Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Why Should I Join the BMC?

Joining the BMC has never been easier. Membership is easy, excellent value for money, and comes with a range of benefits.

Some of the services and benefits:

Supporting Access & Conservation

In a survey, members voted Access & Conservation the BMC's most important work area. The BMC's access work helps to ensure the continued freedom.

Summit Magazine

Summit magazine is the BMC's quarterly magazine. Full of interviews and articles, training & skills features, access information, comment and current issues, plus loads of great members only offers. As an individual member you will receive the full 64 page edition free and delivered direct to your door.

Free world-wide Personal Accident and Civil Liability Insurance

As an individual member you receive personal accident disability insurance and personal liability insurance, covering your activities world-wide. This protection could be one of your most valuable benefits of membership.

Travel and Activity Insurance

Members can take advantage of our specialist and highly regarded Travel & Activity insurance. Policies available range from 3 days to annual, UK, Europe, Worldwide, including cover for most sports.

Access to the Information Service

Last year the BMC answered over 10,000 requests for technical, medical and travel information. BMC members have access to over 150 free information sheets. The BMC also produce guides and a wide range of other publications written by experts. All discounted to members.

Events Discounts

The BMC organises and supports a wide range of events. These include youth events, and training in partnership with the Conville Trust.

Members Handbook

All member benefits are detailed in the BMC Members Handbook, which is distributed annually. The 2004 edition contains all the information and contacts you need to make the best of the BMC.

BMC Shop Discounts

Nearly all products in the BMC shop are discounted to members, and some are totally free. We've also added a selection of safety products to the range.

Hertz Car Rental Discounts

With over 7000 outlets worldwide, Hertz is the biggest car rental company around. BMC members can obtain 10% discount on rentals anywhere in the world.

Thursday, December 25, 2003

Jesus and the Elves

And Joseph went up from Galilee to Bethlehem with Mary, his espoused wife, who was great with child. And she brought forth a son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn. And the angel of the Lord spoke to the shepherds and said, "I bring you tidings of great joy. Unto you is born a Savior, which is Christ the Lord."

"There's a problem with the angel," said a Pharisee who happened to be strolling by...

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Happy Holidays!

'Twas the nocturnal segment of the diurnal period preceding the annual Yuletide celebration, and throughout our place of residence, kinetic activity was not in evidence among the possessors of this potential, including that species of domestic rodent known as musculus. Hosiery was meticulously suspended from the forward edge of the wood burning caloric apparatus, pursuant to our anticipatory pleasure regarding an imminent visitation from an eccentric philanthropist among whose folkloric appelations is the honorific title of St. Nicholas.

The prepubescent siblings, comfortably ensconced in their respective accommodations of repose, were experiencing subconscious visual hallucinations of variegated fruit confections moving rhythmically through their cerebrums. My conjugal partner and I, attired in our nocturnal head coverings, were about to take slumbrous advantage of the hibernal darkness when upon the avenaceous exterior portion of the grounds there ascended such a cacaphony of dissonance that I felt compelled to arise with alacrity from my place of repose for the purpose of ascertaining the precise source thereof.

Hastening to the casement, I forthwith opened the barriers sealing this fenestration, noting thereupon that the lunar brilliance without, reflected as it was on the surface of a recent crystalline precipitation, might be said to rival that of the solar meridian itself, thus permitting my incredulous optical sensory organs to behold a miniature airborne runnered conveyance drawn by eight diminutive specimens of the genus rangifer, piloted by a miniscule, aged chauffeur so ebullient and nimble that it became instantly apparent to me that he was indeed our anticipated caller. With his ungulate motive power traveling at what may have more vertiginous velocity than patriotic alar predators, he vociferated loudly, expelled breath musically through contracted labia, and addressed each of the octet by his or her respective cognomen: Now Dasher, now Dancer, now Prancer, etc., through which structure I could readily distinguish the concatenations of each of the 32 cloven pedal extremities.

As I retracted my cranium from its erstwhile location, and was performing a 180 degree pivot, our distinguished visitant achieved, with utmost celerity and via a downward leap, entry by way of the smoke passage. He was clad entirely in animal pelts soiled by the ebon residue from oxidations of carboniferous fuels which had accumulated on the walls thereof. His resemblance to a street vendor I attributed largely to the plethora of assorted playthings which he bore dorsally in a commodious cloth receptacle.

His orbs were scintillant with reflected luminosity, while his submaxillary dermal indentations gave every evidence of engaging amiability. The capillaries of his malar regions and nasal appurtenance were engorged with blood which suffused the subcutaneous layers, the former approximating the coloration of albions floral emblem, the latter that of the prunus avium, or sweet cherry. His amusing sub and supralabials resembled nothing so much as a common loop knot, and their ambient hirsute facial adornment appeared like small, tabular and columnar crystals of frozen water.

Clenched firmly between his incisors was a smokingpiece whose gray fumes, forming a tenuous ellipse about his occiput, were suggestive of a decorative seasonal circlet of holly. His visage was wider than it was high, and when he waxed audibly mirthful, his corpulent abdominal region undulated in the manner of impectinated fruit syrup in a hemispherical container. He was, in short, neither more or less than an obese, jocund, multigenarian gnome, the optical perception of whom rendered me risibly rolicsome despite every effort to refrain from so being. By rapidly lowering and then elevating one eyelid and rotating his head slightly to one side he indicated that trepidation on my part was groundless.

Without utterance and with dispatch, he commenced filling the aforementioned hosiery with various of the aforementioned articles of merchandise extracted from his aforementioned previously dorsally transported cloth receptacle. Upon completion of his task, he executed an abrupt about face, placed a single manual digit in lateral juxtaposition to his olfactory organ, inclined his miniscule forward in a gesture of leave taking, and forthwith effected his egress by renegotiating in reverse the smoke passage. He then propelled himself in a short vector onto his conveyance, directed a musical expulsion of air through his contracted oral sphincter to the antlered quadrupeds of burden, and proceeded to soar aloft in a movement hitherto observable chiefly among the seed bearing portions of a common weed. But I overheard his parting exclamation, audible immediately prior to his vehiculation beyond the limits of visibility, "Ecstatic Yuletide to the planetary constituency, and to that selfsame assemblage, my sincerest wishes for a salubriously beneficial and gratifyingly pleasurable period between sunset and dawn."

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus

In this, the holiday season, we take pleasure in answering the communication below; expressing, at the same time, our great gratification that its faithful author is numbered among the friends of the Gospel Messenger:

I am 8 years old, my friends in the BRF say there is no Santa Claus. The VOS list server was shutdown for a time of censorship. Papa says, “If you see it in the Gospel Messenger, it's so”. Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?

Virginia O Hanton


The real question is:

Is the fact that Santa's workshop isn't unionized offset by the fact that he makes all the boys and girls of the world happy one night a year?

I realize now that boys and girls are not, in fact purchasers, but rather receivers of what must be gratuitous benevolence. Ah, but still the alienation persists.

The benevolent one here is not the collection of elves, but rather the jolly man himself. And why so jolly? Because he has the benefit of connecting with the recipients; he sees their happy faces. That's something the hard workers quarantined to the North Pole have yet to experience. So don't be fooled by Santa's red coat this season.

- The Editors

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Maybe We Should Stop For Directions

“If all of us are building bridges to heaven, your way is as good as my way,” Ramesh Richard says. “But what if God built my bridge? Then it's not my bridge, it's God's. That's what happened with Jesus.”

“Once you put Jesus in the equation of God, you have a problem with other religions.”

But, still, is it the only bridge? Or is it simply the best bridge; or merely one bridge among many?

click here if you can't see the nice picture we found.

Saturday, December 13, 2003

Well We'll Be A Monkey's Uncle

In case you haven't read enough on the dialog about Evolution versus Creationism, and if you've not been swayed by some of the usual arguments, maybe you'd like to read still more.

Or maybe you'd like the straight dope on why we still have monkeys if man has descended from them, or does evolution just fly in the face of the facts?

Friday, December 12, 2003

There's Gold in Them Thar Hills

Brethren Benefit Trust has yet again been caught with its hand in the environmentally and socially dubious investment jar. BBT holds approximately 3,100 common stock shares of the Newmont Mining Corporation. The company, which has mining operations in Latin America, Africa, Asia, Central Asia and the US, has been dogged by allegations that its mines in these countries are polluting local waterways and are harming the health of nearby communities. Some local communities have protested the company's planned operations in environmentally and culturally sensitive areas. Additionally, the firm is currently under investigation by the US Department of Justice over accusations that it bribed officials in to gain ownership of its highly-profitable Yanacocha mine.

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

BECU Board Nominations

BECU, which will be taken over by BBT, has announced that nominations for positions on its Board of Directors and Supervisory Committee are now being accepted. For additional information on the nominating process, call the Executive Assistant to the President and CEO. The deadline for submitting your request is Wednesday, December 31, at 2:00pm. Interviews will be conducted by members of the Governance and Nominating Committee in early January.

An alternative to the nominating process is to submit a petition with the signatures of 2% of active BECU members, as of October 17, 2003. This is approximately 6,800 signatures for the 2004 nomination process. To request a petition, please contact the Executive Assistant to the President and CEO. Petition signatures must be submitted to the Credit Union by February 1, 2004.

Nominees will be voted on by BECU members at the annual meeting to be held Wednesday, March 17, 2004.

Friday, December 05, 2003

We Prefer to Call it ''Scrutiny''

If your special interest group has not been mentioned on this site it may be that it has been banned as part of a vast conspiracy. Then again, it may be due to a lack of interest or it may be that the baby can't chew it.