Sunday, March 23, 2008

Por Favor ...

We brought Easter dinner and dessert to grandpa - he should be in the transitional care unit one more week for his new hip.

We made a country ham, and the fixings. Had a great time with grandpa on the patio.

John's message at Grace this morning was a powerful reminder of what Christ has given us - and it's not now,

Why do you seek the living One among the dead?

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Kerry made a special wreath for the beginning of Weasel Stomping Day; which we celebrate on the first Saturday after the first day of Spring.

Ben and Tom play a game of washers.

Ben and Jennifer pose in their Viking helmets.

Tom dons his Black Night helmet.

The girls sit down for lunch.

Megan made a wonderful dessert of weasel cakes -- filled with a red weasel-gut-like fluff.

The group gets ready to spread the mayo, and stomp on the weasels.

Spread it extra thick -- we want to attract lots of weasels.

Campbell makes sure that we all use enough mayo.

A weasel has been found.

Viking helmet on the plinth.

The Black Night removed his helmet to better spot the weasels.

At the end of the day, all that is left are empty mayo jars, and some stomped weasels, and thoughts of next year's celebration.

The sealed tomb

Every year for Easter we make a tomb. This year we added a Roman guard. On Sunday, the stone will be rolled away, and we will be able to see th empty tomb.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Flowers for a friend

These flowers were made for a dear friend and former emplyee of GTY who is very ill, but will soon be better than she has ever been before. They were made from processed f-codes (if you don't know what those are it would take too long to explain), and we hope that they will brighten her day.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

I'm sorry, I was delayed by the President

At the NRB conference, I was able to see the President (in a room with about 1100 others). It was amazing. There is a lot of energy in a room that is expecting the President.
The TSA could take lessons from the Secret Service: they were able to screen everyone in far less time, a much more politly than any TSA group I've seen at any airport. I'd like to think that the Secret Service is doing a more through check as well.
Before the President spoke, Christopher Parkening played and gave his testimony; it was some of the most sound teaching I heard at the conference.
The President's speach went long, so I was running late to check out of the hotel. When I called the front desk to check out, I appologized for being late, I explaned that I was delayed by the President. The clerk laughed, and said she understood.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Quick I'm running late where is your MUFIDS?

When I took the picture I was not sure what a MUFIDS was or why one would need upgrading.

The signs were all over the airport as if they expected everyone to know what it is and would appreciate that it was being upgraded.

After checking with several people, including a man whose kiosk was in front of one the signs, I asked someone at the gate. They said that FIDS is airline speak for Flight Information (Identification) Display. I guess that the Mu must be for Mutual, since the airlines frequently share them.

So the next time you are in the airport and need to know what gate and time info, walk up to the counter and ask, "where is the MUFIDS?" They will point you in the right direction, and tell you to get a life, air-geek.

I usually can figure out the symbols. I'm not sure what I am to do, or not do. I think that second part contradicts the first. Though I'm not at all sure of that either.

Waiting for GWB

Monday, March 10, 2008

Keep the home fires burning - Smoke gets in my eyes

We had some recent excitement at our house. (The picture above was taken in London at 221b Baker St) Kerry came back from a shot time out to find the house filled with smoke. It was not black and billowing, but it did fill the house. After a quick look around for a fire, she decided to call our fireman friend. Not the fire department, but our friend. She give him a call on his mobile, explains her situation, and asked his advice. (He happened to be on duty and at the fire station that serves our house.) He advised that she should hang up, call 9-1-1, and he'd come with some others in the big red trucks.

A few minutes pass, and Kerry hears the sound of the sirens. Moments later there are three trucks and scores of firemen at the house.

The start looking for the source of the smoke, but cannot find it. They bring an electronic heat sensor to look for any hot spots. What do they discover? It's not the usual worries: curling iron, clothes iron, dryer, toaster, electrical short. No it's none of these. It was something that left all the firemen puzzled -- In our window box we keep an ice bucket. Kerry had tossed some pot holders into the bucket. These pot holders has not been recently used. The day of the smoke, the oven had not been used. The firemen speculate that the sun reflected in the bucket in such a way (like a solar furnace) that it cased the pot holders to smolder, and possible ignite. The heat was so great that the handles of the bucked popped off, and the tile became scorched.

Because the bucket was metal, and there were no other sources of ignition nearby we had only light smoke damage. It could have been much worse. They brought in huge fans to clear the air. When they left all that remained was the smoky smell like a campfire.

Lesson: Examine all areas in the home that receive sun light, and determine if any container in the sun may become like a solar furnace. Sounds like a fun day

Saturday, March 08, 2008


Spotted noted Pyromaniac behind the "scholar's desk" at the ShepConf. Since I work with Phil I knew he'd be there. He was quick to say about the situation, "I am not a scholar, and this is not a desk." Regardless, there was a line to speak Phil.

I've been to Hell's Kitchen ...

I've been to Hell's Kitchen, it's in Minneapolis MN; they have great food. Bob Evans is another story.

Jay and I thought we'd try something different -- not Cracker Barrel. Jay had been reading in the Wall Street Journal that Bob Evans had been expanding and was doing well financially.

We pulled into their mostly empty lot (first bad sign), and noticed how much it looked like a Cracker Barrel. Inside was more of the same: gift shop, and tons of things on the walls. We were seated at a small booth in the mostly empty restaurant.

After a long wait (another bad sign) the waitress came by to take our drink order, and asked if we were ready to order. Having just sat down, we ordered drinks and asked her to come back.
Jay noticed that the menu was more highbrow and had more beef items than CB.

Someone else came by and asked if we were ready to order; we told him we gave our drink order to someone else, he said he could take our order, or we could wait for our waitress to take it -- this whole exchange was odd.

Finally the waitress comes back with our tea, and asks if we are ready to order. Jay asks what is popular, she rattles off a list of incoherent dishes. Jay decides on a turkey dinner, I order the potato encrusted halibut. Off she goes. We are beginning to notice that the other few patrons in the huge room, are also having Twilight Zone experiences.

She asked if we'd like some rolls while we were waiting, and apologized for the delay in getting us our tea. After a bit of a wait she returns with the rolls. She sets both bread plates in front of Jay, and a basket of rolls in front of me. Then she asks how everything is. Jay and I are both thinking of humorous remarks, but say nothing.

She apologized that they were out of straws. Jay questioned, "Out of straws?", I thought, we were just at the Target, if we had known we could have picked some up. Then she admitted that they were out of straws in the front; they had more in the back, but that was far away. After some pressing she agreed to go and get us some straws. While she was away, Jay wondered if the back, was some trailer behind the restaurant.

She returned with the straws and said our meal would be out in soon. She returned shortly and apologized again, this time it was because Jay's meal would be delayed, because the kitchen had put the wrong gravy on his potatoes. Then she starts to set a plate in front of me, I notice that besides some flat thing which could be fish, there are also several fried shrimp. I told her that I did not think that was what I ordered. She pointed at the place mat that had a picture of the sea food platter, and asked again if that was what I had ordered. I explained again that I had ordered the fish. She pointed at the plate, and asked if that was fish. Having not been to Bob Evans before, I did not know if the flat brown thing was fish, large potato cake, or brown dish rag.

I then noticed that the vegetables were in a plastic bag that looked like a cheep shower cap. I (without laughing) asked, "Do you normally serve the vegetables in a plastic bag?" She told us that is how they are served. At this point she picked up that we were not having a good experience, so she asked if we'd needed to see a manager. Jay told her that she needed to see a manager.

She returned to the kitchen to argue with the cooks about what was on my plate. A couple from another table came over to see who we were doing (she claimed to be a cousin of Bob Evans). She said that normally the chain is first-rate.

Finally a soft-talker, assistant-manager came. I said that I was willing to pay for the tea, but not the meal. He whispered, eyes cast down, "It's on us." We got up, stepped into the sleet and drove one block to Cracker Barrel.

We were greeted by a crowd, and had a great meal.

Lesson: I was reminded that if you step into a restaurant on a Friday night at dinner time, and there are but a few patrons -- turn around and leave. To continue is to abandon all hope.

Bob Evans -- Abandon hope all ye who enter here (tm). Now serving in the ninth circle.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Shades of things to come?

We're transiting through DFW on our way to the NRB in Nashville. Last light DFW cancelled over 200 flights. We spotted the cots all over the terminal. People have been talking about the huge snow storm that came through. There are still people here waiting to get out.

We're back through here in a few days. I hope there will be no need for a cot - I don't think they come in Jay length.

Monday, March 03, 2008

You have one job

I thought for sure that Black Angus would have one person whose only job was to make sure that the 'G' was working - if it's not then they turn off the sign. At the Black Angus at Topanga that person must be sick (as is their sign).