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.
Now it really feels like graduation week here at Concordia Seminary. The crew of maintenance guys and student workers came by and put up the tent in our side yard which will be the site of tomorrow night's reception for graduates and their families.
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.
Now this is pretty exasperating even for Illinois. The Secretary of State's office has begun the process of making Illinois drivers licenses compliant with the Federal REAL ID act. This act requires drivers licenses to contain a variety of enhanced security features that take advantage of new developments in technology which means the person carrying it is who they say they are.
This is important especially for those who travel by plane because pretty soon if your state does not have this type of license, it will be much harder to get through security at airports. Illinois and Missouri are two of the few states which are way behind in creating this type of license.
But, and here's the frustrating thing about the new Illinois license. IT'S ONLY 75-84 PERCENT COMPLIANT. Which means you'll carry one thing that isn't really what is required and then have to go through a process to get the real thing when it's totally ready.
Here is a stream of comments from an Illinois resident on Twitter about this
Why would you commission a license resign that isn't 100% compliant? And why follow through when you KNEW it wasn't?
Why would you not wait to make the license 100% compatible? Why do I have to get two licenses?
WHY DO I LIVE HERE?
Also, the Secretary of State has the money to mail out millions of licenses. 1. That is not a good idea and 2. From where?
I read this today. Our National Anthem is the only country's anthem which ends with a question. That would be the first verse and about the only verse we ever sing or hear sung. I never realized this.
Oh, say, can you see, by the dawn's early light, What so proudly we hail'd at the twilight's last gleaming? Whose broad stripes and bright stars, thro' the perilous fight, O'er the ramparts we watch'd, were so gallantly streaming? And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air, Gave proof thro' the night that our flag was still there. O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
Lots of bees were discovered in the upper walls of a couple of our campus dorms. The more our facilities people poked around, the more amazed they became when they saw the extent of the hives and honey combs. Rather than call an exterminator and kill the bees, they made the decision to bring in a bee-keeper to remove the bees safely and take them to the country. Yesterday two bee-keepers arrived and proceeded to cut rectangular holes in several dorm rooms to reach the bees.
They use a bee vac to gently suck the bees from the wall into a container. A bee vac! We were amazed.
And here is what the men were removing
Several layers of bright white new honey combs filled with honey made from the campus locust trees. The bee-keepers did a walk around the campus before removing the bees to see just what blossoms were open and found that the locust trees were the only ones. According to the two men, Locust trees make the best honey, sweet, clear and pure. Each of the sections of honey comb were carefully removed and placed in a screen covered frame. A few honey combs were removed with the bees still inside which would enable the honey making to continue when they got to their new homes. The other bees would be set free to go to work in rural Warrenton.
We were offered small pieces of the new honey comb to taste and it was amazing.
It's so heartening that we have campus people who look to save and relocate things rather than the easy kill option. The same has been true for using fallen trees for lumber and old plant life, cooking scraps and coffee grounds for making usable compost. These bee keepers were amazing to watch.
I get rather involved watching HGTV's Tiny Houses programming and I always wonder just where the water supply is. And, how does the water heat up for bathing and doing dishes. They rarely mention this while showing off tiny tubs and showers and sinks. Is there a water tank under the tiny house? Most owners don't seem to be near a permanent city water hook up, they're out on a spot of land owned by their parents or friends.
I couldn't live in a tiny house, it would make me crazy, but the shows fascinate me anyway. Tonight there is a couple with one child, 4 cats and a big dog who sold their normal sized home and had a tiny house built. I mean, seriously, a little child, 4 cats, a big dog, and two adults. Come on people.
I rode along with our campus landscape director this morning as she checked for any more fallen tree limbs. As we passed along the north parking strip next to the chapel, she suddenly stopped and hopped out. There under a couple of bushes was this:
She immediately recognized this pile of bedding as most likely belonging to a homeless person. The stick you see in the picture was used by Kevin, one of our students who works part time on landscape. He was adamant about not touching that pile with his hands. There was also this wrapped in the bedding:
A can of handi-wipes wrapped in a hand towel and the loose wipes laying around told us someone had been using this as outdoor toilet paper. Ugh, a pile of something wrapped up and stains on the blankets also confirmed this.
So into the gator it went, piled up so as not to touch Kevin in any way. We don't believe this homeless person actually slept in this location, it is too public, too many cars go by as well as walkers. But it may be a place he thought to stash this for a time and planned to come back for it.