Friday, January 14, 2022

The Vinyl Cafe

A few years ago, a friend of mine alerted me to recordings on the internet titled "The Vinyl Cafe." They are short stories aired as a radio program, are approx. 15-20 minutes in length, and will bring a smile to your face. They popped up for me again on YouTube yesterday - I had forgotten about them. I listened to a couple during my lunch and thought I'd share them with the couple of folks who read this blog. 

Here's the promo from the official website:

The Vinyl Cafe aired weekly on CBC Radio, on select public radio stations in the United States, and via podcast. The radio show was written and hosted by the late Stuart McLean and featured stories, essays and music, often recorded at live concerts from across Canada and the US. It was on the air from 1994-2016. Periodically, The Vinyl Cafe returns to its old home on CBC Radio.

The Vinyl Cafe stories are about Dave, owner of a secondhand record store called "The Vinyl Cafe". The stories also feature Dave's wife, Morley, their two children, Sam and Stephanie, and assorted friends and neighbours. The stories are collected in books and on CD.

The motto of Dave's store – and of the radio show – is "We May Not Be Big, But We're Small."

So go to YouTube, search for "Vinyl Cafe," and listen to some. I think they're a nice distraction. :-)

Saturday, January 8, 2022

Letters Home

During a flurry of activity in December, I came across a couple of bins of my Dad's stuff in our garage. We had loaded them with stuff when we moved him here and forgotten about them. I went through them a little and discovered a bunch of letters he had written home during World War II, dating from 1943-1946. They were written from Iowa, Mississippi, Texas, and California - places he went for basic training, air craft and pilot training, and all he needed to learn before being shipped out to the Pacific. Then there were letters written from various Pacific islands where he was stationed with his air rescue squadron. He told of some of the Filipino natives he saw, on being on leave in Tokyo after the fall of Japan, on missing his family and being home for the holidays, and various other things.

But one letter especially struck me: there was a letter written on August 11, 1945 from Mindinao in the Philippines - only five days and two days after the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He said that most of the men - even though it meant the quick end of the war - wished those things had never been developed. Their power and potential were frightening! We learn about those events so many years later and have our own thoughts about them, so how very interesting to hear the immediate reaction of someone so close to the events themselves.

There are more letters I need to go through - letters he wrote to his sisters. Perhaps there will be more interesting nuggets in those as well! 

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

How Cool Is This?

Bent icicles! I've never seen such a thing. Not sure how they formed. It was not a windy day yesterday; pretty calm, actually. And as you can see, some are hanging straight, but a few are bent! How cool!

And, we are due for some more snow Thursday night into Friday morning. Not as much this time, just a couple more inches to top things off. I'll have to put off my tree trimming and pruning and cutting off broken branches for at least another week. :-)

Monday, January 3, 2022


We're getting our first snowfall of the year! Here's the view out my front window. This one was a surprise, forming kind of quickly off the coast. Yesterday the high temperature was 60 degrees! But a cold front went through last night, plunging the temps, and them the storm developed off the coast, bringing in the moisture. Right now they're saying 5-7 inches, which, while a dusting to all of you who live way up north, is pretty good for us. I love watching it come down. It is so beautiful, peaceful, and quiet. A nice way to start the New Year. :-)

UPDATE: The snow on our deck railing measured a full foot deep. Measurements from around the area on the news websites all show between 10-12 inches. They did not get around to plowing our street yet and it's going to get into the teens tonight. That's not good!

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Important Announcement from the IRS

The IRS says to make sure to report anything you stole this year as income on your tax return, unless you return it before the year's end. So glad we got that cleared up. Hope all you thieves out there are paying attention.


Tuesday, December 28, 2021

A Good Article

Here's a good article for you to check out, over on Gottesdienst. Dr. Koontz is a new professor at our Ft. Wayne seminary. I have heard him speak and preach a few times and read things he has written. He is very thoughtful and articulate. You may not always agree with him, but he will make you think!

My only caveat to the article is that local considerations must be taken into account as well - and not only in the US (and maybe not at all in the US), but around the world, in different countries and cultures who think quite differently than we do here. We cannot paint with too broad a brush.

That being said, I think he makes a number of very good points, particularly about catechesis in God's Word versus catechesis by government and media. I have long wondered, too, when this pandemic hit, about those churches that do not preach about sin and death but more about having a good life . . . what did they have to offer their people? 

But yes, absolutely, the church should include the vaccinated and unvaccinated, the masked and unmasked, everyone. He calls on us to repent now. That's always in order. But I also hope we begin having conversations now about what we did, how we responded, what we did well or not so well, and how we could do better in the future. And always become more grounded in the Word of God.

Saturday, December 25, 2021


Christmas Eve dinner. Our tradition is lasagna since it's easy to make and serve (so not too much work for my wife!) and quick to clean up to leave for the Divine Service. :-)  Also had freshly made just-out-of-the-oven rolls - the best! My in-laws joined us this year, too. A nice night.