Sorry, I just had to play around in Photoshop. I got the idea over a year ago when North Dakota Tourism picked the slogan "I Am Legendary". Great slogan perhaps, but it was poorly timed considering the release of the Will Smith movie "I Am Legend." Oops.
Bummer when your new slogan bears an uncanny resemblance to the title of a Will Smith movie, ain't it? Well, I decided to combine the two for a faux movie poster with a North Dakota theme. I played around in Photoshop a bit tonight to rig up this cheesy imitation. It ain't my best work, but it gave me a few chuckles. Now, on to some of my other year-old projects around the house...
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While on my way to help some friends with their computer, I spotted this beast. It's an AMC Gremlin, a car model of some considerable notoriety. I'm not sure of the brand/model of the chassis to which it's affixed, but it makes a pretty proportional 4x4. Now it just needs some paint and TLC.
The license plate reads "MOGWAI." For those of you who don't get that... you are obviously not children of the 1980s. That or you didn't see this movie. In any case, I caught the reference instantly.
This was a pleasant surprise, because I already had the "4x4 Mongrel Trifecta" completed:
The 4x4 Cadillac was one of my favorites. This has got to be on a Suburban chassis, I can't think of anything else big enough! Maybe a big extended cab pickup frame.
Then there's the 4x4 Mercedes. I bet the engineers back in Stuttgart never imagined this! No idea on the chassis here.
I called this one a "Four by Firebird." I'll put this one up against KITT in the original Knight Rider any day! This one is on a Chevy S-10 chassis, which I knew by sight but also from the "Vortec" sticker on the side of the car.
I figured my work was done with the trifecta. Then I found myself employing a term that doesn't even exist in my dictionary as this fourth photo op presented itself. If I ever run into that pink/red El Camino 4x4 that used to sit in the used car lot over at Cedric Theel a long time ago, I'll have the quintfecta! Ugh...I need to come up with better terminology. I could say something like "4x4 by four" I suppose, that's got a nice ring to it...but what happens when I see a fifth?
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One cool thing about the legislative session is that the parking rules on the state capitol grounds change, which explains the bag over this NO PARKING sign adjacent to the capitol mall. LD80, or Legislative Day #80, arrives on May 6th this year according to the calendar on the state website. After that, some convenient areas available for parking now will once again be off limits. Of course, there will be fewer people vying for those spots.
I remember a time back in the early 90s when my car was hit by an inattentive driver on the capitol grounds. I had parked near the State Library to return some books, and came out to find my driver's side door pushed in. They backed into it with their van, then accused me of parking illegally (thus making it my fault). I pointed out to the highway patrol officer writing the report that, due to the legislature being in session, I was not parked illegally and the guy should have been looking where he was backing up. The officer agreed and noted so in his report.
A short while later I got a call from the guy's insurance company indicating that they were refusing to pay my damages because their insured told them I was parked illegally. I referred the person to the policy regarding parking during the session, and they agreed to pay to fix my car.
It's a bit of an odd phenomenon to see signs bagged like this, but here's the explanation. Two more interesting North Dakota facts: the parking meter was invented in North Dakota, and parking meters are illegal in North Dakota!
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Two of the most beautiful words I've ever heard together: FREE TACO. That's what you can get at my favorite Taco del Mar on April 15th! As I type this, that means tomorrow. If you're reading this on Wednesday, get down there and getcha some taco! But you have to get the coupon online first.
Make sure you get down to Taco del Mar (there are locations on east Expressway as well as north State Street) and get your taco on. Tell them you heard about it on the Bismarck-Mandan Blog, too!
Sadly, I won't be there drowning myself in enchilada sauce; I'm booked to be out of town all day, running a Steadicam and some other camera work. That's okay...I ate at TdM today for lunch, and I stuffed enough enchiladas into my head to satisfy my tummy all the way until 9pm tonight! Now I'm just putting away some Applebee's wings to make the day complete.
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Many are alarmed with the speed and blindness with which our nation is veering toward a leftist, socialist predicament at the hand of President Obama and his willing accomplices in the Congress. It's nothing new, folks. It's actually (like everything else the left has been trying for forty years) a page out of a very old playbook. I refer you to Genesis chapter 47, where we can walk through the process step by step in the situation with ancient Egypt:
And there was no bread in all the land; for the famine was very sore, so that the land of Egypt and all the land of Canaan fainted by reason of the famine. And Joseph gathered up all the money that was found in the land of Egypt, and in the land of Canaan, for the corn which they bought: and Joseph brought the money into Pharaoh's house. (Genesis 47:13-14)
As Obama chief of staff Rahm Emanuel put it, "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste." While we don't have a literal famine going on right now, we do have something similar in our financial crisis. Our reliance on our prosperity for our happiness puts us in a very vulnerable position. Proverbs 13:8 tells us that "the ransom of a man's life are his riches..." and once our comfortable lifestyle is threatened, many panic and can be easily controlled by a government promising a solution.
And when money failed in the land of Egypt, and in the land of Canaan, all the Egyptians came unto Joseph, and said, Give us bread: for why should we die in thy presence? for the money faileth. And Joseph said, Give your cattle; and I will give you for your cattle, if money fail. And they brought their cattle unto Joseph: and Joseph gave them bread in exchange for horses, and for the flocks, and for the cattle of the herds, and for the asses: and he fed them with bread for all their cattle for that year. (Genesis 47:15-17)
The citizens came to the government and willingly gave their property (and their freedom with it) for some security from the government. The money failed...does that sound remotely familiar? Sure, there's a spiritual back story to God's provision through Joseph, but as he is acting on behalf of the world system portrayed by Egypt in the Bible he takes over the nation progessively by "taking care of" the people in exchange for all that they have.
When that year was ended, they came unto him the second year, and said unto him, We will not hide it from my lord, how that our money is spent; my lord also hath our herds of cattle; there is not ought left in the sight of my lord, but our bodies, and our lands: Wherefore shall we die before thine eyes, both we and our land? buy us and our land for bread, and we and our land will be servants unto Pharaoh: and give us seed, that we may live, and not die, that the land be not desolate. And Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh; for the Egyptians sold every man his field, because the famine prevailed over them: so the land became Pharaoh's. (Genesis 47:18-20)
The insidious nature of government expansion is that it never quits unless we stop it. All that's needed for a takeover is a willing populace, whether asleep at the wheel or simply scared into submission. The people, having been frightened into relying on the government to provide for them, sold their possessions, their land, and themselves to the government in the span of two years. All they needed was a little crisis to shake them up, and as long as they weren't relying on God they would gladly give everything to whoever else they thought could provide. Then, before they knew it, they were slaves.
And as for the people, he removed them to cities from one end of the borders of Egypt even to the other end thereof. Only the land of the priests bought he not; for the priests had a portion assigned them of Pharaoh, and did eat their portion which Pharaoh gave them: wherefore they sold not their lands. (Genesis 47:21-22)
While ideologies like socialism, communism, and the like promise "equality," they deny the undeniable human spirit, the desire to achieve. Therefore, these types of government require one class for all the "little people" and one class to enforce the "equality." Left alone, people all want to better themselves to a degree...some more than others. That doesn't work in a self-proclaimed "egalitarian" society unless you have a class of enforcers above all of those deemed "equal."
Notice how the rest were moved into cities. Remember how cities like Bismarck, Fargo, and others are submitting (without voter approval, mind you) to "smart growth" schemes, denying property rights, asserting extra-territorial zoning authority, and pushing mass transit? Individual property rights are merely a nuisance to government; if we let them continue on this path, we slowly (albeit more quickly these days) give up our liberty. The founders or our nation realized that individual property rights are a huge component of personal liberty.
Then Joseph said unto the people, Behold, I have bought you this day and your land for Pharaoh: lo, here is seed for you, and ye shall sow the land. And it shall come to pass in the increase, that ye shall give the fifth part unto Pharaoh, and four parts shall be your own, for seed of the field, and for your food, and for them of your households, and for food for your little ones. (Genesis 47:23-24)
There you have it, folks. Nothing granted by government comes without strings attached, and good luck getting rid of those strings. Just ask the banks that didn't want TARP money, took it at the insistence of the government, are now finding themselves run by the government, and find that the government will not accept the bailout money back when they try to repay it! The automakers are another case in point. Once you accept the government's provision, you're Owned. That's with a capital Obama O. Once you've accepted the "generosity" of the government, then the list of demands start rolling in. These people sought help from the state, and before they knew it they were working for the state.
And they said, Thou hast saved our lives: let us find grace in the sight of my lord, and we will be Pharaoh's servants. (Genesis 47:25)
Here's the real sad part: the people were so deceived that they counted themselves as having been saved by the government. There is no salvation in government, folks. The problem today is the same; people aren't relying on God, their own individuality, or the wisdom of the founding fathers in drafting the foundation of our country. In fact, most people are too ignorant to the intentions of the founders of the United States of America to even realize how far we've come. John Adams said, "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." That falls right in line with the old phrase, "If you don't believe in God, you'll believe in anything." That's what happened to the people of Egypt thousands of years ago, and it seems we're in the process of falling for it again, having departed so far from the faith and values upon which our nation was founded.
There you have it folks. I was considering a post like this a while back, then I heard a preacher talk about something similar recently and decided to put my thoughts into writing. Another time-tested cliche' talks about those who are ignorant of history being condemned to repeat it. Sadly, I think that today's under-educated, entertainment-driven American masses have departed so far from the ideals of the original United States of America that they were primed for a cult of personality to come along and sweep them into collectivism. My hope and prayer is that there are still enough of us left, the vigilant and faithful, who believe in this nation as it was conceived and founded over two hundred years ago. If we can steer this ship aright, we can avoid becoming an Obamanation.
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