Saturday, May 10, 2003


Twins 19-15 Braves 23-12
Well, today started a little more calmly than yesterday. My newspaper was in the box, there are no buses on Saturdays (ONLY 8 MORE DAYS OF SCHOOL!! YAY!), no one had any computer problems...a nice peaceful Saturday so far.
But at 9:30 this morning two teenage boys come to stay for the day. So I'll be here with 4 boys. Not too bad, actually. They probably will each pick a corner and play gameboy. It's odd, really. Nate's friends come over and the house goes quiet, except for the little tinny sounds of multiple gameboys. Cassie and I have plans to take them to see the movie "HOLES" this afternoon.
I'll do some serious housework this morning and then settle in with my book, The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson. It's about an architect and a serial killer and the World's Columbian Expo in Chicago in 1893. True story. I'll give you a review when I'm done with it.

Friday, May 09, 2003

Diamond and Stones

Twins 18-15 Braves 23-11
"Some days are diamonds, some days are stoneSome time the hard times won’t leave me alone"
It's 8:04 am and my day has already gone thusly:
"Taylor, the bus is coming. Taylor? uh...never mind...the bus just blew by our neighborhood. Didn't even pull in. Here, I'll drive you to school."

" Yeah, say, bus 4 didn't stop today. No, not just my house...the entire north side of our subdivision. Substitute? Yeah, must be...probably just as well. That bus was going so fast I'm not sure I wanted my kid on it anyway. No, don't send it back. I'll just drive him."
So I'm back from the school and send this, my first email of the day:
My account number is ------------. My telephone number is -----------.
Please inform the carrier that I want my newspaper put into the newspaper box. If there is another paper in there, he can either force the Observer in on top of it, or throw it further up the driveway.
It is not acceptable to drop my paper in the street, in the gutter, or in the mud underneath the box. Neither is it acceptable to leave it at the very end of the driveway, where mud runs down from the lot under construction next door.
Driving around our neighborhood, I see newspapers riddled all over in gutters and on wet grass directly underneath paper boxes. I seriously doubt they all have Lancaster News papers in their paper boxes. Besides, that paper comes out only 3 times a week and I've been finding my paper in the gutter every day for the last couple of weeks or so.

And while I'm complaining, please do not draw money from my account on a monthly basis. Little debits for $10 a month are bothersome. Bill me or debit me quarterly and send me a statement that shows the dates the funds will cover. I have requested credits for undelivered newspapers and have no documentation that I've received credit.

And finally, while we are on the subject of credits. I think I should receive credit for today's newspaper. It was in a plastic bag, dropped in the muddy spot under my newspaper box (where mud accumulates because the lot next door has no grass yet) and the plastic bag was not closed or even folded under. The outside section, ironically the York & SC section, is totally wet through and through.

Thank you

Nate: "Mom? What's up with the bus? It just blew by our neighborhood and didn't even pull in. Mom?"
"Some days are diamonds, some days are stoneSome time the hard times won’t leave me alone"

Thursday, May 08, 2003

What's in a Name?

Twins 17-15 Braves 21-11
Well the 3 finalists for names for the new Charlotte NBA team have been announced. There is no apparent attempt to make it seem like a STATE team. All would be for a CHARLOTTE team. That seems interesting to me. In Minnesota all the professional teams are the "Minnesota somethings...". Only the semi-pros and below are named for a the St. Paul Saints or the Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks. Seems like in Minnesota there is always an attempt to make Pro teams appeal to "Greater Minnesota".
But I digress. As usual. The three choices are:
Charlotte Flight ("first in flight", Wright brothers...get it?)
Charlotte Bobcats (Are there a lot of Bobcats around here?)
Charlotte Dragons (totally beats me. Seems like there would likely be a few bobcats around, but Dragons?)
Either way it goes, I hope whatever they choose for a name will work well in some other part of the country as well. Charlotte so very recently drove away the Hornets, and I really see no compelling reason why this team will stay any longer. When we were visiting here in June 2002 they were still seeking approval for a new NBA team. The compelling reason we kept hearing for why a different team would survive here was related to the location of the stadium. "Oh, those Hornets couldn't make it here because the stadium was in the wrong place". Hmmm. The new stadium, I'm given to understand, will be in the downtown area. I've been in the downtown area in the evening. Sidewalks all nicely rolled up...
I asked Kristen, a frequent contributor of comments, what she thought about the new name choices. She writes:
"The Flight" ...sounds about as obtuse as "The Wild," but not as shamelessly commercial as "The Mighty Ducks." That one is just too much. What ever happened to naming teams after something that everyone is at least somewhat afraid of? The Timberwolves, Da Bulls, Da Bears, The Vikings... I know that the Yankees engender more disgust than fear, and no one in Buffalo is actually sure what a Bill is, unless it's in a mailbox, but why can't we have real names and mascots anymore. What kind of mascot would "The Flight" have? A big glider? Could we at least use the name of an animal? Maybe that would upset PETA too much.
Kristen didn't know about the "Bobcat" and "Dragon" choices. She's been out of town for several days. But reading her comments, I'm thinking maybe she'd vote for the dragons. It's a scary animal-type thing, but not real, so could PETA get that upset? I'm sure they'd figure out how.
At the risk of going on too much on this topic, I'd like to point you to an article in the Columbia State Newspaper about this. On Sunday, the article was largely about the extensive, expensive, process of choosing a $10,000 worth of research. And the speculation:
"Some suggested a nickname that would tie in with the local Revolutionary War history, like Militia. Some suggested a nickname that would tie in with North Carolina being the home of the Wright Brothers, like Aviators.
Some suggested a nickname that would tie in with the cat family established by the local NFL team, like Bobcats.
Some even suggested a nickname that would blast the owners of the city's first NBA team.
The Shinn-kickers?
Probably not."
Have a good day. It finally stopped raining. For now.

Tuesday, May 06, 2003

Our Practice

Twins 15-15 Braves 20-11
Comments from yesterday: Lil mentioned that the Star Tribune had information that last night's episode of The Practice was to be the series finale. I watched the last half of it. Seemed final to me. Good. She mentioned a show she likes called Everwood. I'd never heard of it. She describes it like this: Everwood is about a very successful neurosurgeon from NY who leaves the big apple after his wife dies and moves to Everwood, CO to see if he can put his life back together. Son is a talented pianist---quit playing after his mother dies, but is finally getting back into it. While in NY. his dad was too busy saving other people's lives to get to his recitals etc. He opens up a clinic in Everwood and doesn't charge. There is another Dr. in town who has a daughter that Ephraim, the pianist son is interested in and she is interested in Ephraim also, but she feels responsible to support her boyfriend who was in an accident and was saved by the neurosurgeon. Have to watch it to get into it. It's on the same channel as 7th Heaven.
Yesterday I had a brief conversation with a fellow church member who expressed concern that the church might not be big enough or have enough programs to hold onto our family, or to attract new families. Our church has about 90-100 regular attenders. We came from a big inner city church in Minneapolis.
The comment took me by surprise. It has never occurred to me that our church seems too small. It's home to us. We joined and pledged to support it with our prayers, our presence, our gifts and our service. Kind of reminds me of the wedding vows we took 20+ years ago. We made neither pledge lightly.
We joined our local church because it seemed like a place where we could learn and teach. We could support and be supported. Just as we stick together in sickness and health, we'll stick with our church during times of stress and growth.
Our little church is right on the crossroads of change. We have a huge development going up right down the road and lots of longtime residents who feel disenfranchised and shut out by the new changes. We will have many hard decisions to make in the future as we strive to be available to our newly-diverse community while still maintaining our identity as a people of Christ.
Church change is not really new to us. We helped to plant a brand new church in Eagan, MN in the early 80s. In the 90s we changed to a church in our neighborhood in Minneapolis. We only made that change because we had a new baby and wanted him to grow up in a church in the neighborhood. Our new church then was right on the brink of change. Much the same type of change as we have going on here. In Minneapolis, Minnehaha was getting older and not getting many new, young families. Mensa Boy and I were there just as we started making changes to programs and the building to accomodate young couples and kids. And programs were added later to reach out to the poverty-stricken in our community. Today Minnehaha is a growing, diverse church with an emphasis on inner-city outreach.
Are MB and I movers and shakers? By no means! Did we even have much to do with the changes in last church? No. We were busy with 2 young children. We didn't even like some of the changes. In some cases we were wrong about the viability of some of the ideas for change.
But we stayed. That was our family. We learned with them and grew with them. We found little spots where we could make a difference and where we could grow. It's not about the service times. It's not about the building. It's about the people and sincerity and desire to serve God.
We'll do the same at our little church down the road. We're here to stay. They are our family.

Monday, May 05, 2003

Twins 15-15 Braves 20-11
I took the weekend off from journaling (journalling?). My friend Lois A was here for the weekend. She and her husband are from Iowa and Texas. They live in Texas most of the year and then come back to Iowa for the summer. She is on a month-long tour of the Eastern US and part of Canada. She arrived here on the Amtrak Thursday night and I took her back to the station Sunday morning. I guess I already mentioned on Friday that she gave me a bunch of piano lessons. She's gone now and I'm still not playing any ragtime, but she did leave me a book and I'm going to dabble in it while I work through John Thompson's Second Grade piano book.
Comments came in over the weekend:
From Julie A-D: John and I watch American Dream every week. It is a really great show. We are Practice watchers too. I think Lindsey is whacky. At least thy are making her seem that way. We didn't watch that last week either. We were hooked on Boston Public for a while. Now that has turned into a show where every episode has to be about sex. Yes, that does seem to be something we can come to expect about every show these days. I'm going to be very sad when CSI does that.
From faithful Julia (of the sister variety): I know what Cassie and Peggy mean about 24, but there are only 3 hours left!!! I did enjoy doing the first season as a marathon, but I love watching it every week and live for previews for next week. It's the best show on tv. She also wrote later to mention that Jessie is starting on some ragtime too.
And now to the random part of my blog. Today will be totally random thoughts.
1. For the record, contrary to my son's belief, I DO NOT eat 3 snacks each day. He throws this up to me whenever I tell him he can't have a snack. I couldn't figure out where he got this notion, since I rarely snack in front of him anyway. Then I realized that he may have arrived at this conclusion because I'm home all day. I think he figures if one is home, then one gets a 10 am snack, a 3 pm snack and a "midnight" (bedtime) snack, just like he did when he was home all day. I will admit, however, that Saturday evening I had a Krispy Kreme donut for supper and Edy's Grand Ice Cream for dessert. I have no excuses for that.
2. Mensa Boy called Saturday morning to ask if he is still the nicest person I've ever met. Our "brothers" Doug and Lis introduced him to a guy from "Discipleship Journal" by saying something along the lines of "he's so nice his wife told us he was the nicest person she'd ever met after they'd been married 12 years". I told MB yes, that even though it's been almost 21 years now, he still is the nicest person I've ever met. I'd have to say Tony might be in there too, but I might think that because Tony reminds me so much of MB.
3. My brother-in-law Jim is a pastor in New Sweden, Maine. I talked to my sister-in-law Anne on Saturday morning and they are doing everything they can to support the Lutherans during this terrible time with the arsenic poisoning and shooting and all. They are staying away from TV cameras as much as they can.
4. Seen on the back window of a car parked in the grocery store parking lot on Saturday: "What if the hokey pokey really IS what it's all about?"
5. Click and Clack, Tom and Ray Magliozzi, writers of the Car Talk column and radio show on NPR, point out that gasoline is NOT actually over-priced. In fact, it's quite UNDER-PRICED. Last weekend they compared the price of gasoline per gallon to the price of Nyquil, bottled water, milk and other items per gallon. I felt rich after hearing that!
6. The best way to survive NPR's "Guilt Week" is to pledge on the first day.