Archive for December, 2009

Being Grandpa

December 30, 2009

Yesterday, I took a vacation day to spend with my family.  We went on an adventure.  The first stop was the Ellwood Butterfly Preserve in Goleta, California.

We had a great time exploring the area.


Jesus, the Christ

December 25, 2009


As we commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ two millennia ago, we offer our testimony of the reality of His matchless life and the infinite virtue of His great atoning sacrifice. None other has had so profound an influence upon all who have lived and will yet live upon the earth.

He was the Great Jehovah of the Old Testament, the Messiah of the New. Under the direction of His Father, He was the creator of the earth. “All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made” (John 1:3). Though sinless, He was baptized to fulfill all righteousness. He “went about doing good” (Acts 10:38), yet was despised for it. His gospel was a message of peace and goodwill. He entreated all to follow His example. He walked the roads of Palestine, healing the sick, causing the blind to see, and raising the dead. He taught the truths of eternity, the reality of our premortal existence, the purpose of our life on earth, and the potential for the sons and daughters of God in the life to come.

He instituted the sacrament as a reminder of His great atoning sacrifice. He was arrested and condemned on spurious charges, convicted to satisfy a mob, and sentenced to die on Calvary’s cross. He gave His life to atone for the sins of all mankind. His was a great vicarious gift in behalf of all who would ever live upon the earth.

We solemnly testify that His life, which is central to all human history, neither began in Bethlehem nor concluded on Calvary. He was the Firstborn of the Father, the Only Begotten Son in the flesh, the Redeemer of the world.

He rose from the grave to “become the firstfruits of them that slept” (1 Corinthians 15:20). As Risen Lord, He visited among those He had loved in life. He also ministered among His “other sheep” (John 10:16) in ancient America. In the modern world, He and His Father appeared to the boy Joseph Smith, ushering in the long-promised “dispensation of the fulness of times” (Ephesians 1:10).

Of the Living Christ, the Prophet Joseph wrote: “His eyes were as a flame of fire; the hair of his head was white like the pure snow; his countenance shone above the brightness of the sun; and his voice was as the sound of the rushing of great waters, even the voice of Jehovah, saying:

“I am the first and the last; I am he who liveth, I am he who was slain; I am your advocate with the Father” (D&C 110:3–4).

Of Him the Prophet also declared: “And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives!

“For we saw him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father—

“That by him, and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God” (D&C 76:22–24).

We declare in words of solemnity that His priesthood and His Church have been restored upon the earth—”built upon the foundation of . . . apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone” (Ephesians 2:20).

We testify that He will someday return to earth. “And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together” (Isaiah 40:5). He will rule as King of Kings and reign as Lord of Lords, and every knee shall bend and every tongue shall speak in worship before Him. Each of us will stand to be judged of Him according to our works and the desires of our hearts.

We bear testimony, as His duly ordained Apostles—that Jesus is the Living Christ, the immortal Son of God. He is the great King Immanuel, who stands today on the right hand of His Father. He is the light, the life, and the hope of the world. His way is the path that leads to happiness in this life and eternal life in the world to come. God be thanked for the matchless gift of His divine Son.

Image of the signatures of the First Presidency Image of the signatures of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

January 1, 2000

Merry Christmas

December 24, 2009

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.   And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord And this shall be sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

The Rush Off the Cliff

December 22, 2009

The Senate has jockeyed and maneuvered and paid off the necessary politicians to move the health care reform bill along its way to becoming law.  The anti-abortion Democrat got something for his state, but abandoned his principles–for the first time, abortion will be federally paid.  The anti-government option Independent got what he wanted and caved in–ever though there will certainly be a de facto government option.

After “debating” the bill for several days, it was dumped in the trash and replaced with a “manager’s amendment,” a complete re-do that no one knew exactly what it really contained.  Then the cloture vote at 1:00 AM to move the bill along its way.

There is actually language in the bill that prohibits it from being changed and dropped by future Congresses.  In other words, the Congress is taking over 1/6 of the US economy with bill that no one has read and will prohibit any changes to it in the future.  It’s cast in concrete, chiseled in stone.  I just think Harry Reid is afraid that since this entire fiasco of a law is so unpopular with the nation’s citizens, he is trying to protect it from being repealed after the people vote the power-grabbing Democrats out of office as soon as they have a chance.

Apollo 17

December 19, 2009

On December 19, 1972, Apollo 17, the last manned mission to the Moon, returned to Earth.

Gene Cernan and Harrison H. Schmitt spent 3 days 3 hours on the Moon’s surface.  They spend more than 22 hours exploring.  They returned 110 pounds of lunar rocks.   These were all records.   Ronald E. Evans was the Command Module pilot and set the record for the longest time in lunar orbit.

Cernan was the last man to walk on the Moon.  Just before returning to the LEM he said, “As I take man’s last step from the surface, back home for some time to come — but we believe not too long into the future — I’d like to just [say] what I believe history will record — that America’s challenge of today has forged man’s destiny of tomorrow. And, as we leave the Moon at Taurus-Littrow, we leave as we came and, God willing, as we shall return, with peace and hope for all mankind. Godspeed the crew of Apollo 17.”

Apollo 17 was the first night time Apollo launch.  While traveling to the Moon, they took the “Blue Marble” photo of the Earth from 18,000 miles away.

Why the Rush?

December 18, 2009

Are Harry Reid and the Senate Democrats rushing the health care reform bill to a pre-Christmas recess vote because they know how unpopular it is with the American public?

With each new public opinion poll, the support for health care reform is dropping further and further.  If the members of Congress go home and honestly listen to their constituents, I think with would return with the firm knowledge that voting for this health care reform bill is a poison pill.  The people don’t want it passed.  It is as simple as that.

I chose the picture at the top of this post for a good reason.  The claim of “Open Government” is quite ironic.  The drafting of the current Senate version of the reform bill has been done completely behind closed doors–tightly closed doors.  No one really knows what is in it or how it will affect the nation.  No ‘Open Government’ here.  It’s just another case of “My way or the highway” politics.

Hopefully, all the Republicans will hang tight and at least one or two Democrats will be statesman-like enough to stop the cloture vote.  That will end, at least for now, the foolish rush to pass the unknown health care reform bill.

Unintended Consequences

December 18, 2009

Geologist On Trial For Causing Earthquakes While Searching For Clean Energy

Swiss geologist Markus Haering is being tried for deliberately damaging properties as a result of deep drilling he conducted in Basel, Switzerland that caused a series of earthquakes in 2006, the Guardian reports.

The aim of Haering’s project was to shoot cold water three miles underground, where naturally occurring rocks would turn it into steam. Using a steam turbine, the project was expected to generate clean energyto power 10,000 households and heat 2,700.

Unfortunately, the drilling was done on top of a fault line, in the middle of a city, causing a number of earthquakes, one of which had a 3.4 magnitude and resulted in Geopower Basel, the project leader, coughing up 9 million Swiss francs in property damages.

The project was suspended immediately after the quake and shut down last week. Haering could face up to five years in prison.

From The Business Insider

From the ‘Get a Life’ File

December 17, 2009

Teen Runs Up Dad’s Cell Bill to Nearly $22,000
The Associated Press

Posted: 12/16/2009 05:36:22 AM PST

HAYWARD, Calif.—A 13-year-old teen was probably in hot water with his father after running up a cell phone bill of nearly $22,000. Ted Estarija said he was expecting his bill to be higher this month after adding his son to his plan, but wasn’t expecting a bill of $21,917 in data usage charges. The Hayward man said his Verizon Wireless bill soared after his son apparently downloaded about 1.4 million kilobytes of data last month.His plan didn’t cover data usage, so he was charged by the megabyte.

Estarija said after the first media reports, Verizon said they would credit his account for the entire amount.

He has also suspended his son’s account.

A spokeswoman for Verizon said the company investigates cases with exceptionally large bills.

Chill Map

December 10, 2009

In honor of the Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, I post the current chill map of the United States.  It’s a good thing that they changed the name of Global Warming to Climate Change.  Maybe one of these days clear thought and non-political science with return to this arena.

The Peace Prize

December 10, 2009

“But as a head of state sworn to protect and defend my nation, I cannot be guided by their examples along.  I face the world as it is, and cannot stand idle in the face of threats to the American people.  For make no mistake:  evil does exist in the world  A non-violent movement could not have halted Hitler’s armies.  Negotiations cannot convince al Qaeda’s leaders to lay down their arms.  To say that force is sometimes necessary is not a call to cynicism- it is a recognition of history; the imperfections of man and the limits of reason.”

President Obama delivered these words as part of his acceptance speech when he received the Nobel Peace Prize today.  Let’s hope he really believes them.