Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Mashed Potatoes, Brussles Sprouts, and Crayfish

Well, tomorrow is our 20th Anniversary. Man, does time fly when you're having fun.

I picked up a gift for Mary. It's probably too stereotypical for most to appreciate. She's reading this, so I won't tell until after she opens it.

Tonight we ate one of Mary's least favorite dishes. She loves mashed potatoes the way I make them. She loves Brussels Sprouts. These were fresh from the garden and were great.

She doesn't love crayfish. She doesn't mind the taste, she hates the way they look. And, when you add to that the fact that all the kids have to pick them up and play with the feelers and claws, sucking the heads and eyes.... Well, she's a good sport and a great example. She didn't complain at all while the rest of us enjoyed.

I had a college room mate from Nagasaki, Japan when I was in college. If I remember correctly, the name they have for crayfish in Japan translates literally as "water cockroach". He didn't like crawdads either.

I made some cajun sauce with mayo, catchup, and tobasco to go with. Yum.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Photos from Sam and Gina's Wedding

Sam and Gina
Gina and me together.
Sam and me together. Of course in this photo I look like I'm giving some kind of sage advice, but really I'm asking if Sam thinks we should wait for the late comers.

I like this one.
Please keep Sam and Gina in your prayers.

Fall Fireamrs Safety Class

Well, tonight was the last evening of Firearms Safety Class. We had 63 students who became certified through our group of instructors. I wasn't able to teach at all the classes, but I taught Archery, Ammunition, a part of hunting Ethics, how to judge whether to shoot or not based on what you see, and a few other parts of the course.

It was a long evening course tonight. It was parent's night, and we want the parents to be there when we discuss issues of ethics and have a Conservation Officer on hand to explain laws and regulation.

I hope they all remember what we taught them so they practice safe handling with their firearms.

A funny log entry

I keep logs of where readers come from and how they get here.

Try this one.

Paris, Ile-de-France arrived from psychics.eso.tv on "The Abrahamsons".
13:44:11 -- 22 hours 40 mins ago

This reader somehow got to this blog through a web page advertising psychic readings. Ha!

I don't do psychic readings. I laugh at them and debunk them.

Holmegaard Replica Working

Well, the bow is workable, but I still have some decorative/functional things to do with it.

Here's the back of the bow when braced. You can see the wide mid-limbs and the narrow outer-limbs. The working area of the Holmegaard style bows is from the handle through mid-limb. The handle does not flex, neither do the outer limbs. So the outer limbs are wider front to back, while mid-limb is wider side to side.

A side shot of the braced bow. The upper limb is at the right and is more stiff than the lower limb.

A view of the handle. I'm going to shape this a bit more and perhaps carve an arrow rest into it.

My upper limb has a knot which meant more mass in that area to keep the bow from fracturing.

This is the unfinished back of the upper limb. Notice how the knot spreads just before the taper of the outer limb.

This is the back of the lower limb. I needed to leave more heartwood on this limb to keep the stiffness and tiller reasonably close to that of the upper limb.

The lower limb also had snakey grain that required some special work.

Here is the bow at 25" draw and 50 lbs draw weight. The lower limb bends in its working area, mid-limb, very nicely. The upper limb is a bit stiff toward the top of mid-limb and is taking most of the stress near the handle. I'm going to have to even that out with a bit more tillering.

It throws arrows nicely. I don't have a chronometer to see how fast it actually is. And I'm sure that it could be tuned better. But I'm just a beginner.

I'll try to get a video of shooting it.

Finishing work: Manufacture some deer hoof knocking points. Shaping the handle and possibly an arrow rest. Thinning the width of the outer limbs, both upper and lower, to reduce mass (and hopefully get a few more feet/sec out of the bow). Decorate/Stain and seal the bow.

I've shot it around 200x now. A couple more days of practice and I should be ready for deer hunting.

Tried to Read a Book

I picked up "24 Declassified: Operation Hell Gate" by Marc Cerasini.

I've enjoyed getting DVDs of 24 for Mary and me to watch, so I thought I'd give the book series a try when I saw a copy at our used book store.

82 pages into the book I'm stopping.

The author goes all fantastic on weapons:
"When his hand came out again, it was clutching a Glock 19, the semi-compact version of the standard 9mm recoil-operated composite handgun, undetectable to weapons scanners." (p. 26)

The Glock G19 is not undetectable. It has a steel slide, barrel, trigger and firing assembly. The ammunition is the standard brass and lead. It will set off any metal detector.

The author also throws out a bunch of techno-babble which makes no sense to someone who knows the technology. For example, a memory-stick that has been "retrofitted with" a USB port (all memory sticks have USB ports) that contain "routers" (a router is a computer that routs network address communication-one miniaturized router might fit with special hardware, but more than one? And what would it do? It only has a USB port. It would have to have access to a networked computer that would need to be set up to allow the memory stick to have access. And the notion that USB ports are "technologically sensitive devices" that the "Department [of Defense] keept tabs on the sale of" them. p. 82.

Just two glaring examples in the first two hours of 24 Declassified that made my eyes roll and my suspension of reality groan.

I left the book with the impression that the author doesn't know or care to know what he's writing about, so why should I care to read it.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Church, Sale, Wedding, Birthday

Well, it's been another full weekend. Saturday services at Mt. Olive. Louisa had a sale for her craftwork at Oklee for the town's Merchant Day. There was a Women's Guild meeting at East Grand Forks. Blanche B. had an 80th birthday celebration at the Grygla Community Center. And I was privileged to be able to serve as officiant at Sam and Gina's wedding in Trail that afternoon. I didn't make EGF or Grygla. Left home at 7:30am got home after 9pm. And it was my son, John's birthday.

I have to wait for photos of the sale and of the wedding. My batteries were dead. Hopefully I can get some from Janet or Gina soon.

Sunday we had three services, then John's 6th birthday celebration.

A BIG angelfood cake with one large candle.

Blueberries in sweetsauce for topping.

"Is my tongue purple, Dad?"

"Yes it is, John."

Doing a dance in his new Lightning McQueen slippers.

John's first new Bib overalls.

I just like the smile.

Happy birthday, John. We are so glad God brought you into our family.

Friday, September 25, 2009

My Holmegaard Bow is done, except for decoration.

From Bowmaking
If you click on this photo you can see me splitting out an Ash bow stave. One of these staves from this particular log.
I shot it last night and it blew my dacron string apart. I shot it this morning and it blew my jute string apart. We got a couple Elk River Archery strings for the bow. I've shot it over 50x without any problems on one of these strings.

I'll try to get a photo of the bow as its draw weight is measured. Right now it's 50 lbs. at 25". The weight is more at 28". It's taking a little bit of set in the lower limb. I'll need to finish off the outer limbs in a stylistic way. Perhaps Deer hoof knocking points?

Well, almost 100 shots with the bow and no bow or string malfunction. The only problem is operator error in getting the arrows where they should be. Donna supervised.

It throws arrows really fast.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

photo and social networking bugs

OK, I've been trying to integrate blogger and my picasa photo sharing site. I've also tried to integrate blogger with facebook and youtube.

Now, each time I post here on this blog it automatically gets published to my FB.

Each time I post to youtube it goes to FB, but sometimes it goes there multiple times. Grrr. I think I can set up an rss or some other means to put links to the videos on the left side of this blog.

Each time I add photos to picasa my FB albumn is updated, and the photo stream on the left side of this blog is updated.

When I put photos on Flickr they go to the slideshow on the left side of this blog.

But when I want to put picasa photos in a blog entry the resizing option doesn't seem to work right. Typically I want the photos about 400 to 600 pixels wide. Picasa has this nice slideshow option but that is too much for people with dial-up.

Well, I've got too much clutter on the sidebar anyway. Perhaps I should just clean it out.

What do you think?

Stella's Birthday

A slideshow from Stella's birthday party.

We had to put it off for a few days. She was patient with us.

She asked me if you could come, Jeremy. I told her that would be great, but that you couldn't get here in time.

Labor Day at Itasca

Sorry the photos are oversized, click on them to see them.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

It's not negligence

I've been waaaaay too busy to post as often as I usually do. I've got a gazillion photos, and even so I missed photographing some really big things.


After vacation, back to the grind. This was at the end of August and the beginning of September.

In the mean time there have been a lot of medical calls, shut-in visits, etc.

Cheryl and Rodney had Bear Fest for Rick's hunters and the community. I'll try to get my photos up sometime.

Confirmation/Wednesday School has begun, Saturday/Sunday school has begun. I want to thank Lori, Naomi, Kelly, Barb, Tylor, Kim, Mary, Dawn and all the rest who are teaching and supporting in these classes. Please pray for them that they have the patience and wisdom to teach well and enjoyably.

Medical issues: Juell C's and Blanche B's backs, Mavis B's eyes, Ruby C's and Edwin O's neck fusions, Kevin V's cancer, Jacob B's heart surgery, and several others that I can't mention at this time. Please keep them in your prayers.

Barb C is doing the secretary work now because Alyssa is on bed rest with her pregnancy. Keep Alyssa and her twins in your prayers, please.

The IRS is doing its best to be confused about how the Parish Secretary is paid. They gotta get a piece of the action no matter what. And it doesn't matter if what they say has any bearing on reality. (gripe, gripe, gripe)

Wayne W's nephew, Nicholas, was killed in an accident last week. Vicky V's brother, Kevin R., died of a heart attack last week.

Please keep them in your prayers.

I have several personal and family spiritual counseling issues that are ongoing. Please keep us in your prayers.

Labor Day we went to Itasca with the kids and met Pastor Rolf and Dort Preus with their youngest son, Peter. It was a great day, good visit. And I didn't take any pictures. Drat! I found a Highbush Cranberry that was ripe and picked a few berries. Usually I don't care for them, but these were delicious. I grilled all the food over an open fire: Steak, sausage, burgers, zucchini. Rolf brought the steaks, Dort and Mary provided the chips, salad and extras.

We went to the Teaparty in TRF on the 12th of Sept. It was a good event. Up to 500 people. This is our 3rd Teaparty in TRF. Scott Hennan from Fargo's AM 1100 radio station was the keynote speaker. It was nice to be able to meet him and his wife.

This past Monday (Yesterday) we had Winkel at Ebro Corner. Very nice. Good studies of God's Word, Postmodernism, and the Marburg Colloqy. I presented on the Biblical Texts for next Sunday's worship services. The winner for the greatest distance traveled to get to this winkel goes to Pr. Faugstad from Belview, MN (My home town).

Mom, Pr. Josh S. said to greet you.

This week is Firearms Safety class. The class is huge, 60 plus students. We didn't have a summer course this year. Perhaps that's why this one is so large. It's a fun diversion.

I posted C.F.W. Walther's second lecture on Socialism on my theological blog, for anyone who might be interested. It's long, and I've included links to articles on the people and movements he discusses. The link is over on the left side of this page.

Pr. Thompson's paper at Winkel also touched on the subject of socialism the ways it contradicts Christianity. I'll ask him if he can put his paper online somewhere for those of you who might want to read it.

We had two Baptisms this past weekend.

Taylor D., daughter of Kaylie and Travis D. was baptized Saturday at St. Petri. This is Jim and Tammy S.'s grand daughter. It was a very nice service with about 30 people attending.

Joseph W. was baptized at Oak Park. He is an adult.

This was my first adult baptism (His too!). And you know. I didn't even think about it before hand. And because of that I could have caused some embarrassment. With a baby you just have whoever is holding the baby bring the baby next to the font. With Joseph I just kind of looked confused, but he covered for me. Joseph just bowed his head down to the font. Thank you, Joseph.

Joseph W's kids are about the same age as our kids. Louisa is in the same classes and on volley ball team with one of their daughters.

So, now, with the addition of two of their daughters, I have the largest Confirmation class I've ever had.

Please keep our new members and newly baptized in your prayers also.

Good night, everyone.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Some Catch-up

OK, it's been a really long time since I actually wrote what was going on.

In the weeks leading up to our vacation I had numerous hospital and family calls. I put together worship services for the four congregations during our two weeks of vacation.

And I want to thank Pr. Stafford, and Deacons Wayne W., Jim S., Jared H., and Randy M. for handling services and calls while we were on vacation.

Our vacation started Aug 12 at 5am when we left for Ron and Val F.'s home in Billings, Montana.

I had explained to our parish members that we were a family of 12 driving 4,800 miles in 1 van for two weeks. And the kids were really good the whole trip.

We arrived at Ron and Val's place. They and their step-son, Ken, treated us like royalty. What a wonderful family, great Gluten-free food, wonderful accommodations, great company.

Next morning off to Ontario, Oregon. We stopped at a motel for the night. The next day we visited Mary's aunt Beth and her son Frankie. Back to the motel. And we're grateful to the family that runs that motel for putting our large family up for so inexpensively.

The next morning we had breakfast at Aunt Beth's with Frankie and were off to Pastor Jacobsen's place in The Dalles, Oregon. Pastor Jacobsen's wife was at a Chemistry conference in D.C. And we're sad that we missed her. But we had a great time with Jesse and the kids, spending two nights there. We were there over the weekend and were able to attend worship there and visit with Vicar Gullixson and his wife. On one of the days we went for a hike at a park down to the Columbia river where the kids played in the river for a while.

After saying good bye to Pr. Jacobsen and his children we were off to our campground North-west of Granite Falls, Washington.

The campground was Gold Basin campground, where we spent the next few days during the preparation and wedding of Mary's sister Rachel. I did a lot of campfire cooking during our stay at that campground and inhaled a lot of Pacific NW smoke (Western Hemlock and moss).

There were giant slugs. The prune colored and shaped variety were the most common, but there were a couple of green slugs and one banana slug. The kids waited at the side of the campground drive until a car drove over one slug and popped it. They were giddy to report the popping sound it made. Sadists! They kept asking me for salt to put on the slugs, which I refused.

I refused because we only had a limited supply of salt. Actually, I was kind of thrilled that they thought of doing this kind of experiment. If you don't understand, just ask.

We went out to eat the next evening, and Mary's brother, Mike, invited us to eat at a Chinese restaurant in Everet. Great meal, better that we could visit with Mike and Shawna and the kids. Thank you, Mike for feeding us. I really wish I could have gone fishing with you. And thanks for dropping of that King Salmon you caught for us to grill in the campground. It was great.

During our stay there Mary's sister, Kathy, and her family camped in the next tent area and visited with us for a couple days. Mary and Kathy went to the Bridal party for their sister while Joel and I took care of some of the kids. Louisa went to babysit some of the other sister's kids with her cousins.

Then was rehearsal day. We left our campground and went to the home of the parents of Rachel's future husband. It was a long day, but the homestead was nice, the food great, and we were able to visit with most of the aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Back to the campground, some swimming, a bit of clay discovered and baked into a shape, then sleep.

Wedding day (And Matthew's birthday--August 22nd) we stopped at a gun shop in Granite Falls. Matt and I went in. Matt found a Schrad skinning knife that he really liked. "What, do you really want that?" Said I. "Well, yes. I have enough money." To the man behind the counter I said: "Can a minor buy a knife in Washington." "No." he said. "Well, then I think I could use that Schrad skinning knife."

"Where are you from?" said the man.

"Minnesota," I said.

"Ha! I should have guessed from the accent!" he said.

Purchase complete. Back in the van. Matt says, "How much do I owe you?"

"Happy birthday, Matthew!" says I.

Hopefully he will be able to use the knife a few times this fall.

Darrow, if Matt hunts with your family, make him skin some pelts.

Off to the wedding. We got there very early. Mary and the kids got something to eat. I couldn't.

The wedding was very nice. Mary's brother-in-law, Joel, conducted the service. Our niece, Christa, wrote a beautiful song for the service. We helped out in various ways as we were able.

Then the dinner. Then the dance.

Someone mentioned to the karaoke/DJ that it was Matt's birthday so Matt ended up having to try to sing a song. He settled on a Johnny Cash song, I helped him out (poorly).

And after a lot of visiting we went back to the campground.

The next morning we were off to Wenatchee where Mary's folks live. On the way we took a stretch of the old Cascade Highway just for fun. We'd been able to eat lots of blackberries at the side of the path from The Dalles to the Cascade Highway. And then we came to Wenatchee in the evening.

We spent two nights at Mary's folks' place. They invited several relatives to come for us to visit. And we were able to see MaryAnn, Elva, Ramon, Paul, and Lois. Mary's sister, Sarah, and her kids spent some time with us also. It was a good visit.

And then we were off to Jessica and Brent K's place at Belgrade.

There was so much construction. We took a bit of a break at the 50,000 Silver Dollar Bar bathrooms and tourist trap. More construction. It was so late by the time we got to Butte that we felt we couldn't spend the time with Jessica's family and still get to our son's school conference on Thursday evening.

We called Jessica and apologized for not being able to get there.

Jessica, I am really sorry. We were really looking forward to the visit. I hope you all are well and that we can see you soon.

We stopped in Livingston at a motel (twice as much as the motel in Ontario). Then after breakfast off to Rapid City, SD. Again there was some time pressure, so we continued to Wall and stayed at a motel where we had stayed previously (a very good price).

No touring around Wall, just the big dinosaur and fuel.

Thursday morning off to MN, we stopped at the rest stop just across the boarder from Sioux Falls and then went up 23 to my parent's home.

We got there in time for supper, then went to Jeremy's school conference.

Friday morning we went to Morton, MN to visit with my grandparents. Then we drove home.

Home late. Memorize sermon.

Saturday, church at Mt. Olive. Shut-in visits.

Sunday three services, and some sleep.

In the next few days I got ready for two Sunday School teacher meetings, a Wed. School curriculum for the year.

Juell had another back surgery, and seemed to be recovering well. Mavis had bleeding in a retina. She is getting a special reading tool for the visually impaired. And a few other pastoral issues during the week.

Well, I'll have to continue this in another post.

It was a nice vacation. Thank you all. Thank you, Mary, for planning it so well.