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Everything posted by Kingfisher

  1. I was also one of those "lost boys" and I wholeheartedly agree with this statement. Perhaps one of the best things you can convey to his mother is that, as difficult as it is (especially for a parent), standing back is exactly the right thing to do and it's what he needs from her most. What may help is finding a co-dependence group to gather support among others who have the hard task of watching those they love self-destruct. My mother tossed my out on my arse and we both suffered a lot from the choices I made on that dark road, but she was steadfast in her love for me. I knew that I wasn't going to be enabled, that there was no shelter or financial support for me as long as I refused to mend my ways, but I also knew that no matter how bad things got there was always someone on my side. There was always someone to call, though I may not always have wanted to hear what she had to say. There was always a beacon shining in the night, guiding me back to shore. It took many years for me to come around and set my feet on a better path, to realize the great gifts I had been given and accept responsibility for the tremendous debt I owed, but we are closer than ever now. There are no guarantees that things will turn out for the best, but I hope my own experience can provide a little hope, strength and comfort in this time of tribulation. "And when finally the bottom fell out I became withdrawn The only thing I knew how to do Was to keep on keepin' on like a bird that flew Tangled up in blue" ~ Bob Dylan
  2. Happy Memorial Day

    We walked among the crosses Where our fallen soldiers lay, And listened to the bugle As TAPS began to play. The Chaplain led a prayer, We stood with heads bowed low, And I thought of fallen comrades I had known so long ago. They came from every city Across this fertile land That we might live in freedom. They lie here 'neath the sand. I felt a little guilty, My sacrifice was small. I only lost a little time But these men lost their all. Now the services are over For this Memorial Day. To the names upon these crosses I just want to say, Thanks for what you've given, No one could ask for more. May you rest with God in heaven From now through evermore. ~ CW Johnson
  3. Young Master Alexander Ethan arrived by C-Section a little after 8am EST this morning, weighing in at 6lb 8oz. Everyone is doing well. May he be a light unto the world! My brother sarcastically joked that he wasn't giving him a great name. I suggested if the joy it has brought our families isn't enough that Egypt may be looking for a new leader...
  4. Willkommen, Mein Neffe!

    With my brother's recent injury I've been roped into extra baby-sitting duty and was reminded of this post. It's hard to believe it's been three years already. Here's the little mountain man on one of our nature walks, he refused to believe that hill was too steep to climb! He just kept trying until it started to rain and we headed back in. I guess he's determined to live up to his name; he's certainly as stubborn as the rest of us. I remember falling off a larger cliff very much like this in Germany...
  5. While working at home today my brother somehow managed to stab himself in the eye with a piece of wire. Apparently it was on a coil under tension and sprang back as he was cutting it, entering under the lens on an upward trajectory. I don't know how bad it is yet but he was losing some vitreous humor and there was some foreign matter embedded in the orb. The local hospital ran him up to Albany Medical Center for emergency surgery to see what they could save. He was in good enough spirits when I saw him, joking about how he had named his son after Alexander the Great and now he had lost an eye, but he was in a lot of pain and understandably freaking out that it was leaking down his face. I don't know if he's out of the OR yet, but we could use whatever prayers and energies y'all can send to him for the healing of his body, and for his mind however this turns out. I never ask you guys for anything and I wish I could take the injury in his place, but I really need your help this time. With HIPAA protection I won't have an update for a while but I'll let y'all know how it goes as soon as I get word. "Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever."
  6. Prayer Support

    He went in to a local clinic yesterday, but the doctor refused to even examine him because she's not an ophthalmologist. She called the surgeon and he said my brother needs to come in and see him... if it was that urgent why couldn't he keep his appointments on Friday? If we had been late we would have been charged for his time, so I can't really blame my brother for not dancing for someone who thinks their convenience is more important than his eye. This one did give him the antibiotics he needed, but she wouldn't prescribe the eyedrop form because, again, she wasn't an ophthalmologist. Crikey, was the surgeon's recommendation not enough? There's an optometry group nearby he'll check in with tomorrow. Hopefully we can at least get the right meds and a prognosis, even if it's bad news. Once again I'd like to thank you all. There's a tremendous strength to be gained through prayer and fellowship, even if it doesn't produce instant miracles. Any surgery and severe injury can be challenging, but to have one of your primary senses compromised is one heck of a mountain. Your support is truly a blessing for our family.
  7. Going by the ones I've watched several times already: Apocalypto Into the Wild Letters from Iwo Jima Life of Pi The Departed As for Hobbitses, as a lifelong Tolkien fan I think The Onion gave it the fairest review:
  8. Prayer Support

    So they rushed him by ambulance (not covered by insurance) to Albany and then kept him waiting for 12 hours because the surgeon couldn't be bothered to show up until 3am. He was having panic attacks because he developed a cataract from the fluid leaking into his cornea, it was this huge emergency, and nobody would tell him what's going on. Apparently he was so out of it when he woke up in recovery he assaulted several nurses, and they only called off the police when he started to come around. He waits all morning for the doc to do his rounds, but again he never arrived. They then kept him waiting for a couple hours in the hospital ophthalmology clinic this afternoon, and yet again the doctor doesn't show up, so he checked himself out. They tell him at that time that it was so urgent he be seen that they squeezed him in immediately at the guy's private practice, and when we get him there they tell him it was still going to be another couple hours before he could be seen (assuming a golf game or something didn't postpone that appointment too.) He was at the end of his wits without his anti-anxiety meds, so he insisted we just bring him home and he'll be checking in with his primary physician on Monday. Onward to the Thracian seaboard, so to speak. He said there's no pain since they got the eyelashes/debris out of his eye but he still doesn't even know if they did a lensectomy or not. If they did, the repair also won't be covered and he'll probably have lost most of his sight in that eye. If not, it'll be at least a few months for recovery, and we have no idea how much might return until we can get him examined again. Complete communication breakdown. As he was discussing with his roommate, apparently triage is driven by profit and even the patients themselves aren't important enough to know the details of their treatment these days. The doctors are too busy to follow up, but I guess they're so awesome they don't need to worry about their bedside manner anymore. Physically his future is uncertain, but psychologically it seemed he'd rather risk losing the eye entirely than leave himself in their hands for another minute. Ahh, the joys of government healthcare. I did let him know you guys were praying for him and he expressed his gratitude. It was more support than he got at the hospital. From all of us, thank you. "In regione caecorum rex est luscus." ~ Desiderius Erasmus
  9. Churches And Clergy Pays No Taxes

    While you may or may not agree, perhaps this will help you understand the reasoning behind the law. A Constitutional Analysis of Tax Exemption for Churches and the Secular Coalition of America's Proposed Changes As for fairness, rather than churches being taxed too little, perhaps it's the rest of the citizenry who are being taxed too much. Lately "general welfare" seems to be interpreted as "any purpose we please." Interestingly, paying our debts doesn't seem to be one of those things.
  10. Churches And Clergy Pays No Taxes

    I'm not familiar with PA tax law, but it's my understanding that religious organizations in America still have to abide by the same 501©(3) regulations as other non-profits or they lose their exempt status. Pastors still have to pay personal income taxes, and there are restrictions on their personal property (that is, it has to be directly used in service of their church, you don't get a break just because you're ordained.) In some cases churches don't have to go through the initial approval process, being granted some measure of faith, but the hue and cry that they are exempt without obligation is misconstrued for political reasons. The problems with tax-exempt status, loopholes and corruption aren't limited to religious institutes. I could be wrong about any or all of the above points, this is not to be taken as legal advice. (Note to tech: please remove the "copyright" auto-formatting.)
  11. I went to a Franciscan university and majored in both Biology and Theology. I don't have a problem with a school teaching science and religion simultaneously, as long as the disparate subjects are kept in the appropriate classrooms. If our "grammar" schools also properly teach rhetoric and dialectic the students will be equipped to navigate the stormy seas of discord.
  12. Database Error Issues

    No worries, just thought the time frame might help ya pin down the problem. Thanks for the update, glad it's nothing more serious.
  13. Database Error Issues

    This started for me last week. Couldn't access the forum for a few days, got back through yesterday and was locked out again today. Figured you guys were doing some maintenance but I mention it because it wasn't just today.
  14. Welfare

    I don't pay income tax, but I do spend 25% of my $9,700 annual SSD/SSI income on property taxes (for a 30 year-old trailer on ten acres.) It's still cheaper than renting, but I'm effectively forced to repurchase my home every ten years. My elderly parents are in the same boat, watching their American Dream being taxed away in their golden years, losing everything they busted their tails for all their lives. Retirement? Hah! If you can't continually feed the ever-growing appetite of the machine then you obviously don't deserve to keep what you've made for yourself. They'll just take it and give it to someone who will "work harder" (read: pay more taxes) while convincing you that it's in your best interest. A serf has no real motivation to improve their condition because they know the fruits of their labor will be consumed by someone else. When one cannot be content with their own condition and/or take responsibility for their own growth, then Mammon becomes their god. It's why thugs and banksters (if that's not splitting a semantic hair) are frequently idolized, and why asset taxes on "the 1%" are becoming a more popular idea. Nobody cares how you get your money, if you can flash that swag then you must be an important person who is worthy of special treatment. It doesn't matter if you think the rich or poor are the good guys or the bad guys, if money is your measure of a person it's utterly dehumanizing. There is a great need for charity in the world. The problem isn't that welfare is a bad concept, the problem is that it doesn't work. In theory, it's a compassionate system that serves the needs of the poor. In practice, it's just a book of regulations that serves the bottom line of plutocrats.
  15. I'm sorry, I didn't think you needed me to hold your hand. This category is prayers and good wishes, not explain why I thought Elvis is a perfect example of the problem you don't have. But since you asked (in your own peculiar ego-prodding way), his isolation in the midst of abundance is why I chose that song of despair and hope. I think it's fair to say his obesity wasn't what killed him.
  16. Love And The Universe

    Entropy is a scalar quantity, not a force. It's akin to saying the strongest force in the Universe is the kilometer. “Nature shows us only the tail of the lion. But I do not doubt that the lion belongs to it even though he cannot at once reveal himself because of his enormous size.” ~ Albert Einstein
  17. Beliefs?

  18. Reality Tv

    Sounds like moral censorship found it's way home. Bummer. Or maybe it was all that Dungeons and Dragons I played as a kid. Nah, probably karma.
  19. Reality Tv

    "If the Confederacy falls, there should be written on its tombstone: Died of a Theory." ~ Jefferson Davis
  20. Current Mood