Archive - Jan 2006

January 27th

About time

A writer with the courage of his convictions at Christianity Today magazine argues in this article that torture should never be permitted. I have been waiting for somebody of his ilk to care. This article is dead on, especially its first point about the dignity of every human. Nobody is "human debris," I don't care what they think or do.

January 26th


Finally, after swearing for months before, during and after two moves that I was going to sort through all my things and fill a dumpster with junk, I did just that today. What a relief. However, the garbage man doesn't come until next Wednesday, so there is still a chance that some of that stuff will pop out of the dumpster and find its way back into my garage.


These scrubby oak adorn the cemetery where my grandparents are buried. Oak at sunset seem to cast a darker silhouette than other trees. Their mood is appropriate for cemeteries.


One year ago, I wrote a column on owning a snowblower. Neighbor Vernon owns one, so when things get a little thick in our driveways, Dad gives him a call. Here are Dad, left, and Vernon, in the red hat, discussing snowblowing issues yesterday afternoon.

January 25th

Spanish Flu

An eighty-four-year-old gentleman named Paul wrote me a nice letter concerning a column I wrote a while back about the 1918 flu. It included the following story:

Feeding finches

A busy morning for the finches. They are attacking the thistle feeder with a vengeance. Those at the top of the food chain go right up to the feeder, while those a ways down in the pecking order feed off the fallen thistle on the ground.

Frowsty morn

Couldn't resist running up the driveway a little this morning to try to catch the orange of the rising sun in the frost on the branches of the trees. It is a very still morning, and the air echoed with birds chirping and woodpeckers knocking on old trees.

I turned on the microphone on the bird feeder at sunrise. On cue, about two dozen finches started to fight over the pegs on the thistle-seed feeder.

January 24th

Ribbons of grass

Quick trip

Took a trip down to Minneapolis. Drove the parents of high school friend Roger down to the swearing-in ceremony for new Minnesota Chief Justice Russell Anderson. Anderson was judge in Crookston for many years, and Roger's dad Bob was a public defender.

January 22nd


While surfing the web, I found this portrait of a boy by one of my favorite painters, John Singer Sargent. Sargent had a touch like no other. Soft, yet defined.