Archive for September, 2006

My daughter's back — for the weekend!

Saturday, September 30th, 2006

Scott, Alli’s fiance, and Christopher our grandson accompanied Alli here this weekend. 

I was able to convince (arm behind the back?) Scott to join me for a golf tournament put on by some local churches.  This was his first time playing golf. He’s just started into his twenties — could be the start of something . . . Scott is regularly using a heavy weighted hammer on rail line maintenance.  The clubs felt awfully light to him.  When he connected well you could see the ball take off!!

Later in the afternoon we saw some motocross racing.  The sight was 10 km out of town.  The bikes were noisy like buzzing bees.  The jumps were high, the moguls (sorry, that’s the skiing term — they have another one which I can’t remember) almost unseated some riders, and the straight sections few.  If I was twenty and knew what I now know . . . I still wouldn’t race.

But the most fun was probably the visit to a local farm.  Jill and I had noticed some old tractors and cars.  Scott is intrigued by old machinery.  There is a simplicity to mechanical action — and you can fix it.  He was particularly taken by some John Deere D tractors.  We toured the Wiggins farm — also ran across a threshing machine, a well driller (that is probably a century or so old), and some family who are building a wooden basement.

Not many wooden basements are built.  See the creativity and desire for simplicity and originality, I wasn’t surprised with the wooden basement.  In fact, I would have felt cheated if Kindersley Concrete was pouring the basement!

Tonight I’m off to Saskatoon to pick up my son, Tim, at the train station.  He arrives shortly after midnight  and it “only” a two hour ride home.  I can hardly wait to hear my sermon in the morning!

Ballet has nothing on football!

Friday, September 29th, 2006

A new backpack!

Thursday, September 28th, 2006

Our health district provides a volunteer breakfast once a year.

The usual fare is pancakes and sausages.  I used to love sausages — until I found they began to disagree with me.  Or at least disagree with my intestines (I guess the old word is bowels??).  I still ingest sausages on special occasions.  Such was today — for about 1/4 of the sausage.  Then common sense snuck up on me and ambushed the rest of the sausage.

The chinet plates were handed to us as we entered.  I probably wouldn’t have noticed., but there on a table in front of my nose were various door prizes.  My sense of touch felt an impression on the bottom of the plate.  A sticker was attached to the underbelly of my meal!

My guess?  Maybe I was a winner!!  I cautiously entered the kitchen — OK, maybe not so cautiously!  Enquiry was made of the cooks (who were actually health care staff serving the volunteers today).  They explained that the horseshoe decal indeed signified a winner!  All I had to do was pick my prize from the table.

There were candles (not my style), coffee mugs (not my cup of tea!), pedometers (not in my exercise regimen) and a backpack.  A very nice backpack.  With the health district logo.  And pockets here and there.  I quickly grabbed the backpack, figuring a backpack would be a desired item.  Good for hiking or carrying books or toting clothes.  Something everyone would want.

Then I looked around the room.  The age of volunteers is gradually climbing.  With increasing age is a recognition that backpacks are not a necessity!  A cane, bifocals, and hearing aids may be more apropos.

So, I didn’t have to scramble or elbow  — I merely snatched the loot and ran.  Next time you see me, I may be carrying this prize (or not!!).  Stop me and examine the beauty of a pancake breakfast gone right!!

Contextless!

Wednesday, September 27th, 2006

One of my favourite blogs –  jordoncooper.com carries an area he calls “contextless links”.  They are just things that he has run across during his day.  He doesn’t justify or create great rants on each.  They are just there for you to look at.

So, today, I thought I would just mention some things I ran across today that have no great context, just interesting.

The Peavey Mart parking lot is now paved.  No more mud as I seek the best bargains in town!!

I can’t drive Railway Avenue — paving crews are resurfacing the road.

Trees are starting to turn color.  As I look out hte window, my backyard trees are now about 1/4 yellow and the leaves will fall soon.

Washed the car today.  To my left, in a corner of the wash stall, a small stream of water constantly poured from a hose onto the floor.  Not sure what that was about.  Mud congregated in the next stall waiting to be washed down a drain — not my duty today!

A letter from Gordon Dirks, VP of External Relations at Alliance University College, mentioned Dave Petrescue.  See previous posts to get a sense of who Dave was.

Knives on sale.  At the Zellers today, Alfred Sung knives worth $12 – 15 rung through for under $3.00.

Pictures of the African well project which we contributed to as a church are now hanging on the bulletin board in the church foyer.

A finance seminar is being planned for November 4-5, 2006.  They will include session on budgeting, retirement, estate and wills.  We are also stepping out and offering a seminar on dealing with the unique financial needs of those who are divorced, separated and remarried.  And one seminar that will just contian pithy financial sayings and advice — things like “Pay yourself second”, and “There is virtue in being still”.

Macintosh apples shipped to town without a lot of pre-preparatian and laid out in a cardboard box are way better than polished, bagged and weighed product.

And that is only part of the day.  Trust you’ve enjoyed not having any idea where this all comes from!

 

Whispering wheat!

Tuesday, September 26th, 2006

The beauty of the fall captures me every year!

The outdoors!

Monday, September 25th, 2006

Jill and I are scheduled to head out tomorrow — into the great outdoors.  Each year we try to get those “fall” pictures that show the turning of the leaves.  Over past years our success could fill a small art gallery!  Award quality.  We’ll see what we come up with tomorrow.

So, I ventured outside tonight to see what I could see.  Didn’t have to go far.  Just out onto the veranda (or is that entry way, or do you call it front steps . . . ?).  There a sight to behold confronted my wearied eyes.  Steam rising from ashphalt pavement.  Workers who don’t have enough of the “smokey” tar, they light up with cigarettes as well — or maybe they get addicted to tar??

The work is hard, but in the end our street will have less holes (I really wasn’t sure we had any until they dug out whole sections of the street — then we all had fun driving the obstacle course).  When I say the work is hard, I am not referring to personal experience.  I’m referring to the vicarious experience of watching others push rakes and shovel ashphalt.  Always a much easier experience — I just had to have nourishment after watching (a bit of chocolate never hurt anyone)!!

Two countries — many similarities

Sunday, September 24th, 2006

Japan and Canada are not that different.

OK — one is an island, the other stretches for miles surrounded on three sides by water.

But in other ways we are similar.  Perhaps it is the last few decades that are bringing us together.

The pressure of the job is tremendous.  And now, in Japan, the “company” cannot be counted on to give security.  Youth are not always looking for a career when they graduate — a MacDonald’s job is fine (their parents still have to support them).  Hope is a commodity not easily assimilated into daily life.

Japan is not a poor country.  Citizens love to travel.  But money does not overcome loneliness.  The bonds of family loyalty are being stretched.

As I have listened to, interacted with, and shared life together with Don and Carol Love and their family, I’m surprised at how Japan, their adopted country, mirrors a number of Canadian quandries.  As they spoke of religion, the civil society was exposed.  We too live in  a country where we have relative stability.  And yet the veneer of civility could easily be stripped away.  There is little foundation for love of neighbours or family loyalty.  The secular person refers back to religion to appease powers and gods.  Only Christianity brings a reason for love that is based in forgiveness and a loving God.

As our societies continue to collapse, the true distinctiveness of Christianity will be exposed.  Not without opposition.  Not without defiance.  But the contrast will grow more evident.

A weekend from Japan

Friday, September 22nd, 2006

Don and Carol Love arrived this evening.  As missionaries from Japan, they brought with them various curios (a visual display of the culture of Japan – I think that would be the more politically correct way to describe it – the word “curios” has this imperialistic sense to it!).

As if curios aren’t enough, they opened up a laptop computer (Gateway) and on it was the Japanese version of Windows.  Now, I don’t read Japanese, but I know how Windows works.  So, as Carol navigated through the various tabs and windows, I’m looking at squiggles.  Nothing that I can connect the graphics to, at all!

Reminds me of the first few days of reading Hebrew (at least Greek looked somewhat familiar).  As I looked at Hebrew, and realized you read it backwards (or do we read things backward, and they are reading things forward), I wondered if I would ever understand the language.  8 months later I had a rudimentary grasp and years later I can still pick up an Old Testament (Stuttgartensia is the one I use, for you afficianados of language) and read the basic text, with a lexicon in hand.

Tomorrow we get further instruction on Japan at an 8:00 breakfast, and we will take the family (they have four children) to the Goose Festival parade.  In the afternoon we will talk a bit about a possible short term trip to Japan.  On Sunday will be more exposure to Japan, along with a potluck.  When all is said, and done, I’m looking forward to a greater understanding of Japanese culture and of how we can be a part of entering into that land with the good news that Jesus brings.

Sharing birthdays!

Thursday, September 21st, 2006

Well, today I am 53, and born in ’53.

That should make me healthy, wealthy and wise.  OK, I do have bad knees, but otherwise I’m in fair shape.  The wealthy part is debatable.  Wise — I don’t know whether that part is true — although they say that wisdom is admitting you don’t know.

In past years I have shared my birthday with Candace Bighead, a teen friend of mine in Prince Albert.  We started having birthdays together when she was around 5 or so.

So, to my amazement, when we moved to Kindersley I met Matthew Kehrer.  He also has the same birthday and turned 5 today.  We had lasagna and corn, sherbet and cake.  I watched with great glee as Matthew opened presents and played with new matchbox toys and take apart vehicles.

As well, Tyson Kennedy also had a birthday today — he’s grade five and entering those double digit years.  I dropped of a present for him before he arrived home from school.

All three of us got YoYo’s — I can hardly wait to see how well we can work them! 

i guess we are just a bunch of YoYo’s!

REM rest

Wednesday, September 20th, 2006

You’ve probably heard of the deep sleep –  REM sleep.  Generally we enter into 1 1/2 hour periods of rest, awaken and fall immediately back to sleep.  When we our sleep is fulfilled, we awake refreshed.

Now, you’ve heard of the Einstein syndrome, where you sleep for 15 minutes and awaken refreshed (based on the “cat naps” the Albert Einstein supposedly took during his daily routine).  There was a pastor who used to close his door, tell his secretary he was busy, and drop off for a few minutes.  I’m not sure how refreshed he was afterwards, but he claimed he was.

So today, I came home and lay down for 20 minutes.  I usually turn on talk radio — when I’m tired that immediately puts me to sleep.  As the 20 minutes came to an end, I heard the news just beginning. 
Great alarm clock.  At the same time the phone rang and I jumped from bed.

I felt very refreshed.  Of course, you have to put the day in context.  I had pulled in front of one car, couldn’t quite get the car to park properly, and somehow my mind was wandering.  All signs that the sleep battery is slowing down.

Now, if I hit the sack at 11:00, I’ll awaken at 12:30, 2:00, 3:30, 5:00, 6:30 and 8:00.  Of course, I usually get up at 3:00/3:30 for about an hour — read the Bible, journal and pray — so that sets the schedule off by an hour. 

When all is said and done, it takes more brain power to figure out the sleep schedule than to just do it! 

Maybe that’s why most people could never be accountants  — most of us are more interested in spending the money than in figuring out how much we have to spend.

Maybe that’s why we need more accountants — at least we wouldn’t be quite as broke!!