Monday, June 28, 2004

Church Pignic

Yesterday, it rained for most of our Sunday School picnic. I speculated that some Thunder Bay Christian farmer out there was praying imprecisely, especially when the sun came out as we were finishing off. See "Praying For Rain".

Miriam Lappala continued on valiantly leading the kids in relays etc.and the rain did stop soon enough for us to have a quick Bailey Ball tourney (like Bocci but with scrounged equipment). My skill in this game was picking the right teammate, Douglas Livingston Sr. (We won. Our prize was the admiration of our opponents.)


My brother Adrian and his wife Chris were in town last week. He stopped by for a brief visit early in the week. My Dad took him and me (yes, *not* he and I) to the Keg for steak and lobster on Tuesday. Thursday night was a birthday party for my Dad, Adrian and my ex-bro-in-law, Doug. I will post pics soon at my church's website.

I'm sorry this is all rather prosaic, but I'm keeping the family feelings stuff private. On Friday Adrian stopped by while Chris was out shopping and I wondered what we would talk about, since we haven't communicated that much since A. left for university in the 70's. It did occur to me to drag out the old table hockey game (the oldest and best designed one of the 3 I have) on which he and I (yes, *not* him and me) used to have many a hard-fought battle, as they say.

In fact, the battles were maybe too hard-fought and so we stopped playing even before he left home. So it was nice to play again after all these years. I clobbered him in the first game and he me in the second. We skipped the rubber match and so all was calm and friendly. I'm fairly certain that we would have controlled our tempers better than we did as teenagers, even if we had played Game 3.

I think these pix may have been taken in May 2005. Note that we drew faces on the players, and gave them names such as "Ian Scurgolz".


Thursday, June 24, 2004

Wednesday, June 23, 2004


Reading a psalm a day these days.




Moving stuff around

Yesterday morning with the MEMO Team I did one thing I really hate and one thing I really like.

Recently with Cambrian Players and now MEMO I've been doing a lot of lifting/carrying/moving things. I really hate doing this, because I have skinny arms and delicate hands.

I've had enough forethought the last few times to wear gloves, which helps somewhat.

"It's not heavy," they say. "Just awkward."

I find that much of the time it is awkward *and* heavy.

But this moving around of medical supplies in an out-of-the-way warehouse near the Kam River was in order to "rationalize" their arrangement, so that they could be inventoried in preparation for sending them to Cuba.

I really, really like organizing things. We were given a big, basic plan (with signs on posts), knew who the bosses were and what their areas of responsibility were, but were also free within those parameters to figure things out ourselves and -- as a *team* transform chaos into order.

Whoo boy! That's one of my favourite things.

Hum Sound of Music tune now.

Dinner Guests

On Monday I had Amy (nee James) and Garron Rish (and their daughter Journey) over to eat supper with me.

I'm wording it that way to preclude any cannibalistic Comments.

(I've known Amy since she was little, as she was a "James kid" at DBC. She's the one most known her for her dramatic, artistic flair.

She and Garron were the Head Cabin Leaders at Dorion Bible Camp in 2001. That was Garron's intro to DBC.)

I had hoped that we would play one of my many board games after supper, but instead we looked at our travel photos and talked about things that make us very angry -- mostly stuff that has happened to *us*.

Then they had to get Journey to bed as she was a bit restless and so we didn't get to play "Hog Holler". But the talk was better -- again somewhat cathartic.

They are moving to Three Hills AB this summer and so, unfortunately, there probably won't be much more visiting in Thunder Bay.

Saturday, June 19, 2004


I hate it when people use "former" this way (referring to a living person):

"He was a former school teacher."

No, he *is* a former school teacher. Possibly, the sentence above could mean that he is now once again a school teacher --

-- or that he is now dead, but, after his teaching career, he *was* a former school teacher.

Got it?

Hospital ghosts

Yesterday morning at the former McKellar Hospital I helped the MEMO team start to organize the leftover furniture and medical equipment to ship to Cuba and the Philippines. I hope to have some pics soon at my website.

First of all, it was really cool to walk past many "Do not enter" signs into rooms such as OR, delivery rooms, radiology control rooms and doctors' offices where I never before could have gone. There we found such messages scrawled on the walls as "Thanks for the memories" and "The end is coming. Run!".

Secondly, I began to contemplate (in the pediatric ward sadly) how many people have died in that building. (I also found the ICU room to which my Dad was taken in late '02 when he *almost* died.)

It made me wonder why there are not more ghost stories associated with hospitals. (I do remember hearing one when I was on my "Ghost Walking Tour" in London England, but I think it was a nurse not a patient.)

I also realized that I'm fairly certain that many more people die in hospital than in schools. That could be used to argue in favour of choosing a school over a hospital when feeling deathly ill. (I suppose that many more people flunk math in a school than in a movie theatre. Therefore, if your grades are slipping, go to the movies.)

It also made me think about the Church (and "churches") and the number of people who are damaged in one way or the other there. (I believe these thoughts apply to other helping institutions as well.)

It's possible that the damage is just more noticeable than that which occurs outside of such institutions, because of the *expectation* and *intention* of healing. (See hospitals above.)

OTOH it's possible that the amount of damage *is* greater than outside -- but pretty much for the same reasons.

This is not to excuse such damage, especially that which is due to malevolence or inexcusable negligence (<----tautology alert! tautology alert!)

Nor am I suggesting any solutions.

Hey, this is a blog, not a Philip Yancey book.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004


I bought 3 tomato plants at Superstore. Last night I turned over part of my garden, dug three holes and inserted the plants, thereby beginning this year's garden.

Monday, June 07, 2004

Games night at Kuchtas' (last Thursday)

The Results of My Psychological Assessment
(The Box in the Desert etc.)

I am wooden and broken
And full of crap.

Many friends, but distant.
Two are broken.
The friends or their ships?

My ideal mate is either dead (or unattainable)
And small and shaggy.

No kids.

The storm of problems will completely bury me,
My friends
And my non-wife.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Kill (Richard) the Radio Star

Wow! They actually played "Nobody Talks (During Coach's Corner)" this morning on local CBC Radio One just before 08:00.

I felt very embarrassed as I could hear everything about the recording which I didn't like. Hearing it aired on CBC sure made it sound a lot "heavier" (musically) than I had remembered it too. I wonder if CBC lost any older listeners at that point. (That may be why they played it just before the news, so that the listeners would endure it while anticipating the news.)

Lisa the host said afterwards, "We all need a dose of Richard Pepper to brighten our day."

Maybe I should put that on my resume.