Monthly Archives: December 2007

Dolley Madison Spouse Coin: Rescuing George Washington Portrait

UPDATE 3/18/08: Dolley Madison has sold out! The mint says they are “unavailable”.

Dolley Madison Coin

The latest Gold Spouse Coin has arrived, and unlike the other ones, it did not immediately sell out. On the reverse, Dolley Madison is featured rescuing this George Washington portrait and other important papers.

 George Washington Portrait

The war of 1812 was started with the US coming to Canada’s aid to save the Canadian provinces from British Domination. But as it turned out, the Canadians, like the Vietnamese and the Iraqis, really didn’t want to saved by the United States. They wanted to be loyal to the kings and queens of England! After the British had been given some breathing room from their war with France, and in retaliation for the United States burning Toronto,  they had the “brilliant” idea of invading Washington DC and New Orleans. The British believed that this would have the effect of splitting popular opinion in the United States. But instead of splitting of popular opinion, the American People united against the British. Dolley Madison wrote in August 1814:

“Our kind friend, Mr. Carroll, has come to hasten my departure, and is in a very bad humor with me because I insist on waiting until the large picture of Gen. Washington is secured, and it requires to be unscrewed from the wall. This process was found to be too tedious for these perilous moments; I have ordered the frame to be broken, and the canvas taken out; it is done–and the precious portrait placed in the hands of two gentlemen of New York, for safe keeping.”

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Filed under America, coins, history, Spouse Coins


My job search ended in under two months. I am going to work for Sungard in center city Philadelphia! My first day is January 8, making 2008 completely different than 2007. It is a completely new beginning to a new era in my life. I am going to work on the eleventh floor of the historic Curtis Building, which is located very close to Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence was ratified.

I will take the train in and that will be almost an hour long train ride each way. I am hoping to spend that time writing, reading, and listening to books.

Job searching in 2007 is different than job searching in 1987. There is a lot of help out there for job seekers and my old company provided me with a lot of career counseling help which was *extremely* useful.  You can use a cube there to go through their online tutorials, work on your resume and make phone calls. They offer seminars almost every day on how to interview, how to write a resume, how to network, how to negotiate a job offer, etc. You get to hang out with other people who are in the same jam you are in, and get to help them out – which makes you feel not so bad about your situation.

There are several keys to getting a job – the best one is to fully harness the fact that there are many people out there who want to help you out – friends, strangers, people you work with, people you go to church with, friends of friends. There are people who are motivated for all different kinds of reasons. It is much better to network with people in the real world over networking with people over the internet – because the help is much more real. The purpose of networking on the internet is always to network with them in real life. One of the best things to do is to meet with other people at user groups and other networking functions.

If you make your resume public on, you will probably be inundated with phone calls from recruiters. I was.

Other sites that I found useful:      facebook for professionals       a search engine that searches all job sites  search for salary information

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Josh gets engaged!

My second oldest son, Joshua James Cole, asked Alexia Murphy to marry him at a December picnic – and she said yes! They are planning a steam punk wedding unless I can talk them into eloping. Josh says this is how the Victorians imagined the future. So you should come in Victorian clothing and expect a lot of steam.  

Alexia has the skill set of Jane Eyre at the same age! She is especially talented on the piano (the star student of her piano teacher) and her beautiful photography. She could have been valedictorian of her class if she had only killed off six or seven other students. But she was too nice to do that. According to Josh – her father is the VP of an intergalactic corporation that sells restaraunt machines. Josh has been dating Alexia since his 16th birthday.

Josh and Lex

Here is a picture of Josh as seen through the eyes of the awesome artist Andrew Curtain: 

Josh by Andrew Curtain

This is Josh in a white tuxedo. It is from Lex’s senior prom:

Josh in a white tux


Filed under Life, love

Ron Paul’s religious faith and how it will effect his presidency

Ron Paul’s statement of faith:

blog emphasizing Ron Paul religious news:

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Filed under 2008 Election, Abortion, America, Christianity, politics, Religion, Ron Paul

Dave Dougherty’s 13 year-old daughter Clare dies in ski accident

Dave was my roommate and one of my closest friends in college. I just found out that his daughter Clare Dougherty died in a ski accident yesterday, December 25. Here is a newspaper article about it:

Please keep Dave and his family in your prayers.

December 27 UPDATE:

December 28 UPDATE: Guest book for Dougherty services:

Funeral is this Saturday, Dec 29, 2007 11AM at the Neely-Turowski Funeral home in Canton, MI.


Filed under Life, RIP

Returning Art to the Church – Images on Christ Project

Here is a painting by artist Daniel Bonnell – Mary Feeding Baby:

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A Christmas Gift for you!

One hundred years ago, in 1907, the bestselling book of the year was The Lady of the Decoration by Frances Little. Books this old are now in the public domain and can be read on the internet. Here is a link to your Christmas gift:

It is a charming story (and a very short novel) consisting of letters to home from a young woman who has decided to abandon everything she holds dear to become a missionary kindergarten teacher in Heroshima Japan.  I just hope that the orphans she is charged with don’t end up getting nuked in thirty years!

Here is a brief excerpt from her time on the boat going to Japan:

I put on my prettiest cap and my long coat and went up on deck. Oh, my dear, if you could only have seen the sight that greeted me! It was the limpest, sickest crowd I ever encountered! They were pea-green with a dash of yellow, and a streak of black under their eyes, pale around the lips and weak in their knees. There was only one other woman besides myself who was not sick, and she was a missionary with short hair, and a big nose. She was going around with some tracts asking everybody if they were Christians. Just as I came up she tackled a big, dejected looking foreigner who was huddled in a corner.

“Brother, are you a Christian?”

“No, no,” he muttered impatiently. “I’m a Norwegian.”

Now what that man needed was a cocktail, but it was not for me to suggest it.

Here is a review of your Christmas present in the New York Times:

which calls it “the peppermint of literature” and a good for you easy read that has become very popular.

For a list of other bestsellers of the twentieth century check out:

and Merry Christmas and a wonderful 2008!!!

 with much love on this Christmas day of 2007 –

Mark “To The Moon” 

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Filed under books, Christianity, Emergent Christianity, love, mission, Religion, Social Justice, Travels

Huckabee and the cross

Here is what Peggy Noonan,  author and speech writer for Ronald Reagan had to say about this commercial (in Wall Street Journal, Dec 22, p W12):

I didn’t see the famous floating cross. What I saw when I watched Mike Huckabee’s Christmas commerical was a nice man in a sweater sitting next to a brightly lit tree… Only on second look did I see the white lines of the warmly lit bookcase, which forms a glowing cross.

I wound up thinking this: This guy is using the cross so that I’ll like him. That doesn’t tell me what he thinks of Jesus, but it does tell me what he thinks of me. He thinks I’m dim. He thinks I will associate my savior with his candidacy. Bleh.

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Filed under 2008 Election, politics

C.S. Lewis Quotes

Here are some quotes of C.S. Lewis that I found here.

If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning.
Mere Christianity (New York: McMillan, 1952), p. 46.

“I am trying to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: “I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.” That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic ­ on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg ­ or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God; or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”
Mere Christianity (New York: McMillan, 1952), pp. 55-56.

It cost God nothing, so far as we know, to create nice things: but to convert rebellious wills cost Him crucifixion.
Mere Christianity (New York: McMillan, 1952), p. 179.

Thus strict materialism refutes itself for the reason given long ago by Professor Haldane: “If my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain, I have no reason to believe my beliefs are true…and hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms. “
(Possible Worlds, p. 209)

“Who is Aslan?” asked Susan.

“Aslan?” said Mr. Beaver. Why don’t you know? He’s the King. He’s the Lord of the whole wood…

“Is he a man?” asked Lucy.

“Aslan a man!” said Mr. Beaver sternly. “Certainly not. I tell you he is the King of the wood and the son of the great Emperor-Beyond-the-Sea. Don’t you know who is the King of Beasts? Aslan is a lion-the Lion, the great Lion.”…

“Then he isn’t safe?” said Lucy.

“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver. “Don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.
The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (New York: Macmillan, 1970), pp. 74-76.

so check out

C.S. Lewis books make great Christmas presents!

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Filed under books, Christianity, Religion

The Moon on Christmas Eve

The night isn’t dark, it’s glowing with a silvery-white light. Up above, the 98% full moon looks huge and clear in the azure sky. It just might be the brightest moon you’ve ever seen. That’s because it’s the highest-riding full moon until the year 2023.

Above: The Moon photographed by P-M Heden of Vallentuna, Sweden.

And not far from the beautiful moon glows fireplace-red Mars. This Christmas Eve, Mars is at its closest to Earth for the next nine years. Mars is also “at opposition.” That’s astronomy-lingo for “directly opposite the sun.” It means Mars is up whenever the sun is down: on Christmas Eve, the Red Planet will be visible all night long.

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