Friday, June 29, 2012

Street People

This evening St. John's Lutheran Church, my congregation, had our second outing of the "summer" season as we ventured into some of the local neighborhoods.  We sent out 4 teams of 2 between 6:00 and 8:00pm.  I told each team to cease and desist by 8:00pm because after that point the little kids are heading to bed and let's face it, it's kind of creepy when a stranger rings your doorbell after 8:00pm.  So far we have visited about 350 homes and it seems to me to be about half and half the homes there is someone there to talk to and the other half there is nobody home.  In my experience this evening I was a big hit with the neighborhood dogs.  I was licked so much I may not have to bathe for a week.

This brings me to a close of another very busy week.  The Seminary class that I am currently enrolled in, "The Epistles of Paul" features about 4 hours of lectures this week and an even greater amount of reading.  The text that we are primarily using now has about the teeniest tiniest print that I have ever seen, and weighs in at over 600 pages...ouch!  We also had a funeral on Wednesday late in the morning.  We said good-bye to a long time member and friend who died at the age of 80.  In light of all of the people that have passed onto eternal glory in the past two months, that are connected to St. John's, if you are looking to get to heaven in a hurry you might want to start hanging around with me.

In the midst of all of this I am still able to find time to stroll out onto the tennis court.  Today was one of those interesting experiences in which you find that you have played fairly well but the results done end up in your favor.  I guess I'll just blame it on bad lighting.

HoopFest is the main event here in Spokane this weekend.  Unlike years past I will not be officially involved.  I had been a court monitor in charge of keeping early high school (incoming freshmen) boys from using guns during the games, and after for that matter.  This year I will be on the sidelines as a spectator, feeling empathy for all of the folks who are out there as court monitors and marshals trying to keep the peace.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Drying Out

I'm back from Portland. The weather there is pretty crummmy (54 degrees and steady rain when I left at noon) and pretty nice here. The Coleman Campfire Grill is about to catch fire. I had to make a speech before the convention this morning, and the issue that I was supporting passed. I must carry a lot of wieght...well, I guess that's rather obvious from the appearance of things.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Rip City

Well, here I sit early on a Friday morning just outside the Starbucks next to the Oregon Convention Center in Portland. I am actually here for a convention so that makes a bit of sense. The Friday morning session starts in about 45 minutes so I have a bit of time to kill. I wouldn't have gotten up so early but my bunkmate had to rise at 6:00am to make a flight back to Spokane. I think that he had quite a convention experience in that due to personal flight delays he didn't make it until last evening to enjoy the experience of a full hour and a half of the activities. The gathering here is the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synods Northwest District convention. It happens only once every three years. If the frequency were do increase it's likely that more pastors and lay delegates might die of boredom. There have been some interesting aspects since the gavel dropped yesterday...but the tedium is just beginning. We all get paroled tomorrow at noon. Man, the sacrifices that must be made to serve! I am missing my regular Friday morning session with the tennis posse, and with the weather yesterday in Spokane it would have been an evening gathered with my honey around the Coleman Campfire Grill. As it was dinner happened at the Burgerville, which is kind of a Portland tradition. The weather here yesterday was great, while today has dawned gray. Rain is headed in this direction. Some of the rain is headed your way least if you are reading this in the Spokane area.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Was I a Little Too Harsh?

Since yesterday's post I have been wondering if I was a little too hard on a couple of the members of my posse. No...not really! Today was a big day for the members of St. John's Lutheran Church, at least a few. A total of 9 of us hit the streets to knock on the doors and ring the doorbells in the neighborhoods around the church in order to meet and greet those who live in the area. We handed out information about the church and directed people to our website; to learn even more about us. We hit about 200 homes and were generally cordially received. It turned out to be a lot of fun. I only ran into one cranky dude that didn't want me on his doorstep. It's amazing how many folks remember me from my TV days, and even more amazing how many think I still am on the air. It's been over 3 years since my farewell broadcast. Oh, by the way, if you are wondering why there are no paragraph breaks in some of my posts it's because when I blog from the Ipad they just don't seem to want to show up.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Dynamic Deerwood Duo?

I know that I shouldn't be writing so much about my tennis posse, but they make such good fodder! Today two members of the group...who just so happen to live on the same street (Deerwood Lane, or Court, or Drive, or some such thing) in the geezer colony known as Rockwood...arrived at the racquet club incensed at the posting that I had made in this space on Wednesday, after they had experienced a beatdown. They claimed that today would be the day that their combined forces would put a whoopin' on me and and an innocent bystander (Bill). Since I played last evening and was a little on the tired side I figured, oh let the old men have their way so I don't have to listen to them whine. These two malcontents are named John (the Happiest man that I have ever met) and Mark. Sometimes they refer to themselves as the Deerwood Dragons. Not much fire comin' out of those nostrils! Once we hit the court it quickly became obvious that this would NOT be their day as they succumbed to Bill and I to the tune of 6-2. From there I won't bore you with the details of the rest of the morning, just that as we all left John was still the Happiest man that I have ever met, but the margin over others was quite a bit thinner! From there it was time to come home and do the yard work. I trimmed and mowed the yard and cleaned out all of the pine needles that had collected in the gutters and downspouts in the storms that we had on Tuesday night and Wednesday. It was a beautiful day and the sun did wonders for my tan. Now it's time to fire up the Coleman Campfire Grill for an evening of outdoor enjoyment and a dinner of grilled turkey, yams and corn on the cob.

Thursday, June 14, 2012


Our week with Brady has come to an end.  The sadness associated with that fact is overwhelming!  Fortunately...we have pictures

Once again the cul-du-sac was all over the place.  Even the varmints came out to play
Large aircraft are still the order of the day!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Might I Be Dead?

Could this be heaven?  I mean how could things be better?  We've had thunderstorms two days in a row now!  Real thunderstorms, not just the wimpy kind that produce three or four flashes of lightning and a rumble or two of thunder.  These guys have packed some real rain and some pretty nice booms.  That plus the fact that today's came in the afternoon when I could glue my face to the window gave a touch of Florida to the day.  Ahh...Florida.  Actually, it's been a pretty good day all around today, at least so far.  I'm back to being able to join my posse for tennis again on Wednesday mornings, and things were sort of rolling my way.  In the first set I was teamed with Wild Bill Safranek, against Mark and John (the Happiest man that I have ever met).  Mark and John had concocted some sort of deal with the devil and were sure that they would come out victorious.  You gotta be careful when you deal with ol' Satan since he's been a liar and murderer from the beginning (you'll find that in John 8:44).  I guess the devil double-crossed them as Bill and I breezed to a 6-3 victory.  In the second set it was Mark and I (the youngsters) who went up against the much crustier pair of Bill and John.  Us kids made an incredible comeback from a 4-1 deficit to prevail in a tie-breaker.  In he final tie breaker (which was all we had time for) I added to John's Happiness as the two of us came out on top.  In the end I was not only big today, but also the "big winner".

For the first two days of the week...that would be Monday and Tuesday...we hosted my little buddy Brady during the day.  Kay was doing most of the hosting but I pitched in when I could.  Monday morning we did a little snake hunting and were somewhat successful putting to death a couple of hoses and an old tire.  Brady and I put in a little time on the tennis court too, where he beat me in straight sets.  We alter the rules a little bit but the game is basically the same.  We each carry a racquet and have to hit a tennis ball, but beyond that you might be hard pressed to figure out the details of the game.  Brady gets it, so that's all that matters.

We found out yesterday that one of our neighbors was burglarized late Monday night.  Someone got into their garage and took a few things, but there was no major loss and no damage to anything.  In response to that what did I do?  Well, I left our garage door open all night...forgot to close it when we came in during the evening.  As proof that we have absolutely nothing that anyone would want nothing was missing or disturbed.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Winning Ways!

Perhaps you noticed...earlier this morning...that the forecast for today from the National Weather Service featured mostly sunny skies. Some of that sunshine came dripping down on us this afternoon as we played softball...and even more of it has come pouring down just a short time ago. I'm sure glad I don't have the Coleman Campfire Grill going in the backyard. The steaks would be pretty soggy. Did I mention our softball adventures of the afternoon? Of course I did. That's why I have chosen to communicate with you this evening. Our team...the St. John's Geriatrics...hit the field to play two today. Because of all of the goings on at church this morning, which leaked into the afternoon, I was not able to attend the least not until the game had gotten away from us to the tune of about 28 to 5. I did make it in time for the nightcap (2:15pm) and took my place as the interim manager. There was one problem though. A shortage of male players caused me to have to insert myself in the lineup. I was stationed at first base, batting in the number 8 spot. In spite of my best efforts, we managed to stay competitive and eeked out a 12 to 11 victory. I can truthfully say that I had no fielding gaffes (even an assist on a throw to third base catching a runner trying to stretch a double into a triple) and at the dish I was 1 for 2 with a run scored. Watching me run the bases had to be a real treat. This Sunday evening I have a lot to look forward to. Tomorrow morning my little buddy Brady is going to be coming over for a visit. He's going to be spending a little time with us as he is now finished with school for the year, but dad still has another week to go. I have another doubleheader to start things off in the morning, playing tennis with one group of guys (I don't really want to say geezers) at 8:00am and with my regular geezers at 11:00. In between, from 9:30 to 11:00 I'll be entertaining Brady as Kay plays during that time period. I'll have to pack my sword in the tennis bag so that we can prowl the grounds of the tennis club hunting snakes...and whatever unwitting varmints that might happen to cross our path.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

All's Well That Ends Well

Apparently...the pot of gold is in our house!  This was the view as I drove in from my evening of Men's League tennis...which didn't go so well.  It wasn't a disaster, but it wasn't good.

Another thing that has taken place in the past few weeks was our discovery of the Mezzo Pazzo wine bar on 57th Avenue at Regal.  Mezzo Pazzoi is Italian for "half crazy", which is what the owners think of their idea to open a wine bar in a strip mall.  It is a wonderful place to kick back with a nice glass of wine and half some really good appetizers.  We highly recommend it!

One final note for the car is now fixed!  Was it broken you ask?  Well, yes.  A couple of weeks ago I got piled into in the Fred Meyer parking lot.  Totally not my fault!  The person at fault has paid to replace my bumper, which wasn't in great shape to start with (a 10 year old car) so my ride is looking stylish once again.

That's all you get tonight!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Ready To Sell

Earlier in the week I took advantage of a brief window of good weather...very get the yard looking all spiffy for the impending summer.  I certainly hope there is an impending summer out there somewhere!  I have finally got all of the weeds pulled and thanks to a sale on bark chips at the local Ace Hardware the planting beds have a fresh clean look to them.  Out back the garden is looking good and I'm sure that things will be growing like gang busters once the ice melts off again.  It sure felt cold enough to snow today...40 degrees and a steady rain to start things off this morning and it never got much above 50 this afternoon.

There's been a lot going on in the past couple of weeks.  On Memorial Day weekend Kay and I made a trip over to Seattle for a couple of days.  We took off right after church on the Sunday of that weekend and stayed until Tuesday afternoon.  We had a blast.  We did bring back a souvenir...about a 15 pound chunk of halibut.  We got it at the City Fish Market in Pike Place, they had the best price.  We also found out that they now sell fresh fish at the Spokane Downtown Market on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.  While in Seattle we did a lot of walking, which resulted in both of us buying new shoes.  We didn't actually wear ours out, but we did walk to Nordstrom Rack to make our purchases.  I got a new pair of tennis shoes...yes...for tennis, which I had a mind to return until earlier today.  More on that below.

Since we've returned it has turned out that being around me is not good for one's health and life expectancy.  There have been 4 deaths related to people from, or formerly from, St. John's Lutheran Church in the past couple of weeks.  I had a funeral this past Saturday and I will be attending...not officiating at...another on Friday and again next Thursday.  None of the deaths were truly unexpected, but then again when is death really unexpected?  The death rate in this world is still one per customer.

Other than our numbers decreasing rapidly everything at the church has been going pretty well.  We plan on hitting the neighborhood streets this Saturday to introduce ourselves to those who live around us and to hand out information on what our congregation has to offer.  The way things look right now it will probably snow on Saturday.

While we were in Seattle my tennis posse-mate Bill was out on a backpacking trip to the Olympic Peninsula.  Now keep in mind that Bill is 83 years old!  Obviously he has no idea of his advanced age.  Upon his return, and mine from Seattle, he went on an unprecedented winning streak.  Between last Wednesday and today he and whomever he was partnered with had not lost a set.  During that span I had only been partnered with him once, in a tie breaker as we were running out of time last Friday.  Other than coming out victorious in that endeavor I had been on the losing end of everything during the same stretch.  Now today, as Bill was the last of the posse to arrive, we conspired to put an end to his streak.  The plan was for me to be partnered with him from the getgo...which would surely result in a crushing defeat for our octogenarian outdoors-man.  Things went right according to plan early, as Bill and I quickly lost the first two games.  From there things went horribly wrong!  We reeled off wins in six straight games to claim the first set 6-2.  So much for a good plan.  In the second set I was paired with my good friend John...also on the downhill side of 80 and the Happiest man that I have ever met.  Once again we quickly puked up two games and trailed 0-2...mostly due to my ineptitude.  From there we made our move and ended up winning 6-4.  That was the end of Bill's winning streak.  I hope that he wasn't driving any heavy machinery today!  As time wound down Mark and I took a 2-0 decision from Bill and John making for a clean sweep.

Well that's all I have time for tonight...I'll probably have another update in about a month or so.