Thursday, July 31, 2008

Happy Birthday, Harry!

Today is also Harry Potter's birthday! If he were a living being, he would be 27 years old!

Happy Birthday, Harry!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Celebrate by reading a Harry Potter novel, watching an HP movie, and having a Harry Potter Party!

For more information on Harry Potter, visit:
J.K. Rowling's Official Website
Mugglenet.com (You can find out what a Muggle is, if you don't already know)
Or any of the other HP sites on my sidebar.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Wednesday Hero

1st. Lt. Thomas M. Martin
1st. Lt. Thomas M. Marti
27 years old from Ward, Arkansas
C Troop, 1st Squadron, 40th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division
October 14, 2007
U.S. Army

An Eagle Scout, Thomas M. Martin took on cleaning up an old red train caboose as a service project. "He remodeled it to make it where people could go inside. If you saw it before and looked in it after he was through - it was daylight and dark", said his former principal, Robert Martin, who is no relation. "Tom was involved in Key Club, German Club and band, making All-Region Band his sophomore year", said Robert Martin. "He was a wonderful young man. Those that knew him knew he was funny and outgoing."

Lt. Martin died in Al Busayifi, Iraq of wounds sustained from small-arms fire when insurgents attacked his unit during combat operations. He enlisted in the Army in 1998 after graduating high school and served in Korea before accepting an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point, graduating in 2005.

"He was very polite and respectful. I can't think of him ever overreacting; he had a wonderful, good-natured personality", said Pat Hagge, a family friend. "It's a terrible tragedy; he was a great young man."

Lt. Thomas Martin is survived by his parents, Edmund and Candis.


These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.

We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.
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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Wednesday Hero

This Weeks Hero Was Suggested By Toni

1st LT. Frank B. Walkup, IV
1st LT. Frank B. Walkup, IV
23 years old from Woodbury, Tennessee
2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division
June 16, 2007
U.S. Army

Toni already has a great post up on her site, so I'll just link to it.


These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.

We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.
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Thursday, July 17, 2008

RIP Tony Snow

Tony Snow's funeral was today at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, in Washington, D.C. Fox News coverage here.


President Bush and Mrs. Bush attended and the President gave a beautiful address:

THE PRESIDENT: Archbishop Wuerl, Father O'Connell, Mr. Vice President, members of the Cabinet and my administration, members of Congress, distinguished guests; most importantly, the Snow family, Jill, Robbie, Kendall, Kristi and Jim, and other family members; former colleagues of Tony. Laura and I are privileged to join you today to pay our final respects to a cherished friend.

Tony Snow was a man of uncommon decency and compassion. He was a devoted husband, a proud and loving father, an adoring son, a beloved colleague, and a wonderful role model and friend.

In a life that was far too brief, he amassed a rare record of accomplishment. He applied his gifted mind to many fields: as a columnist, newspaper editor, TV anchor, radio host, and musician. He had the sometimes challenging distinction of working for two Presidents named Bush. As a speechwriter in my Dad's administration, Tony tried to translate the President's policies into English. (Laughter.) As a spokesman in my administration, Tony tried to translate my English into English. (Laughter.)

Tony always gave me good and candid advice. He was a man of profound substance who loved ideas, held strong beliefs, and reveled in defending them. He took very seriously his duty to inform the public about what its government was doing during historic times for our nation.

In the White House briefing room, Tony worked to build a relationship of candor and trust with the press corps. On his first day at the podium, he told the gathered reporters this: "One of the reasons I took this job is not only because I believe in the President, but because, believe it or not, I want to work with you." Tony was the first working journalist to serve as the White House Press Secretary for nearly 30 years. He knew the job of a reporter was rigorous. He admired the profession -- and always treated it with respect. And the presence of so many members of the Fourth Estate here today attests to the admiration and respect that he earned.

Of course, Tony's adjustment from commentator to spokesman was not seamless. Ann Compton of ABC recently recalled that when you asked Tony a question, he would sometimes get going, and she would have to stop him and say: "Tony, wait, I asked what the President thought." (Laughter.)

Tony brought a fierce and challenging intellect to his duties. And he displayed an engaging wit. When a reporter asked a rather labored question about Congress, Tony did not answer it. The persistent reporter pressed him: "Are you going to just evade that question?" With a smile, Tony quipped: "No, I'm going to laugh at it." (Laughter.)

I believe the reason Tony was so good at his job is that he looked at the world in a joyful way. He was a proud patriot who believed in America's goodness, and an optimist who knew America's possibilities. He believed strongly in the wisdom of the American people. And throughout his career, he took a special pride in being a vigorous and unapologetic defender of our men and women in uniform. He supported their missions, saw honor in their achievements, and found every possible opportunity to highlight their character and courage.

Tony Snow, the professional, is a hard act to follow. Tony Snow, the man, is simply irreplaceable. Everyone who worked with him quickly grew to love him. We will always remember his wry sense of humor and abundant goodness. We'll also remember he was just a lot of fun. After all, he played six different musical instruments and was a proud member of a band called Beats Working. He may be one of the few people in history to have jammed on the South Lawn of the White House and with Jethro Tull. (Laughter.)

We remember Tony's thoughtfulness. No matter how busy he was, this was a man who put others first. He would go out of his way to ask about people's families. He would check in with friends whenever he heard they were ill. He'd reach out to others, sometimes strangers, who were struggling with cancer. Even when he was going through difficult chemotherapy sessions, he sent inspirational e-mails to a friend whose son was suffering from a serious illness.

We remember Tony's resilient spirit. When he received a second diagnosis of cancer, he did not turn to despair. He saw it as another challenge to tackle. He found comfort in the prayers he received from millions of Americans. As he told the graduates here at Catholic University last year, "Never underestimate the power of other people's love and prayer. They have incredible power. It's as if I've been carried on the shoulders of an entire army. And they made me weightless."

Most of all, we remember Tony's love of his family. There was no doubt for Tony Snow that his family was first. When Jill reached a milestone birthday, Tony had a huge celebration. He later said that he and Jill danced that night as if they were teenagers. He said he was the most fortunate man in the world to have shared love like that. So, today, Jill, our hearts are with you, and we thank you for giving Tony such a special life.

For Robbie, Kendall, and Kristi, you are in our thoughts and prayers, as well. We thank you for sharing your dad with us. He talked about you all the time. He wanted nothing more than your happiness and success. You know, I used to call Tony on the weekends to get his advice. And invariably, I found him with you on the soccer field, or at a swim meet, or helping with your homework. He loved you a lot. Today I hope you know that we loved him a lot, too.

I know it's hard to make sense of today. It is impossible to fully comprehend why such a good and vital man was taken from us so soon. But these are the great mysteries of life -- and Tony knew as well as anyone that they're not ours to unveil.

The day Tony was born was also the day that many of his fellow Catholics pay tribute to Saint Justin. Justin was also a gifted thinker and writer, and a powerful witness for the Christian faith. Because of his beliefs, he suffered many times of trial, and in the year 165 A.D. he was arrested. Before he received a sentence of death, he was asked: "If you are killed, do you suppose you will go to heaven?" Justin replied: "I do not suppose it, but I know and am fully persuaded of it."

Tony Snow knew that, as well. That brought him great peace. When talking about the struggle he waged so admirably, he said that no matter how bad times may sometimes seem, "God doesn't promise tomorrow, he does promise eternity."

And so today we send this man of faith and character and joy on his final journey. Tony Snow has left the City of Washington for the City of God. May he find eternal rest in the arms of his Savior. And may the Author of all creation watch over his family and all those who loved him, admired him, and will always cherish his memory.
Beautiful.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Wednesday Hero

Spc. Kisha Makerney
Spc. Kisha Makerney
23 years old from Fort Towson, Oklahoma
120th Engineers, Oklahoma Army National Guard
U.S. Army

Spc. Kisha Mackerney isn't being profiled today because of something she did on the battlefield. She's being profiled because her spirit and determination. In 2002, Makerney joined the Oklahoma Army National Guard out of a sense of patriotism, because, as she put it, "I love our country and our people." Between 2004 and 2005, she served in Iraq as a gunner and helped provide battalion security. She returned home in early 2005 and was in a terrible motorcycle accident on June 25, 2005. The front wheel of her brand new bike had blown out and sent her flying into a highway sign. She looked up at her now mangled bike and was angry. That's when she noticed that her left leg below the knee was missing. The first thing she thought of when she saw her leg was that her military career was over.

Makerney pulled herself out of the ditch that she had landed in and was able to flag down a passing motorist. She was taken a hospital in Hugo, Oklahoma before being flown to Dallas, Texas.

As soon as word spread about her accident, her fellow soldiers, her second family, rallied and rushed to her bedside. "Even before I was out of surgery they were waiting in the halls," she said.

Continue reading Spc. Kisha Makerney's story here. There are some despicable comments by a few readers on the story. Just ignore them.


These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.

We Have Every Right To Dream Heroic Dreams. Those Who Say That We're In A Time When There Are No Heroes, They Just Don't Know Where To Look

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.
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Monday, July 14, 2008

Josh Groban News!

Baseball is my favorite sport in the entire world and tomorrow is the All Star Game! And I was excited to hear the news that my favorite singer, Josh Groban, will be singing "God Bless America" during the 7th Inning Stretch! Ahhh! I can't wait!!!!!!! You can read the news release here. Don't forget to tune into Fox for the game on Tuesday!

And in other Josh news, he's started a blog! You'll find it here!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

God Grant You Peace, Tony Snow!

I was quite shocked this morning to hear of the death of one of my absolute favorites, Tony Snow. I'm devastated. Tony has always been one of my favorite conservatives and the world is dimmer without him. I was going to hear him speak back in April, but his talk was canceled. I'm so sad I never will get to meet his gracious and honorable gentleman. He was a good Catholic. A good man. He will be missed terribly. I know he is with God, where he will know no more pain or suffering, only joy and Love.

I will miss those gorgeous blue eyes, that confident and comforting voice, that sharp wit and brilliance. God bless you, Tony Snow!

My prayers are with his family, friends, and colleagues.


In the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, Amen:

R. Subveníte, Sancti Dei, occúrrite, Angeli Dómini, Suscipiéntes ániman ejus, Offeréntes eam in conspéctu Altíssimi. Suscípiat te Christus, qui vocávit te, et in sinum Abrahae Angeli dedúcant te. Suscipiéntes ánimam ejus, Offeréntes eam in conspéctu Altíssimi.
R. Come to his assistance, all you Saints of God: meet him, all you Angels of God: receiving him soul, offering it in the sight of the Most High. May Christ receive you, who hath called you, and may the Angels conduct you to Abraham's bosom. Receiving his soul and offering it in the sight of the Most High.

V. Réquiem aetérnam dona ei, Dómine, et lux perpétua lúceat ei. Offeréntes eam in conspéctu Altìssimi.
V. Eternal rest give to him, Lord: and let perpetual light shine upon him. Offering it in the sight of the Most High.

Kýrie eléison.
Christe eléison.
Kýrie eléison.
[Pater noster (silently)]... Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
[Our Father (silently)].....

V. Et ne nos indúcas in tentatiónem. V. ...and lead us not into temptation.
R. Sed libera nos a malo. R. But deliver us from evil.
V. Réquiem aetérnam dona ei, Dómine. V. Eternal rest give to him, Lord.
R. Et lux perpétua lúceat ei. R. And let perpetual light shine upon him.
V. A porta ìnferi. V. From the gates of Hell.
R. Erue, Dómine, ánimam ejus. R. Deliver him soul, Lord.
V. Réquiescat in pace. V. May he rest in peace.
R. Amen. R. Amen.
V. Dómine, exáudi oratiónem meam. V. O Lord, hear my prayer.
R. Et clamor meus ad te véniat. R. And let my cry come to Thee.
V. Dóminus vobiscum. V. The Lord be with you.
R. Et cum spiritu tuo. R. And with thy spirit.
Orémus. Tibi Dómine, commendámus ánimam fámuli tui (fámulae tuae) N.____, ut defúnctus (defúncta) saéculo tibi vivat: et quae per fragilitátem humánae conversatiónis peccáta commìsit, tu vénia misericordìssime pietátis abstérge. Per Christum Dóminum nostrum.
Let us pray. To Thee, Lord, we commend the soul of your servant Tony Snow, that being dead to this world he may live to Thee: and whatever sins he has committed in this life through human frailty, do Thou in Thy most merciful goodness forgive. Through Christ our Lord.
R. Amen. R. Amen.
You can read the President's statement here.

Send letters of condolence to the Snow Family here.

And an article Tony wrote last summer on his Faith and his cancer.

The Closer Returns!

Monday one of my favorite tv shows, The Closer, (official website with great stuff here) returns for its fourth season. I cannot wait! It has been an age since last season, with the writer's strike delaying its return by a month (compared to when the other seasons premiered).

I am looking forward to Brenda and her squad's new cases, personal stories, and her devotion to sugar and chocolate. The episodes are always superbly written and interesting.

Monday there will be reruns of last season on TNT, in case you missed them. I highly recommend this series and I know where I'll be at 9pm! Don't miss it!

After all, "Everyone has something to confess."

And, also Monday, Kyra Sedgwick will be on the Rachael Ray Show. She's a chocoholic, too, so she'll be doing a chocolate lover's challenge blindfolded. Looks like a great episode!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Wednesday Hero

Sgt. Kenneth J. Schall
Sgt. Kenneth J. Schall
22 years old from Peoria, Arizona
2nd Battalion, 70th Armor Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 1st Armored Division
May 22, 2005
U.S. Army

"It was very tough not to be touched by him in some way," said Terri Schall, Sgt. Kenneth Schall's mother.

Kenneth Schall was enrolled at Glendale Community College and was studying to become a history teacher when the country was attacked on September 11, 2001. The event spurred him to join the Army. He served a four and a half month tour in Iraq in 2004 and returned in February of 2005.

Terri Schall last spoke to her son on Mother's Day in 2005. "He sounded great — tired — but he said he was doing OK", she said. Sgt. Kenneth Schall died when the Humvee he was riding in was involved in an accident in Yusafiyah, Iraq.

Along with his mother, Sgt. Schall is survived by his father and two younger siblings.


These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.

We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.
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Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Postcard to Tolkien Found

I love Tolkien and would love to come across something like this.

Reuters: Builder discovers "priceless" Tolkien postcard---

LONDON (Reuters) - A demolition man stripping a fireplace from the former home of "The Lord of the Rings" author J.R.R. Tolkien stumbled across a postcard to the writer dated 1968, and hopes to sell it for a small fortune.

Stephen Malton, who runs Prodem Demolition in Bournemouth on the south English coast, was working in the house in the nearby town of Poole before it was bulldozed to make way for a new construction project.

"Before we demolish a house we do an internal strip out," Malton said Tuesday.

"One of the main features was a fireplace, and upon removing that we came across three postcards. The third one was a postcard dated 1968 and addressed to J.R.R. Tolkien."

Friday, July 04, 2008

Happy Independence Day!

I am going out to the lake until Monday, but I could not leave without wishing our beloved nation a happy birthday. We are blessed to live in the most wonderful place in the history of the earth. Every day here is a precious gift from God.

We must remember to thank our most excellent military for their service and sacrifices. We would not be here without their blood, sweat, tears, and, sometimes, lives. Thank you to those who served in our military, those who serve in our military, and those who will serve in our military. God bless you all.

We must also remember to thank the families of those who serve in the military. Their dedication, sacrifices, and love allow our military men and women to fight on for freedom. Thank you to all the wives, husbands, parents, sisters, brothers, children, cousins, grandparents, and friends of our military. God bless you all.

Thank you to President Bush. Thank you to Vice-President Cheney. Thank you to the House of Representatives. Thank you to the U.S. Senate. Thank you to our Supreme Court and our other judges.


Thank you to all members of our government at the federal, state, and local levels. Thank you, as well, to our police and fire crews. They keep us safe and save lives every day.

Thank you to all who chose to exercise their rights by voting. We keep this country running, for better or for worse. Thank you to all who chose to exercise their freedom of religion---in a peaceful manner. Thank you to all who chose to exercise their right to bear arms---in a peaceful manner (until we must fight the good fight). Thank you to all who protect Life.

Thank you to our Founding Fathers, for creating this wonderful, beautiful nation. I hope it never vanishes from the face of the earth. Thank you for having the courage to sign a piece of paper that changed the world for good---for the best.

Thank you, my fellow Americans, for being here and making our economy run. For going to work every day. For raising families. For going to church. For loving this country. Let's keep America America.

Read the Declaration of Independence here.



Happy Birthday, America! Long may you live!


Happy Independence Day, my fellow Americans! May God bless us all!


Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Items of Interest: Independence Day Edition

I'll add more when I come across them.

AP: Washington's boyhood home found, but no hatchet

LiveScience: When Was the 4th of July First Celebrated?

And unrelated but very intriguing:

Telegraph: Secret of Stradivarius violins' superiority uncovered

Wednesday Hero


Click Image For Full Size
Lance Cpl. Julie Martinez
U.S.M.C

Lance Cpl. Julie Martinez, a radio operator with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, checks the communication capabilities during a backload of Marines from Combat Logistics Regiment 3 to the USS Essex June 9.


These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.

We Have Every Right To Dream Heroic Dreams. Those Who Say That We're In A Time When There Are No Heroes, They Just Don't Know Where To Look

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.