"Life moves pretty fast. You don't stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it." - Ferris Bueller

Wednesday, August 24, 2005
This Week's Sign The Apocalypse Is Upon Us
Timken High School in Canton, Ohio (home to the NFL Hall of Fame) has a female population of 490.

65 of that female population currently find themselves "in a family way".

Published media reports that

School officials are not sure what has contributed to so many pregnancies...
Perhaps said school officials need to re-take freshman biology.
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
Salt Lake City Mayor Channels Howard Dean
An Open Letter to Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson:

Dear Sir:

Yesterday (August 22, 2005) was a first for me. It was the first time in my life I have ever been ashamed to list Salt Lake City among the many places I consider home. I have deep familial roots in the Salt Lake Valley. I count among my forbearers those who crossed the plains and turned what was a desert into a thriving, prosperous land. I have spent several years of my life in this fine city and even had the privilege of attending school not far from downtown. Much of my family still lives in or around Salt Lake City.

Many people, no doubt yourself included, have worked very hard to bolster the image of Salt Lake City around the world. I have no doubt the people whose job it is to attract conventions, tourists, and other visitors to Salt Lake City do a fine job of promoting the area as one of the premier destinations in the western United States.

Some people might not consider a convention of the Veteran's of Foreign Wars to be a big deal. I do not count myself among those people. These men and women have struggled and sacrificed in order that people like you might live as you like and do as you choose. These honored veterans deserve, if nothing else, respect.

This same courtesy and respect should and ought to be extended to the Commander in Chief of the United States Armed Forces. He's commonly referred to as the President of the United States. I can understand if you're not too familiar with him. He's only visited Salt Lake City twice during his presidency.

Most American Mayors are honored to have the opportunity to welcome the President to their city. Even if they hate the man's guts (as you obviously do), they extend to his office the courtesy and respect reserved for the Leader of the Free World.

They do not organize rage filled, hate spewing protests to greet his visit.

Your job as mayor, sir, is to promote your city. What you should have done was welcome W to Salt Lake City, not protest his visit. Private citizens can do that. You, sir, are a public official. Your use of your office to organize an anti-war and obviously anti-Bush protest is reprehensible and an obvious abuse of your office. You, sir, should be ashamed of yourself.

But I know you're not. I heard your diatribe on KSL. You've obviously memorized the Moveon.org talking points and studied the playbook written by Howard Dean. Your best efforts to organize a protest resulted in some 1,000 people gathering at Pioneer Park to shout obscenities and wave middle fingers and otherwise vent their collective spleen.

Congratulations, Rocky. You've had your Fifteen Minutes. Perhaps when you realize the cost in tourism, conventions, and visitors that choose not to use Salt Lake City as a destination, you'll understand just how much those Fifteen Minutes cost you.

It just too bad you had to tarnish the image of an entire city to get yourself on the evening news.

Here endeth the lesson.

* Yes, I know the Salt Lake Tribune reported the crowd number to be roughly 2,500. Sorry, guys, but I think you take your crowd counting skills from Louis Farrakan and Randi Rhodes.
Friday, August 19, 2005
Balance Has Been Restored
As you drive around the town or city you live in, you'll see that on school fields everywhere, the tackling dummies have been set up. Boys are running around in helmets and pads. Cheerleaders are practicing there routines.

Ladies and Gentlemen, its Football Season once again.

Balance has been restored to the lives of football fans everywhere.

Now if only BYU could get and field a decent defense...
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
This Week's Sign The Apocalypse Is Upon Us
Of all the places to get married, these people choose a McDonald's Drive Thru.

No word on whether or not the McDonalds in Las Vegas has added a wedding lane to their Drive Thru.
Monday, August 15, 2005
Small And Simple Things
My fellow blogger and frequent commenter Lisa often takes time to relate her experiences with her son Ethan. Her posts are very moving and I greatly admire her fortitude and strength as she does her best to help her son along is obviously a very difficult path.

Her writings remind me of a time some years ago when the Ravishing Mrs. Cordeiro and I were confronting some developmental issues with our firstborn son, Corderinho. While I will not go into the details of his issues – its not really relevant to my overall point – I will just say said issues (at the time) seemed very daunting.

We were (and still are) young parents who suddenly realized we were directly responsible for making decisions that would greatly affect the future of another human being – another son of God.

Sometimes it really sucks being an adult.

The biggest issue confronting the then four-year-old Corderinho was his eyesight. When he was three he was diagnosed as pretty much legally blind – and subsequently got very strong prescription eyeglasses. Then he could see, but he had to undergo a lot of therapy and specialized training to make up for the fact that he really couldn’t see much of anything for the first years of his life.

With kids it’s really hard to tell if what you’re doing is making a difference. You get the best information you can, take the best course of action available, and hope for the best. So that’s what we did.

Getting him to all the different places he needed to go was interesting. We lived in Los Angeles at the time. In the morning, I would take him to his pre-school (in Santa Monica) and then head to work (near LAX). This was quite a trip, and traffic does nothing for my state of mind.

One day as I ran the gauntlet that is LA traffic, a “small and simple thing” happened. As I exited the Santa Monica Freeway to head east on Interstate 10 – going over the “fly over” at a painfully slow pace, I heard Corderinho singing in the back seat. This was not unusual, but for some reason I turned down the traffic report (the KFI infobabe was telling me something I already knew) I heard what he was singing, and I was truly astonished. He sang a primary song:

I love to see the Temple, I’m going there someday – to feel the Holy Spirit, to listen and to pray.
You see, for a very brief instant as you pass over the Santa Monica Freeway to go east on Interstate 10 (on a clear day – which it was) you can see the LDS Los Angeles Temple some three miles in the distance. Corderinho had seen it, and this was his way of letting me know.

Every now and then the Lord lets you know you’re doing something right.

Cordeirinho has progressed much further than any of the specialists, therapists, doctors, or any of us believed he could. He still has some catching up to do, but all of us have our individual challenges.

Corderinho’s song that day reminded me of a scripture in the latter part of the Book of Mormon. Nephi is pouring his heart out to the Lord, and the Lord reminds Nephi of a very important fact:

Behold, the Lord said, thou are Nephi, and I am God.
It’s very important that we always remember who we are, and who He is.

Here endeth the lesson.
Tuesday, August 09, 2005
Hardball (Cordeiro Manor Update)
Well, its been over 30 days since the Contractor did any work on the Cordeiro Manor Remodel. The Ravishing Mrs. Cordeiro and I have given him every opportunity during this time to make good on the contract.

And still, Cordeiro Manor sits in its unfinished and nearly unliveable condition.

So, today, the Ravishing Mrs. Cordeiro and I did something the Contractor will most likely consider "Rash". We hired a lawyer.

For those of you familiar with the story of the Cordeiro Manor remodel, you'll know that I have been more than patient with the Contractor. I was fully prepared to deal with the late completion date and the budget over runs. These things happen. But then he made my bride cry, and that's when it became personal.

I don't know what kind of assets he has, or how a judgment will affect his life - and frankly I don't care. He's stolen from me - there is no other term I can use to describe his actions. Stealing is a crime, and crimes have consequences.

Only time and the legal process will tell what his consequence will be.

Almost as a joke, I've put a Paypal donation button on the sidebar. If you have a few Large you don't know what to do with, and you want a bathroom, floor, or stairway named in your honor, drop it in the bucket. I know my readers pretty well, and none that I know of fit the description of someone with money they don't know what to do with. Still, I have been known to be wrong, on occasion.

You hush, Cinnabari.
Monday, August 08, 2005
The ACLU's Relentless Pursuit of the Boy Scouts
Powerline's Scott Johnson penned a piece in the Weekly Standard detailing the ACLU's 30 year war against the Boy Scouts of America. After having read this, and followed the Hedgehog's various pieces on the same issue, I've decided to throw my two cents into the debate.

In the interests of full disclosure and to inform the reader of my slant, I will state for the record that I am an Eagle Scout. I have been involved in scouting in one way or another since I entered the Cub Scout program at the age of eight. As a Cub Scout and Boy Scout I earned the highest awards offered by each of the two programs. My scouting mentor is none other than my Grandpa Frank, whose love for scouting kept him in close contact with the BSA for some 83 years. I believe in the program and enrolled my eight year old son, Corderinho, on his eighth birthday.

I have participated in more scouting activities than I can remember - everything from Courts of Honor to the rite of passage commonly known as Scout Camp. To put the program in a nutshell - Scouting guides young boys along the pathway to manhood. Scouting teaches valuable principles and skills that help young men make good decisions. It teaches there is a right and wrong in life.

And yes, someplace along that path you learn that plastic wrap has interesting applications in outhouses, and smoke bombs do really cool things when thrown into a campfire. Midnight raids on the campsites of fellow scouts can be dangerous. Mountain lake water is really, really, really, cold - even in August. That said, you can jump in, swim to the floating barge, and swim back - and live to tell about it.

You learn that nature, while beautiful and stunning in all its splendor, is very unforgiving of the unprepared. You can survive a winter encampment, and if you're really adventurous, you can do so in an ice shelter warmed only by a candle.

What is required of a scout? That he obey the Scout Law and be Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent. Also he must live by the Scout Oath, and, on his Honor, do his best to do his duty to God and his country and to obey the Scout Law - to help other people at all times and keep himself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight. (Emphasis mine)

Because membership and participation in the Boy Scout program is limited to those who profess a belief in a Higher Power and openly homosexual men are not permitted in the ranks, the ACLU has had the BSA in its cross-hairs for some 30 years. The ACLU believes membership in any organization, public or private, should be dictated by the ACLU standards, and not that of the organization.

Anything less, and the targeted organization is branded as discriminatory. Many organizations have cowered at the very thought of an ACLU anti-discrimination lawsuit. The BSA has not, and has thus far been successful in warding off the ACLU's attempt to dictate the membership requirements.

I'm not going to discuss whether or not the BSA is a public or private organization. I'll leave that to Hugh, the Hedgehog, and other lawyers to debate. I believe the ACLU has waged a 30 year war on the BSA for some very simple reasons.

They just plain don't like the Scouting Program. Sure, they'll say "If the BSA would simply change their program to suit our demands, everything would be fine." But surrendering to the ACLU would end scouting as it has come to be known. The churches (where the vast majority of Scout Troops are chartered) would simply create another similar program and call it something else. Whatever would be left of the BSA after that would quickly fade into obscurity - much like the Canadian program has.

They can't stand the fact that belief in a Higher Power is a membership requirement. It can't even be said the BSA is a Christian organization. You can be a Jew, Muslim, Christian, Hindu or any other religion (organized or not). The ACLU recognizes no power higher than itself.

Homosexuality is not an accepted part of the program. Openly homosexual men are not permitted to lead scout troops, and homosexual young men are not permitted to participate in scouting activities. One would think, with the recent sexual abuse scandals, the reasoning for this would be self-evident. For those of you who have problems with self evident stuff, please make sure your teenage daughters are sent to a summer camp run by men.

And finally, the ACLU can't stand the absolute standards of the scouting program. In scouting, you either fulfill the requirements, or you don't. In order to advance, you have to pass the tests. Exceptions are made for extenuating circumstances or physical conditions, but if you don't make it, you don't make it. 3% of those entering the program make Eagle.

The latest victory for the ACLU came from a black robed thug in Illinois. Said thug enjoined the Federal Government from allowing the BSA to use facilities at Ft. A.P. Hill for future National Jamborees. Only time and the appeals process will tell whether or not that ruling will stand.

The one thing you have to ask yourself in the midst of all these events - what right does the ACLU have to tell any organization, public, private or otherwise, how to run their membership rolls? Should it be acceptable that one person, or a small group of people should be able to, by force of judicial fiat, force their views on another group of people?

Regardless of your religious or political persuasion, I think you know the answer to that question.

Here endeth the lesson.
Monday, August 01, 2005
Weekend Re-cap
After taking the Ravishing Mrs. Cordeiro and my son Corderinho to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (all in all a pretty good flick), we went to Red Robin for dinner. On several of the TV screens in the restaurant, ESPN was playing what it called "Great American Events". Being a good American, my interest piqued. Ok, maybe that's not completely truthful. I had to wait for a table and had nothing better to do.

Remember, this is a Saturday night. One would think the main ESPN channel would be broadcasting baseball or some other sport. Nope. Much to my (and the rest of the restaurant patron's) amusement we were treated to the International Federation of Competitive Eating's US Open.

No, I am not kidding. I can't make this stuff up.

The competition was based on a three course meal made up of
* Italian Salad (served in 2 pound plates - you had to put away two of these to make it to the next round)
* Potato Skins (served on 4 pound plates - again quantity of two if you wanted to proceed)
* And finally and Appetizer tray - roughly six pounds.

To the chagrin of fat guys everywhere, the US Open was won by a skinny Asian guy.

And the corporate sponsor? I'll let you guess. You only get one guess.

OK, give up? (Or cheat by visiting the provided link?)

Alka Seltzer.

This, dear readers, was quality comic relief on television.

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