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Saturday, December 12, 2009

Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program

Residents of long-term care facilities sometimes have little or no contact with the outside world. Many feel they lack control over their lives. A friendly volunteer who visits regularly can be a bright spot in an elderly resident's day. Many residents are alone and would be very happy to have your visits. This may also help ensure they get good care if someone from the community is looking in on them regularly.

Long-Term Care Ombudsman are advocates for residents of nursing homes, board and care homes and assisted living facilities. Ombudsmen provide information about how to find a facility and what to do to get quality care. They are trained to resolve problems. If you want, the ombudsman can assist you with complaints. However, unless you give the ombudsman permission to share your concerns, these matters are kept confidential.

Our local ombudsman's office investigates complaints and advocates for the rights of long-term care residents in Milton-Freewater, Heppner, Hermiston, Pendleton, Canyon City, John Day, Prairie City, Wallowa and La Grande.

State-wide, the agency oversees 21 districts and 42,000 residents in long-term care facilitiies. Last year, 100 certified volunteer ombudsmen made 9,800 visits to care facilities.

Investigations are based on complaints, concerns or suspicions reported by residents, family, facility staff or other agencies.

The areas of La Grande, Wallowa, Hermiston and Prairie City have the greatest need in the state of Oregon. Currently there are just three volunteer ombudsman available for this entire region. Ideally, there should be at least ten, allowing more frequent and regular visits to care facilities.

Volunteer ombudsman complete an five-day, 48-hour certification training program and are supported with conferences and refresher training. Volunteers must be at least 21 years old and undergo a background check.

Read more...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Paper, Pen and Ink

Today, more than ever, our daily life depends upon electronic, digitized text. Looking at the tremendous variety and number of computer devices that surround each of us, how can paper-based information be at all relevant, much less vital?

I believe information that is published with ink on paper (or parchment), is much more reliable, and long-lasting than any other medium we know of.

First issue: long-lasting

Although metal, or glass, or pottery could be considered more durable, the practical and realistic characteristics of paper and ink most likely provide longer-lasting archival documents.

The technology and energy to create, store, and retrieve information based on metal or ceramics, including glass, requires much more time and intelligence and care than a simple graphite or ink mark on a notecard. That basic notecard can be kept in a dry environment, even one found in nature, with no human intervention, without degradation.

Second issue: reliability

Because paper-based information can be published quickly, easily, and to a broad audience, mistakes and falsehoods can easily be disputed. Once written or printed, and distributed, a reader (or non-reader!) can physically hold it in their hand, preventing the author from easily revising it. The holder of the paper can write his own article, correcting the mistake and exposing the lies, with proof of the original error in his possession.

Not easily done with E-mail or websites. Unless hackers gain access (actually quite easy to do) or internet administrators use their privileges, the author of a digital document can easily revise, at any time, any portion of his original publication. Little remains that can prove there was a change. Of course, computer users have the capability of downloading information and saving it electronically, but until it is printed on paper, it still is susceptible to easy change or loss.

Why am I thinking about these things?

Here's an excerpt from an article describing the dispute between Islam and Christianity regarding the crucifixion of Christ:

The Great Offense: Was Jesus Really Crucified?

By John Piper

The Qur'an says that Jews were mistaken about the death of Jesus, indicating He was taken up by God unhurt.

"And because of their saying: We slew the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, Allah's messenger—They slew him not nor crucified, but it appeared so unto them; and lo! those who disagree concerning it are in doubt therefore; they have no knowledge thereof save pursuit of a conjecture; they slew him not for certain. But Allah took him up unto Himself. Allah is ever Mighty, Wise. There is not one of the People of the Scripture [Jews] but will believe in him before his death, and on the Day of Resurrection he will be a witness against them." (Sara 4, 157-159, quoted from The Meanings of the Glorious Qur'an, trans. Muhammad Marmaduke Pickthall (New Delhi : Kitab Bhavan, n.d.), 91.)

But Mohammed wasn't born until 571 years after the birth of Jesus. Tacitus, born in 55 a.d., was a Roman historian living during the years in which the Christian believers were just beginning to gather in churches.

The testimony of Tacitus contradicts the information recorded by the Qur'an:

"All human efforts . . . of the emperor, and the propitiations of the gods, did not banish the sinister belief that the conflagration was the result of an order. Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their center and become popular." (Tacitus, Annals, translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb, accessed 11-26-03, http://classics.mit.edu/Tacitus/annals.11.xv.html. Italics added.)

It was common knowledge that Christ was crucified. If there were any question that he had died in this way, it would have been eagerly disputed wherever Christians preached. But it wasn't. The fact of his death by crucifixion was not questioned.

Christians openly based their faith on the fact that Jesus was publicly tried, condemned, executed, and raised from the dead. Thousands of people who opposed the faith could have proved it wrong, if Jesus had not died. The resurrection was disputed, but not the crucifixion.

With only electronically created and decoded documents, this historical information could have been deleted, distorted, and easily denied. With the information recorded on parchment, we have accurate and reliable testimony from an eye-witness.

Thank God for paper and ink!

The Blind Side

The best stories in life (and film) have simple plots and complicated, inspiring and intriguing characters.

Disregard your preconceptions, look past the simple plot, and go see "The Blind Side".

A wealthy, white mother and career woman takes in a homeless, hopeless, black teenager from a gang-ruled housing project in Memphis. Although she knows nothing about him, and fully expects him to steal what he can carry, she breaks through his wall of silent despair and begins to care for him as her own child. He completes high school and wins a scholarship to play football for University of Mississippi, "Ole Miss".

The film is based on a true story told by author Michael Lewis in his book, "The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game", 2007, W. W. Norton & Company.

I want to see the film again, and I want to buy the video when it becomes available. Here are two reasons:

I Don't Like Football

I've never understood the strategy, except "throw the ball and catch it, or try to stomp on any one on the opposing team." I admit that's a shallow understanding of the sport, but that's where I was, before I watched "The Blind Side" last night.

Sandra Bullock plays the mother, Leigh Anne. The film opens with her giving a play-by-play color commentary of a real football game, focusing on the role of one of the defensive linemen, the left tackle.

For the first time I understood one of the basic strategies of football. The left tackle protects the blind side of a righthanded quarterback, who must twist slightly to the right before throwing the football.

This has been a relatively new development in football strategy, and made the position of left tackle hugely important, earning nearly as much money as that earned by the quarterback, the highest-paid position on the team.

I just might watch a football game this weekend. Even if I don't, this new awareness of how football works, or at least, how a part of it works, inspires me to see parallels in other parts of my life:

Violence cannot be judged on appearance alone. I cannot blindly look at the crushing, brawling conflict of a football game and lightly dismiss it as foolish, or wrong, or useless. There is a reason for it, a need for it, a moral necessity even.

This idea impacts today's issues of gun control, military interventions, community police departments...even child discipline. The motive for an act, the results of an act, must be discerned before the act is judged right, wrong, useless or worthwhile.

This film made me think about that.

Sandra Bullock's character was a bitch, and I mean that in the nicest possible way.

Please, before you angrily, righteously, shut down your computer, open a dictionary and look up the meaning of "bitch".

Bitch: The female of the canine kind, from Anglo Saxon, "bicce" (1949 Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary). By the 15th century the word was used to describe a bad woman. Why? It is helpful to look at how dog breeders and trainers regard the word, "bitch". Here is an exerpt from an article that focuses on the differences between male and female dogs. (My comments comparing the description to the mother in "The Blind Side" are shown in italics):

Male Dogs vs. Female Dogs

A Guide to Dog Behavior, by Mary Stasiewicz

In some ways, choosing between male and female dogs is a matter of personal preference. However, there are some characteristics which are common in bitches and other characteristics which are common in male dogs.

The following characteristics often apply to bitches:

Independent

Bitches tend to want to be in control of the entire situation. They may come to their owner when they are seeking affection but will often move away when they have had enough.

The mother, Leigh Anne, is an interior designer, shown in the beginning of the film on the phone, dictating requirements of a project to a supplier. She sounds firm, knowledgeable and in control. She makes decisions quickly, she sees the big picture, and she's obsessive about quality and appearance, in life and home.

There are scenes in the film in which the phrase, "Guess who wears the pants in that family?" comes to mind. Although Sean, the husband, is shown later in the film as part of the decision-making at home, and Leigh Anne depends upon him for guidance and support, he also admits to his children and her, that "What she wants and what will actually happen...are usually the same thing."

Leigh Anne is the one who takes Michael, the forlorn black teenager, into their home. She insists that he allow her to buy him new clothes. She confronts Michael's old friends when they threaten him. She pushes the high school football coach aside to forcibly impress upon Michael and his team (grabbing by the shirt, pulling on the helmet, and slapping on the butt) the facts of football. Leigh Anne's first response, in almost all situations, seems to be one of taking control and solving the problem by moving and shaking.

Stubborn

In many packs, a bitch is typically the Alpha dog. Female dogs crave more control of situations and are quick to respond to perceived challenges with fierceness.

Leigh Anne packs heat. She never pulls her gun out of her purse, but her strong words and "in your face" confrontation with bad-side-of-town tough guys who threaten her son leave no doubt: She's going to do whatever it takes to protect her own.

Territorial

Female dogs mark in the same way male dogs do. A spayed female may continue to mark for her entire lifetime regardless of when she is spayed while most males will cease marking behaviors shortly after they are neutered and the testosterone levels subside.

Leigh Anne's home is visually stunning, with beautiful furniture and art placed intimately and comfortably. She has a place, a room, for every purpose, designed and furnished for that purpose. From landscaping to the laundry room, and from great room to guest room, Leigh Anne's esthetic marking behaviors are clearly seen.

Reserved

Bitches are generally less affectionate and friendly than male dogs. This characteristic is noticeable in puppies and becomes more pronounced with age.

This is an interesting generalization. Discussing it with my wife, we couldn't definitely agree that this was true of Leigh Anne, or of women in general. In many senses, this is true, and not true, of men and women. It seems that women tend to be nurturers, quick to provide compassion and affection, while men often are "bottom line" problem-solvers, rather than empathizers. However, women who are leaders also place a higher priority on the need for analytical, aggressive and decisive behavior.

Leigh Anne did show several aspects of making problem-solving a higher priority than compassion and affection. Her first reaction to seeing Michael with her young son was one of suspician and doubt. Later, finding Michael alone on the street, in the rain, wearing only a T-shirt and gym shorts, she wasted no time probing for problems or giving a motherly embrace...she ordered him into her car and directed him to stay the night at her home, no back-talk or excuses tolerated.

Months later, after Michael had become a permanent house guest, he asked her to help him get a driver's licence. She was in the middle of organizing her sewing room, and quickly dismissed his request as unnecessary: he didn't even have a car! But Leigh Anne's compassionate side kicked in...she stopped what she was doing, looked Michael directly in the eyes, and softly asked, "Why do you want a driver's licence?" He shared something from deep inside himself, she listened and gave him warm support.

Leigh Anne's daughter, Collins, was shown suffering silently from teasing and ostracizing at school because of her family's relationship with Michael. Leigh Anne detected Collins' anxiety, and confronted it as a decision-maker, asking Collins to describe her relationship with Michael. When Collins dismissed the situation as inconsequential, Leigh Anne shifted her priority, placing empathy and compassion above solving the problem. She spoke as a mother, inviting Collins to share what she was feeling, affirming her support and understanding.

The film offers a good representation of the complexity of human emotion and ambition. There were definitely instances when Leigh Anne demonstrated a business-like approach to solving family problems. However, Leigh Anne also showed a compassionate side, a weaker, softer, needy and caring side.

Changes in Mood or Behavior

It is also important to note that if you do not spay your bitch, she will come into heat at approximately one year of age and approximately every six months thereafter. During this time, there will be some bleeding as well as a change in mood or behavior. Keep this in mind when you adopt a puppy and make the decision of whether or not to spay her.

I laughed when I considered comparing this characteristic of female dogs to women. The classic descriptor of a women enduring her monthly cycle of menstruation, or the hot flashes and moodiness of menopause, is the rough, vulgar term, "bitchiness". Cute bumper stickers and T-shirt slogans testify to the reputation that hormonal changes in females is cause for extreme wariness for all that may consider interacting with them.

The film included no scenes that implied that hormones were involved in any of Leigh Anne's actions. But with a pistol in her purse, I would indeed tread softly if I were anywhere near her when she feels her pups were in danger!

Go see this film.

It will give you an itch to watch a football game this weekend. It will make you want to redecorate your living room. It may even inspire you to reach out in love to someone completely different from you, just for the joy of it!

Links:

  • Male Dogs vs. Female Dogs: A Guide to Dog Behavior, by Mary Stasiewicz
  • Review, cast, and trailers
  • "The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game"
  • Tuohy family helps Sandra Bullock research film
  • Saturday, December 5, 2009

    On Having Long Hair

    My decision to grow my hair long has been relatively recent, perhaps only three or four years ago (sometime in 2006 or 2007). For most people who have known me for a long time, my decision was surprisingly out of character: I have always been outwardly "good" or "nice", quite conservative in social and political preferences, born and raised in a small, rural western town, and a Christian since 1976.

    So, why the decision to grow my hair long? And, perhaps more importantly, why write about my decision to grow my hair long?

    Let me start with my conclusion, just so we can relieve the suspense and get on with the interesting stuff:

    My hair is long because I like it long and I can grow it long and I'm free to grow it long.

    I can see at least four major influences, or assumptions, that have shaped my attitude towards long hair:

  • I don't like getting my hair cut.
  • Long hair for men, in my mind, has ALWAYS been associated with a rebellious and reckless lifestyle...until recently.
  • I'm a Christian, passionately in love with Jesus Christ and completely dependent upon His Holy Word, the Bible.
  • I like having long hair.
  • Let's deal with the easiest one first:

    Why don't I like getting my hair cut?

    I remember my first haircut at the barbershop. I must have been young, perhaps 3-4 years old? I remember my granddad Sherwood with me. I remember the loud, threatening sound of the electric clippers...the cold press of the metal against my skin...the tickle of falling hair...nothing of the experience gave me pleasure.

    I do not remember ever returning to the barbershop for a haircut. All my other memories are of my mother cutting my hair, and how I fought it. I cried, argued, and pouted, but I always ended up sitting still for it.

    When on my own, I had hair stylists cut my hair. I didn't cry, argue, or pout, and usually I actually enjoyed having someone cut my hair, as long as they used scissors, and especially if they washed my hair. But I resent the time and the frequency. It sounds ridiculous to see it written out...it's only 15 or 20 minutes, every five or six weeks, but I just do not like it.

    So, a haircut at the barbershop? Definitely not. Go to a hair stylist? Only after putting it off as long as I can. What's left? I let my hair grow long.

    Now, how about my second concern:

    Why has long hair been associated in my mind with rebellion and recklessness,

    and what has changed that mindset now?

    I attended public school in Vale, a small town in the sagebrush desert of eastern Oregon. I remember first becoming concerned about my personal appearance and attractiveness during my seventh or eighth year of school. Our school dress code strictly limited the hair length of boys to "nothing below the collar". Our PE teacher would often grab any bit of hair that exceeded this length and painfully pull it to emphasize the rule. This rigid length-of-hair-on-boys policy imprinted my mind with the attitude that long hair equals disobedience and disorder. At the same time, it created in me a growing resentment of those in authority who bully and strut.

    Television and film reinforced the feeling that masculine long hair was rebellious, if not evil: only the most outrageous rock and roll bands sported hair reaching their shoulders...only the delinquents and dopers had hair in ponytails.

    This blanket aura of wickedness covered not only long hair, but also beards and mustaches. Friends who grew facial hair were those who would also experiment with alcohol, pot, fast driving and promiscuity.

    All of this "morality" swirling in my mind was entirely independent of any religious influence. I only infrequently attended any church service while growing up. I remember wholeheartedly embracing evolution as the foundation of human origin, and I vocally scorned church, missionaries, and the Bible. My "morality" was based entirely on attitudes taught by the community and school.

    When did this all change?

    The change began in my last year of high school with several defining experiences. One teacher had wildly inconsistent classroom discipline tactics, and I openly defied his arbitrary rules and consequences. The athletic director threatened to suspend from any sports program any student who allowed their hair to grow below their collar. Public support for the Vietnam War had disintegrated, bringing loud protest and instances of civil disobedience. And I graduated from high school and moved away to attend a college. It seems like that last year of high school brought out in me all the distrust of authority and disgust with "normal" that I was seeing in the rest of the world.

    College exposed me to many different people, some good, some bad, some short-haired, some long-haired, some clean, and some dirty. It seemed that the old rule of thumb of "long-hair equals bad" no longer held true. I began to question many of my long-held childish notions, and my lifeview began to change radically.

    The result of that first year of being away from home was that I became a Christian, and I became determined to accept no social mores or religious values unless they were solidly based on God's Word, the Holy Bible.

    Length of hair, whether short or long, became almost irrelevant to daily life, career, or my eternal destiny.

    I began growing a beard.

    I had a beard for a couple of years, met my wife and started a family. The beard remained until I joined the local fire department as a volunteer, requiring my to be clean-shaven for the air supply mask we all carried. That was the first time my wife saw my bare face!

    My decision to grow my hair long came years later. Our children were grown and living on their own. I'd survived a heart attack and triple bypass surgery. One of my favorite movies, "The Lord of the Rings", had several heroic characters with long hair. I was working at a prison, teaching inmates basic skills of reading and math. Many inmates, of course, had long hair, but so did several co-workers whom I admired. All these circumstances combined to stir my mind to consider letting my hair grow long, as an experiment. Would it be a hassle? How would others view me? Would I like it? Are there advantages?

    I decided to try it.

    Now we come to the third concern:

    How can a Bible-believing Christian justify long hair on a man, and why do I like having long hair?

    I am determined to avoid taking Scripture out of context, and I will not base a rigid doctrine on just a single verse. Scripture must be carefully translated from the original language and understood only with careful, honest comparison with all other parts of Scripture. After doing this, I'm convinced that the issue of long hair on a man is on the same level of importance as pants on a woman. In fact, if it will help, here's several issues on that same level:

  • Make-up
  • Jewelry
  • Motorcycles
  • King James Version of the Bible
  • Rent or buy
  • K-Mart or Bi-Mart
  • Baptist or Methodist.
  • If any of these activate your "hot button", you'll likely have the same reaction to the issue of long hair on a man. If you shake your head at the list and say, "What does it matter?", then long hair has likely never been an issue for you.

    If you've gotten this far in my essay, you'll probably not be offended if I offer the following disclaimer:

    I do not write this to convince anyone that long hair on a man is right or even allowed. Conversely, this essay is not written for anyone who has never had a second thought about having long hair. This article is for the few of us who have had honest questions about whether long hair on a man is okay, especially in view of Scripture. (Plus, I'm writing this for my wife, who has often wondered why I've let my hair grow!)

    A quick search of "long hair" in the Bible (ESV) shows the following references: (Scripture references courtesy of Berean Bible Study Freeware)

    "All the days of his vow of separation, no razor shall touch his head. Until the time is completed for which he separates himself to the LORD, he shall be holy. He shall let the locks of hair of his head grow long." (Number 6:5)

    This is a strong support for the legitimacy, even the righteousness, of long hair on a man. The entire sixth chapter of this book deals with the symbolism of a person's head, and how long hair (on a man or woman) was a representation of holiness, being set aside entirely for God's use and glory.

    "I will make my arrows drunk with blood, and my sword shall devour flesh--- with the blood of the slain and the captives, from the long-haired heads of the enemy." (Deuteronomy 32:42)

    Other than being a characteristic of "the enemy", this reference has no bearing on the issue of whether long hair is right or wrong for a man.

    "They shall not shave their heads or let their locks grow long; they shall surely trim the hair of their heads." (Ezekiel 44:20)

    This reference is part of a longer passage dealing with the return of holiness to a nation that had rebelled against God and worshiped false idols. The priests were required to publicly represent purity and holiness, having neither shaven heads nor long hair. As Christians, our righteousness is founded only upon the righteousness of Christ. Nothing we do can allow us to earn or deserve righteousness in God's sight. If length of hair were to be a strong symbol of righteousness for my community, I would honor that symbol, just as I honor our national flag.

    "Immediately the word was fulfilled against Nebuchadnezzar. He was driven from among men and ate grass like an ox, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven till his hair grew as long as eagles' feathers, and his nails were like birds' claws." (Daniel 4:33)

    In this reference, long hair was a result of dark insanity brought by Nebuchadnezzar's rebellion against God. This was a specific instance in history, with no support for any "no long hair" doctrine found in the New Testament. Looking at this verse alone, long hair is no more a sin than eating grass or allowing your fingernails to grow.

    "After this, Paul stayed many days longer and then took leave of the brothers and set sail for Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aquila. At Cenchreae he had cut his hair, for he was under a vow." (Acts 18:18)

    This is probably a reference to the custom of the "Nazirites", found in Numbers 6. Shaving or cutting the hair of one's head was the way in which someone proclaimed publicly that their time of special "separateness" was over. A similar instance occurs in Acts 21, where Paul and four others underwent a vow and did not shave their heads until the "days of purification were fulfilled" (Acts 21:23-26). Was it the long hair or the shaven head that best represented sanctification?

    "Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears long hair it is a disgrace for him, 15 but if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For her hair is given to her for a covering." (1 Corinthians 11:14)

    This is an illustration Paul uses to support his main argument: Men and women ought to submit to God as Creator and Leader and Provider. His summary thought is seen in verses 11-12:

    "Nevertheless, in the Lord, woman is not independent of man nor man of woman; for as woman was made from man, so man is now born of woman. And all things are from God."

    The relationship between man and woman, and both with God, was represented in their culture by the head. A person's physical head represented their ultimate Ruler and Creator. For a man, who was held responsible by God for both himself and his wife, an uncovered head demonstrated a clear link between himself and God...a link of responsibility and accountability. Because woman was created for man, as a helper, the woman best showed this relationship with a head that is covered.

    So, what is "covered" or "uncovered"?

    The Greek word for "covered" is "kata", a prepostion meaning simply down. The word is used often to describe the idea of obscuring or hidden. The implication fits with the context: A man who prays or preaches with his head (face) obscured does not demonstrate dependence upon, or submission to, God.

    For the woman, the word "uncovered" is "akatakaluptos", meaning unveiled. Literally, it means "not down covered-up". Again, the implication fits the context. A woman's relationship with her husband is one of being under his protection: the man is responsible for his wife's wellbeing, which includes their relationship to God. A woman's veil best demonstrates her submission, her agreement, to his responsibility of protecting and providing.

    Paul describes the veil as being similar to long hair. For a woman, long hair can serve as a veil, obscuring or hiding part or all of her face. For a man, long hair could easily do the same, even inadvertantly, so Paul cites a popular custom: women may have long hair and men must be careful not to allow their hair to obscure their face while praying or preaching. Paul's overriding concern throughout the entire chapter is whether a person's heart is completely submitted to God, whether man or woman. The issue of long hair is used only to support this argument.

    Because of this Scripture, I am careful to not allow my long hair to obscure my face, especially when in public. I don't regard it as a command from God, but a good idea that will help the public avoid confusion when they see me. I do not want people to look at me and assume I am a woman, and I do not want people confused by my long hair when I pray or preach. A simple tie allows my hair to be gathered at the back of my head in a ponytail, allowing my face to be clearly seen...by God and country!

    Now, at last, I arrive at the fun part of my argument:

    Why do I like having long hair?

    I have found it to be the easiest way to care for my hair. Although it confounds my wife, I do not feel that I am spending anywhere near the time I used to spend in trying to make short hair presentable.

    I brush my hair when I awake, and before going to bed. I keep it in a ponytail if the wind's not blowing, otherwise I hold it with a simple 3-strand braid. I wash it approximately once a week, and I don't blow dry it.

    With short hair, it seemed like there was just a narrow window, perhaps a week, in which my hair felt like it was presentable. For the week or so after first getting it cut, I always fought a stubborn cowlick and it seemed like the natural part in my hair just didn't want to lay right. By the second week or so, my hair had grown enough to allow me to comb it into place easily, and it stayed through the day. But by the end of the third week it was starting to be awkwardly long, sticking out over my ears, brushing over my eyes...the least bit of wind blew it out of place unless I used gel.

    I have much less hassle now. Of course, during the process of growing my hair long, it went through a time of extreme awkwardness and out-of-control-ness. During that time I wore a cap and used a heavy-duty gel. It took perhaps six months to get through that period to get to a length in which it was easy to tie up on a ponytail that controlled my hair.

    So, having long hair fits with my lifestyle and lifeview. It seems more "natural" than frequent cutting and it allows me more control, and variety, over my appearance. For now, I'm a solid long-hair!

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    Thursday, December 3, 2009

    Portland Police Investigate Scam

    I can easily see this happening in our part of the country. Be very careful when responding to internet advertisements that seem too good to be true, too easy to fake.

    The Portland Police Bureau's White Collar Crime Detail was recently contacted by American Airlines alerting investigators to a possible scam that might be occurring in the Portland area. The Portland Police Bureau has since taken several reports of victims being targeted by this scam.

    The scam is an advertisement on Craig's List or Godaddy that American Airlines is hiring a customer service representative. The ad includes an application and they ask that the person fill out the application and fax it back. After receiving all of the applicant's personal information, including date of birth, social security number and home address, an appointment is set up. When the applicant is gone attempting to attend the appointment, their residence is burglarized and also all of their personal information is now compromised.

    There have been several reports of this scam in our area and American Airlines informed the Portland Police that it recently happened in South Florida. American Airlines also stated that they do not recruit employees this way and the "recruiter" Lisa Wallingham listed in the ad is not sanctioned by the airlines to recruit for them.

    Anyone that believes they were a victim of this scam should contact their local police or if they reside in the City of Portland, please call the non-emergency number at 503-823-3333 to file a report.

    Source: http://www.flashalert.net/news.html?id=3056#news31338

    Tuesday, December 1, 2009

    Agape House

    A Christian mission whose purpose is to feed, clothe and shelter those in need, and to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ in words and actions. Our vision is to serve the less fortunate by providing material needs for today, and helping to build skills for a better tomorrow. Read more: http://voluntary-reward.blogspot.com/2009/12/agape-house.html

    Turkey a Sucess!

    What a great way of cooking turkey! Moist and flavorful. Cooking time not reduced, but it allows cooking it the day before without sacrificing moistness and flavor. We needed a bigger roasting pan, however...the boiling liquid overflowed, spilling into the oven and igniting! We had family over and had a great dinner! Can't wait for next year!