Mel Majoros: The (Very Cool) Cancer Warrior

This is Mel, a breast cancer survivor and ice hockey player. She works as a barista at the local BIGGBY's that I frequent and is also a producer for the Vic McCarty show.

In the photo: Mel was a guest of honor (Hockey Fights Cancer) at a recent Detroit Red Wings game. Here's her blog entry about that experience.


All Hallow's Eve Coming


Still traveling.

Today I'm headed to Ogema, Wisconsin; should be back to blogging tomorrow or Tuesday.


Near Spirit Mountain & Eagle Mountain

I'm spending the day in and near Duluth, Minnesota - hiking and playing.


Friday Fun: Range 3000

Week 6 of Citizens Public Safety Academy: Handguns.

This is a (too dark!) photo of one of the officers giving us a demo with the Range 3000/MILO Decisional Shooting Simulator. My classmates and I took turns using this state-of-the-art computerized system to fire (unloaded) guns at the targets.

We also received a practical (as opposed to philosophical) talk about firearms and safety from a former police chief, Mel Hill, who now teaches law enforcement at Kirtland Community College. He explained why many police departments favor Glocks over Sigs, and how some bullets can travel up to a mile, and so on. (The class enjoys the trivia, as much as the substantial content.)

Next week: A ride-along (in a police car) on Halloween evening.


Only in America: The Never-ending Assault on Non-Muslims & the West

Sequoia Dave passes along this outrageous story about the complaints of Muslims who attend Catholic University.

An excerpt: "The official allegations claim that CUA, 'does not provide space – as other universities do – for the many daily prayers Muslim students must make, forcing them instead to find temporarily empty classrooms where they are often surrounded by Catholic symbols which are incongruous to their religion, according to a press release on PRLOG.com."

Dave also passes along information about Act! for America's stance against Sharia Law.

In the photo: An offensive Catholic 'symbol'

Sidebar: Petoskey School Board boots Young Life from the campus.


God's Color-filled Light Show

Ooohhh and aaaahh. Photos of the Northern Lights (which appeared this past Monday) in northern Michigan.

The truly dazzling snapshots are here.


Words vs Deeds: A Primer on Bullying

Excellent column by Thomas Sowell on the real (and underreported) bullying that occurs in the government schools. Go here.

Update: Speaking of barbarians who seem to escape the MSM's selective outrage ...


Sunday Inspiration: Everyday Etiquette

Before 'civility' was an annoying buzz word, there were Emily Post and Judith Martin, cajoling Americans into adopting gracious, other-centered behavior.

The type of advice they dispensed is now considered alarmingly retro - gentlemen opening car doors for women, children writing thank you notes for birthday gifts and placing their napkins on their laps while eating, women not lowering themselves to use profane language, and so on. Young Americans are now more preoccupied with social networking protocol than with being respectful to their elders, and their elders are often more concerned with having their creature comforts met than with displaying a pleasant countenance.

Still that doesn't stop me from longing for a renaissance in etiquette or from appreciating considerate individuals.

For Christians, mannerliness might also be equated with the 'fruits of the spirit' listed in Galatians 5:22. (The picture posted lists these fruits.) Other-centered, spiritual people are truly a joy to be around.

But back to the topic of everyday etiquette ... here's Miss Manners explaining why it's important, and why many lonely people may very well be responsible for their fate:

"You can deny all you want that there is etiquette, and a lot of people do in everyday life. But if you behave in a way that offends the people you're trying to deal with, they will stop dealing with you ... There are plenty of people who say, 'We don't care about etiquette, but we can't stand the way so-and-so behaves, and we don't want him around!' Etiquette doesn't have the great sanctions that the law has. But the main sanction we do have is in not dealing with these people and isolating them because their behavior is unbearable."


Sat. Sighting: Say Hello to their Little Friend

The photos in Lindsay McCrum's photography book are stunning.

The message is also clear: Don't mess with these armed ladies.

Not Like a CSI Show

No, it's not a cooking or school project gone awry. This is a footprint impression. The topic for Week 5 of Citizens Public Safety Academy was 'crime scene investigations,' so my classmates and I got to get our hands dirty.

We also received a meaty lecture from Detective David Schultz who took us (via photographs) through a rape and assault case he helped solve. The perp is now serving 15 years in prison.


Fri. Fun 2: The Difference Between ...

Do a clickity click on the 'toon.

Fri. Fun: How I'm Exercising My Right to Bear Arms

That sound you hear is an arrow zinging by ...

So I now own an intro-to-archery set and am, indeed, learning the basics. That is, indeed, my little arrow hitting the bullseye area, but, so far, I've only hit the center once. Zing!

Where this woodsy adventure with a compound bow will lead me remains to be seen. For now I'm perfectly content trying to hit paper targets and locating the arrows that land in the high grass.

I did come across this article offering shooting tips - more geared toward bowhunters, but the suggestions are useful for Legolas wannabes.



Film Tackles the 'Public School Problem'

Yesterday was the DVD release date for "IndoctriNation: Public Schools and the Decline of Christianity."

Here's my newsfeed about the provocative education documentary - it includes a Q&A with filmmaker Colin Gunn.

Mr. Gunn, who was born in Scotland but now lives in Texas, plays a principal role in the movie. Cal Thomas, the syndicated columnist, gave the documentary a thumbs up.

IndoctriNation Trailer from IndoctriNation on Vimeo.

Daddy's Girl at Nub's Nob

Cory Gibson, a very tall (6-9!) acquaintance and Young Life staffer, just appeared on the cover of this local publication with his daughter, Breece.

Nub's is a ski resort.

Update: Cory vs the Petoskey School Board.


TCC Interview: Inger Eberhart

Inger Eberhart (pictured, right) is a lobbyist, columnist, and twitterer who lives in the Atlanta area. After exchanging emails with Inger for a few months, I met her (and her mother) in Virginia last year, and the word "vibrant" immediately came to mind.

She agreed to a mini-interview with The Castillo Chronicles.

TCC: You are a lobbyist in Georgia. What do you do, exactly?

Inger: As a lobbyist, I educate legislators and others on the impacts of illegal immigration. (TCC note: Go here for a photo of Inger's success as a citizen lobbyist.)

TCC: Complete this sentence: Barack Obama is ___.

Inger: Barack Obama is a menace. He capitalizes on the basest emotions of jealousy, fear, anger, and rage. Class warfare, at its foundation, is jealousy; one desires something another has. Instead of the hope of success through hard work, wisdom, and faith, there is fear and anger that opportunity is a finite resource reserved for a select few, such anger at the misconception of limited opportunity leads to the rage that belies the attitude of entitlement, as evidenced at the Wall Street protests across the country.

TCC: What's one question that you would ask the GOP presidential candidates?

Inger: If you are blessed enough to be elected President of the United States, what would you want your legacy to be, not only as an elected official, but also to your family?

TCC: What's the last memorable book you read?

Inger: I have three, not because they are the most recent, but because they are the most impactful.

1. The Lord of the Rings trilogy. It is the classic struggle of good vs. evil. The Christian allegory is so prevalent throughout the entire series; it shows that just because something (or someone) is small, it does not mean he can't make a difference.

2. The Chronicles of Narnia series. It epitomizes the internal struggle that humans have with their feelings of adequacy. The series shows that with God, you are not only adequate but you can thrive. God has supplied us with all the talents, skills, and abilities to complete His purpose for our lives.

3. The Harry Potter series. I admire how J.K. Rowling took a commonplace event, such as going to school, and built an intriguing, imaginative world around it.

Thanks for sharing, Inger! Narnia and LOTR are also among my all-time favorites.

Ladies and gents, please check out the video, below, if you want to see the fab Miss E giving a TV interview.

Story link: MyFoxATLANTA.com


The 'Exporting America' List

Carol Helm passes along the long list of American companies (compiled by Lou Dobbs when he worked for CNN) that are "either sending American jobs overseas, or choosing to employ cheap overseas labor, instead of American workers." Depressing.


Sun. Inspiration: From the Comfort Zone to the Zone

It was cold, on-and-off rainy, and very windy, yesterday, and the waves on the big lake were spectacular.

This young surfer drummed up the wherewithal to get outdoors, put on a wetsuit, and experience the elements in all their blusteriness. Welcome to his world!


U.S. Trade Agreements with Korea, etc.

Look at all the Republican Tea Party reps that voted for this 'free' trade garbage.

In my state, Dan Benishek, the so-called conservative, voted for it, but 5 of the 6 liberals in the Michigan congressional delegation voted against it.

This campaign explains why KORUS-FTA is the 'new NAFTA;' how it's an American jobs killer.

About that $9.99 Pizza

An obscure op ed writer does what few bigtime political reporters (any?) have been willing to do: Look at Herman Cain's record when he was CEO of Godfather's Pizza. Here's the column. Spoiler alert: The headline has the word "failure" in it.


Exhibitionists of ESPN not Entertaining

This letter writer is underwhelmed by Blake Griffin's decision to pose au naturel in ESPN, The Body issue.

Here's my column on the topic.

Griffin, Looking Ridiculous

Update: A cultural gap gets filled with Mormon modesty blogs run by fashionistas.

'Nother Update: Libertine! Being an athlete is no excuse, Jan.

Rick Snyder: Governor Globalist

Say what? Gov. Rick Snyder, the Wolverine State's Republican RINO governor (who was a venture capitalist and Gateway computer president in his previous, private-sector life), thinks more immigration will solve Michigan's economic crisis.

Snyder's interview below, with Dan Rather, exposes this economite's disdain for most of Michigan's 'regular joe' residents. The only person that made any sense is the Teamster.

The fearless Tamyra Murray, who continues to work on behalf of immigration reform in Lansing, has this to say about Ricky's interview with Rather:

"The Governor thinks it is possible to solve the job crisis by using the same outdated methods, used 100 years ago? In 1911, horse and buggy meant transportation. In 2011, we drive hybrid vehicles to go greater distances. In 1911, there were more jobs than workers. Today we have more workers than jobs. Back then, we had to bring immigrants into the country to solve the worker shortage. Today, we do not need to bring more workers to solve the job shortage. In Detroit alone, 1 in 5 people are unemployed.

Governor Snyder thinks more is better. This country already grants citizenship to one million immigrants each year. That one million does not take into account the number of illegal aliens that migrate here each year. State governments and municipalities, as well as the federal government, are in great financial distress. Knowing that 2/3 of immigrant households get assistance from the government, whether it be in the form of food stamps, social services, or healthcare, this is not sustainable. How big will the burden get before we say enough is enough? Is Snyder even taking this into consideration?"

Tamyra, on the right in the foreground, at a Protect American Jobs Rally


How Lazy Dog Owners Ruin Other People's Day

This story - about dog feces - by Michael Tucker of the Belgrade News has hit a nerve (on the Internet).

As a result, Andy Malby, editor of the BN, learned that the other Belgrade (Serbia) launched a unique ad campaign (cheeky alert) aimed at encouraging its citizens to scoop the poop.

Aside: In keeping with this offbeat blog post, check out this NYT story about Ron Paul's possible eyebrow toupee mishap.


Today, at 3 PM, in Washington, D.C.

Mr. Ray Tranchant will be testifying before the Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement.

Readers of this blog might remember that Ray's late daughter, the lovely Tessa, appeared on the cover of the booklet I edited.

Here's a little bit about his sad story: "Ray Tranchant, father of Tessa Tranchant, will be testifying about the tragic and unnecessary death of his daughter Tessa, 16 and friend Allison Kunhardt, 17.

On March 30, 2007 in Virginia Beach, VA, an illegal alien Mexican national named Alfredo Ramos slammed into the rear of a vehicle in which Allison and Tessa were stopped. Ramos, 22, was drunk at the time. He had a .20 blood-alcohol level and could barely see the police officers in front of him.

Though an illegal alien, Ramos had been living in Virginia Beach for quite a while and had been previously convicted of three separate charges of; public intoxication, identity theft and a DUI.

While Ramos had already been convicted of a DUI, Virginia Beach policy dictated that an illegal alien be convicted of three DUI's before police would report them to federal immigration authorities."

Tessa (on the left) and Allison

Pizza for the Mind

I really, really like pizza. But I get the point The Thinking Housewife makes about 'fast-food' higher education.

She writes: "Schools fill the mind with educational pizza. If one grazes and never sits down to dine, the ritual of dining seems strange and cumbersome. The student’s anger at the book is anger at the author for expecting anyone to devote so much time to him. 'Look, I’m just here to grab a slice, not to have dinner with you.' This attitude is cultivated at school. The student, having been trained to rapid consumption, is understandably mad when anyone expects him to pull up a chair and sit at the table."

"To Narnia and the North!"

Information about the annual C.S. Lewis Festival (which occurs in northern Michigan) is now available. Go here. The festival runs from Oct. 17 through Nov. 21. This year The Magician's Nephew: Let the Adventure Begin will be the featured theme which is, obviously, based on the book in the Chronicles of Narnia series.

Here's the Facebook page.

Merger of Junk Politics and Junk Science

A Boston publication reports that "The federal government yesterday awarded the University of Massachusetts Amherst a multimillion-dollar grant to host one of eight centers around the country to study the local effects of climate change.

The Northeast Climate Science Center will study how climate change affects ecosystems, wildlife, water, and other resources from the Great Lakes to Maine and down to Missouri. The $7.5 million grant over five years will sponsor research at UMass Amherst as well as at institutions in Wisconsin, Minnesota, New York, and Massachusetts."

This is the seventh such center that Ken Salazar (in the photo with Barry O), head of the Dept. of the Interior, has 'established.'

Only one comment (so far) follows yet another story on this topic, and it's right on.

H/T: Ed C.


Not the Commissioner of Organized Labor, Dude

While an Occupy Oklahoma City protest rages on indefinitely, union members protested outside my former neighbor's downtown office in OKC. (Fun times, eh, Mr. Costello?) Here's the article, and here's the money quote, courtesy of Ed Allen (pictured, right), president of the Oklahoma City American Federation of Teachers:

“I wish our labor commissioner would read his job description because he is the commissioner for labor, not for commerce. He ought to be working for us, not for other entities.”

One of Commissioner Costello's mandates is to 'advance opportunities of wage earners for profitable employment.' He, contrary to Mr. Allen's twisted opinion, was not elected to be the bagman for union bosses.

Update: The video, the video ...

Presidential Election Bumper Sticker Picks

My choice is straightforward:

Ken R's is more nuanced:

The source and explanation of those, er, candidates is here.

Any others?


Rifles Galore: Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation's Big Game Banquet

The award-winning Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is a nonprofit devoted to conservation, hunting, management of free-ranging elk (and other beasties), and paying its CEO a six-figure salary. It was launched by Montana hunters in 1984.

This past weekend, I went to an RMEF chapter dinner. It featured an auction and a raffle with items I never would have imagined as auction-worthy (or raffle-worthy) - for instance, a 5-day hunting trip to South Africa or $50 off your next visit to the taxidermist.

As well as many a

G -

U -


(They all went trigger fast.)

Dinner guests received a complimentary buck knife. Uh, nice. But an antler necklace would have also been elk-standing.

There were plenty of wildlife to see ... the mounted kind. Sorry, Yogi. Gun + Bear = $50 off your next visit to the taxidermist.

Mostly a boy-oriented event, but there were several girl-oriented gifts - ideal for hiking or outdoorsy living. And I was delighted to win, via the closing raffle, a few of them - like the baby blue CamelBak and a pair of plum-colored shirts from Columbia sportswear.

An elk-cellent way to end the evening.


Sun. Inspiration: Elizabeth Smart Visit

Monday update: Local news story.

From the press release (although this event occurred this past Friday): "Abduction survivor, Elizabeth Smart (pictured, right), will be the featured speaker at North Central Michigan College’s first lecture series program for the 2011-12 school year.

Smart was abducted in June 2002 from her Salt Lake City, Utah, home when she was just 14 years old. She was found nine months later, only 18 miles away.

Her captor was sentenced to life in federal prison earlier this year and his wife was sentenced to 15 years for her role in the abduction.

Smart is currently a student at Brigham Young University and a missing person correspondent for ABC News.

In her speech, Smart not only recounts her extraordinary journey but also discusses how one can overcome extreme adversity so the past will not dictate the future."

TCC Note: My son helped with the setup for this lecture and had the chance to (very briefly) interact with Miss Smart. He also went to her talk (attended by 1600 people!) and was impressed by Elizabeth's poise and her uplifting testimony. She received a standing ovation before and after her presentation.

Below is a past presentation which is also very moving:

2011 Crimes Against Children Conference Keynote Elizabeth Smart from David Carroll on Vimeo.


Hey, hey! Ho, ho! Western Civ is not your foe!

Please click on this visual! It beautifully lampoons the politics of the Occupy Wall Street protestors who have such a parochial view of millionaires/corporations.

HT: Mr. Rockwell's site


Fri. Fun: Using Hydraulic Rescue Tools

The topic for Week 3 of Citizens Public Safety Academy was EMS (Emergency Medical Services). My classmates and I received a useful lecture on updated CPR methods. We learned that pocket masks are now the norm. (Thankfully, so.)

We didn't pump the chests of any mannequins. Instead, our hands-on learning occurred outdoors when we took turns using the 'Jaws of Life' tools - a spreader and a cutter - to pry the hood off a beater. The pros usually get the job done in 15-18 minutes; Team Everyday Citizens did it in under an hour with the three c's - cracking, crunching, concentrating.



During II




iBelieve you!

Full disclosure: i am the satisfied owner of an iPod, and, more recently, an iPad.

Update: Well-argued column about Apple's founder by Simon Black.

Battling Commies, Democrats, Unions

My column about Oklahoma Labor Commissioner Mark Costello is posted at the intrepid Red Dirt Report. Go here.

Here's how it begins: "Central Oklahoma is a long distance from my home in northern Michigan, but, thanks to the mighty Internet, I've been following a former Edmond next-door neighbor's political doings with enthusiastic interest.

That would be Mark Costello, the labor commissioner for the great state of Oklahoma.

I was delighted when he won the general election last November, as I was convinced that under his watch positive, courageous reform would be the norm.

I just didn't dream how good … and controversial … he would be.

The Department of Labor, as Sooner State political junkies are aware, has long been largely the dominion of progressives and labor unions. In contrast, Commissioner Costello is now utilizing his office to level the playing field between the public and private sectors. Parity in Oklahoma, the non-profit 501(c)(4) that he founded and chairs, seeks balance in the areas of 'Pay, Performance, Pensions and Perks.' This type of initiative, which includes a website, is cutting-edge, the wave of the future. State governments, searching for ways to save dollars, can be assisted in their quest by watchdogs and educational entities. For instance, Pension Tsunami, a project of the respected California Public Policy Center, monitors the 'oncoming wave of pension debt.'

Unfortunately, the enemies of reform never sleep."

Update: Democrats are planning a 'no confidence' protest.


Occupy Wall Street's 13 Lame Demands

Making the authors of the Communist Manifesto look like slackers. (I shortened some of these, as you'll get the gist from the first sentence. For entertainment purposes, I recommend reading the list in its entirety.)

"Demand one: Restoration of the living wage.

Demand two: Institute a universal single payer healthcare system.

Demand three: Guaranteed living wage income regardless of employment.

Demand four: Free college education.

Demand five: Begin a fast track process to bring the fossil fuel economy to an end while at the same bringing the alternative energy economy up to energy demand.

Demand six: One trillion dollars in infrastructure (Water, Sewer, Rail, Roads and Bridges and Electrical Grid) spending now.

Demand seven: One trillion dollars in ecological restoration planting forests, reestablishing wetlands and the natural flow of river systems and decommissioning of all of America's nuclear power plants.

Demand eight: Racial and gender equal rights amendment.

Demand nine: Open borders migration. anyone can travel anywhere to work and live.

Demand ten: Bring American elections up to international standards of a paper ballot precinct counted and recounted in front of an independent and party observers system.

Demand eleven: Immediate across the board debt forgiveness for all.

Demand twelve: Outlaw all credit reporting agencies.

Demand thirteen: Allow all workers to sign a ballot at any time during a union organizing campaign or at any time that represents their yeah or nay to having a union represent them in collective bargaining or to form a union.

These demands will create so many jobs it will be completely impossible to fill them without an open borders policy." (ROFL)

Actor Says US Going 'Third World'

He used to be in the sitcom, Cheers. Now he spends time advocating for American manufacturing and the blue-collar worker. John Ratzenberger's (pictured, right) Q&A, with AOL, is well worth a read! (He brings up illegal immigration in the interview.)

An excerpt:

You are interested in changing the image of blue collar workers. How do we do that?

Well, I term them essential workers. Shaquille O'Neal's job is not essential. Lady Gaga's job is not essential. The essential people are the ones who prepare and maintain the air conditioning in this building, or repair the elevators. Those are the essential people, because without them we go nowhere. So the media for the last 30 or 40 years have depicted people with toolboxes as being stupid, or drunk. So why would a kid growing up and seeing that depiction on a movie screen want to be that? It seems like we've become a society that honors failure and not success. We should be honoring the people who make it all work. You have to get the writers or producers and say, why not have a sitcom or film based on a bricklayer, or a truck driver. And give them dignity and respect.


Mmmm: Betty Crocker Lives On

This past weekend I attended the Taste of Home: Cooking School which (largely) benefited St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

It was sponsored by my favorite grocery store, Meijer. I was hoping to win free groceries (or any of the other excellent door prizes), but my name wasn't called during the many drawings. Not once. (Maybe not filling out the drawing card that was placed in my goodie bag diminished my chances.)

This is how the middle section of the auditorium looked an hour before the show was to start. Eventually hundreds of people - majority femmes - showed up. For a minute I felt like I was at a NOW convention. But, nah, the ladies were too pleasant and too practical.

Potted mums, state-of-the-art appliances, eggs with pink ribbons ... it's a grand time to homemake in America in 2011.

One of the ten recipes that were demonstrated. This one made my mouth water. I also liked the 'pumpkin whoopie pies' which seemed like an ideal pick-me-up for a fall get-together. (Pick-me-up/ fall get-together? Hmm, that sounded suspiciously like rah-rah copy for a cooking magazine.)

This is Dana Elliott, the "culinary specialist" that efficiently talked us through the recipes. She is snarky-funny. Celebrity chefs with PERSONAS are all the rage these days, no?

Estrogen city! The lady with the funky witchy hat was a model. (See below.)

This gal (fab red curls!) was one of the models in the fashion show in which all the clothes displayed were from a second-hand shop - Gold Mine Resale Shops - aimed at helping damsels in distress. (One of those women's resource center endeavors.)

One of the goodie bag gifts - sturdy wooden spoons are never out of fashion.