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12 posts from July 2013

Some of the links we brought back from visiting Justin and Lauren in Las Vegas


  • Gladysandme
  • Justinandlauren


Along with two mugs from Starbucks in Las Vegas, we brought back a bunch of links to websites that provide an online tour of what we did, saw and learned.

We spent a week there visiting our son, Justin and his wife, Lauren.  Nothing could beat the time we had just drinking coffee together and talking.  Those chats provided a context for what we did and saw.

Helping to fill in spaces and helping us share what we saw are websites that explain their everyday life in a city that evokes one word when a lot of people think about it--sin.  

You name it and it happens in Las Vegas, a lot of people think.  A lot of that is justified, I'm sure, but it's probably no worse than a lot of cities.  They are just more open about it.

Before I post about specific points of our trip, here are some of the links:

  • Destiny Church-Las Vegas--this is their church.  It's a storefront, well away from the strip.  It has a strong  evangelical bent and a serving mentality.  We were impressed.
  • Downtown Project--this is the effort that both Justin and Lauren are involved with.  This is the downtown and not the strip.  It was getting rough around the edges, then Tony Hseih, CEO, of Zappos started having a vision for the area.  And he's implementing it with more than $300 million of his own money.  This is worth a look.
  • Umba Box--this is my daughter-in-law's company.  It's a start-up on the rise nationally and is a part of the tech-ward focus of the Downtown Project.  It all started with her vision for sharing her love of handmade products for women.
  • Honey Salt Restaurant--this is where we took them on Sunday for a belated celebration of Justin's birthday.  They both love to try different dishes and both enjoy cooking.  This was a great place that pushed local foodstuffs prepared in a more healthy way.
  • Red Rock Canyon--we drove through this and we were both left with our mouths open.  It's a "wow experience" from beginning to end.  The colored rock formations made this a special experience.  You could sense the hand of the Creator.
  • Tech Cocktail--this is where Justin works as the national community manager.  It's a keyplayer in the Downtown Project and is a big player in bringing the start-up communities together around the country. 
  • Pawn Stars shop--we confess that we are fans of this show on the History Channel.  We went to their shop and walked through.  There was a steady stream of visitors with bus loads of people stopping to see Rick, Corey, Chumlee and the Grandpa.

My personal blog--Daily Grit--is in the process of moving to

DailygritThis blog--Daily Grit--is almost nine years old and is a place where I have shared more than 2,500 posts about whatever was on my mind at that particular point.  From its beginning, this blog has been on the platform which was an early pioneer for those looking for a place to blog.

The time has come to change to a platform that can help take my repository of my thoughts to a higher level.  My son, Justin, is helping to change it to  However, if you go to, you find that it has an unfinished look.  We are not done.

To get the latest, greatest in my life, go to and you will see the blog in its usual format.  

Because of the blog's length, we ran into some challenges.  We will work it out and then have a grand opening for the new look.  Until then, again go to

Visiting our son, Justin and his wife, Lauren in Las Vegas


We are learning that there's more to Las Vegas than blackjack dealers and strippers.  With our son, Justin and his wife, Lauren, we are seeing a city that's multilayered with neighborhoods and activities.
The two of them moved to this southwest city to be part of the redevelopment of the downtown which is separate from the Strip.  New life is being breathed into what had been a rundown area.  
Tony Hsieh, the CEO of Zappos, is leading the change with a vision that's giving new life to an area that was on the verge of being given last rights.  It's coming back to live.
Our Las Vegas kids have gotten us a birds-eye view of what's taking place with a special tour.  We have eaten at some of their favorite restaurants.  We toured the Fremont area which includes some of the older casinos like Binions and the Golden Nugget.  Then there was the Hoover Dam and today, the Red Rock Canyon.
I just wanted to post a few pictures for friends so they can see our son and his wife and get a visual of the next chapter in their lives.  I will post more.
Our son and his wife.
They showed us Hoover Dam and Lake Mead yesterday. What a marvel of engineering.


My wife and I at Hoover Dam with our Las Vegas kids.
Here's another view of Hoover Dam that super-wife and I saw yesterday.

Our son without a beard.
Beardless Justin and his wife Lauren took us on a hotel-casino tour. Really enjoyed the Venetian.

At the slot machines.
Super-wife spent just one buck on the slots. She didn't win.




Eating strawberries at the Venetian.
Justin and Lauren treated us to Chocolate covered strawberries at the Venetian.

Cleaning the pool.
Justin's cleaning their pool after a bad storm Friday night.

We pose at the Venetian.
We pose at the Venietian. What a place?

Making tacos at home.
The kids make really healthy and tasty tacos in their kitchen one night.




Returning after a dog walk.
Their dogs wait their turn to go in the house after a walk.

On a morning dog walk.
Their dogs wait at each intersection during a morning walk.


A few pics of our Fourth of July 2013 as seen through my iPhone

For Father's Day this year, I got a new iPhone 5.  I love its camera which has a front facing lens, as well as back and it has video.  What a great way to record everyday life.  

These are a sampling of my pics from the phone that give a quick visual of our Fourth of July weekend.  We had a great visit with our grandkids.  We had some great walks.  Then there were a couple of ophthalmologists appointments.  Some great eats too.

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Justin writes about his visit to Gordon Ramsey's BurGR in Las Vegas


My son and his wife trying a new burger place in Las Vegas.
Justin and Lauren ate at Gordon Ramsey's restaurant the other night.

 My son Justin and his wife Lauren live and work in Las Vegas where they enjoy trying new restaurants. This week it was Chef Gordon Ramsay's BurGR.  He writes a great description of the experience on his blog.  He also took some pictures.

What do you think?  They probably don't post nutrition information for their super-duper hamburgs.  Weight Watchers out there, take a look at the burger picture, how many points would you guess?  

It sounds like they had a great time, but had some annoyances like parking and waiting to get a table.

Anybody out there been to this burger place?  Anybody see Ramsay?

Michigan State University study on hand washing has disturbing results

MSU handwashing study
Do you wash your hands after using the bathroom?
I will think about this MSU study on handwashing as reported in the Wall Street Journal when we have supper tonight at Culvers before we go to church.  The "john" there is small and it's uncomfortable when two or three guys try to use it.

 Keep in mind that researchers were actually in the rest room watching people wash their hands.  And this all happened in East Lansing, a college town.  

What does all this mean?  Does it result in more sicknesses being passed around?  What's the right way to wash your hands.

The story says: 

The results were discouraging: One in 10 didn't wash their hands at all; just two in three used soap; and just one in 20 washed their hands for at least 15 seconds, which is five seconds shy of recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Our family theme song is "10,000 Reasons" by Matt Redman

If you've read this blog or if you know super-wife and me, then you know that we had a challenging winter and spring.  It was something that Gladys and I faced together along with a lot of friends who were praying for us as doctors were repairing my right eye.

The tone for all this and the true north for where our attitudes needed to be was contained in this song by Matt Redman.  It's 10,000 Reasons and it says it all.  

Despite the day, we were able to check off more and more of the 10,000 reasons to praise God.  

My first exposure to the song was through a friend from Indonesia who had experienced a lot of the bumps and grinds of life.  Her English is challenged, but she knows this song.  She had her son write out the words on a sheet of paper which she keeps in her case for her glasses.  She reads it everyday.

I'm not sure what the future holds but this song states it well.  There are always more reasons to praise God.  

Mitch Albom tells story about taxi ride that taught him an important life lesson

Mitch Albom, a columnist for the Detroit Free Press, is a master storyteller.  Most of the time I really enjoy reading what he shares.

His column today is about a taxi ride to an airport where he ran into a taxi driver who was not very talkative to the point of being unfriendly.

And then Albom found out what this guy had just experienced.  The driver's son was lost and not found in a drowning.  The dad was desperate to leave work to go looking for him. But he had to work to support his immigrant family.

By the time he heard the whole story, Albom was at the airport.  This is worth a read.  

If the mail delivery person or somebody else growls at me today, I'll be slower to judge.

I've got all day to think about what Dr. Joe Stowell told me this morning

I first heard Joe Stowell at a Promise Keepers rally.
I first heard Dr. Joe Stowell at a Promise Keepers rally several years ago.
It sounds like something that you would hear said in church that you would nod your head to and then forget.  My thoughts would be distracted as soon as I walk outside the church door.


That seemed to be my reaction this morning when I read the Our Daily Bread devotion by Dr. Joe Stowell.  Reading it online, I kept thinking that it's easy for a pastor to say that, but it's another thing in real life.

He opened by talking about times when he has been dehydrated from not drinking enough water. His body went through a physical wringer.  Then he mentions John 7:37 where Jesus says that those who are thirsty should come to him and drink.

Okay, so what does that mean to me sitting here in my living room in mid-Michigan?  

Without Jesus, I get spiritually dehydrated and life gets difficult and sometimes impossible.  I need to go to him and make him part of everything in my day.

What does that look like for the average guy?  I've got today to think about that.