Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Exercising Restraint

I haven't thought of a title for this yet, it's just random thoughts running through my feeble brain while struggling on the exercise machine in my shop. I need the exercise to keep from getting so fat that I can't walk, but after over two years of using it, it still takes a certain amount of will power to get to it. I exercise before breakfast so that I don't have problems with food in my stomach. I'm not sure if a full stomach intrudes on exercise or not, but I do know that when I was able to jog I could not do it on a full stomach. One of my problems with the exercise is that I haven't lost any weight. I am still just as heavy as I ever was. I suspect that much of the problem is due to the fact that I have an incurable sweet tooth. Try as I might, I cannot keep myself from eating sweets, especially chocolate. I tell myself that I can't live forever and that I ought to be able to enjoy what I have left. That's pi** poor reasoning. When I take the time to really think about it, I am sure that my love affair with sweets is sinful. I indulge myself without thought of others and that's not good for anyone especially one who calls himself a Priest. I was taught that a good Episcopalian exercised moderation in all things, and that includes food.

Thursday, January 24, 2008


It seems to be the latest fad for celebrities. Each of the presidential candidates has their very own celebrity to endorse them. Barbra Streisand is one of the biggies and this time she's endorsing Hillary. Not to be outdone, Obama now has an even bigger biggie, (no pun intended)Oprah!. I'm not sure who Edwards has attracted, but I'm sure he has at least one. Then, there's Mike Huckabee who has garnered two semi biggies, Rick Flair and Chuck Norris. To quote my wife, "what's a Rick Flair?" I would say Huckabee's two don't equal Clinton's one. I know that many other Hollywood (and elsewhere) celebrities have endorsed one candidate or another, I just lost track. Just what does an endorsement from a pro wrestler count for? Do all of the wrestling fans feel compelled to vote for his pick? Does everyone who enjoyed the movie "Hello Dolly" (all ten of us)have to vote the Clinton ticket? It would be interesting for some graduate student to do their thesis on how much an endorsement helps. After all, it is a tried and true advertising gimmick. How many of us got started smoking Marlboros to be like the Marlboro Man?

Monday, January 21, 2008


I read a number of Blogs and belong to one group that maintains a list serve for the group. I suspect that others have noticed the lack of civility on the part of some posters, be they blog comments or comments on the list serve. I am continually amazed by the rudeness of many of the writers. I guess it is because the writers are anonymous and will never confront the person they are slamming in the flesh. It seems to me to be the older posters and perhaps some of the religious right who are guilty of such blatant rudeness. On the list serve group that I read, (I rarely post) last week one of the members wrote about the good deal he got on some objects at a rummage sale to benefit a person who needed to make their home wheelchair accessible. The items were marked with a low price and when he went to pay for them the cashier noted that they were way under priced and asked the buyer if he would be willing to pay a more reasonable price for them. He said in his post that he refused to citing the lack of research as to the real cost. He said that it was their bad luck and his good fortune and they were SOL. He seemed to be bragging about his buy and that hit a nerve. He was called every name in the book by the other posters based solely on his story. While I am normally a peaceable person, I fear that were someone to call me some of the things this guy was called they would have a fight on their hands. And, while youth and ability are useful in a fight, old age and treachery wins out every time.

I also think that some of this lack of civility can be traced to our politicians and church members. We seem to be so polarized today that it has become nearly impossible to discuss differences in a calm and rational way. If I don't have the same politics as you, I am a traitor to our country and our "American" way of life. If my faith community is different from yours you feel that you have the right to call me a heretic. In another blog, the author blames most of the harm done to Gays on the church establishment because of the things the church has said about homosexuals. While that may be a little simplistic, I think he's on the right track. When the church says that homosexuality is a sin and that homosexuals will burn in hell, it gives all the haters license to persecute homosexuals. The same has been true about many of the minority groups in our society. At one time or another the church has slandered Blacks, Women, Jews, Hispanics, Catholics (or Protestants) and many other minorities. And after all, if the church says its so, it must be so.

It's time for us all to remember to love our neighbor as ourself. And watch our mouth!

Friday, January 11, 2008

The Oregon Trail

This is a picture of the Oregon Trail taken near Farewell Bend on the Snake River near the Oregon - Idaho border. What you see in the picture is a swale in the ground which is the path that most of the wagons followed as they moved from Vale, Oregon to their last look at the Snake River before going overland to the Columbia River. This site is about 35 miles from Vale and the Malheur River and crossed the high desert country between the Malheur and the Snake. The water between these two rivers is scarce and alkaline, which made the two to three day trek hard on both the animals and the pioneers. There are a number of known graves in this part of the trail, people who just couldn't make it.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

It's Snowing!

We had a White Christmas this year and we have had snow on the ground ever since. This week it has snowed every day but it also melted fairly fast. As a result, the snow has not piled up very deep. The melting is only around the buildings where the wind has blown the snow away. Tuesday it snowed all day for an accumulation of 4 - 5 in. Once we got the snow off the sidewalks the sun kept them clean, at least until it snowed again. Right now it is snowing quite hard and piling up rather fast. It has been over ten years since we have had this much snow. Thirty years ago this was a regular occurrence, but for the past few years we have had little snow and as a result the farmers have had trouble having enough water from the reservoirs to water their crops.
I have to admit that I enjoy seeing the snow, especially since I can watch from inside a warm home. I suppose some idiot will cite this increase in snow as clear evidence that global warming isn't happening. I will admit that I don't enjoy shoveling the sidewalks as much as I once did. When I was working I would get out and shovel the walks before breakfast, now I wait to see if it's going to melt off. I do love the way the snow covers everything with a white blanket that transforms the countryside.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Taking Down the Tree

I get to take the Christmas Tree down this weekend. It's been up since the first week in December. Fortunately it's an artificial tree or it would be just bare sticks and a pile of brown needles on the carpet. It has been a pretty tree this year, I got a good do on it. Theoretically, the Christmas Tree is to be unveiled on Christmas Eve and taken down on Epiphany, the end of the 12 days of Christmas. A priest friend of ours used to call those trees that went up early "Advent Trees" because they were up for the entire season of Advent. Oh well, I like them up as long as possible. I sometimes think it would be fun to leave it up all year, after all, it is artificial. I suspect that TDLI (The Designated Love Interest, i.e. WIFE)would make me take it down. It would make the place cheery though. At least I won't be vacuuming fir needles from the carpet for the rest of the year.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Iowa Caucuses

Well, now it begins in earnest. Instead of political news for 10 minutes of each newscast it will be politics 24/7. I'm not sure I can take it. We don't watch the news on TV much but I listen to NPR so maybe it won't be so bad. I still can't figure out how two small states like Iowa and New Hampshire whose demographics don't come close to the nation's can wield such power. I did see a little TV coverage this afternoon and they almost went so far as naming the final candidates, completely writing off those who didn't win. Have we become such a nation of sheep that we can let the TV news shows tell us how to vote? I figure by the time Oregon has its primary in May there will be no choices on the ballots, just put an X by the name chosen by ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC. Poor old Harry Truman wouldn't have even made the ballot in 1948.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

TV "News" Commentators

Just a brief rant about TV News Shows. I was visiting my neighbor today and he had the Fox News Channel on his TV. The reporter started talking about Hilary Clinton speaking on the poor state of the US Economy and then used the retort that a recent poll has shown that people a happy about their lives. He wondered how this poll and Hillary's comments could both be true. He then brought on and "expert" poll interpreter who said of course people were happy because of the tax cuts put through congress despite the Democratic resistance. I had heard that Fox News tended to be biased, but this was far more than biased, this was pure opinion. What a bunch of crock.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year

I thought I would give you a few pictures instead of a sermon. Happy 2008!