Monday, July 31, 2006

Chors n more

This picture is from my trip to Oregon two years ago.
That is my brother in law - Dennis standing on the rocks.
Just to the right my sister is outlined.
She was taking a picture, too.
The wind was blowing in from the sea pretty hard that afternoon and the waves were really showing off against the rocks.
So sis and I just waited until a nice big juicy one blew up on the rocks and we both snapped it.
I admit I have "tweeked" the color a little.
Well, okay, I tweeked the color a lot.
It was kind of a cloudy and gray day with the sun peeking through here and there.
The original (grayish) picture was pretty nice, I thought, but this version is way smoother.
(did I use that right, Josh?)
Hope you all like this one.

My dead grass got a haircut today.
My yard received a little rain over the last couple of days, so about 17 blades began to grow.
This made them stick out from the rest of the Hunstville Sahara.
I determined that things needed a little evening up (or down).
So I cranked up the ol' wheeled botanical clippers and performed some yard kathaheero (John 15:2) ;)

It was nice and hot outside.
My body did vent many moistures.
I like the heat.
If I could I would like live in Arizona or Utah or Nevada.
Nice n hot there.

I spent most of the day working on a Bible study on unity vs. false doctrine.
I got the inspiriation from a statement in/on basfsogp's blog.
I'm still working on it.
It is 15 pages long so far.
But I'm almost done.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Wal, wal, wal.
The oil companies have announced their income/earnings for the second quarter of 2006 and, it’s deja vu one mo time.
They made a lot of money.
The socialist-liberals in Congress are making noises about a “windfall profits” tax again.
They claim this is to “help” the American consumer.

So let’s go back to Economics 101 for a refresher on a few timeless principles.

All businesses get their income from their customers.
All businesses pay their taxes from the income they get from their customers.
If Congress raises the taxes that certain businesses must pay, guess who is going to foot the bill for the increased taxes?
Their customers.
In the case of the oil companies, that would be yoo (and mee).

What an extra tax on profits says is that being successful is bad.
Profit is evil.
This is just another case of wealth envy on the part of the socialist-liberals.
You say “income” – they think “tax”.

But this is America!
The land of the free and home of the brave and apple pie and free enterprise.
The land of opportunity, where we demonstrate that if you work hard, you can make money and improve your material situation.
Maybe even get “rich”.
One definition of “rich” is to have/posses more than you need for basic survival.
Know anyone like that?
(Check your local mirror.)

So how much profit is enough to be “windfall”?
Is it just total dollars of profit?
Is it percent of profit on total sales? (“profit margin”)

If you look at just total dollars of profit, the oil companies made A LOT of money.

Royal Dutch Shell
Revenue $ 83,127,000,000.00
Profit $ 6,314,000,000.00
Profit Margin 7.60%

Conoco Phillips
Revenue $ 47,100,000,000.00
Profit $ 5,186,000,000.00
Profit Margin 11.01%

Exxon Mobil
Revenue $ 99,000,000,000.00
Profit $ 10,400,000,000.00
Profit Margin 10.51%

Revenue $ 74,007,000,000.00
Profit $ 7,266,000,000.00
Profit Margin 9.82%

Revenue $ 53,500,000,000.00
Profit $ 4,350,000,000.00
Profit Margin 8.13%

So lets look at some other companies who reported earnings this week.

Revenue $ 8,940,000,000.00
Profit $ 1,347,000,000.00
Profit Margin 15.07%

Revenue $ 11,800,000,000.00
Profit $ 2,830,000,000.00
Profit Margin 23.98%

Revenue $ 5,800,000,000.00
Profit $ 1,499,300,000.00
Profit Margin 25.85%

Revenue $ 10,634,000,000.00
Profit $ 3,508,000,000.00
Profit Margin 32.99%

Revenue $ 22,182,000,000.00
Profit $ 5,262,000,000.00
Profit Margin 23.72%

Morgan stanley
Revenue $ 17,400,000,000.00
Profit $ 3,518,000,000.00
Profit Margin 20.22%

Notice the last column – Profit margin.
These companies made from 50% to 300% MORE profit than the oil companies if you measure profit as a percentage of total sales.

Consider this, Microsoft has 34 BILLION dollars in cash in the bank (actually it is invested in short-term bonds).
This is extra money they accumulated over the years that they don’t know what to do with.
Nice problem to have.
Two years ago they decided to pay a dividend to all of their shareholders.
Before they did that, they had 66 billion in the bank. (!)
Life is the pits.

Oh, and guess what?
Guess who made more money than the oil companies on this expensive oil?
Your federal and state governments.
From taxes on gas and oil.
You paid for that, too.

One reason oil prices are so high is because there is more demand for oil in relation to the amount of available oil.
Key word: available.
Much of the profits of oil companies goes into looking for – duh! – more oil.
But most socialist-liberals in the US Congress oppose drilling for oil off the coast of Florida and in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve (ANWR) , in Alaska, where there are known (as in – already discovered) large reservoirs of oil.
The reason for refusal to drill in ANWR is that if any oil is spilled, it might pollute the ground and harm an animal.
(Even though the area where the drilling would take place represents just 2% of the total ANWR real estate.)
So, based on the actions of the socialist-liberals, a few animals are more important than providing more oil to the millions of American citizens who need it.

So, the socialist-liberals gripe that oil prices are too high.
The socialist-liberals gripe that the oil companies make too much money.
But the socialist-liberals refuse to allow the oil companies to pump new oil out of the two biggest repositories in the United States, which would increase supply and thus lower the price of oil in the US of A.
Go figure.

Class dismissed.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

In response to some comments:

Regarding the cute little girl in the pictures.
She now has three names -

Chensley - this was taken from the wedding program as I never clearly heard her name when I was there. I am aware that typos do happen in wedding programs so....

Kingsley - an interesting name for a girl (king = male)

Kinsley - another interesting name for a girl.

Thanks to Kelly for adding this information.

Now, on to the comments by Anonymous -

I must take issue with the last part of the comment, to wit:

"One other point, care must be taken in describing this conflict using scriptures. While it is true that the Jews have paid for breaking the covenant and crucifying the Savior,..."

First, the Jews ARE PAYING for breaking the covenant. Negative consequences were part of the covenant. It was the will of God that the Savior be crucified (Mark 14:48). This is because Christ is the savior of the Jews also. If they do not accept/receive the provisions of the New Covenant of Christ, they are left with the remnants of the old.

"... it is also true that God would rather us focus on the spiritual battle...."

Granted. Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. -1 Corinthians 10:11 We get clues on how the fight this spiritual battle from the literal events that took place in the OT.

"The current fights in the middle east, while deplorable and could affect us in some way in the future, are not prophesied of in the OT or NT as part of God's plan now, except from the standpoint of reaping what is sown."

The fights in the Middle East for the last 4,000 years ARE affecting us NOW. It goes all the way back to Abram, Hagar and Ishmael. (see Genesis 6:11-12, 25:18) The events of 9/11/2001 were the result of past events in the Middle East. It is debatable whether the current machinations in the Middle East are prophesied about in the OT. Many times a statement in the OT can be applied to several events in the years following (or even previous). It should be clear to any Christian that the current unrest in the world among "Islam" is spiritual in nature. The "war on terror" is fundamentally a religious war. You cannot separate the physical/material events of life from the spiritual elements of our life. It all works together in the "will of God". In my view of God, NOTHING happens outside of the will of God. Even sin is around to present people with a choice. Certainly, sin is not part of the "will of God" for us in the ideal, but sin is a factor in the world around us - even if it "only" takes the form of temptation - and we still must deal with it.

Thank you for your comments.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

I have yet to learn how to put words in between my pictures and get the pictures to post in the order that I want them. The wedding pictures already posted are in reverse order from the way I intended.
Life is a school.

Here are three more pictures taken at the wedding, even though they are not of "the wedding".

The little girl is Chenzlie Elmore.

Regarding the current excitement between Israel and Hezbollah...

Numbers 33:55-56

55 But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then it shall be that those whom you let remain shall be irritants in your eyes and thorns in your sides, and they shall harass you in the land where you dwell.
56 Moreover it shall be that I will do to you as I thought to do to them.’”

Joshua 23:12-13

12 Or else, if indeed you do go back, and cling to the remnant of these nations—these that remain among you—and make marriages with them, and go in to them and they to you,
13 know for certain that the Lord your God will no longer drive out these nations from before you. But they shall be snares and traps to you, and scourges on your sides and thorns in your eyes, until you perish from this good land which the Lord your God has given you.

Judges 2:1-3

1 Then the Angel of the Lord came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said: “I led you up from Egypt and brought you to the land of which I swore to your fathers; and I said, ‘I will never break My covenant with you.
2 And you shall make no covenant with the inhabitants of this land; you shall tear down their altars.’ But you have not obeyed My voice. Why have you done this?
3 Therefore I also said, ‘I will not drive them out before you; but they shall be thorns£ in your side, and their gods shall be a snare to you.’”

Whose side am I on?
I am on the side of Israel.
Hezbollah and the rest of the islamofanatic anarchists are the personification of Satan.
They hate people and seek nothing but the destruction of civilization as we know it.

They are no different than the communists of this world in that they believe that the end justifies the means, and care nothing about the destruction of human life in the attainment of their goals.
The "end" these nut-heads want has nothing to do with making people happy or free to do the normal things that most people want to do (work, get married, raise a family, worship God, etc), it is typically some "ideal" world where "all" people are "equal" and/or conform to some theoretical plan that they (the nut-heads) think is the way "things should be".

(deep breath)

Okay, now I feel better.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Mo wedding pichers..... by popular demand.
Blogger picture uploader is now woiking.
Well, I was going to post some more wedding pictures but the blogger thingy won't let me.


Monday, July 24, 2006

I had a job interview today.

As is usually the case, I could not tell if I will be selected for the job or not.
Nothing happened in the interview that led me to believe that I had blown it.

"Blown". Now there is a term.

If a car is blown, it is faster (and usually louder and drinks more gas). If an interview is blown, it is a failure. Or at lease unsuccessful.

If a car horn is blown, it is a signal to indicate either displeasure (usually one blast - sometimes long), or to get someone's attention in a more friendly way (usually two short toots), sometimes accompanied with a wave of the hand.

If a musical instrument is blown, it is for the purpose of making music - thus it is operating properly.

BTW, I have minnee more pictures of the wedding if anyone is interested.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Here are some more pictures of the wedding.

I attended the wedding of Jessica Wingate Saturday. It was held on the grounds of the Burrett Museum, which overlooks Huntsville. The weather cooperated and it was a lovely setting. I saw many old friends –maybe I should phrase that as – I saw many friends whom I have know for a long time. 

The amazing thing for me is to see the young adults whom I remember as mere children just eight short years ago. That doesn’t seem so long to me, but that is almost half of their lifetime. (!) Seeing Cassie, Sarah, and Clinton Knox was a surprise.

“...See the tree how big its grown,
but friend it hasn’t been that long,
it wasn’t big....”

If you remember that song you are *old*.  (I hate that song, but words fit here.)

So I am in a melancholy mood. I remember the olden days when we all hung out together. But as “they” say... time moves on. The fact is, whether “they” say it or not, time moves on. Or maybe we should say, we move on in time. Whatever. Even if I was still living in the same situation of eight years ago (the point when things changed for me), we all have changed. Some have moved, some have married, some have had babies (that changes things (and people)). Kids grow up and change.

Amanda and Carol - two of my favorite teeny boppers back then - are both married mothers now.

And the sad fact is, as I grow older, more and more of my thinking will be about things in my past rather than my future. As the old man said in the intro to the Simon n Garfunkle song “Bookends”, “I have to be an old man, I can’t be any younger.” I don’t like the prospect of getting old (as in, really old, like, elderly). I enjoy being able to get around and run and left weights and do stuff. But the days are coming, I fear, when getting from the bed to the rocking chair will be the extent of my doings. I hope not, but who knows?

It was/is good to see many of the saints still faithful to God. That was encouraging. It was good to see some of the young ones saved, too. Sadly, a few have given up. Fortunately, I have learned how to speak to these ones from my heart. There was a time (not so long ago, really) when I would just clam up not knowing what to say. Now, I can just say what is in my heart. Such as, I am sorry to hear that. I wish it was not so. What happened? I will pray for you. I love you. I want to see you make it (to heaven). Etc.

It was made clear during the ceremony how much Jessica loves Chris – her new husband. She broke down during her vows and began to cry. There are circumstances about their relationship up to this point that are not the ideal. I would have preferred a better arrangement, but I cannot orchestrate the lives of others. I pray that they both will seek the forgiveness and adoption of God soon.

My, I do ramble on....

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Just some brief thots on taxes.
They are a necessary evil of living.
Even in primitive societies, there is some form of payment required for being part of the community/tribe.
So when I see some Senator trying to appeal to the wealth envy of his audience by advocating a windfall profits tax on big oil companies, I want to smack him/her for lying and/or being stupid.
Think about this for a moment, where does a business - any business - get its money?
It gets it from it's customers - those who buy its products/services.
If we raise the taxes that a company must pay, where is the company going to get the extra money required to pay the extra tax?
From its customers!
That would be yoo in the case of the oil companies.
In fact, yoo pay all business taxes.
Any tax on any business is paid by the customers of that business.
So it is dishonest for a politician to say they want to raise taxes on business with the implication that this is to help "the little guy".
In reality, "the little guy" is ultimately going to pay the new tax.

BTW, this is why I am in favor of elimination of all taxes on business income.
Since I am going to pay for it anyway, just tax me directly.
When businesses are not taxed, they will lower their prices by an equivilent amount, which will offset the slight increase in my taxes.

You say, but the big companies makes millions of dollars in profit.
True, but that is what they are supposed to do.
That is why they are in business.
Those millions of dollars are for the benefit of the stockholders of that company.
If you think that a certain company is taking more of your money than is fair, and you do not have an alternative provider to do business with, buy some stock of the offending company.
That way, you will reap the benefits of the "excess" profits it is making.

This has been your Economics 101 lesson for the day.

Monday, July 17, 2006

This blog is under construction.
Watch this space for insightful observations about all kinds of stuff.


April 15 th of 2013 was my last year to work for HR Block. I disliked the corporate pressure to make us call customers to try ...