A Visit with the Jines

Frank and Marjorie Jines came over after church so we could show them the house.  They are going to housesit for us while we are in California for ProPhotoExpo 2010 and our Route 66 Road Trip.  We gave them the grand tour and had a nice visit over lunch. 

We briefed them on Elders Flynn and Boudreaux.  About the time we were sitting down for lunch, the elders came home.  This gave us a chance to introduce them and to explain to the elders some of the things we told the Jines.

I was organist again today.  It is kind of humbling to be playing the organ in the Palmyra Ward.  Who would have thought 40 years ago when I was playing the organ for Priesthood Meeting in the old Lake Natoma Ward.  I’m glad my parents encouraged me to practice.

Sitting Room Re-arrangement

Elizabethe had a plan to rearrange the sitting room, so today we moved furniture and stuff to accomodate the plan.  It is actually more suited now for sitting and visiting.

I put a rod between the foyer and the sitting room and for now, we have an old quilt hanging in the doorway to keep the heat in the sitting room.  Once we find the right fabric, we’ll make a drape for the doorway. But, for now, the quilt will do.  It does make a notable difference in retaining the heat from the fireplace.

I managed to take the rest of the Christmas lights down.  We had a strand on each column on the front porch.  It required getting up on the ladder to remove them so I had to wait for the right weather before doing it.

Heavy Snow

Got up to about 1″ of accumulated snow.  After throwing 3 logs on the coals in the fireplace, and hoping they would catch them on fire, I headed out to shovel the driveway. 

That’s not a lot of snow, but weight-wise, it was heavy.  This snow today was dry, but very heavy.  And, there was a layer of ice under it.  I guess yesterday’s melt froze under the snow.  I must have slipped about 4-5 times.  Fortunately, I didn’t fall.

Greenhouse in Winter (iPhone pic - edited w/Photoshop mobile)

We’re heading to go bowling tonight with the Elder’s Quorum.  It should be fun.  Not that I’m into bowling, but it will be fun to get to know some of the guys and their wives.  (When it comes to bowling my strategy is to throw the ball so hard that the percussion of it hitting the back of the pin-setter causes a shock wave that knocks all pins down within a 10′ radius.  LOL)

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We had a fun time bowling.  I bowled with Dwaine and Darlene Denosky.  Both of them have bowled on bowling leagues.  They were very helpful with their tips and suggestions. 

There was a good turnout of about 20 or so people.  It was a fun activity.  The quorum picked up the tab for 2 lanes each.  We had a fun time.

Back to Barbershop

After an after-holiday break, the barbershop quartet is back to practicing.  Bruce (lead), Sam (baritone), Mark (bass) and I (tenor) practiced some of the good ol’ standards like Daisy Bell, Shine on Me, My Wild Irish Rose, After Dark, and more.  It is sure fun harmonizing.

We are trying to figure out when our next oportunity to sing will be.  So, if you need some entertainment… let us know.

ice cream
ice cream
ice cream
ice cream
ICE CREAM

What’s the Outrage?

I have never felt it right that people who have money are punished just because they have money.  To tell them they cannot give to a cause or person is wrong.  (I also think it is wrong to have anything other than a flat-tax.  As the saying goes, “If 10% is good enough for God, it should be good enough for the Government.”  Well, if a flat-tax (tithing) is good enough for God, it should be good enough for the Government.)  Thus, I applaud the Supreme Court’s decision.

You’ve got to wonder about what appears (to me) to be the most corrupt administration since Warren G. Harding and their outrage to the Supreme Court’s ruling to remove restrictions on spending by corporations and unions.  I think the answer lies in what I learned in my Organizational Behaviour class at B.Y.U.  It is this – When something is illegal, the price is driven up by the risk factor.  That is to say, the higher the risk, the higher the price. 

Why risk going to jail over something small?

However, once you make it legal, now there is no risk of going to jail, and thus, the price goes down – drastically.   Pot smokers have used that argument for years about the legalization of marijuana.  And, drug pushers are the last ones who want to see marijuana legalized because that would put them out of business.  Thus, legalization cuts into the profits of criminals.

If we were to look at it on the political side, a corporation might bribe a politician with hundreds of thousands of dollars to get them to vote a certain way.  The money is laundered to hide the flow of money because of someone gets caught, it means jail for both the recipient and the donor.  A politician isn’t likely to accept a $10,000 bribe.  It wouldn’t be worth it to risk so much for so little. 

Now, make it legal for the corporation to donate high amounts of money.  The risk is gone so the payments will be less.   No wonder they are up in arms and upset with the Supreme Court.

Another reason they (the dishonest politicians) might be upset is they know that good, honest companies will not make contributions to candidates who support their values (those of the dishonest politicians) .  This is not good for a corrupt politician or corrupt businesses.  They now have to compete openly with people who have scruples.  Gee.  Honest people being able to donate millions of dollars to good candidates.  Now, that would scare the heebie jeebies out of the crooks — especially if we get an honest person in the executive branch!  (For those who are not Constitutional savvy, the executive branch is responsible for enforcing laws.)

It is like the saying goes, “If you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns.”  Well, with high campaign contributions being illegal, only crooks will take bribes, and only crooks will make bribes.  The playing field has now been leveled.

To steal a line from the Randy Newman song, “I might be wrong… but I don’t think so.”

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As to the day… busy as heck at work.  Not much more to report.

Roof Leaks

A contractor came and looked at the roof on both the office building and the house.  There are suspect areas that should be repaired, but no way to know for sure if that is where the leaks are coming from.

In the case of the house, the roof over the dormers was not coated and is breaking down.  In the case of the office building, there are just a few places where they weren’t caulked well.  So, we’re probably looking at $500 in repairs for both.  That’s not too bad… I guess.

Elder Hamblin came over because IE8 wouldn’t run on his laptop.  It turns out, it runs, but can’t access the Internet.  I checked and I can ping yahoo.com and other sites, but IE8 can’t talk to anything.  I suspect it is Norton 360 blocking it.  Oh, the joys of computers.

Rainy Days on Monday

Bring back memories of the 70s?

Well, it really poured today.  Elder Flynn called me and said the ceiling was dripping water.  Just what I need… a leaky roof.

When I got home, about the only thing I could see was that the roof was leaking near where the run off from the 2nd story would hit the roof over the kitchen.  Perhaps there should be some sort of flashing there.  I’ll have a contractor look at it in the morning.

Good news is that we had no leaking in the commercial building.

If You Are Going to Sing, SING!

Today was my Sunday for playing the organ.  It was one of those days where there were I didn’t know the hymns very well.

In Primary, the younger children were quite wound-up, but the older ones were amazing today.  My voice teacher always said, “If you are going to sing, SING!” meaning, don’t be mealy-mouthed about it.  Well, these six girls in Senior Primary really impressed me today.

Emily, Rachel, Emma, Renny, Brittany and Ashley sang like the room was full of singing children.  After learning their new song, Sister Collie asked them to pick their favorites.  When they sang the song Love is Spoken Here, it was difficult to play because it was difficult to see the music through the tears in my eyes.  This was one of those time that make being the Primary pianist the best calling in the church.

When You Come to Visit… (part 1)

I’ve decided to start a series called, “When You Come to Visit…”.  Today will be Part 1.  Other parts will follow, but not necessarily the next day.

Today’s feature is Sauder’s in Seneca Falls, New York.

This place is a Mennonite grocery store.  Not Amish, mind you, and not Mormon, but Mennonite. 

I just returned from there where I bought red pepper sweet relish, roaster garlic cheddar cheese curds, chives & cheddar cheese curds (I love these), cherry jam, a ham hock (for soup tomorrow), picked beets, marshmallow bits (like you find in Lucky Charms, but without the cereal – they are for my daughter Jennifer), bread, chocolates, jalapeno pepper jelly (great with cream cheese on a cracker), mushrooms ($2.20/lb), onions and I don’t know what all else.  I spent a little over $100.  Most of that on cheeses.

Sauder’s is not very far from the Peter Whitmer Farm in Fayette, New York.  So, for those doing LDS Church History tours, Sauder’s is a great place to pickup some deli meats and bread and have yourself a sandwich for lunch.  (They also sell soda, fresh fruits, candies, etc.)

Just as you enter the store, there are handcrafted bird houses and things like that.  In fact, you can even buy a pretty fancy chicken coop or garden shed. 

Sauder’s is also on the way to Cayuga and Seneca Lakes.  So, take some time to visit there.

Wood for the Insert

They delivered the firewood today.  3 face cords on three racks plus a little spill over that couldn’t fit on the racks.  We’ve got firewood!

The wood was a little on the damp side, so it took a while to get a fire nice an hot.  But, once it got hot, it stayed hot. 

Elizabethe and I enjoyed 2 hours of NCIS while I tended the fire.  By the time the 2 hours was up, the fire was going pretty well.

We then retired to the bedroom and watched The Invention of Lying.  I would not recommend the movie.  Although it had a cute premise, they ruined it with too much talk about sex and somewhat of an anti-God message.  (They implied that God is all a big lie.  It’s really sad that there are those who do not know who are unwilling to put forth the effort to come to know that God lives.  And, unlike most things we are familiar with, you cannot prove to someone else God exists.  They have to learn that for themselves.)