Saturday, October 25, 2008

I Love Geography

I've always loved geography. I've looked at maps and globes my whole life, and now with Google Maps and Satellite, I can discover many new things at the click of a mouse. Highways, items of interest, people's houses. What was going on that day the satellite took the photo? Google recently updated their satellite photo of our house. The ugly dog house of the previous owner is gone, and our brick patio can now be seen.

I'm always amazed at how large the western US is compared to the east. Atlanta and Cincinnati are the same distance apart as from my house in the San Francisco Bay Area to Disneyland. And we're a six hour drive south of the Oregon state line. Metropolitan areas back east are so close together. Boston, New York, Philly, Baltimore and DC (four of the seven largest metro areas in the US) are all within the driving distance from San Fran to San Diego. Denver is seen as a western city, yet it is almost half way across the country from here.

If you head due south from Detroit, Canada is the first country you will hit. The county I live in, one of the smaller ones in California, is as big as Rhode Island. And when the big earthquake hits California, it will be the rest of the country that will fall off into the Atlantic Ocean.

World Serious

It's World Series time, and I love to watch. Of course, my Giants are absent, as usual, but I still watch. After three games, this one is turning out to be a good one. I hear that it is going to have the lowest TV ratings ever. I don't understand why. But those who don't watch are missing out. The Fall Classic always have something to remember.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Leaves A-Changin'

I've been really slow this year to notice fall arrive in all its color. I've felt the weather change, but this last week as I was out driving, there were bunches of trees that had already turned red. How did I miss all that? I even slacked on noticing our own silver maple turn. About a third of the leaves have started turning red, with most of those being only partially red. A few more weeks and we'll need to rake. This means jumping in the pile for the kids, an annual ritual at our house.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Childhood Memories

I still remember a great many things from my childhood. We never moved, and my folks still live in the house I was born into. We lived on a cul de sac on a private street. There were many kids close to my age, most of them boys. I still recall distinctly each parents' call of their kids to dinner. Both mother and father. I can still hear each door closing. Front doors, garage doors, screen doors. My next door neighbor's radio in his garage was one of the old wood boxes, tube operated, that had its own tonal quality. I can still hear, "Jeremiah was a bullfrog!" streaming out.

We played touch football between all the mailboxes and driveways. Telephone wires were goal posts for kicking field goals. We painted our own baseball diamond in the turn around. We had open hills behind us, where subdivisions now stand. Every year a grass fire came over the hill and headed down toward our houses. Neighbors scrambled and connected garden hoses together to soak shake roofs before the fire department showed up. A father and son down the street raced sprint cars for a hobby that was closer to a living. Their garage was their workshop.

Eleven houses grew to fourteen. Only two original families remain, but most were there for decades. It was a great place to grow up.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Blessed Are The Readers

Our oldest, now seven, came over to the other side of the table to sit next to me before I read the bible just after dinner. He wanted to read along. He's learning how to read so all the words wouldn't be familiar, and I was reading out loud faster than he could read, but he picked out a word here and there. I read the beatitudes. Every now and then something sparks and he is interested in reading. It's great to see enthusiasm like this. It will be great to see him read on his own. I wonder if he'll be a book worm, or just a boy who likes to play outside.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Internet Monk Link Added

I'm surprised I didn't already do this, but I'm adding a link to my blogroll for the Internet Monk, or iMonk for short. Michael Spencer is the Internet Monk, a "Southern Baptist" preacher, evangelist, thinker, apologist, etc. He lives in southern Kentucky. I put the term "Southern Baptist" in quotes because although he is a Southern Baptist, he often seriously questions many things that the SBC does and has become. I like him because he stirs the pot and even if I sharply disagree with him, at least he gets people thinking about things and welcomes differing views.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Affliction and Confirmation

Make us glad according to the days Thou hast afflicted us, and the years we have seen evil. Let Thy work appear to Thy servants, and Thy majesty to their children. And let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us; and do confirm for us the work of our hands; yes, confirm the work of our hands. Psalm 90:15-17

This Psalm was penned by Moses near the end of his life. Our pastor preached using this Psalm on Sunday. Years of affliction and evil were Moses' experience. God's people wandered in the wilderness 40 years.

Oftentimes I think of affliction in the world today; even in my life. I hate the news. It is a continual reminder of how bad some things are. I refuse to watch it anymore. I wonder how I've contributed to affliction, and constantly feel it upon me. Sometimes it seems like the harder one works, the less effective that work is. I long for confirmation of the work of my hands. Most often I don't see how God could - or better yet, would - confirm it. I think sometimes that would be a miracle in itself.