Friday, March 27, 2009

Federal Stimulus Money

Two projects that are sort of near where I live will receive federal stimulus money shortly. One is a stretch of highway that was build over underground mines that needs reinforcements. The other is a neutrino detector, which is actually a big hole in the ground filled with scientific instruments. Besides the construction workers, I can't help but wonder who will be working there in the future, as we need more people making babies to help our our school district. We already have an underground located at the Soudan Underground Mine State Park. I've been down in the mine, 1/2 mile below the surface, four times. It was a very exciting and educational trip, down in the elevator, crosswise in the train car for 3/4 mile. Now a visitor can also visit the physics lab.

Since we can also use the tourist dollars, you are all invited to our area!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Photos from the flooding in Fargo/Moorhead

Photos, including some time lapse photos, from the Fargo/Moorhead area. It looks bad, but the worst is yet to come. I decided to post these because the time lapse photos were taken by our friend, Than Tibbetts.

I can only imagine how miserable the volunteers must be, filling and stacking the sandbags. The weather where I live has been miserable: cold, wet, windy. I'm only "feeling" that by looking out the windows these last few days. It is the kind of weather that makes one want a winter place in Arizona. The area along the Red River is flat as a pancake, so the wind would feel much stronger. You can tell from the series of photos that the weather got colder during this time because the ice was forming. The Red River has flooded before, but they aren't used to it flooding during weather that also produces ice.

The river is projected to reach 43 feet by Saturday. I haven't been able to figure out what level they are measuring from, but flood stage is about 22 feet, and 43 feet is much taller than a two story house.

God Bless those volunteers!

Monday, March 23, 2009


This blog post just makes me want to go out and read the book called Deer Hunting with Jesus by Joe Bageant. Reverse psychology.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


My friend just emailed me to say that she will shortly be unemployed.  She does healthcare for children…I won’t say what exactly.  That is supposed to be a field that is immune from the recession.  Yeah right.  Her employer claims that there is another agency that does the same work, but, of course, the people in her office would know if that were so.  It isn’t.  She is in a small enough city that if there were such an agency, they would all know each other.  They are suspicious that the work will now be foisted onto the school districts, like they can stand to add more to their workload.  There is no safety net for these children.


I certainly understand budget tightening during this time of tight budgets, but let’s be honest about what is happening.  Our governor has used his position to have “no new taxes” during his time in office.  That has meant using up the reserves and pushing services onto lower levels of government, i.e. increasing the property taxes, because services have to happen in cities and towns.  Well, now the towns are laying off the police officers and he is criticizing this. 


This is what happens when a certain political party puts out the propaganda that paying taxes isn’t patriotic. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Bonuses and greed!

The news is full of rage about the excessive greed of the AIG employees' bonuses during this difficult economic time.  That begs the question:  What is acceptable greed?  And can I be just greedy enough to avoid the wrath of the public?
Green for the color of money and envy.

Saturday, March 14, 2009


I'll be the worship assistant tomorrow.  No, I won't sing by myself in front of all those people.  And, yes, I will change the canned prayers. 

Thursday, March 12, 2009

I'm rich

Every spammer in Nigeria, and perhaps England, somehow has my email address. I’m sure related to a lot of people who are insisting on giving me money or sending me something, about 100 times/day.


The forecast is for the temperature to go up 55 degrees today. Hmmmmm?

Friday, March 06, 2009

Lotsa Communion

My home church is changing the communion schedule to weekly communion. I don't have any theological questions about this, but I wonder how I'll feel about it and I wonder how it will affect our congregation. The pastor and worship committee have done a good job with explaining the change in the newsletter, bulletin, and orally in church. We have previously been on a twice/month communion schedule. Our pastor is working on streamlining the service so that the important parts of the service are done in full, but the parts that some pastors make a show of are streamlined. We have a lot of children attending our church, so I think it is fitting to consider those people how have to contend with squirrelly kids in their laps.
In past blog posts, I have written about expecting to receive communion and not being offered it. I've also had communion when I didn't expect it and found that to be a blessing. My adult children all expressed disappointment when there wasn't communion one Sunday when they were home. Two of them don't attend church all that often, so they wanted the Meal. Every week communion can be a blessing to those whose work schedule keeps them away from church when there is only periodic communion.
A few weeks ago, I was away from home. I don't quite get ambitious enough to drive 12 miles to attend church with my relatives when I visit that place. I could have driven one mile to attend at the church where I was baptized, but I know that that synod would wish to exclude me from the Lord's Supper even though my beliefs about what the Bible has to say doesn't differ from their views at all. If I'm not welcome at the table, I don't want to go there. I don't think that communion is only for the members of the "club."
On that Monday, I drove my Aunt to visit her sister in the nursing home. While we were there, in walked the pastor of those sisters. He is also my Mother's pastor. Although he was there to serve communion to the resident Aunt, he offered to serve all three of us. What a joy to receive the Lord's body and blood with these beloved Aunts, who also love me.
Six days later, I had the honor of attending two special church services on Sunday morning. They were almost identical services, but in two different buildings. Communion was served at both. It crossed my mind during the second service that I didn't need to receive the elements, for I had already gone forward earlier, but there were issues of how that might look to the regular members there. Thinking more theologically, I also realized that one can never have too much of our Lord, so I received communion again. The Peace of the Lord be with you always. And a piece of the Lord is given for you.