Month: February 2009

It was a dark night and the sea was raging

Seas were running 70 feet and even in the dark of night we could see glimmers of light as the typhoon whipped spray from the tops of wave crests and they were bathed in the occasional moonlight that escaped the cloud cover. It was July 1969 and from the navigation bridge of the U.S.S. Kitty Hawk, CVA-63, even the might of the 90,000 ton carrier with its cargo that included 5,000 sailors and marines was yielding to the mighty force of the typhoon. The ‘Hawk had  been at anchor in Hong Kong harbor with at least 3,000 of its 5,000 men ashore enjoying a well-deserved R&R of six days or so. Sailors had dispersed throughout Hong Kong whether seeking inexpensive (but finely tailored) clothes, sight-seeing or exploring for wine, women and song. The ship had departed San Diego on New Year’s Eve 1968 and on Jan 1 was enroute to Pearl Harbor. By Jan 25 we were on Yankee Station off of Viet Nam so the R&R was a hit! We still had a day left in Hong Kong. That’s when the news came. Typhoon Viola had been well out beyond the Philippine Sea in the Pacific but now had turned and was headed straight for Taiwan and the Northern tip of the Philippine Islands and … toward Hong Kong. Now the last place an aircraft carrier needs to...

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Contextual thinking in the age of information abundance

Life was once simple:  I am hungry. I have a club. I know how to use the club. There is an animal. Whack! Now I have dinner. Move forward several eons and now: I am hungry. I know how to drive a car. The car has gas in it. I want a steak. I know a restaurant that serves steak. The economy is bad. I may get laid off. I have minimal savings. There is leftover pizza in the fridge. I can eat the pizza a save money. That present-day decision is made in the context of a large amount of data, filtered by my ability to understand and process the data, colored by my political opinion about the competency of the current government, and tempered by my subjective desires for a steak and my objective concern to have enough resources to live through what I conclude to be the dangerous economic period. There is an abundance of information available to bear upon the contextual target, in my silly example, satisfying hunger.  All of that information can be processed for a lot of different reasons and to varying ends, but in the context of a meal the relationships among the data points that result in a meal choice are one thing while the relationships among them that bear upon who to vote for in the fall are quite different....

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Movie review: Fireproof

This is a movie everyone should watch if they are in a relationship.  It’s by the same producers of “Facing the Giants” and I promise you won’t be disappointed. On IMDb “Fireproof” only gets a 5.5/10 rating but on Netflix it gets 5/5 stars. There’s no accounting for taste. Jen and I give it a solid 5/5. Ok, guys, at first you’ll think it’s a chick flick. And it does start off a little slowly but the early wait is worth it. Watch it with someone you love is all I can say. Especially if you dare to continue loving them. There is a related resource at which is worth looking at whether your marriage is rock solid or rocky. More below. CAUTION — movie spoiler below. These are the films done by the church that uses all volunteers other than a handful of experienced professionals at movie-making. They have another one in the works and they’re all worth owning, in my opinion. At the “fireproof” website noted above is also a link to the Love Dare book shown in the movie. Its use is a most interesting concept that I think would go a long way toward both assisting recovery of a marriage in trouble and boosting the level of even the most solid of marriages. I may buy an extra copy to lend out … and...

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Sources and influences of religion in modern law

As a Christian and a judge of 12 years and lawyer licensed since 1973 (gee, that sounds like a long time ago), it is no surprise that, as with many lawyers, I have an interest in the influence of religious principles and history on the law.  I was asked to talk in our adult forum at church tomorrow about religion and the law and put together a written piece to guide the discussion. Besides, everyone likes a party favor. The PDF of the document is in my shared files and you’re welcome to read it and I invite your comments here. I briefly discuss what is undoubtedly the earliest recorded roots of our modern jurisprudence, the Code of Hammurabi — an early king of Babylonia. The Ten Commandments are briefly compared. There then follows an outline of some of the principles of our modern procedural rules that existed during the trials of Christ — all of which were broken in order to ensure his conviction and crucifixion. Enjoy. Like this:Like...

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We have to say goodbye, R.I.P. Vogey

(the following was used as one of many remembrances at Robert’s funeral on February 16, 2009.) Robert Voglino Goodbye, Vogey, but thanks for the richness you gave to our lives. Our friend Robert Voglino may be gone but he was the sort of fellow never to be forgotten. People who have died are often eulogized as having been special in various ways. In Vogey’s case it’s true. His Italian heritage (thus his “Godfather” nickname in Rotary) created an often bigger than life persona, yet gentle as a teddy bear with a charisma we will all remember. How he came into my life was literally to define our years together and he, and those connections, are worth remembering and sharing. I want to share a unique view of Vogey from that perspective. It was the spring of 2002 and a motorcycle tour through the Davis Mountains in far West Texas was planned. Mike Atkinson suggested that a friend of his come along, riding one of Mike’s extra bikes. Mike always had extra bikes. So along come Robert and Beth — unknown to me at the time — and away we go. As motorcycling is more about the ride than the destination we rode and enjoyed the stimulation of seeing God’s world in that special way. Not much visiting, but a lot of riding. Until dinner at the Olympia in Fort...

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