Thursday, October 5, 2017

V.L. Sullivan

I was able to find a lot about my actual roots the past few months. My biological mother's name is Ruby Mae Halfacre, and I have that on very good authority. For the source of my information was a friend of Ruby's and was actually there in the hospital at the time of my birth. The identity of my biological father is still a little iffy, but I am 99% sure that it is V.L. Sullivan. It will be about another year before Arkansas is ready to release original birth certificates.

Ruby Mae Halfacre was born on November 15, 1928 in Swifton, Arkansas, which is a small town a few miles from Newport in Jackson County. She physically died on April 28, 1980 in Newport. It is rather interesting to me that she died on Sam (my first wife) and I's third wedding anniversary and a little less than a month before our oldest daughter's (Vicki) second birthday.

Ruby's father was also born in Arkansas on November 24, which is the day I was born on. Although, her father was born in 1878 while I was born in 1957. He physically died on October 23, 1936 in Jackson County, Arkansas (a day after my adoptive mom's 10th birthday).

Ironically, Ruby married Howard Halfacre, who must have been a cousin (at least I really hope). They had several children together, and then he physically died in 1950. So, he could not be my biological father.

Sometime between 1950 and 1955, Ruby and V.L. Sullivan hooked up. For they had a son by the name of Jimmy in 1955. If they were ever married, she did not take his last name, and they stayed together until her death in 1980.

V.L. was born on March 8, 1914. I failed to find where. He physically died on November 29, 1989 and is buried next to Ruby in Auverge a few miles outside of Newport.

I failed to find a bunch of things about V.L.—including even what V.L. Stands for. I hope to get in touch with my supposed older brother someday to fill in the blanks about both of our biological parents. I know that he drove a school bus in the Newport district for many years, but I have not been able to find a good telephone number for him so far. Going down there is completely out of the question with Arlynda and I being in such poor physical health.

Since Jimmy was merely two years-old at the time of my birth, He probably has no idea that I exist. Subsequently, he would not have any idea why they did not keep me, but it seems fairly clear to me. For V.L. would have been 43 at the time of my birth and Ruby 39. With them already having lived a rather rough life, along with having a two year-old at home, they probably just did not feel like they had the wherewithal to care for another baby.

By the way, I rather like the idea of actually being physically born a Sullivan. For I found that the solidly Irish name comes from a word in an old, old form of Irish Gaelic that means hawk-eyed. As I have said on a number of occasions, I was created to be our Heavenly Father's Fishhawk, who is an aggressive fisher of men (and women, of course). The aggressiveness has waned considerably since 1993, but the desire to introduce as many as possible to our Heavenly Father (starting with those who believe they already know Him well) still burns like a raging inferno in my heart.

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Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Trump Cards

40-something years ago, I learned how to play Hearts and Spades. I do not remember the specifics to the card games, and I did not want to spend the time and energy searching for what is on the web about them. What I do remember, however, is that they involved playing a card that triumphed over the others played during a hand/round. Hence, the shortened name of trump.

I do not know if the last name of the current American president originated from a card game, but I think it would be rather ironic. For he seems very fond of playing games.

No, President Trump is not the only one fond of playing games. For there are trump cards being played by every special interest group.

A lot has been heard recently about the black community playing their race card whenever they meet some resistance to changing things in their favor, but the brown, red and even white communities have their own race cards. Only the Asian community in America seems fairly content to suffer in relative silence while working really hard at moving into position to live a much better life after the others have exhausted all of their resources fighting each other.

No, it is not just in the matters of race that there is a trump card. American women have their gender equality card. The American LGBT community has their gender identity card. American conservatives play their Second Amendment, fiscal responsibility and Christian nation cards while the American liberals/progressives counter with their evolving constitution, women's rights and separation of church and state cards. Ah, but do not they all get lost in the political shuffle?

Take for example the current political issue over professional football (NFL) players refusing to stand during the playing of the National Anthem before the start of a game. For just how many Americans still remember that the protest started out with the San Francisco 49ers' quarterback at the time sitting on the sideline over alleged police brutality of black people?  Are not the vast majority of pundits now talking about it being a matter of having the freedom to disrespect our traditional values or not?

Quite frankly, I do not have a problem with the players kneeling instead of standing at attention. For kneeling has always been a sign of deference to a higher power or surrender during a time of conflict. Does the players now kneeling mean that they have surrendered their position?

I would have a problem with the players milling about on the sideline during the playing of the National Anthem, but I recognize the fact that Americans are supposed to have the freedom to do such ignoble things. Nonetheless, just because you have the legal right to do something does not mean that you should.

Alas, I have I come to truly loathe just how much of “me” our Heavenly Father has allowed to remain intact after He started truly changing me. For I can clearly see that most of our fights over political issues are simply setting the stage for the antichirst to take power over this entire world someday much sooner than later, which is in accordance unto our Heavenly Father's will, but these issues are still upsetting to me. Does this mean that I do not really believe that He knows what He is doing? Be assured that it most certainly does not, but it bothers me even more that I still want to fix things that the Lord God Almighty has broken to accomplish His purposes.    


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Monday, September 11, 2017

Bullies with Badges

There has been an alleged (sometimes obvious) case of excessive force being employed by law enforcement officers making the national news on a regular basis lately. After attending the Mayweather/McGregor prize fight in Las Vegas, Nevada on August 26th, [Michael Bennett], a star NFL (Seattle Seahawks) defensive end, found himself with a knee in his back and a pistol pointed at his head.



In all fairness, I cannot blame the cops for initially taking Bennett into custody. For they were responding to shots being reportedly fired in a nightclub section of a casino, and there was this rather large (6'4”, 274 pounds) man hiding behind a slot machine, who attempted to run away when he saw them. Quite frankly, I would have shot him for daring to wear such a hideous suit of clothes out in public. (Just kidding...kinda.)

Seriously, I have been made well aware of not having the natural temperament to be a law enforcement officer. For I would want to put a hole in someone just for giving me grief over enforcing a minor infraction while letting a person get away with just about anything up to murder if they were nice in their dealings with me. No, neither way is acceptable.

Maybe not. For fearful constituents demand greater protective measures while oppression breeds rebellion that adds all the more to the fear. It is literally the proverbial vicious circle.

Be assured that it is really not any worse now than it has been down through the ages. For it is just that with more and more always carrying cell phones with the capability to record videos that can be instantly broadcast to billions, less and less goes unnoticed.

Nonetheless, law enforcement has brought much of their trouble upon themselves. For instead of seeking to treat everyone they meet on their beat as those they have sworn to protect and serve until a situation warrants a different approach, far too many officers assume that far too many are guilty (or at least probable perpetrators) of some criminal activity. Yes, race has proven to be a factor.

Much of that comes from the top down. I still shake my head in disgust over hearing the answer given by the chief of police in Los Angeles, California during a press conference twenty-some years ago. He was asked why so many of the officers under his command generally treated people so disrespectfully. His answer was, “We are not out there on the streets to make friends. We are out there to keep the peace.”

Come on now, would you not be much more likely to feed the police information if you were on a friendly basis with at least the officers you regularly see in your area, which could make their job much, much easier? Why is this so hard for law enforcement to understand and cultivate?

Speaking of disrespect, it now appears to be standard procedure for officers to always aim for center-mass when pulling the trigger of their firearm, which is likely to result in the death of a suspect. Should not anyone authorized to carry a firearm be skilled enough to simply wound someone when no other means can be used to take them into custody? Yes, there are situations where a wounded suspect would be even more of a danger to innocent bystanders, but there have been many killed by officers who did not need to die.

On the other hand, I can see where killing a suspect would save the authorities a lot of money. For there would not be any expenses for hospitalization incurred—not to mention no trial and incarceration expenses.

Yes, defending against a wrongful death lawsuit has to be quite prohibitive, but bullies tend to not worry about such. Who else would want to wear a badge if things keep going as they have been?

Speaking of bullies, they are generally cowards by nature, and how cowardly is it to shot first at someone just thought to be armed? This has been happening far too often.

As with everything else, it is all in accordance unto our Heavenly Father's will, but just because He has allowed things to go bad does not mean that they have to stay that way. In many cases, bad situations are meant to encourage us to want to get closer to Him.

Of course, I could be woefully deceived. What say you?

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Thursday, September 7, 2017

Bad Stewards

During my formative years, I was taught in a very conservative Southern Baptist community that Christ Jesus entrusted His church to conduct His affairs in this world until His glorified return, and that its members were to give/tithe at least 10% of their resources (mainly in the form of money they had been led to believe they had earned) to fund this work. The doctrine is called Stewardship, and I now know that it is incorrect in a number of ways. I will be focusing upon only a couple of them in this piece, though.

First of all, Christ Jesus is not absent from this world. Yes, there will come a day when He will visibly return in all of His most awesome glory to openly rule over this entire world, but in the meantime, He is just as much everywhere, all of the time, in Spiritual form as He ever has been. Secondly, Christ Jesus has always known everything that there will ever be to know about everyone since long before He created this world. Subsequently, there is no entrusting anyone with anything. That is, at least not in the way we naturally think. Yes, He wants His chosen servants to help the lost and confused to get to really know Him by being shining reflections of His goodness and mercy against the darkness of Spiritual ignorance, but that is a far cry from calling Christians to truly seek and to save the lost, which is what far too many have been lad to believe.

Alas, even if it was true that believers are called to be Christ Jesus' hands and feet in His absence, why are so many conservative Protestants screaming the loudest about removing the illegal aliens from America and closing the borders to all but a very select few new immigrants? How can they seriously tell anyone about the love of Christ Jesus after leading the charge against some of the most helpless people in this world?

No, they are not thinking about that. They are just thinking about not sharing the bounty they sincerely believe they have worked hard for with mostly Catholic immigrants, who have illegally entered this country—regardless of their reason being absolute desperation.

Hey, these hard-core conservatives are the kind of people I grew up with, and I am not chunkin' rocks at just Southern Baptists, neither. For there are plenty of Methodists, Presbyterians, Lutherans, Pentecostals and even some Catholics involved.

In all fairness, we most definitely need much better border security measures to guard against terrorism, drug trafficking and plain, old-fashioned smuggling, but who I am talking about here are desperate people just wanting to escape abject poverty and no hope of it ever getting any better in their places of birth. No, I do not want people coming in who do not really want to become Americans, but even the vast majority of those pose no threat to our American way of life.

I do not mind some accommodations being made for those not growing up speaking English. For I am all too painfully aware of just how difficult the language can be to master—especially American English, with dozens of words meaning basically the same thing and/or something completely different, depending upon the context and/or correct spelling. For example: John loved going fishing in his Ranger bass boat when he was not out on tour, playing bass with his rock band.

On the other hand, I do not think it is at all unreasonable for those wanting to actually live here to have to have at least a rudimentary grasp of the language to get along well. After all, I cannot imagine moving to France and fully enjoy living there without knowing more than a few words of French.

All of the screaming about illegal aliens taking jobs away from good, tax-paying American citizens is pure nonsense. Do you want a seasonal job harvesting fruit and vegetables? How about working on the line in a chicken plant? Beef or pork processing, then? Oh, I forgot about lawn care and housecleaning. Now, those are jobs that many red-blooded Americans dream about having.

Besides, how can anyone truly in their right-mind refuse to share what they can with the less fortunate? For they know full well that everything they have has been a gift from our Heavenly Father. Even the desire to work hard is a gift from Him.

So, just how many self-proclaimed good Christians truly are in their right-mind? I know now that I was not until our Heavenly Father changed me, which did not happen until 29 years after I went forward to publicly accept salvation and be baptized.

Even if you do not want to believe any of that, did you have a choice of where and when you were physically born into this world? Can you really afford to place all of your bets upon your ability to be successful at this supposed game of life, governed by the law of the jungle?

What comes next? What if it is indeed true that many of those on top in this world will be on the bottom in the next? How can a few, very short years in this world compare with the whole of eternity?

Of course, I could be woefully deceived. What say you?

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Sunday, September 3, 2017

Grey Lives Mattered

There was world-side outrage over the Taliban destroying two gigantic [Buddhist statues] that stood as significant pieces of the region's history and ancient culture. Aside from that, their artistic value was priceless. It was the same in regards to ISIS looting and destroying priceless artifacts of the ancient Assyrian Empire in [Iraq and Syria].

Yes, it is the way of this world that the victors reap the spoils and despoil the treasurers of the vanquished. Many Protestant churches were burned while the Catholics held power in Britain a few hundred years ago. The Protestants returned the favor when they came out on top. Does this make it right?

Please understand that I am not a Klansman, Neo-Nazi or white supremacist in any way, shape or form. In fact, I despise everything those organizations stand for. Nonetheless, I think it is an absolute shame that unbridled political correctness is effecting the destruction of Confederate memorials in this country.

What's next? Do we rename the United States military installations named for Confederate war heroes? [Fort Benning] in Georgia was named after Confederate Brig. General Henry Benning. [Fort Bragg] in North Carolina was named after Confederate General Braxton Bragg. [Fort Gordon] in Georgia was named after Confederate Lt. General John Brown Gordon. [Fort A.P. Hill] in Virginia was named after Confederate Lt. General A.P. Hill. [Fort Hood] in Texas was named after Confederate General John Bell Hood. [Fort Lee] in Virginia was named after Confederate General Robert E. Lee. [Fort Pickett] in Virginia was named after Confederate Major General George Pickett. [Fort Polk] in Louisiana was named after Confederate Lt. General Leonidas Polk. [Fort rucker] in Alabama was named after Confederate Colonel Edmund Rucker.

Should we level the Washington and Jefferson memorials in Washington, D.C. because they owned slaves? The White House was mostly built by slaves. So, it has to be razed—right?

On the same note, how about doing away with the Ford Motor Company and all of its affiliates? After all, [Henry Ford] was right in there with Adolph Hitler when it came to antisemitism.

Come to think of it, should not all traces of the Holocaust be completely removed because of how offensive they may be to some in one way or another if political correctness is to be followed wherever it may lead? Be assured that there is great wisdom in having vestiges of even some very dark times in full view of future generations in the hope that they are not repeated.

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Thursday, August 31, 2017

Pulling the Plug on SiteHoundSniffs

It is with great sadness that I must announce the closure of SiteHoundSniffs.com on September 27, 2017. The email address associated with the site (jerryebeuterbaugh@sitehoundsniffs.com) will also come to an end on that date. So, if someone sends you an email from that address or leaves a comment on your site appearing to have something to do with SiteHoundSniffs.com after September 27, be assured that it is not coming from me. If you want, you can email me at fishhawk7@gmail.com.

What you just read is now on the home page of SiteHoundSniffs. I had such high hopes, but there is simply not enough traffic to justify the expense required to keep the site going for another year. It was because of our main computer suddenly dying on August 9th that kept me offline for around three weeks, and the $210.00 we spent upon purchasing a refurbished one ate up the funds that could have kept SiteHoundSniffs going.

Another reason for ending SiteHoundSniffs is that I am to spend my available time and energy upon writing again, and the content of many pf the articles to be published here will undoubtedly upset a great many in one way or another. Alas, there does not seem to be a lot of tolerance going around these days—even among the more bleeding heart liberal types.

Oh, and I am to start leaving regular comments here and there again, which will certainly stir-up some “stuff” when I may not be in full agreement with the author of the article or even some of the other commentators. Be assured that my comments will always be respectful, but that does not count for much to far too many when I am trying to convey something they vehemently disagree with.

Oh yeah, I foresee getting into all sorts of trouble, which would cause most advertisers to shy away. It probably would not help drive more traffic toward SiteHoundSniffs, neither.

It was an easy decision to let the site directory end while I was thinking that only three people had visited it in July. A closer look at the stats available to me proved that I had been looking in the wrong column. For that total of three in July was referring to the average page-views per visitor, and SiteHoundSniffs had actually received over 40,000 hits in July. When consulting a very close friend, he wondered just how many of those hits came from web-crawling bots—not actual people. Nonetheless, we simply cannot really afford to spend the $200.00 necessary to renew for another year, and our Heavenly Father wants me to focus upon the real purpose for entering cyberspace in the first-place.

Yes, that includes publishing at least a couple more books. I have two more crumbs/chapters to add to the end of [The Crackerhead Chronicles] swirling around in my head, as well. I will see about converting [FishHawk Droppings] to pages instead of posts to make it easier to insert new books in the order they should be read.

When the previous main computer died, we lost use of MS Office. The copy we had was from 2010, and we had already installed it upon the two computers allowed by its license. So, I am learning how to use the free [Apache OpenOffice] program, which is proving to not be as difficult as I feared. I have discovered that it can even convert documents into a PDF!

Arlynda and I's physical health is as poor as ever, but at least we do not appear to be getting any worse. Arlynda's mother (who had been living with us) dying last January 15th) has been a rather bittersweet experience (to say the least). At least we have been able to clear-out some of the clutter. She had a lot of hoarder to her, and we still feel like we are doing something wrong when finding an empty cat food tin and throwing it in the trash. Be assured that we sure wish our turns to be delivered from this prison of a world will come much sooner than later.


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Saturday, June 10, 2017

SiteHoundSniffin' 101


As many of you-all already know, I have been trying to reconnect with my children for the past several years.  Sadly, it has not been going all that well for a number of reasons I will not disclose, but I have been recently told that one of my grandsons is an internet whiz.  This has bolstered my hope that he will want to become involved with SiteHoundSniffs much sooner than later and take the reins of the directory when I can no longer hold them.  So, this piece is more for his benefit than anyone else, but I suspect that many of you-all are dying to learn just what is going on behind the scenes.  Of course, many of the following steps can be automated with a few lines of code that I hope my grandson will want to learn (if he does not already know it).

Step 1: Find the site.  Since I already have links to around 10,000 sites, this step mostly involves looking in a private list, and with each site usually having links to several other sites, the begating goes on and on.  Virtually all of the sites on my private lists came from individual’s blogrolls and favorite sites lists.

Step 2: Quickly glance over the site to see if it has enough content to justify inclusion.  A site with less than a dozen posts is usually dropped unless the entries are truly outstanding in one way or another.

Step 3: Seek to find the actual name of the owner and an email/Facebook address to send private communication to.  This information goes in the “Littermates” MS Excel spreadsheet.

Step 4: Google Bookmark (not to be confused with Google Chrome Bookmarking) the site under zzzd (don’t ask).

Step 5: As part of the Google Bookmarking process, the site name (sometimes) will come up in a separate dialogue box.  Copy and paste it to a blank area of the MS Word Notifications document (again, don’t ask).

Step 6:  Also on the separate dialogue box from the bookmarking process is the site’s URL.  Copy and paste it to the dialogue box involved in attaching a hyperlink to the site’s name in a Word document.

Step 7:  Copy the hyperlinked site’s name and paste it to the first column of the “SiteHoundSniffs Master MS Excel spreadsheet.

Step 8: Click on the hyperlinked site’s name to insure that it works.

Step 9: Copy the site’s URL from the browser address bar and paste it in the second column of the “Master” MS Excel spreadsheet.

Step 10: Type the corresponding Littermates row number in the third column of Master spreadsheet.

Step 11: Seek to find the country of origin for the site.  If found, type it into the fourth column of Master spreadsheet.

Step 12: Seek to determine what the site is really all about and list each category in a column of the Master spreadsheet.  No, one cannot rely upon the site title.  For a site that sounds like it is about Cooking/Foodstuffs may be actually about humorous observations, and a site that looks like it is from India may be actually from Singapore.

Step 13: Make a screenshot of the site header/logo if the “Save Image As” function is not available from right-clicking.

Step 14: Resize the site header/logo to 300 x 100 (pixels).  This might involve a few additional steps to make the image more presentable.

Step 15: Go to SiteHoundSniffs.com and pull up the “All” page in the categories.  Click-on “Edit Page” at the top.

Step 16: Scroll down though the content in the text-editor box until you come to where the new site should be placed in alphanumeric order.  Left-click to the right side of the image immediately ahead, and click “Enter.”  Then click-on “Add Media” in the text-editor options.

Step 17: Click-on “Upload Files” when the “Insert Media” dialogue box comes up.  Click-on “Select Files.”  Find the folder where the Site headers are saved on your computer and upload the new site header to the SiteHoundSniffs Media Library.

Step 18: The new site header will be already selected in this first round, and the dialogue box will be shifted down to where the image link can be pasted/typed in at this time.  Another way is to link the image through the options in the text-editor.

Step 19: Click-on “Update” to the right of the text-editor.  After the update has been made, click-on “View Page” above the text-editor.

Step 20: Click-on the new site image to make sure it is correctly linked.

Steps 21(+): Repeat the previous steps (with a couple of exceptions) involved in adding the new site in its other categories and country, along with “News.”

Final Step: Send a notification email or Facebook message to the owner of the site that explains what SiteHoundSniffs is and gives an option to have the site immediately removed.  This notification is left as a comment when a way to send it privately is not found.

Removal Steps: If an owner wants their site removed, most of the previous steps are reversed.  The Google Bookmark tag is switched from “zzzd” to “x,” and the owner is notified that their site has been completely removed from the directory.

Yeah, I have probably scared-off my grandson, but by the time he is old enough to take over the management, there might be some revenue rolling in.  Besides, a code can be written to automate most of the steps, which will drastically speed-up the process (not to mention make it much, much easier).

Speaking of not being so easy for me, I am currently trying to learn what to do to develop an app for Android smartphones and tablets that will enable people to simply give the icon a tap to go to SiteHoundSniffs.  I would also like to develop an iOS/Apple app, but I discovered that one has to have a Mac to run Xcode, which is the Apple developers platform.  Android Studio is needed to develop Android apps, and there are free versions of it for both Windows and OS/Apple computers.  Now, there is a way to run Xcode on a Windows computer, but one has to download a free VMware program that converts a portion of their computer into a Mac.  One has to also purchase the latest version of Mac OS X (at this time).  So, I will probably just hire some to write the iOS app if the Android app proves to be fairly popular.  Oh how I would like to go on another rant about just how rotten Apple truly is, but this would probably be cutting off my nose to spite my face.

Alas, it will probably be a year or so more before there is any advertising revenue to share, but the steady growth of the traffic has been encouraging.  There are now over 1,500 unique visitors from all over this world coming by each mother, and the number would rise exponentially if more of the Littermates would start promoting the directory more.  Hey, it is in the best interest of us all.

Our physical health is basically the same.  The last two times Arlynda went in for a [paracentesis], they pumped-off over eight liters of fluid.  Getting her to the hospital and back in the house is very hard on me, but her feeling much better afterward makes it well worth it.


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