Dear Bob, here are some photos of my life here on the campus of Concordia Seminary. I love kids, working with the grounds crew, swimming, playing with my dog friends, and especially my own family people.
Driving to Collinsville for church this morning I was listening to KMOX and the sports announcer said that after a commercial break we'd get a "Cardinals rainout recap." Seriously. The game was rained out yesterday so even though there was really no Cardinals news, he made one up. Recapping the rainout. St. Louis people love their Cardinals and any story is better than no story.
Thursday and Friday were set aside for grandparents day at our grandsons' school. They are now on two different campuses so Dale went for Connor's day and I went yesterday for Christian. There were activities in each classroom, chapel and the chance to take the grandchild out for lunch. What I was amazed at was what we learned in Christian's math class.
The teacher has a program on his iPad which allows him to immediately see everyone's answers and know who got them right and who didn't. I don't know if I can explain this perfectly but here goes. The problem or question is put on a digital screen which hangs on the chalkboard. Each child comes up with an answer at his desk. Sometimes it's multiple choice sometimes just one answer. When everyone is done with all the math problems the teacher tells them to get out their Plickers Cards which look like this:
If you click to enlarge the picture you'll see that the image has a number on each corner which corresponds to an individual child. Also letters A, B, C, and D on the sides. Those letters correspond to the multiple choice answers. The black portion is on a shiny white laminated paper of some kind.
When everyone has finished the assignment the teacher picks up his iPad and tells the class to hold up their Plicker and he walks across the front of the room and as he does, the iPad program somehow reads each child's answer as A,B,C,or D and records whether it is right or wrong. For instance, he let us play along by putting up a couple of multiple choice questions and gave each of us one of the Plickers. One question was "when you were in 5th grade what did you want to be when you grew up?" There were 4 choices-ABCD. D was "none of the above".
Then he had one of his students walk across the front of the room while holding the iPad in front of him and it recorded all the answers. In this case the teacher had the answers form a graph which showed up on the digital screen on the chalkboard. This blew me away. 90 percent of the grandparents answered "none of the above" for the choices. He did this a couple more times with other questions. I loved this.
Here's Dale with Connor in is classroom. They worked on word and number sheets.
They went to lunch at Steak N Shake
Then not to be outdone, Christian and I took a selfie.
And we went to lunch at Qdoba which was right across the street from CCLS Kirkwood campus.
"A threatening email has derailed one of the Portland Rose Festival's signature events, and spurred new debate about the ongoing political protests in Portland. Organizers of the 82nd Avenue of Roses Parade announced Tuesday that the event will be canceled, for fear that the east Portland parade could be disrupted by "the type of riots which happened in downtown Portland."
And why would they want to protest and riot over a traditional parade featuring roses? Here's why. "This year's parade was once again set to feature the Multnomah County Republican Party as one of the many groups slated to march, but that inclusion drew ire from some of the city's left-leaning protest groups.
The oldest grandson of each of our daughters had the opportunity to do something pretty cool. Last night during the Call Day service where our 4th year class learned which church/state/district each would begin their ministry, they were given a new clerical stole marking the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. When each name was called the candidate would shake hands with various clergy and at the end of the row receive the stole from Dale. Dale asked Christian if he would help by handing him the stoles. Pretty thrilling.
Katie was watching the live stream of Call night from Maryland and snapped this picture from her computer of Christian standing in the line.
Today is Take Your Child to Work Day and Katie took Drew to the House of Representatives today. They took the train in and Drew immediately took out the map from the seat back and began studying the route.
Well that stopped me in my tracks. I sure hope Missouri isn't considering doing this, those rest stops are the saving grace of long road trips. It seems that several states have already closed theirs-Florida, Michigan, Ohio, and South Dakota among others with Connecticut close to doing the same. They did this because of state transportation budget shortfalls.
Although Urban Review admits there is no known plan in Missouri to do this, it just might be one of those fair warning type things. Losing these rest stops take away the most convenient opportunity for drivers to do what they have to do and get back on the road. Plus you don't have to feel as though you need to buy something as you would pulling into an off ramp gas station or fast food place.
This is a fascinating article in Politico, a news outlet well know for its left leaning/democratic favoring, news stories. They bit the bullet and did some research and found that it is true what so many say about our US media having a bias.
"The results read like a revelation. The national media really does work in a bubble, something that wasn’t true as recently as 2008. (I'd take issue with that statement, I mean come on, all were favoring Obama) And the bubble is growing more extreme. Concentrated heavily along the coasts, the bubble is both geographic and political. If you’re a working journalist, odds aren’t just that you work in a pro-Clinton county—odds are that you reside in one of the nation’s most pro-Clinton counties. And you’ve got company: If you’re a typical reader of Politico, chances are you’re a citizen of bubbleville, too."
There is so much in this piece that is worth reading. How to change the way the media presents political stories is another matter.
"Surnames began to come about in the Middle Ages, when people were often identified by their trade. Just about every village in Britain had a smith, usually a blacksmith, who made horseshoes, plows, swords, armor, and other needed items. These workers were skilled and had status in the community, which contributed to their wide usage. Some names were once more specific, with people called Combsmith or Smithson, and were later shortened to Smith."
Here's something I see in online stories like this one. In the middle of an article one or two words are highlighted as a link for no good reason. In this case it is the word, contributed. Why? When you click the word contributed, you get an article on Smith family history not the meaning of contributed. Why not highlight the name Smith?
A way of describing traffic conditions this morning comes from KMOV's Laura Hettiger. "Yikes!" "We are at a glacial pace on the Illinois side on the approach to the Poplar Street Bridge."
When the word glacial is used in a traffic report you know that any movement is an inch at a time and lots of sitting in place. All this because IDOT has closed most of the lanes leading to the bridge. I crossed this twice over the weekend and thankfully it was the weekend with much less traffic.
This is the week of Call Day here at the seminary, on Wednesday second year students will find out where they will vicar next year and concluding students will learn which congregation they will be called to as pastors. It's a big big day in the life of our students and the entire campus. Many parents and grandparents of students will be here for Call Day as well as other people so it's all hands on deck in every department to make sure everything looks good and runs smoothly.
With that in mind I felt I had better get our Collinsville yard in shape yesterday because I probably won't get back there til Thursday at the earliest. So here is what I did after church.
Went to Rural King and got a bag of Weed and Feed. Also looked around that store a bit, its so fun.
Got back to the house and cut the grass
Used the gas trimmer to trim the front and back, and especially whacked out the never ending blue nettle weeds
Took Ferdie on a walk to Wycliffe and back
Then spread weed and feed front and back
Filled another box with decorative rocks for the campus 3/4 quad fountain base because we needed more
Drove back to the seminary and decided to plant the window boxes and front porch big planters
Finally I hooked up a hose and cleaned the outside air conditioning units.
Joe Scarborough of MSNBC's Morning Joe program tweeted his frustration with Wall Street Journal stories the paper links on Twitter.
"Hey @WSJ, I"d love to tweet more of your articles but every time I try to do so from Twitter, it demands I log in and doesn't accept my password."
I've found a similar issue with that paper and some others. They use Twitter to put up stories they believe people will want to read and yet when the link is clicked the page in question clouds over so that it is unreadable. Then comes the message to subscribe to read. It seems to me that if you think a story is worth tweeting, it should be readable. If not, then don't bother. I've come to ignore any links to Wall Street Journal articles even those I'd really like to read. And, we get that paper delivered to our house every single day.
They really need to rethink how they use social media.
Two food companies are in the news for rec-calls. Frito Lay announced a re-call (do not eat) for their Jalapeno seasoned chips. They say that the flavored powder was not supplied to them but they are re-calling just to be safe.
Also, frozen Hash Brown potatoes sold by McCain Foods to Harris Teeter and Roundys brands have been re-called because pieces of golf balls have been found in them. I mean, seriously? "The hash browns could be "contaminated with extraneous golf ball materials" that "may have been inadvertently harvested with potatoes used to make this product."
Ok. Now that makes sense. Golf balls harvested with potatoes. Shoot, if we knew golf balls could be harvested we wouldn't waste our money buying them.
Katie's boys, Drew and Jake, are part of a youth fitness for health group in Maryland and they race once a month or so. Today Drew took third in a big group of boys who were older than him. Jake just loves being a part of it all. Loves his big brother too.
In the post below I mentioned the danger of tree limbs which fall. Here is an example from the wooded area on the west end of our campus near our border with Fontbonne University.
These fell at various time this winter from trees that have tops that now look like this:
Then another spot in the same area
You really need to be watchful while in an area with lots of trees. I walk Ferdie back in this area a lot and one afternoon the wind picked up and it got very dark and all those trees were bending. All I wanted to do was get out of there. Several years ago the Clayton board of aldermen were discussing the possibility of a new tree ordinance. The idea was to fine residents if they took down a tree on their property whether to build a deck or pool or just get sunlight into the yard. The fine was to be based on the size of the tree and could have gone up to a couple thousand dollars. City officials wanted a big tree canopy in the city. I spoke against this ordinance at the meeting in large part because if you look at Clayton from up high, like from our campus tower, you'll see nothing but trees. And, there comes a point when too many trees compete with each other for light and moisture. Nothing much will grow underneath them except vines. When they lack light and moisture they weaken and we then have the problem of bad trees.
The ordinance was tabled that night and hasn't returned that I am aware of.
Earlier this week a large tree limb fell and killed a man working in front of the US Capitol building in DC. Now Capitol arborists are inspecting 1000's of trees to see if any others pose any danger. This is something we've become aware of living as we do on a very tree filled campus. Over the years big oaks have fallen seemingly out of the blue. Limbs crash down during storms and after a rain or snow event.
A couple of weeks ago Dale was sitting in a lawn chair in the back of our yard. The next day it rained and then got very windy. Right where he'd been sitting several large limbs fell from one of the oaks and one limb wedged into the ground so deeply it needed a couple of strong guys to get it pulled out.
These things happen occasionally or often depending on the weather. As beautiful as the tree canopy is, we have learned to be watchful after seeing so many of them, or parts of them hit the ground.
Here is a picture I took of one limb which hit the ground on campus a couple of years ago. When people question why some trees are being removed when they look so beautiful, here is one answer. What you can't see from the exterior show up when parts fall-hollow rot.
Yesterday I posted about the incoming beef and other groceries which would be given out to everyone here on the seminary campus. There are really no good adjectives to describe this. The Orphan Grain Train/Nebraska meat company brought so many boxes of food/beef/toilet paper/diapers etc that most of us could not believe it. At first the many boxes were almost as high as my shoulder and stretched down the road. Here's a look
There was so much cereal even with all the many campus kids there was still a lot left. But that went into our food bank and will be used. Behind the cereal was box after box of frozen ground beef. Kirt from our maintenance department came along with the bobcat to help unload and also moved many of the boxes into the kitchen freezers so nothing defrosted. When more was need last night the bobcat went and got it.
Boxes on boxes of pickles, spaghetti sauce
Not to mention peanut butter
And diapers, toilet paper, juices, spaghetti O's, crackers, chips, tuna, soups, I mean everything. And, behind all this were huge inflatables brought in by the pastors here for their annual We Love the Sem event. They put on a barbeque dinner for everyone at the same time.
And the pastors even arranged for a horse drawn carriage to give everyone rides around the campus.
So often people from around the country are so generous to this seminary community it fills me with awe, and thanks to God. Yesterday we all received a notice that read:
To all students, faculty and staff:
"Free food and Nebraska Choice ground beef is arriving Wednesday, April 19th to the Seminary from 3:30 pm-6:00 pm. Orphan Grain Train from Nebraska is donating 3,000 pounds of beef along with a semi-truck load of food. Some of the food includes: salad dressing, crackers, baby food, diapers, juice, pasta, olive oil, cereal and much more. Come to the We Love the Sem picnic and pick-up your free food".
I can't even picture this, it is so amazing. I'll try to post a picture of what 3000 pounds of meat and a tractor trailer of food looks like.