Current Event Friday #10

South Carolina’s top female might no longer be Nikki Haley and be Mary Jane instead.

Time for another installment of #CurrentEventFriday. Today’s topic is based on discussions in the South Carolina legislature and states’ rights. Where have we seen this before? Oh yeah, the 19th Century and Slavery. The legislation in SC is controversial in each state and at the federal level just like slavery nearly two centuries ago. What is being discussed as permissible?


That’s right, marijuana. The state’s medical affairs committee approved a measure that will head to the Senate for final approval soon. The Palmetto State’s governor has threatened to veto any bill that would allow for medical marijuana.

Currently the state allows for low-THC, high-CBD products to be sold with some restrictions. South Carolina isn’t alone with this designation. They are joined by 17 states that allow for CBD products to be sold with some restriction. Additionally, 29 other states have passed comprehensive marijuana laws as shown in the map below:


Indiana has only recently approved the CBD product usage but is unlikely to pass a comprehensive medical marijuana law. Kentucky has considered the passage of medical marijuana and even recreational marijuana laws several times in the past. Time will tell if the blue grass becomes a different kind of grass.


While South Carolina would join a handful of states that allow for marijuana to be prescribed by a medical professional, some might look for the state to become like Colorado or Washington and resemble this old sight gag from The Simpsons.


While there are still federal laws prohibiting the usage of marijuana, they are not always enforced. Attorney General Jeff Sessions broke with the more liberal and libertarian wing of the GOP and promised to ensure the federal laws against marihuana would be enforced. In doing so, AG Sessions drew criticism from some of his friends and supporters.

I know I tend to be more conservative in my political philosophy, but I can see that adjustments to the federal marijuana policy might be worth it. We have been at war against all drugs for four decades, but it doesn’t seem like drugs will be surrendering anytime soon. There are plenty of medications that have received FDA approval even with studies detailing serious side effects, yet cannabis is still verboten even with studies that don’t demonstrate nearly the same negative side-effects. Besides, prescription and OTC drugs for medical purposes there’s also the liquid recreational drug alcohol that’s still available easily. Cannabis is similar to alcohol’s mental effects but remains illegal by federal level.

I’m not actively advocating for changes to federal law, but I’d like for it to be considered. I look at this as a federalist position and think that individual states should be allowed to determine cannabis’s legality.

DISCLAIMER: I’m not going to likely be a user, but if it’s approved through the proper channels at the state level and there’s no negative consequences, then who am I to stop someone?

What’s your opinion, should federal marijuana laws be changed and be approved by individual states?

Thanks for Supper

How can it be Monday and Thursday?

tour_img-312981-148“Why is tonight different from all other nights?” This question is asked by the youngest child during the Passover Seder. The answer for Jews celebrating this supper is that the Passover celebrates the liberation of their ancestors from slavery in Egypt.

This same question is fitting for Christians tonight too. For young kids and those unfamiliar they might think it’s a different night since it’s two different nights. I’ll admit when I was young I confused Maundy Thursday as Monday Thursday. I never could understand what Thursday had to do with Monday. To be clear, the word Maundy has nothing to do with Monday. It is a word connected to the word mandate. More on that later

This explanation and joke is often used as a lead-in for the sermon during Maundy Thursday services each year. I’ve used the joke and explanation before, but I’ll forgo it tonight. Much of my sermon tonight and some of my former continuing education assignments are included in this blog post. I’m sure some of you faithful readers might hear this more than once from me today.


Anyways, back to why tonight is different from all other nights. Tonight, as already mentioned Maundy Thursday or Holy Thursday. The significance of the mandate or command is given by Jesus to His disciples to love as He has loved. Additionally, it is a command to remember His sacrifice in the meal. Different denominations call this meal various names: Eucharist, the Lord’s Supper, The Great Thanksgiving, Holy Communion, or even The Holy Meal. All these words are likely easy for English speakers to understand except Eucharist. Especially among Protestants with a residual twinge of anti-Catholic sentiment this word bothers and offends. It is a Greek word meaning Thanksgiving, so there’s no need for the discomfort or confusion.

Like the Passover, Communion is not defined by any one timeframe. We remember the past. We participate in the present. We look to the future. And our remembrance protects us from the second death — eternal death.

Thankfully tonight as any time we celebrate Communion, we invite everyone to the table. United Methodists observe an open table which means that all who believe that Jesus died and was resurrected, that he died for our sins and confess that he is Lord is welcome to commune with us. The sacrament is not reserved for only those who have been baptized. Although, it is recommended that those who have been allowed to partake in communion should be counseled to being baptized as soon as possible. This permission to receive communion is extended to children since God’s prevenient or common grace is given to all regardless of age, intelligence, relationship to the church, or other qualifiers.

Communion will be preached and celebrated tonight calls attention to the forthcoming sacrifice of Jesus. Jesus took the opportunity to celebrate the Passover with His disciples before His betrayal, arrest, and sentencing that would eventually cost His life. Jesus used common elements like common themes in His parables to communicate Kingdom truths. He used bread to remind his body would be damaged and that the wine was a symbol of His blood that would be shed. Of course, His disciples were puzzled by this teaching, but understood after the Resurrection. It was because of this new understanding and appreciation for the lesson that Communion became part of the worship elements in the Early Church that has lasted to today.

Holy Thursday often the last portion of the rising action of Holy Week that ultimately climaxes in Good Friday. Holy Thursday services allow participants to recall what happened during Holy Week with less of the pain and despair of Good Friday services. Communion during Holy Thursday provides an opportunity for celebration and community that precedes the feelings of shame and darkness associated with Good Friday.

Christianity is very often marked by a dualistic nature of despair and celebration. The celebration of Passover gives way to the Crucifixion on Good Friday which gives way to the celebration of Easter. The despair of death gives way to the celebration of eternal life.

Why is this night different from all others? Because it’s the night we celebrate the First Communion at the Last Supper.

Will you be celebrating at a service tonight or maybe even tomorrow? May all the trappings of Holy Week become the blessing of the Resurrection on Sunday.


Is It in the Cards?

I’m such a card.

We use this idiom often to indicate what might be in the future. The origins of the phrase come from the usage of Tarot or other fortune-telling cards like Ms. Cleo hocked on her infomercials. As for me, I don’t know what’s exactly in the cards for my future but I’m into cards.

I’ve always had a fascination like many in playing cards. Even at an early age, I can remember Mamaw Doris had a plethora of card decks at her house when we’d come to visit. Sure, we’d do puzzles or play Monopoly at her house, but there was always time to play cards, whether it was WAR, Knock, Slapjack, 21, Euchre, or 52-Card Pickup. Most of my childhood I can also remember Mamaw Doris and Papaw playing cards with other family members or various friends that would come over for game night.

Game night or card night is a phenomenon that has fallen away in recent years. There are game nights every once in a while organized by church youth groups, and maybe a holiday game night at someone’s house, but back in the day it wasn’t uncommon for a couple to invite another couple over to play cards once a week to play cards.

I was reminded last week about the fun that can be had at card nights and why I think it might be time to return to it. I didn’t have plans last Friday for dinner, and my parents had other plans, so I wanted to find something to do. I called Mamaw Doris to see what she and the rest of the family might be doing. She told me they were heading to a hole in the wall restaurant about an hour or so away, and I’d be welcome to come. So, I met up with a good number of dad’s family for dinner and socializing which I looked forward to since I hadn’t seen or talked to them in person since my birthday a month ago.

After we got done with dinner, Mamaw asked me if I wanted to stop by her house and I agreed. I got to play cards with Mamaw, both of my aunts, and one of Mamaw’s neighbors. They were playing a card game new to me, but still fun. Card night is never just about playing cards, it’s a chance to blow off steam and gab about whatever’s going on. So, there’s all kinds of side conversations happening in addition to challenging the other players’ gameplay.

I’ve thought it’d be neat to host a card/game night at my house. Yet with my schedule it’s not been in the cards. Maybe when my school schedule calms down that’s something to try and coordinate. I’m hoping by then the redecorating efforts at my house should be done by then.

Cards are part of my family culture. Mamaw and Papaw played cards all during my growing up, and especially during holidays. It’s a tradition that continues to this day. There’s usually one or two games of Euchre happening at Thanksgiving or Christmas. I also grew up with stories that mom and dad were set up on a date by playing cards with mutual friends. So again, cards are in the family. Even Mamaw pointed out my cousin is usually over most Saturdays to play cards as an end of the week release. While I don’t necessarily have anyone close by to play cards with, I’m not opposed to playing any of the various forms of solitaire either on the computer or with live playing cards. Regardless, I’m going to try and include more card night with family and friends. So to my family, be looking for the event invite on Facebook.


What about you, do you enjoy playing cards? Should we get back to game/card night more often?

History Monday #7

On this day in 1979, Israel and Egypt sign a historic agreement providing for peace in the Middle East.

Time for another installment of History Monday. You can find many of the topics at We’ll be discussing a historic peace treaty signed almost 4 decades ago.

Camp David Accord
Egyptian Pres. Anwar el-Sadat. Pres. Jimmy Carter, and Israeli PM Menachem Begin at Camp David in 1978

The Egypt-Israel Peace treaty is one of the signature highlights of Jimmy Carter’s presidency. While Carter has been often criticized for his soft stance in dealing with the Arab world, his efforts at Camp David in 1978 have been celebrated.

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The Background

Some 30 years before, the newly created state of Israel had encountered a much tenser relation with its neighbor Egypt. Several Arab neighbors opposed the creation of the Jewish state of Israel in 1948.  These nations, including Egypt  attacked Israel just days after its establishment.  Israel had been successful at fending off most of these bellicose overtures by its neighbors but still sought legitimacy in the region. This came to a head in 1967 in the Six-Days War. This war proved Israel’s grit and determination as proved by their ability to conquer lands outside the agreed borders and graft those newly won lands into their national border. The greatest and most prized amount of captured land was the Sinai Peninsula.

The impetus for the thawing of relations between Israel and Egypt was a visit by Egyptian President Anwar el-Sadat to Jerusalem, the capital of Israel in 1977. This was unheard of by an Arab Leader at the time. To this day, Arab leaders still refuse to accept Jerusalem as anything but an Islamic stronghold. After Sadat visited Jerusalem, he and Menachem Begin, the Prime Minister of Israel traveled in 1978 to Camp David and meet with Jimmy Carter. This meeting was to hammer out official language and steps to provide for peace between the two nations. This meeting earned both leaders the Nobel Peace Prize of 1978.

The treaty signed on this day was the official document declaring peace between the nations as begun with the Camp David Accords. The treaty outlined a specific date for the normalizing of relations to happen. Part of the normalizing of relations included Israel relinquishing control of the Sinai Peninsula and returning it to Egypt, upon the condition that Egypt would not militarize the region. The treaty also included recognizing Israel as a state, a forbidden premise by the Arab League. In addition to the diplomatic relations included in the treaty, provisions for flights between the two nations and the sale of crude oil by Egypt to Israel which allowed for even better commercial relations.

The Aftermath

While the U.S., Israel, and Egypt were celebrated in the West for their efforts, the reception by the Arab World was less than favorable. The most vocal critic was leader of the Palestine Liberation Organization, Yasser Arafat. After receiving a seat at the UN just a few years earlier, Arafat viewed the peace treaty as a betrayal of the West to help his efforts to legitimize the Palestinian State. Additionally, Egypt was suspended by the Arabic League for signing the treaty and entering into the Camp David Accords. Most serious among the backlash was the Egyptian Jihad movement. This movement gathered radical Islamists who conspired to assassinate Sadat. The conspiracy came to a head and in October 6, 1981 Sadat was assassinated during a military parade.

Upon Sadat’s assassination Israel became concerned that the new peace might not last. Despite the unease, PM Begin went to the funeral for Sadat as he had come to view Sadat as a friend in the Arab-Israeli peace process.


Thankfully, Israel’s suspicions about the peace process have proved to be unnecessary. Sadat’s successor, Hosni Mubarak and other presidents have upheld the treaty thus far. The treaty also has likely pushed for an official peace process between Israel and Palestine in the 1990s. This treaty has been less than successful due to interference by other Islamist movements opposed to Israel and inciting Palestinian assaults upon Israel. Also, the willingness by Israel to cede captured land and cooperate with Arab neighbors has shown their willingness to find ways to promote peace in the region. Recently, as Pres. Trump has ordered the movement of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem this could lead to a more positive influence of the U.S. in Arab-Israeli relations. Adding to this, U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley has pushed other Arab neighbors to cooperate with Israel if they want to continue receiving foreign aid from the United States. The willingness of Egypt to sign the treaty guaranteed U.S. foreign aid to be reinstated to Egypt. I’d like to be optimistic and think that if Pres. Trump is as capable at negotiation as he demonstrates that a lasting treaty between Israel and Palestine might happen more than the previous overtures by the last 5 administrations.

What do you think, is there hope for more peace agreements for Arab-Israeli relations?

Current Event Friday #9

HELP WANTED: Local University seeks new Men’s Basketball Coach

It’s our ninth installment of #CurrentEventFriday and today’s current event deals with the state religion of Indiana — Basketball. I’ll admit that I’m not a practicing Hoosier since I only show up around March Madness. I’d like to talk about the basketball team across the river and their tumultuous season.

The University of Louisville Men’s Basketball team was rocked by allegations of financial and recruiting impropriety conducted by its head coach Rick Pitino. I’ll admit I was skeptical of Pitino’s hiring at Louisville years ago after his previous tenure at the University of Kentucky. I was raised with my father’s hierarchy of college basketball teams: 1) Indiana University 2) University of Louisville and 3) Anyone playing University of Kentucky. I don’t have the same affinity for IU, but still root for UofL and anyone playing UK. Anyways, back to Pitino. I got over my skepticism about his hiring as he was able to get UofL righted when hired. Then came the Karen Sypher debacle, and if not for her manipulative ineptitude, he would’ve been gone then. Then came the Katina Powell recruiting scandal, and Pitino weathered that. This was inevitably the last misdeed that Pitino and his friend Athletic Director Tom Jurich would be able to survive.

As the latest wrongdoing by Pitino and staff was uncovered, both he and Tom Jurich were unceremoniously dismissed by the university leadership. Even “Papa John” Schnatter couldn’t save the long-connected duo. The leadership selected an interim Athletic Director in Vince Tyra who in turn promoted former UofL player David Padgett.

David Padgett

David Padgett was an unlikely candidate to be sure but inherited a well-assembled team from Pitino. I’ll admit that Padgett may not have been my obvious choice, but I was interested to see how well he could produce given the chance. This season under his direction, the Cardinals were able to achieve a 22-14 (9-9 conference) record and qualify for an opportunity to play in the NIT. That’s not a terrible record for one season with little experience as head coach. I thought at the beginning of the season, that if Padgett was given a fair shot and the team produced he should be considered for the head coaching job on a more permanent basis.

After the Cardinals lost in the NIT quarterfinals Padgett’s fate was sealed. Coincidentally, the Mississippi State University Bulldogs were the same school that defeated UofL’s football team in postseason play.  Interim AD Vince Tyra announced at a press conference Wednesday that a comprehensive search for an elite coach would be conducted to provide the university with a better chance for success. It’s interesting that Tyra has not been hired on a permanent basis but is making decisions for the university as though he has been approved permanently. I’d like to see the newer leaders at UofL work to change the culture but keep the loyal fans happy. If Tyra and Padgett were hired on a permanent basis I think there was a foundation to build on and find more success soon.


The wrinkle in Tyra’s plan is that elite coaches like the three pictured above are making a lateral move and they’re not likely to want to leave their schools anytime soon for even the best offer that Tyra can muster. Besides the salary it could cost, they’re unlikely to move and be accountable to an AD that may be leaving shortly after they’d accept the offer. So, it’s not an appealing job. Padgett was willing to work in these conditions to prove his merit, but his record apparently mattered more.

What I could see as a possible sweetener to the offer is for Interim UofL President Greg Postel to remove Vince Tyra and hire one of the elite coaches as AD and then allow them to bring in a coach of their choice. That’s unlikely to happen, but it might be worth a shot. We’ve seen it happen in professional sports with top coaches like Mike Holmgren, Tony LaRussa, Bill Parcells, and other veteran coaches hired in front office positions and then let them hire a new coach which often leads to success.

The name being bandied about for the head coaching vacancy is Chris Mack from Xavier University. Mack has a record of 212-96 overall and 10-7 in postseason play. Again, not a bad record, but he’s coaching in his hometown and has been at the same school almost 10 years as head coach, 7 years as an assistant, and 2 years as a player. He seems loyal to the school.

Since this is all opinion, and I’m by no means an expert, let’s have fun with what UofL should do.  First let Postel and Tyra be full-time at their jobs and remove the interim designations and bring in a completely unexpected wild card coach that has experience at a big school following an established coach leaving under unceremonious conditions.


That coach is none other than Mike Davis formerly of IU and UAB, and currently at Texas Southern. He’s got a good overall record from all his schools and Texas Southern has made it into the NCAA Tournament each year since 2013 and the teams are either the conference champion or runner-up since he was hired in 2012. It’s a long shot and he’s not been mentioned on any reliable sites but might be worth a shot.


Who should be the next coach at UofL, the usual suspects, or a wild card?


Ultimately, whoever the university hires, I’m still #L1C4

The Mountains Are Calling…and I Must Go

On top of Old Smoky…

It’s Spring Break for most secondary and elementary school children and college students are returning from Spring Break the last couple weeks. It’s also officially Spring, but the 3-4 inches of snow here in Kentuckiana would seem to indicate otherwise. I know I’ve posted lately about getting away and being tired of the snow and winter, but I’m in need of a getaway for sure. I know that Florida and the Gulf Coast sounds nice, but the travel costs might not be that affordable.

That brings me to another option — Gatlinburg and the Smokies. I mentioned something to Mom about taking a trip next month and I suggested that if my Brother and Sister-in-law wanted to take a vacation closer but still fun they might consider the Smokies. I had been when I was a young boy but hadn’t been for almost 25 years until going last November.


I learned that if you’re spending most of your time in Gatlinburg itself, having a hotel in town or at least very close is the best option. We stayed in a hotel just off the main drag in Pigeon Forge which was fine, but it meant having to search for parking each time we visited Gatlinburg. Parking comes at a premium. So, while I’m talking about being in Gatlinburg, let’s talk about where to go and what to see there.


The cheapest and most obvious place to go is Great Smokies National Park. The mountain roads are a gradually winding path along a large area with several scenic vistas and sites to hike through the park. We chose to drive through the main road and onto Clingman’s Dome just across the border into North Carolina.


Complementing the scenic views in the park and offering other vision opportunities is the Gatlinburg Space Needle. Located in the arcade in the heart of downtown the Space Needle allows for the ability to look out upon town and the nearby mountains. Also of note to see in terms of natural beauty is located at Ober Gatlinburg. Modeled after an Alpine Ski Resort, the attraction uses a state-of-the art tram to reach the summit from downtown, the resort offers opportunities for skiing, boarding, and tubing, and an indoor skating rink along with souvenir shops.


When you visit Gatlinburg many of the attractions besides the souvenir shops on every corner are the various Ripley’s attractions. Yes, that Ripley, the namesake of the Believe It or Not! fame. Of course, the hallmark attraction is the Believe it or Not! Museum. Containing some of the strangest and unique attractions from Robert Ripley’s collection, it’s an amusing time to see all the oddities. In addition to this Ripley attraction, it’s worth a trip to Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies. Housing all kinds of saltwater fish, freshwater fish, and other aquatic animals the aquarium is worth spending a few hours touring.


Also, worth visiting is Cooter’s place. Ben Jones the actor who played Cooter on the Dukes of Hazard operates an indoor mini-golf course and go-kart track. Also included are several artifacts from the show including mementos of Corydon’s own James Best.


As I mentioned yesterday I have a love affair with food. Luckily, I could enjoy a lot of the food offerings in Gatlinburg without much guilt since Gatlinburg is laid out in a compact area. Getting your walking exercise in is no problem. We were there during Thanksgiving and found many restaurants open on Thanksgiving Day. We enjoyed Howard’s Steakhouse. It’s one of the oldest restaurants in town and it’s a quaint little tavern with tasty food and a fun staff that likes to sing along to the 70s and 80s music. The Thanksgiving meal was spot on, and I would venture that the steakhouse fare would be worthwhile too. We also visited Bennett’s BBQ, which is part of a group of restaurants in the area. The BBQ joint is also co-branded with a pizza restaurant also in the restaurant group. I had the combo platter which included tender brisket, smoked sausage, ribs, along with Texas toast, spicy mac ‘n’ cheese and deep-fried corn. Way too much, but we ended up spending so much time exploring the park that we missed lunch and being gluttonous was excusable. We also enjoyed dinner at Blaine’s. I had wings with salad and baked potato. The wings were just spicy enough, if not a little messy but still worth it.


Also, while we participated in wine walk at the various wineries in downtown. They each have different offerings worth exploring and finding a particular wine you like. Along with the wineries is the Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery. It’s a distillery offering mass-appeal flavored grain alcohol. Tastings are offered for a small cost, but the bartenders have fun and the drinks are strong but handled well.

Pigeon Forge/Sevierville

I included Pigeon Forge and Sevierville as one section since their city limits often blur together. Most of the main highway thru both towns are dotted with dinner theatres, dollar outlet stores, min-golf courses, and pancake houses.


Worth visiting as sole attractions are the Titanic Museum. An exact replica with a self-guided tour and exhibits about the ill-fated voyage complete with docents in period costumes. The interactive features help you to have a fuller sense of what it would be like to be on the ship. You’re assigned a real passenger with a biography when you embark and find out at the end of the tour if you survived. As I mentioned, most of the main thoroughfare includes mini-golf courses and we chose to play at Prof. Hacker’s Mini-Golf Adventure. Each course has its theme, and Prof. Hacker is a geologist/archeologist and there’s clues about his adventures in each section of the course. Also, worth exploring and losing an entire day is the Tanger Outlets. Yes, it’s just a large outlet mall, but still good bargains at major retailers like Old Navy, Nike, Converse, and several others.


We found several restaurants worth recommending in Pigeon Forge/Sevierville. One that’s worth noting is the Apple Wood Restaurant & Grill. The restaurant is part of a larger compound that is included on the Apple Barn & Cider Mill location. The restaurant serves down-home comfort food. I had a massive club sandwich that was very filling. Add the complimentary apple fritters and Apple Julep (a combination of various fruit juices). We also made sure to visit the Old Mill Restaurant in Pigeon Forge. The restaurant includes an old grist-mill and several themed pioneer style shops. The menu includes more down-home vittles that include a cup of our Corn Chowder, corn fritters, salad, homemade mashed taters, green beans and a choice of desserts. Kentuckiana folks, think like Joe Huber’s. I had the Chicken Fried Steak, which was a double portion that was more than enough, and tender, and very peppery. The chowder was rich and full of vegetables. The corn fritters use a hush-puppy batter and are offered with a maple butter (think bacon & syrup together). We also ate at Big Daddy’s Pizzeria, they’re part of the co-branded pizza joint at Bennet’s BBQ in Gatlinburg. The location in Pigeon Forge is standalone. I had the meat combo pizza. It’s an woodfired hand-tossed crust with a mild tomato sauce.

Of course, we took in more attractions and restaurants while we were there, and I’m sure if I make a return trip, I’ll find new places worth visiting.


Be sure to look out for the locals while visiting. They especially like coming to see what the tourists have brought for them to rummage through. They’re a little fierce and sometimes grumpy so approach them with caution.


What about you…are the mountains calling you too?

You Can’t Spell Diet without Die

Eat up!

Look at that smorgasbord. My appetite definitely has good vision and tries to entice me to eat copious amounts of food. My stomach doesn’t always share the same affinity. I’ll admit that hasn’t always been the case. My eating habits when I was young were mostly for sustenance and I was a picky eater. As I hit puberty and beyond my pickiness went away and a ‘healthy’ appetite developed as well.

I could never imagine that when I was 93 lbs. when I got my Driver’s Permit that by the time I was licensed I’d have put on another 40 lbs. I usually average around 145-150 lbs. currently. I’m right at the edge of overweight BMI. That BMI and my activity level obviously contribute to a risk for disease.


Of course, one of those diseases and the one I must deal with is Diabetes. I always assumed from my adult years that I might get Diabetes. I have 3 grandparents, an uncle, and a parent with Diabetes. So that combined with the other risk factors made the odds of me contracting the disease almost inevitable. I assumed that I’d probably develop the disease towards the end of mid-life to retirement age. Being diagnosed some twenty to thirty years sooner wasn’t really in my plans. But c’est la vie. I was diagnosed 3 years ago on Labor Day weekend and by consequence I had to make changes.

One of the most obvious adjustments was adding medication. That’s not really a major change. I’ve taken medication for my heart disease from an early age and the dosage has been adjusted numerous times throughout my life. So, adding one more pill wasn’t that much of a lifestyle adjustment. The new adjustment was diet and monitoring the disease. Part of the dieting I had to do was making sure to eat breakfast. Don’t get me wrong, I like eating breakfast and breakfast foods, but eating breakfast means making breakfast. Often, I’d trade half an hour of sleep for full breakfast. I do usually try to eat a bowl of cereal or a granola bar just to keep my metabolism activated. Along with making sure to add a meal I often skipped, I had to pay attention to how much I eat at meals. Thankfully, I’ve found an app that has a database of common foods and restaurant meals with carb levels and other nutrition information. The app also tracks my weight and my blood glucose readings. The other adjustment I had to make is monitoring my blood glucose levels. That means pricking your finger to draw a small amount of blood to be tested by a glucometer. Again, I’ve had enough finger-sticks post operation and full blood tests that a quick stick drawing a couple drops of blood isn’t much. There’s always a slight wince and you have to psych yourself up to essentially cut yourself. Part of the adjustment with monitoring is the cost. The circuitry for the glucose testing strips are made from gold. The more gold the better results. Unfortunately, gold isn’t cheap. The lancets aren’t much cheaper either. So that’s a hidden adjustment to the disease.

Thankfully, I have made those adjustments and that’s borne good fruit. My a1C goals (A three-month average of blood glucose levels) are at acceptable levels each time I have a visit with my primary care physician. I’m hoping the reading will at least remain at the previous levels and even better could decrease. Between now and then I’m going to try and be a little more purposeful about my eating habits. Since I don’t eat out as much thanks to my singlehood, that may be an unintended positive consequence.

Let’s hope that everybody reading this that also has Diabetes is able to keep their disease under control and this post raises awareness for others.

History Monday 6

Woodrow Wilson and Congress up to wartime shenanigans again.

Time for History Monday again. That’s exactly what we’re talking about today — time. On this date a century ago, the United States passed the Standard Time Act, also known as the Calder Act.


If you noticed last week on my social media, I blamed Woodrow Wilson for this act as we saw its effects happen on March 11 at 2:00 a.m. Like me, I’m sure many of you bemoaned this too. Some of you opposed to Daylight Savings Time, will be pleased to know it was repealed about a year after the passage of this act. Wilson vetoed the repeal twice, but the second veto was successfully overridden by Congress.


The purpose of this bill was to conserve electricity during the waning years of World War I. Other countries involved in the Great War had already been using some form of time saving measures to help their electric usage.

Also included in the bill was the establishment of standard time zones across the country. This provision of the bill was kept even when the bill was repealed. The Interstate Commerce Commission oversees and makes necessary changes to time zone boundaries. The creation of time zones was necessary since most states and local municipalities observed their own standardized solar times wreaking havoc on travelers. An association of railroad owners had noticed this problem in the 19th Century when trying to create and organize their rail travel schedules.

DST was again made official in 1966 but allowed for states to pass individual state laws that allowed for exemptions to observe DST. Given that some states were bisected by the time zone boundaries, those states could exempt the whole state, and eventually just the area of the state that would be in the later time zone.

As a side note, I always thought it was interesting when Indiana, one of the exempted states created unique enclaves of slow and fast time. I can remember when traveling to Corydon to visit grandma on fast time and coming back home to slow time and arriving 15 minutes before we left since the travel time was less than a full hour. It’s almost like we were driving a DeLorean at 88 mph like Doc Brown or Marty McFly.


Now I’ll admit I like to rag on Woodrow Wilson for many other reasons, and the passage of DST is just one more, but there are advantages. I didn’t like losing the hour of sleep, and the morning hours are darker the first month or two which isn’t fun. I do like having events at 7 p.m. that end an hour later, and the sky is just starting to dim, but thankfully it’s still light out.

The regulation of DST has been much improved since 2007 and added almost another month to the observance. Indiana again created a wrinkle with its passage, and several counties requested to opt out, but a year later requested to observe DST.

Even recently, the Florida legislature is considering a permanent observance of DST. Arizona and Hawaii already observe DST year-round. Much of Florida’s efforts are aimed at boosting tourism and of course adding more of the resource they boast in their state’s nickname — Sunshine. If Florida is allowed to observe DST year-round the region of the panhandle that is in the Central Time zone would move in to the Eastern Time zone along with the rest of the state.


What about Daylight Savings Time, are you a fan?

Current Events Friday #8

Sound the alarm, ‘Clock Boy’ lost his court battle.

Today’s Current Event Friday is actually based on a previous event. In September 2015, a 14-year-old boy named Ahmed Mohamed was detained by Irving Police Department after bringing what educators believed to be a bomb to his middle school.


The backlash that followed was able to help Mohamed to achieve Andy Warhol’s maxim, that everyone will receive 15 minutes of fame. Mohamed was dubbed ‘Clock Boy’ by more conservative media outlets. Additionally talk-show hosts and other celebrities invited the boy to come on their programs and brought light to his cause through hashtags on Twitter. Even Pres. Obama appealed to Mohamed’s so-called plight. In the aftermath and the attention brought to the story, the boy’s father brought a lawsuit in 2016 against the City of Irving and the School District for alleged racism and Islamophobia.

This brings us to the current event. A federal judge ruled this week that Mohamed’s civil rights were not violated when he was sent to the principal’s office and detained by the Irving Police Department. Adding to that, the judge ordered that the suit be dismissed with prejudice. Two civil defamation suits against Glenn Beck and the Blaze, and Ben Shapiro and The Daily Wire were dismissed last year.

Here’s where I get political and take issue with Ahmed and his father. This boy likely knew that when he assembled the clock in the container he chose that it would likely draw attention by his teachers, other students, and administration. This attention resulted in what educational psychologists term ‘negative reinforcement.’ I learned in my undergrad that if at all possible, teachers should use positive feedback and redirect misbehavior. Unfortunately, this redirection and tempered discipline have only reinforced unruly behavior by many students. Mohamed like many millennials and incorrigibles are ill-prepared for negative consequences.

We’ve also seen in this case along with the San Bernardino and Pulse Nightclub tragedy, that anytime someone reports suspicious activities involving a Muslim, that the PC-culture cries Islamophobia or even before that accusation is leveled, witnesses refuse to cooperate to save themselves being labeled as anti-Islam. I think that we’ve also reaped consequences with Parkland, when authorities are afraid to negatively punish a deeply troubled individual like the shooter. [Note, I refuse to use his name and give his name popularity]. If law enforcement had followed through on threats, the violent outburst may have been avoided. Obviously, the shooter in Parkland and the so-called ‘Clock Boy’ are not both Muslims, but the decision to remove serious consequences from pranks, threats, and outright violence carried out by children leads to exponentially worse problems every day. Fear of consequences for children might curtail the insolence and entitlement so prevalent of today’s younger generation. Yes, I hear the Gen-X and Baby Boomer voice overwhelming my Millennial designation.

Now, as my OT professor was reminding us recently, what’s the punchline? What is the real takeaway. Make sure children know that acting out and being disruptive should and does have negative consequences. If you keep that mischief contained to your school or house, the worst you could expect might be detainment by police. At best, a possible suspension as your consequences. If you seek fame and celebrity outrage, be prepared for the supposed negative consequence of criticism by well-known pundits. More simply put, misbehavior = consequence. The Bible informs us about discipline.


Let’s face it, the truth is there are consequences for all our actions.

Beware the Ides of March

What’s the deal with March 15?

 “Beware the Ides of March” warns the soothsayer to Julius Caesar in the eponymic work by William Shakespeare. This in reference to the assassination of Caesar that would happen shortly. The Ides were typically a time of sacrifice and change.

Mar. 15 Calendar Pg

March 15, the Ides of March were the beginning of the Roman Calendar year. It was on this day, that the sheep of the Roman god Jupiter were to be sacrificed.  The time of change and sacrifice was tied to the usual timing of the first Full moon for that month.

It was likely the reason that Julius Caesar was assassinated on this date. Roman political leaders saw that sacrificing the Emperor and changing their political system were necessary going forward. Although, the consequences for the conspirators may still have brought about misfortune for them anyways.

We have seen lately even in our own republic, a time of change. State and even federal legislators have voted on gun control measures based on the Parkland tragedy. We have seen a generation that were previously politically apathetic taking up a new mantle of political activism. Agree or disagree with the stance of these young’uns, their activism is admirable. I’ll admit, that I’d like them to be a little more informed, but they’re still admirable for trying.

e31ace2a15a7c70645ad83df9ecd43b0_xlWe also see the Ides as a time of sacrifice for many Catholics and even Protestants. The Ides are likely to fall sometime during Lent. We’ve already discussed Lent as a time of sacrifice on Ash Wednesday. Additionally, the Roman Ides sacrifice paralleled the Jewish Passover sacrifice. Jewish priests would of course offer annual sacrifices of lambs during the Passover holiday as Moses was commanded to by Yahweh in the Exodus narrative.


A similar parallel to the Jewish practice of casting out a scapegoat was also a practice observed during the Ides of March. Obviously, we still use the word scapegoat, but we seldom assault the scapegoats in our lives. We still see scapegoating practiced especially by political opponents today. *cough* Tillerson *cough* NRA *cough.

The Ides were also a time of predicting one’s fortunes or misfortunes. The religious sacrifices to Jupiter were interpreted by the priests to indicate what the gods had decided should happen that year. Of course, we have our own day of fortune or misfortune around the same time. We sanctify it along with many Greco-Roman observances by tying it to a Saint’s feast day. The saint chosen for the mid-March holiday is St. Patrick.

St. Paddy's Day.png

So, beware the Ides of March and the strangely verdant food and drink of Padraig, patron saint of Ireland.