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.
Tonight will see a Strawberry moon which will also be full and present on the first day of summer. A strawberry full moon hasn't happened on the summer solstice since 1948.
Cool, I thought. A red hued full moon to look at. But no. It won't be red or pink, just your average, run of the mill, full moon. It's called strawberry because years ago native Americans believed the first full moon in June meant strawberries were ripe for picking
It's been unsufferably hot this week, it's way too early for this kind of heat and very few people have had time to acclimate themselves to this. When Katie began cross country training the summer before her freshman year in high school, her coach told her (and us) that the human body will adapt to heat but not cold. But the body adapts in a gradual manner with consist outdoor activity. I've never forgotten that and think of this each time I come across people who must work outdoors all summer-highway workers, lawn service people etc. Unless we are constantly outdoors we probably haven't adapted to the heat all that well.
So it was that my car's air conditioner blower began to work only on the highest setting. While I was happy that it at least worked, it became problematic in that the front seat got really cold and it was really noisy. Not to mention that I was concerned about the possibility of bigger problems with this. I made an appointment Monday to have it fixed on Wednesday but asked first if it was safe to be driving around with this issue. It was, I was told, fine to drive, the issue does not affect the actual engine but if the high setting went out too, we'd be pretty hot.
The problem turned out to be the blower resister which is often under the glove compartment or nearby. It looks something like this, or this. It pulls out and a new one is put in. When it goes bad, you'll often see what looks like scorch marks where each setting went out. This is what happened with ours.
So if this ever happens to you, you'll know what the problem is. The only other thing that could cause the fan to only work on high would be the switch but most often it is the blower resister.
Lutheran Church Charities has a Comfort Dog program which brings comfort and love to those who are hurting, sick, lonely. The dogs are all Golden Retrievers, trained from puppy on to be petted and hugged. There are now 100 of these dogs all over the country and a large group of them and their handlers headed to Orlando yesterday to be with those still in shock and pain from the horrible night club killings.
Some of these dogs started out the day at Trinity Lutheran Church in Orlando with its pastor, Bill Brath. Bill was a student here at the seminary in our early years and I remember him as kind, funny and a man who was going to be a wonderful pastor and it seems he is.
There's Bill in the middle of the dogs ready to meet people.
Out on the street near the nightclub.
There's just something about seeing these dogs at bad times which helps people emotionally.
Our church in Collinsville, Holy Cross, has its own Comfort Dog, Esther. She did not get to go to Orlando, but was in Concordia Missouri a couple of weeks ago when two high school students drowned during a class trip.
Esther. These dogs have been on many national news reports in the past 24 hours.
I found a neat app last week, Brushstroke. It will let you make a painting out of your pictures and there are many choices as to the type of painting. Here is my first test on this app, it's of Katie's dog, Riley, first as the original photo and then turned into a painting.
How about growing your own Mosquito repellent? We've noticed an upsurge in mosquitos recently probably due to the rain we've had so anything that helps discourage these bites is fine with me. Studies have shown that Lemon Thyme to be one of the best natural repellents, equal in effectiveness to some concentrations of DEET which is found in over the counter insect sprays and lotions. Actually, any lemon scented herb will do well. Lemon Verbena is one of those as is Lemon Balm. The Lemon Verbena grows well around here.
However, it isn't enough to just have these plants growing, to keep mosquitos off your skin you need to rub the leaves on exposed extremities. This has to be better than using insecticides.
You never know what you've got until it's gone. Certainly this applies to a working washing machine. Ours quit working a couple of weeks ago, it forgot how to spin and it forgot at one of our busiest times of the year. This meant hauling dirty clothes to a nearby laundry or hauling them over to our working machine in Collinsville. ugh. Last week there was finally time to schedule a visit from a repairman and it's worth noting that this man was one of the best guys in the business. If you ever need an appliance repair, call American Appliance first.
They don't sell appliances, just fix them and they know what's what and will be very honest with you. Randy came out, asked me lots of questions, looked the machine over, tried somethings, open up hatches I never knew existed and finally gave us this opinion:
The motor control board was dead. This is a computer like board hooked in front of the motor under the machine. He could get a new board but he wanted to level with us, it was expensive. It would cost 285 dollars to get the board and install it. It was our decision, he said, but there was no guarantee that something else wouldn't break down since it was an 11 year old washer. He also said that they don't make washers to last 15 to 20 years anymore. We really appreciated his honesty, he could well have put in a new motor board, taken the money and waited for the next break down.
So we talked it over and decided on a new machine. Randy also advised us to buy the simplest machine of any style we preferred, there are fewer things to go wrong and we don't need all the bells and whistles to get a clean wash. That also meant having to spend less money. I asked his opinion on the pros and cons of front loaders versus top loaders because our 11 year old was front loader and I haven't been too happy with it. He said nowadays if we go for the high efficiency washer, the front loaders are made better now and will drain most of the water which they haven't done in older models. The top loaders still have a drain issue. But, if we went with the old style agitator top loader, well and good.
I did some research and was pretty much taken with the idea of an old style top load agitator washer. The reviews were excellent, clothes came out really clean and the spin cycle got a ton of water out of them so that drying time was less. And , they weren't all tangled up. The only negative by a few people was that the agitator was a bit noisier. With our washer in the basement, I don't care if the agitating has sound.
I went to Home Depot, bought the GE agitator model and it comes today. They'll install and haul away the old one. I can't wait.
Ah yes. Most credit card companies have begun sending card holders new cards which have a chip embedded in the bottom which must be inserted in the sales machine and left alone until the data goes though. It is to take the place of the traditional swiping of cards at the store.
The problem is, though, most places do not use it at all even though there is a chip slot. They aren't ready or some entity is not ready. And, we're told by the clerk, "just swipe the normal way, it'll work."
That's ok by me because when you do come across a store that does allow the chip to work, it takes forever. You're instructed to "leave card in place til told to remove" and the time ticks away while other customers behind you start drumming their fingers on their carts. I really don't care if the chip machines ever work if it's going to take so long to approve each time you use them.