Easier than writing lots of individual emails

Archive for February, 2008


Greetings from Washington DC!  I’m here with 3 VHS ICU club members and we’re part of a group of 1,000 people who are going to Capitol Hill tomorrow to address our Senators and Congresspeople regarding our desire for the U.S. to publically back the peace talks and to commit to helping Uganda rebuild (and more).

I have MUCH to say about all that we’ve learned here with 3 days of conference speakers from all over the political world and physical world, and from films, from panels, etc.  It really is an unbelievable experience on every level.  However, I will refrain for now. 

The purpose for this post is to ask for a simple action from you, tomorrow Tuesday (and for you to encourage anyone you know to do the same).  We learned that if a Senator gets at least 7 inquiries on the same day regarding the same issue, they are required to do a briefing and to reply to all inquiries as to what they intend to do about that issue.  Only 7!!!!  So, though you’re not in DC and able to walk into the offices of your elected officials (California alone has 120 constituents slotted to address the Senator tomorrow!), you can dramatically enhance our efforts by making a 3 minute call with the info below.  Sincerely, if I’ve learned nothing else thus far, I have learned that using your constituent voice and communicating sincerely MAKES A DIFFERENCE.  It’s pretty cool to be an American and have this process available.  So, please help us use it (remember time zones).  And be sure to give your address…that requires your elected official to have to reply to you (which means they have to do a report and be exposed to the issues).  Please do this.  I rarely ask anything from my readers, but imagine if all 200+ daily readers actually called Capitol Hill on Tuesday…you would play a major role in helping people who are genuienly oppressed.  AND, it’s just cool to take part in the political process that America offers!  Thanx so much…and I’d love for you to comment that you did it and if there are any noteworthy stories :).  thanx again!

The following info was taken from www.ResolveUganda.org (the organization hosting the Lobby Day)
“If you’re looking for something you can do right this minute to keep up the pressure for peace, picking up your phone and making a quick call to your member of Congress is a great way to do it.  Our representatives keep a tally of how many calls they receive on an issue, and the more they hear about northern Uganda, the more likely they are to act.

To make the call, dial (202) 224-3121. This is the Congressional Switchboard, where you can ask to be connected to the office of one of your Senators or Members of Congress.

A few things to keep in mind when you call:

The more prepared you are the better.  Take a few minutes to go over the points that you want to make and what exactly it is that you’re asking for.

  • Ask to speak with the legislative aide handling the war in northern Uganda. If the  person is unavailable, leave a message with your name, address and phone number.
  • Remember to mention that you are a voting member of their state calling to express concern about the crisis in northern Uganda to request that they take serious action.
  • Always ask the name and contact information of the person with whom you speak.
  • If the person you speak with asks you a question for which you do not know the answer, don’t panic! It is perfectly acceptable to tell them you will get that information and send it to them.

The message for your call is simple:
Members of Congress should do everything they can to make sure ongoing
peace negotiations result in an end of the crisis, and should direct resources to help displaced communities return home.
Facts to keep in mind:

  • The war in northern Uganda has lasted for more 21 years.  This is Africa’s longest running conflict.
  • Over 1.5-million people have been forced into squalid displacement camps that lack even the basic necessities.
  • Over 30,000 children have been abducted and used in this brutal conflict as frontline soldiers and sex slaves. 

Here’s a suggestion of what you can say:
”Hi.  My name is _________ and I’m calling from _________ to ask you to do more for peace in northern Uganda.
Currently, there are ongoing negotiations between the Government of Uganda and rebel Lord’s Resistance Army taking place that represent the best chance ever to end the twenty-one year war in northern Uganda.  By increasing diplomatic and financial support for the negotiations, you can help ensure their success and by providing funding for rehabilitation in the north, you can help allow people displaced by the war to return home.

As a constituent in your district, I would appreciate your efforts to help make sure this opportunity for peace is not lost. Thank you.” ”

Seriously, please join in our efforts with a simple phone call!  And, invite everyone you know to do the same.  Look, you have the easy option.  I got a plane, am chaperoning high schoolers, am braving the cold and will have to muster it up to address my Senator face to face  tomorrow (oh, and i threw my back out on Thursday night, right before boarding the plane AND I lost my voice today to a massive sore throat).  So, help a sister out…pick up the phone….



So, I received the following info in an email this morning…has anyone heard of this?

“Hi All, I checked with Norton Anti-Virus, and they are gearing up for this virus!

I checked snopes.com, and it is for real!!  Please get more details for yourself by checking out Snopes: 

Get this E-mail message sent around to your contacts ASAP.


You should be alert during the next few days. Do not open any message with an attachment entitled ‘POSTCARD,’ regardless of who sent it to you. It is a virus which opens A POSTCARD IMAGE, which ‘burns’ the whole hard disc C of your computer. This virus will be received from someone who has your e-mail address in his/her contact list. This is the reason why you need to send this e-mail to all your contacts. It is better to receive this message 25 times than to receive the virus and open it.

If you receive a mail called’ POSTCARD,’ even though sent to you by a friend, do not open it.! Shut down your computer immediately.

This is the worst virus announced by CNN. It has been classified by Microsoft as the most destructive virus ever. This virus was discovered by McAfee yesterday, and there is no repair yet for this kind of virus. This virus simply destroys the Zero Sector of the Hard Disc, where the vital
information is kept.



I’ve lived in LA since spring of ’95.
There are many ‘local’ things I’ve never done in LA.

Saturday, around 1:30pm, I got a text from a friend ‘Getty? tonight?’

We got there around 3:30pm and left around 7:30pm.
I LOVE the Getty Museum. 
The state of the art architecture, the views, the art, the guards/ushers, the history of the museum, the fact that there’s a Malibu Villa that specializes in the niche that I love (Grecco/Roman/Egyptian) and that I got tickets for it, the museums’ gardens, the fact that there’s no pressure to see it all because it’s free and you can go back any time, the cleanliness…these are just some of the reasons I love it there.  I hope to go back lots of times…I hope to go there during work days (when there aren’t’ so many people) and just enjoy the calm.

So, for all of you who have been to the Getty and have raved about it, I now understand and am totally on board.


I’m so busy today, but can not help but to watch the televised memorial service of slain office Randal Simmons of LAPD/SWAT.

For so many reasons I can’t stop crying or look away…
1) He was clearly an active Christian and therefore his memorial service of 10,000+ attendees is, from the moment it started,  filled with Scripture and prayer and praise of God…things that you don’t see on TV (in LA) very often.  Wow.  Praise the LORD for the family using this opportunity, in their deep grief, to share the truth of hope in Christ
2) I am moved to tears as I think of my family and friends who offer their lives each day to protect us.  I wonder if this will be us, at an officer memorial service,  for George or Scott or Kevin or…
3) I remember our dear family friend, Matt Davis, an officer in Mission Viejo who was killed in the line of duty and his service of 5,000+.  And, right now I think of his wife, Tammy.  And how she had this same sad and unique opportunity to share the gospel to so many onlookers through Matt’s death.  I am profoundly aware of how the widows of fallen officers are so unique and kindered, especially Christian wives/husbands. 
4) I am enraged by how ungrateful some Amercians are (like the recent protests of a propsed Marine office in Berkeley).  I am stunned that some people really believe that law enforcement (both domestic and global) should be replaced by talking with our enemies.  I am deeply moved as I watch them lay the flag over his casket and the care and honor with which they use to perfect it.  The symbol of the flag over his casket…he trained in the Marines, in the special forces, he became a trainer in special forces, he rose through the ranks of LAPD, he rose to the high ranks of SWAT, he was one of the most highly trained officers in the field, he went in to that house to rescue a victim, he took a bullet in the head.  
He started in the Marines.  He started by voluntarily offering his life to serve and protect America.
When I see Berkeley protestors, hanging the flag upside down and waving signs that say ‘the Marines, the few, the prou, the INSANE’, I just want to freak out.  I want them to enjoy life without law enforcement and see how that works out.  I want them to move to Iran and hang that flag upside down and ridicule their elite forces. 
5) I am moved be the fact, that in addition to his immense reputation and professional prowess (he was known as ‘the Rock’), he lived his life for others: he shared the gospel on the force (through words and actions),  he had a quietly forceful outreach to the community, he created programs in his neighborhood in Carson for at-risk kids (which are now in several city ghettos), he was generous with his time and money to help at-risk kids, he led Sunday school classes on the sidewalks of the ghetto, he brought kids ( gang bangers etc) to Christ, he loved his wife and kids, he was a deacon at his church…

They opened the memorial service with a round of applause and standing ovation  to ‘honor Randal Simmons and a life well lived’.  It’s sobering…am I living in a way that God will say ‘Well done, good and faithful servant’? 


Well, once again, I am surprised at to which posts draw people out of the dark corners of the blog reader world.  Well, my last post ‘IT’S A DOG PARK’ has seemed to strike a chord with many readers.
Following suit, the Martins had a FANTASTICALLY ridiculous experience at their real dog park with their real dog (but mostly with the crazed dog park finatic).
Also, for those of you who don’t know the Martins, they’re some of the nicest, easy going people ever.  So, their experience is all the MORE insane!


Once AGAIN, the ‘My Life is a Seinfeld Episode’ theory was proven true yesterday!  This ACTUALLY happened.  While this post may get long, due to necessary detail, I think you’ll find it’s worth the wait…the mere ‘Really?’ that you’ll be left with will be worth it.

-Beautiful Sunday afternoon in SCV
-After lunch, Holly and I decide to go Richard Rioux park in Stevenson Ranch to read/study and enjoy a Sabbath rest overlooking the valley
-The park is large.  The main section is with all the kid structures etc. The other section is fenced and can be reserved for weddings etc (it has a stage).  We set up shop in the gated area (a little more peaceful and away from all the kids). 
-Aside from the cuddling lovers off in the distance, Holly and I were relatively undisturbed for over an hour
-Holly was sitting Indian Style reading and I was laying on my stomach reading; both on the same oversized blanket

-Eventually, several different people came in and out of the area: kids on bikes, people and their dogs, etc.
-I didn’t pay any attention until I looked over to my right and saw 2 large dogs (1 retiever and 1 mastiff/pit ?) charging at Holly and I, full steam ahead.  They looked happy, but they’re stranger dogs to us.  AND, Holly is terrified of dogs.
-I immediatley am on my knees and deflect the retiever, but the mastiff is on me licking and wagging, etc.
-Everything happening quickly and Holly looking very uncomfortable and not dog-friendly, I grab him, pet him and send him on his way…the owner is watching and says nothing.  Not a ‘sorry’ or anything.
-The dogs run away and Holly is creeped out and now my hand smells like sick dog and we both comment  (chuckling) that ‘wow, not even a ‘sorry’ or anything.  weird’
-Holly has to rearrange her study set-up cuz the dog commotion dissheveled it all
-We return to our respective activities
-About 5-10 minutes pass and the dogs come charging again, this time from behind.  I yell at them to get away etc. and the mastiff keeps charging, so I deflect him  with my foot in his chest.  I shove him off.  I think the retriever jumped on Holly (I’m pretty sure that’s how the paw print ended up in her microbiology book). 
-At this point, it’s clear to any onlooker, that we are NOT welcoming the dogs into our area and that we do NOT want them to be near us.
-The owner calls for the dogs and says nothing to us
-We continue in our activities and comment with bewilderment about the owner’s rudeness
Sidenote: the owner is a big man, maybe 6 ft, about 200lbs, shorts, t-shirt, baseball hat and has 2 little kids riding around on bikes.  We’re going to call him Angry Elf (AE)
-Through the next 10 or 15 minutes, we hear another man, with a leashed dog (small) ask AE to call his dogs off (we turn around and his dogs keep hassling the leashed pet).
-AE yells something rude to the guy and does not get his dogs.  In fact, AE yells to the other guy to shut the gate so that his 2 (un-leashed) dogs don’t get out and how it’s a dog park…kind of like ‘get over the fact my dogs are uncontrolled and harassing your dog’
-I turn around and see AE not paying attention and see the other guy swoop his own dog up, as AE’s 2 dogs are charging him.  He looks around to AE, who is ignoring it.  The leashed dog, in his owner’s arms is carried off through the gate and they are now gone.

Now, at this point, I’m kind of irritated with how rude AE is.  And Holly is now beyond ‘muscling through’ her fear.  So, I tell her that I’ll say something if it happens again… 🙂

-About 5 minutes later, I see the dogs charging us.  I get up, yell at them to go away and then yell across to AE ‘Sir, could you please get your dogs off of us’.  He calls the dogs (no apology) and then yells something like ‘this is a dog-park’.  And then I yell, ‘And it’s also for humans too’.
-Now I lay back down and I’m more than irritated and I’m pretty sure that there’s going to be another interaction.
-Being the seeker of accuracy, I get on my Treo and look up whether or not this really is a ‘dog park’ which leads me to speaking with the sherrif.  That conversation yielded this info: whether or not it’s a dog park, the owners still need to follow the posted rules AND regardless of dog park status, dogs are not allowed to jump on people etc.  He wanted to send a unit out.  I said it probably wasn’t necessary and that the purpose of my call was to get accurate info on leash laws in parks.  We exchange a few laughs, he takes all my info and we hang up.
-AE is on the side of the park where the sign is posted.
-I walk out of my gate in order to go read the sign and confirm or deny what the proper protocol is and what’s legal for this situation
-I don’t close the gate (kind of on purpose, which I shouldn’t have done) and AE yells at me ‘Hey, can you shut the gate’
-I ignore him as I continue walking towards the sign (which is near him)
-He yells at me again and I say ‘What?”
-He repeats himself again ‘Can you shut the gate’ and I say ‘Why?’
-He sarcastically yells, ‘So the dogs don’t get out-this is a dog park’
Here’s roughly how the conversation progressed (insert being interrupted etc. and AE’s instantly aggressive and hostile tone…he’s yelling the entire time…we’re less than 15 feet from each other..I’m standing in front of the sign that has all the rules)

ME-Is it really?  That’s why I’m walking over to read the sign to confirm it
AE-It’s right there on the sign, dog park (which was NOT on the sign)
ME-My friend is terrified of dogs, so we’re just…
AE-then why don’t you move 20 yards outside the gate
ME-Even though we were here first?
AE-It’s a dog park; my dogs aren’t bothering you
ME-So, the 3 times they’ve jumped on us and my friend is terrified of dogs, that’s not bothering us?
AE-Whatever (mumbling some swear words)
ME-Actually, the sign says right here (and I point) that the city ordinance requires that your dogs are leashed (now he’s yelling over me and making rude remarks and sticking with his ‘dog park’ assertion)
ME-Sir, it says right here the dogs must be leashed
AE-then call the cops
ME-oh, actually I did.  And the sherrif confirmed it.
AE-(mumbling rude things) have a nice life (and turns his back to ignore me…dogs still running around)
ME-Sir, I’m not trying to be antagonistic, I’m just trying to…
AE-Yes, you are, you were from the minute we got here (or something to that affect)
ME-(inner monologue: ‘Really?  Is he really serious?) Sir, as long as they’re not jumping on us…
AE-Fine then we’ll just leave because you can’t…. (mumbling and yelling for his kids and telling them they have to leave because of me…)
I walk away and he keeps sarcastically yelling ‘Have a nice life’…Holly hears his kids ask ‘daddy, are we going to be arrested?’

I walk back to our area, lay down and am dumbfounded at what just happened…but kind of laughing at how ridiculous it was.   If that’s what a beautiful Sunday afternoon with your kids at a park looks like…yikes, I wonder if he’s a mean drunk.  I’m also guessing that he won’t be up for ‘parent of the year’ kudos.  What’s ironic is that it will probably be his kid that gets himself kicked out of my classroom in about 5 years for being disrespectful ..you wants to put money on that?

About 30 minutes later, Holly and I decide to leave and as we’re pulling out, to our surprise, the sherrif is pulling in.  We stop and touch base.  He asks questions.  We answer.  He’s surprised at the level of un acceptability and is glad we are ok.  Ahhhh, Sabbath rest.

PS-It’s not a dog park.  It’s a park where dog’s are allowed to be if they’re leashed.


I didn’t really understand the ‘archive’ feature in Outlook until about 1 year ago. 
If you know me, you know I’m a fiend for organization, especially with documentation.  I usually keep to/from correspondence in it’s proper folder (yes, because I’m organized, but also because I was trained in how to leave a paper trail in case I should ever have to provide documentation in litigation or what have you)….ANYway,

I got on board with the archive concept last year.  As of this moment, I have 12,194 items in my ‘sent’ folder in archive.  What?  That’s more then the miles I put  on my car last year.   And those are the emails that I did not put in their proper folder.

I guess it’s an exmaple of ‘slow and steady’… I wish I was slow and steady with other things: reading my Bible, memorizing Scripture, drinking water everyday, proper nutrition, housework, going to my PO BOX, etc….