Sunday, September 30

There was no little love for this assassinated President, Abraham Lincoln, in 1865. A war victory, freedom for slaves, a secure Union, and many other accomplishments won him the admiration and love of the many. Though far from perfect, often criticized and unattractive, the poor man's humility and love for country overruled any lasting hatred, at least in the North.

News of his death spread around the world, and representatives from great and little known points wrote their condolences, many recorded in the House of Representatives Listing of Documents for the year 1865-1866. The Appendix of Diplomatic Correspondence includes over 700 pages. Here's a sample from a New York National Guard unit:

My great-great grandfather, William J. Burk signed the document you'll find here:

You can find the most surprising things on the Internet!

Thursday, September 27

Shocky Racoon

Last night's big adventure began with Liz being stared down by a huge racoon that had jumped onto our roof. Tempted by the neighbor's catfood and our cat's waterbowl, this errant creature was probably looking for dessert --- maybe some pigeon eggs or pigeon parents, which are common in our area (but not at our address).

So how does a racoon find itself in the middle of a city of 300,000 people? Pretty easy if you have rivers, lakes, levees, train tracks and huge parks.

The girls let me sleep while they trailed it to the neighbor's front porch. But then it scooted back over (under?) our fence into the backyard. I didn't hear about it until this morning or I would have snapped a picture of the critter (the one above was borrowed from the Internet). Maybe we'll go coon hunting tonight with Angel!

Life goes on. Expect some excitement here and there.

Friday, September 21

Finally Friday

This week's work grind is finally over. Not complaining, but it sure feels good to relax with nothing much planned for the weekend. Supposed to rain tomorrow anyway. I'll probably head for the flea marked before everyone gets up (unless it's raining).

So why am I writing this drollish drool and wasting your time? Good question, for which I don't have a ready answer (remember the inanity of the moment). But you're still reading. You're wondering, "Where's he going with this drivel?"

Okay, I thought of something:


1. Don't grab the muffler on your lawn mower when you're trying to find the carburetor. Your fingers will start sizzling before you realize your predicament. It will hurt more than anything you've ever experienced. It will make you feel like an idiot. It will remove your fingerprints. Your fingers will look like raw meat.

2. Keep your mouth shut as much as possible when you're asked to share your thoughts in a peer group of mostly strangers. You're not as smart as you used to be.

Saturday, September 15

This Stingy Heart in a Smallish World

Electrical technology in the form of the Internet has certainly transformed our once wide-world into a one-click-away existence.

Liz just called wanting to know the address of the Burlington Coat Factory in Modesto. Clicking from an article on Providential Preservation of the New Testament to my home page (Google) and entering Burlington Coat Factory Modesto, the first hit included its address and a map of all surrounding streets and freeways. Took maybe 30 seconds. She is driving through Modesto, calls me and I become her online 'operator' for less than a minute. Pretty cool and revolutionary compared to the world we grew up in just a few short years ago.

Unfortunately, this profusion of knowledge leads to a delusion of knowledge that says, "Technology brings the power of total independence. Why do I need you when I have the Internet, MacDonalds, a Hummer, HDTV and and iPod?" And the ultimate delusion when we ask, "Why do I need God?"

The Old Testament prophesy in the Book of Daniel about 'knowledge shall increase' in the last days certainly rings true if it includes secular intelligence. Judgment may be around the corner. In fact, it's here: God has given us up to a love of pornography, unnatural lust, adultery, hatred, murder, stealing, laziness, caring only about ourselves and the endless list of those things God hates.

Here's one of the best messages I've heard on why we need a Savior.

Sunday, September 9


My poor fingers after cleaning are transformed from a completely oily black to a semblance of normal, except for the the nicely framed fingernails and bloody scrapes. The two month wait for parts and repair of the old Chevy pickup is over finally. An eight hour stretch of replacing the cylinder head, exhaust, carb, and disconnected electrical stuff ended in success (to a point). The mechanic apparently used another head he found and the spark plug holes are too small for my original plugs to be tightened with a socket. Won't fit. He'll get a call tomorrow!

But it runs (plier tightened plugs notwithstanding). Timing needs correcting a bit. Minor valve cover and hose leak. That's all so far. Emphasis on 'so far'.

Thank you, Lord, for the wisdom, strength and perseverance to finish this job, in spite of laziness and indecision along the way.

Monday, September 3

The Demise of Roadside Art

Old Hwy 99 that streamed through here until the freeway was built, drove the motel business through the roof. Roadside restaurants opened and thrived. But most of the old stuff has been abandoned, replaced or in disrepair.

Some of the vintage signage remains above the pavement, preserving a mid-twentieth century style that will soon disintegrate and vanish with most things nostalgic. We have a book that sits on the coffee table to entertain our 'older' friends. The author traversed America, looking for those special neon and oddly shaped signs to photograph. You've probably seen a few of them in your travels as well.

An era has ended. Take those pictures! Your grandkids will get a good laugh out of them.

Saturday, September 1

The Train Museum in Sacramento is a world-class American history lesson that even appeals to non-train buffs. New exhibits, bright, shiny cars and engines, models, numerous wax-made workers and presentations keep you busy taking pictures during your visit. An outdoor train station and working steam passenger train let you experience 19th century transportation first hand.

Ryan, Liz and Angel came back with great stories of what they saw. After spending time in the museum, they walked and shopped around Old Town Sacramento, which is all to eager to get your money. Located right on the Sacramento River, a taste of nostalgia (albeit, we weren't born in its heyday) is in the air while rambling over the boardwalks and cobblestone streets.