Thursday, January 30, 2014


I watched the 1962 George Axelrod screenplay version of Richard Condon's novel The Manchurian Candidate last night for the first time.
I found it tough to follow toward the beginning, not having any idea of the plot, other than what our lame ass cable provider provided (which is typically vague and repetitive: "Starring Bruce Willis. Bruce Willis leads a cast of stars in this exciting action drama full of action and excitement.", or some other such non-informative tagline).
The picture is set during and after the Korean War, and tells the story of several US Army soldiers who have spent time being indoctrinated as POW's. Raymond Shaw plays the main character Laurence Harvey, who suffers severely from the effects of the brainwashing intermittently throughout the picture.
Frank Sinatra plays the character who ends up being the hero, even though he violently attacks an innocent American, thinking him one of the  Korean enemies. Angela Lansbury does a convincing job portraying Harvey's domineering mother, intent on promoting her senator husband to the presidency whatever the cost.
I'm glad I watched this last night on TCM (unedited and without commercial interruptions!!), even though I don't usually voluntarily watch pictures from the 1950's or 60's, and even though there was enough violence for me to wish that I had watched it some other time (say, on a warm summer afternoon). As a thriller, this was pretty good.

Seasonal Silliness

Really, when it comes right down to it, at the end of the day, (the bottom line is:) the entire year can be broken down into two seasons.
I. Advent/Christmas - a time of preparation, anticipation and joy in the celebration of the Saviour's birth.
II. Countdown until pitchers and catchers report/pitchers and catchers report/spring training/162 game season/postseason/post postseason trade talk - a time of preparation,  anticipation, evening barbecues listening to Dan Dickerson, late night heroics from Seattle, and much cursing (more or less, rather, depending on who you're rooting for).

So maybe I'm combining two non-mutually exclusive genres here, but my mind sometimes dabbles thusly. (I just had to add that word to the dictionary)

Our sky as God's canvas this morning

That deep teal color really caught my eye

Monday, January 27, 2014

Grandkids and Sunrises

Big sis & lil brothr !

My new hairdo!

On my way to work last week I had to pull over, take a couple photos, and praise God!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

This is the day, Judah

To-day is a good day.

I believe that statement with my whole heart. I believe it because I am able to think it (and type it); thus I have capacities to be thankful for, and it is a good day. It is a day in which I am able to think (and type), smile and scream, love and watch basketball, make phone calls and listen to the boss bark....and I am thankful.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Pass It On

It only takes a spark
To get a fire going
And soon all those around
Can warm up in its glowing
That's how it is with God's love, once you experience it
You spread His love to everyone, You want to pass it on.

What a wondrous time is spring
When all the trees are budding
The birds begin to sing
The flowers start their blooming
That's how it is with God's love, once you experience it
You want to sing, it's fresh like spring, You want to pass it on.

I wish for you my friend
This happiness that I've found
You can depend on Him
It matters not where you're bound
I'll shout it from the mountaintop, I want the world to know
The LORD of love has come to me, I want to pass it on

I'll shout it from my little 'blog, I want the world to know
The LORD of love can come to you, then you can pass it on.

~Song by Kurt Kaiser

Friday, January 17, 2014

Morning Prayer

God of mercy, justice, and love
To You we commit this day, into Your care we commit our loved ones and all the people everywhere
We pray for Your Church, heal Her, keep Her straight and right, protect those in areas where there are violent people
For those cold this morning, warm them
For those hurting this morning, comfort them
For those mourning this morning, envelop them with hope
For those scared this morning, provide Your peace
For those unable to meet their obligations this morning, meet their needs
For those angry this morning, calm them
For those lost this morning, lead them to You
For all our family and friends, protect and keep them safe; bring them closer to You
For the men on LVCCM Weekend #81, open their hearts to Your message of love
For our pastors and elected officials everywhere, give them a love for You

For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world

Live and love through us this day

All praise and glory to You!

Thursday, January 16, 2014


In mid-latitudes Great Lake America, the sun stays low, and she only stays out to play briefly.

Flannel sheets and a thick comforter, snuggle weather each night.
Start the truck early and let it warm up.

Once more Scrooge, It's a Wonderful Life

The deck railing lit, the Christmas tree has been removed there and still shines!

Snow storms and snow days. Plowing and scraping.
Fat birds rest on the thin leafless dappled willow branches; the fat cat watches with supreme attentiveness....

Warm fires at night with college basketball, a movie.
Birthdays with warm pies and warm laughter.

Wind chills and white bean chicken chili
Red pullover parka and red meat chili stew
Brooks chili with sour cream and chips!

Much of the autumn color has faded to shades of grey and brown; white everywhere!
Martin Luther King and the Presidents
Valentines and Epiphany

LVCCM Weekends, retreats, funding drives

No bugs 

Christmas candy marked down, red boxed heart shaped candy fresh and ready to purchase


Wednesday, January 15, 2014


Should slapping the basketball court with both hands when your team is up and you just scored result in a technical foul?

I blended in a banana with my powdered nutritional drink and the blender left pea sized chunks of banana in my beverage

Watched enough of Our Vines Have Tender Grapes with Ed Robinson and Margaret O'Brien to know two things: I really want to watch the whole movie and we cannot possibly pray enough for each other.

Chaps Feed Store on 5 Mile and Middlebelt sells suet for the birds for $.89 a brick.

I already miss CHRISTmas music.

I wish I could spend $50 a month to watch just the sports and movies that I want to watch.

I absolutely loathe spending $85 a month to watch some things I want to watch broken up between endless mindless adverts.

MSU is ranked #4 and beating NU in Evanston. It's good to see Alex Gauna doing more on the court than get a defensive rebound. We play U of I (The Fighting Illini) Saturday night at 8.

I have not watched Duck Dynasty.

After work tonight, I
fed the dog, fed the cat, filled the water bowl, did the dishes, heated up a container of 'Mac & Cheese Lasagna' by Omaha Steaks, washed some clothes, retrieved the dog from down the block, heated up a container of 'spaghetti' from Big Lots, decided on a birthday present for my dad, put lotion on my legs, watched a little basketball, texted a few friends, took some meat out of the freezer for dinner tomorrow, confirmed the fact that I need to eat more apples, folded clothes, read my Bible, texted my sweetie good night.

Good night

Monday, January 13, 2014

Monday Morning

Dear LORD,

Thank  You for a new day, a new week, and new warmer temperatures.
Thank You for getting me out of bed this morning, for my eyes to see your glorious sunrise, for my ears to hear the birds chattering, for my legs that walked me to take the garbage out.
Thank You for the Christ, for His time on earth, for His sacrifice for us.
Thank You for Your love, how it transforms, how it can tear down so much that is ugly.
Be with my bride as she is with her son and his family, let her be a blessing to them, let her enjoy the time with those beautiful grandbabies.
Let me shine Your love to every person I talk to, every person I see to-day; love through me, LORD!!
Praise be Your holy Name, praise be the God of Creation, the God of Love!
Praise and glory and honor to You LORD!!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014


Well, we got a dumping of powdery dry snow on the First; and this past Sunday's storm just added about 18 inches more to our piles. Piles and piles and piles with no where to put it! Piles at the corners of parking lots, piles next to driveways, piles on sidewalks. I broke two shovels moving piles and making piles! (Two shovels and one broom, but the broom I think was previously damaged a bit.)  And with the temperature warming up to 0 Fahrenheit as I type, the piles may be around a while!

Snowpocalypse Inches of Piles

Our Spartans were victorious in the Rose Bowl over Stanford and in the Ugly Bowl last night over Ohio State. I will not comment further on that contest: suffice it to say there was a seven minute stretch (seven minutes of college basketball = about a half hour, my wife knows) where i used foul language - and i'm not talking duck hunting, boys.
But I digress...
The Grape still would not start this morning, in spite of us employing the boldest, baddest set of jumper cables imaginable. I was able to get to work but Moni still has errands to run before she leaves tomorrow for Wyoming. Hopefully to-day's warm up will encourage that troublesome vehicle to behave normally again...

Thank You, Father, for so many gifts and blessings
Thank You for family and friends and especially for Jesus
Thank You for love - the love that You taught us
Thank You for a warm home and running water
Forgive our whinings when things don't go our way
Guide and direct us; fill us with Your Spirit, Your Wisdom
And we love You, too

Friday, January 3, 2014

Thankful for a warm bed, warm drive to work, and hot coffee

Eight below as I type here on a Friday morning in Brighton, Michigan; it went down to eleven below last night, according to our trusty deck thermo-meter.

Tuesday new years eve we tried to find New Years Eve to watch but it was not year we will plan better. 
Wednesday the First we drove to my parents and Moni went to see her parents and it was snowing the entire time and the going was slowwwwwwwwwww. PLUS, the Winter Classic Hockey Event Featuring the Wings vs. the Leafs was being played in Ann Arbor; traffic on M-14 was bumper to bumper at a standstill an hour and a half before the puck drop. 
We did get home in time to make some potato salad and enjoy the Rose Bowl with a warm fire and our Omaha Steaks burgers. (And what a game it was!!!)
Thursday yestreday back to work and my beautiful bride had for us some meatballs and green been casserole ready to devour when i got home...smelled pretty darn good in there i tell you.
Friday to-day cold but the sun is shining and it's going to be a glorious day!!!

Can't remember the last time Christmas and New Years Day were both on Wednesday (when you teach, it doesn't really matter: you have two weeks off usually and go back to work on the 2nd or 3rd) and i'm not sure if i like the holiday right in the middle of the week or not. It did break up these last two work weeks somewhat though...

Eternal Father, thank You for this new day. Keep us from sin and every evil, that all our doings in life may please You. Comfort those who are hurting right now, LORD, bring Your peace to the distressed and wanting.