Jim's Blog

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Archive for the ‘Misc’ Category

Blog moved

Posted by Jim Rector on July 14, 2011

I’ve moved this blog over to my web host at jrector.com. I will start blogging there from now on. You can access it at http://blog.jrector.com. Be sure and check it out.

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Quotes ‘n stuff – {1/14/11}

Posted by Jim Rector on January 14, 2011

“Sarah Palin’s "blood libel" is a career ender, but Barack Obama’s 20-year embrace of Jeremiah ‘G.D America’ Wright was manifestly not?” – Mark Finkelstein, Newsbusters.org

"What I wanted to know was the killer’s surname….My eyes scanned the mobile papers. I held my breath. Finally, I saw it: Jared Loughner. Not a Ramirez, Gonzalez or Garcia….It’s safe to say there was a collective sigh of brown relief when the Tucson killer turned out to be a gringo." – Daisy Hernandez, NPR

“The so-called ‘news’ media have zero currency in this debate because we have documented the Left using hateful, vicious language far worse than any conservative. Their attacks on conservatives are untrue and utterly hypocritical. If they really cared about the effects of political rhetoric, they would have gone after any number of those left-wingers who have directly incited violence – starting with the man with the world’s biggest audience: President Obama. After all, he did say, ‘If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun.’” – Brent Bozell, MRC President

“Absolutely. In fact, I understand there’ been a bill introduced that has a 1000 foot barrier around an elected official so people couldn’t bring guns. If I were still in Congress, I would welcome and urge those that have license to carry, to come to my town meetings. I’d feel more safe having them there, rather than shutting them out and letting some crazy come in and, and, and shoot up the place.” – Tom Delay in responding to Matt Lauer’s question if he still feels the same way about gun control

“The problem for Kerry here is that two years ago, Joe, he did not talk like that when he was undergoing a blood libel by the Swift Boat people. If he had stood up two years ago, in July of 2004, and looked into the cameras with the same intensity he showed today on this issue and said, Hey, I didn`t see Dick Cheney on the bow of my boat in the Mekong Delta, we might have a different president today. That didn`t happen then, and so he`s playing catch-up in terms of his reputation now.” – MSNBC contributor Mike Barnicle, 10/31/2006 (No hooting and hollering about racism when he made that comment.)

pansy kidd

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Great Ramirez cartoon–Media guide to Laughner

Posted by Jim Rector on January 13, 2011

About sums it up.

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More Ramirez cartoons.

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Why do I like to blog?

Posted by Jim Rector on January 6, 2011

That’s a good question. One that I thought of yesterday. Do I really think people care that I visited my 91 year-old grandmother over Thanksgiving? Do they care that I had a son get not only engaged but married last year? Do they have any interest whatsoever in the fact that I’ll soon be 50 and will have even lost 50 pounds? How about the links that I often post? They’re just links that interest me. Ok, sometimes I post some for the sole purpose of getting a rise out of my liberal friends. (All three of them!) Has any link ever changed a single person’s political or spiritual beliefs or attitudes? Probably not.

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If I blogged only for the reasons above then I would be almost as narcissistic as Bill Clinton or Barack Obama. I’d be thinking that people were on the edge of their seat waiting for the next great word from Jim. I mean everyone should be interested in whether I like to talk on the phone vs. sending text messages. Everyone should care about what I think about healthcare, DADT, or taxes. Where I go on trips and who I visit should be of the utmost importance to all my “friends” in the cyber world. That’s some profound stuff there folks! I jest of course.

I think that I blog because I like it. I enjoy the exercise of writing. I like capturing thoughts and blogging them so that later (month, year, decade) I can go back and see what went on and what I was thinking. Another reason is I’m bad at writing and I think blogging helps me become a better writer. Like every other discipline the more you practice the better you get. It’s pretty simple, not earthshattering.

How about you? Do you blog? If so, why? If not, why?

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Text or Talk?

Posted by Jim Rector on January 5, 2011

Do you like to talk or text? Or maybe some other type of communication? I know that personally I’d rather just email someone than pick up the phone and call. Is this terrible? Am I anti-social? What can this mean? I’ve always thought myself a friendly person. I never thought that I was socially challenged. But bottom line is that I’d rather just communicate in writing.

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I think it started for me when I had a job from about 1985 through 1997 where my job was done exclusively on the phone. I was a System Controller for Houston Lighting and Power company (Now Centerpoint Energy) and spent my days giving switching instructions to personnel in the field or talking to power plant operators directing generation levels and gas burn amounts. After a day of that the last thing I wanted was to talk on the phone. I think I frustrated my wife (probably still do) when we needed information from someone because I would make her call. I hated calling, still do.

At work now I would much rather open Microsoft Outlook and write an email than pickup the phone and call someone. Even if it’s just a small request or question. I think a lot has to do with being so busy that I don’t have time for small talk. I just want to cut-to-the-chase and address the topic at hand. It’s easier to cut through the extra conversation with email.

So I guess technology is a two-edged sword. On the one hand it’s caused us, me a least, to forego verbal interaction for written communication. On the other hand this “social” communication has caused me to be more in tune with friends and relatives. Because of Facebook I know more about my family in Upstate NY than I ever did before. I’ve connected with childhood and teenage friends now as folks never did as few as five years ago. One area of face-to-face verbal communication I enjoy is Skype or "FaceTime” with my son and his wife (Even her folks!) in California. So while technology has probably stifled my verbal communication with others it has provided increased social interaction that I would never have had without it.

What do you think? Would you rather talk, text, tweet, Skype, or email? Do you feel more in tune with friends and relatives now or less?

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Random Links–{1/4/11}

Posted by Jim Rector on January 4, 2011

NFL Sideline Shoot: Titans vs Colts (and how I got kicked off the sidelines)
Interesting account of being a photographer on the sidelines of an NFL game. Man I would love to do that!

Court OKs searches of cell phones without warrant
I think Stalin, Lenin, and Mao would love this ruling.

Republican Congressman: Ban Funding of Obamacare in Every Appropriations Bill This Year
Good start. Works for me.

STRUGGLING Brits are being hit with a triple whammy – a painful VAT increase along with huge rises in train fares and petrol prices.
Democrats want to bring that garbage here!

George Washington Approved Soldier’s Dismissal for Attempt ‘To Commit Sodomy’ at Valley Forge, With ‘Detestation of Such Infamous Crimes’
Someone asked, someone told.

Seven Habits That Make Better Photographers – No Camera Needed
Good advice.

pearls

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Staring down 50 down almost 50 lbs

Posted by Jim Rector on January 3, 2011

As I look towards Friday and my 50th birthday I catch myself looking back at the last year. Lot’s of cool things happened in my 50th year here on earth. A lot of them revolved around my kids and that’s ok with me. A quick run down:

February saw me helping my son Josh load up his things in a U-Haul trailer and move to California. I made the 1900+ mile trip with him and his not yet fiancée Katie Morse from College Station, Texas to Dixon, California in roughly 33 hours. It was tons of fun on the “quick” trip and really gave me some time to get to know Katie better as I had her as a “captive audience.” What was really nice was Josh and Katie did most of the driving while “pops” relaxed. I also enjoyed the scenery in New Mexico, Arizona, and California (It was dark during most of the drive through Texas.). One of these days were going to make that trip by car again and stop by some cool places such as the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, and who knows where else.

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In April I embarked on a plan to lose weight. Knowing how excess weight can really hamper your health in “mid-life” and beyond I really wanted to get healthy. You should know that I was taking medication for both blood pressure and cholesterol with co-pays adding up to almost $60/month. So that was another motivator. I started off at 232 lbs and lost 9lbs the first week! My waist size was 40 and probably should have been 42. I refused to get 42 waist pants!

May and June brought another trip to California to visit Josh and the Morse family. We decided to go Memorial Day weekend so that I could save at least one vacation day. What was really cool about this was that Josh proposed to Katie the week before we were to leave for the trip. So when we were there we could help with some of the wedding plans. It was so much fun! It was really cool witnessing Josh and Katie working on their budget along with her father Mike. This was a requirement of Mike’s before the date could be set. Alas, this was all worked out and after much negotiation they set a tentative date of Labor Day weekend. The trip was highlighted by Katie’s sister Shannon and I getting to take engagement pics of the happy couple at three different California scenic locations; the hills of Vacaville, San Francisco, and Napa Valley.

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We also got to squeeze in a family trip to Mt. Diablo before heading back to Texas. I was down to around 215 lbs by this time.

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August and September – California bound once again. This time for the wedding of Josh and Katie! We got there multiple days early to help with the preparation and to visit. Expecting the weather to be mild we found Dixon to be in the middle of a “heat wave” with temps in the mid 90’s most of the first week and on the wedding day. Fortunately for us Texans the low humidity made it bearable and not too terribly uncomfortable. The guys had a blast the day before the wedding out on the lake with the Morse’s boat and wave runners. The wedding was on September 5th in Vacaville, California and what a great day it was. Outdoors in the sun and then a smaller reception at the Vacaville Opera House. I really enjoyed watching Josh and Katie get married and it was a real treat getting to know her relatives on both sides of the family. A shout out to the Morse and Farley families!

One of my favorite shots from the wedding.

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While there we took a trip the week after the wedding to Yosemite National Park, Mono Lake, and Lake Tahoe. In the highlands of Yosemite we actually experienced some snowfall at Tioga Pass. It was quite fun. One of my favorite spots in Yosemite is in the valley looking up at Half Dome and here’s one of my favorite shots of the scene.

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That was pretty much it for September. By this time I had shrunk down to 197 lbs.

October was exciting because mid-month Josh and Katie and the Morse family came to Texas for a reception in honor of the new Bride and Groom. We held the reception in Tomball so that Carole’s parents who are in a nursing home could attend. My folks, thanks to a couple reward tickets on Southwest Airlines also got to fly down from New York. It was the first time they got to meet Katie and of course loved her as soon as they met.

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It was a great time hanging out with family and on the weekend a bunch of us went to Austin to visit with some friends over there. It was sad when they all returned to California because we really didn’t know when we’d see them all again. By this time I was down to 190 lbs and no longer needed my monthly maintenance medicine.

Another great October event was the birth of our 5th grandchild Luke Samuel Rector on the 30th. Luke was born to Richard and Laura and was brought into the world with much prayer and thanksgiving. He’s such a miracle to Richard and Laura and the whole family. There’s almost nothing like the feeling of seeing a new child or grandchild being born into the world.

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It was a tremendous blessing to “gramps” to be able to hold the newborn on his birthday.

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November of course is Thanksgiving month. My grandma Rector is still alive and celebrated her 91st birthday in November! We also made a trip to Southern Illinois for the holiday and to visit Grandma. Carole, Jordan, and I loaded up and left at 3am on 11/24 and arrived at Marion, IL at around 4:30pm. My niece Melissa brought my parents down from New York and my brother Joe and his wife Wendy and family also made the trip up from Texas.

Grandma Rector.

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It was a bittersweet trip. On one hand we got to visit with Grandma, Mom and Dad, and various Aunts, Uncles, and cousins. On the other hand it was also a time to see Grandma’s house for the last time as it was being sold. We spent a good part of the day after Thanksgiving at her house going through volumes and volumes of pictures, picking out those that were sentimental to us.

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By this time my weight was down to 186 lbs.

December was Christmas and gathering with friends and family. We had a great time at the Kelley’s house Christmas day and got to see all the Texas family. It was our first Christmas away from Josh but we were blessed to know that he was in the company of such a great family in California.

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So here I am a couple days away from my 50th birthday. My weight this morning was 183, one pound from a total weight loss of 50 lbs! My lovely wife Carole has also lost 30 lbs in 2010 and she looks great! Our goal in 2011 is to stay where we are and not gain any of the weight back. We’ll see how that goes. We move into a house after two years in an apartment on my birthday Friday. I guess I’m already starting with exciting events for my 51st year!

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Random Links–New Year’s Edition–{1/1/11}

Posted by Jim Rector on January 1, 2011

Billy the Kid won’t get pardon for killing sheriff
Billy just can’t get a break.

Bible Reading Plans
Pick a plan, any plan. Just do it.

God’s Own GPS – Derek Webb and Evangelical Mysticism
My friend John’s response to Derek Webb’s interview with the Huffington Post. PDF Here.

Moralism’s Cruel Stick and Carrot
”While moral living is often a byproduct of faith in Jesus, it’s not the basis for it.”

Phoenix-area residents report snow falling across Valley
Lots of children waking up, suddenly confused on the concept of global warming

Christians Are Casualties of 10 Baghdad Attacks
Count your blessings. We still live in a great country!

Steve King Says Congress will Investigate "Reparations"
Reparations = Shakedowns and scams.

Maine seeks exemption from provision of health-care law
Let’s get the ball rolling. Come on Texas, let’s get on board.

Texas Gets Reprieve on EPA Emissions Rules Takeover as Court Reviews Case
Well, that’s good news. A court actually gets it right.

EPA Rules Will Trump Your Rights
E.P.A. Limit on Gases to Pose Risk to Obama and Congress
Our country will die by regulation long before we die from pollution.

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Random Links–{12/31/2010}

Posted by Jim Rector on December 31, 2010

ALGERIA: CHRISTIANS SENTENCED
Remember our persecuted brothers and sisters worldwide. Visit persecution.com.

Well, That’s One Way to Stop Your PC From Overheating
Overkill of the day.

New Year’s Resolutions That Will Improve Your Finances in 2011
Financial New Year’s resolutions from mint.com.

The Photos We’ll Remember: 2000-2010
Life shows some photos from the last decade that we’ll all remember.

Actually, Bush Vetoed Bill with ‘End-of-Life’ Provisions
Cal Thomas – She Told Us So
Yeah, she did.

For G.O.P., End of the Preordained Candidate
I’ve been hoping for this for years. Pass on the geezers and elitists. Get us a good candidate for once.

$5 Gas Predicted Under Obama — What, No Pitchforks?
Gas Prices Back Above $3, Networks Don’t Question Obama Policies
I’m sure Pelosi will be all over this. Oh, wait Bush isn’t in charge anymore. Never mind, be quiet.

Skype’s New App Brings Video Chat To The iPhone, iPad And iPod Touch
Cool! Although Facetime was working pretty good with my distant son last night. 3G performance will be interesting.

It’s No Accident You Live in This Time and Place
”If you earn $25,000 per year, you are the richest 10% of the world. You are rich. In fact if you earn $2,200 per year you are the richest 15% of the world.” Kind of puts things in perspective, don’t it?

Why I’m Reading the Bible in Ten Different Places
Lot’s of interesting Bible reading plans for 2011.

BofA Tries To Foreclose On Home Despite Not A Single Missed Payment
This is what happens when you’re “too big to fail.”

Make a Drain Declogger Out of a Plastic Bottle
Wow! Why didn’t I think of this? So simple. I just purchased a Zip-It from Wal-Mart two days ago.

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Random Links–{12/27/2010}

Posted by Jim Rector on December 27, 2010

Today’s random list of stories and articles that caught my eye.

Bundle Up, It’s Global Warming
Columbia, SC has first Christmas snow since records kept in 1887…
Atlanta’s First Since 1882
Another convenient excuse. Trying to explain away the obvious.

Total white out: U.S. East Coast travellers warned to stay indoors as airports, road and rail grind to a halt and ‘monster blizzard’ expected to last until tomorrow
NYC subway stalled for hours in snow drifts
Not a fun traveling day for sure.

In Congress, a harder line on illegal immigrants
Don’t get your hopes up quite yet.

Oil stays above $91 as OPEC signals no output hike
Obama’s “moratorium” chickens are coming home to roost.

Silly Products that Made Millions
Yeah, why didn’t I think of that?

Rendell Irate Eagles Game Was Postponed
Football Delay Outrages Fans: The Wimps Who Stole Christmas
I guess the NFL assumed that Philly couldn’t clear a road.

Know Which Apps to Remove From MSConfig with This Startup Applications List
For the “nerds.”

The Art of HDR Photography Part 1
A good primer for a description of “HDR” photography.

Shoot High Quality Black and White Photos
The 60 Second Portrait
MSNBC: Year in Pictures
Gotta have the photography links.

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