Friday, February 29, 2008


It's amazing how many parts go into something that we use and take for granted nearly every day of our lives.

I think this applies to people too. We see so little of who they really are - the depth and width of experiences that make up the person we relate to.

Pic courtesy of

Thursday, February 28, 2008

It's amazing where things turn up

I saw my artwork the other day. It came to me from Florida. Before that, it was in Canada. Before that, it was in Kenya (Africa).

The story: this photo is in a book that Wycliffe Canada produced. Dave Crough, the photographer, unknowingly too a picture of Loren Koehler climbing a stairway. The "unknowing" art was that the animal paintings on the poster in the stairway were my art. Of course, I wouldn't have expected Dave to know who did the little paintings. And I wasn't expecting credit. But it was fun to see them in the book!

(I didn't do the calligraphy; Frieda from Switzerland did that. I'm not much of a fan of calligraphy.)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The good vs. the evil

Wired magazine released their list of the greenest cars. There are a few surprises. (I have given away the punch-line; this picture shows the best and the worst.)

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Huge waste of money

From Uncrate.

I admit that there aren't many out there who will spend half-a-million bucks on a watch.

But I am just totally amused at the "waterproof down to 1,000 feet" feature. I guess that's so you can strap the watch to the outside of your submarine and look at the time through a porthole?

The new MacBooks

They're now better (as always happens).

Apple just updated their real laptops...

$1299 will now get you a MacBook with a 2.4 ghz CPU and a 160 gb HD.

$1999 buys a 2.4 ghz / 200 gb MacBook Pro.

The real deals are now from their refub store: $999 for a 2.2 ghz / 120 gb MacBook and $1649 for basically the same MacBook Pro that now goes new for $1999. (The refurb has only a 160 gb HD and no "Multi-Touch trackpad". Also, the video memory is better on the newer model.)

A trip back in time

The New York Times just released an amazing website: "Times Machine". You can browse every edition released between September 18, 1851, through December 30, 1922. The browser allows you to roll-over each article to facilitate reading.

The ad shown here appeared one hundred years ago today.

Update: the link no longer works. Either the NYT removed it from the internet already or you have to be a paid subscriber of the newspaper to access it. Sigh.

Monday, February 25, 2008

We're boycotting skiing (sort of)

Heather and I love to ski. But it's just too expensive.

So Sunday afternoon, we did a cheap alternative - we went sledding, high up in the mountains. It wasn't too cold. The snow was deep and fresh. (We sledded in a "back-country" ski region, just down from Berthoud Pass.)

Everyone had fun. The only drag was traffic on the way back. Even though it was around 3 pm, the traffic was already thick. I had to remind myself that the traffic was nothing near as bad as everyday driving in Nairobi.

Friday, February 22, 2008

The best is sometimes worth it

Apple's iPod is the market leader for portable music players. And the entry price just went down. If you go to the Apple Store's online refurbs section, you can pick up one now for $39 (plus tax and shipping). That comes with the full factory warranty.

True, it's only 1 gb and has no display of what song is playing. But it's the smallest player out there - with the best software interface. Get a good pair of headphones and you will be amazed at what great sound can come from such a small package!

I don't have one of these little puppies, but it is very tempting to grab one!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Kenya update, mid-Febrary

A friend wrote this recently, and I thought I'd share it with you...

There are indicators that all is still not well underlyingly, but we feel the Lord is working and waiting for believers in particular to see their responses to their "enemies" need to change. One really wonderful thing, among several signs the Church is responding is the fact that not 5 but 150 pastors from Nairobi have been fasting and praying for nearly three weeks. They plan to go out to the five most affected cities in Kenya for the entire month of March, teaching pastors, especially, from the New Testament such topics as: What is our identity as believers? What is a godly response to our "enemies?" What did Jesus and Paul teach about love and forgiveness? What ministry (i.e., reconciliation) do believers have to the rest of the world? Oscar Mureithi, their leader, says, "Without the Word of God, Africa will never change." We’re convinced he’s right!

(The photo is Oscar. He was our pastor in Nairobi from 1991-1994.)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Adding visitors, artificially (sort of)

Whenever I visit an Apple Store (not very often), I go around to a few Macs and set the home page to be this site.

If I check the number of visits the next day - wow - that figure soars. My tiny hope is that one of those visitors will see my site and want to come back, when they get home. That will probably never happen, but it's fun, anyhow.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A most beautiful car

I love the Alfa Romeo 8C. I've blogged about it before.

Normally I'm not a big fan of Ferraris and Lamborghinis. They are just too unobtainable. Somehow, though, even though this Alfa goes for a cool $250,000, it seems like a more real car. It must be because it reminds me of some Hot Wheels car from my childhood.

(Photos courtesy of Automobile and Car & Driver magazines.)

Monday, February 18, 2008

How to make coffee

If you use a coffee press (cafetiere), you need to stir up the grounds well, with a plastic spoon, before you put the plunger in place. Then wait 5 minutes before pressing the plunger.

Very important (if you like coffee).

Friday, February 15, 2008


This 1.4 million dollar home sits unused maybe two miles from our home. It has never been occupied. It has been on the market for more than the eight months that we have been back in our native country.

Nearest I can figure, someone is losing about $8,400 a month. (That's via an on-line tool I found, assuming 6% interest with nothing down on a 30-year loan.)

Who can afford to lose that sort of money?!

Yes, I know that commercial real estate makes these sort of figures seem like small potatoes. But still...

And by the way, one Saturday, Rachel and I went for a nickel tour during an open house. Amazing. the master bedroom of our house could fit into the master bathroom - with room to spare.

Somebody was losing a lot less money when it was just a small vacant lot with a bunch of short scruffy trees.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

To my love

Heather and I have been married for 18 and a half years.

We still love each other.

I'm thankful to her and to God.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

American excess, part 378

The young child of a friend of ours got a Build-A-Bear. I don't know if you've seen those before - they are from "workshops" where kids can build their own teddy bear. The bears are very expensive.

I could not believe these bear shoes - real Sketchers. They would actually function for some child, if the child had strange club-like teddy bear-sized feet.

And apparently, later, you can go back and buy accessories for your little bear. At additional great expense.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Denver Museum of Nature & Science

Recently, we went to that museum for a family outing. It had been several years since we last visited.

We all enjoyed the funhouse mirrors section.

But my favorite section was the gems & minerals. There were some amazing colors in the stones and diamonds. I had to share this pattern with you - from some sort of an ancient mollusk. The shell had become stone, through years of fossilization. The shell was about a foot across.

To me, that sort of intricate pattern can only point to a creator - and one with great imagination.

Monday, February 11, 2008

A customized "I love you"

M&M's have been advertising custom M&M's for Valentine's Day. A 7-ounce bag costs $12, and a 1.75-ounce bag with a bow costs $4.

You can print anything you like on them. (Well, I think they might not print some things.)

It's pretty amazing that they can to that level of customization in manufacturing for such a low price. And it's not even done in China!

Friday, February 08, 2008

Doll booties and lead container

This random collage of items happened to be at the top of our staircase the other day.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

2 ways to help our old earth

In the editorial section of the February 3rd Denver Post were two great articles about how you can easily help our environment.

I won't bore my readers who aren't interested - so if you want to read the articles, go here.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

More Kenya

From Expat Lady: "Yesterday post election talks were described as 'hot' by Kofi Annan, as both sides came head to head to begin to tackle the question of the flawed election itself. Each team brought to the table evidence of ballot rigging by their opponents in various areas of the country. Funny that they both accuse one another of the same crime and have hard evidence to back it up."

My comment: throw both bums out!! (Raila and Kibaki.) Both should be disqualified for breaking the law.

A bad mix

Caffeine in a candy bar? Yuck!

But then, I was never one to buy any of those energy drinks either.

I must admit that I do imbibe in caffeine regularly - via my morning cup of strong coffee.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Last Saturday's entertainment

I love the old James Taylor records. (Yes, that's vinyl - 12" LPs.) This particular one is from 1977.

Anyone who really knows me knows that I have eclectic tastes in music. The most recent live music I saw was the Editors. (Great show.)

And I enjoy seeing the Colorado Symphony with my lovely wife, when we can afford it.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Life in a war zone

We have many friends in Nairobi.

A Nairobi blogger (Africa Expat Wife) sums up how you just get on with life: I guess that coping with the trauma of the past few weeks is all part and parcel of being an expat in a developing country. One friend of mine lived in Ivory Coast during a coup, another in Malawi when things blew up there. Most of the time it’s fabulous living as an expat in Africa, but occasionally it can be ugly and that is the challenge.

Life in Kenya is definitely tougher for everyone now than it was before the election. Many of our friends have reported not being able to sleep as easily. Of course that pales in comparison to many who have lost their homes, livelihoods and loved ones.

I borrowed this image from Africa Expat Wife to show you that Kenyans are helping Kenyans through this crisis. (It seems that all one can see in the news reports is violence, and I wanted to show the other more hopeful side.) It is a pile of donations to the Red Cross to help those who are in need, in front of the most affluent branch of the Nakumatt supermarket chain.

And for an account of someone who left Kenya, go here. And pray.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Everything's smaller in Japan

I have never been to Japan. But I am a great fan of cars from there. (Our only car is a Honda.)

From 1991-1996, Honda made this great little convertible sports car that never made it to the USA: the Honda Beat. (Our taste isn't that sophisticated.)

I actually saw one in Kenya in the early 90s. And probably several in England, in the late 90s.

Think 60% of the Mazda Miata, in terms of size. The engine was only 660cc. (That's about half the engine size of the average motorcycle sold in the USA.)

Maybe with the price of gas going up still, we might get some cool small cars here. The Smart is coming.

And then, there is the Tata Nano, from India. It was introduced recently and will sell for $2500! (But a used Corolla or Civic may be a more satisfying vehicle for that money.)

Geekish footnote: I got the Tata pic from a random news site. I scanned the Beat pic from an actual Japanese Beat brochure that my friends Eric & Sheryl sent me from Japan, when they lived there.