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Cause for Concern? July 28, 2010

Posted by gregquill in Uncategorized.
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A note from history, recounted by Wikipedia:

“The Rubicon River in Italy is notable as Roman law forbade any General to cross the Rubicon southward with a legion. The river marked the boundary between the Roman province of Cisalpine Gaul to the north and Italy proper to the south; the law thus protected the republic from internal military threat. A Roman General was obliged to disband his army before crossing the Rubicon, otherwise both he and his men were guilty of high treason and sacrilege, and automatically condemned to death.

“When Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon with his army in 49 BC to make his way to Rome, he broke that law and made armed conflict inevitable. According to historian Suetonius, Caesar uttered the famous phrase ālea iacta est (“the die has been cast”). Caesar’s decision for swift action forced Pompey, the lawful consul, and a large part of the Senate to flee Rome in fear. Since Caesar was eventually victorious, the punishment due him became a moot issue.

“Suetonius also described how Caesar was apparently still undecided as he approached the river, and the author gave credit for the actual moment of crossing to a supernatural apparition. The phrase “crossing the Rubicon” has survived to refer to any individual or group committing itself irrevocably to a risky or revolutionary course of action, similar to the modern phrase “passing the point of no return”. It also refers, in limited usage, to its plainer meaning of using military power in a non-receptive homeland.”

SPECIAL OPERATIONS: U.S. State Department Builds An Army
July 26, 2010: The U.S. State Department is organizing a mercenary army to protect American interests in Iraq after U.S. troops have left at the end of next year. The agreement allows the U.S. State Department to maintain a few bases, and a security force of unspecified size. The State Department currently has a force of 2,700 security personnel in Iraq. But with the departure of all American troops by 2012, and the likelihood that Iraq will still be experiencing some violence, the State Department wants to expand its security force to 7,000. The expanded force would have armored vehicles and helicopters, and people trained as “rapid reaction force” troops. The expanded force would be commanded by the State Department’s existing security professionals.

Hillary is building herself an army.

Should be OK unless she leads it across the Potomac, to the White House.

Remember she and Barack didn’t have nice things to say about each other during the campaign.

If I were Barack, I wouldn’t let her – or her army – get between me and Air Force 1.



New Jersey School District Drops the D’s July 28, 2010

Posted by gregquill in Uncategorized.
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This article is from NBCPhiladelphia.com. What grade would you give the author, and her editors?


by Karen Araiza
updated 7/27/2010 12:17:37 PM ET

Students in one New Jersey school district may have to hit the books a little harder to get a passing grade. In Mount Olive, you won’t see any more Ds [missing apostrophe] on report card [missing plural s] starting this fall, [comma is not a semi colon] only A, B, C and F.

“I’m tired of kids coming to school and not learning and getting credit for it,” said Superintendent Larrie Reynolds in a Daily Record report.
During Monday night’s meeting, the Morris County School Board approved dropping the D grade.

“We intend to be the beacon of excellence in Morris County, and to do that, we have to fix it,” Reynolds said. [Fix what? The beacon?]

Now, anything mark [missing ed on marked] under a 70 will be a failing score. The new policy will apply to middle and high school students.
I applaud your effort to raise the bar,” [missing opening quotation marks] resident Scott Ireland told Reynolds. “I disagree 100 percent with your philosophy.”

The “drop the D” philosophy worked so well for a school in Kentucky, they [it -the school] ended up dropping the C grade too. Now students in 5th grade and higher get an A, B or F.

In todays world, youve [missing apostrophe in today’s, and in you’ve] either got it, or you dont [consistently missed another apostrophe], Kentucky principal Steve Frommeyer said. Theres [missed a fourth one] no opportunity to just be OK.


I guess we should be thankful that the reporter and her editors are not school teachers.


No Kid Can Resist a Mud Puddle July 27, 2010

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Especially in Wyoming!


The Lighter Side July 21, 2010

Posted by gregquill in Uncategorized.
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A minister was asked to dinner by one of his parishioners, who he knew was an unkempt housekeeper. When he sat down at the table, he noticed that the dishes were the dirtiest that he had ever seen in his life.

“Were these dishes ever washed?” he asked his hostess, running his fingers over the grit and grime.

She replied, “They’re as clean as soap and water could get them.”

He felt a bit apprehensive, but blessed the food anyway and started eating. It was really delicious and he said so, despite the dirty dishes.

When dinner was over, the hostess took the dishes outside and yelled, “Here Soap! Here Water!”

Thanks to Crosswalk.com.


Cody, Wyoming July 16, 2010

Posted by gregquill in Uncategorized.

We have arrived in Cody, WY, for my next contract with a pharmaceutical manufacturer.

I parked in Walmart’s parking lot for four nights until I could find a suitable RV campground. Since Cody’s #1 industry is tourism, all of the nearby camps are high priced, and short term. I found a good one in Meeteetse, WY (that’s Shoshone for Chief’s Meeting Place), about 30 miles away, and we moved in last Monday night. The drive to and from work has spectacular views of the Rocky Mountains and the Grand Tetons, so the time goes quickly.

I had to replace the truck’s starter motor on the day of the move – very expensive, and they had to go to Billings, Montana to get it. (That’s 100 miles north of us.) But we got it fixed in one day.

I’ve spent some time and effort setting this camp up properly. I rushed the last two setups for my contracts in Ohio and in Illinois, and it isn’t worth it. I will continue today (Friday) through Sunday; I start work Monday. But yesterday, Lacy the dog and I took the day off to explore a little bit of Yellowstone National Park.

Yellowstone is fifty miles west of Cody. It is known for all of the hot springs, geysers and bubbling pools of foul smelling sulphur and other natural chemicals. It is also very beautiful, with mountains, lakes, bison buffalo (I never know what to call them anymore), grizzly bears, goats and hundreds of others. I am now old enough for the Senior Pass. Instead of paying $50 for five days (as I did in Glacier National Park some years ago), my new pass cost $10 and is good for the rest of my life. At all national parks and anywhere the National Park Service, Fish & Wildlife Service, Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management or Bureau of Reclamation charge an entrance fee or a users fee. I trust it doesn’t have a hidden expiration date which, by implication, would then become MY expiration date. (Gotta watch these Feds.)

Here is a picture of Sylvan Lake, near Sylvan Pass at 8800 feet altitude.

This picture of Sylvan Lake in 1916 shows how well the National Park Service has preserved the park for future generations. Today, the road is paved.

For now, back to work – in a beautiful setting!

(P.S. A lot of signs here say “No Littering – $750 Fine”. I’m going to add a note to them that says, “Since This Is God’s Country, Expect A Substantial Surcharge… Later.”)