Archive - 2005

November 21st

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!

November 16th

Nine degrees Fahrenheit

It didn't take long for winter to set in just as if it had been here for months. I always take the first storm as a personal insult. The comforts of the indoors don't do me any good. I get agitated and want to get out.

Last night, I was searching online for furnished apartments in Arizona. They all seemed too expensive. If this weather goes on long enough, they will look cheaper.

November 15th

Alberta clipper

I was planning a trip to Grand Forks, but turned around when I saw the visibility. Frozen slush covers the roads. It is far from ideal outside right now.

This weeping willow adds some color to the bleak landscape.

Nine yards, again

The sum total of emailed responses indicates that the preferred explanation for the term "whole nine yards" is that nine yards was the length of an ammo belt in World War II. Shoot off all your ammo, you gave 'em the whole nine yards.

Aunt Beth emailed a clip from the New York Times in which a grandma talked about her young grandson playing football "with pads and the whole nine yards." The phrase is still alive and well in the modern vernacular.

Major victory

After much shuffling of junk, the pickup entered the garage for the first time today, a mere five months after I moved into the house. It never once occurred to me to build a garage big enough to fit both junk and vehicle, so I had to move the junk to the guest bedroom, which is now useless for its intended purpose.

So, after 170,000 miles, the Ranger finally will be stored in warm garage.