Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Wounded Warrior Project

In one of the newer shopping centers around my home there is a Cracker Barrel restaurant. Mom and I went there a few weeks ago for one of our breakfast at lunchtime kind of meals. The food is fantastic and the service is great as well. While there, I happened upon a cd by Wynonna. I also noticed her CD, called Love Heals, is a tribute to the wounded soldiers whose lives are changed forever on the battlefields throughout the world. Proceeds of the CD goes towards helping these soldiers in what Cracker Barrel calls their Wounded Warrior Project.

Be sure to stop by your local Cracker Barrel or click the link I've posted to order online. We're no longer asked to buy US Savings Bonds to fund our troops, perhaps projects like this can help them when these soldiers have been wounded. Great music, great cause.

I Don't Know About This

Do you believe in a fair market system, even globally? Well, apparently China doesn't, if you happen to be in the search engine business and your company happens to be Google.

They are allowing their license to operate in China to go dark, allowing China's state run search engine, Baidu, to take over. What is their next goal? To update their software capabilities by hiring U.S. engineers (who might actually be from China but working in the U.S.) to handle the work.

Source: ibtimes.com

Geography 101

Yes, Arizona's southern border is shared with Mexico. I think Milwaukee needs to find a better excuse than this for their boycott.

And the meeting she is referring to between Arizona Governor Jan Brewer and President Obama? That occurred BECAUSE of 1070. The governor has NEVER had that kind of access to the President of the United States, until the legislature in the State of Arizona passed a law allowing local police to do what the U.S. Federal Government has failed to do for the citizens of Arizona.

Is 1070 the answer to our illegal immigration problems? No. It's putting a bigger band aid on a gushing wound. They are looking at stopping illegal immigration when it reaches Arizona, not at it's source which is Mexico. Mexico has a porous southern border and no health and education services for their poor. Instead of looking to use the aid we send to Mexico to force them to fix these issues, there will continue to be a flood of illegal immigration into the states bordering the Mexico border, and yes that includes Arizona.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Internet Issues

For some reason my internet is really slow tonight, so my blogging tonight will have to be postponed until tomorrow. I will, however, give you a sneak peek. :)

Jonathan And David - Jonathan And Moses

Yesterday at Church during Sunday School, we were talking about the qualities of a true friend while studying Saul, his son Jonathan and David.

Because Saul didn't listen to God, he lost the blessing of the throne he held as King of Israel. David was anointed to become King upon the death of Saul. Which meant that Jonathan, who would by the world's standards have been the presumptive King, would lose the crown to David.

The interesting part of this comes in Chapter 18 of 1 Samuel in the Old Testament. Particularly in Verse 4:

4 And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him, and gave it to David, and his garments, even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his girdle.

These are the very vestments that would display what rank Jonathan had in the Kingdom of Israel, and yet, he had the humility to give them to David with the love of a brother, rather than an adversary for the throne of Israel. In other words, you would think Jonathan would be prideful, jealous or even resentful of David, but he wasn't. He had the integrity to know the throne of Israel was not his to assume and it had already been anointed on David upon his father's death, and gave his love as well as his allegiance to David, even over his own father when Saul repeatedly tried to kill David.

Now, having read back in Chapter 17 Verse 37:

7 David said moreover, The Lord that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the Lord be with thee.

David is telling Saul, essentially, that God had prepared David to fight, not as the man of war Goliath was, but as a soldier of the Almighty God.

Here is my thought/question. How was Jonathan prepared to follow the will of God, no matter what happened, in supporting David? How does God prepare someone to have that level of unconditional love, humility and integrity to not only strip himself of his princely vestments but also all of the other acts of loyalty to David that Jonathan was called upon afterwards?

An example, to some degree, might be Moses who left the palaces of Egypt to become the Hebrew slave he was actually born to become. Later, after having proved his integrity, becoming the prophet who would lead Israel out of Egyptian bondage.

In my religion we have the belief that these were among the great and noble spirits before the world was created. But I do wonder if there was some preparation during the upbringing of these honorable men to shape them into whom they became.

Just a thought to ponder.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Summer Cleaning

Well, summer cleaning and organizing is well under way, if you've been watching my posts since Spring Break. :)

Tonight I was cleaning out an area that had long been neglected and found some interesting items, including $20 in cash. I really need to clean more often if I'm going to get this kind of a tip! LOL!

This Was Too Funny!

Check One More Thing Off My List

My shoes now have a home. :) In case you are wondering, no I do not have a shoe fetish. This stems from my having to wear corrective shoes until I was 12 years old.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Few of My Favorite Twitter Accts To Read

I don't know about you, but I am on Twitter. I'm also on FaceBook as well, which I use to keep in touch with a variety of friends from a number of different places.

Twitter, however, can be fun if you have some fun accounts to follow.

A few of the celebrity ones I follow:






I also have friends I follow and a few news organizations I follow, as well as Steven Colbert and The Late Show (David Letterman). Do you use Twitter, and who do you follow?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Mannheim Steamroller

Mannheim Steamroller doesn't just do music for Christmas, they have music for all seasons of the year. They also have some great food items that you can buy from them online. (If you haven't tried it yet, their Cinnamon Hot Chocolate is the BEST!!!) I just got an email update with their latest specials.

Mannheim Steamroller

24 fun, educational things to do with kids this summer

24 fun, educational things to do with kids this summer

Foolin' Around

I wish they'd re-release this movie. It's hilarious.

Monday, June 21, 2010

The School of The Future

Mircrosoft High School

This was something I was interested in when they first opened it, I wanted to see how things worked out. I guess it was a little more work than the planners anticipated, but at least the kids got something out of it.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Elsewhere In The World

A crown princess (Princess Victoria) got married today. Congratulations to them both!

Photo courtesy of The Washington Post

The Parable of The First Responder

This is a re-post from a few years ago, but it's worth repeating.

I have to give a little bit of back-story to this post. I was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. When I was born, my family lived in a rural area outside of Cincinnati called Batavia, Ohio.

As with most rural areas of our country, the first responders (police, fire department and life squad - now called ambulance) were all volunteer. In some areas they still are today. These are people who hold regular jobs, but during their time off they are on call and/or stationed at their respective buildings in order to quickly respond to an emergency. My father served, for a period of some years, as a volunteer at one time or another for all three in Batavia.

All photos are Copyright Cassandra Dawn Bushman

His Police Badge:

His Fire Fighter Badge:

Dad's Life Squad certification:

This parable is about the true nature of service. We have so many people who serve, but even more who only claim to serve but don't really walk the walk. The term "public servant" comes to mind with some of our elected officials. I was raised with an atmosphere of service in the home I grew up in. This started with my parents.

Let's think of the amount of hours my father spent getting trained for each of the 3 volunteer positions he held in Batavia. Did it take him away from his family? Yes. Was it time consuming? Yes. Was it worth it to the people he rescued? Absolutely yes.

Let's think about the calls he got to rescue someone or help someone in distress. Did these come at inconvenient times for my family? Yes. Was it worth it to the people he helped? Absolutely yes.

Some of these emergencies were flooded river banks, fires, medical emergencies in the home, bad vehicle accidents as well as robberies and disputes. How much do you think people valued Dad's willingness to drop everything and come to a rescue? The word priceless comes to mind, but Mastercard might have issues with that.

Dad always had to be prepared for any emergency, even if we were out for a family car ride here in Arizona and Dad was no longer the "official" first responder he had been in the past. I witnessed many times both of my parents administering emergency aid to someone at a rest stop, including one man who had been severely burned from his car's radiator cap exploding on him.

This was in the days before cell phones, when making a simple phone call was not an option.

Now let's think about what we call "service" today. Yes, there are some fantastic examples of service, including the first responders we have today (paid and unpaid), those in the military and their families, and anyone working in a public school. This includes not only the teachers, but also the staff who are the unsung heroes in public education.

There are also, I'm sorry to say, those whose "service" leaves something to be desired.

Those who abuse the word not only set a bad example, but they will, I believe, ultimately be exposed to the rest of the world for what they really are.

Ultimately, the questions we should be asking are: a) What kind of service do we give (this includes me as well ;o); and b) What kind of people should we be really looking up to? Celebrities, sports stars, politicians, or to those who provide the service most people never see?

I can be grateful that although my Dad was not perfect (he passed away on Dec. 13, 2006), he and Mom did set examples for me to rely on, even today.

I love you Dad, Happy Father's Day.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

My New Favorite App

I love the apps for my iPod Touch. The latest?

iHeart Radio.

Now I can listen to my favorite radio station on my iPod. Gotta love it.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Weird Pregnancy Cravings

No, I'm not pregnant. :)

I do, however have some friends going through this right now, so I thought I'd share this:

Weird Pregnancy Cravings

Yep, There Is Now An App For That

You probably don't remember this, but I put in a request to Apple more than a year ago about an idea for a new Apple iPhone/iPod App. Here's the blog: Apple Adventures

Well, I am THRILLED to say, there is now an App for that! :)

Apple Store App

Thank you, Apple!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Happy Birthday, Barry

I don't know what my availability will be tomorrow, but I wanted to make sure I wished Barry a happy birthday. And, Barry, if you're reading this, you sure make 59 look good! LOL ;)

Enjoy the time with family and friends, create some new memories to cherish.



Thank You, Barry

This was posted on the Manilow UK site:

All of us are saddened beyond words at the sudden passing of our
friend Lynn Stephens.
Lynn was a "one of a kind," passionate, strong willed, always looking
out for the underdog....with a heart of gold and a wicked sense of
For many, many years she served as a trusted employee at our offices
in London, but more importantly, she served as a trusted friend.
Both will be missed by us all.
In her honor, we have established the Lynn Stephens - Manilow Music
Each year, a deserving student will receive a grant from the
Scholarship Fund to assist them in their music studies.
In this small way, we hope that by keeping music alive, we will be
able to keep her memory alive.
Lynn was quite a gal.
And she is missed......
With love.....
Barry.....and your family at the BMIFC and STILETTO.

That was very nice of you to post a message and to arrange a scholarship in her name. A very nice touch. Perhaps the first recipient can be from the UK? I don't know if that's allowed or not, but it's just a thought.

For My East Valley Neighbors

The County is fogging our neighborhoods to keep the mosquito population down that carries the West Nile Virus.

Coming From My Alma Mater

I attended high school at Corona del Sol. I'm glad there are some students there who are already asking the hard questions about why our state government here in Arizona is cutting the funding for education, including the Career Technical Education program.

Here's a story about the fallout from this video on AZCentral: Tempe Student Questions Huppenthal

Also keep in mind that Huppenthal is currently running to become the next State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Recycling Day

Today has been a day of purging old stuff, grocery shopping and finally moving the iTunes School library to the new hard drive. That file alone was 97 gigabytes and took about 2 hours to transfer.

After a trip to the recycling center and to Deseret Industries, I now have a little more space to do things with.

Back to the cleaning!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

AT&T Yet Again Behind The 8 Ball

Somehow I'm not surprised by this, given the number of complaints against AT&T by iPhone users.

iPhone 4 Stampede Tramples AT&T's Systems

My Laptop Has A New Home

In my office! YAY!

For those of you who have been to my home, you know how cluttered the office was. Some things got thrown out, other stuff got organized, and I finally got the rolling computer cart cleared off so I can now do my writing in a dedicated space!

There is still a lot more to do, as you can see, but this is serious progress!

It took the better part of the day but it is soooo worth it!

My New Addiction...

Pretty Little Liars on ABC Family TV, Tuesday nights. Interesting plot!

Good Things To Come

Monday, June 14, 2010

No Your Eyes Do Not Deceive

My good friends know I do a lot of work on the computer, namely on my Mac (MacBook Pro for anyone who's interested). Because of what I do at home (blogging, genealogy, etc.) and what I do for a living (Computer Lab at a K-8 school), this means I keep track of a LOT OF STUFF.

I started out a few years ago finding I needed an external hard drive, as my flash drives (yes I have multiples of those too) didn't have the space to save all of my stuff. I just purchased external hard drive #7 to hold my iTunes School data. That contains music I've made as part of my classes, but mostly videos I've made for the school and podcasts that have educational merit. The podcasts alone ate up the space on my hard drive last year, and now it's eating up the space on one of the external hard drives that I need to store other stuff on, so it's getting its own external hard drive.

And yes, I've gotten so many of these things I've labelled them so I know which is which. ;)

I think I need to buy stock in Western Digital, I'm keeping them in business.

Another Life

There's a song recorded by Barry Manilow called Another Life. I know I'll probably get this wrong, but part of the chorus goes like this:

That was another life,
Simply another life and baby it's all gone.
Can't you see the past is past,
Somethings just aren't made to last
No point in holding on
To another life.

Lately that song has been ringing true for me. I had a pre-Decker life, a During Decker life and now I have a Post-Decker life and I'm moving on. So, along those lines:

Don't see it? Somewhere between The Bangles and Belinda Carlisle should be Barry Manilow. His music, images and the videos are now removed from my computer. Needless to say it's cleared several gigabytes of space. :)

Saturday, June 12, 2010


Usually this day is pretty difficult for me: it's my 12 year wedding anniversary.

A little background:

Decker and I met on November 15th 1997 while working together in a kitchen at a church single's conference. I was 31 and had given up hope at that point of meeting my Mr. Right. He was 39 and yes, HE was looking. We fell in love on the dance floor that Saturday evening. By the following Wednesday, we knew we were meant for each other and it was only a matter of time before he proposed.

I didn't think things would happen that fast, and when we got engaged on December 20th 1997, my Mother freaked out made us promise to wait 6 months before getting married. We did, we got to know each other better and made some goals to start our life together with.

We married on June 12, 1998 in the Mesa Arizona Temple, just a few weeks before Decker turned 40 years old. He was thrilled to have found himself a wife before he turned 40.

Our bliss was cut short when Decker unexpectedly passed away on August 14, 2000. He had just turned 42 years old, I was a month away from turning 34.

I've gotten better with my emotions over the years since Decker's passing, but I can usually count on our wedding anniversary and the anniversary of his death to basically be a basket case. Instead, today I was blessed to see some miracles.

I usually try to spend some time at the Temple, and today was no different, but the Lord had some wonderful experiences in store for me.

After serving as a proxy for someone else, I ran into some good friends I've known for years with my family history work and ended up getting asked to come to a very special sealing session. Sealings are where couples are married for time and all eternity and where those who were not born to sealed parents become sealed to their parents. Today I had the privilege to see multiple familes restored between this side of the veil and the other. I shed a lot of tears as I watched this happen, tears of joy rather than of my own sorrow. I could also feel Decker's presence at various times throughout my time at the Temple.

I also had the opportunity, because of these sealings, to be reminded of the covenants and the promises God has in store with these sealings. Peace filled my heart as I knew that God knew of the pain I've been through since Decker left, and that He plans on making things right for both of us when the time comes for us to be reunited.

In the meantime, I'm glad I got to spend a little time with the Lord, with Decker and with some really, really good friends.

And Decker, My Love, I love you and long for the day when we can embrace once again.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


I love this show, although it's sad it has to be set in a war that actually occurred, a war (or "Police Action" as it used to be called) that my father fought in.

I guess that's why these, along with the A&E version of Pride and Prejudice, were the first DVD's I bought when I first got a DVD player.

Someone made a nice tribute, though one of many, to the show and the special moments this show provided over the years.

Health Update

Well, I know the reason for all of the recent grumpiness lately, I started my period. Keep in mind I had the surgery to remove not only the cyst but also one of my ovaries on May 13th, so it hasn't quite been a month yet, and I had a period after the surgery that lasted 6 days. Apparently my body is still working the hormone thing out.

In the meantime, this time I'm only a touch nauseous, not throwing up and not doubled over in cramps. I am, however, grumpier than I normally am, I don't know why. I may have to keep my distance from people, I don't want to bite anyone's head off.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A Few Fun Videos

Ever since I got stuck in the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland as a child during the 1970's, I've always loved this attraction.

Back To Writing

I've had the Do Not Disturb sign up today, I've gone back to my writing.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Movie Night Theme For July

For any of my friends who live in the San Francisco area, this is from the Walt Disney Family Museum:

Calling all identical TWINS: Let's get together! We'll be screening "The Parent Trap," (1961) as the film of the month in July, with YOU as our guests of honor! Identical twins will be able to catch the film for free in our theater throughout July. But we’d like to kick-off the month of screenings with a special party on July 1st!

If you are a twin--or know of any identical twins--that would like to get together for the premiere celebration here in San Francisco, drop us a note in the comment section below and we’ll get in touch! Yeah yeah yeah!

If you're on Facebook:


Too Bad It's On AT&T

The Apple iPhone 4

In Apple language this product has total iCandy. :)

From Discovery News

It's World Oceans Day

Another Fun Place To Visit!

There's a short video on the Blu-Ray of Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince about this, I'm glad to see it's open!

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

New Facebook Phrase

I've "liked" a new FaceBook phrase:

"I'd rather be hated for someone I am, than to be loved for someone I'm not."

It's not spelled exactly that way, but you get the picture.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Could It Be Magic?

Yes, I've gone off the Barry Diet, at least for a short bit. :)

One of my friends on the alt.fan Barry Manilow newsgroup (or usenet) added a discussion on what we would do if Barry's management took a vacation and left us in charge. I liked the responses to the question, and it put the little hamsters running the wheel in my brain on overdrive. There's a lot that could be done, from how the long-time fans are treated to how Barry and his show are being marketed. Here's the link for the discussion: alt.fan.Barry-Manilow

There has already been an improvement over what was being done to market his shows at the Hilton, as evidenced by a video Barry and Co. put on YouTube just prior to his Paris Las Vegas show's opening:

But that's been it as far as video footage regarding the show. Paris Las Vegas has tweeted about the show, but nothing to really showcase what kind of a show or the energy I'm sure Barry puts into the show. Just a note of clarification, I haven't seen this show in person.

With that in mind, I pulled out a project I've been wanting to do for the last few years, but never really had a reason to finish it, and decided to give it new life. It was meant to be a slideshow to the song Could It Be Magic, but has now turned into a video featuring bootlegged video footage from his current show I found on YouTube. And no, I'm not going to say where this footage can be found unless people start attacking me for using it.

This video is by no means anywhere near the perfect advertisement, but given better camera equipment, shots at multiple angles, better editing software and a custom arrangement of Could It Be Magic by Barry himself and you get the idea of the possibilites.

Why Could It Be Magic? The music for Could It Be Magic is based on the Prelude in C minor by Frederic Chopin, who lived and composed much of his music in Paris, France.

The pictures of old Paris, France I found online through a University: Europe At Its Zenith

I really need to take some Apple classes on iMovie. :)


Saturday, June 5, 2010

My Non-Barry Diet

As I type this I'm listening to Neil Sedaka's latest CD. Great music.

The last little while I've been on a Non-Barry Manilow diet, and (dare I say?) it's been liberating. No MMN, no alt.fan, no videos, no music from Barry. I tried the "fan" thing at the suggestion of my grief counselor following the death of my father (and I was finally grieving my husband at the same time). While I don't regret the friends I've made, I'm glad to not be a part of that anymore.

I don't have to worry about the "political correctness" of the fans who have decided they have to defend Barry. Too much estrogen. LOL. Sometimes I wonder how Barry, his management, his customer service people and his fan club administration put up with it all.

I heard a little while ago that the fan club's administration (namely the individual who oversees the membership) jumped on board the MMN with their own personal profile. This is an interesting turn of events, and could be good for the MMN. I'm waiting to see what happens the next time the estrogen goes on high alert and people start attacking each other on there. If someone bullies others, will it be dealt with? I do want to thank Barry, his management and fan club, for at the very least stepping in.

As I'm no longer a part of Manilowland, I'm curious, but that's all. I've got too many other things in my life to waste any more of my time dwelling about any of it anymore. I'm not anti-Barry, but I guess you'd have to say I'm no longer a "fan" if bullying is part of being one of his fans.

This Looks Like A Fun Place To Visit

Something New and Interesting

I'm wondering if he's going to share the video and techniques with other schools to make them better. I'd like to see if my school could use some of this!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Commencement Speeches

Some commencement speeches are okay, then there are some that blow you away. I happened upon this when I was watching videos on one of my favorite authors, J.K. Rowling.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Too Funny!

A dance off between Conan O'Brien, Steven Colbert and Jon Stewart. Comedy at it's best!

RIP Bill Austin

I loved watching and listening to Bill Austin over the years, he will definitely be missed.

Catching Up

Yesterday I finished the annual cleaning and shutting down of my computer lab/classroom. Year end is always a little sad, as you have students and teachers leave, both of whom have become friends over the course of the school year.

I'll be going back in tomorrow to help a few people out with backing up their files, but other than that, I've been resting and trying to recuperate from all of the work I had to do last week to finish off the school year. I also knew I needed to give my body a break, as I was spotting blood around one of the suture areas last week while I got the year end stuff for the teachers done.

I went to the doctor, and they are keeping the stitches in and allowing them to dissolve on their own, so I was spared that pain. Everything did come out to be benign, and the doctor has a DVD of the surgery that he will be making a copy for me, so I'll probably be calling next week to find out if I can go and get it. I'm still in pain, as you might expect, and can still feel the stitches when I'm not on the Tylenol.

The next bit that I'm doing, slowly, is to catch up on the house work here at home. During the school year, I'm busy working during the day, attending activities in the evening, plus Mom and stuff with Church, so I don't have much time or energy to clean. This means things tend to pile up by the time summer comes along, this year is no exception. Laundry and dishes didn't get done after I had the surgery, so I'm finally getting through all of that now. Next will be disposing of the trash and recycling and starting the task of cleaning house.

The good news is after the shelving I had done over Spring Break with my Ikea stuff, I now have a lot more space to put things, so the books and videos I have to take home from school during the summer actually have a place now. The books still have to remain boxed, but hopefully some of that will be alleviated once I can go through and recycle my old college books and Decker's old engineering books. Yes, I still have things, a lot of things, in this home that were Decker's. When he died I saw how much you leave behind, it was one of the eye opening lessons I got. Knowing this, though, has helped me with getting rid of stuff of my own so I can discard the stuff I don't use.

I also have some electronics that I bought and use at school, I'll need to get a plan in order to see where those can be stored next.