Saturday, September 29, 2007

Celtic Woman...they have returned!

So what this is from last year's album; it's another concert DVD! I can tell you one thing:

I am so excited. ^_^


Friday, September 28, 2007


My post title conveys my feeling right now; I can't even find a suitable title!

Tonight my Tae Kwon Do dojo held a belt test. Since I'm so new I didn't participate, but was able, at the suggestion of my instructor, to at least be a spectator, and spent a very happy night in doing so. (Although you might not of guessed it, I had a fantastic time.)

Besides the belt testing itself (the form repetitions, moves, and board-breaking) there was a performance by what they call the Demo Team. You wouldn't believe it unless you saw them.... I think my mouth was held open for the entire time they performed. Think of a spectacular martial arts movie, and this is what it was like. Sparring, more board breaking, jumps, nun chuk twirling, and everything in between. It's really hard to describe...but basically you might call it a dance, but with a martial arts and combat edge. They played appropriate music (I smiled when I heard them play Celtic music; as I listened more, it turned out to be from Braveheart, but this rendition was better than ever; it was rocked up near the end. ;-P)

My instructor even had a solo part. It was amazing; I really don't use the word, but for lack of a better one, I'll say it was cooooool. 8-D I was completely amazed, mesmerized...I would never have expected to see something like this in anything other than the movies. At one point the head master present threw a curve ball at him. He was about to jump over the backs of five people curled up, and then just before landing break a board the master was holding. But instead of this, the master decided that seven people would be better, and instead of having to break only one board, three stacked together was the name of the game. Laughing commenced at this, and my instructor protested, "This wasn't what I was supposed to do!" But, effortlessly as it would seem, he sailed over all seven people and cracked the boards like Styrofoam! Not that I wasn't before, but I think I'm going to listen to every little thing he has to say in our lessons from now on. :-)

I was able to view this with some of my classmates for most of the time (after the first part of the demo I knelt down and said, "Did I really just see them do that?"), and also got in the congratulatory remarks that I felt were warranted before leaving. A couple of those on the demo team I was sure I wouldn't want to mess with; perhaps it would be wise to create friends and allies among them? ;-P

All in all, this was an excellent reminder that Tae Kwon Do is not just a class to go to three times a week; it can be much, much more than that. And although I'm still new, tonight I was reminded, more than ever, of a certain fact.

I want to be a part of this!


A Note and Explanation about Blog Tags

To my readers:

It seems of late that there has been an issue with my blog labels (or tags). I have already explained myself fully there, and having done so, I have little else to say except the following:

As tags mean little to me as both a reader and a writer, I don't think any major emphasis should be placed upon them. Also, I am in the habit of using tag topics broader than the subject of the post (e.g., a post about insect biology might have the tags "Arthropods" and/or "Arachnids"), so this explains my intetion for the post in question.

To make a long story short, ignore my tags. They really mean nothing, people. Their existence is practical only, and that is all. Hopefully this will clear up any unfortunate confusion that has arisen.



Paleo's Picks

Internet cut in Myanmar, blogger presses on

U.S. says major al Qaeda in Iraq leader killed

Police name 'person of interest' in sex tape case

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Accelerated Distance Learning Seminar

So, here we go!

First, a little bit about this thing called "Accelerated Distance Learning"--it's a method used mainly by Christian home-schoolers to gain their college degrees quickly, effectively, and cost-efficiently. This seminar was run by Global Learning Strategies, a company created by the author of the book
Accelerated Distance Learning, Brad Voeller. Now Mr. Voeller himself earned his degree in (no lie) less than six months for around $5,000, all because he was willing to think outside the box and approach higher education with a different perspective.

So as not to rant for hours and not to bore anyone I won't discuss much about all of this. I'll let you visit the site, here
, to learn more. In a nutshell, college credit is learned mainly through a process called credit-by-examination, correspondence and online courses, portfolio assessment, etc. Seriously, whether or not you're already going to college, you need to check this out.

Friday night (the 21st) we went to the beginning of the seminar; the event lasted from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM. First, we heard Norm Wakefield (a pastor) preach a message about family ties (specifically child-parent relationships) for most of that time, then a Ryan Yamane, of Global Learning Strategies (GLS) and their college counseling/advising service College Plus! came up to give a brief overview of the next day's topics.

To earn one's degree in less than two years (which is the usual amount of time it takes; it appears Mr. Voeller was an unusually astute student!), GLS advocates accelerated learning and study methods, namely, speed reading, and a memorization course so that you can memorize serious information for the tests (which is normally how ADL students gain the most of their credits).

At the end of the night I found myself browsing the book tables, and seeing the package product called College in a Box (it basically contains all the things Mr. Voeller used to earn his degree; the speed reading and memorization courses, a testing guide, and a writing course; check it out here), which I had just purchased very, very recently on their website for $249.95, I noticed that they were selling it at $199.95. I remarked this to Mr. Yamane after being meeting him (at this point he was manning the table), and without missing a beat, he told me to come back tommorrow and get $50 worth of material, and that I could have it, for free. Now this was customer service! 8-) Very pleased with that outcome, we went home, ready to return the next day.

The next day, Saturday (the 22nd), we heard both Ryan Yamane and Norm Wakefield speak for a combined period of six hours (including breaks an a 75-minute lunch), from 9:00 AM-3:00 PM. The topics covered I have basically already mentioned, but one of the highlights was when Ryan taught as all how to use only one of the many memorization techniques found in the course they advocated, called the "peg" or "pegging" method. Well, as it turns out, we were taught how to memorize a list of ten items; a grocery list. And guess what? I still have it memorized. In order. And we didn't even spend a half-hour on it, I'd venture; no more than I should think.

Another interesting thing was that the next day he remembered my name (Did he "peg" me?), and actually referred to me when inquiring if the back row could hear him during his discussion. That was pretty fun, actually. :-D

At another point, during a break, I interestingly ended up answering some questions people had about some of the products at the book table; apparently I'd gotten a head start on the material. 8-) After three o'clock we left, after I spent only $57.95 on college supplies due to my discount. Can't wait for it to arrive in the mail! Oh yeah. 8-D

So yesterday I started the speed reading course (Howard Stephen Berg's Maximum Speed Reading) and look forward to taking the memorization course. (By the way, as a note of interest Mr. Berg is in the Guinness World Book of Records for being the world's fastest reader; apparently he ca read 20,000 words per minute and what's more retain and remember what he's reading.) This should be good. ;-)

People, seriously, check this stuff out. If nothing else, you'll know something you didn't know before!


P.S. I have a potential offer for my readers out there: I've acquired a second copy of Brad Voeller's Accelerated Distance Learning book, and if someone is interested (really, seriously interested, not just passively) I can send them this book, free of charge. I don't need two copies! Any bids?

Monday, September 24, 2007

News Update

Columbia University president slams Ahmadinejad
Paleo's Comments: Kudos on the university president's words, but why on earth are we allowing him in the country as it is? The U.N. is at it again (they invited him initially it seems)....

Ahmadinejad speaks; outrage and controversy follow

Investigators: Homeland Security computers hacked
Paleo's Comments: Oh, just peachy!

The Donald: Time for Bush to go into 'hiding'
Paleo's Comments: True!

Delaware State teen charged with attempted murder


Well people, I'm sick today. Again.

I didn't even get up until after one. I slept past tae kwon do class (somehow I just couldn't imagine screaming as I kicked and punched with a sore throat), have dropped my exercise for the day, but am still going to try to swing work. Ah, well, pain is only weakness leaving the body, right?

You'll find my seminar update sometime later.


Saturday, September 22, 2007

Gone for the day!

The event started last night, but today is the real deal. I'm going to a local seminar on Accelerated Distance Learning, my college method-of-choice. It's hosted by Global Learning Strategies (the site link is in the sidebar). I'll be sure to tell you all about it. 8-)


Friday, September 21, 2007

It's been a year....

Does anyone remember?


Well, click on the link. I've been blogging for an entire year now! Wow, so much has happened in all that time. (A ton.) But back to blogging...I know we just discussed this, but if anyone has any more ideas or suggestions for my blog, speak them now!

How do you guys like my blog, after a year?

Spencer / Dr. Paleo Ph.D. / Histo-Sci

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Spencer News!

Now I feel kinda bad that it's going to be about work tonight, but hey, that's what you get. ;-P

Before clocking in today I was in the breakroom and noticed something; an announcement I had been waiting for. The announcements board asked all who read it if they'd like to sign up to be certified for Fine Jewelry (only they misspelled it "Jewerly"), Truck, and Signing. I immediately opted for jewelry; this may sound strange, but I'd had some time to think about it (this was the announcement I had been waiting for).

The other night I was again told I couldn't be in what we call "the boat" (behind the jewelry counter). Now they're a funny thing, these jewelry rules. Some managers don't seem to have a problem with me back there; at least one has in fact told me to go there. But, some say you can't go inside unless you're what they call "certified," I guess because it has something to do with the diamonds and other expensive items. Well, as I said I again was told I shouldn't be in there (with so many different rules going around I just opted to go back there if I needed to; Shoes is right next door so it's handy to sometimes pop in if I need to do something), and a discussion commenced, and thus I learned that soon applications for jewelry certification would soon be obtainable (all I had to to was sign my name!). I doubt I'll actually be scheduled to work in the department, but I only want them to be able to go in there without getting all the squawk; when my register in Shoes (or even Home, which is next to Jewelry as well) isn't working, is closed, or during my nightly walkie-talkie-and-scan-gun-gathering-rounds, I'd like to be able to go in there. I could also cover breaks when I'm nearby; it makes sense. Why not? Of course I know practically nothing about jewelry and can't even tell the difference between a necklace and an earring (hey wait a minute...there even is a difference?). One little thing that may be kind of weird if I'm certified, though; not only will I be the only guy who ever works in Sportswear, and sometimes Kids, I'll be the ONLY guy who works in jewelry besides the occasional manager (not too many male supervisors anymore). A bad distinction? You tell me. ;-)

Another thing I signed up for was truck. Now, when I was first hired they put me on truck a bunch, and I hated it. So it may sound like a pretty stupid idea to sign up for it again (I don't really need to be "certified" for this, but I put my name on the list anyways), but since being hired a new guy has sort of become the King of the stock room, and so I thought why not? He says he's changed the music and turned it down (the deafening music that they played when I was back there was the worst thing about it; I tried turning it down, but when you're the odd man out, you lose; besides, I turned it down once and another employee immediately proceeded to turn it up even higher than it was before), and so for a change I'm thinking it might be nice. I've been thinking of that recently; when they've had an busy truck night before I've offered to help (on several occasions) but never get put back there it seems. So, I figured I might as well just do this. We'll see if I this was a bad or brilliant move!

One other funny thing: below these signing sheets I discovered something that looked wonderful; it asked if we wanted Christmas Eve and Day off, and to be able to choose our shift on the 26th. I immediately signed up for that one! (How could one pass it up?) A few minutes later, someone else read something...I hadn't, what you might call the fine print (I didn't really even notice it was there!). She said something about committing to overnighter shifts, and I stopped for a second. OVERNIGHTERS!?!? I said something about not wanting to commit to any overnighters, and she replied, "You just did!" As the full realisation of the mistake I had just made, I instinctively exclaimed, "Oh crap!" and furiously scribbled out my name with a pen. I later came back to wipe away all evidence with a black marker. I was taking no chances! Mission accomplished, looks like everything's A-okay. 8-) They can't know it's me now! Unless they bring in a forensics team or try to decipher the indentations or something....heh heh heh....

Spence out!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007



I'm sore, tired, and just pretty much exhausted. After a week of tae kwon do on top of my usual two-hour workout, running, swimming, working, and everything else I do, it's finally all caught up to me today I guess. I could barely drag myself out of bed....

My feet hurt, especially my right one (I guess that's what happens when a punching bag gets in the way?), my hamstrings and calves are too, and my arms are even sore!

A few days ago at work it struck me that I was pulling myself up the stairs in the stock room with the bannisters. Now if you know me, I run up all stairs--and here I was, feebly going up them like a little old man! I recovered over the weekend, but then Monday night in my tae kwon do class, all that was about to change! At one point I thought I was going to die--they had us running at top speed from one end of the room to the other, then dropping down, doing pushups, then getting up and running some more, without stop practically. And we had a bunch of other things we had to do. But, thank God he gave us a one minute break....

I'm good, just a little sore is all. ;-P But as the Navy SEALS have it, "Soreness is only weakness leaving the body!" Bwwaaaaa!!!!!

I think I'm going to skip exercising today...just this once.

Spencer the Sore One signing off!

Calling all readers!

Okay, it's time for you, the readers of Dr. Paleo Ph.D.'s Books, Bones, Bricks, and Bullets, to speak!

I want to know what you most want to hear. Whether it be my worknight updates, music posts, news updates (somehow I doubt this one will be chosen, ;-P), or something else, I want to know!

So, people. What is it you want to hear from Paleo? Speak now or forever hold your peace!


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

My Heart Belongs To You

by Hayley Westenra

Through the window of my soul
All the secrets that I hold
Will be yours to share for always, always

Like a whisper in the wind
The gentle breeze touches my skin
And I know you’re with me always, always

I can feel it in the air
The fire that we share
Can only come from deep within

It’s a light that burns so bright
It guides you through the night
And leads you to me
So find your way back

And hold me, touch me
Let the love come rushing through me
I'm yours with every breath I take
Forever and ever

Hold on, to love
'Cause deep down
That’s what we’re made of
Never let go for my heart’s sake
'Cause my heart belongs to you

I lie awake to hear you breathe
Only you can feel the need
That builds and burns so deep inside me, inside me

As the moon lights up the sky
There’s a thousand reasons why
My heart will only beat for you

You’re the reason that I live
So now all I’ve got to give
I give it to you
Just don’t fight the feeling

Hold me, touch me
Let the love come rushing through me
I'm yours with every breath I take
Forever and ever

Hold on, to love
'Cause deep down
That’s what we’re made of
Never let go for my heart’s sake
'Cause my heart belongs to you

[Don’t give up, but just give in]
[I will always be here waiting for you]
Waiting for you
Love will see us through…

Hold me, touch me
Let the love come rushing through me
I'm yours with every breath I take
Forever and ever

Hold on, to love
Cause deep down
That's what we're made of
Never let go for my heart's sake
Cause my heart belongs to you

My heart belongs to you
My heart belongs to you
My heart belongs to you
Only you

The Shield of Faith

Monday, September 17, 2007

Today in History

From TheHistoryNet:

1630 - The town of Boston is founded by John Winthrop as an extension of the colony at Salem. It is named after the town of the same name in Lincolnshire, England.

After Antietam: Conclusion

Since today is the 145th anniversary of the Battle of Antietam, I thought that today would be a fitting one to conclude my alternative history short story.

After Antietam
What if the South Had Won?
By Spencer
Part 8 (Conclusion)

As the battle wound down, Gen. Jackson was ask to see Gen. Lee. As Jackson entered Lee's tent, Lee stood, and returned his Corps commander's stiff salute.

Jackson spoke first. "General Lee," he said, "We have routed the enemy, their entire army is now dissolved. Their General McClellan will not be able to regain control of his army for months, perhaps more. If we--"

"Yes, General," Lee broke in, "Forgive my interruption, but I understand your concerns. I wish to tell you that I have no intentions of spending the army's--the country's--time as I did after our last great battle with those people. I felt it necessary then, and indeed it was so, and I knew how you felt, and recognized your wish for immediate advancement on the Federal capital, even sympathized with it, but, I was compelled to be prudent."

"Yes, General," Jackson replied, hoping inside that this was not another rejection of his long-awaited plans and proposals. It certainly didn't seem so, at least to Jackson.

"But," Lee continued, "This time...this time, General Jackson...this time, we will march on the capital. We will march on Washington itself. We have purchased our freedom with the blood of the flower of this generation, and it would be a great sin to my people, indeed, a great sin to God, if I did not take advantage of the opportunity so placed before me. We will immediately prepare for the march, which will commence tomorrow, if all goes according to plan."

Jackson's eyes had grown larger and larger as his beloved commander spoke, and now he was filled with a joy, a righteous joy, unparalleled with any other feeling he had ever felt in his wartime life. The war would end here!

"Yes, sir. I understand. Thank you, General. If I may, I must needs prepare immediately for this great enterprise."

"You may go now, General Jackson. But, remember, General--this is it. I believe we will win, we must win, we have no other option. But still we must give it our all. I know that you can achieve this. I trust you implicitly, General."

"Thank you, sir. You could trust me to give every last drop of blood in my Southern veins in the service of my country, my beloved homeland. I will give the task my all, sir."

"God be with you, General Jackson."

"And He with you, my General. I will leave you now." As Jackson mounted his horse, he thought of the great opportunity that was before them. He had no doubt that Washington would be taken. As the army set out the next day to accomplish its great task, every man, from the highest general down to the lowliest soldier, understood the task before them. The Union capital was to be taken, and the freedom of the Southern people to be assured for many years to come.

All previous installments of After Antietam:

Friday, September 14, 2007

Nada Sousou, by Hayley Westenra

Once again, Hayley's singing just grips me. This song was apparently Japanese originally.

Turning the pages of old photographs
I whisper thanks to each and every one
Deep in my heart you have come, come to Live
Sure as the sun to see me through

Come rain or shine however the day may be
You shelter me with your smile
However far your memories may fade
Traces of you I hope to find
Then you appear and I drown in my own tears

I wish on a star, the first star of the night
You'll find me here every evening of the year
As twilight approaches I look to the sky
Searching for you with all of my heart

In grief and joy I long for you and your smile
Hoping you feel the way I do
If only you could find me from where you are
I do believe somewhere in time
I do believe I will see you once again

Come rain or shine however the day may be
You shelter me with your smile
But as each memory of you fades away
I'm so alone longing for you
You're on my mind as I drown in my own tears

Missing you so
I'm missing you so
You're on my mind as I drown in my own tears

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Tae Kwon Do

Finally.... It's all settled.

Tae Kwon Do. Tonight. First time.


Doug's Blog

Will the Home School Movement Become Yet Another Statistic to the Feminization of the Family?

Bill Einwechter observes:

When we consider the radical nature of feminism and its agenda to overthrow the family that is structured after the biblical model, we would be wise to pause and ponder how successful the feminists have been in remaking the family according to their own design. The fact is that, in Western society, feminism has been enormously successful in destroying the traditional family. The feminization of the family has already taken place! By the “feminization of the family” we mean the remaking of the family according to the beliefs and goals of feminism. This feminization has occurred in the last thirty years and with little opposition from men. Men have fallen away in fear at feminist charges of sexism, repression, tyranny, and exploitation, as a coward would wither before the charge of a determined enemy on the battlefield. Nothing seems to have terrified men more than the angry glare and words of feminist ideologues.

Read his important article on the subject.

Posted by Doug Phillips on September 9, 2007

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Today in History

Apparently more than just the 2001 attacks occured today. This is going to be...controversial.

710 years ago
1297 - Scots under William Wallace defeat the English at Stirling Bridge.

150 years ago
1857 - Indians incited by Mormon John D. Lee kill 120 California-bound settlers in the Mountain Meadows Massacre.

33 years ago
1974 - Haile Selassie I is deposed from the Ethiopian throne.

Birthday/Reenactment Post

Okay, strangely, I just posted the report to my birthday and the Civil War reenactment, and for some reason it's showing up as September 6th! Scroll down to read it, please!


A day that shall forever live in infamy

I'm still not sure if I like the post I wrote...but I guess I'm going to go ahead and put it up here anyways. It probably makes me look angrier than I feel (although of course this event angered me and still does, I'm not consumed by it), and is a little bit enigmatic, even to me.

Well, here goes:

So, it's already been six years....

And yet many of us still have naive ideas. Ideas about this world, terrorism, and war that...just don't make any sense. To put it bluntly, these ideas just don't cut it.

This is why I believe in war. This is war, and it is one we must fight, wherever the field of battle may be, whatever the cost. This is a war for our lives, for America, even for our faith. It's an all-out war against the enemy; even a war against Satan.

It's time we--all of us--took a stand and let our enemies know that, if they attempt to take on America, they won't be ignored. And they won't win.

Are you listening, terrorists? Did you hear that? You won't win. When a wolf comes knocking on the door of a sheepherder with a lamb's coat draped over him, he doesn't get let in, no, he gets a pitchfork in the eyes.

If they fire a few sporadic shots, let's deliver them a volley of epic proportions. The blades are drawn. Let's make sure that we parry all of their thrusts, and that ours hit home.

This is war. All right, let's go for it, people. Yes, people...let's go for it as a nation.

aka Dr. Paleo Ph.D.

Monday, September 10, 2007


Not sure what I was going to post myself, this post of my sister's does the job admirably.

I wrote something up to post...but I'm not sure if I really like it. Maybe I'll sleep on it and give it a try tommorrow.

Dr. Paleo Ph.D.

Petraeus: Troop withdrawals by year's end

A must read.

Sports Illustrated: Everett's injury 'catastrophic'

Kevin Everett sustained a "catastrophic" and life-threatening spinal-cord injury while trying to make a tackle during the Buffalo Bills' season opener and is unlikely to walk again, the surgeon who operated on him said Monday.

"A best-case scenario is full recovery, but not likely," orthopedic surgeon Andrew Cappuccino said. "I believe there will be some permanent neurologic deficit."

All for...what? My sympathies go out to this man.... But what was it all for? Entertainment? Money? Fun? Pigskins?

I say, what a waste.

Dr. Paleo Ph.D.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Women and Children First!

I haven't read this one in a while. It's probably the most powerful poem I've ever read. It was time for me read it again. The tears almost came....

Women and Children First!
D O U G L A S W . P H I L L I P S


The North Atlantic icefields are perilous and rough,

And only should be tested by those of sterner stuff;

They’re filled with fearful hazards for nautical machines —

Icebergs that look like mountains, with jagged peaks and mean.

But on this eve in 1912 a monarch of the sea

Traversed her waves with brazen strides amid a night of glee.

“Unsinkable!” they called her, yes unsinkable, their claim;

But pride, not strength, would give this ship a destiny of fame.

Near half a hundred thousand tons — the largest ship at sea!

A mighty maiden of the waves, in length: eight eighty-three.

A monument to science? No, a legacy of pride.

A testimonial to those who needlessly would die.


While children’s heads lay nestled warm and snug through midnight hours,

And husbands huddled next to wives asleep in love’s sweet powers,

In upper decks men smoked and sang and toasted with a drink,

Not knowing that the virgin ship would soon begin to sink.

First rang the bells, then came the cries, and last the dreaded panic,

And now all knew t’would be the end of R.M.S. Titanic.

But in that hour of foul despair and fear unmitigated

A manly Christian cry to all was quickly circulated:

“Women and children first,” they cried,

“Women and children first!

To save your souls you must give your lives,

Women and children first!”


Amidst the tumult and the toil of lives then gripped with fear,

A holy calm prevailed on those whose hearts and minds were clear;

The cause was right, the mission pure, the path uncompromised;

The men must die that others live — the men must give their lives.

No greater love hath any man than that he lay down life

For family: for little ones, for dearest bride and wife.

What manly breast would shirk the call, or fail with any breath

To give his life for womankind, a sacrifice of death.

“Women and children first,” the cry,

“Women and children first!”

Some must live while others die;

“Women and children first!”


As water surged upon the decks and chaos reigned supreme,

The band played on sweet hymns to God, which quieted the screams.

Some raised their hands, or cried aloud, while others genuflected,

In fleeting hopes that dreams and lives might still be resurrected.

Across the deck a thousand scenes of lives held in the balance,

With prayers delivered unto God in heavenly reliance.

While stokers, stewards, officers and gentlemen en masse

All lifted women into boats without regard to class.

Women and children first — the law!

Women and children first.

The men would act — No fight. No flaw.

Women and children first.


One faithful father searched the deck to find his family,

And rushing forward grabbed a girl near tossing into the sea.

But though this little golden hair was to the man a stranger,

He strapped to her his own life vest to save the babe from danger.

At last he saw the face he loved and pulled her from the throng,

Along with tender tiny ones who thought him bold and strong.

A little boy, a little girl — the world he held so dear,

Were waiting ignorant that time would bring their darkest fear.

Women and children first-praise God!

Women and children first.

This principle we ever laud!

Women and children first.


Five minutes he had to say goodbye, five minutes then all was lost,

But giving his life for the woman he loved was hardly a weighty cost.

“To the boats! To the boats, my darlings,” said he, “to the boats!” and his words did race,

Then low’ring them into those cradles of life, he paused ... just one more embrace.

And now he kissed those tender lips, and now he squeezed the hands,

And now he hugged and spoke the last of love and wedding bands.

“Be brave my love. Be brave my son. Be brave my little dears.

God’s ways are just, Christ rules above, and faith must hush our fears.

“Women and children first,” said he,

“Women and children first;

to be a man I must set you free.

Women and children first!”


At last he said goodbye to eyes which longed for him and home,

At last he watched them pull away to safety through the foam,

In moments he would be submerged and ’neath the icy brine,

Content to know his sacrifice had given them more time.

Just yards away a mother gazed back at the sinking boat,

Her children bundled in her arms, warmed by their mother’s coat.

A prayer of hope upon her lips, a Bible in her hand,

A testament of love, of faith, and of her husband’s stand.

“Women and children first,” she wept.

“Women and children first,”

Stroking the curls of the infant she’d kept,

“Women and children first.”


Into the liquid tomb he fell, moments from paradise,

With one last grasp he clawed the waves and caught his dear one’s eyes.

His frozen face, his numbed hands, his body stiff and cold —

An ocean legacy of heroism told.

Down through the depths Titanic sank, and into her watery grave,

Bound by such forces that God had decreed would render the hulk its slave.

Downward she plunged though the darkness so cold, taking no inventory

Of perishing hundreds who crowded her decks, bound for Hell or Glory.

For women and children first they died,

For women and children first;

They put their faith before their pride,

For women and children first.

Douglas W. Phillips
April 15, 1997
Titanic Men’s Memorial
Washington, D.C.


Friday, September 07, 2007

Hayley Westenra: Pokarekare Ana icons

My sister has created yet another batch of beautiful icons, this time of Hayley Westenra as seen in her Pokarekare Ana music video.

I usually don't post these icons here although I often use them, but this time I just had to. Listen to the song, and read the lyrics. I've never read them in English before.

Aren't they powerful?

Osama hits Dems for continuing Iraq war

"To conclude, I invite you to embrace Islam, for the greatest mistake one can make in the world and one that is uncorrectable is to die while not surrendering to Allah, the Most High, in all aspects of one's life -- i.e., to die outside of Islam," the transcript says.

I've just got one thing to say to you, Osama. Over my dead body.

Today in History

From TheHistoryNet:
1630 - The town of Trimontaine, in Massachusetts, is renamed Boston, and becomes
the state capital.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Reenactment and Birthday Report!

As promised, here it is (in chronological order)!

Sorry this took so long to get posted; the wait was on uploading all the pictures (all taken by my sister) of the reenactment, which can be seen here:
Sunday (the 2nd) we went to a local park, where they've been holding this reenactment for years. This was my third year attending out of four years (last year I was unable to go).

The area of the park this event is held at is spotted with tents and "campsites" (the reenactors literally stay there for a few days). It's great fun to walk around a campsite filled with "Civil War" soldiers. ;-D

Forward, march!

The main events are two battles. They last about half an hour each (I only saw one, that's all you need to see really), but more accurately should be called skirmishes (I mean, how large scale can a reenactment around here get?). We got to sit behind the Union front lines, next to a battery of 10-pound guns. They are loud. :-D At one point, a line of dismounted cavalry, replete with spurs, sabres, and breechloading rifles, stood not very far in front of us. Oh yeah. 8-)

The dismounted Union cavalry!


Tented shops and stands also line a few areas, and this is one of my favorite parts. Everything from reenacting gear to Civil War collectibles, books, and everything else is sold. I ended up spending $40 dollars, but got some seriously nice stuff. The most impressive catch of the day didn't even have anything to do with the Civil War; it was an authentic badger skull! $25, people! Now that, if anything, belongs in the Spencerian Museum of History and the Natural Sciences. :-)

I visited a booth I've bought from before, as well. An amateur (?) arms seller; I have a fetish for his bullets for sale. Inexpensive and fascinating, I first bought a chunk of an artillery shell (yes, it's all authentic from the Civil War--they use metal detectors to find the stuff around battle sites of the war, then dig it up and sell what they themselves do not want) for $3, but later, after the battle, I felt the lead beckoning to me again. Besides, this guy was plain fascinating to listen to; me and my sister both enjoyed an impromptu "lecture" from him about Civil War rifles. So, when I went back the second time, I found a Sharps ringtail bullet that I just had to have. I bought it, and was just about ready to leave when another customer began asking him about the material the bullets were made of. Of course they are made of lead, as he said, but I remembered some iron case shot that I had bought from him before, and that he still had in stock. Mentioning that the case shot were made of iron, he told me that there were two kinds of case shot. He had lead, too! And he told me that the Confederacy mostly used iron, and the Union mostly (but not always) used lead. Now that was something I just had to have! So, because of this guy talking, he got another sale, and in the midst of waiting my turn to pay for that sale, I found a screwed bullet that I fell in love with. He took a moment to inquire if I knew what the significance of the bullet was. He did that that other year (wow...was that really three years ago?!?!) when I purchased a Williams cleaner from him. I think that's a great way to teach people.

Another highlight of the event was when my dad introduced me to someone he had found and started talking to. Right away after shaking his hand, he begins handing me reproduction fire arms--to hold! Get a load o' this!!! 8-D He first let me handle a Deringer, which was the kind of pistol used to assassinate president Lincoln; interestingly, an impersonater attired as Lincoln himself showed up just a few feet away from us! He teasingly told me not to go point it at him. ;-P Next he let me actually handle, hold, and aim a Springfield musket. I've never been able to do that before!!! Now this was niiiice! I also got to handle a revolver, I think it was a Colt, if I remember right.

Since he asked me what I wanted to know since I was already somewhat familiar with a little bit of it, I began asking questions about things I didn't know about. In the end, I learned that even the revolving pistols of the day had to be rammed, and had to have percussion caps! I didn't even know that.... And speaking of percussion caps, I collected a fair amount of musket caps, used during the battle off of the ground. Two haven't even been discharged!

All in all, I had a good time. It's really nice when you find a bunch of people who actually share one of your passions; sometimes it seems like I'm destined to go through life as an outcast, without having anyone to share my enthusiasm about my many passions with. It's nice once in a while to actually just fit in.

And here are some pictures of me, if you're interested:

I'm even taller than the officers! ;-)

My game face. Grrr!

If you'd like a girl's view of the event, here's my sisters pretty post, on her blog, Frivilous Distinctions!

After leaving the reenactment, we went to the Lego store, where my parents purchased the King's Castle Siege set from this year's line as a present for the next day. I also got to pick out three minifigs from a new addition to the store, Build-A-Minifig for $2.99. I got an Orient Expedition Hindu torso and OE Johnny Thunder pants, among other things!

Now, fast forward to my actual birthday, Monday (the 3rd).

I got up at eight o'clock, ate breakfast, and fizzed around online a little bit. I later spent two hours working out. Unfortunately it always seems that we have practically the biggest heat wave of the entire year on my birthday. So, the day was quite hot. Still, I'm accustomed to working in the heat somewhat, and if I wasn't I'd just make myself anyways. I was sweating like a boar from your worst nightmares; doing push-ups, the drips fell from my face over and over again! At one point I was shocked to see that literal beads of sweat were appearing on the back of my hand; I never sweat there! Even my calves were wet; I don't sweat there either! By this time my sister had gotten up, and as I finished up I took a shower, and soon the presents were wrapped and ready to be opened.

There were three of them; the castle, the minifigs, and a book. I've wanted this book for along time, and it's quite a catch. Of all my material possessions I treasure my library more than them all; it's not just a collection of pages and dust jackets; it's a literal treasure trove of information. Seriously, if it's the right subject, you can do research with my library! How cool is that? 8-D Okay, not to brag.....

So here's what I got:

The Dinosauria, by David B. Weishampel

King's Castle Siege

I spent the rest of the day (three hours) building the castle. By then it was 4:30 PM, and time to get ready for work at six. (I've been in the Shoe dept. all week. It was messy the early part of this week, so very busy; now we're busy because we're doing inventory! On my birthday, though, it was so messy I was reminded of something I once said to someone about that very department. "You know, customers are a lot like cattle. Sometimes, customers are like sheep. Sometimes, they're like cows. And sometimes, customers are like pigs." He apparently thought that that must be some quote from a book or something; Animal House, he ventured. Ha ha, it was original, I must say.... Old McMervyn's had a farm, ee-i, ee-i-o.....)

Another highlight of the day was getting so many happy birthday wishes. I got emails from Courtney, Nathan, and Stacy, and when I arrived at work things actually went in such a way as for someone to ask when my birthday was. So, the secret was out...and I got a flurry of wishes there, too. (One event went out of her way to wish me a happy birthday.)But things weren't over yet; even Mervyn's knew it was my birthday! In the breakroom I found a beetle (I stood on top of a chair to pluck it off of a light fixture), and deciding to keep it, I eventually was given a small plastic container so I could keep it home. He'll be added to my insect collection, no doubt. ;-) And something else happened. Amongst the shoe-y mess, I discovered several Lego pieces! Knowing that it wasn't something to be put in the lost and found, I hatched a diabolical scheme to possess these great ABS treasures! Asking one of my managers what to do with it, I was told to throw it away; I knew this would be what was said, so I asked if I could keep them then. They may not be the most amazing pieces, but hey, they're Legos! So I got to take a beetle and four Legos home...although the beetle did prompt several "Eeew!"s from those who knew of it. (All girls, by the way.) ;-P

So, that's basically it.... Nothing much very interesting has happened since then, although the other night (again at work) I probably did look rather interesting, when I was again working in shoes. Since it was inventory, I was told look under all the shelves for any stray shoes that might have gotten pushed under. The bottom shelves are close to the ground, so you can't really see much unless you lay on the ground, or at least kneel. Speed was of the essence at this point, so I invented a method to check them quickly. It ended up being some combination of kneeling, laying, and hopping; all those push-ups definitely came in handy as, time after time, I dropped onto my hands to duck my head low enough to look under the tables.

Oh, yeah, and I ripped my crotch seam later that night. :-O Not that you needed to know that. My favorite pair of pants, after surviving many battles and receiving many wounds, must now die with honor. ;-P

Spencer out!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Monday, September 03, 2007

September 3rd, 2007

Here's to the memories....

And here's to another year.


Sunday, September 02, 2007

Forward, march!

I'm going to be gone today.

Where, you say?


A Civil War reenactment. Yup. Replete with battles, gunfire, and cannon. Oh yeeaaaah. 8-)

This is so up my alley.

Paleo out,