Wednesday, October 31, 2007


...kindly mentioned me in his blog on Saturday Oct. 27th.

I'm finally mentioning him here. You should visit his site for some interesting observations about missions and the church in England, as well as some thoughts on Bible translation. (This pic is from their travels to England's Lake District.)

And David also mentioned me. So now I'm returning the favors. Check out his site too!

Monday, October 29, 2007

2 seconds, $700 - part two

[If you scroll down to the Oct. 23rd post, you can see part one.]

This little picture shows the damage to our car - basically a small scratch. I didn't even bother to get it repaired.

Now the deal is - the fact that I damaged the other vehicle to the tune of $700* points to the fact that his rear quarter panel should have been made out of the same impact-resistant plastic that my bumper is. If it were, my repair bill would have been a lot less, times how ever many thousand of little fender benders happen like that all over the world, each day.

(*Oh yeah - another $165 or something was added to the bill paid by my insurance for his rental car while his truck was being repaired - so the bill was more like $870.)

A footnote: Saturn made its cars with plastic body panels for many years. The point was to avoid getting dings on your door in the parking lot. I'm not sure if they still do; I think they went mainstream. Sigh.

"The Dread Cancer of Stinginess"

Here's an article for those of you interested in Christian missions, that a friend (Doug Wicks) pointed me to.

And another article that is worth reading is here. Here's a teaser: "spiritual growth doesn’t happen best by becoming dependent on elaborate church programs but through the age old spiritual practices of prayer, bible reading, and relationships."

Sad but true

My good friends John and Amy are moving to Germany. Today, in fact.

Saturday, I joined their "pack the container" party.

This is yet another fallout of the death of the organization we both were part of, Caleb Project.

I am glad they are going, for their sake. It's a cool place. (We very briefly visited, on our way back from Kenya.) They'll be joining our friends Jim & Sara, who are already working there.

But I am really sad they are going, for my sake.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Rockies in the World Series

Most of you out there know that baseball's biggest contest is happening right now. Our town's team, the Colorado Rockies, is vying for the win. Actually, they are about to die and blow away. Their performance prior to the final World Series games was amazing - they won 21 out of 22 games! But they have done incredibly badly in the first 3 games. (It's a best 4 out of 7 game series.)

Tonight is probably their last game.

It would have been fun to go to one of the games, even if the Rockies lost, but tickets are just too durn expensive: anywhere from $200 to $2000 per ticket.

Having said that, I found this amusing listing in craigslist: "I have 2 rockpile seats I am GIVING AWAY for tonight's Game 4. I am sickened by how the Rockies have played and don't care anymore. I can meet you by the stadium one hour before first pitch. The person who convinces me most will get the tickets. Call me at..."

Update: they lost game four.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Apple software coupons

Has anyone out there ever been able to use one of these Apple software coupons?

Maybe if you take one to your nearest Apple Store, they will let you surf the internet for free... oops, they already do that.

[By the way, today is the launch of the new Apple operating System - 10.5, alias Leopard. For a mere $129, you can bring your Mac into the latest realm of computerness. I'm gonna wait.]

Thursday, October 25, 2007

I have tried this

Yes, Russell Stover has a new line of chocolates. They are good.

I was visiting my mom in Texas. (Well, I was there on business - and I stayed with her for part of the time.) She likes chocolate, like I do. (Genetics.) She found a buy one get one free coupon. We did it.

I had to note that the castle featured on the package is not in the Black Forest. In fact, it's pretty far from it. (Double-click the pic to see a larger version of the package.)

Update: I wrote to them, and here's what they said: "The German Black Forest Truffle is representative of the Black Forest Cake dessert- dark chocolate, hint of cherry center and accented with milk chocolate. Though we recognize and acknowledge the Neuschwanstein is not in the Black Forest, we felt it was an appropriate icon for Germany." Pretty lame, I think.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

I missed it

The first snow hit Denver, while I was in Texas. The kids had a great time making a snow tunnel.

But there was still some left, even yesterday (Tuesday) morning. I took this shot in our back yard.

I love snow. I love it when the snow is coming down hard. I love it when I have a warm place to go after I'm done experiencing the snowstorm.

The leaves that are still green and sticking to the trees are looking kind of sad.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

2 seconds, $700

I backed into this Nissan Titan pickup. A minor dent, I thought. Sigh.

Well, my naive idea of covering the damage myself so our insurance wouldn't go up did not work. When the gracious guy who I backed into gave me his estimates, I saw that life is indeed more expensive in North America.

If I were in Nairobi, it would have cost about $70 to fix this. Ten times less!!

Moral of the story - pay attention, every second you are behind the wheel. Or have your accident in Nairobi.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Spear for boots

Alan used to work for Nike. We made a trade.

When I first lived in Kenya, I brought over a Maasai spear that I traded for a pair of Nike hiking boots.

The boots still work great. They may not be the latest style, but they do fine. The spear? I haven't asked, but I'd guess it's still working fine too.

A new trend in eating

No social commentary in this post - just a simple observation.

The in-flight magazine had 3 ads for Brazilian steakhouse chains. Three.

Those places are expensive.

I was amused to note that one chain listed its outlets in Brazil. (What a concept - a Brazilian steakhouse that actually has restaurants in Brazil!) They had twice as many outlets in the USA than in Brazil.

Friday, October 19, 2007

B is for Bozo

As I was sitting in the shuttle bus between terminals at Kansas City, a the couple sitting across from me provided some amusement.

We were headed for Terminal B. The guy kept saying, "B is for blonde!" "B is for bimbo!" "B is for blank!"

I would have thought this little alphabet game appropriate for a 7 year old - but he was maybe 30.

I guess there are some ways I haven't grown up yet either.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

More for you

Bob blogged on Monday too. I like his perspective on the environment and how we should make a difference. Jon also had some good thoughts. Check them out.

Orange in Colorado

We went for a hike in the mountains on a recent Saturday. The leaves were nearing the end of their color changing.

I lived for 5 years in Massachusetts, in younger days. The color of fall leaves there covers a broader range than Colorado's. (You probalby already know that - people travel from far and wide to New England, just to see the leaves in the fall.) For some reason, yellow is the color of fall in Colorado. I was surprised to see this lone orange leaf.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Blog Action Day

Today is Blog Action Day. This relates to one of my little concerns - the environment.

My radical idea for the day is to ask you to boycott Sam's Club and Costco. Reason? They promote you to spend more than you would otherwise. Do you really need two closets worth of toilet paper?

Sam's and Costco always ask you to buy way more than you would normally buy - and sometimes at more per unit cost than your normal supermarket!

One example of saving money is our "budget health food chain" - Sunflower Market. Their produce and meat prices are often way cheaper than Sam's and Costco.

I realize that for a large family like my friends the Wilsons, it makes total sense to shop at Sam's and Costco. But if you don't shop for a large family, consider the savings you'll make by having less of everything in your house.

And please don't take me as being critical of you if you're a Sam's/Costco devotee. I just like to give people a chance to consider something they may not have before.

By the way, this week I will be blogging less than usual. I'm in Dallas for some meetings with my work, and my internet access is limited. Also, my schedule is a little quirky.

Friday, October 12, 2007

First grade

Rachel is in first grade. So far so good.

I have been a little freaked out at how they have homework for her to do. That's too early for that sort of pressure, I think. What's the hurry? I guess most parents are over-achievers these days.

Anyhow, Ms. Jordan has the kids do a weekly news report. Here are two excerpts. (I love it!)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Call me cynical

...and you'd be right!

I can't see spending $164 for this little table. Ya gotta be a huge Broncos fan to spend that. (Or if money is tight, an installment plan is available - four monthly installments of just $41.)

Also, I'd wager that most of these will end up at a garage sale 10 years from now. The collectors among us will put them in their rented storage space. Then their children will put them in a garage sale 20 years later, after the owners die.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Some links for you

This is a good cause.

And this is just amusing. It's the first time I've seen an animated gif reflected in the little icon at the top of my browser's tab!

Finally, a report on a great communication device that you can access anytime and anywhere. No batteries required.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

It may be boring to you

...but to us, Chili's is not. We went there for the first time in maybe 3 years, last night. We all like Chili's, but there aren't any in Kenya.

We spent a total of $3. Heather's sister Wendy gave her a gift card for her birthday. (Thanks Wendy!) We split three entrees between the five of us - and drank water. And then there was the tip. That's how to eat out on the cheap - at an expensive restaurant. (Chili's is expensive to us.)

Monday, October 08, 2007

The Forney Transportation Museum

Some good friends came into town from Arizona recently. We did one of those great things that such occasions bring about - we visited a place in town we hadn't been to before.

This museum does indeed have a great variety of transportation objects.

Probably my favorite was the little red car you see here - a Messerschmidt. It was built by a company that later became part of BMW.

And the white car - a Renault Dauphine. That reminded me of my childhood - when I lived in the Washington DC suburbs, those were pretty popular, relatively speaking.

So yeah, the museum is worth a visit, even if you're not a car guy like me. (The two ladies along had a good time too - though not as good as the guys. Heather enjoyed the period costumes that many of the mannekens wore. Apparently Mrs. Forney had quite a wardrobe.)

Friday, October 05, 2007

U & ME

This is a candy bar from Egypt. I bought it in Nairobi for our long journey. The chocolate on the return journey was so much better that it followed me all the way to Colorado. I finally ate it here a few weeks ago.

It's along the lines of a Twix bar.

Cadbury used to produce their own chocolate in Kenya (though the beans have always come from West Africa). I think the price of labor got too high in Kenya, so most of the chocolate available in Kenya comes from elsewhere now.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

The Swedish Girlfriend

I have this friend Alex. I haven't seen him in more than two years. He lives an adventurous lifestyle. His travels often take him to China.

So at one point, he had a Swedish girlfriend. She stayed with us for a week or so, when they were figuring things out.

During one of his visits to Sweden, he brought me back this souvenir - Fisherman's Friend - the Swedish version. (In this case, the fisherman's friend is Swedish.)

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

We used to call them "track bikes"

...Now they are called "fixies".

Several months ago, I went to a concert and saw a bunch of fixed-gear bicycles chained up outside the venue. Since I had been out of the USA for about two years, I just chalked it up to another change in culture that had happened.

Then I came across this link to the phenomena via

My theory is that it's just a just a fad thing. People love to have the latest thing. (I fall into that category sometimes.)

Way way back - when I was in high school - I rode one. It was made by Raleigh. It weighed about 18 lbs. That's really light. I could feel every single stroke of my legs being transmitted to the pavement. So I can see the attraction.

A word of advice - if you didn't read the linked article and you're going to buy one, get a handbrake installed. Also, you can get a freewheeling single gear, so that it's not fixed.

I'll just stick with my old mountain bike. It works fine. (I have a road bike, but we had a mouse invasion of the shed it lives in a few years back - and I haven't gotten around to cleaning that bike up! The mice left their mark, shall we say.)

Ah, if it were that easy

Thankfully, even though I passed another birthday recently, I am not yet at the point where I need to wear titanium gloves.

However, if the benefits are true (double-click image to see details), they should make a titanium helmet. I could use a little reversal of the aging process on my brain.

ps Another title for this post was: "Stupid things Americans make - and buy". (And yes, this is another gleaning from the Sunday newspaper ads.)

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

A Saturday away from the city

We did not take our Lear Jet to Aspen. (But there were more small private jets there than I had ever seen anywhere in my life. Apparently some major conference was there, and one candidate for president came for it. I borrowed this pic from the Aspen newspaper for that day.)

We drove over to Glenwood Springs to visit Heather's parents, who were there for a few nights. We all enjoyed a few hours at the Hot Springs Pool. They have the largest hot tub I've ever enjoyed. (And the boys got to also!)

On a whim, we decided to go back by way of Aspen. (That's one of my favorite places in the world - if you include nearby Independence Pass and the Maroon Bells.)

We didn't go to the Prado store. We did spend 99c for sundaes at the most subtle MacDonalds you'll find anywhere in the States.

We stopped by the Roaring Fork River on the way up the pass. I coulda spent an hour there alone.

Finally, Jay enjoyed a snowball fight at the top of Independence Pass. He coulda spent an hour there alone. Or if the rest of us would have stayed out there, braving the wind and cold.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Amazon's iTunes

Yes, now has a music store like iTunes. You have to download their application that facilitates the downloads. But they have a lot of 89c songs - which are not protected (like all of iTunes' 99c downloads are.

On my first try, I came across a free Apples in Stereo song. But does anyone out there have some kind of a link to all their free music?

(By the way, the pic is not an album - it's just for a single song. And ya gotta understand Hindi.)

Friends are wonderful

Many years ago, my buddy Steve gave me this cassette* for my birthday. As I was digging through my stash of cassettes - in our laundry room - I came across this gem.

Ironically, our minivan has a cassette player, so these tapes can be enjoyed again!

*And that's where the term "mix tape" came from.