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.
The morning began at 19 degrees. The fall quarter is ending here at the seminary and the grand finale is the traditional jump in the campus fountain pond by students who pass their Greek qualifying exam. Everyone passed and by 10:45 the fountain area was filling up with family, staff and friends. It was now a balmy 27 degrees and for the first time ever, one end of the pond had iced over.
Everyone waits for the guys to come out in their water clothes.
Ferdie is onsite as per usual.
Ok. Here come the brave ones.
Their Greek professor, Dr. Voelz, gives a bit of advice on how to endure this.
Pictures...or selfies taken.
A few quick pushups
Stretching...come on guys
The best jumps of any class, that is for sure.
And the quickest exit from the water of any class.
And it's off to warm up.
Don't let all the sunshine fool you, it was sooo cold.
Headline yesterday and today from the Wall Street Journal. Airplanes Secretly Track U.S. Cellphones.
I'm linking the story from Gizmodo because the WSJ won't let you read unless you subscribe.
"A secret U.S. spy program used fake cell phone towers attached to airplanes to scan citizens' cell phones and collect their data. The scheme, carried out by the Technical Operations Group of the U.S. Marshals, uses devices known as "dirtboxes" to mimic powerful cell tower signs. These dirtboxes are strong enough to trick phones to automatically switch over to their signals, even if a real tower is nearby. The plan aims to help the Justice Department catch criminals."
Great! Get the bad guys. But unfortunately for the rest of us, everyone's cell data is being picked up and although it's claimed they "let go" of the data after they've determined that a phone does not belong a suspect, but what that means exactly is unclear.
This puts me in mind of a plane we morning dog walkers see fly over every morning. It's not a passenger plane or a private plane, but a plane of a size and shape rarely seen. We hear its low hum before we see it and often comment on just what the purpose is. It flys higher than traffic copters and lower than normal planes, low enough that we can see that there are no markings on this plane.
Maybe its one of these tracking planes. Or maybe not. What is true is we're tracked all day long, everywhere we go. And that's one of this generation's bad things.
Here's an ironic airport story. Some time back the TSA began a program which would allow low risk airline passengers to skip the normal security lines which involve removing shoes, coats, belts etc and taking laptops out of cases, not to mention the icky body searches. People who went through the application process zip through security and over to their gate very quickly. Dale is one of those and he is always happy to see pre-check on his boarding pass.
But now we see there are many many low risk passengers out there who have applied for pre check. 700,000 have done this since last December and the numbers are growing quickly. Pretty soon the pre-check line will be as long as the normal security. What this says is most people boarding airplanes are low risk.
But a long pre check line is still better than the clothing removal lines.
Think your flight might be delayed or cancelled this winter? If you're headed for, or in, one of these airports the chances are good you won't be on time.
O'Hare is on top of the list with 42 percent of its winter flights delayed.
Newark, Denver, and Fort Lauderdale Newark, Denver, and Fort Lauderdale see more than a third of their flights delayed during the winter months. Florida airports likely see delays because of late planes coming down from the north.
In New York City, penthouse apartments and other units way up high, are featuring bathrooms looking out of floor to ceiling windows. "All across Manhattan, in glassy towers soon to be built or nearing completion, see-through chambers will flaunt their owners, naked, toweled or robed, like so many museum vitrines — although the audience for all this exposure is probably avian, not human."
Also-some apartments feature a wall of glass with two toilets at either end and a shower in the middle, which raised many an eyebrow among brokers and their clients because the toilets face each other."
Someone said, "It’s interesting to me now if you’re really rich, you’re rich enough not to have privacy in the bathroom."
There is a slide show connected with this New York Times story showing some of the non private bathrooms. I'm just a bit too Midwest for this.
I've been seeing many Facebook/Twitter/blog posts lately on the huge number of deer, dead or alive, on or near roadways. Or deer clipping cars and worse. This is the scary time of year for drivers as deer are mating (I think) and moving moving moving with no regard for their own safety along highways and surface streets. They're being hit by the scores in this area.
When you stop to consider the possiblity of deer jumping out at you as you drive, it makes you more cautious and alert, but it's also a white knuckle time of year to be on the road, especially in the early morning or at dusk. But anytime of day is deer time in November.
Last year we drove home from Katie and Charlie's house in Maryland and I wrote this when we got back: "but happy to be back safely with no deer jumping out in front of our car on the way back. We did see I-70 through Pennsylvania and western Ohio littered with deed deer, but thankfully no live ones on the road. I mean, seriously, there really were scores of deer laying off to the side of the highway and in the median after having been hit by vehicles."
The images of all those dead deer on the interstate stays with me and makes me just a bit intimidated on the road this fall. Lots of folks cheering on the hunters this year.