Aug 27

Obama Cares

By Kenneth Feucht FeuchtBlog 1 Comment »

My best friend kindly rebuked me for my absence of propriety in discussing issues sensitive to race. He is correct. But, it is a hard balance. Any political commentary against the reigning Führer is deemed to be racial, as evidenced by Jimmy Carters‘ comment about Wilson’s inappropriate (though true) epithet in the joint (congress).

As Pat Buchanan said regarding Carter’s comment, “Carter’s contribution to the national debate represents a truly rare blend of malevolence, ignorance and moral arrogance.” (click here for reference)…  Unfortunately race is being used as a witch-hunt accusation against anybody who seems to be strongly opinionated in a non-liberal fashion. Similar accusations happened recently with sexual orientation. I can’t wait until we get a cross-dressing gay/lesbian for president—my comments will then be delivered in an unrestrained though personally detrimental fashion.

ObamaCare!!!!. . . I would really like to obtain a Medizinmann outfit like Obama is wearing as pictured above. Maybe I’ll be able to purchase one while in Cameroon. I think that my patients would love that. We must not act judgmentally against those who hate the AMA/Big Pharma/Medical Industrial complex. After all, there is a dominant role for  the chiropractic, naturopathic, transcendental meditation, Christian Science practitioner, Voodoo, alternative medicine, Medizinmann health care provider within general medical practice. Just ask my brother Dennis!

We reflect back on the Obamaphilia the nation experienced a half year ago. School children sang in solemn reverential worship about Obama. People displayed their ecstasy over Obama now being able to rescue their bank accounts, put food on the table, clothe them and give them comfortable shelter, regardless of their ability or desire to work for those things. He was even likened to a saint that we could pray to.

He may not have come through yet with providing those material items of sustenance, yet, like God in heaven, he watches over our very thoughts, and will hold us accountable if we rise in rebellion against him. Thus, we are no longer policed just for our actions, but also what we might perhaps, perchance, vielleicht, peut-être, possibly, could have been thinking.

In terms of commenting on the virtues and failures of ObamaCare, I believe that I have said more than enough.  So, now I’ll tell you what I really think of Obama. He is a corrupt, dishonest racial bigot hell-bent on an agenda that is polar opposites of the beliefs and philosophies of the founding fathers of America. He is a traitor to the state that has doubtful constitutional credentials to serve as our president, speaks with forked-tongue, smooth and slick, yet working toward philosophic ends that when embraced by other nations has always led to their inevitable ruin. Though he shows signs of intelligence, he lacks any sort of true wisdom to adequately guide a nation, and instead will dupe the masses with his worm-wooded tongue. In spite of that, the masses voted him into office, and they deserve what they will get, so I wish Obama total success with two to four or more terms in office as president. The only regret is for those who wish to maintain honest quiet lives with a separate morality from our Obamination-in-chief, like my children and grand-children. So, to our new national anthem, needing just a few substitutions of words….

The Mickey Mouse Club March

Enough of that! The last month was quite event-filled.  Most of it was filled with bicycling and reading. I attempted to backpack the Wonderland Trail for a second time, with Jon and Russ, but was heavily rained out the first night. We drove home, dried out, and headed down to Crater Lake for two fantastic rides. The weather has remained quite desultory, with rain constantly threatening, but with weather breaks leaving us wishing that we were in the mountains.

Other events… Alex, Rachel’s fiancé, came to visit. I was able to take him around Mt. Rainier. It was nice having him here, and I am very proud to be able to call him a son-in-law. The wedding is on 02JAN10.

I learned to do Panorama shots, using a tripod, and then stitching together various panned shots using photoshop. Here is a view of Rainier that I did on top of the first Burroughs Mountain Summit…

This photo can be blown up to a huge photo, since it is about 7 photographs put together, with 12 megaPx definition, taken on a tripod, so it is a sharp image even at huge magnifications.

With Diane’s help, we also mastered the art of making Pico de Gallo. Here is the top secret recipe…

1 scotch bonnet pepper

2-3 Jalapeno peppers

1-2 Serrano peppers

1 Green pepper

8 cloves garlic

Clean them all out, wash out the seeds, and chop them VERY fine in a food processor. Add…

1-large Walla Walla sweet onion

1 large bunch of fresh Cilantro, with the stems removed

This time, chop them moderately fine in the food processor. Then, remove all the ingredients from the food processor, and add the juice of two fresh limes, and two tbsp. of salt. Finally, take 12 Roma tomatoes, wash out the juicy innerds, chop by hand modestly fine, and fold into the pepper concoction. This makes a great Pico de Gallo, that is not too spicy. Please do not give away this recipe to anybody, as it is TOP SECRET!!!!! It is the mixture of the various types of peppers with lots of lime juice that creates a pleasant taste. But, beware when cleaning the peppers, as they are highly toxic!

Liam was baptized, our fourth grandchild. That was a wonderful experience, and Pastor Scott did a nice job of officiating the event. That same day in the evening, Resurrection Presbyterian church became a real church, loosing its mission status. Thus, we elected elders and had Pastor Scott appointed as the official minister. I feel very good about both the choice of elders, and David Scott’s ability to serve as a pastor. Scott seems to have grown in pastoral skills by leaps and bounds since we first met several years ago, and we have deeply appreciated his ministry in Puyallup.

As you can see, we had the kids over for ice cream afterwards. They also got to experience our new deck, built since the old deck was rotting out, and actually becoming dangerous. We found a carpenter with a good price, and so was able to follow up on a project that I started 10 years ago. It seemed like forever to finish this deck. Here are some photos, though it is not quite finished, including getting a roof on the gazebo…

I was able to do one last bicycle ride with Russ. We rode from the top of Chinook Pass down 27+ miles, and then back. Later, we stopped at our favorite ice cream stop, Wapiti Woolies, famous, since they make the cap that every great contemporary climber from the US has worn in the Himalaya expeditions, including Ed Viesturs… They have photos from a smorgasboard of the hall of fame of American climbers on their wall, showing themselves on the Summit of Everest or Annapurna or where-ever in Wapiti Woolie hats…

The last photo is Russ on the right with Bob, who owns Wapiti Woolies.

Meanwhile, we need to pack for Cameroon. We leave on the 26th of September, and will be in Cameroon for two months. I must learn French. I prefer to talk German as my second language. French has too many silly grammar rules. French used to be the language of the self-acclaimed intellectual snobs in college. I took Russian instead. I tried to talk Russian with a German accent. My Russian teacher always needed to correct me. Except for the articles, German seems the closest of any foreign language to English. I’ve finished Part I of French in Action, which is the most entertaining language program I know, but I still feel most comfortable sitting down and listening to a German podcast or reading Der Spiegel on-line. German just kind of clicks in my brain, even though I don’t understand all of what is being said. I’ve also just finished a book written by a missionary surgeon in Nepal titled “Don’t Let the Goats Eat the Loquat Trees”. It was an enjoyable read, and certainly seemed to reflect what I’ve seen in Bangladesh more than any other book that I’ve read so far. You can see the full review in the books section.

Unless the internet connection in Cameroon is fantastic, you will probably not see any more posts on this site until we return to the US, which is thanksgiving time. Expect to see a lengthy post at that time. Remember to keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we serve in Cameroon, and e-mail us if you think of it. We fly into N’Djamena, Chad, and the travel to the Maroua, Cameroon area, where we will be staying.

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Aug 25

Adobe Illustrator CS4 Classroom in a Book, by the staff of Adobe Systems ????

I had worked through the same book for Adobe Illustrator CS, and found the book to be poorly written, often confusing, and rarely ever instructive as to the full usage of Illustrator. Rather, it simply gave you a set of instructions on how to make a certain piece of art, never telling you why you were doing what it was telling you, and never explaining all the other options on the menu. This edition has corrected most of those mistakes, and was actually informative, leaving me a feel that I had mastered the basics of Illustrator. It provides ample opportunity to experiment with the system, and encourages one to play, since the full use of Illustrator takes time and much practice. It left me feeling that I would be better served with a Wacom tablet, which I’ll probably get soon. Perhaps it was the second exposure, but I now feel much more comfortable with the use of Illustrator. All the same, there were a number of times when I could not make Illustrator do as the instructions were telling me, and sometimes could figure out what was wrong, other times not. Perhaps new editions should also include more side bars to the text detailing where one might get into trouble, or not end up with the same result—this is especially true when working with layers and masks, which was one great deficit of both the Illustrator and Photoshop Classroom texts.

 

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Aug 23

Photoshop CS3 for Nature Photographers, by Ellen Anon and Tim Grey ????

This is a well-written book on using Photoshop when taking scenic photos, like, most of what I do. It starts out rather slow, belaboring the use of Adobe RAW and Adobe Bridge, before getting into details of how to make nature photographs look better. There is an accompanying CD (which I did not use) that allows you to practice your skills on some provided nature photographs. This book is very well written, and provides sage advice both for the photographer in the field, as well as the photographer at the computer, trying to improve on the “excellent” field techniques that were used. It has convinced me to take all my photographs in RAW format, as well as to use a tripod almost always. Unfortunately, that means that backpacking will not be my main source for prize photos, but rather, when I cycle tour, since only then can I lug along a wealth of photography supplies.

 

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Aug 21

The Digital Photography Book, by Scott Kelby ????

Kelby is a fairly well known photography, author and personality in the digital photography circuit, having not only written several books on digital photography, he also has published books on photoshop techniques and is found on AdobeTV and in numerous podcasts from the Apple site. Kelby is more a hands-on author, describing how he does things, rather than why he does things. Thus, he offers much concrete advise, mostly all good, regarding practical aspects of how to take a good photo, and then process it for publication or personal use. Reviewing other books in this series, there tends to be much repetition, thus, I will probably not purchase those books.

 

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Aug 16

The big event of the last few weeks has been the class I took in bicycle touring. It was sponsored by the Adventure Cycling Association (http://www.adventurecycling.org/ ) and lasted for 5-½ days, including a day of instruction, and four days on the road. The riding was really very simple, with very short days, and lots of eating, but the camaraderie was delightful, getting to know a number of very interesting people.  It was also instructive to be with other people to learn in a safe environment how to really do distance cycle touring. It is like driving a Freightliner truck as compared to the Ferrari of Gelbvögel (yellow bird). I find that I can easily mix photography with riding, and will be using the handlebar bag mostly as a camera bag. I need to figure out how to bring along my tripod in order to obtain crisper photographs, plus photographs that include everybody including the photographer in the group. My panniers were always half empty, so, I think I can devise a way to get a tripod on board. I’ve become addicted to my Canon XSi camera. I use  18-55 mm and 55-250 mm lenses, as well as an accessory flash. It is tough lugging that stuff along, but it is worth it. While I learn more about digital photography, I’ve realized the importance of taking primarily RAW photos. I did that on this trip in the RAW+jpeg format, and neither iPhoto, Photoshop, nor Aperture were able to properly handle this format. While experimenting all possible variants, I learned that I need to photograph in the Adobe RGB colorspace, and should only take RAW photos without the jpeg, as all three of the above programs will immediately convert the RAW files to .tif files once I edit them, saving the original .cr2 (raw) file. So, I get the best of all worlds, except that I need to edit all of my photos. All three programs will convert the photo to any size jpeg file that I wish for publishing on the internet or sending to friends and fiends.

Someday, I’d like to be the first person to do “The Box” in one setting, assuming it has not been done already, which is both the Pacific and Atlantic coast, combined with the Southern and Northern Tier routes. It can be done, probably starting from home on the Pacific coast in February, hitting the Southern Tier in March/April, the Atlantic Coast in May/June, and the Northern Tier in July/August/Sept. My guess is that by traveling light (except for my camera), I could average 80-100 miles/day, and still include 1 day/week for rest.

 

Thus says the Lord:

“Keep justice, and do righteousness, for soon my salvation will come,

and my deliverance be revealed.

Blessed is the man who … keeps the Sabbath, not profaning it,

and keeps his hand from doing any evil.” Isa. 56:1,2

 

That assumes that Betsy will start riding, or that I can talk some looney tune into coming with me. I’d do it alone, but Betsy would throw a fit. But, I need to think short-term first, perhaps doing the Rainier loop next week, and the Washington Parks loop in mid-September. I’m running out of time. My most formidable task that remains is in getting my dear wife to take up cycling, as it would do her much good, and get her away from the house, doing useful activities. I also need to do some bicycle modifications, including revising my front racks, since I cannot remove my front wheel because of the racks. It would make fixing a front flat very difficult.

On another note, I have included the ability to make comments on my other blog pages, including the book, movie, and music blogs. If you have read any of those books, heard any of that music, or saw those movies, please feel free to comment. Also, I welcome comments on the other blogs, including if you have done any of the bike trips that I have done, or hikes, or adventures. And, if you say something really stupid or offensive, I will hold nothing against you that I don’t already hold against you. Also, if you are new to this site, don’t panic! The German that I use is for my Deutsche Freunden. The title means “Bicycling in Heaven”. If anybody receives blog announcements and doesn’t wish to, please e-mail me and I’ll take you off the list.

On yet another note, the countdown until 14DEC at 0700 when I formally restart work…

 

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