February 18-27, 2007
It worked out to be 31 hours door to door. But the meals were excellent.
The contractors are replacing our Rolladen storm shutters with hurricane proof glass windows. And the kitchen is being enlarged. What a mess. I am glad we are not living there now.
I guess this is a demotion ... even though it is a sideways shift all within the Daimler-Chrysler line of products. But, I miss my SL.
Fortunately, it is only for a day.
On the way to my local Publix supermarket this afternoon (to stock up on such staples as coffee and Coke) I had to pass by the courthouse. It was a mob scene. Probably two hundred reporters and camera crew members were camped across the street from the building with their eyes and lenses trying to find Howard Stern. Meanwhile Anna Nicole Smith's body was rotting away in a nearby morgue.
Stone crabs. "Say no more!"
On February 11th our very own Namfon (Marsha Nangkal) won the "Miss Sunset Place Teen USA 2007 Pageant". This is an official preliminary to the "Miss Florida Teen USA Pageant".
Later this year Namfon will go to Thailand to compete in the Miss Thailand contest.
PS: Reader Jerry from Sweden has captured all five in one shot.
Stephani's building now totally works. Do you remember it from post-Wilma?
Kig and Anthony dropped by ... though Anthony remained asleep for the whole visit.
My friend, Don Bull, has designed some really attractive wine bottle bags for Franmara in Salinas, California. They are illustrated with corkscrews from Don's personal collection. Can you spot the rarest corkscrew?
PS: Last night we had dinner at The Capital Grille in The Galleria Mall. Perfect oysters!
Almost 25 years ago I met Dan at the Shanghai Overseas Seaman's Club in Shanghai. At that time my then current girl friend, Jean Marks, and I were staying at the Shanghai Mansions Hotel which was almost just across the street from the Club. In 1982 Dan was practicing his English and he approached us to 'test' his English conversation ability in.
Over the years Dan and I have stayed in contact via letters, personal visits and emails. I most recently visited him in Taipei when Linda and I were in Taiwan. A few months earlier, we had joined him in Shanghai.
We would have met again this year in Shanghai for Chinese New Year had Watcharee and I not been required to come to Florida on immigration business.
Anyway, Dan sent me these photographs of his trip to Shanghai and Hangzhou.
Dan, we promise not to miss it next year!!!
I wish to share some of our vacation pics with you. They were taken at Shanghai and Hangzhou, China during the Chinese New Year holidays.
Looking west and then looking east it looks like all the visible high-rises are on the beach. The latest and tallest condo appears finished (according to my deep lens).
Less exciting, we went grocery shopping today.
Hey, the weather here has been bad for beach bunny sightings.
Elsewhere: Shanghai mansions on the left ... Seamans Club on the right
One of my readers sent this clipping about the Original Terrorist and how His 'good works' are carried on in His name ...
In what is likely to be a controversial finding, a team of researchers reports a correlation between violent scriptural passages and real-life aggression.
The research, which may have implications in the ongoing debate over the effects of video game violence, was conducted in part at Utah's Brigham Young University. As reported by the Deseret News:
A study of 490 students - 248 of them at Brigham Young University - suggests a correlation between exposure to scriptural violence that is condoned by God and increased aggression.
University of Michigan psychologist Brad Bushman, BYU professor Robert Ridge and three other researchers co-wrote "When God Sanctions Killing," which will appear in the March issue of Psychological Science magazine.
Ridge was careful to point out that the study was not meant as an attack on biblical writings:
We were not saying that reading the scriptures is bad, but we were pointing out that if a person was seeing that kind of (violent) literature, it could have some negative effects… when you think about terrorists and they say, 'God will sit in judgment,' and they sometimes refer to a scripture, our question was, 'Could that really make a person behave more aggressively?' And the answer is, yes, it could.
In the study, student volunteers were shown bible passages containing references to violent acts such as rape, beatings and murder. Half of the survey group were then shown an additional passage indicating that God sanctioned violent retribution. Those who were given this additional information responded with increased aggression in a subsequent measurement.
The Deseret News reports that the researchers believe their findings are consistent with other studies which show correlation between aggression and violent movies, music and video games. On this point, Ridge said:
We're not saying that just in and of itself violent media is uniformly bad but oftentimes there is no redeeming context to it… But if a person dives into (a violent passage) without the context, you could probably get some increased aggression.
Among the researchers involved in the scriptural violence study, Dr. Bushman has prior background with research on aggression and violent video games. In 2005 he was a member of the American Psychological Association's Committee on Violence in Video Games and Interactive Media. That group issued an oft-cited report linking violent games to increased aggression.
God was pissed!
Shortly after I posted the study that showed that there was a correlation between the Scriptures and terrorism God hurled tens of thousands of 'stones' at our house. Actually, they were hale (hell?) stones. You can see them slamming into our swimming pool and into the canal behind the house. I have also captured them on film as they passed by and through our shrubs. Just to show how big they were: all of them were the size of the black dial on a Rolex GMT Master.
I have preserved one as evidence in case our Supreme Court ever decides that the "Act of God" defense is just too stone age-ish. It rests in our freezer next to two Jimmy Dean Sausage Biscuits.