Look Around You

We early risers often see the most amazing things, if only because of the accident of our wakefulness. In our house I sleep the least, often the last to bed and the first to rise, awake while everyone else dreams.
Hoping to make Ms. Carolyn, my lovely wife, a morning blaze in the fireplace earlier this week I noticed, as I stumbled to our dwindling woodpile, the sky above. A cold front had marched in overnight and scrubbed the air and there were more stars visible in the sky than I ever remember seeing here. Even though I was in shorts and t-shirt, freezing in the darkness, I stood for a long while looking up at the sky.

Our dogs Tag and Meg looked up at me, though not with any hint of puzzlement. I’m afraid they’ve become used to my odd behavior.

The sky above was crowded with stars: Orion looked like he had freckles. I felt, if only for that moment, as if I was looking through a telescope, for even the faintest stars were revealed. The Pleiades were having a well-attended party; beautiful Cassiopeia, reclining ‘round the North Star, seemed clothed in diamonds. The sight of the sky so filled, coupled with the cold air, took my breath away. I’d have been embarrassed had anyone seen me gaping skyward that morning, but I don’t think I’ll forget standing there, in the cold, or what I saw above.

We live in such a wonderful place – a place of true beauty. I often get used to these hills and often I am guilty of not noticing them. It’s easy to pass through, driving with your mind on hold, until everything seen through your car’s windows becomes a blur, a strange collage of unnoticed mists.

I know poets warn of noticing things too closely – I’m thinking it would be easy to be overwhelmed by this place we’ve made our home – but I’d dare you, Gentle Reader, to notice, if only for a moment this week, the gift we share here. Not a bad spot right here, as Pearl Bailey would sing. Not bad at all.


Why Are You Here?

I haven’t done this in a while – what brings people to Chasing the Wind? Here’s a list of searches people use. By the way, this list is always up to date in my sidebar, down near the bottom where it says “Referral Links.” Some days, that the most fun part of blogging. 😛

There ya go. I’d be happier if people came here looking for information about the Christian faith, but either a) there are too many sites like that, or b) nobody searches for faith that way. Still, maybe Chasing the Wind will become the number 1 evangelistic blog for Dale Earnhardt fans with clogged ears. Now we’re talking. 🙂

The Great Lion Prediction

Bitter Sanity has some insightful predictions about lionizing Saddam Hussein. I’d like to think this is fantasy, but I’m pretty sure it’s accurate:

A few predictions
I’ve been thinking that it’s only a matter of time before mainstream thought in this country begins the process of lionizing Saddam Hussein. With his trial beginning, the tone of media coverage is starting to bear out my worst fears. (You wouldn’t think it would be possible to admire someone who has done what Saddam has uncontestably done, but in a country where people wear Guevera t-shirts without hiding their faces, I suppose just about anything is possible.)

I predict:

  • The words “defiant”, “strong”, “canny”, and “independent” will become de rigeur in all stories concerning Saddam’s trial.
  • The meme that the trial is “illegal” (because not blessed by “international-law experts”) will spread. Shortly, it will be routine to refer to the “illegal trial” in editorials, and to “the trial, whose legality is disputed” in news coverage.
  • If and when he is executed, the television news coverage will feature somber voices.
  • On the day, no Iraqis who were victims themselves or who lost family will be quoted. Only Baathist voices will be heard, mourning “the great lion”, and so on.
  • Editorials will announce that since obviously the Iraqi people mourn Saddam Hussein, his execution will only increase the “Iraqi” “insurgency”.
  • Within two months, Saddam’s daughter Raghad will be the subject of a sympathetic television interview, perhaps by Barbara Walters. The interviewer will not ask her what kind of a tree she would be, but will ask how she felt “the day you lost your father”.
  • Raghad will do a lecture tour of the US, and will be invited to speak at several prominent universities.
  • None of the victims of Saddam Hussein will be invited to speak in any of these venues, then or in the future.

* Via American Digest


At The Journey, Rodney wonders about insects with low self-esteem. There’s something wrong with Rodney.

Officials in Rome, Italy, have solved one of the world’s most pressing problems by banning the use of round goldfish bowls.

Oil Slicks.  They Make the Water Pretty. If you want to Taunt Libs, there are some new t-shirts available. Hey, it’s what they think about conservatives anyway, so might as well have fun with it.

Here’s a game that requires absolutely no skill. If you play, post a) your score and b) how many hours you spent watching the little squiggles roll around. Me, 3 minutes, 1603 points. Ha, beat that.

If you have a fun link for the day, let me know and I’ll post it here. 🙂

Update: Sean adds Mr. Wrinkle to today’s whimsical sites. I wonder about Sean, too.

Update2: Jo adds Stuff on My Cat which is all about… um, putting stuff on a cat.

Macho Man is Endangered? By What?

Seriously, I have trouble imagining the world that these people come from. Their planet must be painted in pastels and have a lovely floral scent.

PARIS (AFP) – Macho man is an endangered species, with today’s male more likely to opt for a pink flowered shirt and swingers’ clubs than the traditional role as family super-hero, fashion industry insiders say.

“The masculine ideal is being completely modified. All the traditional male values of authority, infallibility, virility and strength are being completely overturned,” said Pierre Francois Le Louet, the agency’s managing director.

Instead today’s males are turning more towards “creativity, sensitivity and multiplicity,” as seen already in recent seasons on the catwalks of Paris and Milan.

“We are watching the birth of a hybrid man. … Why not put on a pink-flowered shirt and try out a partner-swapping club?” asked Le Louet, stressing that the study had focused on men aged between 20 and 35.

Uh-huh. So women want this:
Not a macho man

instead of this?
Macho. Definitely macho.

I’m thinking these “fashion insiders” have it all wrong. It’s the flowery guy that’s endangered. Not only do women want masculine men (and keeping in mind that as far as I know, women are the ones who have babies), but the flowery guy will probably not survive junior high gym class, due to “Death by Wedgie.”

The Casual Abortion

Last week, a new report came out that showed women were more casual about abortions now – rather than something to be avoided, some women would have multiple abortions instead of using birth control (or heaven forbid, abstaining altogether).

A dramatic rise in repeat abortions has reinforced fears that women are increasingly having terminations for lifestyle reasons.

Women between 20 and 24 have taken over from teenagers as the largest age group to have terminations, while only one in 100 abortions is carried out solely because of a medical risk to the baby.

“Lifestyle reasons”? As if that attitude toward eliminating a baby wasn’t cavalier enough, a radio show in Washington D.C. had a call-in contest for the listener with the most abortions. Some callers asked if there was a prize, like a t-shirt or a shop-vac.

First, there’s the woman who had a forced abortion when she was 13.

Caller: “Yeah, hi, you’re, you’re uh talking about abortion.”
Elliot: “Yes. Just having a little contest.”
Caller: “Yeah, I was uh 13 and dating this guy for like six months. I got pregnant by him.”
Elliot: “At 13?!”
Caller: “Yeah. And I don’t really know my mother’s side of the family that well.”
Elliot: “Right”
Caller: “So we went to one of his family get-togethers and I recognized the lady that turned out to be my grandmother.”
Elliot: “Pardon me?”
Caller: “And it turns out that he was my second cousin”
Elliot: “Sweet.”
Caller: “I was like two months pregnant and my father forced me to get an abortion.” Laughter.

Ugh. Catholic Online andMichelle Malkin don’t think it’s funny, either.