Saturday, December 30, 2006

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like....

Hillcrest Park, Thunder Bay, Dec. 25/06

CBC NW Ont. kindly played this parody of mine c. 0725h Wed. Dec. 20/06.

It's beginning to look a lot like Easter everywhere you go.
It's December the 24th and we're living in the North,
But we're playing in the slush instead of snow.

It's beginning to look a lot like Easter: rain falling from the sky.
It's warm enough to walk, but we drive around the block,
And we wonder why.

The air will be hotter, our sons and our daughters
Will wilt under the glow.
The icecaps'll shrink and we'll be in the drink
And we'll have to learn to row
And Doctor David Suzuki can say I told you so.

It's beginning to look a lot like Easter, not Christmas anymore.
The final catastrophe that we might have to see,
Says Al Gore,
Is the rising of the sea, inconveniently,
Up to your front door.

The video I made years later:


Friday, December 29, 2006

Harbron Hubbahubbaloobaloo Dec. 29/06

No witty captions. Sorry. You can suggest them, if you like.


Thursday, December 28, 2006

My New Christmas Slogan

Translated from the French:

"Keep Noah in Christmas!!"

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Wandering Minstrels Christmas Eve for St. Thomas' Anglican



Klyms Visit Dec. 24/06


Kylie & Elaine

Alex & Ed

Fast-growing hair

Looking for someone to hook with his hockey stick

"Okay then, I'll go curling instead."

Discussing the sermon


Thursday, December 21, 2006

Was Jesus Born in a Stable?

I'll state my thesis right away, rather than cover myself with qualifications first (my usual tendency).

If we go only by what we have in the Canonical Gospels, it may be that Christ was actually *born* in a more humble place than a stable, that is, maybe by the side of the road.

Not that I *know* (assuming the accuracy of Matthew & Luke) He was born there. But (based on the same authority) we don't know He was actually born IN a stable either.

I'm using "stable" to mean any place where animals would be housed, whether a cave, the wooden shed we often picture (possibly with an open front suitable for photo-ops) or the lower portion of a house (possibly belonging to one of Joseph's relatives. Were there none living there? Did they all reject him because of Mary?).

Despite songs such as "Go Tell It on the Mountain", "Mary's Boy Child" and "Jesus Freak", I'm reasonably (but not totally) certain that Mary did not crawl into the manger to give birth, resulting in Jesus being born IN a manger.

(Sometimes I sub "near a manger" when I'm able to abide my own precise personality.)

Luke says that she "gave birth to...a son...and placed him in a manger...." (2:7).

FWIW the Church of the Holy Nativity in Bethlehem has a spot (marked by Joseph with an X?) where the birth is commemorated and some distance away (though I forget how much) is a cave with two alcoves and stone troughs commemorated as the stable.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

St. Thomas' Sr. Youth Group: Dec. 20/06


She shoots; she scores!

Three R's

"What about 'the new NHL', RP?"

We also discussed the nativity scene picture below. I will list the possible errors soon in another post.

Click the pic for a larger version.

We also played music a little bit, but didn't really get any Christmas carols done. However, Meaghan did play "Thunderstruck" (the intro) for us!


Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The Golden Wok

Today I met for lunch with my Youth Ministry Facilitator Committee at the Golden Wok on May St. and felt as if we had walked into the CBC Radio Christmas Party.

In attendance were Lisa Laco, Tom Grand (Program Manager), Jody Porter, Gord Ellis (Junior), Ron Desmoulins (Dez-moo-linz, when we were in high school together), MJ Cormier, Cathy Alex and that guy who usually answers the door when I go to pick up my prizes (the guy who was with Gord and Cheryl at Cockburn this year).

I ended up lining up at the cash register with them, hoping that maybe my tab would be covered by the taxpayer (didn't happen). I overheard Ron reading his fortune with the extra two words at the end.

I chose between two cookies:

The other cookie (taken by one of my committee members) was (approx.) "[Something about suffering] Pain is something we seek to avoid
.... "

Mine says "A new romance is about to enter your life. Act on your first impulse
.... "

Monday, December 18, 2006

2006 Christmas Letter

Links are now fixed.

Youth Ministry Facilitator for the Anglican Deanery of Thunder Bay since Sept. '04.
Youth Co-ordinator for St. Thomas' Anglican since Sept. '05.

Both of these are part-time and so I supplement my income with odd jobs, such as website maintenance for St. Michaels' and "grunt work" and other assignments for the Northern School Resource Alliance.

I am still a member at the Northwood Park Church of Christ and maintain the website and blog.

Family: My Mum cooks me a meal once a week at her place. Usually, I also have a Sunday meal with her and those members of my sister's family who are still in Thunder Bay.

Wednesday has become a Self-Care Day for me, starting with our "Little Men's Group" in the morning (used to include Eric, Tim and me, but now Eric has moved to Kenora), followed by visiting Erin, Kristian and Little John at Brian and Charisse's*, followed by chatting at Ishaawin Family Resources about the ups and downs, strikes and gutters of the past week. ("Sometimes you eat the b'ar; sometimes the b'ar eats you." The Stranger in "The Big Lebowski" "Hope is a good thing." Andy DuFresne in "The Shawshank Redemption")

* = I doubt anyone is reading this anymore, but I am very sad that these visits have been discontinued. I really miss them.

Music: Primarily singing hymns at four different locations per month in Senior homes, plus a few other small gigs.
I have also begun to maintain a page of some of my mp3s at (formerly

Fun: About once a week timlap and macbeth (and sometimes Shroom_a_zoom) hang out at my place to talk and watch
one of macbeth's Post-Apocalyptic DVDs. I do take in the occasional movie with similar people or others in an actual theatre.

Any reference below to Cambrian Players production can be included in the "fun" category as well.

And then there's Friday Night Hockey, followed by Rednecks vs. Pinkos at Robin's Donuts (or occasionally Boston Pizza).

Below I will link only a few events or organizations. My intention here is that you simply skim this post to get an idea of how the year has been. For more info or pix click on that month's link.

Took a trip to Schreiber for Fr. John and Allyson Sovereign's Farewell.

Performed as the voice of Herod in "Go Tell It on the Mountain" by Sue Simonson at St. Michael's for Epiphany.

Attended the Camp Gitchigomee Valentines Dinner.

Danced with a priest at the Mardi Gras Party at St. Paul's. (The priest was Rev. Deborah.)

Rode a draught horse at the Deanery Youth Unit Sleigh-non-ride at Gammondale Farm. (The sleighride itself was cancelled due to rain and thunder!)

I helped organize a Inter-Varsity "Frontline" Street Hockey Tournament and got drafted that day onto a Dorion (ex)staff-type team. We didn't win, but I had a lot of fun.

Went curling for the first time in my life as part of a Church of Christ family event.

The big highlight of the month was my Trip to Andy James' 60th Birthday in Alberta. Andy was director for the majority of my 31 years at Dorion Bible Camp. He thought his present was a weekend with Charlotte at Kananaskis, but while they were in the hot tub, family and friends from all over started suddenly appearing, resulting in much half-naked hugging.

I had a birthday party with a few friends and another with my family.

Starting in April I began to visit the Anglican churches in the area to promote Camp Gitchigomee.

Attended the Dedication of St. Mary's new church building in Nipigon.

Operated the sound for Cambrian Players run of "Murder at the Howard Johnson/Criminal Genius"

I also help direct some teenagers in a musical/drama troupe called "The Wandering Minstrels" and we had some performances this month.

I attended the Dorion Bible Camp 60th Anniversary Dinner. This was a very strange event for me. Though, of course, the pictures shown brought back many happy memories for me, I'm sorry, any words from the stage such as "grace" and "unity" rang hollow to me. (The food was good.) Thank you to those who supported me by sitting at my table.

"Big Al" Drinkwalter who now lives in Germany with his wife, Annette (pronounce the final e) and three boys, Patrick, Andy and Joshua, took a break from his Nursing studies and came to visit. I had supper with his parents and him and took a walk around the old neighbourhood. (Al was a camper then staff at Dorion and also a member of the Church of Christ.)

Camp Gitchigomee Fun Day and Work Weekend

The highlight of this month was the Church of Christ 40th Anniversary.
Several of the old folks showed up for a weekend of eating, singing, sharing and eating.

Open Mike Night at Grann Art Gallery

I improvised the part of King Richard IV at a Music Recital at the Finnish Free Church. I sat there eating grapes and snacks and drinking this pleasant beverage. Once it was done, I took a look at it and was surprised to see that it was alcoholic.

June - Aug. '06
My friend, Rick Three, house-sat for me while I was away.

Cambrian Players: "The Merchant of Venice"
I played Solanio, one of Antonio's friends. Every night I got to eat a banana on stage, hoping that I would not choke as I spoke at the same time.

Leadership Camp at Old Fort William

My sister Geri, her husband, Sonny and Beverly, Mitchell and Clifford came from Georgia to visit.

Camp Gitchigomee
All three weeks as (at various times) Cabin Leader, Games Director, Co-Director, Drama Instructor, Archery Director and Musician.

Youth Synod at Camp Manitou near Espanola:
Helped drive, supervise and led a session on Worship

Manitoba Pioneer Camp Boys Classic Two:
Assistant Boys Camp Director

Church of Christ: Family Camp

St. Thomas Parish Campout at Camp G.
Led campfires and archery.

Trip to Marathon for an Ordination/New Ministry service

Birthday Parties: Greg (19), Kristian (1) & Delia (1)

Wedding: Annika Vastamaki & James Pretchuk

Bruce Cockburn Concert

Church of Christ: Bailey Farewell. Erica has taken a new job in Kenora.
My nephew Greg decided to move with them.

DYU "Trick or Canned Gooding" in support of St. Thomas' Food Bank.
I dragged out my Darth Vader costume again.

Kristian's First Time Trick or Treating (accompanied by Darth Vader)

Visited Kristian in hospital (bad stomach virus)

Gitchigomee Volunteer Appreciation Dinner

Deanery Youth Unit All-Nighter

Began a new blog for Thunder Bay ISCF.

IV/ISCF: Friends of IV Night
IV/ISCF: The Gathering

Rauni Griffiths' 75th Birthday

Songwriters Contest (They chose 6 of 9 to go the finals. I wasn't chosen.)

Cambrian Players Dinner Theatre: "Love Letters" (I ran sound for this.)

Commissioning of timlap as minister of the Northwood Park Church.

Mum was made an Honorary Member of the Fort William Rotary Club.

Church of Christ Christmas Party.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Christmas Party Dec. 16/06



"Don't worry, Delia, I'll protect you from Calvin."

Big yawn.
Calvin thinks old people like Kristian are so boring.

"Hmm. His heady is squishy right here."

"Oh! A camera!"

Greg is back in town.

George runs the show.

"I said, 'Gimme that present!'"

No, George. That one belongs to Kristian.

Mullet-man plays hockey (pre-haircut).

What's in that little box, Bill?

"Well, at least the Sharpie will be useful."

"Cheryl, can I use these as fishing lures?"

Kristian is content with what he has.

Pastor Tim and the boys.

What a tool!