For 13 almost 13 years Elena and I have been fortunate to count Mandy Findlater as a close friend. Mandy has an incredible story. One day she decided that she had no future in her native Zimbabwe. She sold her apartment, packed two suitcases, got a tourist visa and came to San Francisco with $10,000 to start her life over again. She got a job in the highly-competitive freight forwarding business. She excelled and became an expert in logistics and supply chain management on an international basis. Mandy’s career took off. She moved from freight forwarding to logistics with a high technology company. Along the way Mandy earned her US Green Card. I understand that she will take the oath of US citizen this year. Mandy is also very generous and supportive to all of her family members still in Zimbabwe. Mandy has always been a lady of great integrity and character. She plays by the rules and is honest with everyone. My only regret today is that I cannot bring Stevie Wonder to her birthday celebration to serenade her with the song “Happy Birthday To You Baby!”
My hat is off to the wonderful people at Stewart Chevrolet in Colma, California. I took my car in because the air conditioner had a problem. (I already had another quote from another Chevy dealer on the repair.) At the end of the inspection I got the bad news that my air conditioner was gone. It could not even be rebuilt, as the other Chevrolet dealer had wanted to do. I was given the bad news that the new air conditioner was going to cost $1,600. Elena growled when she heard this. But we authorized the repair. The service shuttle from Stewart Chevrolet came by and picked me up yesterday afternoon. When I went to the cashier I got the astounding good news that my new air conditioner had only cost $1,313 including the normal service on my vehicle. The other Chevrolet dealership had quoted me $1,200.00 just to rebuild the other air conditioner. It was a wonderful surprise. My hat is off to Will Dea and the entire great team at Stewart Chevrolet. They are ladies and gentlemen! They are professionals !! They are honest!!!
I found this fascinating article in The Guardian that I would like to share with you. Please bear in mind that murder is not the only crime that attracts the death penalty in Saudi Arabia. Adultery is a capital offense. If you do not pay thinks like bank loans and credit card debt you can be executed.
The Guardian (G2), Friday, June 6, 2003, page 4
The work of God
Decent pay, flexible hours, good benefits package – but being Saudi Arabia’s state executioner does have its down side, as Muhammad Saad al-Beshi tells Mahmoud Ahmad
Muhammad Saad al-Beshi beheads up to seven people a day. “It doesn’t matter to me: Two, four, 10 – as long as I’m doing God’s will, it doesn’t matter how many people I execute,” says Saudi Arabia’s leading executioner. Al-Beshi began his career at a prison in Taif, where his job was to handcuff and blindfold the prisoners before their execution. “Because of this background, I developed a desire to be an executioner,” he says. When a position became vacant, he applied and was accepted immediately.
His first job was in 1998 in Jeddah. “The criminal was tied and blindfolded. With one stroke of the sword I severed his head. It rolled metres away.” Of course he was nervous, he says – there were a lot of people watching, after all – but now stage fright is a thing of the past. He says he is calm at work because he is doing God’s work. “But there are many people who faint when they witness an execution. I don’t know why they come and watch if they don’t have the stomach for it. Me? I sleep very well.”
Does he think people are afraid of him? “In this country we have a society that understands God’s law,” he says. “No one is afraid of me. I have a lot of relatives, and many friends at the mosque, and I live a normal life like everyone else. There are no drawbacks for my social life.”
Before an execution, none the less, he will visit the family of the victim of the criminal to obtain forgiveness for the man about to die. “I always have that hope, until the very last minute, and I pray to God to give the criminal a new lease of life. I always keep that hope alive.”
Al-Beshi will not reveal how much he gets paid per execution, as this is a confidential agreement with the government. But he insists that the reward is not important. “I am very proud to do God’s work,” he says.
However, he does reveal that a sword costs something in the region of 20,000 Saudi riyals (£3,300). “It’s a gift from the government. I look after it and sharpen it once in a while, and I make sure to clean it of bloodstains. It’s very sharp. People are amazed how fast it can separate the head from the body.”
By the time the victims reach the execution square, they have surrendered themselves to death, he says, though they may hope to be forgiven at the last minute. Indeed, the only conversation that takes place is when he tells the prisoner to say the Shahada, their covenant with Allah. “Their hearts and minds are taken up with reciting the Shahada. When they get to the execution square, their strength drains away. Then I read the execution order, and at a signal I cut the prisoner’s head off.”
Public execution in Saudi Arabia. Al-Beshi executes women without hesitation for “it is God’s work”.
He has executed a number of women without hesitation. “Despite the fact that I hate violence against women, when it comes to God’s will, I have to carry it out.”
There is no great difference between the execution of men and women, except that the women wear hijab, and no one is allowed near them except Al-Beshi when the time for execution comes. When executing women, he has a choice of weapon. “It depends what they ask me to use. Sometimes they ask me to use a sword and sometimes a gun. But most of the time I use the sword,” he says.
As an experienced executioner, 42-year-old Al-Beshi is entrusted with the task of training the young. “I successfully trained my son Musaed, 22, as an executioner and he was approved and chosen,” he says proudly. Training focuses on the way to hold the sword and where to hit, and consists mostly of the trainee observing the executioner at work.
But an executioner’s work is not all killing; sometimes it can simply be an amputation. “I use a special sharp knife instead of a sword,” he explains. “When I cut off a hand, I cut it from the joint. If it is a leg, the authorities specify where it is to be taken off, so I follow that.”
Al-Beshi describes himself as a family man. He was married when he became an executioner, and his wife did not object to his choice of profession. “She only asked me to think carefully before committing myself,” he recalls. “But I don’t think she’s afraid of me. I deal with my family with kindness and love. They aren’t afraid when I come back from an execution. Sometimes they help me clean my sword.”
A father of seven, he is a grandfather already. “My daughter has a son called Haza, and he’s my pride and joy,” he says. “Then there are my sons. The oldest one is Saad, and of course there is Musaed, who will be the next executioner.”
u can be executed. Saudi Arabia is one place where “You do no wrong.”
Today was a beautiful day. Sadly I was up early and working i with intense concentration on the computer. Afterwards I was exhausted. I went out to an open air restaurant and had some eggs. I then went to Office Depot and bought new computer mouses. I came home and installed them. I was physically and mentally exhausted afterwards. I rested in bed for most of the day. I am just now recovering my strength.
Rape On Christian Mingle.com
2/20/2013 7:40 PM PST Tags: http://www.christianmingle.com
Almost 13 years ago Elena and I were living 7,000 miles apart. She was in Buenos Aires and I was in San Jose, California. We both were lonely and alone. We both were recovering from relationships that failed and left us broken hearted. For some unknown reason Elena posted a picture of her in Swaziland (near South Africa) on kiss.com along with her profile. She then forgot about it. A couple of months later I was looking at some profiles on kiss.com. All of a sudden I saw this picture of a very attractive woman standing at a spot in Swaziland that I knew well because I had lived in Africa for six years. I read Elena’s profile. It all looked great until she said that she was looking for a man within 50 miles of Buenos Aires. I was 7,000 miles away. But something told me not to give up.
I contacted Elena through the dating service. We started to chat every night for 3 hours on MSN Messenger. My boss would not give me time off to go and see her. I finally arranged for Elena to come to San Francisco Airport. We met and the first time I kissed her I knew that she was the woman who I had been waiting for a long time.
Some three months later Elena moved out of Buenos Aires. She got on the plane with me and went to Mexico City. We had our honey moon before we had our wedding. We got married about a month after Elena came to live with me in San Jose. We have been together over 12 years and still love each other dearly.
Currently over 20% of the marriages that take place are a result of meetings on the internet.
Not every one has happy experiences with internet dating. Christian Mingle is a wonderful service for devout Christians seeking a partner in life with Christian views and values. I’m sure that the vast majority of the people who use the website are decent and sincere. One man wasn’t. A female member met a man who seemed nice and wonderful. She invited him right to her house for the first date. He violently raped her.
My friends the lesson here is that when you meet a new person, please meet them at a coffee shop or some other very public place.
Yesterday I was back at D. Kelvin Choi’s dental office. It was full of patients and I am glad to see him doing well. I had another crown installed. There was a little pain and a lot of pressure on the tooth. But the crown fit perfectly and the procedure was a success. I had a lot of crowns on my lower teeth that wore out due to age. I was very tired afterwards,
My dear friends in the wild and uninhibited days of aviation some 40 years ago food was great and planes flew with many empty seats. There was also plenty of room even in the economy section. When the lights went out on night flights, it was couples took this opportunity to become intimate. If one did this it was called “Joining The 7-Mile High Club.” I have done this a number of times in my 46 year flying career. The last time was in September of 1990 when I was flying South African Airways business class between Cape Town and Rio de Janeiro. The head stewardess caught us “in the act.” She blurted out: “You must be on your honey moon!”
It was such a beautiful day yesterday. It was great to be alive and payment for all the dark and bad days that one has to suffer through. Elena, Luah, and I went to Pacifica Thai Cuisine restaurant near the house. We had driven by it for nine years and never bothered to go in. Then we got curious. We had lunch there and it was really a pleasant surprise. The food was great and the service was warm and friendly. Later that evening I watched the latest Battlestar Galactica Blood and Chrome. It was a brilliant show that lived up to the proud traditions of this great series. Now the work week begins.