Friday, May 22, 2009

Extreme Swings in the Temperature

In just 20 minutes the temperature at Duluth's Sky Harbor Airport near the lake rose 40 degrees. The thermometer shot from 46 to 86 at 5pm. The temperature peaked at 88 degrees a few minutes later, and then plunged back to 45 within an hour. More here.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Closing of Car Dealerships.

My neighbor said to me this morning, "Well, it looks like we won't be buying Chrysler vehicles anymore." The neighbor has been buying a specific type of vehicle from Chrysler for years because it serves the needs of her business and her family. But apparently the closest Chrysler dealer, with a 5 star repair rating, and the next closest Chrysler dealer, 40 miles away, plus the closest GM dealer will be losing their franchise. We also have done business with the Chrysler dealer for about 23 years. They are good people with a quality Five Star service department. The local GM dealer actually just recently purchased two more dealerships that are now going to be closed. Their other place will still now be the "closest" for many people, if close means over 100 miles for some of the customers.
Apparently, the auto companies are in financial trouble because of bad business practices. And in the last several years, a number of auto dealerships have closed due to declining business and a bad bottom line. But what about the remaining places? If they are selling enough cars and doing enough repairs to pay their people and rent, why shouldn't they stay in business? I've been told that the small dealers have to buy their new cars from the company, so if the cars are paid for, what is it to the company just how many cars are sold? In a city, if a dealer closes, well, you might have to drive another 10 miles to get service, not such a big deal as it is to go 100 miles for rural people.
All I'm saying is how will closing enough dealerships, or I should say, revoking the franchises, of GM and Chrysler dealers so that customers, who now have to drive as far as 50 miles to get a car serviced, so that in the future they will have to drive 100 miles, well, how will that help these companies retain customers? Two minus two equals zero. People have a life and they don't want to spend a whole day just to go get a car serviced.

People around here are pretty adamant about "buying American" and "buying local" when it comes to cars. There are no "foreign" car dealers close by, even though many of these are made in America. So now what?

To make this church related: If a church's attendance has declined and that church's reaction is to have fewer services and fewer outreach programs and cut out the newsletter, well then, how does that solve "the problem" of declining attendance?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Delayed gratification

I've been traveling from "the north" to the far eastern side of Wisconsin. That means I've been experiencing Spring in various stages but within a few days. Here on the east side of the state, the seasons are delayed because of the effect of the lake. When I drive back home, I'll get to enjoy the changing of the seasons backwards, but I may miss some of the ephemeral spring flowers back home.
Daffodils and tulips are God's way of teaching us to delay gratification.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Give a man a fish.......

Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime. Teach a man to create an artificial shortage of fish and he will eat steak.
  - Jay Leno

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Communion, individual cups, Biblical and sanitary rational?

I've been reading some blogs that have been reflecting on passing of the Peace and also the use of individual cups vs. the common cup for Holy Communion in this age of H1N1 flu. I've also looked at the ELCA links for this topic.

I've observed various types of bread being used for communion, but I haven't' run across doctrinal assertions on this, but I have seen various opinions on whether various ways of distributing the bread is sanitary.

But the Cup or cups, well, that seems to be a matter of doctrine for some groups and some pastors. That always makes me wonder if these people would consider that communion done in another manner isn't really True Communion, ie., with Jesus really present, or is it that they just think that their way is "more better."

As they say, you can prove almost anything using the Bible, so people have verses and translations that they cite for use of a certain means of communion. But if our traditional interpretation isn't challenged, how would we ever think that there may be a different way of doing something. In the case of communion, I've been taught that it has to do with the bread and the wine together with the words of Jesus, in remembrance of Him and for the forgiveness of sins. I haven't been taught that the container for the wine was of importance, however those who insist on the common cup would disagree with that.

In the spirit of looking at how things are done with new eyes, I'm linking to an article that isn't new at all. It was published in 1906 in the United Brethren Review, but was originally published in the Lutheran Quarterly. It discusses both Biblical interpretation and cleanliness. Keep in mind, that it was published before much was know about bacteria and viruses.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Raspberry Vinaigrette

The first time I had Raspberry Vinaigrette dressing on a salad in a restaurant, I thought I'd died and gone to heaven.  I bought some of this in the store and I was so disappointed.  This recipe is from the 'net, but I've changed it a bit.

 Put in a jar:

1 Tbsp raspberry jam  (if your jam is really thick, put it in the jar and microwave it for about 10 sec.)

¼ C Raspberry vinegar

2 Tbsp orange juice

¼ tsp (or more) of garlic, fresh or from a jar.

Salt and pepper, a couple of shakes

¼ C + 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Opt: a drop or two of red food coloring.

 Shake, chill for awhile.  It must sit at room temperature for awhile to get the olive oil to thin out again.

Do you want a salad suggestion? 

Green leaf lettuce

Green and/or red pepper

Carrots, sliced or grated

Mushrooms, sliced

Pignoli (pine nuts)

Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

Fresh raspberries, (seasonal)