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This is the personal weblog of Aakash Raut, established Sept. 2002. It will cover current affairs, worldwide & national topics, local & university events, and provide insight and commentary on contemporary issues and the news from his perspective. Enjoy!

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    Tuesday, January 06, 2015

    Merry CHRISTmas!!

    In response to some Christmastime angst I expressed years ago, Adrianne Truett reminded us that today is still Christmas!…/merry-christmas-someone-shoul…

    Merry CHRISTmas, to you and yours!!

    Thursday, December 25, 2014

    Merry CHRISTmas, to You and Yours!!

    For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.  ~Isaiah 9:6

    My Christmas List

    For CHRISTmas this year, what I really want is:

    - That my family ends up becoming saved!!

    - That my healing manifests, for a condition I've been struggling with.

    In Jesus' Name!  Amen.

    Labels: , , ,

    This Christmas

    There is so much I could say. In prior years, I've used this occasion to quickly post some things, about what I was doing. Meanwhile, the blog lies dormant most of the year... But definitely not due to a shortage of topics to write about!

    Well, at least this year I got published the entry on Santa Claus, which I'd been wanting to do since like 2007.

    Corey Cott of Newsies

    My annual Christmas Eve church blitz did not go as planned... It did not go period, that is.

    I've been struggling with a situation that spiked in July... This has also blemished my Christmastime. Like in prior years, I'm definitely going to need a Christmas continuance, this time around!

    So far, this Day hasn't gone too bad - nor too good. The usual plan for seeing a movie and going to Denny's did not work out. My dad and I are about to do the Denny's thing now, though. (We'd earlier thought of ordering Marco's; they're actually open till 10pm today.)

    My reaction this evening, partly due to seeing the amazing Tyler Sickmeyer's Christmas Day recap, inspired us to do the Denny's thing now. [Because of a situation that just arose at home, involving smoke alarms, we were planning to stay in tonight - but a short time out should be fine.]

    Please continue to pray for me. And Merry CHRISTmas, to you and yours!!


    Wednesday, December 24, 2014

    Could Santa Claus really be real?

    It was 11 years ago at this time (why does the past always seem rosier?) that I'd claimed - for any young people reading my blog - that Santa Claus really is real.

    If you want proof that Santa Claus is real, I'd suggest this book by Robert Sullivan.

    Also, check out:
    ==> Latest news on Santa Claus
    ==> Official NORAD Santa Claus tracker
    ==> The one species of reindeer that can fly
    ==> How he does it all in one night: Relativity clouds and/or wormholes!

    [Official Presentation] Professor Larry Silverberg, Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, North Carolina State University

    ==> Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Claus, New York Sun. Tuesday, September 21, 1897


    Friday, June 20, 2014

    The P.R.P. Twitlonger post (edited) will go here.

    Saturday, May 17, 2014


    Congratulations to all graduates, at University of Illinois Springfield (UIS), and all other colleges and high schools!

    I'm not at the Prairie Capital Convention Center right now, but am streaming the Commencement Ceremony live:

    Monday, January 06, 2014

    In looking back, I see I was "still behind on things" in prior years, as well.

    I am making progress this time though, and expect to have things underway soon.  2013 was already a year of major progress, in several vital areas!!

    I wanted to take this opportunity to wish all of you a Merry Christmas!

    Yes, today. In response to some angst I expressed here years ago (wow; It's now been 10 years?!)... the lovely Adrianne Truett informed me that Christmas actually lasts up through tonight!

    So, Merry Christmas to you and yours!

    (Due to the #snowcopalypse, we may need to extend Christmas for a few more days, as well!)

    Wednesday, December 25, 2013

    As you can see, it looks like I did not accomplish much, in 2013.

    I actually did, in certain areas!

    And even Blogosphere-wise, I recently started up two new weblogs.  (More on that, soon.)

    I wish I could figure out how to get this (original) one effectively rebooted, and back underway. Well: Figure out how to do so, and then have the boldness to do it!

    Anyway: Things are on the way up for me, insofar as many life aspects... Praise God!!

    MERRY CHRISTMAS, to you and yours!!

    Monday, January 07, 2013

    Like last year, we extended Christmas this time around... But it's actually supposed to last through tonight, as Adrienne had informed me some years ago!

    However: Since I was somewhat-sick (it was bad, but then got better... through prayer + hope!) on this past Thursday, Friday, and Saturday... Let's continue Christmas for a little while longer!

    Merry CHRISTmas, to you and yours!   :-)

    Tuesday, January 01, 2013

    See my prior post (and the one before that, if you want).

    That only scratches the surface, and it's Blogosphere/web-related... I didn't even try to RECAP what went on with me, in 2012! :-)  Some of that has been covered in the few entries of 2012 at this blog (unlike at my WordPress blog, which I'm simultaneously posting to right now - in the final hour of this year!)

    After posting that tonight, I took care of some major financial transaction issues, that had been long-pending.  I do feel better, now that that's taken care of.

    Also, see my 2010 year-end piece.

    As you may have imagined, I'm always in a flurry of sorts, at the end of the year (especially now, at the tail-end!). It didn't use to be this way... When angst did arise, it wasn't necessarily about things I wish I'd accomplished, in that year.

    In recent years, I've been rushing to get as many e-mails, blog posts, etc... sent, before the year expires.

    Last year (New Year's Eve 2011), I was rushing to send my CRNC recap piece to as many Illinois House Republicans and candidates as I could.  I ended up sending it a bit after midnight - I was glad to have gotten a call a few days later, from Leader Tom Cross!  (Social media was involved with that, too. ;-)

    That was appreciated... I really wish I could've revised that piece, and sent it after the primary - or at least before the November 2012 election - since it mentions our interview with Congressman Paul Ryan!

    After doing all of that, it sucks that I wasn't able to share that info with more people - and I especially regret not being more involved in the political arena, during 2012.  I did give it a good shot though, especially in the home stretch.

    Different location, different circumstances... similar frustrations

    One change that happened (in May of this year... It's still 2012 as I type this :-) is that I finally moved out.  I'm typing this from my room at Capernaum House.

    Interestingly, they mentioned the Holy Ground Coffee House - and invited me to come.  I brought up this 2010 blog post, which mentioned that same location, and the same event, starting at 9pm!

    I recall that on the night of 12/31/2010, I was taking care of these year-end tasks, and was upset about having missed out on everything.  I did end up leaving the house after midnight though, and drove by that place... It had closed by then (and I've still never been there).  I ended up going to Perkins (which has since shut down) - which was open 24 hours on Friday & Saturday nights.

    That worked out great!  Using my Blackberry while at Perkins, I started on The One-Year Bible via the YouVersion app.  I'd known for AWHILE that I needed to be doing daily Bible reading, but had never maintained a plan.  By using that app however, and by setting the rule that I had to do it each day, some time before midnight, I actually did!  You can start a YouVersion Plan on any day, but it was neat starting that one on January 1st.

    I started two more, in July this year.

    This time, I'll probably finish up this blog (cross-posted at my main blog), and then go to Denny's.

    Yes, that's what I will do... For a moment, I was thinking: I hope those were fireworks, and not gunshots, that rang out a few minutes ago (that type of thing does happen, though I think it's very rare, even in this area) - but then I realized that they came right at midnight... And in at least one prior year, I recall being on campus, when CSFers went to the Capitol, to see the fireworks!  (I even blogged about it, I think... Or may have Tweet-mentioned it when reflecting on past years.)  I guess I should've had more caffeine today - though that 5-Hour Energy should kick in soon.  :-)

    This House is not in Downtown, but somewhat nearby.

    Anyway: Now that it's past that time (though not in Arizona - so I can still use that 99-cent GoDaddy deal!), nor in California, where my brother is - and where my current boss is - unless he's still back here in central Illinois...  I mentioned him in that 2010 blog post too, for helping provide the boost I needed, to get moving & get things done!) - I should get going.

    One good thing about this is that even though I didn't accomplish much of what I'd wanted to, before the year ended, at least the pressure is off!

    And finally...

    These blog entries are rather rough, and will need to be revised... I've hurriedly posted this one (and the one at my WordPress site), while so much else has been on my mind, and I've been regretfully reflecting on what I could have done in 2012 - but didn't. #fail

    In contrast, 2011 was a GREAT year - especially the latter half of it... And I expect this new year to be #strong, as well.

    But as I said at this point two years ago - and nine years ago (wow!!) ~ PLEASE DO NOT allow what’s happening on my end (both externally, and in) put a damper on your holiday spirit.

    Please STOP reading this, right NOW, and head over to a church service (or church gathering) - if any are still going on.

    At West Side, the Young Adult Group didn't have the annual party (I see that there wasn't in 2010, either), though they did have a Skate Night - I hope that went well.

    And I hear car doors closing... My Housemates must be back, from the Holy Ground Coffee House; I hope their Countdown to New Year’s tonight went well.

    Happy New Year 2011   

    Or, if you’re in our neck of the state (and my neck of the City!), you could also head downtown, to First Night Springfield - if there's anything still left, at this point.  I think that in the above-mentioned year (2006-2007), I did go to the Capitol, though things were over by then.

    Anyway: Stop reading this, and go out! (Or if you’re staying at home, do something else.)
    Be safe this season.

    And also (like we advocated, for Thanksgiving), put aside the worry and angst, re: the issues/debates/problems that have been plaguing our minds… and enjoy!

    Merry CHRISTmas (yes, still! ;-)) and happy new year, to you and yours!!

    Monday, December 31, 2012

    I'm trying (though I've tried before!) to get back into the Blogosphere, and actually use it for semi-professional purposes.

    That would probably require a reboot here (for me to stop worrying about my backlog, and the YEARS worth of content that would've been great to have posted about, but never was).

    And while I think I'll probably keep this Blogger Classic Template (I'm one who does not like change!), the blogroll needs drastic revision - So many of those sites are alas no longer even up!

    And my WordPress blog - which seemed like it had potential when I jump-started it in August 2010 - needs upgrading, as well.  It was originally installed in 2007, and I recall reconnecting with Jeremy Clover - after I jump-started it in 2010 - about an upgrade.  I still need to figure that out... WordPress has changed since then.

    I'm glad to have posted a Christmas Eve entry here (below) - That was done quickly, amidst what's become my annual Christmas Eve blitz (like in 2010 and 2011)... It actually published wrong, because I didn't realize, with the new (newer, newer, new :-) Blogger format, the HTML field doesn't recognize line-breaks, like before.


    Like in prior years, there was a bunch of Christmas-related content that I wish I could've posted, but didn't.  And like in prior years, we've extended Christmas!

    Like I did two years ago at my WordPress site (and I see I did here, too), I'm going to write and publish a "Year-end Angst" entry.  And like year-after-year, I'm a few hours behind on everything tonight - Then again, I'm also a few days behind, at least.  Maybe we can extend 2012, a little longer? :-)

    That year-end post was going to go here, but it will be published next.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, to you and yours!!

    Monday, December 24, 2012


    (Don't even have the time to mention my backlog or much background... I was hoping (see prior posts) to reboot this weblog anyway, and not have to worry about that!

    When at West Side just a bit ago, I was thinking about how on Christmas Eve last year, I also missed (I think) the Christmas Eve church service - but I recall posting, via Twitlonger from my Android Samsung smartphone.

    I was going to do so again... But haven't had the chance to post anything yet - except on FourSquare! I also remembered how I used my Droid to post a Blogger draft (or perhaps publish the entry?) - I really need to get back into all this!

    I was glad to be in contact with Josh Sabo & Christi Walden (via Web2.0) earlier today - and I was easily able to find my Twitlonger piece from last year, and from the year before. [In 2010, I also posted at my WordPress blog!] ||

    It's it neat being able to know what you were doing in Christmases past (without having to try & remember)? #lol

    Last year, I was going to head to Central Baptist Church, but from the lobby (& then parking lot) of WestSide, I did a phone web search, and saw that my good friend from high school's church (Parkway Christian Church, where his father is the pastor) was having a Christmas Eve service. I called the church, to see if Ben was going to be there; she told me he was (and she let him know I was coming)! It was good to see Ben - we hadn't spoken since the Iraq War was starting, back in 2003.

    I ended up going to CBC after that - for the end of their Candlelight Service. Not only did I see Josh, but I saw Christi Walden as well!

    This time

    Right now, I'm at Capernaum House, after leaving West Side's Fireside Cafe. After going somewhere with Mark, I'm going to CBC for their service... Parkway's isn't until 11pm tonight!

    (As I said before: Wouldn't it be neat if church services were at 11pm, more often?!  :-)

    Saturday, April 14, 2012

    This has been my personal weblog, since the Fall 2002 semester, when I first moved onto campus as an undergraduate student. Things seemed much better in the Blogosphere (and elsewhere) during those times.

    I wish I'd been maintaining this blog, in more-recent years. I actually have been active in the Blogosphere (among other activities!) during much of that time. This particular weblog has been stalled, as I've had a backlog of thoughts, ideas, and half-written pieces that I've been meaning to publish, but so often don't get around to!

    It was a little less than a year ago that I really felt the need to write about a contemporary issue in Illinois, being debated by the General Assembly - as well as another issue, being debated by the Minnesota Legislature. Both of those relate to bigger national issues, so I still hope to write about them. (I became somewhat sick around that time last year - though that thankfully didn't last too long.)

    At the moment, there's another pressing issue, for which I didn't want any delay, before commenting.

    Note: This is a working blog entry, which may be amended; I wanted to get something up about this ASAP, however.

    Chik-fil-A, and false attacks

    It was when visiting Brookens Library a few weeks ago that I came across prominently-posted flyers making certain claims about the popular Chik-fil-A restaurant. Apparently the University (UIS) is considering adding a Chik-fil-A to campus. (Chik-fil-A used to be at White Oaks Mall some years ago, but left... It had to do, I think, with the Mall not wanting to allow them to be closed on Sundays, which is Chik-fil-A policy.)

    The complaints against Chik-fil-A (which are overviewed in this newspaper article, and have been raised, at some other campuses) allege that Chik-fil-A is a 'known anti-gay organization' and that its founder 'donated nearly $2 million in 2009 to anti-gay organizations.'

    Fractured facts

    In looking closer at the latter claim, it seems that this is a reference to the WinShape Foundation (a Christian charity that receives most of its funding from Chik-fil-A). WinShape was originally founded to provide student scholarships; it now has many functions, including the operation of foster homes in the U.S. and Brazil.

    In the year 2009, WinShape contributed $1,733,699 to certain organizations - which are being labeled as "anti-gay."

    -- However: The 2nd-highest recipient among these organizations is actually the FELLOWSHIP OF CHRISTIAN ATHLETES (FCA)!

    FCA is a VERY mainstream organization.

    Just a month ago, the Central Illinois chapter held their annual banquet here in Springfield, Illinois, at which star quarterback Colt McCoy was present.

    Of all the issues addressed by FCA over its 57-year existence, the issue of homosexuality has probably been spoken of very rarely... It's not a major focus. If it is brought up, it's been done so in reflection of the Christian viewpoint.

    FCA has long been recognized as a mainstream Christian organization. I don't know if they have a chapter at UIS, but they do at the larger state universities in Illinois - and throughout the country.

    Fighting Illini (Univ. of IL) FCA:

    -- And of these "anti-gay organizations," the 3rd-highest recipient was the NATIONAL CHRISTIAN FOUNDATION (NCF).

    The NCF is the largest Christian grant-making foundation in the world, and has given over $3 BILLION in grants to churches, ministries, charities, and non-profits, across the globe.

    Among the many recipients of NCF grants include some non-profit organizations that are socially conservative (and which believe that homosexuality is wrong). But to say that because conservative organizations were among the (numerous) recipients of NCF grants - that that makes NCF an "anti-gay organization" - is very wrong.

    NCF was featured just this week in an article in Philanthropy Roundtable magazine.

    The Charity Navigator watchdog organization gives the National Christian Federation the highest (4/4 stars) rating.

    -- Another of the supposedly "anti-gay organizations" that WinShape has donated to is CAMPUS CRUSADE FOR CHRIST. This is one of the most major (and 'mainstream') Christian student organizations in the United States! They don't have a chapter at UIS, but they do at many larger universities, in Illinois and throughout the country.

    University of IL chapter:

    Further resources:

    -- Here is an OP-ED from this semester, when this issue arose at another university.

    According to Rob Furia, NINETY-NINE PERCENT of that aforementioned $1,733,699 given in the year 2009 went to organizations whose only "fault" are that they are Christian.

    -- Chik-fil-A & WinShape founder Truett "Bubba" Cathy with Bernice King (daughter of Martin Luther King, Jr.)

    The Chik-fil-A company itself has NO POSITION on the current political issues.

    Sunday, April 08, 2012


    As mentioned in my entry below: I've now been blessed with an interim laptop computer (until I get a new one)... I also have a place to move into, and will finally be moving out of this house!

    My productivity will hopefully skyrocket soon. I've also been needing to set up that 'home office' for awhile. Now, several of these issues are going to be resolved, I think.

    Among these tasks I may finally make headway in is a blogging 'reboot.' (See prior entries.)

    For now however: I wanted to say... HAPPY EASTER, to you and yours!!

    Prior Easter entries, at this weblog: here and here.

    But especially see the Easter entry I posted last year, at the CRNC Midwest site.

    Laptops, Backlogs, and Business

    Thanks to Dave Rawlins (a new friend who I met, through iWorship Center church) for loaning me a laptop... That's one of the key items I've needed, during this period. I'm trying to make progress, in the career arena (including insofar as Web2.0 and blogging, which could be a part of that!) - There is so much I need to get done... and we're running behind!

    It isn't because of the laptop lack that I haven't been blogging. That has become a struggle of sorts (as it has for many, who started blogging when I did - or even thereafter!).

    My laptop (after having been repaired by Kiran, from the Young Adults group at West Side Christian Church) went back out-of-commission in December; that happened shortly after I participated in a 5Stone Marketing (I'm interning with them) Conference Call, and needed to e-mail the notes from it.

    The laptop going down actually wasn't entirely a bad thing (same with when it had happened, in August)... I needed the respite, from all that! Around the same time my laptop most-recently had that issue, my Android had one as well... which is definitely not always a bad thing. ;-)

    So I've had access to my laptop, and did do some blogging (here and elsewhere) around Thanksgiving and Christmastime. In November, I was thinking that it's time for a 'reboot' at this site. "University Blog 2.0"?? :-)

    ...Even while I haven't had access to my own laptop, I was using my dad's (which I just returned tonight). So that wasn't the issue.

    But now that I have one (thanks to Dave), I really need to get through these pending tasks: There are a bunch that I've been needing to do, after the 2012 Illinois primary... and insofar as setting up a freelance political & technology consulting "business" (or applying for other jobs, and/or joining an existing firm).

    I'm doing tasks for my 5Stone internship, and need to do take up some freelane Web Design, as well.

    And I hope I can get something underway, insofar as blogging/ad-revenue, etc.

    For now... Happy Easter!

    Friday, January 06, 2012

    Merry Christmas!

    I'm still behind on things (it's been hard to focus & concentrate, this winter... though perhaps it's been slightly betfer this time?).

    But before it's finally over: Merry Christmas to you and yours!! ☞☞☞ ☞☞☞ ✓✓✓✓✓✓✓✓✓✓✓✓

    (I think maybe we should observe an extra day this time, due to the weekend. :-)


    Sunday, December 25, 2011

    Christmas continued...

    As mentioned on Twitter yesterday (and recognized, a few days ago)... I'm going to need another of those Christmas continuances... :-)

    Merry CHRISTmas, to you and yours!

    Thursday, November 24, 2011

    Happy Thanksgiving, all!!

    As just said [here + here], I hadn't even started on the Thanksgiving bloggage I wanted to do, for this occasion.

    I recalled doing a blog entry for Thanksgiving last year, at the CRNC-Midwest blog. I'm surprised at how thorough it was - even including that 'message' part at the bottom, which I'd included in my first WatchBlog post, years ago.

    I just posted a quick note at the CRNC Midwest blog, for Thanksgiving 2011.

    I wanted to post something quick here, as well (hence the above).

    But with respect to this blog, I'm thinking it's probably time for a 'reboot' ("University Blog 2.0"). I've been hamstrung, in regards to updating this blog, because of a backlog of planned entries, which I felt the need to do, in a particular order. However, most people blog on a whim - based on what comes up, day-to-day. That's how I should be doing things. I likely will revisit some of those past posts/ideas, and clear some of that 'backlog,' but it's time to ditch the OCD-like blogging mindset... I also need to implement some better linking and formatting practices. And I also need to stop saving so many entries as drafts, with time stamps for particular dates, for supposedly filling out and publishing later. After all, I rarely get those filled out and published. I can do some of that still, but should probably reduce it.

    And there's also probably a way to organize & collate the ideas for potential blog entries, and keep them together, until posted. Maybe there's an app for that? :-)

    As I was planning to do last fall, but quite get around to, I can use blogging and web-writing,etc. as a part-time (maybe part-part-time :-) career. That's one reason I got that 'Clinton Calendar' site up and running last fall. I really need to (finally!) set up that home office, and then FOCUS on these projects, and really get the job done - on a daily basis.

    [I think that I'll add social media managing and other 'consulting'-type areas of operation... I really need to get this organized, and underway. #Freelance]

    For today's occasion, I wanted to cross-post (though this is a bit longer than what I just posted at CRNC-Midwest :-) a quick entry here.

    I may do one or two other Thanksgiving blog entres here (which may come after midnight, so not exactly on Thanksgiving Day - but that's okay... At least I'm not camped outside Best Buy or Toys 'R Us... like many people already are :-).

    Or, I may not do those additional entries.

    Right now, I'm going downstairs, to have the remaining part of last night's Head West vegetarian turkey sub sandwich (which will actually be my first real meal of the day - can you believe that?)... and then do my YouVersion readings, before midnight.

    Best wishes to you and yours, for a happy and blessed Thanksgiving!!


    Saturday, May 21, 2011

    What I just posted, on Facebook & TwitLonger & LinkedIn:


    While Judgement Day most-likely won't be today, I pray that the [very-rational, and NECESSARY] fear, of the End Times, has shaken some people up, and will prompt some, to GET SERIOUS about this.

    I pray that this very-real fear - &/or whatever else it takes - will prompt them, to get TRULY-SAVED.

    #Jesus #truth #salvation <===

    ===> Whatever day it ends up being... the Day of Judgement WILL ARRIVE.

    #QuitPlaying! #BeforeItsTooLate

    Friday, May 20, 2011

    Is JUDGEMENT DAY tomorrow?!
    Harold Camping says so.

    I think it was when driving back home, from SamsSphere 2009 (in northern IL) that I heard Family Radio, for the first time. It would've been in May of that year, because Harold Camping noted that that month was the two-year-mark, from when the Rapture would take place.

    Mr. Camping asserts that Judgement Day is Saturday, MAY 21st, 2011 ...which is now only ONE DAY AWAY [tomorrow].

    And, here is Family Radio's response, to those who cite a certain Biblical verse, against their claim.


    And, see ==>
    "Whoso keepeth the commandment shall feel no evil thing: and a wise man's heart discerneth both time and judgment." - Ecclesiastes 8:5

    The Bottom Line

    I've done several Tweets & Facebook posts about this (and we've had some discussions, over the last few months).

    I've mentioned that I really don't know, re: Harold Camping's claims...
    ...but the Japan earthquake, global unrest ...and other anomalies: that we should take this issue seriously.

    Aside from Harold Camping's date: It's BEST (& VITAL) to ALWAYS be PREPARED!!

    *** We need to do ALL WE CAN, to get others saved, and to BE SURE we ourselves are saved.

    ==> Whether or not it's on MAY 21st, or some other date, Judgement Day is coming!!

    And the time is likely not too far off.

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