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Books - Christian Fiction
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Saturday, 14 August 2004
Lower the carbs
Topic: Food
It's still too hot to cook much but eating all those sandwiches is putting a few pounds back on so I went out and bought all kinds of fruits and veggies so I'll eat f & v instead of bread. I also bought some chicken so I'll need to cook that but I plan to keep it as simple as possible.

I just received a new issue of Cooking Light so I'm sure that by the time I've read through it I'll be psyched up to cook something.

Posted by rachela at 10:12 PM MDT
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Working and walking
Topic: Walking through the world
I had to work today and my niece is getting married and I couldn't be there so the first part of the day rather sucked. It was cooler today so I decided to just walk to my usual weekend errands in an effort to improve the day, so I did and managed to rack up 5.55 miles, according to my GPS. This is only outside, where GPS tracks and only when I remember to turn it on. I have to turn it off when I'm on the bus so it doesn't count the miles done on the bus.

I just don't like riding my bike everyday but if I don't keep track of my walking I tend to take it easy. I'm trying to walk five miles any day I don't ride my bike to work.

I do feel better but my feet hurt. I haven't done as much walking recently because of the heat so I'll have to keep it up to get my feet in shape. I also need to wear walking shoes instead of sandals, but it is just too hot for closed shoes.

Posted by rachela at 10:04 PM MDT
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Monday, 9 August 2004
The foods of summer
Topic: Food
Since the heat hit I've degenerated to eating deli food, frozen dinners and cottage cheese with whatever fruit I have on hand. Basically anything to keep from cooking. I'm still eating lots of fruit but I just can't handle much cooking. In the fall I'll start looking at recipes again.

Actually I do cook occasionally but it's things like boiling eggs for breakfast and making toast. I am becoming good at making great sandwiches. In fact I've got quite a selection of sliced meats and cheese and I picked up some good bread today, parsley swiss and cinnamon raisin. It really is possible to eat well without cooking. Sort of!

Posted by rachela at 8:37 PM MDT
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Sunday, 8 August 2004
Evolution's Rainbow - by Joan Roughgarden
Topic: Books - Mystery
Joan Roughgarden is a transgendered woman. Ok, she used to be a man, or, at least, had a man's body. I think this is a very interesting and important book but I did get confused as to what people were when she was talking. She started with showing the many sexual and gender types in animals and then leads into the many types of sexual and gender types and expressions in humans. Part of this is the many types of genetic diversity in humans that isn't really talked about.

I've always thought that sexuality was on a continuum but it seems to be more like a tree. I also never really considered that there was a difference between gender orientation and sexual orientation. She brings up the cloning and genetic manipulation and how so often this is also a part of trying to make people be "right", "perfect", "the way they are suppose to be".

This is an excellent book.

Posted by rachela at 10:15 PM MDT
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With Intent to Kill - by Dell Shannon
Topic: Books - Mystery
After getting home I spent the rest of the day doing a little cleaning and finishing up books that I had started. Here's two of them and I have more to go. I have such a bad habit of starting too many books at once and then not being able to finish some of them so I'm trying to finish them.

This is the 19th Lt. Luis Mendoza mystery. It starts with Higgins' own daughter's birth, though he couldn't be happier having his two step children, the children of Dwyer who was shot down in a bank. Meantime the detectives of LAPD Homicide are keeping busy.

A man is shot while walking his dog. A policeman is shot when pulling a car over for a traffic violation. A young lady is found strangled by the railroad tracks which turns into an interesting mystery. A telephone lineman is shot by a paranoid householder. They are sure a candy maker has just killed for the third time and may get away with it again.

Posted by rachela at 9:44 PM MDT
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Geopsychology Walking
Topic: Walking through the world
I actually got up early enough today that it was still cool and at 7:00 I started out to try a little Psychogeography walking. See my entry on July 3rd, about the Utne article, though the correct link to Glowlabs is

I decided to go with the First Left, Second Right and First Right, starting with walking west on Broadway right outside of my apartments. I wandered through the residential area south of Broadway which made for interesting wandering since many of the streets are cul-de-sacs and I had decided that I wouldn't consider that a valid turn. Some streets are blocked by walls due to the commercial buildings on Wilmot. I walked along some nice residential areas and crossed a wash at Harvard and Malvern, where I stopped to take some pictures. I finally ended up at Wilmot and Barnan.

I crossed Wilmot and wandered south of Park Mall ending up in a park that runs along the south and west sides with a wall between the park and the mall. I had sort of realized there was a park there but had never walked through it. It's nice though there's not much there, just trees, grass and a couple back stops if someone wants to hit a ball, but no real ball fields. I pretty much quit counting at this point as it was 8:00 and getting hot.

I walked through the park and entered Park Mall to enjoy the cool. I kept getting passed by the power walkers taking advantage of the room to move before the crowds appear. I figured I had done enough walking and walked over the Starbucks where I sat and read for an hour. What a great way to start a day.

Posted by rachela at 8:54 PM MDT
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Friday, 6 August 2004
Schooled to Kill - by Dell Shannon
Topic: Books - Mystery
This is the 17th Lieutenant Luis Mendoza mystery. Yes, I am reading them all again, if I can find them, though not in order. An eight year old girl is raped and left in Elysian Park and all the detectives look at their own children more protectively. I thought it was interesting that the girl's teacher allowed to her walk home alone six blocks to pick up a book she had forgotten to bring. This was written 1969 and now, 2004, it would be unthinkable for an eight year old to walk six blocks by themselves much less be allowed to by a teacher. It's rather sad really. I doubt there are any less children being abused since if you are a sicko, you'll find a way.

A guy comes into the station to report that a total stranger has asked if he wants to kill someone for money. A body is found in the trunk of a car that has been parked in a neighborhood for a couple days. A lady is found dead in a Union Station restroom from a bungled abortion. A man goes starts shooting at people in the street from his house. The usual craziness of humanity.

At home Luis, a confirmed cat person, is confronted by an English sheepdog that stowed away in his wife's car. Their four cats, and Luis, are not happy but the dog loves them and along with Alison refuses to send the dog to the pound to be killed.

Posted by rachela at 8:08 PM MDT
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Walkin' the Line - by William Ecenbarger
Topic: Books - Nonfiction
William Ecenbarger set out to follow the Mason-Dixon line from where it starts at the southeast corner of Delaware to the western end 233 miles later between West Virginia and Pennsylvania. He gives us the historical facts of how Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon, between 1763 and 1768, surveyed the line that separated Maryland from Delaware and Pennsylvania in order to settle a dispute going back to the 1600s.

He interweaves this with how things look now and how they were before, during and after the Civil War when it divided free states from slave states and became not just a state line but an icon and rallying point. He has so many sad stories but among them are happy ones of the slaves that made it to freedom and stayed free. One of the saddest chapters is that being too close to the line wasn't safe for African Americans as slave catchers would capture escaped and even legally free slaves and sell them back into slavery. How terrible to finally be free and then be caught again.

It's very interesting as I have often heard the term Mason-Dixon and even had a vague idea where it was but never heard actual facts about how it came about.

Posted by rachela at 7:50 PM MDT
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Thursday, 5 August 2004
Long ride
Topic: Cycling
I rode 19.69 miles (love my odometer) and I'm tired. About 12 was in the afternoon as I had to ride to another office further away and then home. Toward the end I got a few drips of rain but never enough to really cool things off.

Since I was near 5th St, just east of Granada, I rode just north of 5th to 4th Avenue. Then I rode south to just before the underpass where I curved east and onto the bike route that connected with the Snake Bridge, which I rode across Broadway. I'm trying to find a good way to ride to Broadway and Campbell and then on home without having to get on Broadway too much since there is no bike path till Columbus where it shares the bus lane. That is dangerous since people are whipping in and out of shopping centers and stores and I've nearly been hit several times.

I rode the back streets to Columbus and then got tired of winding back and forth and rode on the sidewalk till I got home. Even so I had to stop fast a couple times since people whipped right in front of me. I know, I know. That's bad but I was tired. I'm really enjoying riding my bike again but I am eagerly awaiting cooler weather.

P.S. I just noticed that my total odometer since I got it last week is 100 miles, exactly. Cool!

Posted by rachela at 10:23 PM MDT
Updated: Thursday, 5 August 2004 10:35 PM MDT
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Tuesday, 3 August 2004
Gadget time
Topic: Cycling
Last week I got an odometer/speedometer for my bike. It's so much fun. I did check that it was 7.5 miles to work and it's almost exact. Usually just a little over because of minor side trips. I only rode three days last week and today was my first one this week due to fear of rain. I have 65 miles on the odometer which is a little over the 15/day for last week and 17.44 today since I went down to 22nd to the Albertsons on the way home.

I did see some lightning today but it wasn't close but I was a bit afraid a couple times last week. If only I could go by the forecasts but they don't always know what's going to happen and what does 40% chance of rain mean anyway? It wasn't bad today as the clouds kept off the direct sun and even with the high humidity and heat I had much more energy riding home.

I've found that when it's this hot I just don't ride much on the weekends since it's hot by the time I get up. During the week I ride to work when it's comparatively cool and once I'm there, I have to ride home nd it's starting to cool down when I leave work, usually.

Posted by rachela at 10:51 PM MDT
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Monday, 2 August 2004
No Holiday for Crime - by Dell Shannon
Topic: Books - Mystery
This is the 20th Lieutenant Luis Mendoza mystery. The officers of Homicide are now part of Robbery/Homicide and they are learning to cope with new duties and getting to know the members of Robbery that have been transferred over. It's also Christmas and crime really does not have a holiday.

One of the new officers is a woman, Policewoman Wanda Larsen, and they don't know what to do with her. As you can see this was written a while ago, 1973 to be exact. Evidently they never consider that she might go out on a call, though in later books she finally makes them let her go. The other officers are keeping their fingers crossed that they aren't picked in the lottery to babysit the Rose Parade.

A young lady is found on the grounds of the Science Museum. She was on her way home to Utah, for Christmas, from Santa Barbara and no one knows why she wandered off from the Greyhound station during a layover. A rash of low haul burglaries hits one area, but no one knows how the burlar always knows the people will be gone. A cleaning man is found stabbed to death in a building that is closing for the Christmas Break. Trucks full of liquor and high end food are being hijaked.

Detective Jason Grace and his wife finally cut through the paperwork to adopt the baby found during a murder several months before. Luis and Alison try to straighten out the mixture of English and Spanish spoken by their three year old twins, but a try at Celtic stories doesn't help.

Posted by rachela at 9:05 PM MDT
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Sunday, 1 August 2004
A new PDA
Topic: Whatever
Ok, so does anyone else care? I care! I have been looking at getting a new one for over a year now but just couldn't decide. Do I need Wi-FI (we have it at work so it would be nice)? What about MP3s? Yes I do want that one. Photos? Absolutely. I finally ended up with the PalmOne Tungsten E and spent last night setting it up. It has a crappy cover so I'll have to get a better one but the color is so nice. My old one is a PalmIIIxe with 8 mg memory and no color. It was so full. This one has 32 mg and I bought a huge card for it so I can put books and photos on it. It's so cool!

I was a bit apalled to find that the battery doesn't come out. What if it gives out? Do I have to get a new Palm? That would suck. Anyway I'm having fun playing with it now and loading all kinds of stuff, half of which I'll probably delete later because I never use it.

Posted by rachela at 9:32 AM MDT
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Busses are running! Yeah!
Topic: Busses, Cars & Trains
Suntran, Tucson's bus system, went right up to the line of last night for a strike, but they pulled it out. What a relief. I can ride my bike and they usually have three or four routes running the Sunday schedule manned by supervisors, one of which is the #8 Broadway bus which I ride, but many people don't have those options. They always go on strike in August, too, when it is so hot here.

Posted by rachela at 8:28 AM MDT
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Sunday, 25 July 2004
Berger and the Missing Documents - by ?
Topic: Current Affairs
It sounds like a murder mystery. What was murdered was our credulity. How can even the most credulous person who passionately wants to believe in Kerry, the Clintons and the whole Democrat party, really believe that Berger accidently put high security documents in his pants and then, once he had them at home, misplaced them. Ooooh! You know Republicans have gone to jail for much, much less than this. If this was Condolezza Rice she would be sitting in jail right now because the uproar from every major media would have been overwhelmingly against her and would have believed the worst.

Too many other blogs have covered this so much better than I ever could since I'm not even sure how the whole classified doc system works. Here are just a very few of them.

James Lileks
Commonsense and Wonder
Instapundit and again Instapundit
Peeve Farm

Posted by rachela at 9:44 AM MDT
Updated: Sunday, 25 July 2004 9:51 AM MDT
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Take the beam out of your eye, . . . .
Topic: Current Affairs
Well this is so tacky! The Mainstream Coalition is sending out people to conservative churches to make sure they are not advocating political positions in church.

A recent Sunday found Tina Kolm changing her morning routine. Instead of attending a Unitarian Universalist service, she was at the Lenexa Christian Center, paying close attention to a conservative minister's sermon about the importance of amending the U.S. Constitution to ban gay marriage.

Kolm is one of about 100 volunteers for the Mainstream Coalition, a group monitoring the political activities of local pastors and churches. The coalition, based in suburban Kansas City, says it wants to make sure clergy adhere to federal tax guidelines restricting political activity by nonprofit groups, and it's taking such efforts to a new level.

The 47-year-old Kolm, from Prairie Village, said keeping church and state separate is important to her. She doesn't want a few religious denominations defining marriage - or setting other social policy - for everyone.

"What it's all about to me is denying some people's rights," she said.

But some local clergy think the Mainstream Coalition is using scare tactics designed to unfairly keep them out the political process.

"Somebody is trying to act like Big Brother when there's no need for Big Brother," said the Rev. James Conard, assistant pastor at the First Baptist Church of Shawnee. "It's obviously an intent to intimidate."

Kansas isn't the only place in this election year where church-state separation has become a hot issue, but the Mainstream Coalition's efforts are more intense than most.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State filed a complaint this month with the Internal Revenue Service against the Rev. Jerry Falwell over a column endorsing President Bush on his ministries' Web site. Falwell said the group was waging a "scare-the-churches campaign."

Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United, said local chapters have sent volunteers to church services the Sunday before an election, but he said the Mainstream Coalition's efforts are more sustained.

"To my knowledge, there's no other state organization doing what the Mainstream Coalition is doing," said Lynn, himself a United Church of Christ minister.

Some conservatives are upset.

"These people will stop at nothing to silence churches," said Andrea Lafferty, executive values of the Washington-based Traditional Values Coalition, which says it represents 43,000 churches.

The catalyst for the Mainstream Coalition's campaign in Kansas was the debate over gay marriage.

So, who is checking up on the sermons at the Unitarian church where Ms. Kolm attends? I attended a UU church for years and know that they are strongly political. The difference is the liberal churches call it "careing for people" but when a conservative church does it it's called hateful. Right! The Unitarians are very strongly political and have advocated political positions in every service and program they have. How about the Mainstream Coalition getting conservative christians to check up on UU churches. Gee, I don't know. Maybe that's too hateful. How dare anyone suggest that a liberal church can't advocate whatever they want.

I do see that the Mainstream Coalition is using the usual tactic of saying Oh, they aren't political. All the political stuff is done by their political action committee, Main PAC. Sure! I believe that . . not.

Well, I'm off to my liberal Episcopal church and I can't really say that I've heard them advocate who to vote for but I have heard sermons that advocate positions that aren't held by President Bush. So, if the conservative churches advocate positions not held by Kerry, it's illegal, but if liberal churches advocate positions not held by Bush, it's ok?

Posted by rachela at 9:03 AM MDT
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The 911 Commission Report
Topic: Current Affairs
I am going to read the report. Thanks to my brother, Tim, who gave me the link to the Washington Post where I could download the report and put on my PDA. This may take a while but I do think it's important.

The preface is truly sobering. We didn't know what was going on and certainly didn't realize how serious it was. We have such a great country that we could not comprehend that people hate us. Not as many as the liberals think, but enough. The europeans don't so much hate us as feel superior and put us down at the same time. According to them us Johnny-come-lately's don't have the right to not be like them.

The terrorists, who do hate us, also hate Europe and Europe refuses to believe this. They think if they can just be understanding enough and nice enough the terrorists will leave them alone and, if they don't, it's the fault of the United States, which is crap. They hate a social structure that isn't fascist and think they can stay socially back a couple milleniums while enjoying all the benefits of modern life and science. Ain't going to happen.

But I digress. The paragraph that I think best defines terrorism is as follows:

We learned about an enemy who is sophisticated, patient, disciplined, and lethal. The enemy rallies broad support in the Arab and Muslim world by demanding redress of political grievances, but its hostility toward us and our values is limitless. Its purpose is to rid the world of religious and political pluralism, the plebiscite, and equal rights for women. It makes no distinction between military and civilian targets. Collateral damage is not in it's lexicon.

I read that paragraph and thought "This is against everything that the liberals say they believe in. Why are they supporting the terrorists? Why are they trying so hard to stop us from protecting ourselves from terrorism?". I look at Afghanistan and Iraq and see the administration working to help women with schools, hospitals and fighting for as many rights as they can get. I see the religious right in the fore front of the fight against slavery in Africa, which is mainly operated and run by muslims, very often black muslims, which I suppose is one reason the African American activist groups in this country don't want to acknowledge how wide spread it is. After all how can they say that slavery is racist when black africans are enslaving black africans.

Ok, we have an enemy who intends to kill us or convert us and even if they convert us they'll probably kill us anyway because they hate everything that we are. Next is Chapter 1. I looked at it quickly but it's about the hijacking of the planes on September 11, 2001 and I know it will bring back the fear when I couldn't get hold of my daughter and the horror that people could actually do this and the terror that our world has changed because of the hatred of people without a conscience and with no value but hate. I listened to Hugh Hewitt read some of it on Friday and I cried again but I think we do need to remember and repeat and read and never forget September 11, 2001.

Posted by rachela at 7:57 AM MDT
Updated: Sunday, 25 July 2004 7:58 AM MDT
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Thursday, 22 July 2004
Topic: Whatever
I am always so far behind the current when it comes to fashion and I'm always so upset when I buy something that is in a color I really like only to find that it's "out". I just can't buy a whole new wardrobe in the new colors every year. Now I find out that it really is a conspiracy. Yep! Two or three years ahead THEY know what the new colors will be. How else will they get us to buy clothes we don't need?

Posted by rachela at 10:05 PM MDT
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Mobile Internet
Topic: Busses, Cars & Trains
There is such a cool story about getting the internet to remote villages by motorcycle or, my favorite postal bus. Using WiFI they basically download and upload email as they go through the village. The whole page linked above is fascinating to read. One clip:

...but perhaps the cleverest plan to put the internet on wheels comes from a cunning scheme to provide e-mail access in rural India using buses. Given the reach of the bus network, it is estimated that this approach could provide national e-mail coverage for a paltry $15m. E-mail by bus--why not?

What a cool way for everyone to connect to the world. When I was growing up in Mexico we lived beyond the car roads and our mail came down on a man's back and then by mule train. Even a mule could carry the equipment and everyone could be connected, even remote villages in jungles or arctic. I like this idea though I realize that there are some people who would find this apalling.

Posted by rachela at 9:24 AM MDT
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Wednesday, 21 July 2004
Bus Riding Republicans
Topic: Busses, Cars & Trains
According to Greenbiz News delegates attending the Republican Convention in New York City will be using public transit to get around. There really isn't any other option. Hopefully some will like it. The lack of interest in public transit is a real blind spot in conservative politicians. Well, in conservatives in general. I feel like a voice crying in the wilderness.

Posted by rachela at 11:40 PM MDT
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Christian Comedy
Topic: Spiritual
The Washington Post had a great article on Christian comedy. This I would enjoy going to. I'm not particularly a prude and say some hells, damns, and even shits many days, but I get tired of listening to "humor" that's nothing but sex and bathroom jokes. It's like sitting on the bus and listening to some people who have a f*** separating every other word. It's so irritating and boring and a clear sign of a lack of using their intelligence, assuming they have any. It's also extremely discourteous.

Sure, I listen to a potty mouth comedian and laugh, at first, but very soon, if I'm still laughing it's because I don't want whoever I'm with to think I'm a prude, though I'm getting less interested in that. I'm not a goody two shoes. Dogma is one of my favorite movies, I don't care who you screw, as long as you do it in private and don't push it in my face and expect me to bless you, and I'm still working out (at 57) what I do believe, but I get so tired of people who think that the only humor in the world concerns sex or toilets.

Posted by rachela at 12:03 PM MDT
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