Thursday, May 26, 2022

Death, Statistics, and Politics

From April 24, 1980 to December 31, 2000 the United States saw 448,060 of her citizens die from AIDS. This resulted in protests, sit-ins, an AIDS Quilt, and massive politicization. That is an average of 22,403 deaths per year.

The same period saw an average of 41,400 people die from the flu each year over the same period. There is no flu politics. There are no flu protests. There is no Flu Quilt. Why?

A couple of days ago, in Texas, a sick man killed a bunch of kids and teachers in a school. And it isn't the first school shooting. The first school shooting I remember hearing about happened in Columbine, and it inspired a movie. From then until this week there have been been a bunch of school shootings. Here is a list of school (Kindergarten through university) shootings designated as "mass shootings" by the F.B.I. (There might be more but this is all I could find.):

Date (Deaths) Location

4/1999 (13) Columbine High School
3/20000 (9) Red Lake High School
10/2006 (5) West Nickel Mines Amish High School
4/2007 (32) Virginia Tech
2/2008 (5) Northern Illinois University
4/2012 (7) Oikos University
12/2012 (27) Sandy Hook Elementary School
5/2014 (6) University of California Santa Barbara
10/2014 (4) Marysville-Pulchick High School
10/2015 (9) Umpqua Community College
2/2018 (17) Marjory Stoneman Douglas Highschool
5/2018 (10) Santa Fe High School
11/2021 (4) Oxford High School
5/2022 (21) Robb Elementary School
TOTAL: 167
YEARLY AVERAGE DEATHS FROM SCHOOL MASS SHOOTINGS: 7.59


There is a political movement to require licensing of gun owners, banning of certain guns, there are marches that oppose the right to bear arms, there are politicians giving speaches and introducing bills, and there are activist organizations agitating for the abolition of private ownership of guns. They even have quilts.

During the same period of time hundreds of Americans were killed by lightning. In 2021 there were 42,915 people killed in vehicles on America's roads. That is just one year!!! Are there marches protesting this?
In 2019 (the last year for which I could find the number) there were 5,333 Americans killed by injuries at work. Are there grandstanding politicians? No. Are protesters marching in the streets? No. There is just one labor union that is trying to do anything about it.

We don't panic over the numbers of people dying on the roads, at work, from lightening, the flu, or from drowning. And we shouldn't freak out over school shootings. Kids in schools are safe, at least, from mass killings by gunfire. So why are people on the news and in the Democratic Party acting like they aren't? I don't believe it is because they want to save lives. If it were they would be opposed to abortion on demand (629,898 killed in 2019) in America. No, I think this, like the AIDS movement is about something other than saving lives.

Monday, May 23, 2022

Two Days of Greeks and a Chinese Recipe

Kathleen and I went to the Greek Festival in Oakland on Saturday. It was okay. We were there too early in the day (11 a.m.) so there were no singing or dancing acts. But I don't really like street fairs, church festivals, art and wine festivals, and things like that, anyway. The best parts of the trip were talking about the cathedral architecture with with a young priest and praying with some nuns from Calistoga. They were there selling books and honey. The nuns and I prayed for my son, Basil, who is still not recovered from Covid. I spent way too much money on food (Kathleen is always surprised when she likes lamb. She thinks she doesn't like it.), more than I would have paid in a resturaunt but I thought of it as an offering more than paying for lunch: Church festivals are fundraisers. Kathleen bought wedding rings and a prayerbook.

On Sunday morning we went to the Divine Liturgy. We left after the sermon since neither of us could go to Communion; Kathleen because she isn't an Orthodox Christian yet (her Baptism is not for five more days.), I because I wasn't prepared. (Kathleen: "But you went to confession just last week. You haven't done any sins since then." Me: "I can't walk across the living room without sinning.")

The sermon was about St. Photini (AKA the Woman at the Well). In the car afterwards, Kathleen asked me how many sermons I've heard on that text. When I said many she asked if they were all different and if I could remember any of my Dad's sermons on the text. They were all different and I do remember two of my Dad's. In one of them, I remember he was talking about how ignorant the disciples were, how they never understood what God was doing, and that we are all like that because God is infinite and we are not, because his ways are not our ways, and God is always going to know things we do not know and do things we do not understand. The other sermon I remember him preaching on that text was about how we don't get to decide who is in the Church. God chooses whom to include and we have to accept them. The main point of Fr. Basil's sermon yesterday was that Jesus always did the will of his Father, and that it was the Father who wanted him to go through Samaria and meet the woman at the well. If we desire to know the Father we must look at Jesus.

After Church we drove over to Santa Cruz on Hwy 9. We wound trough the hills, hills I've been winding through since the early 1990s, where all my sons and I had many adventures. In Boulder Creek we stopped at my favorite grocery store and got roast beef sandwiches. At the antique store across the street Kathleen found a sealable porcelain jar with a mallard painted on it. We ate the sandwiches at the covered bridge park in Felton. Then we drove on to Santa Cruz.

In Santa Cruz we saw a play, "An Iliad" at the Jewel Theater. (I've known the story, or parts of it for most of my life. As an adult I've read several different translations, in prose and verse, and have even atempted to read it in Homeric Greek but my knowledge of Koine Greek was not up to the task.) I was sobbing at the end of the performance. It was very moving.

We got home and Kathleen took a nap while I did some work, listening to reruns of A Praire Home Companion at the same time. When she woke about 8:30 p.m. I made supper: My Mother's twice cooked pork. She used to make this for the anual dinner for my Dad's colleagues on the board of the Florida District of the PCG. It was such a good dish but she only ever made it for that one event. She, really, did not like cooking.

Recipe
-cooked pork roast. My mom always used boiled loin. I like a mixture of left over oven roasted shoulder and boiled loin. About 1 pound in total, cut into 1 inch cubes.
-one shallot, peeled and minced
-one head of garlic, peeled and minced
- fresh ginger root, about as big as your hand, peeled and minced
-sesame oil, about 3 table spoons
- a head of green cabbage, chopped into long ribbons
- soy sauce, 2 tablespoons is enough for me, but I don't like too much salt. Most people, I've noticed, like to add more soy sauce at the table.
(sometime my Mom would use a yellow onion istead of shallot. Also, she would sometimes shread green bellpepper and add it to the wok at the same time as the cabbage.)
- 1 tablespood sesame seeds.

heat the oil in a wok until crazy hot, but not smoking. Add the the garlic and ginger stir constantly when the garlic turns brown, add the shallots and pork and keep stiring until the pork browns and gets crispy edges. add the cabbage and soy sauce. Keep stiring until the cabbage is soft. Toss in the sesame seeds. Serve.

Friday, May 20, 2022

Anselm, Basil, and Baptism

Anselm was graduated from his final training (I think they put him through three different courses) as a junior enlisted man at the U.S. Navy's Submarine School. He is a qualified navigator and navigation equiment repairman now. Oh, he is a pistolero for the Navy, too. That last qualification, I am sure, will not be used on a submarine, but the more qualifications a sailor has the faster he gets promoted. Today he began driving from Connecticut to California. He'll stop by San Jose for a couple of days but then he reports for duty at Point Loma.

Basil is still very sick from the Covid, it has been since just before Palm Sunday. He is able to keep up with his classes (regular high school classes + an art history class from Evergreen Valley Community College but easly spends 15 hours a day in bed. He has no active virus but his heart and lungs are taking a long time to recover. The doctors changed his meds a week ago but say not to expect any improvement for at least another week.

Kathleen and her son are scheduled to be baptised on May 28. She ordered baptismal gowns from someplace in Greece. It was 45 years ago when I was baptised but I think I remember wearing brown couduroy pants and a brown and white striped cowboy shirt with mother-of-pearl snaps. It was just what I had on. No one had planned on me being baptised that day. I don't remember a lot about it. I remember visiting a church in Mountain View (The church my Dad pastored was in the neighbring city of Palo Alto.) where a whole lot of peole were being baptised. I remember having to convince my Mom and Dad that I really believed. And I remember standing in the water with my Dad and Uncle Harry (He was a preacher in the same denomination as my Dad.) I remember the question, "Do you believe in and choose to follow Jesus as your only Lord, God, and Savior" When I said "I do" they laid me down in the water saying I was being baptised in the "name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost." When I came up they said to me, "You are a new creature in Christ". It was shorter than the Orthodox way of baptizing.

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Equity

For the last few years I've been hearing the word equity used in a non-business/non-finance context but in a race politics context. One of the most terrifyig uses of the word was in a Biden/Harris 2020 advertisement. The ad said equality isn't good enough but that America should strive for equity, which to Marxists means equality of outcomes. Or in the words of the advertisement "means we all end up at the same palce."

I see this happening in high schools. Kids who's parents imigrated from China and who should be doing calculus are forced into elementary algebra classes so everyone stays together as they progress through highschool. I've seen imigrant kids from India with excellent fluency in three langueages, outstandng musical ability, and completion of the whole caluculus series turned down by U.C.L.A. because too many Asians get accepted there. I've seen a black student who can't write a sentence with both a noun and a verb accepted to Cal Poly simply because he is black and his high school teachers felt sorry for him and gave him good grades for the sake of equity.

How are we served by forcing kids to take classes they don't need, by keeping them out of the U.C.L.A. because of their race, and by letting unqualified kids into Cal Poly? California is not served. But the Marxist goal of equity is served. For a little while.

There is aphenomenon that has been observed all over the world, in diverse poplations, even in diverse species: About 20% of a population winds up with 80% of the stuff everyone wants, are responsible for 80% of an organization's sales, get As in the hard classes. No matter how hard the Marxists try to stop it, the cream will rise. Unless, they follow Marxism's internal logic and pull a Pol Pot.

Friday, May 13, 2022

No Pigs. Maybe Pheasants.

Last summer Kathleen and I joined Golden Ram. Our our goal for the year was to kill 4 or 5 wild pigs, 5 or 6 turkeys and a bear. I wanted a pig head and a bear skin on the wall and the freezers full of food. We spent 14 days hunting and were not successful. We saw plenty of doves but why shoot doves?. And we saw a bear and a lot of turkeys and a few coyotes as we were driving to the various hunting areas. We saw a pig at the bottom of an inaccessable canyon. In short, the game we saw was all in the wrong places. Essentially, we paid for nice places to go camping and that is all. We are not renewing the membership.

Today we joined Bird's Landing. It's not big game but it should be fun. And maybe we'll each get a pheasant to hang on the wall. Also, the membership includes guest passes so we can take our friends.

Monday, May 09, 2022

Audio Books

Back a few years ago, when I was suffering from depression, going through a divorce, and wasn't able to focus my mind to read through a whole book I began listening to audio books. I am able to read books again but I still enjoy listening to them. Here is what I've listned to since Christmas 2021.

1. The Little Drummer Girl by John Le Carre. (It wasn't his best, nor close to it.)

2. The Greek Revolution by Mark Mazower. (It was good but I needed a map.)

3. The Holy Angels by Mother Alexandra. (WOW! Totally not what I was expecting. I thought it would be a dense scholarly tome, instead it was very personal. I'm going to listen to this one again.)

4. Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne. (I saw the movie at the Stanford Theater a long time ago and very much enjoyed it. The book was even better.)

5. Arise, O God by Fr. Stephen Andrew Damick. (It was good. Kind like his podcats on Ancient Faith Raido.)

6. The Booksellers Tale by Martin Latham (I just couldn't get into it. I think I listend to the first 30 minutes 4 different times but just wasn't interested.)

7. The Great Anglo-Boer War by Byron Farwell. (I'm happy to have learned about a subject of which I had been ignorant but, gosh, it was a slog getting through this one.)

8. The Bomber Mafia by Malcolm Gladwell. (His conclusion is, I think, childish and naive, but the rest of the book is first rate. I enjoyed learning more about Gen. Curtis Lemay.)

9. The Sea and Civilization by Lincoln Paine. (Very good. The way it dealth with geography, specifically where there are oceans, as cause of historical action reminded me of Braudel's The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean World in the Age of Philip II. It was worth the investment.)

Thursday, May 05, 2022

Enemies in the Classroom

“The more students work at storing the deposits entrusted to them, the less they develop the critical consciousness which would result from their intervention in the world as transformers of that world.” - Paolo Ferrar
"Ethnic studies is the critical and interdisciplinary study of race, ethnicity, and indigeneity with a focus on the lived experiences and perspectives of people of color. It centers the knowledge, narratives, and intellectual scholarship of racial or ethnic groups,1 including how groups define and experience social, cultural, and political forces and their connections to gender, class, sexuality, and other intersections of identity. Ethnic studies provides culturally relevant pedagogy that helps students develop inclusivity by fostering understanding of diversity, connecting students with their community, and giving them the tools to identify and change the institutional structures that perpetuate inequity." - Executive Board of the University of California Senate


For decades the Bolshivek Lev Vygotsky has been an insedious influence in American education. He is required reading in California's teacher credentialing programs, and arguing against his ideas is a sure way to kill your teaching career before it starts. Of course, Orthodox Christians know Vygotsky not so much for his ideas about education but for his work in the Soviet system of mental hospitals where so many of us were confined, tortured, and killed. But Vygotsky's is not the only Marxist influence on the American education system. For months we have been hearing people in the news media saying Critical Race Theory [C.R.T.] is not being taught in American schools. I assure you it is. Not by name, but as Shakespeare's Juliet reminds us, the name we give something doesn't change its odor.

This morning I read a document from the University of California's systemwide Senate. Like Hitler's Mein Kampf and Stalin's Communist Manifesto, this document plainly lays out the goals of the twisted people who wrote it. In short, the radicals who control the University of California are going to refuse admission to any student who has not been indoctrinated with the ideas of the Marxist education philosopher Paolo Ferrar.

Before we go on, I think I should explain the A-G requirements. The University of California requires that for a person to be admitted as a student they must have completed certain courses in high school. Those courses include certain numbers years studying math, English, economics, foreign languuages,American Hstory, etc. This is important to know because more than 84 thousand freshmen were completed the A-G requirements last year and were admitted to study at one of the University's nine campuses in 2021, and these students are, in general, the best students from their high schools. These students are, in general, the best and the brightest who will go on to govern California, run businesses, control the media, and educate future generations.

It looks like a pretty good preparation for university doesn't it? But now it gets dark. Now I will show you some excerpts from the document that outlines how the Marxist teaching of Ferrar comes in, requireing that even math and scince be used to spread the C.R.T. venom. What you see below is how the U.C. Senate is polluting the sensible list of A-G requirements and the minds of adolescents. From the U.C. Senate's instructions to highschools (linkd above.) for emplementing the ethnic studies curricula (I actually liked my ethnic studies course when I was in college. I learned about lowriders, Flaco Jimenez, zoot suits, and Cesar Chavez.) for ALL courses in the A-G requirements. Notice, this is not just social studies (e.g. geography, history, government, and ecnomics) but is for all courses. That in itself is curious because California law says ethnic studies is only required for one semester. So, I wonder, why are they mandating that all subject be aligned with the ethic studies curricula? What is going on? What is the agenda? Does someone want to purge teachers, even math and science teachers, who refuse to poison the minds of young people?

What follows are quotes from the Course Content Guidlines and the Skill Guidlines found in the document. Pictures are all from a California 7th grade classroom.:

"CENTER an understanding of Indigeneity, routes, and roots through acknowledgement that the course takes place on stolen, unceded land of ____ Native Peoples and in spaces forged through labor, paid,unpaid, and underpaid. This is taught through anti-racist and anti-colonial liberation, cultural work,self-worth, self-determination, and the holistic well-being of the widest conceivable collective,especially Native people and people of color."

"CULTIVATE communities that foster, acknowledge, and value the relationships of Indigenous and all communities of color for their survival. Place high value on Indigenous knowledges, worldviews, and epistemologies, and those of other communities of color.

[Notice: there is no search for Truth, merely independant and competing "knowledges, worldviews, and epistomologies". Think about what this means. It is a rejection of Aristotle's laws of identity and non-contradiction. Thus it means there can be no science. Futhermore, it is a return to the non-morality of Euthyphro, for what is piety when the gods disagree with one another? And of course, because there is no Truth there is no Christ for he is the Truth.]

"CRITIQUE histories of imperialism, dehumanization, and genocide to expose how they are connected to present-day ideologies, systems, and dominant cultures that perpetuate racial violence, white supremacy, and other forms of oppressions



"CHALLENGE and examine how multiple oppressions and identities intersect (e.g., race, ethnicity, class,gender, culture, nationality, sexual orientation, belief-system, history, language)."



"CONCEPTUALIZE and create spaces that embrace the idea that racial and ethnic groups are not monolithic and model the joy, knowledge, agency, strength, and endurance of Indigenous and People of color communities."



"Because ethnic studies requires that students develop a repertoire of skills for critical analysis and engagement with and transformation of society and the world, approved courses will support them, as critically conscious intellectuals gaining varying levels of mastery, to do the following:

"1. Identify, analyze, contextualize, and corroborate sources, with attention to epistemologies, histories, explicit and implicit biases, insider and outsider perspectives of all course materials andobjects of study (i.e., books; articles; films; primary documents; artwork; media; websites; archaeological “finds”; scientific and mathematical theories, methods, and “discoveries”; mathematical applications, etc.).

"2. Recognize and interrogate power and oppression at ideological, institutional, interpersonal, and internalized levels.



"3. Analyze and assess the impact of systems of power and oppression—including empire, white supremacy, white supremacist culture, anti-Blackness, anti-Indigeneity, racism, xenophobia, patriarchy, classism, ableism, belief systems, ageism, anthropocentrism—across race, class, gender, sexuality, disability, and other intersections of identity.

"4. Critique dominant narratives of power and their claims to neutrality, objectivity, color-blindness,freedom from bias, and meritocracy in order to examine their harm to Indigenous and other communities of color.

"5. Develop leadership, community participation, publicly engaged research, communication, praxis, and other skills to address and dismantle systems of oppression and dehumanization in the many forms in which they appear (i.e., anti-Blackness, xenophobia, ableism, heteropatriarchy).

"6. Participate in Indigenous, Black, and people of color-centered histories, knowledge systems, and pedagogical practices that challenge traditional Western educational approaches and practices.

"7. Cultivate critical hope, community care, relational accountability, and self-determination for past, present, and future generations.

"8. Nurture community engagement in order to foster anti-racist futures and solidarity across communities."

[You might be asking yourself, what's wrong with anti-racism? Isn't racism a bad thing? Yes, it is. And we should not be racists. But that is not what is meant when the radicals use the word anti-racist. They actually mean Marxist.]

An then, because teenagers have not been taught to protect and nurture the deposit entrusted to them, but have been trained by Marxists to arrogantly think they can transform the world, we get to live through a revolution and see the death of the Republic.

Friday, April 29, 2022

Bright Week 2022

Well, Bright Week has been difficult this year. Monday we went to divine liturgy and had breakfas with Fr. Basil. He makes the best buscuits and gravy I've ever had and it is his annual tradition to make them for the parish. It was a lot of fun. And all day Monday was lots of fun. But at 3 on Tuesday morning I woke up in horrible pain. I thought about not going to work but I really need the money so I went in. By the time I got home that evening I had a fever and chills and my head felt like it was beig squeezed in a vice and my abdomen was swollen huge. I really thought I might die. I took a bunch pills and went to bed. I stayed there until Thursday (yesterday) at six p.m. when my fever finally broke. I was feeling well enough to eat something (first food since Monday) and this morning I felt fine. I am back at work and earning money.

One thing I've enjoyed this week, something I always enjoy, is praying the Paschal Hours instead of the usual morning and evening prayers. All the various changes to the services, both in our homes and at church throughout the year are, really, very fun. I doubt the Apostles and Fathers who wrote the services were thinking about fun when they were doing their work. Probably, they were thinking about theosis or something but they are fun. Especially to little kids.

This morning I encountered a 6th grade boy who cannot read. I talked with him for just a minute and discovered that he doesn't know phonics, all the sounds represented by letters and their various cobinations. So I wrote down the names of some phonics workbooks that I used to teach my kids to read, and where to buy them. I also wrote down my phone number so that the kids parents can call me if they have any questions. So, why is a boy in the sixth grade it he can't even read the word 'yellow"? Here is why: No school employees are penalized if he doesn't learn how to read. They are not rewarded if he does learn how to read. They are rewarded by his attendence. (The school gets money from the state based on average daily attendence.) So all they really care about is making sure he stays in school. Oh, Also, as long as he doesn't know how to read the school gets more money to hire more teachers, special English teachers called reading specialists. But they aren't rewarded if he learns how to read. Neither are they penalized if he doesn't learn how to read. But think about what happens if all the non-readers learn how to read: The reading specialists lose their jobs! Also, kids who are behind academically, especially non-readers are much more likely to become disciplinary problems. If those disciplinary problems disappear then school security officers, counselors, and administrators might lose their jobs! So you see, from the point of view of the people who work in California public schools there is no compelling reason to teach this boy to read.

Saturday, April 23, 2022

Holy Week and Pascha

Well, I think this is my first Pascha without my sons Basil and Anselm. Basil is sick with Covid and Anselm is in the Navy. It feels kind of weird.

This morning Kathleen and I attended the Pascal Vesperal Liturgy. She was totally blown away by all the Old Testament readings. After the service she read up on the Assyrians and she and I had a two hour conversation about Elijah, Elisha, Jonah, What are demons, what exatly Hades is, etc. She said she never learned any of this stuff when she was a Roman Catholic.

I baked the Kulich today. I'm worried it didn't rise as much as I was expecting. I hope it is okay.

Kathleen put together the Pascha basket. It was her first time to do it.

She just left for church. This is my first time to not go to the Pashal Divine Liturgy, but I don't think I can stand tonight. My leg and foot are aching much from this morning's service. I have it elevated now and, hopefully, I'll be in good shape for Agape Vespers tomorrow. I'd better be because I am supposed to run the grill for the parish cook out.

Friday, April 22, 2022

Vigils, Holy Week, and Cooking

As regular readers of this blog know, I was making a real effort to attend all the vigils of the Great Feasts this year. Sadly, because of the Covid exposure, and not wanting to take a chance on exposing my fellow parishoners, I had to miss the vigil for Palm Sunday. So, I'll try again next year.

I attended Matins of the 12 Gospels last night at my parish in Saratoga. It was beautiful. Fr. John Takahashi was visiting us. (He must be close to 90 years old now. I love him. When my son Basil was in the hospital he visited him and did a complete Divine Liturgy in his hospital room.) I have heard some people criticize him for his halting reading of the Divine texts but, come on, English is his 5th langage and he only learned it when he was in his 40s! Subdeacon Paul and Reader John sang all the hymns and responses as a bass and tenor duet. It was gorgeous. It was a three hour service that seemed like 10 minutes.

As far as cooking goes, I'm trying some new stuff. Of course, I am still making the epicurious Paskha cheese recipe. It's been setting in the fridge since Wednesday. Yesterday, I made three pork turines. They are also in the fridge but I am worried they might be too fatty. I could only find 1/2 of the ham hocks I needed so I substituted pork shoulder.

Right now, I am making a paté de campagne. Finding pink curing salt was a pain. No one has it for sale in San Jose. After a couple of hours looking for it in stores I called a sausage company and asked them if they would sell me some. They said they use pure sodium nitrate, whereas curing salt is less than 7% sodioum nitrate, and they can't sell it to anyone who doesn't have a license to handle it; it is poisonous. But he told me that I don't need curing salt if I keep the paté refrigerated and eat it all within a week. So, I'm on the chilling in the fridge before grinding stage so I thought I would take a break and write a blog post. I' need to start on the kulich soon.

Basil is still sick with covid so he is quaratineing at his mother's house. I am sad that he is missing all the services and the fun of cooking.

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Jordan Peterson

For my birthday back in February Kathleen bought us tickets to hear Jordan Peterson lecture at the San Jose Civic Auditorium last night.

It was very interesting. He was promoting his new book (I didn't know he had a new book.) and lectured based on a chapter in the book which, I think, says something like if you want the best possible life you must abandon ideologies but the only way to do that is if you correctly think of and relate to God.

He started out by talking about different kinds of truth; scientific, historical, psycholoical, maybe more. But he concentrated on psychologicial and showed the psycological truth of several stories from the Bible:

Creation - Yes, God is He who is above all and behind all and calls order out of chaos, and if you do not acknowledge that you have no principles by which to understand the world or by wich order your life. And there is a cost to this: you ave to admit you aren't in charge.

The sacrifices of Cain and Able - Yes, the pursuit of God, He being who is above and beyond all things is worth sacrifices. And sacrifice, by definition is costly, but you have to do it or you don't attain what is better.

The Tower of Babel - Don't try to make anything as high as God because if you do horrible things happen. Here he mentioned Communism as the most deadly ideology ever.

The call of Abraham - Yes - leave your father's tent and get out and live your own life, even if you are 80 years old, its not to late to embrace adventure, and if you don't you will never develop into a whole strong person. And there is a cost to this. You might have someone try to take your wife. You might never have a place to live. You might spend your whole life as a wanderer but that is better than living your whole life in your father's tent.

Finally, after a few more stories, Peterson ended with the story of God sending the plague of snakes after the Israeiltes but then telling them to erect the brazen serpent and that lead to the Crucifixion of Jesus.

It really was a very good presentation. Actually, calling it a presentation might be wrong. It was more like he was trying to figure out what all these stories mean and how he should regard them and how he should live but unlike most people he was doing it in public. But Peterson is still not a Christian. He talks about our God. He talks about our book. He says it is true. But he is not baptized. I know he has been talking with a few Orthoox Christians, among them Jonathan Pageau, the iconographer and youtuber. I think Pageu is very patient. I am sure I would have tried to close the deal by now, whereas Pageu is just a caring friend to Peterson. I have a lot of admiration for him.

Monday, April 11, 2022

GNOSTICISM AND THE LGBTQ+ MOVEMENT

I saw something interesting posted on facebook by a friend of mine. (I won't name him because he is a friend and I want to keep him as such. Also, he is not a Christian so what I'm saying in this post is not directed to him. This post is intended for my fellow Christians to think about.) Many years ago, when I was eleven or twelve years old I heard and believed a heresy from Sunday school teacher. What he taught us, with the help of lots of snazzy charts and diagrams was this: We are spirits That have souls and live in bodies. Of course, any Orthodox or Roman Catholic Christian, and most Protestant Christians, should easily recognize this heresy as Gnosticism. But here is what my friend said, and again, my friend is not a Christian and, to the best of my knowledge, is unfamiliar with the Gnostic heresy; he was merely seeking to explain the sexual ideas that are popular in the larger Western post-Christian society. So this is what he said: a persons identity (whether he thinks of himself as male, female, or other) is located in his mind which, if one is not a materialist, usually means the spirit, while who a person is attracted to (e.g. wants to have sex with) is determined by his heart/soul, and a person's sex is determined by his body. When I saw what my friend said I was astounded. As Ecclesiastes says, there is nothing new under the sun. Of course, I knew before I saw my friend's Facebook post that there was some kind of link to Gnostic anthropology but I hadn't thought it all the way through. Now that my friend explained it I see it clearly. There is nothing that can or should be done to try to convince a non-Christian (they won't believe us) that this idea is an error, but we can and should strive to show Christians that the whole LGBTQ+ movement is merely the most recent iteration of the Gnostic understanding or human personhood. Of course, the Christian understanding of a human person is that we are a spirit and a soul and a body, created by God to be such, in unity without confusion, and forever. But there is a deceiver who does his best to make people think they are not one being, who tries his best to think there is and ought to be confusion between the spirit, soul, and body. It is the demonic idea, the lies the enemey puts into people's minds that must be combatted through prayer and fasting and a liberal application of holy water.

Sunday, April 10, 2022

Son #4 and the Maritime Academy

On Friday of last week (this is Sunday night) Kathleen and I took my youngest son, Basil to the California Maritime Academy. We went on a tour of the campus, we saw the TS Golden Bear, looked out over San Pablo Bay, talked about majors, and met some cadets. Basil is sold. He wants to be a Keelhauler and study to be a maritime officer. It is too late to apply for the semester starting in Fall 2022 so he will take some more CSUGE classes at a community college then apply for fall 2023 admission to the academy. He'll still only be 17 so I'm fine with waiting until then. We also went by St. Contstantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church. It is just a couple of miles from the campus. And just a little bit to the west of the campus is some of the best waterfowl hunting in California. I think it is a good plan.

Tuesday, April 05, 2022

Anne Lamont is 68

Today is Anne Lamont's birthday. She is 68. I have been aware of her for most of my life. I think I first heard of her in 1989. I used to listen to her when she was on a radio show called West Coast Weekend. Back then, every Saturday I listened to two radio shows every Saturday: West Coast Weekend and A Prairie Home Companion (Aired from 1974 to 2016), both on KQED. In the early 1990s West Coast Weekend was dropped by KQED and I thought it ceased production. I remember when Anne's son Sam was born. I remember when she stoppped drinking. I remember when she became a Chrisian. And then she was gone. The radio show where I heared her was no longer. But one day in the early 2010s I was driving through Marin County and came across another radio station (I don't remember the call letters.) that was broadcasting the show! The radio show has changed it's name to West Coast Live. There was a singer in the 1990s named Wesla Whitfield who was on the show almost every weekend. When Garison Keilor brought his show, A Prairie Home Companion, to San Jose back in 1993 he booked Wesla for his show. I thought it was very funny when she greeted the audience with the words, "It's good to be with you on this beautiful West Coast Weekend!" Wow! Anne Lamont is 68 today. I must be old, too.

In other news, my youngest son, Basil spent the night last night. We played two games of chess (We each won one) and he, Kathleen, and I played Ticket to Ride. He beat both of us at that one. We prayed the 9th Hour, we ate dinner, we prayed the evening prayers.

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

I am sick in bed today and a garden update

I have a cold. And I am shakey feeling. I had a cup of tea about seven this morning. I ate a carrot about 12:30 p.m. Going back to bed now where I shall listen to Ancient Faith Radio.

But before I do that here is the news on the garden. THe last few years th month of March was a busy time in the garden. But a few months ago the HOA board killed the garden. We are very unhappy about it and we are thinking about moving.

Friday, March 25, 2022

Only Nine Shopping Months Left!!!

Today is Annunciation. I took the day off from work and went to Divine Litrgy at St Nicholas Orthodox Church with my youngest son, Basil. It was beautiful. Kathleen went with me to the Festal Vigil last night. So far, I'm on track to attend all the festal vigils this year. To celebrate the Feast today, the only fish day in all of lent, I fried catfish. Kathleen had never had catfish before and was surprised by how light and flakey it is.



So, as this is Annunciation and there are only 9 shopping months left between now and Christmas, it seems a decent respect for everyones schedules requires that I post my Christmas list a little bit early this year. (Last year, after more than a decade of begging, my cousin actually bought the lamp for me! It is beside my bed.) Here is the list:

1. Since I have become active in Boy Scouts again (just to work the council's BB gun and rifle ranges) it would be nice to have one of the red BSA jackets.

2. I no longer have any hope of forming a family band but back when I did harbor that longing I learned to play the recorder and the ukulele. The instruments I learned on were definitly starter models. I think I would like to step up now to someting better: A concert size ukulele from Lanikai or Cordoba.

3. I used to have a fountain pen for writing letters but during the remodel of the house it disappeared. Now I have been reduced to using disposable ball points, and the look of them on paper is not beautiful. I don't want one of those ghastly expensive Mont Blancs. I'm sure I would be very happy with the the Dryden Designs medium nib models.

4. It seems to me that for short overnight excursions, when I don't want to take the trailer-tent and camp kitchen but just want to take a wool blanket and a rifle in hopes of getting a dawn boar, it would still be nice to boil water for a cup of coffee. From what I can tell a Ghillie Kettle looks like the best solution to the problem.

5. I like bow ties. I especially like bow ties from Beau Ties of Vermont Ltd. I like stripes, and patterns, and prints. I like special bow ties for various holidays. I like them in slimline/standard and butterfly/jumbo. They have to be for 19" to 23" necks.

6. A copy of the Antiochian Archdiocese's Pocket Prayer Book. The helps for preparing for Confession are useful.

7. During the last several years I have on various occasions made cakes. But I do not have a cake dish to put cakes on. I think I need one. Regular dinner plates and serving platters are raised around the edges and distort the shape of the cake. A cake plate is totally flat. I don't want anything fancy. Functional is better than fancy. A covered cake plate would be okay as long as it doesnt have a raised lip. Second hand is fine and this link is merely for the purpose of illstration. Ceramic or glass is perfect as long as it works.

8. If such a thing exists, I think it would be nice to have a framed Saturday Evening Post cover but only if it is one of the covers painted by Norman Rockwell. (Please, do not get one that he signed. I just want the picture not the signature.)

9. A simple wool prayer rope in black. I think anywhere from 33 to 150 knots is fine. No facy beads, if possible. No tassels, if possible. Monastery made is preferred but if they are out, as they sometimes are, I guess, any will do.

10. A Jonathan Adler pipe match strike. I bet there are some good deals available on eBay.

11. A license plate frame from the old alma mater.

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Thoughts on Other Gods

This week I finished Snorri Sturluson's Prose Edda. Conclusion: I am glad the Christian missionaries, people such as Saints Alban, Patrick, Bonifice, and Iraneus brought the Gospel to my ancestors. Living under the influence of Loki, Odin, and Thor would be brutal and hellish; no love, only power.

I had similar thoughts when I first read Plato's Euthyphro and Homer's Illiad and Odyssey back in the 1990s.

Lately, Kathleen's children (Kathleen, I think I've mentined her on this blog, is the woman with whom I live) have been given assignments in school comparing mideival European Christian civilization to the pre-columbian American civilizations, Ancient Chinese civilization, pre-Christian African civilization, pre-colonial Indian Civilization. The lessons are invariably designed to show that the Christian civilization of Eurorpe is inferior to all the other human civilizations. There was no mention in the lessons of the thousands of people sacrificed and eaten by the Aztecs, the thousands of people drowned to the Chinese river dragon-god Ao Shun (敖順), the child temple prostitutes in India and the hideous practice of suttee.

The public schools are captive to the multi-culturaists who, in their effort to correct what is wrong, are also trying to overthrow civilization. This is why I am running for School Board.

Saturday, March 12, 2022

Lent thus far

It is Saturday morning of the first week of Lent. It's been busy and fruitful Lent. Kathleen and I have been living in chastity for several months so I felt like I could go to Confession and honestly say I am repenting. So I went to Confession for the first time in almost seven years during Cheese Week. My first opportunity to go to Communuion was at the Presanctified Liturgy Wednesday of this week. So now I am back in the Church!

The job for the U.S. government I thought I would get isn't going to happen. I did not pass the physical. They said I could appeal and have another examination but I'm not going to. It's funny. I thought the F.B.I. background check would be the hard part to get through. I didn't expect my own body to be a problem. I'm just going to keep working as a substitute teacher.

Oh! I almost forgot. I'm running for a seat on my local school board. A woman from the Silicon Valley Association of Republican Women contacted me and asked me to run. So I'm running.

Thursday, February 24, 2022

Catching up, a Meal I am Making Today, and Great Lent

While the cake is in the oven, let's catch up.
So far, I have been keeping my resolution to make it to the Festal Vigils for all the Great Feasts this year. Basil, Son #4, has been with me at most of them.
We went duck hunting one last time for the season but got nothing.
I've been working a lot as a substitute teacher. I have to say that all the computerized lessons that students do now because of covid makes being a substitute exceedingly boring. All I do now is walk in, take attendence, and tell the students to turn on their Chromebooks. And that's it. It is so unbelieveably boring. So, I am applying for other jobs. I am pretty far along in the process for a job with the United States: They made me a job offer contingent on the F.B.I. background check.

Kathleen's brother is visiting from Maine tonight. In honor of the occasion I am making a glazed pork loin with candied apples, corn casarole, and a pineapple-upside-down cake.

Basil and I read through Gensesis together. It was a lot of fun. Next we are going to read Exodous. Kathleen and I are reading The Orthodox Church. She was formally enrolled as a catachumen a few weeks ago and we are hoping to be married right after Pascha. Lent is starting soon and I came across this little thing I wrote a couple of years ago. I don't know if I put it on this blog or not but here it is.

Where Lent Comes From
Have you ever wondered where Lent comes from? Did it suddenly appear in middle ages? Is it some kind of pagan thing the Church adapted to it's own use? Nope. It is Apostolic. Yes, you heard correctly. Lent is Apostolic. First century Bishop, successor of the Apostle Peter, the child Jesus set beside him (Luke 9:46-48), and food for the emperor's lions, St. Ignatius of the Church of Antioch wrote: "These things, brethren, out of the affection which I entertain for you, I have felt compelled to write, exhorting you with a view to the glory of God, not as if I were a person of any consequence, but simply as a brother. Be ye subject to the bishop, to the presbyters, and to the deacons. Love one another in the Lord, as being the images of God. Take heed, ye husbands, that ye love your wives as your own members. Ye wives also, love your husbands, as being one with them in virtue of your union. If any one lives in chastity or continence, let him not be lifted up, lest he lose his reward. Do not lightly esteem the festivals. Despise not the period of forty days [e.g. Lent], for it comprises an imitation of the conduct of the Lord. After the week of the passion, do not neglect to fast on the fourth and sixth days, distributing at the same time of thine abundance to the poor." - Letter to the Philippians, Chapter XIII Saint Irenaeus, disciple of St. Polycarp who was the disciple of St. John to whom Jesus entrusted the care of his mother, makes the claim that the fasting preparation for Pascha (Passover/Easter) was a long standing tradition. "For the controversy is not merely as regards the day, but also as regards the form itself of the fast, For some consider themselves bound to fast one day, others two days, others still more, while others [do so during] forty: the diurnal and the nocturnal hours they measure out together as their [fasting] day. And this variety among the observers [of the fasts] had not its origin in our time, but long before in that of our predecessors, some of whom probably, being not very accurate in their observance of it, handed down to posterity the custom as it had, through simplicity or private fancy, been. And yet nevertheless all these lived in peace one with another, and we also keep peace together. Thus, in fact, the difference [in observing] the fast establishes the harmony of [our common] faith." Eventually the Church universally accepted, and established, an inviolate practice regarding lenten fasting still held to by Orthodox Christians. This acceptance was similar to how Christians accepted the various books of the New Testament. “So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter." (2 Thess 2:15)

Thursday, January 06, 2022

Theophany and a birthday.

On Tuesday the 4th Kathleen and I went to Tea at Ten with Father Basil. It was fun. Other than his daughter and the Matushka we were the only ones there. It was a lot of fun. He made a tea cake, the tea was rose, the Archbishop sent a homemede fruitcake (lighter and sweeter than mine), there was some homemade Russian confections. The priest's daughter made orange chocolate liquer balls.

On Wednesday the 5th I went to the festal vigial for Theophany. This morning, Kathleen, Basil, and I were at the Divine Liturgy and filled up our jars and travel mugs with holy water. Basil brought the little holy water bottle I bought when he was a baby. I hadn't seen it in years. It warmed my heart to see him using it.

This afternoon I baked a cake for Kathleen's kids' birthday, which is the same date as Theophany. They requsted steak, macaroni and cheese, and broccoli, too.

Sunday, January 02, 2022

Sunday, the 9th Day of Christmas.

Well, it has been a busy Autumn. Basil and I went bear hunting a couple of times (no bears), Kathleen and I went duck hunting a couple of times (no ducks), and there was teaching, and grading papers, and lots of church services.

The best thing or, probably, the most life impacting thing is that we have a kitchen again, for the first time since mid-June. I gained much weight from eating out. I am very disappointed in myself. Oh, well. Now that Christmas is just about over I am going back to no carbs and severe calorie restriction.

We got the kitchen built and the oven installed in just enough time to make fruitcakes in the first week of December. They didn't age as long as I would have liked but the people who received them seemed to enjoy them.

On December Kathleen and I attended church in San Francisco and I got to see my God children. They are so big!!! Tall, strong, and beautiful. I gave their dad the candy and letters from St. Nicholas to put in their shoes on that holy bishop's feast day.

I made a crown pork roast and a bunch of other stuff for Christmas dinner. in the days following we continued the feasting with chili verde, steaks, twice-cooked pork, cakes, pies, and fruitcake. On the 7th Day of Christmas we had some neighborhood kids over for Fr. Basil's flaming Christmas pudding and some games.

My son Anselm was given 10 days leave from the Navy. Oh he has graduated from submarine school and is awaiting orders to go to another school for something electrical before they put him on a boat. While he was here with me we went to church, went clay shooting, ate a lot, watched Christmas movies, played games, etc. He just flew back to the Navy today.

Christmas was pretty amazing, kind of a follow up to Thanksgiving. On Thanksgiving, Athanasia, Kathleen, her children, Basil, and I spent Thanksgiving together at the Great Wolf Lodge in Manteca. It was so much fun that we all spent Christmas together. Yes, after Divine Liturgy on Christmas, we all opened presents and ate dinner. I put together a charades game where everyone had to guess the names of bizarre Christmas movies such as Santa Clause Conquers the Martians and Silent Night, Dealy Night. It was much fun. So far, I've been able to achive my goal of attending all the festal vigils for all the Great Feasts since the indiction. I am super happy about that, not because its some kind of great achievement but because the services are so beautiful and overflowering with pure theology. They are my favorite of all the services in the Orthodox Church.

Something very wonderful happened at church this morning. Kathleen, together with her son became a catachumens. She was surprized by the exorcisms. She said she met with the priest and he said he is going to "put her on the fast-track to baptism."

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Bay Area Orthodox 2021 Christmas Services for Parishes Using the Revised Julian Calendar

I am posting this in early November and some parishes do not have the December calendars updated yet. Check back here as we get into December


Holy Trinity Cathedral (Green @ Van Ness, San Francisco)
-not updated yet

St. Nicholas (Saratoga)
-not updated yet

St. Demetrios (concord)
-not updated

St. Basil the Great (San Jose)
-not updated yet

Holy Trinity (Brotherhood Way, San Francisco)
12/23 9 a.m. Royal Hours
12/24 10 a.m. Vesperal Liturgy
12/24 9 p.m. Matins
12/24 10 p.m. Divine Liturgy

St. Christina (Fremont)
-not updated yet

St. Nicholas (San Jose)
12/24 9 a.m. Royal Hours (livestream only)
12/24 5 p.m. Vesperal Liturgy
12/25 8:30 a.m. Orthos and Divine Liturgy

Redeemer (Los Alto Hills)
-not updated yet

St. Stephen (Campbell)
12/24 8:30 a.m. Royal Hours
12/24 9:30 a.m. Vesperal Liturgy
12/24 9 p.m. Festal Orthros
12/24 10 p.m. Festal Liturgy

St. Nicholas (Diammond Heights, San Francisco)
-not updated yet

Holy Cross (Belmont)
-not updated yet

Annunciation (Valencia, San Francisco)
12/25 9 a.m. Orthros
12/25 10 a.m. Divine Liturgy

St. Nicholas (San Anselmo)
-not updated yet

Resurrection (Castro Valley)
-not updated yet

St. Michael (Concord)
-not updated yet

St. James (Milpitas)
-not updated

Friday, November 05, 2021

No Crabs on the 15th

As regular readers probably know, dungeness crabs are on the menu every November 15 for the start of the Nativity Fast. This year, though, the opening of commercial crab season has been delayed and the newspapers are saying there won't be any crabs in the markets on on the 15th. So, this year, for the first day of the fast I am thinking about oysters or maybe, since the 15th is fish day this year, I'll make grandfather's cioppino but substitute other fish and crusteaceans for the crab. That is, if I have a kitchen to work in.

Sunday, October 31, 2021

Another Bear Hunt and Hallowe'en and the Garden

Late this afternoon Basil and I got back from another bear hunt up north. Except for a period of three hours it either rained or snowed the whole time. We did see one bear but it saw us first and dissapeared into the forest before we could take aim.

On the way home we stopped at a pumpkin patch and bought pumpkins. It was the first time since 2006 that we didn't go to Farmer Bob's over in Half Moon Bay. Sadly, there were no trick-or-treaters in my neighborhood.

The garden was in bad shape when I got home. Cats have ruined all the beds. Thankfully, the can't get into pts where eggplants and watermelons are growing.

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Last Day at Bass Pro Shops

After 28 months at Bass Pro Shops today was my last day. It was a lot of fun and I took full advantage of the employee discount. It was nice to have three different managers come to me and ask what they could do to get me to stay but it was time to leave. I did everything there I set out to do. I'll sub for Gilroy Unified School District from now through Christmas. I don't know what I'll do after that. Something fun, I am sure.

In other news, we have a shower again. And the stove was delivered today, though it is not yet installed.

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Duck Season and Remodel

Duck season stared on Saturday. Kathleen and I went out to The Delta and put the boat in at Holland River Marina. The sky was blue, the air was warm, and the wind was calm: all the wrong weather for waterfowl hunting. I got no ducks. Kathleen got one. It was the only one we saw. We saw two giant flocks of geese but they were flying way to high to shoot at. We met some other duck hunters at the marina when we were leaving; no ducks for them either. I saw more river otters and seals than ducks or geese. I'd really like to have a houseboat on The Delta. I should look into how much it would cost.

On Sunday we got up and went to church only to learn when we got there that the priest was sick. So we zoomed across town and visted Archangel Michael Serbian Orthodox Church. It was our first time to visti them. Their priest is funny. They seemed to be having classes for children during the Divine Liturgy. I'd neve seen that before. I wonder if that is the usual Serbian practice.

Today (Monday) the stove that was ordered several months ago was supposed to be delivered. I missed work to be here and receive it but at 7 p.m. tonight the company called to say their truck broke down. This is the third time they attempted but failed to deliver the stove. The first time it was the wrong stove. The second time it was a damaged stove. I am not impressed.

The contractor who was supposed to have had the kitchen rebuilt by last Friday was a no-show again today. Thursday and Friday of last week they showed up and left after an hour. Today one guy showed up and left after 1/2 an hour. They don't speak English so I can't ask them what is going on. The contractor hasn't returned any phone calls since last Thursday. I am worried. The bathroom floor and the countertops are supposed to go in tomorrow but the kichen, including the moving of a gas pipe, isn't finished. All of these men are going to be in each others way all day, if they show up.

We do have the refrigerator in now. So that's good.

Basil came over Monday (It's 3 a.m. on Tuesday right now) and helped me clean the guns in anticipation of next weekend's bear hunt and to help me get the old stove out of the house. We tossed it off the second floor balcony because we didn't want to damage the walls in the stairway. We got pizza. He's asleep downstairs now.

Saturday, October 16, 2021

I've Got You Under My Skin x 4 (Saturday Soundtrack)

There are a lot of versions of this song. The Four Seasons had a #1 hit with it, Etta James and Carly Simon recorded it. And I've always loved this song.

Sadly, I can't find a video of Martin Short on the the David Letterman show in the early 1990s when during the interview segmaent he just took over the show with a crazy over the top parody of a 60s lounge singer. In a way it was a tribute to Frank Sinatra. It was brilliant. Nevertheless, here are the 3 I could find. .

This first one is, probably, the one with which most people are familiar. It's the first version I remember hearing. It's Frank Sinatra ( remember where I was when I heard the news that he had died.) singing Nelson Riddle's big band arragment. This concert wass in 1974 but as late as 1990 I heard Sinatra introduce the song by saying, "Here's a new arrangement by Nelson Riddle." Sometimes, while performing live Sinatra would change the words but from what I can tell, he was always spot on with the timing and phrasing. He never diviated from this arrangement. Oh, the trombone solo in this performance was played by Urbie Green. But I don't think he ever recorded with SInatra in the studio.



Around 1998 I was in Barnes And Noble bookstore sampling CD's (Remember those? I wish we could still buy them. I have no idea how to buy new music now. I guess, Apple wants me to do something with iTunes but I have no desire to learn new software.) and I came across a CD called "Love Scenes" by Diana Krall. WOW! At the time, I was living in a rehearsal room at at the Petite Trianon in San Jose (It has since been converted into a church where my brother-in-law is one of the pastors.) and would fall asleep to the CD every night. So when her 1999 "When I look In Your Eyes" came out I had to buy it, too. That CD had her recording of I've Got You Under My Skin. It totally changed the way I thought of the song. The guitar reminds me of a soft bossa nova and, as always, you can almost feel the piano keys on your finger tips. I understand she is married to Elvis Costello. I'm looking forward to getting to hear their kids sing when they grow up.



This final version of the song is by Storm Large, a singer I've seen around performing on her own and with various bands (I first heard her singing with Pink Martini) I thought she was a good singer of torch songs but not a jaw dropping amazing performer. But then I saw her audition for America's Got Talent. She wasn't just singing. She deserves acting credit too. Her reinterpretation of this song is a complete 180 from Krall's. It is astounding.

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Covid-19

A few days ago I was exposed. Yesterday after subbing I was feeling pretty bad. Burning in my chest, chills, muscle aches, slight cough. So, I called in sick to Bass Pro Shops where I was going to work at night, and went by my doctor to get a Covid-19 test. The results aren't back so I didn't go to work at the school this morning or at Bass Pro Shops tonight. I hope the results come back soon and say I don't have covid. I don't want to miss any more work.

A 7th grade science and math teacher I subbed for last year wants to use me again next week. I talked with her today to go over the lesson plans and she asked me me to give my talk on Aristotle and the laws of identity and non-contradiction to her students. She said that last year her students really enjoyed it and that they used it for the rest of the year. Based on that, the things that are in her classroom, and the things that are not in her classroom I think she must be a Christian. But I don't feel anything so I don't want to ask her. Well, regardless of whether or not she is, it makes me happy that she wants me to give her students a tool to recognize Truth.

Update: I got the test results. They are inconclusive so I have to get another test on Monday. The said I have some Covid RNA in me but they don't know if I'm getting over it or just catching it. Until the resultd from the new test I have to act like I'm contageous.

Another update: I don't have covid. The rna in my blood was from the vaccine. I just had a cold.

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

A house remodel and a hunting trip

It has been pretty difficult here since June. I think I mentioned the water leak, the destruction of the kitchen, part of the living room, part of a bedroom, a bathroom, and the living room. I haven't mentioned fighting with insurance companies that don't want to pay what California conractors charge, (The smallest bid was more than double what the insurance companies were willing to pay, one contractor was kind enough to go line by line and explain this bid to the insurance companies - they only wanted to pay $2,000 for demolition when just the dumping fees would be more than $1,000), then the contractors were, except for one guy who did the demolition and another guy who did mold abatement all too busy to do the work until October. But last week they put in the sheetrock. And this week they are painting. And next week they are putting in the floors and cabinets. And finally, we will get a new oven: The oven I ordered in June. Kathleen has been relentless and amazing in this project. We don't know when the bathroom will be done.

Last weekend we went on a hunting trip to Mendocino County. It is 30,000 acre forest that is part of the Golden Ram Sportmans Club system, and we had it all to ourselves. It was amazingly beautiful. We were looking for black bear and wild pigs. We sawo no signof pigs but we found a big blackberry patch near a stream with much bear sign. I think we would have come home with a bear but the dog did not know how to be quiet. So we are going back on Friday without the dog. We saw lots of elk, white tail deer, and very fun for Kathleen, a flock of wild turkies crossed a road infront of us. It was her first time to see a turkey fly. I think Kathleen wants to move to Hopland or Laytonville now. I saw here looking for teaching jobs up there on EdJoin.

Tuesday, October 05, 2021

Goose hunting and a birthday

On Sunday Kathleen and Basil and I went Canada goose hunting. The drought has had a severe impact on the ponds. We didn't see one Canada goose. There were a few pintails flying over the ponnds but it isn't legal to shoot those until the 26th of October. We had fun, regardless.

Yesterday we celbrated Basil's birthday (a few days early because he won't be with me on his birthday) at the Old Spaghetti Factory in San Jose. I think the last time I was there my mom was there with me.

I gave Basil a leather game strap to hold his ducks and geese (The law requires every gun to have his own game strap. We aren't allowed to just pile all the birds in the bottom of the boat.), Canada goose and mallard calls by Buck Gardner, a pintail call from Duck Commander, and a seven call woven lanyard to hold his calls. He seemed pleased.

Here is some very good news, the very powerful and scary medications he's been taking for the last few years have been reduced by more than half with no adverse changes. I thank God every day for his slow and steady recovery.