Archive - Nov 2005

November 24th

Over the river and through the woods

Thanksgiving morning, and it is bitterly cold. A north wind roared all night. The sun is shining through the frost around the edges of the windows.

In a couple of hours, I will figure out how to bake a ham, start the potatoes, microwave some squash, and get ready for dinner at one. I also am thawing one of the Hutterites' good smoked chickens.

So, no turkey. I got scared of all the "how-to" people warning me that if I don't cook it right, all my guests will die. Ham is already cooked. So is the smoked chicken. That seems like the safest route.

November 22nd

Thanksgiving preparation

I put a ham in the fridge to thaw. I have never baked a ham before. It can't be too difficult. I have Betty Crocker handy to help out. Aunt Olla is coming out for the dinner, and she always baked ham with red wine. Perhaps I should pick up a bottle and try it.

M. Scott Peck

Perhaps some of you have read M. Scott Peck's classic The Road Less Traveled. I didn't realize until I ran across this news item that he recently died. Equally interesting is the obituary--wow! Now that is one in the British style. They don't let up on you even when you die.

November 21st

Dreaming of Arizona

I want to go to Arizona so badly I can taste it. Today, I studied the AZ map on the wall of my office, thinking of places to visit. I have sort of gotten myself into a rhythm of going to AZ at least two winters out of three, and once you get those memory cues in place, they become difficult to resist.

Every year, I go through the same charade of thinking I am not going to go--no, I'll just stay home and take care of what little business there is to take care of in January. Stay warm. Read. Tend to the stove. Cut wood.

Hymn sing

Mom and Dad hosted a few people Saturday night for an old-time hymn sing. It was a good time. Mom played the piano, people threw out hymn numbers, and we sang with the parts pretty well covered.

Last fall, I spoke to a group at the Ada Methodist Church. In their lobby was a box of Worship and Service hymnals, which for some people is "the old red hymnal" they grew up with. Well, the church had gotten new hymnals and was trying to find a place for the old ones. I took a few and later a member of the church dropped of the rest of them--a real treasure, if you ask me.

November 20th

Photo safari

It is sort of becoming a Sunday evening tradition: Get out of the house and go take pictures, no matter how dull and dreary it seems outside. Today, Lance and I drove around the back roads and ended up in Rindal--same place I ended up a couple of weeks ago on a sunny fall morning.

Above is a view of the row of pine which borders the Faaberg cemetery.

Laptops in the classroom

A few weeks ago, I wrote a column about the frustrations of trying to teach in a classroom where students have laptop computers hooked up to the web. This morning, an article in Slate magazine by a college students tackles the issue from another angle: If professors have a problem with students distracted by what is on their computer screens, they should spice up their lectures a bit. The student wrote the article during a lecture, incidentally.

November 19th

Krauthammer on ID

Charles Krauthammer weighs in on the notion of "intelligent design." Thanks to weblog reader Kay for the tip. Krauthammer is always worth reading.

November 18th

More response

Wow, now some notes are coming in the mail about the column. This one must have touched a nerve. Two notes agreed with my column and warned me that I had better be ready for an onslaught of nastiness, and the third was--an onslaught of nastiness. Also, an emailer wrote that he and his wife were disappointed that I felt the need to subject them to my "political leanings."

November 17th

Column response

I've never had so much immediate response to a column as I have to the last one. I am sure not everybody is happy with it, but the responses have all been positive thus far.

Positive, but with a troubling twist: most of the comments seem to imply that it took courage to publish the column. Maybe I am just foolish, but I don't think it took much courage at all. Now I am wondering if I should start waiting for the jackboots to come and haul me away!