August 2006

I found some interesting tidbits about the man behind the Nobel Peace prize. Y’all might already know this, but if you didn’t…

Alfred Nobel, Swedish inventor of dynamite, blasting caps, smokeless gunpowder,and many other explosion-related items, suffered from mistaken identity. On April 13, 1888, Nobel awoke in Paris, opened a newspaper,and was astonished to read his own obituary. but it was actually his brother Ludwig who’d died; the newspaper had goofed.

As a result of the mistake, Nobel was given the rare gift of a chance to see how he would be remembered…and he didn’t like what he saw. As David Zacks writes in An Underground Education:

Alfred was shocked to see himself portrayed as the Merchant of Death, the man responsible for escalating the arms race…[even though] he had made high-powered explosives much easier to use and was proud of how this power had been unleashed to mine precious minerals and to build roads, railways, and canals.

The obituary painted him as a “bellicose monster” whose discoveries “had boosted the bloody art of war from bullets and bayonets to long-range explosives in less than 24 years.”

Determined to change his image and redeem the family name, Nobel hatched a shrewd plan. He used his wealth to create prizes in several areas – including peace. (Sort of like “the Exxon award for environmental safety…[or] the John F. Kennedy award for marital fidelity,” Zack says). It was successful spin control. Today, the Nobel Prizes are the most prestigious in the world…and few of us connect their creator the “the art of killing.”

Uncle John’s Absolutely Absorbing Bathroom Reader


I read a great article in the People magazine a few weeks ago.  (I don’t buy them, I get them second hand from mama)  I set it aside to blog about it, and I just keep forgetting.  I found it this morning when I grabbed all my stuff to go to Rich’s terminal, so here it is:

The Cowboy Church Network of North America has 26 congregations to date, mostly in the south.  They have weeknight services (a couple also have Sunday services) for country folk, farm-workers and others whose Sundays are filled with rodeos and horse shows.   Members come in chaps, cowboy hats, some even sit on horseback (but most people sit in bleachers).  Services consist of cowboy poetry, heartfelt confessionals, and old-fashioned preaching.  They meet in stables, barns, arenas, and other equally horse-friendly locales.  Worshippers don’t care if you have paint on your pants, or holes in your jeans, as long as the bible is preached there.

Former NC pastor, Jeff Smith, started the Cowboy Church Network in an effort to bring church to cowboys. He “gets a kick out of sharing the gospel, saddle to saddle.”  In the first year of his first church, attendance surpassed 100, and more than 80 people made professions of faith.  A typical Cowboy Church service opens in an arena with a horseback presentation of flags and the national anthem.  Baptisms are done on a flatbed trailer where new believers are immersed in a horse trough.  The preacher, dressed in boots, jeans and a cowboy hat, stands in the dirt, his Bible in hand, and preaches without notes.  “When Jesus came to earth he did not come in the robes of the religious leaders,” said Smith.  “He came in the garments of the people.  His goal was to ‘seek and to save that which was lost.’  We use the model Jesus has given, to go to the people with the gospel.”

I wanted to share this with y’all, because I think it is so awesome.   They may not be a “traditional” church, but they are out there saving souls in Jesus’ name.  How much cooler can it get?

There are some really great pics on the Cowboy Church Network website, but I couldn’t add any because of security reasons here on Rich’s company computer.  Sorry.  I hope you go to their site and check out their photo gallery. 

The state with the highest percentage of people who walk to work: Alaska

Uncle John’s Absolutely Absorbing Bathroom Reader

My computer is messed up.  It has been  mildly misbehaving for a little while now, but I didn’t really worry to much with it.  Whenever something new popped up, I’d just add it to the little list I keep, and when it gets to be too much, I call my computer guy.  I really like my computer guy, he built my machine for me, and he told me that I would have lifetime computer support – his lifetime.  He’s really good with the hardware aspect, but not so much with programs and software and such.  Unfortunately, he has had some health problems lately, so I hate to bother him with something as trivial as my little computer quirks.

However, since mama has been having her own computer problems, I have been embroiled with taking her and her baby computer hither and yon.  In the process, I have met a new computer guy, his name is Clem.  He’s a genius.  I decided to have him come to my house Thursday evening and take a look at mine.  He told me that most of my issues were all tied to the fact, that he found OVER 400 VIRUSES AND MORE THAN 200 SPYWARE!!

I thought I would die.  I have Norton, how could this have happened?  Why would Norton let me down?  I paid enough for him, by golly he should have been more faithful.  Clem tells me that Norton isn’t who I thought he was, and that he’s not always dependable.  Well, that’s it for him, I don’t need to be treated this way.  I deserve better.  I will look elsewhere for protection and comfort.

The end result is that Clem eliminated all of my pests, and when he left, the computer ran so much more smoothly.  Unfortunately, there were many pages that I couldn’t access, like my email, login to wordpress, login to the shopping section of – that’s an important one- and lots of others.  I called Clem the next morning.

He came back Friday evening.  He said that all the virus and spyware junk had corrupted some kind of IP address, or something or other, and that he thought he could fix it.  Guess what?  He couldn’t access the internet pages he needed.  So, for the time being, my home computer serves only to let me visit my site, everyone else’s blogs, and play some games.  Clem is doing some research, and will hopefully get back with me Monday.

Today was Rich’s Saturday to work – every 5th one – and he and the big kids are painting some of the offices in his terminal.  So, Tony & I came, too.  We always come and help him do his Saturday work, and while they’re painting, Tony is playing Windwaker, and I am using the computer.  It’s not mine, but it will work.

today I stumbled across the magnetic poetry kit I apparently put away a few years ago. Tony was fascinated, he’d never seen anything like it before.

he wrote this poem for me. Isn’t he sweet?

this is mine. It is not as sweet as his…but, he really enjoyed it!

The oldest capital city in the U.S. is New Mexico’s Santa Fe (1609-10).

 Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Plunges into History Again

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