They Blew Up the Bridge!

December 30, 2009

The infamous North Country bridge across Lake Champlain was demolished on Monday. NYDOT closed the bridge in mid October for safety reasons. Monday’s demolition was the first big step toward rebuilding a new one.

Here are two videos of the actual demolition from You Tube. The first one is from a pro news team, the second is raw amateur footage. I included this for their recording of the actual detonation. You can’t see much because of the weather but you get an idea of how the 130 db explosion went off.

Now the real fun begins, cleaning up all the debris from the explosion.

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Busting Christmas Myths!

December 27, 2009

2nd quarter of 17th century
Image via Wikipedia

Happy Jesus birthday everyone!

This is the time of year when millions upon millions of people around the world celebrate the birth of the world’s most famous Jewish Rabbi!

So I would like to mark the occasion with a little Christmas myth busting.

Chances are Jesus really wasn’t born in December.  Shepherds only watch their flocks at night when their lambs are about to give birth and are the most vulnerable to predators.  That doesn’t happen in late December.

And as for “No room at the Inn” we got that wrong too.  The Greek word for “Inn” can also refer to guest quarters in someone’s dwelling.  Eastern protocol demands census or no census all family travelers must be accommodated.

If the guest area is fully occupied people lodged their new guests with the animals.  That’s how Joesph and Mary wound up at the manger.  No 1st Century “Best Western“was involved.

Meanwhile the Three Wise Men weren’t even with the Shepherds .  The text says they came to the house where Joesph and Mary were not the manger.

Their journey took allot longer than 12 days.  It may have taken as much as two years based on paranoid Herod’s reaction to their arrival in Jerusalem.

Then again Herod had allot to be nervous about.  The wise men or more accurately “Magi” held a high place of power in that day and age.  These royal advisers from the East were often the one’s who decided who the next king was going to be in Persia.

Just because they had three types of gifts doesn’t mean there were only three of them.  They were quite a site to behold when they arrived with an entourage in Jerusalem with their own army.  Carrying gold is dangerous in the 21st Century let alone bringing it through the frontier east of Roman territory.

The last last thing a ruthless corrupt monarch like Herod, who got his position by hook and by crook, needed to have was an army of Magi show up from rival Persia asking about who the next “King of the Jews” was going to be.  When the Magi didn’t return he thought they were plotting a coup against him.

Based upon the time they said the star first appeared Herod had all toddlers killed as well as infants.  He wasn’t taking any chances.  Rome would have demanded swift action.

The biggest myth of all though has to be Christmas itself.  No where in the Bible does it say we have to celebrate Christmas.  Or for that matter Good Friday and Easter too.

If anything we’re discouraged from making special days at all.  That was one of the apostle Paul’s pet peeves.  People making new believers follow Old Testament customs.

He believed for the Christian every day was special.  When someone is really living for  God every day can be Christmas, Good Friday and Easter all rolled into one.

At my house the big thing is going to church and singing Christmas carols on Christmas Eve.  That’s always special.

Of course the kids can’t wait until the service is over to go home and OPEN PRESENTS!!!

But just how someone celebrates  Christmas is really up to them whether they want to do anything at all.  As long as the Savior’s Spirit has already been birthed in their heart that’s all that really matters.

Let the Games Begin!

December 24, 2009

As Mario of Nintendo fame would say,


The Daily Gazette and The Albany Times Union Newspapers have filed a joint lawsuit against The Schenectady School District for withholding information regarding the investigation of former school facilities manager Steven Raucci and his alleged terrorist activities.  HT Daily Gazette.

When the school district released the report most of it was blacked out.  So now the papers are suing the district to get the full report.  Clearly the district and superintendent Eric Ely have something to hide.  They’re covering their own backsides and perhaps some others as well.

So now that the suit’s been filed, “Let the games begin!”

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A Cautionary Tale

December 20, 2009

Recently in the Albany NY area there was a mansion overlooking the Mohawk River that had been on the market for several years.  The asking price was just under 13 million.  Last week it was finally sold for about 2 million dollars! (HT CS9)

Yes, it really is a buyer’s market out there when you can get a place for only 15% of the asking price.  But what’s really sad about this is the back story surrounding the place.

The Llenroc Mansion was once owned by insurance magnate Albert Lawrence of “The Lawrence Group.” In 1999 Mr. Lawrence went to jail after he got caught dipping into his employee’s pension fund among other things.  He was released just before his death in 2001.

It’s bad enough that whoever owns this place took a big loss in the sale, but Lawrence’s family won’t see a dime of it since they had already filed for bankruptcy.

Now the mansion still sits on a hill overlooking the Mohawk.  It will forever stand as a monument to all would be embezzlers trolling up and down the river in their yachts.

“Don’t let this happen to you!  Deal honestly with your employees, OR ELSE!!”

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Give a Duck For Christmas

December 17, 2009

I love my goat
Image by waɪ.tiː via Flickr

How about giving someone a duck for Christmas?  Not your cup of tea? Then perhaps you’d prefer to give someone a goat, or even a pig!

World Vision has a new gift catalog to help a third world family become self sustaining. They’ve taken the proverb “Teach a person to fish and feed them for life” to a whole new level.

Some of their ideas are a bit pricey.  Not a problem!  You can chip in to help buy a family their own donkey or even help a community dig it’s own deep well for a sustainable water supply.

My favorite though has to be the ducks.  They’re great in flood prone areas like Bangladesh where families loose all their livestock after a bad monsoon season.  Not a problem for ducks.  They’ll still be a around to lay lots of eggs and raise lots of ducklings to sell.

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My Alpha Adventure

December 15, 2009

Semantic Web for Dummies?
Image by dullhunk via Flickr

Here’s a tip for getting more traffic to your blog along with everything else you’re doing.  In addition to posting good stuff, keeping it real, keeping it interesting, leaving good comments all over the place and using specific and accurate tags you can add, Alpha Inventions.

One day I was checking my blog stats when I noticed I was getting traffic from a site called Alpha Inventions.  It turns out someone named Cheru Jackson goes through and takes a snapshot of people’s new blog and posts them on his site.

AI will scroll a bunch of blogs by in a cycle.  If people see something interesting they can click on it.  For a small fee you can get a zillion views or submit it yourself like I do.

The challenge is to submit your site at a time when many are viewing but few  are submitting.  If lots of others are submitting too you can get bumped off real quick.  However if you time it right like I’ve done a few times it’s possible to get over a hundred hits in just 15 minutes or less.

Pretty soon the only thing you’ll to do to get more traffic is to coninue to post good stuff like you’re doing already.  😉

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Re: Music Posts

December 13, 2009

For the record just to make it official this will be my last music post on the soapbox.

(Cue: Sighing crowd)


But it’s all right. I’ve had so much fun finding all sorts of eclectic material that it was time to do a blog just dedicated to music.

That’s where you’ll find everything from Polysics to Elvis over at “The Tune Box.”