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26 posts from October 2012

Friday morning grocery shopping at Meijers in Lansing, Michigan


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I gave the camera on my iPhone 3G a test drive when we went grocery shopping this morning at Meijers on West Saginaw in Lansing, Michigan.  It's easy to use and it's easy to upload the photos. In the pictures, there's one item of note.   It's the availability of Great Lakes Red from Lelanau Cellars.  You don't have to overthink or work hard with this wine.  You can just drink it.  It goes down nice.  It's in the stores this week.

I wonder if they will be playing music from "The Piano Guys" in heaven

When you get to the great beyond--heaven--is there certain music that you would like to hear?  Have you made a playlist?

I'm not sure folks will have iPods in heaven, but if they do, I want to hear some music from The Piano Guys.  I know nothing about them yet.  I clicked on a Facebook link to their music yesterday and really liked it.  I am listening to more.  I signed up for their email newsletter and here's a music video that they sent a link to me this morning.


With the economic turmoil, is this a good time to travel in Europe?

Rick steves
Because of Rick Steves, I've added another item to my bucket list.  I'd like to take his guidebook for Germany and follow it step-by-step through, at least, a handful of towns and see how accurate his descriptions are.  I love how detailed his directions are about stepping out the front door of a train station and how on the immediate right there's a certain attraction.

We have purchased the DVDs of his PBS television series and we have two of his guidebooks--Germany and Budapest and I subscribe to his email newsletter and his blog.

In his email newsletter this morning, he writes about the advisability of travelling in Spain and Greece where there has been economic turmoil.  News accounts make these two countries sound like there's constant trouble in the streets.

He recommends this as a good time to travel there and that the impression from tv news has been exaggerated.  And he shares the importance of travelling in these two countries now.  It's good for the local economies.

Getting a good start on my day

It's early Friday morning and I'm sitting on the left end of our couch and my wife is on the right side. We follow a daily ritual where we go through our emails, read some news, go through our individual Facebook pages while drinking freshly-brewed coffee.

Almost 100 percent of the time, I go through the Our Daily Bread devotion for the day where there's a commentary based on a Bible verse or verses.

Today the devotion is based on 1 Corinthians 10:12: 

Let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.

It raises the point about what happens when we turn our back on God in our daily lives.  What happens when you take him out of the equation of daily living?

For me it's easy to read a devotion with its verse and then forget it.  As I experience today, I pray that God helps me keep him at the center of everything.  

Our pastor sometime ago shared a prayer to pray daily:

God,  give me the grace to trust you today.  

There my day has officially started. 

Schwans Foods weren't concerned about the spoiled potatoes in our Spring Vegetable mix

My wife just got off the customer support instant message utility on the Schwans Food website to report to them that their Spring Vegetable Mix had a surprisingly large number of potato slices that were saturated with black spots.  This mix cost more than $7.50.

The customer support person gave my wife a phone number to call in the morning to report the spoiled veggies.  That was it.  They weren't interested in the pictures we had to show them the expensive spoilage.  

In my book, they provided less than desirable customer support.  Have any of you had a similar experience with Schwans?  How was it resolved?  Here are two of the pictures of the spoiled product:

Our Spring Vegetable Blend from Schwans Food

One of the potatoes from the Spring Vegetable Blend

I think my son may be right about me talking about myself


Me and my son Justin
I think my son Justin might be right about how my readers are most interested in this blog when I share about myself, my growing family, life as an older baby-boomer, what I'm doing with my time, what I'm reading and how I'm staying or not staying healthy.


I feel that my writing on this blog has been stuck in park for a while.  In the past, I wrote about whatever was on my mind.

On any given day, I would write about life with my wife in our empty-nest.  If something happened, if I got a new picture, if I heard from my kids living in two different parts of the world, if I lost weight with Weight Watchers, if I gained weight, if I felt moved by the political establishment and its component parts, if I was really bored, if going to church was getting me down, if going to church was a real wow, God-connecting experience and so on and so on.

And, I'd pepper these posts with all kinds of pictures from those shot out my car window with a Flip video camera to those  single-shots with my little Olympus of a new dish made by my wife.

I also wrote and wrote some more about the missing pieces in my own family, particularly as they relate to my father who vanished when I was a toddler to never show his face again.  And I wrote about finding him when I was in my late twenties.

It was pure uncut me at any point of the day when I had something to say or share.

Now let me clarify that my son didn't write his blog post about me and my blog.  Justin wrote about his experience with his own blog Drinking Oatmeal Stout. and he wrote it as an encouragement to others with blogs. He shared that his Klout score showed that engagement was highest when he wrote about his life.  However, it's all stuff he and I have talked about many times before and I think he's right.

It's time for me to jump back in to this blog.  Stuff has been happening in my life and it's time to share it.

Thanks Justin.

I'm glad that you have re-lit your blogging efforts.