Cool Photo of the Day
Surreal perception posted this photo of a recovered 1880 vessel near Gold Beach, Oregon.
The vibrant moss contrasted with decaying boat really caught my eye.
Surreal perception posted this photo of a recovered 1880 vessel near Gold Beach, Oregon.
The vibrant moss contrasted with decaying boat really caught my eye.
Here is another beautiful Tri-City sunset; this one by lleugh with the Blue Bridge in the foreground.
When I was out driving this evening I saw this little car in the parking lot.
I thought my company car stood out! This little converted mini-cooper is quite the eye catcher. There is even a cooler compartment in the back to store the little cans of red bull!
Golf-Junky took this great sunset photo in Richland.
One thing the Tri-Cities has is cool sunsets.
© Used with permission
I got a new computer in the office about a year ago and bought a laptop a couple months ago. Problem with both of these computers is that they do not have serial ports! Guess there is no reason to have serial ports anymore – except that my Etrex Legend GPS connects to the computer that way.
I have been transferring my waypoints to my Palm using GSAK then transferring them from the Palm to my GPS with a special cable I use. This procedure works well when I am traveling and need to carry multiple sets of waypoints but for regular use it is a pain.
I decided it was time to figure out a better solution. I looked online and found that there are special cables built especially for the Garmin and there were warnings about some adapter cables not working with Garmin GPSs.
I saw that Belkin made an adapter that some reviewers said they had problems with, but others said it worked fine with their GPS – so I decided to take a chance. I went down to Staples and picked one up (had a coupon and they are have 12% off almost everything).
When I got home I read the instructions in the manual but there is no mention of Windows XP (it was printed in 2001). I went online and they have an errata that tells you to just install the CD and ignore the XP warnings.
I put the CD in the drive, it spun up and started installing the software. A couple minutes later it was all done with no warnings. I looked online for updated drivers and noticed that there was one specifically for Windows XP dated 2005 – so it appears that the drivers have been updated even if the documentation hasn’t.
The test came when I plugged the cable in and attached it to my GPS. I configured the GPS settings in GSAK for Com 4 and hit send. It worked! I now have 961 cache locations stored on the GPS (that is how many are within 100 miles of home that I have yet to locate).
The second test would be if Microsoft Streets and Trips would be able to use the GPS to track the current position. I set up Streets and Trips for Com4 and within seconds the little locator was sitting over my house on the map. Perfect.
It could not have been easier. It appears that there are no problems whatsoever with the current Belkin USB/Serial Adapter and Windows XP.
walla2chick captured the beauty of one of the few remaining round barns in Washington State. There is even a partial rainbow on the left side.
T.A. Leonard built this barn near Pullman in 1917 to replace his previous barn that had burned down. Although it had fallen into disrepair, the barn was listed on the Washington State Registry for Historic Preservation. In 2000-2001 the barn was restored by Bill Leonard, the grandson of T.A. Leonard, at a cost of over $90,000.
The barn’s 12 sides have 30 windows and a large dormer. The 60-foot diameter structure has 3 levels inside. The main floor was used to house dairy cows and work horses and the upper levels held feed and tools. The story in the Spokesman Review tells of the kids using the barn as a playground.
Photo © by walla2chick. Used with permission
I have been looking for some extension mirrors for the Expedition when we pull our 26′ Arctic Fox trailer. Our old van had truck-style mirrors that you could ‘flip out’ when needed and some of the Ford Pickups have power mirrors that you can extend, but not the Expedition. When pulling a trailer you need to expand your visibility so that you can see the area beside and behind your towed vehicle while you are driving and when you are backing the trailer into a camp spot.
Last year I was talking to a guy camping near us and he showed me the mirrors he finally settled on after trying two others. They are called Tow-N-See™ extension mirrors and seemed to be exactly what I was looking for. The Tow-N-See™ mirrors attach by creating a vacuum between the mirror’s arm and the existing mirror. The vacuum cup is just placed against the surface of the existing mirror and a dial is turned to create a very secure vacuum in just seconds.
But the real reason the Tow-N-See™ mirrors were my choice is that you can adjust them using the existing power mirror controls inside your car! You don’t have to have someone else adjust them while you give directions on which way to to twist.
The mirrors extend a little over 8 inches and are 5 1/4 inches high and 5 5/8 inches wide. The suction cup covers about about a 2.5 inch diameter circle on your existing mirror.
Though not ‘pretty’ in the popular use of the term, I really like the repetition and contours in Janet‘s photo.
Probably has something to do also with my sense of humor.
© Used with permission
Andrew Tobias’ The Only Investment Guide You will Ever Need begins by promising that this book will not make you rich. He gives a number of examples of types of investment guides to avoid. He apologizes for the immodest title of the book but says you do not need most investment guides that are available, and of the few good ones, you probably only need one.
Anyone who steers you to commodities, collectibles, chain letters disguised as cosmetic companies, or is full of enthusiasm at the prospect of making you rich, should be avoided like the plague. He claims there are very few ways to get rich quick, and even fewer that are legal. Placing a bet on number 22 on a roulette wheel carries the same risk as most of these so-called investments, they just have a better story, or pitch.
In the next chapter the author will guide us towards reducing our spending in order to increase our savings.
Now this looks to be an interesting tool. I have seen “Red-Eye” removers for photos but never a ‘tourist remover’!
What you do is take multiple photos of the same scene and Tourist Remover blends them into a single composite photo without the moving objects like tourists and passing cars.
The software ‘blends’ the photos, keeping only the common, stationary elements and you get a photo that has none of those pesky tourists (like yourself) in the photo.
This is the Tri-Cities! And Matt McGee caught the essence of it with this and the tags he put with it in flickr:
After getting started on Cornwell's King Arthur series, I began listening to his series about General Wellington through the eyes of a soldier, Richard Sharpe.
I finished the first book of the series, “Sharpes Tiger“, and really enjoyed it. There were a number of “driveway moments” where I did not get out of the car so I could listen to the end of the chapter.
In this book the main character, Richard Sharpe, starts out as an illiterate private in the British Army of 1799. The army is attempting to depose the Tippoo (ruler) of Mysore from his throne and drive the French, who are helping him, out of India.
The author does a great job of showing the unpleasant reality of the life of a common soldier. Coming from the dregs of English society, the regular soldier was treated as a dispensable pawn by the elite officers.
Cornwell’s portrait of The Tippoo Sultan is superb, showing him as a competent yet ruthless ruler. The Tippoo has two ways of dealing with those who betray him. His Hindu strongmen, the “jetti”, kill prisoners with brutal displays of their strength. Being thrown to his tigers is an even more nightmarish way to die.
The book climaxes with Sharpe, who knows the Tippoo’s secret plan for defending the fortress, being jailed in a dungeon and guarded by a tiger while the British begin their assault on the fortress. Cornwell is able to bring us into the tactical and strategic planning of the attacks and weaves a compelling yarn amid the chaos of the battlefield.
This is a fun read based on historical events that kept my attention and makes me want to read more of Sharpe’s exploits in the rest of this 20+ book series. One line I really liked in the historical notes at the end of the story was the author’s explanation of some liberties he took with certain historical details, saying, “because fictional heroes must be given suitable employment”.
Kevin (left) and Kyle (right) had their 3rd swim meet of the year. I was not able to make it to the first and forgot my camera on the 2nd.
They have improved so much over last year. Both have much more endurance and are swimming in much straighter lines.
Kevin and Kyle each won a race as well as finishing 2nd or 3rd in others. It is interesting that the coaches have Kevin swim in the 12 and under group but sometimes Kyle is placed in the 14 and under races when they need someone in that group. I tease them that it is because Kyle is more mature even though Kevin is older (by 30 minutes).
More Swim Meet Photos
The sun, the clouds, and the smoke aligned just right for this photograph taken by nicora in West Richland.
I have been negligent regarding writing about what I have been reading. Back in June I read George Grant’s large list of his planned summer reading. One that caught my eye was his recommendation of the series of stories about King Alfred the Great written by Bernard Cornwell
With the passing of Ellis Peters and Patrick O’Brian, perhaps the greatest living practitioner of the historical novel is Bernard Cornwell. His new series is about King Alfred the Great during the ninth century Viking invasions. The Last Kingdom and The Pale Horsemen are the first two installments–and I hope to read them both this summer.
I was able to check out The Last Kingdom from my local library and thoroughly enjoyed it. The prologue starts out with the statement:
My name is Uhtred. I am the son of Uhtred, who was the son of Uhtred and his father was also called Uhtred.
I am an Ealdorman, though I call myself Earl Uhtred, which is the same thing, and the fading parchments are proof of what I own. The law says I own that land, and the law, we are told, is what makes us men under God instead of beasts in the ditch. But the law does not help me take back my land. The law wants compromise. The law thinks money will compensate for loss. The law, above all, fears the bloodfeud. But I am Uhtred, son of Uhtred, and this is the tale of a bloodfeud. It is a tale of how I will take from my enemy what the law says is mine. And it is the tale of a woman and of her father, a king.
I was hooked!
Although it is the story of King Alfred, it is told to us by Uhtred as an old man and as his own story as it interrelates with King Alfred. In 866 AD, Uhtred is 10 years old when the Danes (Vikings) attack Northumbria and kill his father and brother. He grow up being treated as the adopted son of a Danish lord and warrior and learns the ways of the Danes, living with his adopted family until they are killed by some treacherous Danes.
Cornwell paints a vivid picture of 9th century life in England. Once again I feel I learned more about English history from one novel than I ever learned in school. Of course that becomes even more obvious since I had never even heard of King Alfred the Great until the family attended a history conference in Moscow, ID a number of years ago!
The Christian Church is painted in a not-too-flattering way. Cornwell makes statements about monks being drawn to money like moths are to a flame. And even though King Alfred’s piety is mocked by Uhtred because, to him, Thor appears to be the stronger, Cornwell will show in this series that it is Christianity, in the form of Western Civilization that is truly the final victor.
Well, this last weekend we had our annual company picnic again. Once again I think it went pretty well. We have 6 employees in Kennewick and 3 in Yakima. Yet we had over 20 adults and more than 25 kids attend.
Besides family and friends, each employee brought a side dish and the company provided hot dogs, hamburgers, and bratwurst. There is always plenty of food.
After everyone was done eating we had games. Bingo was available for the adults – we had 10 nice prizes available for the winners. The kids, though, had the most fun! Besides the organized games, we had some things out that they all could play with during the afternoon. The biggest hit was the marshmallow guns. This year we used bulk cocoa puff cereal instead of marshmallows. They are not near as messy!
The organized games were also a hoot. First we filled a couple of buckets with ice water that was keeping the pop and watermelon cold. Then we had two teams that raced to fill a smaller bucket that was held over the head of a team member using a large sponge. It is fun to watch as the kids squeeze the freezing cold water over the head of the other kids.
After playing about 5 rounds of the ice-water relay we then had a ‘frozen t-shirt’ contest. Earlier my wife had twisted and knotted 4 t-shirts into small balls which were then soaked in water and frozen. 4 teams of about 4 or 5 kids each were given one of these frozen t-shirts and their job was to get one of their team mates into the t-shirt. What a hoot. The kids worked hard at opening up the t-shirt by all means possible. They pulled, they yanked, they whacked it on the concrete – and oh, was it cold when they finally pulled it over the head of one of their team members!
We finished up with a watermelon eating contest. We had about 8-10 kids in two age groups compete in eating a large slab of watermelon. The kids look forward to this each year, as do the watching adults.
Finally as each of the kids left we gave them a gift bag. Have you ever tried to shop for 30 kids? We shopped at quite a few stores but it is quite a thing to spend $120 dollars at the dollar store!
I attended the ribbon cutting for Entrees Made Easy on Wednesday in Richland. The store is located at 127 Gage Blvd., next to the new Bonefish Grill. The shop is bright and modern with tile mosaics on the wall.
It looks to be an interesting business. The idea is that you spend 2 hours in their ‘kitchen’ preparing 12 meals for your family that you can use throughout the month. I am not sure where the number 12 comes from — but am guessing that 3 meals at home a week is quite an accomplishment.
What is the appeal? Besides the fact that the meals are much healthier than the normal Pizza or Micky Dees, a major plus is that you don’t have to do all the grunt work like shopping, chopping, and cleaning. The meals are diverse and all the spices are handy and all the marinades, sauces, and seasonings are ‘homemade’ from scratch.
12 entrees that would serve 4 to 6 costs $215.00, for 2 to 3 costs $130 which works out to about $3 per serving. If you are real pressed for time, you can pay an extra $30 for them to package the 12 dinners for you.
I put together their Maple-Glazed Salmon dinner. The salmon fillets were already frozen and I measured out about 8 spices from the directions into a zip-lock bag. Even the maple syrup was provided. I put it all in a large zip-lock bag and attached the cooking instructions.
Entrees Made Easy is having their grand open to the public on Saturday the 22nd from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can drop in and have the whole process explained by their staff and if you want prepare a single meal. Single meals should run about $14 to $20. The store will donate half the proceeds from all the meals sold on opening day to Second Harvest Tri-Cities. Drop by and check it out.
My heart dropped when I saw the treasury department had dropped in to visit the Dogberry Patch. Not sure why I was worried. Probably the same reason you panic when a police car pulls in behind you in traffic.
Here is the log note:
Visitor: tias-gw3.treas.gov (EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF ASSET FORFEITURE)
Location: WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, UNITED STATES (TREAS.GOV)
Time: July 19, 2006 1:47:27 PM
Page: Boomershoot - Shooting Exploding Targets at the Lewiston Idaho Pistol Club)
Referrer: [http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&q= exploding rifle targets&btnG=Search](http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&q= exploding rifle targets&btnG= Search)
Why do you go to church? Michael Spencer gives a very clear picture of why we should want to go to church. Is it to be entertained or to worship the Triune God?
We want to hear the scriptures. We want to hear the Psalms, the Old Testament and the New Testament. We want to hear the scriptures throughout the service. Not verses scattered through a sermon or projected against scenes of nature, but we want to hear the Word of God for the people of God.
We want to hear the creeds. We need to hear the largest story possible- the story of God’s love and redemption offered to a broken, fallen and lost world. We need to know that what we’ve experienced this week has some meaning in a bigger story, a deeper story, a greater story. I did not want mom’s death to be the focus of worship or even of my engagement with God. I needed to know that it is all part of what Robert Webber called “The Majestic Tapestry;” the great story of God’s salvation of his people and his creation.
We want to participate in the Liturgy. We want to have our minds engaged with the worship of the people of God. I don’t want to listen to what someone has cooked up to say. I want to hear old words, familiar words, reverent words.
We want to take part in the intercessions of the people. I wanted to call out mom’s name as part of worship. Not an embarrassing prayer request or identification of us as a grieving family, but just to call out her name. I did now want my grief to be magnified or isolated. I simply want to be a human person among others who have also lost, who pray for one another at every opportunity, with hope in God.
We want to sing God-centered, reverent music, with the choir behind and over us, out of the way, not performing, but entirely out of sight, leading us all in worship.
We want, most of all, to go to the communion rail and receive the body and blood of Christ, to hear the words of covenant inclusion, to be given the elements by our fellow pilgrims as a gift from God. This happens so rarely in our churches that it grieves me. Right now I need the Lord’s Supper, and thank God for Trinity’s commitment to make it the apex of worship.
I want to hear the Gospel of forgiveness. To hear absolution. To receive the signs and tokens of real forgiveness. I do not want to be turned to my feelings or subjected to an appeal to walk the aisle as someone special. I want to stand among the people of God, as a fellow struggler, a prodigal in the Father’s gracious party, and hear that my sins are forgiven.
“How do I know if she’s the one?”
Michael Lawrence, an associate pastor at Capitol Hill Baptist Church, writes that it is time to “Stop Test-Driving Your Girlfriend.” Although he is not as counter-culture as Josh Harris’ “I Kissed Dating Goodbye”, his ideas are sound and probably more realistic in today’s society.
the unstated goal of the question is “How do I know if she’s the one … for me.”
The question frames the entire decision-making process in fundamentally self-oriented — if not downright selfish — terms. And it puts the woman on an extended trial to determine whether or not she meets your needs, fits with your personality, and satisfies your desires. It places you at the center of the process, in the role of a window-shopper, or consumer at a buffet. In this scenario you remain unexamined, unquestioned, and unassailable — sovereign in your tastes and preferences and judgments.
The problem of course is that as a single Christian man, not only are you going to marry a sinner, but you are a sinner as well.
In the course of the article he will deal with, “So what’s a guy to do?”, “Ask the right questions”, “Think like a servant, not a consumer”, “Remember that love is never easy, “Remember that to commit does not mean to settle”, “Marry true beauty when you find it.”
Some other quotes from the article caught my attention:
So your goal should not be to date her long enough until you’re confident marriage won’t be hard, but to date her just long enough to discern if you’re willing to love her sacrificially, and if she’s willing to respond to that kind of love.
Does this mean you should just “settle” for the first Christian woman who comes along? No, not at all. You should be making this decision in light of the qualities held out in Scripture for a godly wife, and you should marry the godliest, most fruitful, most spiritually beautiful woman you can convince to have you.
HatTip to Tim @ Challies.com for recommending this great article.
Covenant Theological Seminary is offering a wide variety of free courses to the Church. Their aim is to provide “grace-centered, high-quality theological training” especially to those “areas of the world where ministry training is often least available.”
- Offers free downloads of Covenant Theological Seminary courseware and study guide materials.
- Offers the opportunity to be notified as new resources are posted.
- Encourages the sharing and distribution of its material for non-commercial purposes in order to serve and equip God’s people throughout the world.
The courses offered are classes from Covenant Seminary’s master’s degree programs. They are designed “to provide a broad, foundational knowledge of the Scriptures as well as guidance for engaging a variety of ministry contexts through the study of church history, doctrine, and practice.”
The following course lectures are available in MP3 format with study guides as PDF files:
These look real interesting. I wonder if they might be good for adult Sunday School classes or small groups. They definitely look good for personal developement!
While in the Portland area we decided this year to go to Oregon City and visit The End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center. Because there was some kind of art fair on the grounds the interpretive center had a special admissions price of only $2 per person.
The only drawback was that normally you have an in-costume guide who walks you through the center telling you about everything. The center has a large number of artifacts and heirlooms from the trail along with excerpts from diaries that tell an amazing story.
We were able to watch the 30-minute movie, Bound for Oregon…”one more river to cross”, which recounts traveling the Oregon Trail from the diaries of those who made the trip. It is hard to imagine the number of people who travelled the trail and the hardships they endured on the five-month trip from their old home in the East to their new home in the West.
The interpretive center’s web site provides answers to some frequently asked questions in their Oregon Trail 101 page including:
Afterwards we rode the free Oregon City Trolley around the town. We stopped at the Museum of the Oregon Territory where the number of exhibits and historic artifacts were amazing. We turned corner after corner to find more and more exhibits.
We then walked across the street and viewed Willamette Falls. From what I have read, the falls have lost quite a bit of its appeal because of the industrial development all around the falls and because a so much of the river gets diverted into a series of navigaton locks.
On our way to Portland last weekend we stopped for a couple hours at Multnomah Falls. The falls, one of 77 on the Oregon side of the Columbia River Gorge, plummets 620 feet to a beautiful pool. It is the second highest year-round falls in the United States and the second most popular destination in Oregon.
Kevin and Kyle, my 12 year old twins, hiked up the 1/2 mile trail to to the concrete bridge. I stayed at the base to take photos but Von and my 9 year old daughter, Kirsten, followed them. When they met them at the bridge Kevin and Kyle asked permission to hike to the top of the falls along a path that is marked at 7-tenths of a mile of switchbacks as it climbs about 500 more feet.
I was glad to stay behind and watch! Kevin and Kyle made it to the top and met Von and Kirsten on the way back down and soon I spotted the 4 of them approaching the bridge. When they all arrived back on flat ground Von purchased a ‘Multnomah Falls’ pin to add to her collection and we headed to the trailer for lunch.
I attended the open house and ribbon-cutting of Leskovar Suzuki’s remodeled dealership in Kennewick. I knew most of the salesmen from the days when I would bring my laptop to the dealerships to write auto insurance policies for people who had no insurance (sure glad those days are long gone).
The president of American Suzuki, Koichi Suzuki, was also there at the ribbon-cutting giving interviews to all the local media outlets. Suzuki said his name is just a lucky coincidence, he is not related to the company’s founders, and that the name Suzuki is a common name like Smith is in this country.
The remodel of the dealership cost about $400,000 and is a great improvement on the old building that used to be home to the local Oldsmobile dealership. It has much better lighting and granite floors that give a real classy look.
We were headed to Portland last weekend to go camping (and attend my uncle’s funeral). We could wait and leave Saturday morning but decided that if we did we would not get down the road till late morning so it was better to get started out of town Friday night even though we could not get too far.
We had a couple of options that we discussed as we drove down the road. There are a couple of Oregon State parks along the route that would make a nice campground. All we needed, though, was some place to sleep so we decided that we would just pull in to the K-Mart parking lot in The Dalles. I had found a spot online that mentioned that both the K-Mart lot in The Dalles and the Wal-Mart in Hood River.
As we drove by the parking lot of the K-Mart in The Dalles, we saw that we would not be alone. There were 4 other trailers and motorhomes parked already. We did not unhook the trailer. The kids fixed themselves some popcorn in the microwave and then we all got to sleep right away, ready for a full day the next morning.