Thursday, April 23, 2009

Congratulations to Our Winner!

We are so proud of our youngest son, a graphic designer. He recently entered a t-shirt design contest with ECHO (Educational Concerns for Hunger Organization), and he won! ECHO is a local farming organization that experiments in raising food in all sorts of conditions on a small enough scale that hungry people can do the same all over the world. Missionaries and others come and learn the techniques, buy the seeds, and go all over, helping hungry people to grow viable food in their part of the world. Each contestant was allowed up to 3 designs. These are his:

His first design was the bright one above, with the sun. The judges said, "We can tell you put a lot of effort into the organic elements on the ECHO logotype! Overall we liked this design and feel that it would transfer to the medium of a shirt, but feel that the shapes and colors lend it to more of an underwater theme that may distract a viewer used to traditional agricultural icons."

Next was this green bubbly one.

The Judges Said, "We'd wear this shirt :) This is a fun design that looks like many popular tee shirts today. Font selection is very solid and the visuals are engaging. Perhaps a shape other than the circles that would depict ECHO's work would help this design to communicate more about the organization. If your offer for the original vectors still stands, we'd love to use this as a desktop wallpaper and basis for Powerpoint slides. This design is at the top of the heap, but just doesn't say quite enough about ECHO."

Last, he submitted the black one below with the tag cloud. This one was the winner!

The Judges Said, "OUR WINNER! Congratulations to (Our Son at) (New Mission Systems International) for his winning design. The balance and flow of this design is truly excellent, but the research that went into bringing ECHO's function, mission, and ministry really set this design apart. The judges found the META cloud concept to be an effective, current cultural concept that will resonate with younger demographic groups while being accessible to all. Be watching for how ECHO and Josh together refine and develop this concept into a finished product. Thank you so much to all of you who have participated in the contest, the decision was made difficult by your myriad of exciting submissions."

We are very proud of our son and his talents, especially the fact that he uses his God-given talents in service to his Lord. (The link above is to the ECHO facebook page. They have a website also. You should be able to see the t-shirts a little better if you click on the image, but they are a little blurry. The facebook page has the images more clearly).

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Economic Models & Business Strategies Explained w/ Cows

(I did not write this, don't know where I picked it up, but it was too good to keep to myself)

You have 2 cows.
The State takes both and gives you some milk.

You have 2 cows.
The State takes both and sells you some milk.

You have 2 cows.
The State takes one of them and gives it to your work-shy neighbour.
They laugh in your face.

You have 2 cows.
The State takes both and shoots you.

You have 2 cows.
The State takes both, shoots one, milks the other, and then throws the milk away.

You have two cows.
You sell one and buy a bull.
Your herd multiplies, and the economy grows.
You sell them and retire on the income.

You have two giraffes.
The government requires you to take harmonica lessons.

You have two cows.
You sell one, and force the other to produce the milk of four cows.
Later, you hire a consultant to analyse why the cow has dropped dead.

You have two cows.
You sell three of them to your publicly listed company, using letters of credit opened by your brother-in-law at the bank, then execute a debt/equity swap with an associated general offer so that you get all four cows back, with a tax exemption for the five cows.
The milk rights of the six cows are transferred via an intermediary to a Cayman Island Company secretly owned by the majority shareholder who sells the rights to all seven cows back to your listed company.
The annual report says the company owns eight cows, with an option on one more.
You sell one cow to buy a new president of the United States , leaving you with nine cows.
No balance sheets are provided with the release.
The public then buys your bull.

You have two cows.
You go on strike, organise a riot, block the roads and set fire to cars, because you want three cows.

You have two cows.
You redesign them so they are one-tenth the size of an ordinary cow and produce twenty times the milk.
You then create a clever cow cartoon image called 'Cowkimon' and market it worldwide.

You have two cows.
You re-engineer them so they live for 100 years, eat once a month, and milk themselves.

You have two cows.
You don't know where they are, you decide to have lunch.

You have two cows.
You count them and learn you have five cows.
You count them again and learn you have 42 cows.
You count them again and learn you have 2 cows.
You stop counting cows and open another bottle of vodka.

You have 5000 cows.
None of them belong to you.
You charge the owners for storing them.

You have two cows.
You have 300 people milking them.
You claim that you have full employment, and high bovine productivity.
You arrest the newsman who reported the real situation.

You have two cows.
You worship them.

You have two cows.
Both are mad.

Everyone thinks you have lots of cows.
You tell them that you have none.
No-one believes you, so they bomb you and invade your country.
You still have no cows, but at least now you are part of a Democracy...

You have two cows.
Business seems pretty good.
You close the office for the day and go for a few beers to celebrate.

You have two cows.
The one on the left looks very attractive

You have two cows, milked by the cow tsar.
One is black and one is white to ensure racial diversity, the black one fancies the white one thus ensuring we have suitable variation in sexual orientation.

You have two cows and pay protection for the milk

You have two cows (the hairy highland variety)
You dip one in chocolate, cover it in batter and deep fry it, just to see if it works

You have two cows.
They produce lots of milk for the people.
The State beat you up and steal your cows then give them to someone who has no idea about looking after them.
The cows die and there is no milk
It is all the fault of the Britain and America

You have 2 cows.
You give them a selection of tasks, including making sure that no-one is rude to any other cows for any reason, even if the cows haven't complained. You ensure that they have the correct ethnic proportion of cows for all the fields in the country, notwithstanding that there are almost no minorities in this field. They are so busy doing these tasks this that they have no time to be milked, so you buy some cheaper cows who don't produce any milk but look as though they should, and you hope that because you can see these cows, everyone will think that there is stacks of milk.
To fund this, you feed the real cows less so they couldn't produce any milk even if they weren't so busy doing non-milk producing activities.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

For the Technologically Minded...


The Maker of all human beings (GOD) is recalling all units manufactured, regardless of make or year, due to a serious defect in the primary and central component of the heart.

This is due to a malfunction in the original prototype units code named Adam and Eve, resulting in the reproduction of the same defect in all subsequent units. This defect has been technically termed "Sub-sequential Internal Non-Morality," or more commonly known as S.I.N., as it is primarily expressed..

Some of the symptoms include:
1. Loss of direction
2. Foul vocal emissions
3. Amnesia of origin
4. Lack of peace and joy
5. Selfish or violent behavior
6. Depression or confusion in the mental component
7. Fearfulness
8. Idolatry
9. Rebellion

The Manufacturer, who is neither liable nor at fault for this defect, is providing factory-authorized repair and service free of charge to correct this defect.

The Repair Technician, JESUS, has most generously offered to bear the entire burden of the staggering cost of these repairs. There is no additional fee required.

The number to call for repair in all areas is:
Once connected, please upload your burden of SIN through the REPENTANCE procedure.
Next, download ATONEMENT from the Repair Technician, Jesus, into the heart component.

No matter how big or small the SIN defect is, Jesus will replace it with:
1. Love
2. Joy
3. Peace
4. Patience
5. Kindness
6. Goodness
7.. Faithfulness
8. Gentleness
9. Self control

Please see the operating manual, the B.I.B.L.E. (Believers' Instructions Before Leaving Earth) for further details on the use of these fixes..
WARNING: Continuing to operate the human being unit without correction voids any manufacturer warranties, exposing the unit to dangers and problems too numerous to list and will result in the human unit being permanently impounded. For free emergency service, call on Jesus.

DANGER: The human being units not responding to this recall action will have to be scrapped in the furnace. The SIN defect will not be permitted to enter Heaven so as to prevent contamination of that facility. Thank you for your attention!


P.S. Please assist where possible by notifying others of this important recall notice, and you may contact the Father any time by 'Knee mail'.

Because He Lives!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Florida the Cool

The temperatures may be hot, but Florida is really a very cool place. Sure, we have insects...
And alligators, too
But where else will you see Mr. and Mrs. Whooping Crane walking down the sidewalk?
And, we have pelicans!
Of course, sometimes even pelicans can get a little wild.
But we have a trump card - the beach! Kind of puts everything in perspective, doesn't it?

(These are all photos taken by my family around Southwest Florida)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Project Meme

Back in January, I promised Daffy to do a Projects Meme within the next week. Well, I'm ready to do it now, and I think the first project should be

1) Quit procrastinating! (Maybe tomorrow...)

2) I was working on a novel back in the 1980s and even though I have thought out sections of it over the years, I put it aside and never got back to writing it. I would like to work on it, using a really wonderful book I got called First Draft in 30 Days. I think after reading it over that I kinda need to rework the whole thing. But I want to leave the setting in the 80s.

3) I really need to keep making exercise a priority, for health reasons. I have been riding my exercise bike for a half hour daily, and doing a Body Electric routine for 20 minutes daily. (Body Electric is weight lifting/strength/flexibility/balance, that kind of thing. It really tones me up when I stick with it, and even though it can be intense, it is doable. I see progress not only in doing it, but in the rest of my day, I am more flexible, have more energy and less aches and pains when I commit to it).

4) I want to spend some quality time tending to the yard and garden this year.

5) I want to spend less time on the computer, and more time reading books. I want to use the time I do spend on the computer more productively.

Okay, that's what I'm working on. I am supposed to tag 5 other people, and I know who I'd like to tag, but I don't want to put people on the spot when everyone already has so much going on. The last thing any woman needs is more guilt! Honestly, I wondered whether to even do this. I think women have a real problem with feeling like they never do enough. Even when we get a lot done, we only think of all the OTHER things we should have done. We say we want to spend more time reading, but then either it is on our "to do" list and we make a chore of it, or we spend an enjoyable afternoon reading and then feel guilty because we weren't doing something else. One thing my husband has worked hard to help me do is ENJOY LIFE and learn to enjoy the process, the satisfaction of feeling good about what I do accomplish, and the joys of leisure and beauty and conversation and relaxation. I, however, sometimes enjoy little challenges I set myself, or planning things I'd like doing, and that's all this is. So if you feel it would be something you'd enjoy, feel free to let us know what you'd like to accomplish in the coming year. We won't hold your feet to the fire.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Celebration Time

Our oldest son has announced his engagement to a wonderful girl that we all really like. She lives in another state, but she was down here this week, so we decided to celebrate with an engagement party! Our middle son had a beautiful cake made. A lot of family came, and everyone had a really good time, I think, especially the happy couple. The wedding is set for July.

One of the things we served was chocolate dipped strawberries. They are exorbitant to buy, but the strawberries are in season right now and particularly succulent, so we decided to try dipping them ourselves. First I tried a fudge icing that hardens in to a shell, and it seemed to work, but it got grainy, and then weepy, so that was out. All to the rescue! Sure enough, there is a super simple recipe that works spectacularly. (Was that alliterative enough?) All I did was melt 2 Tablespoons of shortening in the top of a double-boiler (over a thin layer of boiling water), and then add in 16 oz. of Nestle's semi-sweet chocolate chips. (I'd previously rinsed the strawberries well and drained them in a colander. We poured them out on a clean towel and then hubby dried them with paper towels because apparently if they are too wet the chocolate can seize up). Anyhow, I gently stirred the chocolate until about half the chips were melted, then removed the double boiler from the heat, but leaving the bowl over the water, I stirred until the chocolate was melted and smooth. Then hubby and I began swirling strawberries about half-way up, and laying them on parchment paper lined trays. We put them in the fridge for a few hours and when we put them on a serving dish for the party, they were absolutely beautiful! The chocolate was smooth and thick.

There was a lot of chocolate left so we began dipping the ends of pretzel sticks and also laid them on parchment paper to harden, then put them upright in a dish. Really, you could coat anything you wanted to. Marshmallows, graham crackers, nuts, raisins, oreos... the possibilities are endless! The strawberries and pretzels were a huge hit and they really were very good.

We are really looking forward to the wedding. Congratulations, you two!
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