songofjoy02: (Default)
If I've not responded to a comment somewhere, you can probably blame it on my laziness because I tend to procrastinate on responding. However, lately, I've not been getting comments e-mailed to me at all, so it's possible that I'm just missing them. Just thought I'd let you know that it's possibly that I'm ignoring you unintentionally now. ;-) Not that I ever "ignored" you in the first place...I just don't always respond very promptly.=\
songofjoy02: (Default)
And I don't care...it's going to be public. If you know me and know this region at all, you'll probably be able to guess who I'm voting for, but of course that's all assuming I get it figured out before Tuesday, which really isn't too far away. :-) I've done my best, the last few months, not to read political blogs, political emails, or political newspaper articles...or anything else related to politics. Why? Well...it's election season, you know - and that's when things turn nasty. See, in my ideal world, I'd evaluate a candidate by how well he communicates his message without having to attack his opponent. But that's not the world of politics. If I narrowed down my choices to people who wouldn't attack their opponents, my ballot would look very sad.

In fact, most of the people I'm planning to vote for (maybe all of them; I don't know) have campaigned in a way that violates my sensibilities of what seems appropriate.

I was discussing this with my brother a few weeks ago and he pointed out to me that this is the most effective way to campaign, however, because people tend to focus on the negative. It doesn't matter if something is biased or even, possibly, false. If it has some kind of emotional ring to it that pulls them in, then the candidate will probably get their vote (unless the opposing candidate manages to overcome that persuasion using similar means). In other words, American voters aren't going to do a whole lot of investigating to figure out whether what they're hearing is entirely accurate.

My problem is that I do want to vote responsibly. And the standard campaigning method leaves a lot to be desired, in my opinion. Here's what I really want to know about a candidate:

1. What are his (used to mean his or her) true convictions or principles on the issues?
2. What are his ideas about how to make changes that he says he believes are important?
3. What is his record on being able to make changes and work with other people?
4. What's the truth behind the controversies in his record?

In other words, can he and will he do what is best for our city, county, state, or country?

I mean, you've got the guy who can figure out enough of what people think they want that he can say great things to them, whether or not he really believes them.

Then you've got the guy who has solid convictions and will express them in such a way that he gets a pretty solid base of support, but he doesn't really know what to do with his convictions. He has no political experience and may think he can just change the world overnight. Chances are that he won't win...but my concern in such a case is that the person would do more harm than good!

Okay, so then you have someone who has good plans in terms of evaluating problems and posing solutions. But getting them enacted is slightly problematic - because it may have absolutely nothing to do with his position. Ideas but no influence...good ideas, at that! This could also be the case if the person has no people skills and is, therefore, unable to persuade others to join him in his legislative efforts. In any case, ideas without the ability to use them...tend to be somewhat useless.

And then you've got the guy who may be good but his past is kind of a question mark. He has done some controversial things and you just always wonder if, maybe, he could really explain them well enough that they will make sense. But, honestly, he might be lying to you. So why would you ask? Reading a politician's mind is hard, especially since politicians aren't exactly known to be an honest bunch.

But, really, when you come down to it, the guy who wins is often the guy who's able to be the most convincing in advertising. (Duh.) The reading or watching public just eats up what they get. And I'm left wondering how to vote...

And the election is Tuesday. What's a girl (or a guy, for that matter) to do? I don't know. But one thing I'd like to do eventually is figure out a way to start doing some serious investigation of political candidates...to try to answer the above questions. And maybe someday I can promote a web site that will have content that at least addresses the issues in my own area. I don't like voting for people when I really have no clue about them or basis for comparison!

So much for organizing my thoughts. =\ I need to get to bed.

Hmm...

Nov. 1st, 2006 02:34 am
songofjoy02: (Default)
I haven't posted much lately, have I? That should be slightly disturbing to me. Lest you think I've spent less time online, let me assure you that I am just as addicted as ever. I've just been, uh, frequenting another site a whole lot more lately. I've been sucked into a subculture, I do believe. It's rather disturbing. Oh, wait: I already used that word! Now I'll have to figure out a way to be more creative. Or maybe not. I'm tired now.

Life is going pretty well, I suppose, all things considered. I'm supposed to start the new job pretty soon. They've even got a laptop all set up for me, set up for wireless internet access. So, when I'm at home (which is the only time it matters, I suppose), I'll have two computers - with internet access - in my room. How's that for crazy? I think it's kind of insane, actually. But that's okay. One is for my own personal use...all my fun stuff and whatnot. The other is for work. I haven't actually turned it on to figure it out, though...so I don't know how well it works, how fast it is, etc.

I'm thinking my last decent update was a few weeks ago, at least...so what has happened since then? Hmm. When did Levi retake the SAT? I don't remember. I vaguely recall having been gone most of that day, for some reason. Must've been Oct. 14th. He'll get the results really early in the morning on November 2nd. He's hoping to have improved on his 2240. ::rolls eyes:: Actually, he really just wants to improve his math score and at least come close to his other scores. He keeps telling me that it makes the difference as far as whether he'll have to work hard through college. I don't see any reason why he won't get sufficient scholarships for school, but I guess he has to voice his insecurities to me so that...I can feel even dumber or something.

Fall is definitely here. I think we need to get a family picture before the week is over...because that's when I think most of the leaves will be gone by next week (well, not gone...just not on the trees and not as beautiful). So it's time to go to the park and use the timer on my camera. :-D We'll see whether I can convince everyone that this is a good idea.

I'm excited that the weather is cooler and that the holiday season is coming. I don't think I have any special reason to be excited about life, but I am. There are so many possibilities! :-D

I've been thinking about a ton of things lately, but I haven't the time, energy, or inclination to detail them now. I'm sure you're not holding your breath. ;-)
songofjoy02: (Default)
"[Name] needs" (typed in Google) yields:

Read more... )
songofjoy02: (Default)
Nothing exciting...because it's not people!
Read more... )

Woah!!!

Sep. 30th, 2006 04:16 pm
songofjoy02: (Default)
It's Julie's birthday today! Happy birthday, Julie/[livejournal.com profile] injoy.:-) May the Lord bless you with many more...
songofjoy02: (Default)
A week and a half ago, we kicked off the fall semester of the Tuesday night Bible study I've been attending for a few months now. Since it was the first week and the leaders wanted everyone to start on the same page, we used that particular evening just to get to know each other - in a structured environment: We went around the room telling a little about ourselves and answering a question. When it got to one girl, one of the guys commented, "And you're engaged!" His wife said, "I was going to ask her about that later - privately." LOL! So the girl went on to explain that this was a Facebook rumor that had been started as a joke by some friends. And then she said she hated Facebook...

I've actually learned (directly or indirectly) of two fairly recent engagements via Facebook, so it can actually spread news rather than just rumors, but I have started to think recently about how the internet allows rumors to develop faster and spread further than we've ever experienced previously...granted, it also makes things a little easier to confirm (in both of the cases where I heard rumors, I was able to message the people immediately and find out that they were, indeed, engaged). But what about those who don't make the effort to confirm such rumors and instead spread them?

Last night, my mom talked to someone on the phone who told her that someone they knew saw something on MySpace about a mutual friend/acquaintance. Actually, I take that back. The people talking to my mom probably didn't say anything about MySpace because they probably either don't know what it is or haven't checked it out. Anyway, I knew exactly what they were referring to because I had seen the same thing as the person who talked to the people my mom talked to on the phone (how convoluted can you get?). And, when I told my mom something I had seen about someone I haven't even met...on MySpace, she repeated what I said to the parents of said person (even though what I had said was based on a rather vague memory of what I had seen). When she told me about the surprised response of the person's parent, I was thinking, "Wait - why did you repeat something I said about something I saw online?! It might not have been accurate - either in what was said online or in what I remember."

MySpace, Xanga, and Facebook have actually allowed me to reconnect with many relatives and long lost friends, so I've kind of appreciated that aspect of things. But it just weirds me out that I can sit down in church and talk to a friend about something that she heard from my mom after I told my mom about something I saw online. Oh...I'm not making this clear. It's just weirdness...the interaction of offline and online activity is just weird.
songofjoy02: (Default)
I thought I'd share this lovely bit of spam with all of you...

Dear Beloved Friend,

Let me first of all inform you, I got your email address from a mail
Directory and decided to mail you for a permission to go ahead. I am Mrs.
Faith Ingrid Ezekiel from Ireland. I am married to Dr. Johnson Ezekiel
a Nigerian who worked with a construction company in Asia for
twenty-eight Years before he died. We were married but without children and
since his death I decided not to re-marry and presently I am 56 Years
old.When my late husband was Alive he made a fixed deposit in the sum of
Eight Million United States Dollars (US$8 Million) with a commercial bank.
Presently this money is still with the bank and the management just
Wrote me as the beneficiary to come forward to receive the money as it has
since reached maturity, or rather issue an authorization to somebody to
receive it on my behalf if I cannot come over.

I am presently sick and undergoing treatment for Cancer of the lungs in
a hospital. From all indications my condition is really deteriorating
and the Doctors say I may not live long. This is because the cancer
stage has gotten to a very bad stage, the Doctors say it is terminal. But
as a Christian,I believe God, and I know that I will not die, I will
live to declare the glory of God.

Presently, all the documents concerning the fixed deposit are with my
lawyer. Now that my sickness has gone to this stage, I am scared and I
want the fund to be used for the work of God all over the world. I have
prayed and I told God to direct me to an honest person who will receive
this fund and utilise it for things that will glorify the name of God
like to fund churches,orphanages and widows around the world but in my
name "Mrs Faith Ingrid Ezekiel".

Please if you are interested in using this fund for the work of God,
please send to me your full names and address as well as your private
phone and fax number to enable me give it to my lawyer for immediate
arrangement with the bank on how the fund will be transferred to you.

REPLY ME AS SOON AS YOU GET THIS MAIL SIGNIFYING YOUR INTEREST OR
OTHERWISE.

I await your urgent reply.

Regards,

Mrs Faith Ingrid Ezekiel
"Faith Ezekiel" <fezek01@hotmail.com>
songofjoy02: (Default)
Tyson linked to some of his work here and I thought it was beautiful, so I got his permission to share it. I hope you like it, too!
songofjoy02: (Default)
But here I am with it set on the automatic portrait setting -



songofjoy02: (Default)
My camera's on the blink - rather literally. I don't know quite how it happened, but images aren't getting through anymore. All the settings things work fine (as in I can set them - but obviously they make no difference). When I try to take pictures, this is what I get. Any ideas? I'm all for the idea of just getting a new camera...but I can't really afford one yet, so I'd appreciate any recommendations on what to do in the meantime. :-)

Picture 1

Picture 2

Picture 3

(It's all basically the same thing, haha.)
songofjoy02: (Default)
At this time a year ago, we were probably working on last-minute wedding prep. My brother and my sister-in-law will be celebrating their first anniversary tomorrow and they are together - at least for a few days. A rather poor assortment of pictures (mine) can be found here.

Unfortunately, my hard drive started having issues and I may have lost everything on it. Levi urges me to let this be a lesson on the importance of backing up what I have as often as I feel it is necessary. Though I had completely converted to web-based email due to prior experiences with these types of problems, nothing of the sort had happened since Levi took charge of the computers. This problem is due to my own negligence, probably, since I didn't do anything about it when it started (besides tell him a few days later). Ah, well...

That means that I lost 22 gigs of stuff, 14 of which were pictures. I do have a lot of those pictures on discs or uploaded somewhere, fortunately, though not all at full resolution. Levi installed a different hard drive temporarily while he works on finding a program that will undelete the information from my hard drive, which apparently causes even his amazing computer to freeze up when he attempts to run the undelete programs. So far, he hasn't been successful at getting professional input. I really would rather not lose all the stuff on the hard drive, though I can't complain too much since it is my fault for not backing things up.

Anyway, that was too much information. Haha. Life this last week has been interesting. My mom and the four younger kids stayed with my grandma Tuesday through most of Friday because my grandpa was out of town. My dad had to work the first part of that time (he works in a town northwest of here and my grandparents live in a town northeast of here), so he stayed home the first part of the time and then he went and stayed with my mom and the younger kids the last night and day. So Levi and Benjamin and I had a very quiet house. Apparently, things stayed pretty quiet with everyone else, too. Funny how that works. Just separate certain siblings and life is...well, nearly perfect, anyway.

Cooking for a small group of people is very depressing to consider, so I didn't do much of that. I do like cooking for just one person, though. That sounds rather contradictory. Haha. I like cooking separate meals for separate people, but I don't like just cooking for two people. That still makes no sense. I like to please people - I think that's what I'm trying to say. But I don't just like cooking a tiny bit of food. Maybe I should just give up on trying to say this and go to bed. Haha.

On HSA, one of the recent topics of discussion has been in response to this message, which I downloaded last night but didn't listen to...because I didn't really have the opportunity at that time. The consensus seems to be that this guy might overstate his case but that he might be doing so reasonably because we need a good dose of reality. So the question is, how do we respond? And one of the answers was that we need to take more of a discipleship approach than we usually do. And I totally agree...

It's fine and nice to "lead someone to Christ," but what about leading them to maturity, to a solid daily walk? Leading someone in a "Sinner's Prayer" may or may not have a lasting impact. So something needs to change. Now, granted, I see a lot more discipleship at our church than probably exists in a lot of places...but it does frequently seem to be lacking in the church as a whole. So our question now is how to remedy this, I guess. Seems like a good question to be asking.

I'm tired. Good night.

Love....

Aug. 15th, 2006 10:10 pm
songofjoy02: (Yours Truly)
One of my biggest prayers over the last few years has been for God to give me love for others. I wanted to be a vessel pouring out His love to people. As time has passed, I think He really has increased my love for others. I'm not "there" yet, but the difference so far is quite amazing. But when I prayed I didn't fully realize the results of my prayer. Love means that I hurt for people who are suffering.

I can't even explain how depressed I've been during the last week or two - not in the sense of giving up on life or anything, but just over so many situations that I can't change. I realize that God is the only one who can change hearts and circumstances. I know that love is the only appropriate response and that my pride/self-righteousness tend to get in the way of an appropriate response. But still I feel some of the pain these people are experiencing; I see them hurting themselves. And I really want to cry.

Why is love painful?

As I thought about this tonight, though, I was reminded of John 3:16 - that God so loved the world that He gave His only Son. Can you imagine greater suffering? Christ chose to suffer pain on our behalf. I guess you might say that love has a price tag.

While I was driving home from a full day of hearing how various people were hurting, I thought about some of the situations I see in my own personal life as well as where I had been that involve parent-child conflict. I thought about the roughness of the teen years. And then I thought, "Why in the world do I still want to have kids?!" And then it hit me: Because it's worthwhile. What else in all the world can have a longer-lasting impact than raising up future generations?

And the link to love...haha...my thoughts are rather jumbled up here. But the link to love is that the price is worth it. Maybe it's not pleasant, but there's a greater purpose. God has a plan. His love overarches all things, even our suffering - which really is temporary. The cost of love may be great but the rewards are greater.

Now I just need to spend some time talking with God and reading His Word...for strength to continue, because right now I'm feeling...very empty, in a way.

Well...

Aug. 12th, 2006 04:20 pm
songofjoy02: (Default)
I went swimming today - at my grandparents' house. Life these days seems to be quite interesting, in a way, because I frequently find myself with my mom and the four younger kids. As the firstborn of eight, that just seems really weird sometimes. But #2 is gone (married, too), and #3 and #4 are both busy working all the time. So it seems that I'm the only one of the "older kids" around at mealtimes, for family fun, etc. So I can either laugh at how pathetic I am (or groan, I guess, but I don't like groaning) or I can enjoy these times because I know they won't last forever, even though they have lasted longer than I would have anticipated when I was younger.

Right now, I need to go put together some topping for peach crisp. Potatoes are baking in the oven, clean lettuce is waiting to be made into a salad, and leftovers are on the menu to accompany these items.:-)
songofjoy02: (Default)
We all went to my grandparents' house today and spent a little over an hour, I'm guessing, pulling brush and branches from trees that had been trimmed, piling them up into about four or five huge piles that will (when the burn ban is lifted) be lit - hopefully one at a time - by my grandpa.:-D

I can't say that I'm a great hand at manual labor, however. My 14 y.o. brother has been doing this kind of stuff a lot lately and he's pretty strong (in addition to being at least four inches taller than me), but I...well, haha. I think I need to start exercising more.

Our thermometer said that it was 101 degrees today. ::nods:: It felt like it! I'm very much looking forward to the change of seasons, even though I don't anticipate that happening for another few months. LOL! Oh, well.
songofjoy02: (Default)
I'm doing a bit of experimenting these days.

'Tis I )

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