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.
If you've ever been tempted to do these things, you just might be affected with the winter crazy's. WTOP in DC linked three stories last night which are telling:
"Kite Skier caught by gust of wind, dies after striking shed." This is the actual headline and you don't need to read much more to understand the story. This occurred in Maine. Sad.
"Boston mayor warns would-be window snow jumpers:Don't do it." Seems that after so much snow in Boston, almost 8 feet in some places and then plowed even higher, people (men) are getting a kick out of jumping into these snowbanks from 2nd and 3rd floor windows. I saw a tv news report where some guys are even doing trick jumps into the snow from the window. Like high diving in the olympics.
And this: "Locals among 100 finalists for one-way trip to Mars." If true, this is the craziest of winter craziness.
Winter equals snow at least part of the time and snow for kids means racing out with sleds. Now it seems some cities are considering banning sledding due to liability concerns. The latest to do this is Dubuque Iowa. IOWA! Enough with Iowa. I'll tell you, if St. Louis joins in this sled banning, and closes Art Hill in winter we'll know the apocalypse is upon us.
Every major city has local business people who take to the air to pitch their products. In St. Louis many will remember the Slyman Brothers energetically and humorously promoting their appliances on tv. Many car dealers have done the same. They became such a part of our tv watching lives they became celebrities and household names.
We now have among us the newest and latest business pitchman who's radio ads have made him something of a celebrity and household name through his droll story tellilng on furnaace and air conditioner repair.
Bart Inman. Of Inman Air.
His ads with him giving first hand stories on broken furnances and air conditioning units are a regular part of KMOX's daily programming and probably many other stations. Call me. Call me, he says, Bart Inman of Inman Air.
I thought of him today when the temperature suddenly dropped and will drop further this week. It's frigid outside right now and this is the time when furnaces often have problems.
The order of appearance for each entry in this year's Rose parade can be found here. Of local interest, the marching band from O'Fallon Illinois high school is in this year's parade and will be appearing 64th out of 89 in the line up. The Lutheran Hour float is marking its 65th year and is the only Christian float in the parade. It will show up 19th in line.
The best channel on which to watch this parade is HGTV, shown it in its entirety and without commercials.
There are many food customs relating to New Year's all around the world. Food is eaten according to what is considered good luck and what is bad luck. Frankly, I have never bothered with this kind of thing, only setting out what tastes good. But here's a look at some of the foods commonly eaten on New Year's.
Legumes or beans. They are symbolic of money in many places. Here in the US, Black-eyed peas are commonly served.
Cooked greens, including cabbage, collards, kale, and chard, are consumed at New Year's in different countries for a simple reason — their green leaves look like folded money, and are thus symbolic of economic fortune. The Danish eat stewed kale sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon, the Germans consume sauerkraut (cabbage) while in the southern United States, collards are the green of choice. It's widely believed that the more greens one eats the larger one's fortune next year.
Having pork is based on the idea that pigs symbolize progress. The animal pushes forward, rooting itself in the ground before moving. Lots of moving forward when it comes to looking at the new year. We have ham.
Fish. All except lobster which swims backward and that's a no no. Germans also enjoy carp and have been known to place a few fish scales in their wallets for good luck. Lots of homes have a plate of caviar.
Cakes and other baked goods are commonly served from Christmas to New Year's around the world, with a special emphasis placed on round or ring-shaped items.
Noodles and grains. Noodles symbolize a long life and rice and barley mean abundance.
Pomegranes-the seeds again indicate abundance.
Lobster because they move backward and chicken because they scratch backwards which could cause regret or dwelling on the past. Another theory warns against eating any winged fowl because good luck could fly away.
For some years Dale has been constructing small buildings which he then places in our side yard during the Christmas season. There's a church and parsonage, barn and store all surrounded by lighted trees and backed up by a full moon. This week he has been finishing up a farmhouse to go next to the barn. Here's a look.
No snow this year to reflect off the scene, but still really pretty and fun in this darkest of weeks.
WTOP news out of DC has an end of the year story from Market Watch which presents a list of things we shouldn't buy or use this coming year.
Number one is cable tv. Here is their reason and alternative: "cable companies continue to raise their rates even as cheaper alternatives such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu are getting more popular." I wonder, though, if we'd be satisfied not having access to local news, live shows, sports. Maybe Netflix and the others do offer local/national news, but I doubt it.
2. Name brand razor blades. Now this is an odd one. According to the story, more shavers are turning to membership programs which sell blades on a mail-order subscription basis for a fraction of the cost. I never knew this and blades are expensive.
3. Bottled water. Get yourself a home filter system and a reusable bottle.
4. Credit monitoring systems and identify theft insurance. Hmmm
5. Compact discs and dvds. Obvious. Will Blu Ray players be heading for the electronic recycling bins?
6. Memory Sticks and thumb drives. Oh no! I use these things all the time and I'm not ready to trust the longevity of all these Cloud storage sites. I can remember when photo sharing and storage sites were a big deal for saving digital pictures. Then one day they all went belly up and nothing was retrievable.
7. MIni tablets. Yeah, I can see that and add the big old iPhone6 to that.
8. Online dating services which charge a fee.
9. Boutique Moonshine. Hahahahaha. There have been lots of places selling moonshine in canning jars recently. We even have one which we've never touched other than to take one small, hard to swallow sip.
10. 4K ultrahigh definition televisions. Not enough programming available to warrant the high cost.