Wednesday, October 29, 2008

More Music

Monday evening was exciting. Last evening was cerebral. We heard the Graffe String Quartet from the Czech Republic, with Michiko Otaki, pianist.

Janice Martin, concert beyond compare

I got to go to a Janice Martin Quartet concert on Monday evening entitled Fascinating Gershwin. I'm trying to put in a utube link for the first time. Try here to hear a unbelievable performer. I changed the link since yesterday, when I first posted this. The performance I saw didn't include the aerials or orchestra, but rather a 3 piece back up group. WOW.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Anti- science candidates

This article is admittedly one-sided, but it does point out some of the themes of the current political season, when basic research is derided as unnecessary pork barrel spending.

When I was in college, I was required to at least take one class in a number of areas, including the arts and science/math. I see the wisdom of this approach the older I get. Too many people only know their their own area and nothing else. And too many other people have a very shallow overview of many topics, but no deep knowledge in area. And too many people don't read. One thing on TV that is fascinating in a depressing way is when Jay Leno has his Jay Walking segments, where he goes out and interviews people on the street, including teachers. The amount of basic ignorance of our government, history, and life around us is astounding!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Somebody please translate: Palin

from here.

She's also begun to make her own ad hoc calls about the campaign's direction and the ticket's policy. McCain, for instance, has remained silent on Democrats' calls for a stimulus package of new spending, a move many conservatives oppose but that could be broadly popular. But in an interview with the conservative radio host Glenn Beck earlier this week, Palin went "off the reservation" to make the campaign policy, one aide said.

"I say, you know, when is enough enough of taxpayer dollars being thrown into this bill out there?" she asked. "This next one of the Democrats being proposed should be very, very concerning to all Americans because to me it sends a message that $700 billion bailout, maybe that was just the tip of the iceberg. No, you know, we were told when we've got to be believing if we have enough elected officials who are going to be standing strong on fiscal conservative principles and free enterprise and we have to believe that there are enough of those elected officials to say, 'No, OK, that's enough.'"

(A McCain spokeswoman said Palin's statement was "a good sentiment.")

Friday, October 24, 2008

Christians who can see into the future.

Apparently there are some Christians who can see into the future. This would be funny if it weren't so sick and slimy. Warning: Politics at its worst. And I dare say, Christianity at its worst. Well, obviously not followers of Christ.

Lab Test Rant or How I know God isn't a Woman ...

Yesterday I went to the local hospital/clinic to get the lab work done, after having my annual checkup earlier in the week. I was supposed to be "fasting" before the blood draw, and I was compliant. But that also meant that I was "unsuccessful" when I went into the next "room" to have the urine test.

I drank the coffee I had brought with me and ate a PB sandwich as I went to a class I attend regularly. Unfortunately, part of my routine is to use the restroom after this class, which meant I was back to zero. But I quickly drank a can of soda (or pop, if you are from here.)

Back to the hospital I went. There were other people waiting, so that would be a help to me. I was given another cup, so back into the little room I went.

The directions say to catch the urine in mid-stream. Well, women don't get a stream. They get a spray. And that d___ cup is too small. I peed. I brought the cup up to where I could see it. One drop. Try again. Yeah right. My friend was in the blood-draw chair in the next room and I could hear her talking to the lab tech about how her friend was "in there, trying to pee in the cup."

I was there for quite awhile before being barely successful. I finally told the lab tech that "I wasn't pissed." She had to check to see if I made the required minimal amount.

A MAN wrote those directions about “Mid-stream.”

A MAN designed the little cup that doesn’t catch a woman’s spray of urine.

The lab techs are complicit in this, because they are women and they should be more sympathetic.

I’ve always known that God is not a woman, because HE didn’t make it easy for a woman to pee in the woods, but I never before thought about the fact, that

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


I gave a short presentation to a group I belong to last evening. About 10 minutes before the meeting was suppose to start, there were only about 5 people in the room. We started speculating, “Where is everybody?” Normally, this group shows up early and there should be at least 25 people. Someone mentioned that Hillary would be speaking that evening in a city of 17,000 people down the road. Would so many of our group go hear her speak rather than attend our monthly meeting? This area is, BTW, one of the areas that the Republicans were saying on national TV would go their way. I don’t understand why they stated that since historically the opposite has been true.

Some of the people said that the radio news had said that at 5:00 pm, at least an hour before the doors would open, about 500 people were already lined up to attend the rally. It was cold out.

Well, our meeting turned out just like usual, so I guess a warm group of not-especially-young friends was more appealing than standing in line to hear Hillary promote the Democratic candidates for President and Senate.

I made sure to catch the early TV news today to see how this rally went. The reporter stated that the crowd numbered almost 5000 people. I’m sure that this is more than a wild guess, since the Hockey Arena where the event was held has a finite number of seats as well as chairs on the floor. I could see how crowded the place was. It appeared that a large number of those in attendance were young women.

This kind of event doesn’t interest me enough to go there. But I was surprised to hear my husband say that he would like to attend something like that. I asked him if he would really do so if he had to wait in line a couple of hours. He reconsidered and said no, but that he would rather hear such a speaker if it weren’t an election year because now there is just too much political posturing.

Monday, October 20, 2008

If the presidential election could be won by humor...

Recently the presidential candidates were at the Al Smith dinner, roasting each other. I just heard this in its entirety on public radio. It is so much more than the excerpts that were shown on the TV news. If you have a chance, look this up on U-Tube under Al Smith dinner. It is well worth it for the humor and the serious statements. I wish that the regular debates and speeches showed this view of our candidates. Humor isn't everything, but I can tell you that John McCain showed his better side at this dinner, and Barack Obama showed that he isn't as stiff as some people portray him.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Time of transitions

Fall is a time of transition. The weather may be bright and beautiful during the day, but there is a chill in the breeze. The leaves turn from their summer wardrobe color to the brilliant “warm” shades of autumn. Animals get ready to hibernate, and humans in the north, get our outside chores done, because we can’t paint, rake or garden when it is cold and damp. Our windows must be washed before the storm windows are put up. The flower pots are dumped because the plants have been frozen. In many families, the children go back to school, but in my family, this is the first fall we’ve had no one in school since 1985.

People are always in some sort of transition, but it becomes more poignant when there are milestones. Our recent family milestones have included our mothers becoming 90 years old, children graduating from college, children moving into their careers, grandchildren arriving, and our own nest emptying.

We had the opportunity to take two trips this fall, including one to western Minnesota in September. I knew there were lakes in the area, but I expected the country side to be flat. But it is a very rolling countryside with lots of lakes and ponds. In fact, one county alone has over 1000 lakes. We visited 5 beautiful state parks on our trip that was also work related.

Last week we went to eastern Wisconsin, along Lake Michigan, to see several relatives. We stayed in a town where my family has been since about 1890. Currently, two elderly family members are in nursing homes, so the family presence there has dwindled to two homes, two people. My sister visits there frequently and has gotten involved in the local historical society. She is trying to help save our stories before they disappear with the people.

Traveling back west across Wisconsin, we went to the Ice Age Visitor Center to learn about how land was shaped by the glaciers and the Kettle Moraine area. I visited this area when I was a child and it was time to learn a bit more about how the unusual land formations came about. [Scientists still have no idea of what caused the kames.] We also stopped for 5 minutes at an overlook of the Horicon Marsh Wildlife area, which is a stopover spot for thousands of migrating waterfowl. We did see, barely in the distance for it is a huge place, some Canada Geese. Visiting this spot has been a dream since childhood, but I’ve always thought one had to wake up at 4:00 am to see the birds.

Southwestern Wisconsin is also a land of hills and valleys, but these are much steeper hills and valleys, along the Mississippi River and inland from there. In the past, many of these valleys were settled by Norwegian immigrant farmers. There seems to be a Lutheran church on many of the hills even when there has never been a nearby town. Most of these churches are two or three point parishes with attendance barely keeping some of them going. This is now the home area of my daughter and her family, at beautiful Sugar Creek Bible Camp.

We also visited Effigy Mounds National Monument in Iowa climbed the path to the 350’ bluff overlooking the Mississippi River, and drove up to the top in Wyalusing State Park, south of Prairie Du Chien. At Effigy Mounds, over 200 mounds of the early Indian culture are preserved. There are thought to be (or were) 10,000 of these mounds in the upper Midwest area of the US. We then drove up the Mississippi Valley, on the Wisconsin side until we crossed at LaCrosse, then up the Minnesota side, to my husband’s hometown. He grew up with the view of Lake Pepin right out of the picture window! We included an outing to Frontenac State Park on a day of peak fall color.

Ten days flew by; we had to return to home and day to day activities (and catching up.) We would have prolonged the sightseeing at more state parks, but we traveled home in the rain. After arriving home, we found that our leaves had transitioned to "fallen" and the river had gone from the lowest level in 30 years to a medium level.

My intention was to put links in this post, which I did, but suddenly, parts of sentences started moving around all by themselves. Now I'm tired of sitting here. Check back next week for links and pictures.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Mark Twain Quote

It was the American Mark Twain who reminded us all that "travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness."

Sunday, October 05, 2008

On the Road Again.......

visiting 10 relatives in 10 days, during the season of Leaf Peeping.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

The Trinity

Well, I guess I've strayed from faith related topics lately, so I'm posting a link to an article about an upcoming debate here. This is so out of the realm of my Lutheran thinking that I kind of don't get it, but I'm all for not being stuck in a way of thinking just because I've been taught something, although I doubt I'll change my mind. I think I've been taught that considering the Trinity as three persons, with Jesus as subordinate, is an old heresy, long put to rest, but I guess not. But if this sub-group of Christians do consider Jesus as a subordinate part of the Trinity, why do they put so much emphasis on Jesus in song and worship?

Wednesday, October 01, 2008


This campaign is really tiring. If it weren't so important, I would totally tune out. 'Course, I guess that if I listen and think about it, nothing changes anyway. I like people who state their own opinions strongly, but don't put others down. That describes the current candidates.... NOT!
Here are some Whoppers to contemplate.

GWB had me convinced that we needed to go into Iraq. I was against the war, but supported the president, yet I thought that would be the beginning of the end of our great country. This political season may put the nail in the coffin.

God's grace is all that is real.