Saturday, January 30, 2010

22 Hours Without Power

It was an adventure. It really started yesterday afternoon about 3 when Kristy let me know I needed to go to the store. There was "wintry mix" coming down at the time and about 38 degrees, so not too big a deal. Ingles was fairly insane. (We of course needed, bread, milk, and eggs.) It was really coming down by the time I left and was sticking nicely to the road. I didn't think I could make it up our road, so I parked at the end of the road and hiked up with most of the groceries. (Yes, I hiked half a mile, uphill, in the snow, carrying a weekend's worth of groceries.) So, we ate supper and started watching The Secret of NIMH (recent purchase from the $5 bin at Wal-Mart), which we could watch for about 10 minutes at a time until the power blinked off again.

It finally went off for good around 7 pm. So, we all got ready for bed. It has never been off for more than about 6 hours, so I assumed it would be back on sometime in the night.

Oh well.

We spent most of today up in the kids bedroom. Thankfully we had a fair amount of food like cinnamon bread and bagels, so we had breakfast and lunch. We had bottled water too since the pump was off. The iPod was charged, as were our two laptops, so we got to watch some shows. We read books, played games, and slept. I brought up 5 candles and lighting those seemed to help warm the room. Still, the rest of the house got down to about 54 degrees.

Around 4 pm (while we were all having a nap) the power came on for about 10 minutes and then went back out again. About 4:30, it came on for good (so far). Whew! We of course went out to play in the snow for a bit. It was great snowball and snowman snow, so both were part of the festivities. We got about 5 inches.

And yes, I'm buying a generator.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Sad commentary on PCUSA

This is a sad finding within the PCUSA. A survey was done of PCUSA members. Responding to the question "Only followers of Jesus can be saved," the following percentages of each member type responded with "strongly agree" or "agree"
  • Lay members: 39%
  • Elders: 45%
  • Pastors: 35%
  • Specialized Clergy: 22% (I'm not sure what this category means)
There are other interesting statistics found here.

I hope this is seen as a cause for weeping. How sad that a denomination should have such a distribution of responses on the doctrine of justification, particularly among the ordained leaders.

Hat tip: Presbyterian Weekly News

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Guys and the Long Weekend

This weekend was the (sort-of) usual annual get together with some Clemson buddies. The plan was to get a cabin near Hendersonville, NC and just hang out starting Friday evening and leaving Sunday morning. Well, it wasn't all according to plan. The "cottage" turned out to be a rental house in a residential neighborhood of Hendersonville. This wasn't all bad since it was close to everything in town. And, it was fairly secluded with trees all around. Overall, it was quite nice except for one thing: no running water. The pipes were frozen between the street and the house somewhere.

Being guys, we were able to deal with this situation fairly well. And the company gave us our two nights for free. So we sat around, played Settlers of Catan with both the Cities and Knights and the Seafarers expansions - very fun. We also played Risk, but used this version that has a much shorter play time. I highly recommend both. One also brought some episodes of Top Gear, which I also recommend. We also traded old in-jokes most of the time.

It was a great time with some friends that I see too rarely. It's great to be able to pick these relationships right back up after being out of contact for long periods of time. Facebook doesn't count - nor does it allow time for more serious, reflective conversations that can take place.

Well, it turned out that everyone wanted to leave by Saturday evening. Admittedly, without showers we were all getting a bit stinky. I debated staying the night and called Kristy to talk about it. I found that Kristy was sick and probably couldn't teach Sunday School in the morning, so I came back that night as well. In the midst of this, I had dropped the kids off with my parents for the weekend, so this morning on about 5 hours sleep, I went to church (40 minute drive), went from there down to Greenville to get the kids (another 2 hrs and 20 minutes or so), and came back up to Cullowhee (another 2 hrs and 15 minutes or so). And Lydia was up Saturday night/Sunday morning with a cough - thanks to my mom for nursing her for that one.

Leaving Hendersonville was bittersweet. Good to get back to the family (and get a shower), but sad to see good friends scattered again.

On my way from church to Greenville, I took a route on Hwy 123 that goes by Clemson. I drove through campus, enjoying good memories - and even some unpleasant memories that have shaped me. Those guys have been good friends to me - I'm thankful to know I have them.

Anyway, it was a good weekend. The kids are in bed, Kristy is on the mend. I'm tired but happy - and I have tomorrow off to recover from my weekend.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Stephen is Reading

Stephen has just started reading! Video evidence:

Monday, January 04, 2010

So Empty

I often enjoy picking apart commercials and various marketing text. However, this one just made me sad. It's text from an advertisement for a magazine called "Details" which I had never heard of until now.

DETAILS is the guys' magazine that's focused squarely on what's coming down the road. Style. Music. Film. Cars. Electronics. Careers. Money. Sex. Celebrities. Whatever you're into, DETAILS is all about what's next. What's on the way. What it is you should watch for.

As a DETAILS reader, you're virtually guaranteed of being ahead of the curve, and clued in to the culture. In DETAILS' pages, you'll meet people worth knowing. You'll dress and look better. You'll live the good life. And you'll know way more about everything.

Embrace what's new, what's coming, what's best. Get DETAILS today.

And from the flip side of that ad:
DETAILS is the guide to getting the most out of everything - pop culture, fashion, current events and technology. It's the men's magazine that understands what guys want - and what they want to know more about.

I realize this is one little advertisement for one little magazine, but the shallowness amazes me. Since when is "everything" considered to be "pop culture, fashion, current events and technology?" What an empty chasing after a fleeting image. Do some of these topics have great weight? Certainly. Do I think this magazine will treat them with more than an ounce of it? No.

I leave you, dear reader, with a thought from scripture. Though this is written to women, I believe the concept applies here.
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. -Proverbs 31:30

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Lydia's Sampoo Commercial Tryout

So we don't leave Lydia out of the videos, here is one of her shaking her head. She loves doing this. I think of it as her tryout for shampoo commercials.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Another Homemade Movie

Being off work is great. Stephen and I made another movie. Compared to the last one, it has a similar plot, different protagonist and new Special Effects.


In case you didn't quite catch the title, it is "Dinosaur Rescue the Princess from the Globbies Good Luck." Once again Stephen's choice.

I have no idea where "globbies" comes from.