Category Archives: Miscellaneous

Anticipating a Great Birthday Present!

The greatest birthday present in recent memory, other than another year, is surely one that I will receive on the 19th of September, 2011,   when I will have the three pins holding my right ring finger together surgically removed…the pins not the finger.

I hope the bones in the finger will stay where they are supposed to stay once the pins are removed.  It has been vastly inconvenient to have to do everything with one hand only for 53 days…including the typing of this post…though I am left handed… a small blessing.  I broke it on July 29th while tubing on a lake with our friends, the Ropps near Kalamazoo, Michigan…500 miles from home on the second day of our vacation, on the last run of the day…again vastly inconvenient.

After going to the E.R. the doctor there said it would need surgery within two weeks…so they put the first cast on and sent me on my merry way armed with percoset…a dear friend in those early days…but with our vacation plans still intact…which was good for the rest of the family, but torture for me as we then spent seven days at Maranatha, a Christian conference center in Muskegon on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan.

To be on Lake Michigan but not be allowed to swim because of the cast…well I think it gives me some appreciation for what it must be like to be a Cubs fan….of course I’m not sure that even then one could truly understand the disappointment…unless they were in fact a Cubs fan.

The only two lessons I learned from this episode were 1. I was unsuccessful in doing a barrel roll on a tube..this time.  Some might argue that I need to come to grips with my increasing limitations…that I’m not as young as I once was etc. etc.  I refuse to entertain any such notions on this my 47th birthday.  2.  I am brave in some things.  I had the guts to set the finger myself, by yanking on it as it only bent at an awkward angle and then going to the hospital where they were duly impressed, in fact offering that if my day job didn’t work out they might have a place for me in trauma medicine.  I chuckled. Karla was not amused.


Israel Rocks! Part 1 of a report on Israel

Literally.  There were rocks everywhere!  We  (Karla and I and Lois from our church) arrived back home in Earlham, Iowa safe and sound  Wednesday March 2, 2011 after an absolutely awesome 10 day guided tour of  Israel.  Nearly everyone who knows that we went to Israel asks us two questions.  The first “How was the trip?”  and the second “Did you feel safe?”

Mt. Carmel overlooking the Valley of Armageddon
Sea of Galilee
Man on a camel in the ancient city of Petra

Continue reading Israel Rocks! Part 1 of a report on Israel

An open letter to all who pay health insurance premiums:Thank you. It’s all my fault. I’m sorry.

The largest health insurance company in Iowa, Wellmark Blue Cross/Blue Shield,  recently announced that health insurance premiums would be rising an average of 18% for Iowans.  Some more and some less.  Pity the individuals who happen to be in the same pool as I. 

From the last two months of 2008 through 2009 I tapped our insurance company for more than half a million.  So if you want to channel your distress or anger somewhere productive then please vent on me… who every time I see this fact sheepishly snicker inside.  There.  Now you know the truth.  It’s all my fault…and I’m sorry.  But on the upside it sure is nice to be alive!

Thankful to be in a pool of generally healthy people,


Now this is a funny cartoon!

One Super Bowl Highlight, a Skydiving Bummer, and the Best Shirt Money can Buy

  • The Super Bowl yesterday was a yawner until the final seconds of the first half and later in the third quarter.  I have always been a big Kurt Warner Fan and was hoping that he could pull out another Super Bowl Victory.  He and his Cardinals could not get it done, but it was a tremendous effort.  One of the highlights of the game this year was a word that flew out of announcer Al Michael’s mouth in the 3rd quarter.  He used the word alacrity (liveliness, briskness) to describe a brilliant defensive play.  While John Madden is my favorite announcer of all time I think the word was lost…both on him and 95% of the viewing audience.  I happened to catch it and it gives me great hope that the English language is not dead, even in the arena of professional sports. Did anyone else happen to catch this excellent word?
  • I read in the paper this morning about a man in Chester, South Carolina who was taking his first sky-dive.  He was strapped to an instructor by the name of George C. Steel.  The moment Mr. Steel jumped out of the plane he suffered a heart attack and died, leaving the first time jumper to figure out how to get himself safely to the ground.  The first time jumper made it out alive.  The veteran instructor did not.  We just never know what another day holds do we?
  • Finally, I wanted to let you all in on a piece of information that may well change the way you dress and use your free time.  Last year we came across a white dress shirt that claimed to be “non-iron.”  It was more expensive than we normally pay for a shirt but we gave it a shot.  This white shirt is amazing.  In a normal week I only wear it once.  After I wear it we throw it in the wash, then in the dryer, and it comes out looking five dollar pressed.  On the back of the shirt it says Eagle, non-iron, 80’s two ply pinpoint, 100% cotton.  You can do your own Google search, but hands down this is my favorite dress shirt.