Monday, December 31, 2012

Bug's Bleat - - GCF: New Year's Dinner


Here are some of our favorite photos from 2012


MCC Hamburger Supper


Dusty polishes his boots.


Ethan pulls out the train set.


Annette meets a new friend.


Our favorite "Bed" in the community garden.


Randy and Scott learn to disect an eyeball.


Do Boys enjoyed the "Boxing For Books" program.


You can't play the Wii without some body english.


"Da Boys" enjoy chalk drawing.


At the swimming pool.


4th of July Fire Works.


Participating in the Chick Fil A "Eat In"



Ethan opens a model of a P-51 that looks like a real winner.



Zac enjoys the Christmas Spirit.



Annette took this photo of me after I was released from MRMC on the 26th.



Dusty and the boys watch over the present distribution.










Volume 14, Issue 52 Monday, December 31, 2012

Hello ALL,

Words of Wisdom from a smart woman, Debbie Troquille; "Kind of weary, on this wonderful day, of hearing news reports of how awful this "fiscal year cliff" will be! We can all make it....no matter what, AND it may mean less take home money, but less spending wouldn't hurt any of us either! Don't like bullying....from government!"
~~~~~
Speaking of Wisdom, all of us want our kids to be educated. School was never a pleasure for me. I was an only child, used to having life my way and the teachers weren’t really interested in catering to my every whim. It was a big shock to my system.

It was the same for our kids. When David returned from his first day of school, we asked him how it went. He answered; “Well I don’t know how to read yet and the teacher won’t let me talk.”

Vanessa’s teacher contacted us to report that Vanessa never said anything in class. Annette asked her why she wasn’t talking and Vanessa replied; “They told us to be quiet.”

Of course, teachers have more on their minds than the “three Rs” Aunt Jerry’s teacher opened her desk one morning to find a man’s arm lying in the drawer. There had been an accident on the railroad and some school kids had dug up the arm behind the doctor’s house and placed it in the teacher’s desk.

Speaking of School at Taylor . . . Hattie Lee Whaley was in my mother’s class. One day in study hall, she asked to go to the bathroom and the teacher replied; “you girls just want to go visit, you can’t go to the bathroom when you’re in study hall.” Hattie Lee was furious but politely sat still for the rest of the period.

The next day, Hattie Lee brought a “tow sac” with her to study hall and hung it on a nail by her desk. After a few minutes, she asked to go to the bath room. Again the teacher denied her request. So Hattie Lee got up from her desk holding a tin syrup can (like many kids used to carry their lunch), pulled the “tow sac” off the nail, stepped into it and pulled it back up. She then reached down to the bottom of the sac, opened the syrup can and removed a mason jar of water she had in it (of course, none of this could be seen by anyone else in the study hall.) She opened the mason jar and, squatting in the sac, slowly poured the water into the syrup can.

You can imagine the sound.

Then she sealed the jar back up. Put it back in the can and sealed the can back up. Stepped out of the “tow sac,” hung it back on the wall and set back down at her desk.

She was never denied permission to use the bath room again.

In the second grade, one of my classmates called me pumpkin man. So I started chasing her down the hall. She fled out the south door of the school with me in hot pursuit. I didn’t slow down to open the door, just hit it with my right hand. It was a traditional “French style” multipane door. My right arm went through one of the panes. My first concern wasn’t the blood, it was the broken glass that I was gonna get punished for. So I hid in the boy’s bathroom, holding my bleeding wrist over the toilet. Fortunately, the basketball coach followed the blood trail into the bathroom and put a pressure bandage on my wrist. Then he drove me to Magnolia where Dr. Wilson only took 28 stitches to close the wounds.

Uncle Fort hid his report card in a bale of cotton one day on his way home from school. He told his mother he’d lost the report card. Unfortunately (for him) his dad was looking to buy a bale of cotton and reached in that particular bale to sample the product. Out he came with Fort’s report card.

Annette, true to form, was a straight A student. Except for that one “F” in conduct in the seventh grade. Coach Henry warned her; “one more word out of you and you’ll get an “F” in conduct.” To which Annette responded; “But Coach Henry!” The grade went into the book.

Amazing that any of us got educated isn’t it.
~~~~~
Before I forget, Happy New Year y’all.
~~~~~
I’ve read approximately 120 books in 2012. Here are some of my favorites:

The homecoming of Samuel Lake / by Jenny Wingfield.

Dead Men Flying : / Patrick Henry Brady.

Fearless : the undaunted courage and ultimate sacrifice of Navy SEAL Team Six operator Adam Brown / Eric Blehm.

Into the fire : a first-hand account of the most extraordinary battle in the Afghan War / Dakota Meyer and Bing West.

Farm city : the education of an urban farmer / Novella Carpenter.

The Long Walk / Brian Castner.

Sealab : America's forgotten quest to live and work on the ocean floor / Ben Hellwarth.

All in : the education of General David Petraeus / Paula Broadwell with Vernon Loeb.
~~~~~
Some good folks passed in 2012 [http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3032619/#50307800] including:

Neil Armstrong
Ernest Borgnine
Robert Bork
Ray Bradbury
Dick Clark
Charles Colson
Phyllis Diller
Michael Clarke Duncan
Andy Griffith
Whitney Houston
Daniel Inouye
Etta James
Davy Jones
Alex Karras
Rodney King
George McGovern
Russell Means
Joe Paterno
Sally Ride
Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf
Christopher Stevens
Kitty Wells
Andy Williams
Mike Wallace


Locally, we lost:

Tony Wilson
Sterling Lacy
Dianne Groves Payne
Bob Gantt, III
Gary Foreman
Michael Kelley
Henry Pletcher
Sue Shinn
Edith Woolsey Nalls
Sammie Albright
Billy Glynn Cozart
"Pete" Schmidt
MargRyn Kinard Schomburg
Donnie Bowhunter Griffin
Giles G. Gillespie
Diane Burdine Dyson
Jimmy Otwell
Harold H. Fincher
Col. James (Jim) Hughes
Eddie Ray Epperson
Tony Ray Scott
Mike Telford
Sherry Puckett
David Pesses
Elizabeth Gordon


God Speed Y’all
~~~~~
Joe Tudor and Chuck Jackson shared this “SCIENCE FACT:” If you took all of the veins from your body and laid them end to end, you would die.
~~~~~
Are you sick of making the same resolutions year after year that you never keep? Why not promise to do something you can ACTUALLY accomplish? Here are some resolutions that you can use as a starting point:

~ Gain weight. At least 30 pounds.
~ Stop exercising. Waste of time.
~ Read less. Makes you think.
~ Watch more TV. I've been missing some good stuff.
~ Procrastinate more. Starting tomorrow.
~ Spend more time at work, surfing the web.
~ Take a vacation to someplace important, like to see the world's largest ball of twine.
~ Don't jump off a cliff just because everyone else did.
~ Stop bringing lunch from home--eat out more.
~ Don't have eight children at once.
~ Get in a whole NEW rut!
~ Personal goal: Don't bring back disco.
~ Speak in a monotone voice and only use monosyllabic words.
~ Spend my summer vacation in cyberspace.
~ Create loose ends.
~ Get more toys.
~ Get further in debt.
~ Don't believe politicians.
~ Break at least one traffic law.
~ Don't drive a motorized vehicle across thin ice.
~ Don't swim with piranhas or sharks.
~ Spread out priorities beyond the ability to keep track of them.
~ Wait for opportunity to knock.
~ Focus on the faults of others.
~ Never make New Year's resolutions again.
~~~~~
Favorite Quotes:
John Harden shared Lee Brewer's status update. A C.S. Lewis quote

“You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.”
~~~~~
The following wisdom is shared by our friends.
~
Barbara Grafton Daniels
Before You Speak ... THINK!
T - Is it true?
H - Is it helpful?
I - Is it inspiring?
N - Is it necessary?
K - Is it kind?
~
Nancee Davis Law
everyone thinks they have it harder then the next, but if we all put our problems in a hat to pick from, I'm sure we'd take our own back.

Me and my family - we may not have it all together...But together we have it all.

Someday you will wake up and the house will be clean, BUT your babies will be all grown up and on their own.

Sometimes, the right thing to do and the hardest thing to do are the same.
~
Jimmy Malone
What we call "living on what we have" the U S Government calls a Fiscal Cliff... #justsayin

You can't train your children to be exceptional and ask why they aren't normal.
~~~~~
As my last opinion piece of 2012, I’ve got to say that the "War On Drugs" is an immoral failure. Very much like the failure of prohibition 80 years ago. We're spending BILLIONS housing drug offenders and building more prisons every day. [http://www.drugwarfacts.org/cms/Prisons_and_Drugs]

In 2011 50% of federal inmates were there on drug charges. A friend whose opinion I value told me that probably 75% of the federal inmates were just costing the taxpayers money while learning to be better, more dedicated criminals. In fact, we spend about $40,000 a year per inmate and $5,000 a year each educating our kids. Something is wrong here.

Chuck Colson's Prison Fellowship Ministry advocates Restitution in lieu of imprisonment for non violent offenders. We've used a similar program locally to reduce prison overcrowding. The offender is required to provide restitution as well as completing a high school equivalency, doing community service and having a job. It's been very successful.

I won't even discuss the profit motive for longer prison terms (see the explosive growth of private prisons who strongly lobby for stricter laws and longer terms.)

Legalizing drugs such as Pot and Coke and treating them as we treat alcohol would greatly reduce illegal profits and reduce the prison population. Don’t get me wrong, not every crime should be legalized. Not every drug should be legalized.

I'm not a Libertarian. I call the drug war immoral because so many have suffered for the enrichment of so few. Like alcohol prohibition, legalizing activities that the public has shown a propensity to engage in would save the taxpayers huge amounts of resources. Resources which are currently wasted in trying to stop an activity that too large a percentage of the public support. Our law enforcement would be better used to control this trade after it's legalized.

I wish that everyone didn't use drugs (alcohol, pot, coke, etc.) But that's not really realistic. Our current policy enriches the Drug Cartels and US prison builders and private operators. The public pays both the Cartels and the Prison Industry. They pay the Prison Industry directly via taxes and the Cartels indirectly through thefts, etc. by drug users.

Legalization isn't going to be simple. Colorado is already finding that out. For instance, current "drug" tests "fail" the employee tested with a certain relatively low amount of Pot or Coke in their system. Should industry keep the current standard for all employees or just those in certain occupations (i.e. Law enforcement, Nuclear plant workers or airline pilots) and allow a higher level of "residue" in other employees. For instance, the current industry standard for alcohol (via breathalyzer) is 30% lower than that allowed by most states for driving ... and probably rightly so.

My bottom line is that our current "War on Drugs" policy has failed miserably and will continue to fail as long as we refuse to acknowledge that it's based on a huge demand for the product by many citizens.

The Mexican Cartels wouldn't be planting pot in our National Forests if there was not a substantial profit involved. Legalization would remove the profit from most of the crooks. Or is the Mafia still heavily involved in bootlegging?

Some call drug use a "victimless crime." I disagree. I’ve seen the results of drug and alcohol abuse. But these are really illnesses not crimes.

Many folks will disagree, and I understand that, but if you look at the record, we have done a pathetic job in fighting these crimes while greatly enriching the nations and crime cartels involved in supplying the public with the "commodities" it so desperately wants. Decriminalizing may be starting us down a slippery slope morally, but I don't see that our efforts are appreciated by the majority of Americans and we pay a king's ransom for what we are doing poorly. If you have exhausted yourself paddling upstream and find you have made no progress, perhaps it is time you reverse course and manage your tour of the sites downstream. Remember what Einstein said about insanity.

When speaking of immorality of imprisonment, I'm not talking about actual drug dealers but the small users I've seen who ended up serving long sentences for "relatively" minor infractions. It doesn't make sense to me that we pay for their incarceration and lose what they could contribute to society at the same time. I’d rather see alternative sentencing for almost all non violent offenders. Again, my main reason for this stand is the billions that we spend housing these low level offenders. To me that money would be much better spent ensuring that they make FULL restitution to those they wronged and performing community service.

As for investing in tobacco, alcohol or gambling ... I'm out. I have no interest in profiting from such activities. In fact, I watch my investments fairly closely and I'm not shy in requesting that my brokers divest any such companies from my portfolio. Like Jerry Clower said; "The Bible don't say don't drink. I wish it did."
~~~~~
AskBob - - Bob Rankin - - The AskBob website was a busy place in 2012 -- over 240 new articles were published this year, and readers streamed in from all over the world. Since I'm a numbers guy, I scanned the logs to find the most popular articles, based on your views, clicks, and recommendations. Here are ten of the top articles for you to review. I hope you'll read each one and leave your own comments...

http://askbobrankin.com/askbobs_best_of_2012_part_one.html?awt_l=HZr.N&awt_m=JhM42KmF08P6SL

http://askbobrankin.com/askbobs_best_of_2012_part_two.html?awt_l=HZr.N&awt_m=JehLf9bCW8P6SL
~~~~~
The latest from Michael Yon, the foremost “milnews” blogger on the web.
~
Greetings,

Please see this important dispatch. [http://www.michaelyon-online.com/some-thoughts-about-kingdom-of-thailand.htm]

Happy New Year!

Very Respectfully,
Michael Yon
Your Writer,

Please remember that this website accepts no advertisement and is dependent on your support.

PS Please sign up for my Twitter.com updates at "Michael_Yon" [http://twitter.com/Michael_Yon] (not Michael Yon).

http://www.facebook.com/#/MichaelYonFanPage?ref=sgm
~
www.michaelyon-online.com
~
Http://www.michaelyon_online.com/index.php
~~~~~
If you would like to encourage US Troops overseas, but are not sure just how to begin, visit www.anysoldier.com for ideas.
~~~~~
Please remember ... America is not at war. The U.S. Military is at war. America is at the MALL.
~~~~~
DarynKagan.com - - Strangers Give Man Best Seat At Blake Shelton Concert
http://darynkagan.com/heroism/2012/he_120905_blake_shelton_concert.html
~~~~~

ACC: Policy priorities are a major part of the job for American Chemistry Council President and CEO Cal Dooley, a former congressman. "Our industry, like any industry, advocates for a balanced approach" to regulation, Dooley said in an interview. "We try to operate in a very bipartisan manner. We have to manage our issues in a manner that's consistent with a very contentious and polarized political environment," he added. The Fresno Bee (Calif.) (http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/12/22/3111315/ex-rep-dooley-sees-a-more-polarized.html)
~~~~~
http://www.shelfari.com
http://www.shelfari.com/bugsbleat/shelf
~~~~~
Photos on the front of this week’s “Bleat” include - -.Shots of opening presents on Christmas Eve. And, my “flu mask” when I was discharged from MRMC on the 26th.
~~~~~
For the latest issue of "Da Bleat.", go to http://www.bugsbleat.blogspot.com.
Our photos are posted at http://www.bugsbleatphotos.blogspot.com.
~~~~~
Feel free to share the "Bleat" with any and all. That's why we publish it.
~~~~~
BreakPoint - - Live to Serve
What Matters Most (Part 4)
By: Chuck Colson | Published: December 31, 2012

I'm John Stonestreet. Chuck Colson vowed to serve God til his last breath. Today, we re-publish Chuck's BreakPoint broadcast from New Year's Eve 2010 called "Live to Serve."

Ever since I was a boy, I was driven to serve my country. As a 10-year-old at the outbreak of World War II, I could only dream that one day I could put on a uniform and fight the enemy. But I did what I could. I organized a neighborhood drive to collect scrap metal for the war effort. Before I had reached 40 years of age, I had served as a captain in the Marines and as special counsel to President Nixon.

But beside my country, there was another cause I served wholeheartedly. That cause was me. Power, a great career, money, they were all mine. But then I lost them in the aftermath of Watergate.

And for that, I am profoundly grateful to God.

You see, with my world collapsing around me, I received Christ as Lord and Savior. And it was in the crucible of prison that God took my desire to serve myself and transformed it into something much greater. He gave me a desire to serve others—-particularly those who are abandoned by society, prisoners. I take no credit for this. None. Zero. I might as well take credit for the color of my eyes. It was God working His will in me, a great sinner.

I know all too well that since my release from prison more than 30 years ago, people have been watching me, to see if the old White House hatchet-man- turned-prison-evangelist would prove to be a phony.It puts a lot of pressure on me.

But I’ve got news for you. People are watching you, too! A weary world is watching with great skepticism all who profess Christ.

And that's one reason that we who “by grace have been saved through faith” must be about doing the “good works which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Read Ephesians 2:8-10). For it is through Christian acts of loving service—-especially to the more needy among us—-that the world will see the power and love of Christ, just as they see it in the prisons that we work in in our ministry.

History is full of examples. As plagues swept through ancient Rome, the wealthy pagans—even doctors—fled for their lives. But the Christians stayed behind to care for the sick and dying. That witness fueled the growth of the Church. Why was Mother Teresa beloved by religious and non-religious alike? Because she cared for the utterly destitute. It’s why, even in this, the most secular age ever, the Salvation Army is held in such high respect.

It’s that kind of selfless service that can bring even the most powerful man on earth to the verge of tears.

Let me explain.

In 2008 I received the Presidential Citizens Medal from President Bush. I did so on behalf of Prison Fellowship and the thousands of men and women, volunteers and staff, who make up this movement.

At the ceremony in the Oval Office, the President talked about what true redemption was. He told my family how he was with me when he met a prisoner—a convicted murderer—back in 1997 at our InnerChange Freedom Initiative in Texas. Then, five years later, the President received that very same man, Robert Sutton, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House. I had brought him there with two other IFI graduates. Sutton told the President how the love of Christ, displayed through caring Christian volunteers, had transformed him. And at that point the President embraced him.

As the President told that story, tears came to his eyes, and tears to mine as well. That, my friends, is why we live to serve others. So the world may know that Christ is Lord.

Today's BreakPoint Offer

Please give a generous donation today to help Prison Fellowship and BreakPoint continue strong in the new year. Donate online or call 1-877-322-5527. Thank you!

For Further Reading and Information

“Human Dignity: What Matters Most, Part 1,” BreakPoint Commentary, 26 December 2008.

“Marriage and Family: What Matters Most, Part 2,” BreakPoint Commentary, 29 December 2008.

“Pray for the Church: What Matters Most, Part 3,” BreakPoint Commentary, 30 December 2008.

[http://www.breakpoint.org/bpcommentaries]

Copyright © 2012 Prison Fellowship. All Rights Reserved

~~~~~
Residents of Columbia County, Arkansas are represented in Congress by:
~

Senator John Boozman (R_ AR)
1 Russell Courtyard
Washington DC, 20510
Phone: 202-224-4843
http://boozman.senate.gov/
~
Senator Mark Pryor (D_ AR)
Phone 202_224_2353
FAX 202_228_0908
http://pryor.senate.gov/
~
Representative Tom Cotton (D _ 04)
Phone
FAX
http://www.cnn.com/2012/12/03/politics/freshman-office-search/index.html
Other states congresspersons can be found at: [http://www.visi.com/juan/congress/]
~~~~~
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:

"Whoever is out of patience is out of possession of his soul." - Francis Bacon

"Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never - in nothing, great or small, large or petty - never give in, except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy. " - Winston Churchill

"You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club."- Jack London

"I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round, as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys." - Charles Dickens

"If you lose the power to laugh, you lose the power to think." - Clarence Darrow

"My love is as a fever, longing still." - William Shakespeare

"I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see." - John Burroughs

"Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other." - Abraham Lincoln

"Have the courage to act instead of react." - Earlene Larson Jenks

"Never tell your resolution beforehand, or it's twice as onerous a duty." - John Selden
~~~~~
Breaking Christian News

150 Girls Rescued from Slavery - - Colette Bercu (Dec 23, 2012) - - "The results are significantly better than what we had expected for 2011. Needless to say, we are thrilled about this. Even if just one girl had been rescued and spared the trauma of being a sex slave the stations would have been a great victory." -Colette Bercu, CEO Free for Life
[http://www.breakingchristiannews.com/articles/display_art.html?ID=10877]

The Cross in Belfast - - Michael Ireland (Dec 26, 2012) - - "The purpose of the Cross Walk is to lift the Cross in and above the Centre of Belfast; to lift it above politics and political institutions; to lift it above violence and the threat of violence; to cause people to focus on the cross as a symbol of peace and reconciliation; to call for an end to the violence and the threat on violence on our streets." -Pastor Jack McKee
[http://www.breakingchristiannews.com/articles/display_art.html?ID=10891]

editor@breakingchristiannews.com

><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><>

GCF: New Year's Dinner

If this was forwarded to you, please consider your own subscription to Good Clean Fun. It's free! Just send an email to: good-clean-fun-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
----------------------------------------------------

As in many homes on New Year's Day, my wife and I faced the annual conflict of which was more important - the football games on television, or the dinner itself. To keep peace, I ate dinner with the rest of the family, and even lingered for some pleasant after-dinner conversation before retiring to the family room to turn on the game.

Several minutes later, my wife came downstairs and graciously even bought a cold drink for me. She smiled, kissed me on the cheek and asked what the score was. I told her it was the end of the third quarter and that the score was still nothing to nothing.

"See?" she said, continuing to smile, "You didn't miss a thing."
_ _____________________________________ _
GCF: Santa's Reindeer

According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, while both male and female reindeer grow antlers in the summer each year (which are the only members of the deer family, Cervidae, to have females do so). Male reindeer drop their antlers at the beginning of winter, usually late November to mid-December.

Female reindeer retain their antlers till after they give birth in the spring.

Therefore, according to every historical rendition depicting Santa's reindeer, every single one of them, from Rudolf to Blitzen........had to be a female.

We should have known this when they were able to find their way.
_ _______________________________ _
GCF: Holiday Eating Tips

I hate aspects of this time of year. Not for its crass commercialism and forced frivolity, but because it's the season when the food police come out with their wagging fingers and annual tips on how to get through the holidays without gaining 10 pounds.

1. About those carrot sticks. Avoid them. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Christmas spirit. In fact if you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they're serving rum balls.

2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. Like fine single-malt scotch, it's rare. In fact, it's even rarer than single-malt scotch. You can't find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It's not as if you're going to turn into an eggnogaholic or something. It's a treat. Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have two. It's later then you think. It's Christmas!

3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That's the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat.

4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're made with skim milk or whole milk. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.

5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a Christmas party is to eat other peoples food for free. Lots of it. Hello? Remember college?

6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Years, You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you'll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.

7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near them, and don't budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. They're like a beautiful pair of shoes. You can't leave them behind. You're not going to see them again.

8. Same for pies. Apple. Pumpkin. Mincemeat. Have a slice of each. Or, if you don't like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labor Day?

9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it's loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean have some standards, mate.

10. And one final tip: If you don't feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven't been paying attention. Reread tips. Start over. But hurry! Cookieless January is just around the corner.
_ _______________________________ _
GCF: Fruitcake Recipe #2

(In case you read yesterday's post and want to make another fruitcake)

Items Needed:
4 Oz. Fruit Bits
4 Oz Dried Raisins
1 Railroad Tie
Wood Saw
Large Rubber Mallet
Safety Goggles

WEAR YOUR SAFETY GOGGLES. (Children: Get help from an adult!)

1. Cut a one-foot section from the middle of your railroad tie. The resulting block of wood should be the size and shape of a loaf of bread.

2. Take the fruit bits and raisins (five-year-old dried raisins are preferred) and pound them into the block with your rubber mallet. Spread the colors around, or you might wind up with an ugly fruitcake. Don't be afraid to throw some elbow grease into that mallet! Good fruit bits and dried raisins should be much harder than the railroad tie, so you can't break anything.

3. For best result, you should pretreat the fruit bits by setting them on top of your garage for a year (or by microwaving them on HIGH for 30 minutes).
4. Finally, cover it tightly in plastic wrap, and decorative paper with a lovely bow on top and give your loved ones the timeless and enduring gift of fruitcake!

WHO EVER EATS FRUITCAKE ANYWAY?

(Please don't send me email about this ... my wife loves fruitcake. But then, she's fond of me, too. Hmmmm.......)
_ _______________________________ _
GCF: Fruitcake Recipe #1

1. Go to the crafts store.

2. Purchase one or more bags of dried fruit, some plaster of paris, brown paint and a disposable cake pan.

3. Return home.

4. Unwrap the dried fruit, carefully folding the wrapper inside-out and placing it at the bottom of your trash can. Better yet, send it through your personal paper shredder and use it for insulation in the attic.

5. Mix the plaster of paris with water and pour into the disposable cake pan. Place dried fruit on top, gently pushing in so it looks "baked" in the "batter." Let dry.

6. Take your "fruitcake" out of the disposable cake pan.

7. Cover the top, bottom and sides with brown paint, avoiding the fruit.

8. Wrap your "fruitcake" in festive, colored saran wrap and finish with a bow. I like using red wrap because it gives a warm glow to the "fruitcake."

9. Give your "fruitcake" to someone you want to impress. When they lift it, they'll say, "Wow! You must have made a really rich fruitcake!" Don't forget to smile and say, "Oh, its Paris-style fruitcake."

10. Don't worry about someone trying to eat your fruitcake. Nobody actually eats fruitcake ... that's just a rumor. Just so you know, the dried fruit won't go "bad" because it has the same preservatives as Twinkies, which have a shelf-life of about 237 years.
_ _______________________________ _
GCF: Airport Mistletoe

It was the beginning of December. The trip had gone reasonably well, and he was ready to go home. The airport on the other hand had turned a tacky red and green with loudspeakers blared annoying elevator renditions of cherished Christmas carols.

Being someone who took Christmas very seriously, and being slightly tired, he was not in a particularly good mood.

Going to check in his luggage, he saw hanging mistletoe. Not real mistletoe, but very cheap plastic with red paint on some of the rounder parts and green paint on some of the flatter and "pointier" parts, that could be taken for mistletoe only in a very Picasso sort of way.

With a considerable degree of irritation and nowhere else to vent it, he said to the lady attendant, "Even if I were not married, I would not want to kiss you under such a ghastly mockery of mistletoe."

"Sir, look more closely at where the mistletoe is."

(pause)

"Ok, I see that it's above the luggage scale, which is the place you'd have to step forward for a kiss."

"That's not why it's there."

(pause)

"Ok, I give up. Why is it there?"

"It's there so you can kiss your luggage goodbye."
_ _______________________________ _
(((\ \>|_/ )___________________( \_||_/ )___________________( \_||_/ )___________________( \_||_/ )___________________( \_||_/ )___________________( \_||_/ )___________________( \_||_/ )___________________( \_|<> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><>
New Years Resolutions You Can Keep

Are you sick of making the same resolutions year after year that you never keep? Why not promise to do something you can ACTUALLY accomplish?

Here are some resolutions that you can use as a starting point:

~ Gain weight. At least 30 pounds.
~ Stop exercising. Waste of time.
~ Read less. Makes you think.
~ Watch more TV. I've been missing some good stuff.
~ Procrastinate more. Starting tomorrow.
~ Spend more time at work, surfing the web.
~ Take a vacation to someplace important, like to see the world's largest ball of twine.
~ Don't jump off a cliff just because everyone else did.
~ Stop bringing lunch from home--eat out more.
~ Don't have eight children at once.
~ Get in a whole NEW rut!
~ Start being superstitious.
~ Personal goal: Don't bring back disco.
~ Speak in a monotone voice and only use monosyllabic words.
~ Only wear jeans that are 2 sizes too small and use a chain or rope for a belt.
~ Spend my summer vacation in cyberspace.
~ Create loose ends.
~ Get more toys.
~ Get further in debt.
~ Don't believe politicians.
~ Break at least one traffic law.
~ Don't drive a motorized vehicle across thin ice.
~ Don't swim with piranhas or sharks.
~ Spread out priorities beyond the ability to keep track of them.
~ Wait for opportunity to knock.
~ Focus on the faults of others.
~ Mope about faults.
~ Never make New Year's resolutions again.

Received from Mikey's Funnies.

(_:][:_)

The "BE" Attitudes

Be understanding to your enemies.

Be loyal to your friends.

Be strong enough to face the world each day.

Be weak enough to know you cannot do everything alone.

Be generous to those who need your help.

Be frugal with that you need yourself.

Be wise enough to know that you do not know everything.

Be foolish enough to believe in miracles.

Be willing to share your joys.

Be willing to share the sorrows of others.

Be a leader when you see a path others have missed.

Be a follower when you are shrouded by the mists of uncertainty.

Be first to congratulate an opponent who succeeds.

Be last to criticize a colleague who fails.

Be sure where your next step will fall, so that you will not tumble.

Be sure of your final destination, in case you are going the wrong way.

Be loving to those who love you.

Be loving to those who do not love you; they may change.

Above all, be yourself.

Received from Joke du Jour.

(_:][:_)

Suspicious

Sometimes women are overly suspicious of their husbands.

When Adam stayed out very late for a few nights, Eve became upset. "You're running around with other women," she charged.

"You're being unreasonable," Adam responded. "You're the only woman on earth." The quarrel continued until Adam fell asleep, only to be awakened by someone poking him in the chest.

It was Eve. "What do you think you're doing?" Adam demanded.

"Counting your ribs," said Eve.

Received from Scott Neville.

(_:][:_)

Best Uses for Fruitcake

1. Bury it in the back yard for future archaeologists to discover.

2. Give it to your child for a science project.

3. Hang on to it to find out if there REALLY is more than one fruitcake that's making its rounds every year!

4. Use it to hold up a broken table or chair leg.

5. Mash several of them down and use for mortar when building a log cabin.

6. Use it as an exercise stepping block for step aerobics.

7. Donate to the Road Kill Cafe for a wonderful dessert.

8. Use them to pave freeways. Just place them on the road and run a steamroller over them.

9. Use them as fillers to repair the river levees. They last indefinitely and are so dense, water can never penetrate them.

10. Last and probably least - try eating it. That's one way to get rid of it!

Received from Joke du Jour.

(_:][:_)

Christmas One Liners

/* Merry Christmas! */

Q. What do you get if you cross mistletoe and a duck?
A. A Christmas Quacker.

Q. What do call Santa when he stops moving?
A. Santa Pause!

Q. Where does a snowman keep his money?
A. In a snow bank.

Q. Why do mummies like Christmas so much?
A. Because of all the wrapping!

Q. What goes in a chimney red and comes out of it black?
A. Santa Claus.

Q. What's white and red and goes up and down and up and
down?
A. Santa Claus in an elevator!

Q. How do you scare a snowman?
A. You get a hairdryer!

Q. What do they sing under the ocean during the winter?
A. Christmas Corals!

Q. How much did Santa pay for his sleigh?
A. Nothing, it was on the house!

Q. What is invisible and smells like milk and cookies?
A. Santa's burps!

Q. What do snowmen do on Christmas?
A. Play with the snow angels.

Q. Who says "Oh, Oh, Oh!"?
A. Santa walking backwards!

Q. What nationality is Santa Claus?
A. North Polish.

Q. How did the sheep say Merry Christmas?
A. "Fleece Avoided."

Q. What do you call a Santa that sleeps all the time?
A. Santa snores!

Q. Why was Santa's helper depressed?
A. He had low ELF-esteem.

Q. What's a good holiday tip?
A. Never catch snowflakes with your tongue until all the
birds have gone south for the winter.

Q. What Christmas carol is a favorite of parents?
A. Silent Night.

Q. What do you call a snowman in the summer?
A. A puddle!

Q. What do snowmen eat for breakfast?
A. Frosted Flakes.

Q. Why does Santa have three gardens ?
A. So he can go HOE HOE HOE.

Q. Why did Sponge Bob have a great Christmas?
A. Because he kissed a Krabby Patty.

Q. What does Santa clean his sleigh with?
A. Comet.

Q. What do you get when you deep fry Santa Claus?
A. Crisp Kringle.

Q. What do you get when you cross a snowman and a vampire?
A. Frostbite.

Received from Shawnda Walker-Price.

(_:][:_)

Top Things Overheard on the Wise Men's Journey to Bethlehem

- "OK, we got gold. We got the frankincense. We got the myrrh. Think we should get something more practical, like diapers, maybe?"

- "I thought this was SUPPOSED to be a WEEKEND road trip.
Boy, is my wife ever gonna be ticked when I get home."

- "All this gazing at a star while riding a camel is making me woozy."

- "I still say it wouldn't hurt to drop by Balthazar's place for another visit on the way back. That was SOME buffet!"

- "16 hours a day on a camel. Are you sure this beats walking?"

- "Why should I always have to be in the rear? It's somebody else's turn to get sand in his face."

- "You guys have any idea how to treat saddle sores?"

- "Man, I'm starting to get a rush from this frankincense!"

- "You guys ever eat camel meat? I hear it tastes like chicken."

- "You know, I used to go to school with a girl name Beth Lehem."

- "What kind of name is Balthazar anyhow? Phoenician?"

- "Hey, do you either of you know why 'MYRRH' is spelled with a 'Y' instead of a 'U'?"

- "Okay, who forgot to give his camel a bath before we left?"

- "Whaddya mean we'll be part of history? A year from now, nobody will have a clue why we did this."

And the top thing overheard on the Wise Men's Journey to Bethlehem:

- "I can't wait to see and bow down before the Messiah who has long been foretold!"

Received from Laugh & Lift.

(_:][:_)

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Madeleine Begun Kane Latest Column - -

Happy New Year Limerick
By Madeleine Begun Kane

A fellow was making a list
Of items he’d try to resist
In the upcoming year.
But he lost it, I fear:
Both the list and his will to desist.

© Madeleine Begun Kane. All Rights Reserved.
http://www.madkane.com/
><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><>
"We have nothing to fear but fear itself." __ Franklin D. Roosevelt
"There is not enough darkness in the world to put out the light of one candle."
Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity. _ _ George Carlin
"Stop telling God how big your storm is. Instead, tell the storm how big your God is!" _ _ Queen E. Watson
“A political class of Republicans and Democrats that look after themselves, not the Nation. A media hostile to the very precepts of this nation. A generation of Americans who see morals as vices, and are ignorant of America's Actual History.”
"The things that will destroy America are prosperity-at-any-price, peace-at-any-price, safety-first instead of duty-first, the love of soft living, and the get-rich-quick theory of life." - - Theodore Roosevelt
><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><>
Emergency Phone Number 911
(Fire, Police, Ambulance, Sheriff, etc. )
Central Dispatch 234_5655
(Non _ Emergency Number)
Direct Numbers
Ambulance _ 234_7371 (24 Hour)
Jail _ 234_5331 (24 Hour)
Poison Control _ 800_222_1222 (24 Hour)
http://www. aapcc. org/
><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><>
Interested in getting in touch with the Banner_News through e_mail? editor@bannernews.net For the editor, news@bannernews.net For news and sports items, Coming Events, Diary, Church News, school and civic events. [http://www.bannernews.net/]
><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><>
"Laugh whenever you can and cry if you need to." __ "Bug"
"I read the end of the book. We win!" __ "Bug"
"We may not be able to cure the world, but we don't have to make it sicker." __ "Bug"
"There just ain't enough fingers for all the holes in the dike." _ _ "Bug"
"It's no big deal doing what God tells you to do. A big deal would be NOT doing what God tells you to do. Just ask Jonah." _ _ Paul Troquille
“Nam et ipsa scientia potestas est.” Knowledge is power. _ Francis Bacon
"The problem is here and now. The time for talk is past. The time for action is now."
Comments on the first Earth Day _ James F. McClellan via John "Fuzzy" Thurman
~~~~~
Hope you enjoy the newsletter.
Again, thanks to all our contributors this week.
"Remember Pearl Harbor? Remember 9/11!" __"Bug"
God bless and GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!
God is Good and Faithful CU 73 IC JFM CSP NREMT_I KC5HII

P. S. If you'd like to be added to the distribution, just drop us E_mail at kc5hii@suddenlink.net
. We offer "Da Bleat" as text, a "Blog" and as a newsletter with pictures in Word and PDF format. The latest issue is usually updated sometime Saturday. For the latest issue, go to http://www.bugsbleat.blogspot.com. We also have a site [http://bugsbleatphotos.blogspot.com/] where we post photos that I like.
We appreciate your encouragement. We also appreciate your communication when you desire to be taken off our mail list. If you are on this mail list by mistake or do not wish to receive "Da Bleat," please reply back and tell us to discontinue service to you. This email was scanned by Norton AntiVirus 2012 before it was sent.
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James F. McClellan
Editor/Publisher "Bug's Bleat"
NREMT_I, CSP, KC5HII
418 North Jefferson Street
Magnolia, Arkansas 71753
(Phone) 870_234_7028
KC5HII@Suddenlink.net

=================
"The problem is here and now. The time for talk is past. The time for action is now."
Comments on the first Earth Day _ James F. McClellan via "Fuzzy" Thurman
================================================

Remember McClellan's Rules

1. Rejoice in that this is the will of the Lord concerning you.
If that doesn't seem to be working, remember;
2. All things work together for the good of them who love the Lord.
If that doesn't seem to be working, remember;
3. All things are subject to change.
And finally;
4. Don't let the son of a guns get you down!
____________________________________________________

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