbara won her age group at the 4 on the 4th race near our house.

I returned to my roots the first of the month by attending my family reunion in Blair, Nebraska. The photo of the butterfly in Joy's garden is in sharp contrast to what would happen on the 29th. Hurricane Katrina spun ashore changing this region and our lives forever.

September was about cleaning up. Hurricane Rita piled on, but we were used to it by then. I met a lot of people online and experienced a lot of blog traffic because of the hurricanes.

Ben left for Navy boot camp and I ran my first 50K in Huntsville, Texas. I can call myself an ultrarunner now.

On Veterans Day, Justin McLeese was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star "V". Thanksgiving Day, I took a boat ride with John and Bear. We visited New Orleans and witnessed the destruction first hand. Photos cannot convey the impact of this devastation.

I ran the Baton Rouge Beach Marathon for the second time. Christmas came again and this is the traditional photo of John in front of the tree.

It was a pretty good year. 365 days holds a little bit of everything. Good times and bad. God saw me and my family through it though and I only hold gratitude and appreciation in my heart.

I was too lazy to link up all of the photos and stories, but I did provide an archive link below. If you would like to see more photos or read the posts, just click the appropriate month.

2005 Archives


Until the next time
John Strain


Friday, December 30, 2005


Whatever happened to "I disagree?"

Not too long ago, when there was conflict between two opposing viewpoints, someone would say "I disagree with that point of view." The statement voiced one person's opinion. End of conversation, respect was still intact, persuading was attempted, and opinions were expressed.

Somewhere along the line the statement, "I disagree" was replaced with "I am offended." This is a shift from reason to emotion. At some point in our culture, how a person felt became more important than what was right or what was true. This is the basis of politically correct speech.

Maybe when PC speech began it was a valid point. I don't really remember, but it is conceivable that some of our terminology was insensitive and could be improved - BUT not at the expense of the truth.

When I still lived in New Orleans, Barb and I were driving to a restaurant with some of her rehab counselor friends. I was talking about one of our patients at the hospital and I referred to him as "wheelchair bound." You would have thought I called him the most vile thing ever heard by man. "Oh, my god, did you hear what he said? Wheelchair bound, oh my god." Well, that is not the best way to get me to move in the opposite direction. So I said, "Oh, maybe I should have said cripple or gimp." Barbara had to stop the car and after a few minutes of CPR, I managed to revive both of the rehab counselors. I can't even tell you what the PC term was I was supposed to use. From my own point of view, I am legally blind. No matter how you refer to me, legally blind, visually challenged, partially sighted, or blind MF (as my closest friends refer to me), I see the same. There is a reality the labels do not effect.

Speech should balance sensitivity with truth and content. One can be so nice that the message they are attempting to convey is lost. Conversely, a message devoid of feeling may not communicate well either. It really comes down to the two people talking. A football coach may curse you out, but it may feel like love. A girl breaking up with you may give you compliments, but they may feel like daggers in your heart.

With the rise of PC speech though, the football coach started getting sued for cursing out little Johnny. Coach Smith had to find new ways to let the tyke know that his tackling technique was sub par. I am sure the NFL has suffered because of it.

The PC movement is a drive to make sure everyone "feels" good. There are no winners and losers, you can't fail a class, and you can't be wrong. This may work in Shangri-La, but it only promotes incompetence in the real world.

The thing is, there is nothing wrong with losing or failing. Just because I fail, I am not a failure. I do learn that I have to try harder or try something different to succeed. All the PC folks do is rob an individual of character building moments

I think the most damaging thing PC does is to silence people. Now people think things like, "I can't say that, it will offend someone." I contend that we should say whatever we want to say. Yes, we should be responsible and say things without defaming someone, but if we all talk alike, we lose our diversity.

Personally, I am turning a deaf ear (audio challenged ear) to the term, "I am offended." If I am offended, I have to deal with it in a way other than making someone else change his or her mind or the words they use. If I am offended, that is my work. Some things have offended me, but I was the one that needed to change. We need to separate the feelings from the facts and make decisions and form our beliefs over time.

I hope in the future governments and businesses will stop kowtowing to every little whiner who gets offended. Being a man, I have two spherical objects that often cause me to rebel - usually in socially acceptable means. Those two spheres have taken about all they are going to take from the PC folks. I do not intend to overreact and be particularly offensive, but I do intend to express my views in my own words. Isn't that what this country is all about?

If you like PC stuff and want to be PC friendly, go with God. I hope you will grant me the same courtesy if I choose other ways to express myself.

Until the next time
John Strain


Wednesday, December 28, 2005


Hate in the name of God

Some folks are so convinced they are doing God's work they probably expect God to say something like this when they finally do meet Him: "Fred, thank you so much. I don't know what I would have done without you down there doing my work. Why, because of you, we don't even need to hold Judgment Day. You already have it all figured out. Holding a Judgment Day now would be an anti-climax. You saved me a lot of work."
I will not dignify the man and his church with a link, but should you want to look at his site or read what others say about him, all you need to do is Google: "Fred Phelps" and/or "Westboro Baptist Church, Topeka, KS" you will find plenty of information. The Westboro Baptist Church can be found at www.godhatesfags.com.
I was not aware of this man before today. I was reading an article on Michelle Malkim's site about a group of folks who are showing up at the funerals of US servicemen and disrupting things. I was appalled at the thought of someone who felt their cause was so worthy, it was OK to harass a family at their lowest moment and time of deepest grief.

I was curious when I found out the man was a Baptist pastor and his entire message was all about hating "fags" as he refers to homosexuals. He even has a clock on his website showing how many days Matthew Shepard has been in hell.

I won't reiterate everything here, but do read the Michelle Malkin article to see what counter protestors are doing to protect the families. Also, look at Fred Phelps and get a taste of his views.

Fred is preaching a message of hate. He hates homosexuals so much, he views everything through that particular filter. He says Hurricane Katrina was God's judgment. He says every soldier killed in Iraq is God's judgment and it is all because of homosexuals.

He is more dangerous than an Archie Bunker type who pontificates in his living room in front of his television. Fred Phelps rallies others to take action. What a waste of time and energy.

A pastor leads a flock of people. He sets an agenda and helps determine priorities. Many churches in our area are about helping people build homes, find jobs, and recover from the hurricane. If Fred were in town, he would be in the Wal-Mart parking lot screaming about how Katrina is God's judgment and it is all because of homosexuals.

My psychiatric training makes me wonder why he is so against homosexuality. It would not surprise me if he was a closet queen. But I digress.

Singling out homosexuality as THE sin is to ignore other aspects of an individual. Fred may not be a homosexual, but maybe he gossips. Gossip is a sin too. Should we refer to Fred as a gossip and ignore everything else about him?

We have all experienced hate and love. I don't know about you, but love is by far the strongest and most healing of the two. Hate serves no good purpose. Love uplifts and energizes while hate pushes down and deflates. A minister pushing a message of hate at best is misinformed and ignorant; at worst, he is an evil man.

I also thought of Gamaliel. Gamaliel was a Jewish leader. In the book of Acts 5:33-40, he intervened when the Sanhedrin was about to put the Apostle Peter and others to death for preaching the Gospel. Gamaliel's speech went something like this: "Look fellas, people have sprung up from time to time with different teachings, they last for a while, then go away. These guys will suffer a similar fate if their teaching is of man, BUT if they are of God, then you could be fighting against God yourselves. My advice is leave them alone and see what happens." They took Gamaliel's advice.

I believe that God is in control. He does not need me to run around pronouncing judgment on folks. People wind up doing that to themselves. I am not advocating turning a blind eye to the world, but the hate of Fred Phelps goes beyond taking a stand.

The world is already a hard place where hate has a firm footing. Preaching hate in the name of God is just more of the same. However, showing love in the name of God is an altogether different matter. This is the stuff transformations are all about.

There is more power in an open hand offered in love than there is in a fist clenched in rage.

Until the next time
John Strain


Tuesday, December 27, 2005


Putting it all together

A friend of mine was away from his family for Christmas so I volunteered to assemble the portable basketball goal he bought his son.

I am pretty mechanical and get some measure of satisfaction taking a box full of pieces and parts and converting them into whatever it is said parts are supposed to resemble. Men are notorious for not reading the instructions, but I am different. Maybe it is because I have been burned enough times, but I have learned my lesson. I at least start with the directions.

The assembly manual at first glance looked like a phone book for a medium sized town, but that is because it was written in 29 different languages. Thankfully, the English version was in the front. My prediction is that, in the future, the PC police will say putting the English version in front of the manual, might offend someone speaking Martian so the only fair way is to put the languages in alphabetical order. It is only a matter of time.

The manual was poorly written. My guess is the technical writer who put the instructions together finished low in his class. There were very few words and only a few small illustrations. I had to stare at the diagrams quite a while before I "got it," but I completed the task with only 4 nuts and bolts to spare. I hope they weren't important.

One of the inevitable things I seem to do is get something assembled, in this case the rim, then find a part that requires I disassemble it all to put the part where it is supposed to go. All in all, it went together pretty well, just slow. If I had another one to put together, I could do it in an hour instead of the 8 hours it took me.

What would Christmas be without putting something together? Probably a lot more relaxing, ha. I suppose my days of putting things together on Christmas Day are mostly behind me. My son has that to look forward to when he is a dad. Like most stages in life, they are often a hassle at the time, but longed for when they are gone. We people are a fickle lot.

But for now, things seem pretty well put together.

Until the next time
John Strain


Sunday, December 25, 2005


Merry Christmas

Gregory Scott still believes in New Orleans
Any belief system worth its salt will see you through the tough times. For Gregory Scott of New Orleans, it looks like he has one.

Merry Christmas to all.

Until the next time
John Strain


Saturday, December 24, 2005


Katrina or not, bonfires will guide Papa Noel to Louisiana bayous

Bonfires on the Mississippi River levee to guide Papa Noel

(AP) On Saturday evening, the Mississippi River in bayou country will look much as it has in more than a century of Christmas Eves _ with miles of massive bonfires on the levee tops showing Papa Noel, the south Louisiana Santa Claus, the way to children's homes. Read the rest of the article.

My 2003 post about the levee bonfires

Merry Christmas from Louisiana. We are doing just fine. The birth of Christ is much bigger than a hurricane and even more important. Christ is the light of the world. Tonight on the Mississippi River levee between New Orleans and Baton Rouge, bonfires will light up the darkness to help Papa Noel find the children on the bayous.

More than two thousand years ago Jesus was born; He brought light into a dark world and He brings light in to the darkness of our own lives.

His Spirit energizes and gives us the strength to stand up and rebuild what is broken. We still have a long task before us, but along the way we will take time to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Life is good with Him in it.

Yes sir, we'll be just fine.

Merry Christmas to all. Thank you for reading my stories and leaving your comments and encouragements. May this season be a good time for you and your loved ones and may the New Year also be filled with new challenges, good health, and happiness.

Until the next time
John Strain


Friday, December 23, 2005


A Runner's Soul

I came across this while looking for a 50 mile race to run next fall. It breaks my heart.

Darcy Wakefield

Darcey Wakefield died December 12, 2005 at age 35 from ALS.
Wakefield taught English at Southern Maine Community College and
published two books, including I Remember Running: The Year I Got
Everything I Ever Wanted -- and ALS.

Her essay:
"I remember running like I remember the sun-filled beach days of my
childhood. I remember running like many remember their first love
their first kiss, their wedding. I remember running and feel the ache
of absence, the heavy reminder that my life will never be the same
again. I am continuously mourning running..."

"Even though I no longer run, I still have a runner's soul. It's
trapped in a runner's body that won't run. My runner's soul longs to
work off the stress of my recent diagnosis and the stress of not
running with a good run. It doesn't yet understand what has happened
to us. These days I try to take pleasure in what now substitutes for
running in my life. The other night, something told me to go down to
the beach, and I did, even though it was late and dark. The beach was
hard and smooth because the tide was out, and something told me to
run. I ran around and around in circles. If you'd seen me, you
wouldn't have called what I was doing running, but it was good enough
for me. This is what I thought that night as I gave thanks: We are so
lucky to be able to do this, all of our nerves and muscles working
together, as we move ourselves forward to do this thing we call

She is survived by her parents, her brother and sister, her partner Steve Stout, and their son, Sam.

NPR Broadcast: Darcy in her own words

Darcy's book "I Remember Running: The year I got everything I ever wanted-and ALS"

Count your blessings.

Until the next time
John Strain


Wednesday, December 21, 2005


The Polar Express

Great movie. It will make you cry for all the right reasons. I believe.

Enjoy the song, just click the pic.

The Polar Express

Until the next time
John Strain


Tuesday, December 20, 2005


The Light

It was a desolate scene; dry and dusty. A man was being harassed by soldiers. As the soldiers laughed and jeered, the man was on his knees crying. His face looked to the heavens and he began to plead with the emotion hewn from years of abuse and ridicule. His plea was to God and his question was, "How long must I suffer?"

The man spoke for an entire people. They had been waiting for their Messiah to appear, break their shackles of abuse, and return them to power. They were looking for a conqueror to turn the tables.

Then it happened; in the darkness of a Bethlehem night, the Light entered the world. Few took notice.

The Light did not illuminate the world with one great flash or beam, nor did it happen all at once. From humble beginnings and steady influence, His light spread. It spread, as his followers were obedient to his words and faithful to pass them on.

So the Light is here; in the world; but is it in you?

Even if you do not believe in God, or if you do not believe that Jesus is God in the flesh, you must see the logic of examining yourself from time to time. You must see the economy of looking inward.

So in this Christmas season, it is my wish that people might stop for a moment. Stop judging others. Stop blaming the other party. Stop demanding perfection of others while settling for much less from themselves. Stop their jealous assaults on people who are trying and doing while they do nothing. Stop trying to make their children into something that won't embarrass them instead of helping them bloom into whatever they want to be. Stop spreading hate and discord. Stop whining and expecting a life without struggle.

Once these things are stopped, folks can look inward. What will they see when they look within? Will they see the Light? Are they living up to the standards they demand of others? If not, do they endeavor to improve.

It might do us all some good to be visited by the ghosts that haunted Mr. Scrooge. He looked within and saw darkness. Fortunately, there was time and he became a changed man.

There is time for us too. How will our individual stories of looking inward conclude?

Until the next time
John Strain


Monday, December 19, 2005


Fun with Santa

Disco Santa

Since it is Monday, why not have a little fun with Santa. Click the photo and you will have the chance to make Santa dance one of three ways. You can change the music and play with the background. Don't give him too much of a workout though, we need Santa nice and chubby.

You can have more Christmas fun here if you are so inclined.

If you are looking for something a bit more meaningful than playing with a disco Santa, why not read "The Gift of the Magi." It is a wonderful story about giving and receiving.

Christmas is coming!

Until the next time
John Strain


Saturday, December 17, 2005


I double dog dare ya

I double dog dare you
Origins of "double dog dare ya."

In my unscientific opinion, I believe that the phrase, "I double dog dare you," has more power over men than it does over women. With men, common sense and fear melt at these words, because it is a far better fate to be crippled, maimed, or in some sort of trouble than it is to be known as a chicken.

People are motivated by all kinds of things. Most mature individuals are drawn toward a goal and the reward it offers. A dare, on the other hand, is different. It entices a person to do something they would rather not, because of what "not" doing "it" would mean.

This is why men are so vulnerable. As much as men say, "I don't give a damn about what anyone thinks;" they really do care. Women have known this for ages and have manipulated men using this very mechanism. Here is how they do it. Men, have you ever heard these words from a woman? "Can you fix this or should I call my daddy?"; and to a group of men, "Can any of you lift this, it is really heavy." In the first instance, the man would take immediate action to correct the problem rather than have her daddy think he is not mechanically inclined or that he is incompetent. In the second instance, the men would fall all over themselves to be "the one" to lift the item to show the other men how strong they are.

Maybe you remember the scene in the movie "A Christmas Story." One of the kids was dared, and eventually "double dog dared" to stick his tongue on an icy pole. He only did it after the double dog dare and he endured the pain rather than be known as a chicken.

I am sure I have taken dares and suffered consequences. If I could think of any, I would tell you, but my masculine denial protects me from remembering such assaults to my ego.

The 10-mile race today was cold and rainy. All week the weather forecast no doubt had people questioning if it was worth the pain just to run a race. I am sure more than one runner called into question the resolve of his running buddy. I did with my pal Marty. I called him on Friday and asked him, "Are you still going to run the race?" His response, "Sheeeeeeiiit, why are you asking me - are you going to run it?" We went back and forth some, and then I said, "I told Barbara you probably wouldn't run it, because of the weather." I knew then, there was no way he could not run it.

We both did fine. I exceeded my goal of 1:15:00 with a time of 1:13:54, which is a 7:23 pace. It was cold at the start, but once the race began the body heat took care of the weather. The rain was only mist at first then light rain toward the end. It was a good time.

Well, I hope your Christmas preparations are coming along the way they need to and I double dog dare you to have a nice weekend.

Until the next time
John Strain


Friday, December 16, 2005


Day Off

I have a day off today and tonight is the company Christmas party. Tomorrow morning is a 10 mile race and it is supposed to be cold and rainy. That's the breaks. Right now I am going to take the dog on an extra long walk. After that I have lots of odds and ends to do like ordering Christmas presents, some yard work, and all kinds of exciting stuff.

I will be back later on with a more respectable post.

Until the next time
John Strain


Thursday, December 15, 2005


Some well deserved praise for the local media of New Orleans

Before I talk about our media, I want to tell you about the moon this morning. I can't think of a more beautiful moon I have ever seen. I walked Bear dog before daylight and the skies were clearing from some heavy overnight rains. The full moon behind the clouds beautifully lit an ever-changing array of muted color. It was mesmerizing like a kaleidoscope and I stood staring transfixed at the beauty of it all. Then the clouds floated by and the full moon light cast its eerie glow on my predawn world. Had I been lying in bed, I would have missed it all, but I was there and it is another beautiful memory tucked away for me to savor whenever I choose to see it again.

Local New Orleans Media
In the past, I have certainly pointed out flaws about various media practices, so I thought it only fair to dole out praise where it is deserved.

After Katrina, some of the television and radio stations were knocked completely off of the air. Eventually, the ones who got up and running again, did so by moving their operations to other cities. One station was in Baton Rouge and another in Jackson, Mississippi. The local newspaper, the Times Picayune had help publishing a small print newspaper, but kept their online news flowing.

Eventually, all of the stations were back on the air, and they broadcast hurricane information 24 hours a day. I don't remember when regular programming returned, but is wasn't for at least a month after the storm. No one missed the other shows. Most people did not have electricity, cable, or satellite anyway.

In my case, I got power back in two weeks. However, my DSL was working at the house, so with generator power, I was able to get online. I took care of my banking, registering with FEMA, and watched television on the computer.

The radio stations were united and they called themselves, "The United New Orleans Broadcasters." This was a cooperative effort between all of the stations. No matter what frequency you were on AM or FM, you heard the same program. The personalities from the stations worked shifts two at a time. So there were interesting personality mixes. It was always informative and entertaining. This was an excellent example of cooperation between competitors joined to meet a common need. This is what would happen in a nuclear war and it felt at times like I was in the movie "Red Dawn."

It was very useful having the local stations streaming on the web. Today, WWL 870 AM is still streaming on the web.

These folks realized that New Orlenians and other people in the region were scattered to the four winds and would want local information. They get an "A+" in my book for getting their signal out. WDSU Channel 6, for instance was broadcasting in Houston, Jackson, Mississippi, Baton Rouge, LA and New Orleans.

OK, so technically, these media sources stayed in business and got their signals out, but what about the content? They get an "A+" in that department too.

In this whole hurricane and aftermath, the local media has been the voice of reason. The national media has stayed on the sensational and majoring on the minor. Some of their reporting has been all about their ratings and not at all about the truth or understanding complex problems.

I have been proud of our local media. Norman Robinson the lead anchor for channel 6 has shown courage and integrity in his reporting. He asks questions to the point, without political correct tweaking. He is respectful, but thorough and does not give people free passes.

Our local and state politicians have shown poor leadership, but not all of them. The media has done well not to generalize, pile on, or focus on the blame game.

I know these media outlets are businesses. They depend on ratings and dollars from advertisers, but you wouldn't know that by watching them. They are engaged in community projects. To name a few; reuniting people with pets, building houses with Habitat for Humanity, and calling attention to people with especially pressing needs. They have been a place to call for information or just a place to call and vent frustration.

The bottom line here is that when we needed what a television station or radio station could do in this kind of crisis, they did it and they did it in a way that exceeded my expectations.

I don't usually use the word praise and media in the same sentence, but the local New Orleans media has earned it. Good job folks.

Until the next time
John Strain


Wednesday, December 14, 2005


A Charlie Brown Christmas

Charlie Brown Christmas
Listen to Christmas is Coming

It was 40 years ago when "A Charlie Brown Christmas" aired the first time on CBS. Here is an interesting story about the program:
What remains extraordinary about this project is that when the original rough cut was screened to CBS executives in 1965, they deemed this show a Disaster! They said it was awkward, depressing and completely inappropriate for a Christmas special.

Devastated, the creative team exited that meeting thinking that their instincts had utterly failed them. All that would change on December 9, 1965. when the show aired, America was SPELLBOUND and no one (including the suits who possessed not a SPECK of insight) could have imagined that this masterpiece would become an icon that announced the arrival of the Holiday season with a legacy spanning 40 years!

Vince Guaraldi's soundtrack is critical to this enigmatic and one-of-a-kind success story. Bravo to all!
-Comment at the iTunes Music Store
It wouldn't seem like Christmas without watching Charlie Brown and hearing that music. Those sounds and images are burned into my mind. When I see and hear them now, they make me feel good.

The story above makes me wonder about how many good programs we never got to see because of the smoke filled room of executives who think they know so much.

I have been thinking about the general lack of creativity or maybe it is laziness in the entertainment industry. The remakes and song covers are being churned out like rancid butter.

"Kong" is coming out for at least the third time. Other recent remakes were "The Longest Yard," "Oceans Eleven," "The Parent Trap," and "Shaft."

Here is an article about upcoming remakes and another more exhaustive list:
Movie Remake List.

So here's to those brave souls who have the gumption to be different; to stand behind what their creative juices conjure up. There is a certain safety in the familiar, but the "wow factor" only comes with the new. Do you remember how you felt the first time you saw "Star Wars?" "Battlestar Galactica" didn't quite do the same thing did it?

Enjoy your day and like Charlie Brown did, I hope you discover the true meaning of Christmas.

Until the next time
John Strain


Tuesday, December 13, 2005


The Sunday Paper

Our local paper is the Times Picayune. It is interesting how Katrina finds her way into many news stories and advertisements. Here are some examples of what I am talking about.

New Orleasn Marchers Demand Action (Full Story)

Protest marchers in New Orleans

These protests are a joke, but don't take my word for it. Read the words and try to follow the logic of the protest's spokesman:
"This government left us here to starve and to die," local activist Malcolm Suber told a crowd outside of City Hall. "We are here to stand up and fight to ensure we get what we deserve."

Suber urged the crowd not to rely on politicians to fix the devastated region, or welcome them back to New Orleans. Instead, he said, the 300,000 people displaced from the New Orleans region need to come home and spur the government to action. He blasted politicians as uncaring, saying none were invited Saturday on purpose.

"This damn government don't give a damn about poor people, the working class, and especially don't give a damn about black people," Suber said. "Rich folks who live Uptown don't like black people."
I don't know where to start.
1. What do you folks want?
2. You are blaming the government for the weather.
3. You want the government to help, but you did not invite any government officials to your protest.
4. You are racists calling other people racists.
5. A lot more would have been accomplished if, instead of marching, you began gutting each other's homes.

On the flip side of this sort of story, there is a group of students down here from Ohio State University. They are working with Habitat for Humanity building houses. It is amazing. People all over the country are pre fabbing homes and sending them down the Mississippi in containers. Once here, they are taken to sites for assembly.

Moral of the story, stop bitching and pitch in to help.

Another story came from the Mississippi Gulf Coast. It sems two young men living in FEMA financed hotel space were running a meth lab. Those boys are in trouble. (Full Story)

Demolish your home adDemolish your home adHere are a couple of Katrina related advertisements. Both ads have to do with house demolition. Many ads mention Katrina in some way. Other ads deal with employers looking for workers, doctors announcing they are back in their office, car dealers offering hurricane rebates, tree removal companies, and much more.

No matter how disrupted things may be, one thing remains unchanged and normal.

Gun Show Ad

Thank goodness, I can still get firearms and knives. It would take a lot more than a hurricane to impact that market.

If you would like to see more, visit NOLA.COM.

Until the next time
John Strain


Sunday, December 11, 2005


It's a dog's life

by Bear
Bear at the computer
Hi everyone, Bear here. How do you like my picture? Daddy said Lee in New York wanted to see a picture of me writing a post. So here it is Lee. I think this photo makes me look thoughtful.

Now on to the weekend news.

Bear and Christmas tree
This is a picture of me sitting by our Christmas tree wearing a new Christmas collar. My mama got it at work from her secret Santa. I don't know what a secret Santa is, but I like my collar. It has bells all over it and when I flop my ears, I scare myself. Daddy takes it off of me at night, because he says it makes to darn much racket. Actually, he uses other words, but mama doesn't want me writing them out. She says people might think I am a bad dog.

Bear with a tennis ball in his mouth
I got to play some ball on Saturday and Sunday. Here is a photo of me playing ball and wearing my new collar.

Bear happyBear serious
Daddy took some pictures of me doing different poses. The first picture is me trying to look happy. The other picture is me trying to look serious. I think I did pretty good, don't you?

Bear and mamaBear and daddy
On Saturday, mama and daddy took me for a long walk. People liked to see me with my new collar. People would drive by in cars and point at me. I felt like a ceLABrity, hehehe.

Damaged houseDemolitionDemolitionDemolition complete
Look at these pictures. The first one my daddy took in September. Look at the trees on the house, it was really smashed. The next two pictures shows a big yellow machine tearing the house down. The last picture is the house piled up out by the street. I guess they will build a new house. There sure has been a lot going on here since the big storm.

Oh, I meant to remind you to click the little pictures if you want to see a big picture. Daddy says, they call the little pictures thumbnails. That sounds painful.

It is getting late so I will finish this for now and see if my dad will take me for one last walk before we all go to bed.

I hope you had fun this weekend too.

Until the next time