Friday, March 30, 2012

Blind And Still Going Nuts

You surely have noticed when a person was born blind, they most often have a much keener sense in hearing, smell and touch.
I think of Stevie Wonder, Andrea Bocelli, Ronnie Millsap and Ray Charles, all sight impaired. 
Isn’t it great how God shows his care for you. If we should loose one of our senses, He will compensate by adding extra awareness to all our remaining senses.
Of all the things I’ve ever lost, I miss my mind the most. Thank God he made it all up in taste. Everything tastes good to me! I’m blessed to get around pretty good or else I’d be 300 pounds.
Our aging “Rag Muffin”, Sir Sebastien, Mr “S”, the 18 year old shitzu, Is practically blind; also almost deaf. But boy can he smell.

I laid the empty pizza box next to the wood stove to be burned. The next thing I heard was this battle of grunts, scratches, snorts and yelps.

With the few teeth he’s got left he tore into the box as if his life depended on it.

“Where is that pizza?” he snorted as he drooled. “Got to be in here! Gimme, gimme, NOW!”
We turned the light on. More shreds of the box! Finally, with the box flipped over, tongue hanging, breathing hard, he had to lay down exhausted, panting.

All this durn work and not a calorie to savor. “Kiss my butt,” he said, as he wondered off to get him a nap. 


Sunday, March 25, 2012

Here Today And Gone Tomorrow

With Easter drawing near, I'm pondering, as I so often do, the purpose of life. Not that I'm depressed, or disappointed with life, but searching to understand the truth and its value.

I know the Truth and that the Truth has set me free. I know my value. Not the value of my assets, but the value of my life in God's kingdom.

So what is my purpose in life? As a Christian my purpose is to express to my fellow man the value God has entrusted to me. So how do I do that? Certainly not by ranting and raving, slamming fists and making arrogant boasts, but by showing, in my walk, the truth that set me free.

What is truth? Truth are not ethics. Ethics differ widely from a witchdoctor's in the jungle of Brazil to the stockbroker's in New York. Ethics are man made. They are constantly shifting. Situational. They follow contrived notions to suit the inherently wicked heart of man. Truth, however, is immutable. Truth, as revealed in the Word of God is constant. Truth exposes the sinful nature of man. It is ". . . living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." Hebrews 4:12.

So, how am I to walk in the truth that set me free? To emulate God. You say that is impossible. You are correct. I, on my own efforts can not achieve such. However, through being redeemed by Jesus, the son of God and His sacrifice on the cross, my sins have been forgiven, my sinful nature reconciled to God. I now can freely walk in His Light, His Spirit, in love for God and fellow man.

What is the fruit of the Spirit? The walk in truth? It is ". . . love, joy, peace, patients, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law." (or man made ethics.) Galatians 5:22-23.

Easter is not a holiday, such as bunnies and colored eggs. It is a celebration of Victory over death, hell and the grave. I didn't participate. Jesus did it all for us. The payment for our sins on the cruel cross, and the proof of His Majesty by raising from the dead, was the ultimate expression of God's love for us. For he created us with an everlasting soul. It is not God's wish that any of us should perish, but have eternal life with Him.

Why did I title this post "Here today and gone tomorrow"? I want you also to ponder. You are here today, where will you be tomorrow? You say, "Right here in front of this computer, I hope." You hope. What if tomorrow never comes? Where will you be then? Will you be tending the fires of Hell? Or will you depend on your ethics and become food for the worms?

Look at the picture below. We left our crabapple tree just before full bloom, expecting to enjoy it upon our return home. We were gone no more than 48 hours. It bloomed yesterday. Today the blooms are gone.


Saturday, March 24, 2012

Not All Plumbing Is Indoors

Carol and I have seen a variety of privies. Some just a circular bamboo fence. Some out of mud, or tin, or sod, or blocks, or curtains.

Most privies have no roof. You wouldn't want to linger anyway.

The next picture shows a typical setup. Iquitos, Peru.

Above are two public restrooms. Sheets of plastic and other stuff for privacy. The privies span a small stream. Since there is never any toilet paper in use, the evidence is quickly absorbed by the water's flow.

Here you see the same stream and the surrounding neighborhood. Some of the dwellings up the road have their own outhouses from which a 4inch plastic pipe slides the sewage into the same creek.

Kids do not play in the water, but chickens do a lot of scratching around.
You see that the government did install some poles, but electricity is very sporadic and no one can afford it anyway.

Since there are no cars or even bicycles in use, I assume the lady here is selling fish that came out of the same stream a bit downriver.

I have spoken to many Vietnam veterans, they describe similar scenarios in rural areas of that country.

I recently heard there are 50,000,000 poor people in our country, about 16 out of a 100. . . . GIVE ME A BREAK! Most folks don't know what poor is.


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Flying High

I mean literally "Flying high". Carol and I have flown to various countries.

Once flying over the South American Andes, in the dead of night, I looked out the window and actually saw a red light blinking aways below the wings of our plane. The Andes are over 15,000 feet tall, and we were flying at 39,000 feet. I quickly deduced it wasn't a light on top of a mountain. Then of course I could have had one of those midnight hallucinations. I finally rested my weary brain by telling myself, "We just passed another airplane."

We flew over the Sahara Desert. Keeping track of the plane's monitor, I knew for sure I was over the desert when I took this picture.

A desert is dry. I know the Sahara doesn't have any lakes. But where do those reflections come from?

We flew over the Amazon.

From the picture you can tell it doesn't know where it wants to flow. This shot is way upstream. Many tributaries that size join in. You can imagine how big the river is 2,000 miles further downstream.

We flew over the pacific. The Boeing 747-400 flew at 40,000 feet. Below is a shot of the sun reflecting off the water.

Again over the pacific, this scene was a bit of a puzzle. Among the white clouds are also black clouds. Where did they come from? Note! The black clouds are actually shadows of the white clouds on the water.

Sometimes we fly on itty-bitty planes. Out of Caracas to Port Aiacucho (spell?),Venezuela, our team sent our luggage ahead on a truck because it wouldn't fit onto the aircraft. After our flight, we waited five days before our bags arrived. No use getting bent out of shape, at least the truck wasn't held-up and robbed.

I can assure you, the intimacy of riding on a small plane is worth the crunch. I got to sit with my feet in the cockpit of the plane.

That aircraft was fully equipped with all the newest emergency gadgets. You bet we all felt real safe seeing the flashlight hanging behind the pilot.

It plainly stated: EMERGENCY FLASHLIGHT.  Is't it a wonderful life?


Sunday, March 18, 2012

That's My Boy!

Beisser's wisdom trade mark
At a recent family gathering, my daughter-in-law told a story about the investigating prowess of her husband.

Apparently, my son had been observing bees crawling in and out of the attic of his house through an opening between the brick facade and the soffit.

I can see clearly how the story developed.

While sleeping by his wife in their bed one night, my son became aware of a strange buzzing. It wasn't the noise of a mouse in the attic. It wasn't the heat pump running. It wasn't the toilet being stuck or a fan somewhere in the house.

Having eliminated all scenarios, he came to the conclusion that it is an active bee's hive, in the attic, directly over their bed.

When his wife awoke by the strange jostling of the mattress, she turned to see in the dim light where the disturbance originated.

There, before her blurred eyes, next to her head, were a pair of hairy bare legs, standing on the bed.

"What in the world," she gasped, as her eyes travelled up, past the bony knees, past the jockey shorts, past the ample girth, all the way to under her husbands chin. There he stood, engrossed.

Quickly he whispered to his wife,  "hush-up."

He stood, arms stretched upward, his stethoscope stuck in the ears, holding the end against the ceiling, listening, to the buzz of the swarm in the attic.

A picture forever, no doubt, in my daughter-in-law's mind.

As my Sherlock Holmes boy moved the stethoscope from spot to-spot to-spot around the ceiling, he determined the center of the hive in the attic, above the sheetrock, among the insulation.

Now, facts accumulated, he formulated his solution.

Right or wrong, the Beisser men alway have a solution. Dumb, maybe. . . Odd, maybe. . . Never been done this way before, maybe. . . . A solution nonetheless.

It is now three o'clock in the morning. 'My boy' is going to see this adventure through to the end. He goes to the basement to gather the weapons for the late night battle.

With a thin drill bit, he drills through the sheetrock ceiling, above the bed, at the predetermined center of the bustling hive. He then removes the thin 10-W-40 nozzle from its can and inserts into the hornet bomb canister. With calculated precision he sticks the nozzle through the drilled hole and lets her rip. (I mean the hornet spray!)

An instant roaring buzz in the attic conveyed a direct hit with the hornet spray.

As the critters upstairs scattered and croaked, the buzz simmered down. He turns the bedroom light off, and lays back down to sleep.

Then, a sigh of relieve, a job well done, the blissful quiet returns to the night, . . . oops, . . . a drip.

Drip . . . drip . . . drip . . . the bug-bomb-juice is dripping from the hole in the ceiling, unto the pillow, between the sleeping beauties below.


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Leftovers, Yum Yum

I'm one who treats leftovers the same as a steak dinner. I don't want to bore you, but I remember a time when picking up the crumbs on the table, with spittle stuck to my finger, and eating them.

It pains me to see people go through an all-you-can-eat line, fill up the plate to the hilt, then leave two-thirds to be thrown out. All I want to say to them, "You should have to live in Darfur for a year."

To come back to a more pleasing story, I want to show you a new creation I call "Chicken Cakes".

Recently, Carol and I enjoyed a rotisserie chicken from Walmart. We couldn't eat it all, most of the breast was left over.

I chopped the chicken breast to about the size of crab meat.

The left over mash potatoes were added as filler.

In the fridge was part of an onion which I chopped, added an egg to hold it all together.

Put everything into a bowl, add salt and pepper. (I also added marjoram, my favored spice). Stir it all up, make into patties, and fry'm.

Sure looks like crab cakes to me!


Sunday, March 11, 2012

Snubbed By A Mouse.

Several days ago, I saw something move along the baseboard in the laundry room. A chubby long mouse! I went to the basement and got the trap. The same trap my younger grandsons play with by setting it, then tripping the thing with a pencil. Much to their delight.

I've been catching mice with peanut butter for many years. It is easy to put on the trap and the critters love it. . . . I thought.

I set the baited trap, placed it on a napkin, and laid it under the antique sewing machine, away from our adventurous pooch, for I know he would investigate and wind up with a mousetrap hanging from his mustache.

The first day the napkin had mysteriously shifted, but the trap still in tact.
. . . The second day a deliberate, nicely placed mouse bomb looked at me from the white napkin. It spoke volumes, saying, "Hey dude, I don't dine on smeared peanut butter goo. I'm past that stage. You know exactly what I like . . . cheese."

Well, I felt a bit indignant that the critter pooped on the serving tray of my initial offer. I vowed to not offend the pompous intruder again.

A chunk of parmesan cheese, highly pungent, sent a new signal to the snob mouse.

One the third day, there he was, having enjoyed the cheese so much that he rolled over, with the trap on top of him, wearing the whole thing like a new necklace.

After a ceremonial flush he went to join Bin Laden.

I didn't take a picture to show you, thought my words are graphic enough.

(The mouse turned out to be a vole. A short-taild rodent that follows moles and eats the root veggies in the garden,)


Friday, March 9, 2012

Squirrels, I got your number!

Quite a while back I bragged about out-smarting the neighborhood squirrels. Actually the feeder I built does work. The little buggers can't reach to top of the PVC pipe to pull themselves up. A good thing.

"Hello," the squirrel hollered to his friends. "A new scoop of bird seeds is showing!"

"Problem is guys, I can't reach the top." He admitted. So, he slid down the skinny pole to sit on the deck railing.
He sat there, pretending to enjoy the scenery, all the while clucking out explicits to the birds who came to partake.

First the cardinal.

Then the woodpecker. I tell you in the pecking order of dominance of the bird world, nobody messes with the peckerwood, as some folks call them. Not even the bluejay dares to go near him. I guess, one whop of that powerful beak could kill any bird.

Very timidly, the squirrel tried his luck one more time. Again he wound up on the deck floor eating the crumbs scattered from above.

Reminds me of the Rich man and Lazarus in the bible. Lazarus wound up eating the crumbs that fell from the rich man's table, as the dogs licked his sores. . . . I guess the squirrel will wind up in heaven as well, if he cleans up his language.