Thursday, November 30, 2006

Fire - Help Requested

A friend of mine in Denver named Marziyeh just lost her home in a fire. She is a widow with three children, the youngest 12 years old. She is a wonderful, independent, smart, very pious lady who has done more for her community wherever she's been than almost anyone else I could think of. They are staying in a hotel right now. If anyone has means to assist her and her kids or knows anyone who would help, I have address/phone/bank information for her.

I would like to humbly ask any readers here to send her a card, I am sure it would mean a lot to her.

They could be sent to Sr. Marziyeh at:

Melanie Franklin
13173 East Bethany Place
Aurora, Colorado 80014

Thank you!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Turkeys try for fast train out of Jersey

I love wild turkeys!

The Associated Press

RAMSEY, N.J. - Some wild turkeys, it appears, were trying to get out of New Jersey before Thanksgiving Day. A spokesman for the NJ Transit said train officials reported a dozen or so wild turkeys waiting on a station platform in Ramsey, about 20 miles northwest of New York City, on Wednesday afternoon. The line travels to Suffern, N.Y.

"For a moment, it looked like the turkeys were waiting for the next outbound train," said Dan Stessel, a spokesman for NJ Transit. "Clearly, they're trying to catch a train and escape their fate."

Transit workers followed the bird's movements on surveillance cameras. "I have no idea how they got there," Stessel said.

A Ramsey police dispatcher said the department had received three calls about the traveling turkeys who also were blamed for causing morning rush hour traffic problems on a roadway.

"From time to time, I've heard calls that there are turkeys on the loose," said Erik Endress, president of the Ramsey Rescue Squad, a volunteer group. "Maybe they're trying to make a break."

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Memes: Mysteries, Things you want to see, superpowers

This Meme is to list the top 5 mysteries you would like to know the answers to. The rest of the world wouldn't necessarily have to know; that'd be your choice. So what are your top 5?

1. I'd like to know all about Bigfoot/Sasquatch/Skunk Ape Yeti sightings - are the animals real, how many are there, etc. Out of all the "mystery" creatures, etc., I think this is one there actually could be something to....

2. I'd like to be able to tell families of missing persons where to find their loved ones.

3. I'd like to know who the Neanderthals were as people and what really ultimately happened to them.

4. What happened to D.B. Cooper and the stolen money? Heck, let's just find all lost treasures while we're at it....

5. I'd like to know what electronic voice phenomena really are....

This Meme is to list 5 things that are impossible for you to see but you would like to see....

1. I'd like to see everything that ever happened where I live - I'd like to see how it changed geologically over time, etc., in fast motion. I'd like to see living Columbia Mammoths and Saber Tooth Tigers roaming around, etc.

2. I'd like to see my ancestors all the way back, and see them for who they really were. I'd like to see how I'm interconnected to other people.

3. I'd like to see Middle Earth.

4. I'd like to see other stars, other planets, and other parts of the Universe up close. I'd like to touch the sand on Mars.

5. I would like see Abraham (as) sitting in the fire but not burning, and I'd like see Yusuf (as) rise from the well to power.

This Meme is to list 5 superpowers you would like to have....

1. I would like to be able to speak, understand, read and write in all languages.

2. I would like to be able to witness anything in the past or present that I wanted to.

3. I would like to be able to transport instantly to and from any place.

4. I would like to be able to find missing people or missing things, etc.

5. I would like to be able to give the whole world, free unlimited clean energy and water.

Just a Few Things to be Thankful for.... (in no particular order)

1. seeing
2. hearing
3. smelling
4. tasting
5. touching
6. family
7. friends
8. enough $ to pay the bills
9. Rahman and Raheem
10. Ahlulbayt (as)
11. windchimes
12. beautiful days
13. mountains
14. hiking
15. geocaching
16. pets
17. birds chirping
18. color
19. online banking and bank cards
20. reading
21. Internet
22. imagination
23. home
24. heat
25. water
26. good mentors/teachers
27. mom
28. a car that runs
29. beautiful plants
30. halal turkey
31. DVR
32. sleep
33. weekends (thanks to unions,btw)
34. honesty
35. compassion
36. those who sacrificed and died for what we take for granted
37. fresh air
38. empowerment
39. some security and some freedom
40. mystery, adventure and science fiction novels
41. PBS, the Discovery Channel, etc.
42. being needed
43. good work environment
44. volunteers - and especially firefighters
45. health insurance
46. open space
47. stars
48. moon
49. sun
50. the U.S. highway system
51. more interesting currency since the state quarter program started
52. photography
53. polar bears are still here, for now
54. feeding the giraffes at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo
55. playing board games with close family/friends
56. electricity and Nikola Tesla
57. rock cutting and polishing
58. craftsmen and artisans
59. cures
60. special occasions and holidays
61. fireworks
62. memories
63. logic
64. environmentalism
65. nice surprises
66. appreciation
67. repair men/women
68. the milkman/woman
69. Crocs
70. hair on our heads
71. snowshoes
72. Calvin and Hobbes and The Far Side
73. laughing
74. flannel sheets
75. pj's
76. chocolate
77. cheese
78. vegetarian food in restaurants
79. EmergenC, raspberry flavor
80. blogs
81. a higher minimum wage in Colorado
82. owning instead of renting
83. the swamp cooler
84. antelope, deer and wild turkeys
85. learning, and not just for application
86. free samples of good stuff
87. U.S. Postal Service and UPS, FedEX
88. online shopping
89. e-mail
90. yoga
91. water aerobics
92. walking
93. gps
94. adhan
95. Qur'an
96. the front office secretary (Queen of the school), and our department chair
97. Colorado
98. things that last longer than they're supposed to without wearing out or requiring maintenance
99. highly effective, beautiful, short dua'a
100. TI graphing calculators

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Harry Potter

Well, in the past few weeks I read all 6 of the Harry Potter books; I've never read them before so it was a lot of fun and I can't wait for the seventh. I wonder who else will die and how it will end up.... Before that, I read Lord of the Rings all the way through. I'm thinking I might re-read all of the Sherlock Holmes next; I really enjoyed those when I was a kid.....

Saturday, November 04, 2006

AWOL Soldiers Reconsider Return to U.S.

Associated Press Writer

Kyle Snyder, AP Photo/BRIAN BOHANNON

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- Since going to Canada to avoid another deployment to Iraq, Corey Glass has considered returning to the United States. But after hearing that a fellow former soldier who surrendered to the military and was ordered to return to his unit instead of being discharged, Glass may not return at all.

"They're not going to win the hearts and minds like that," said Glass, 24, who signed on with the Indiana National Guard in 2002.

Kyle Snyder, a one-time combat engineer who joined the military in 2003, disappeared Wednesday, a day after surrendering at Fort Knox and 18 months after fleeing to Vancouver instead of redeploying to Iraq.

Snyder, 23, of Colorado Springs, Colo., said a deal had been reached for a discharge, but he found out he would be returned to his unit at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.

His troubles are complicating efforts for those among the 220 American soldiers who fled to Canada and want to return to the United States, according to lawyers, soldiers and anti-war activists.

"Nobody's going to come back from Canada anymore," said James Fennerty, a Chicago-based attorney who represents Snyder and other AWOL soldiers.

Several soldiers who went to Canada have said they don't want to return to Iraq. Sgt. Patrick Hart, who deserted the Fort Campbell, Ky.-based 101st Airborne Division in August 2005, a month before his second deployment, said he felt misled about the reasons for the war.

"How can I go over there if I don't believe in the cause? I still consider myself a soldier, but I can't do that," said Hart, a Buffalo, N.Y., native who served more than nine years in the military.

"The whole story behind it, it all feels like a big lie," Glass said. "I ain't fighting for no lie."

Fennerty said he reached a deal with the Army allowing Snyder, a private with the 94th Engineer Battalion, to receive an other-than-honorable discharge.

It's a deal similar to one Darrell Anderson, a 24-year-old Iraq war veteran, received in October. After three days at Fort Knox, Anderson, who has denounced the war as "illegal" and "immoral," was released to his family in Lexington, then discharged.

But Snyder ended up at a bus station in Louisville, with orders to go to St. Louis, then Fort Leonard Wood. Snyder, who said the brutality of what he saw happening to civilians in Iraq prompted him to desert, left with an anti-war activist instead of going back to the post.

Gini Sinclair, a Fort Knox spokeswoman, declined to address Snyder's case. But she said deserters who turn themselves in are automatically returned to their units if the unit is in the United States at the time of surrender. Once reunited with the unit, the commander there decides what becomes of the soldier, Sinclair said.

When a soldier surrenders at Fort Knox and is sent to his unit, he is either put on a plane or a bus, sometimes alone, she said.

"In some cases, they will be escorted," Sinclair said. "I don't know what decides if that happens."

That policy, and the question of whether an AWOL soldier can reach a deal that trumps it, is causing consternation among soldiers.

"After what they did to him, I don't see anybody going back," said Glass, a Fairmount, Ind., native who is currently in Toronto.

Some are seeking refugee status in Canada. Hart, who was joined in Toronto by his wife and their 3-year-old son, served time in Bosnia in the early 1990s, became a reserve, then went to Iraq after returning to active duty. The idea of returning to the United States is appealing to Hart, because he would like to see family and friends.

"I could see going back under some kind of amnesty program or something like that," Hart said. "But I don't trust them. My enemy isn't foreign now. It's domestic."

© 2006 The Associated Press.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Pardon the Pun

1. A vulture boards an airplane, carrying two dead
raccoons. The stewardess looks at him and says, "I'm
sorry,sir, only one carrion allowed per passenger."

2. Two fish swim into a concrete wall. The one turns
to the other and says, "Dam!"

3. Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly, so they lit a fire
in the craft. Unsurprisingly it sank, proving once
again that you can't have your kayak and heat it too.

4. Two hydrogen atoms meet. One says "I've lost my
electron." The other says "Are you sure?" The first replies "Yes,
I'm positive."

5. Did you hear about the Buddhist who refused
Novocain during a root canal?
His goal: transcend dental medication.

6. A group of chess enthusiasts checked into a hotel
and were standing in the lobby discussing their recent tournament
victories. After about an hour, the manager came out of the office
and asked them to disperse. "But why?" they asked, as they moved off.
"Because," he said," I can't stand chess-nuts boasting in an open

7. A woman has twins and gives them up for adoption.
One of them goes to a family in Egypt and is named "Ahmal." The other
goes to a family in Spain; they name him "Juan." Years later, Juan
sends a picture of himself to his birth mother. Upon receiving the
picture, she tells her husband that she wishes she also had a picture of
Ahmal. Her husbandresponds, "They're twins! If you've seen Juan,
you've seen Ahmal."

8. A group of friars were behind on their belfry
payments, so they opened up a small florist shop to raise funds. Since
everyone liked to buy flowers from the men of God, a rival florist
across town thought the competition was unfair. He asked the
good fathers to close down, but they would not. He went back and
begged the friars to close. They ignored him. So, the rival florist
hired Hugh MacTaggart, the roughest and most vicious thug in
town to "persuade" them to close. Hugh beat up the friars and trashed
their store, saying he'd be back if they didn't close up shop.
Terrified, they did so, thereby proving that only Hugh can prevent
florist friars.

9. Mahatma Gandhi, as you know, walked barefoot most
of the time, which produced an impressive set of calluses on his feet.
He also ate very little, which made him rather frail and, with his
odd diet, he suffered from bad breath. This made him a super
calloused fragile mystic hexed by halitosis.

10. And finally, there was the person who sent ten
different puns to friends, with the hope that at least one of the puns
would make them laugh. No pun in ten did.