Monday, March 29, 2010

Rare Old San Francisco Film Footage

Here's something you likely have never seen before. This film was shot with a 35mm camera mounted on the front of a San Francisco streetcar. Note the chaotic traffic system and apparent lack of vehicle regulations. It looks to me like it was possibly shot on Market St. heading east toward the Ferry Building. Recently recovered from long-time storage, the film is said to have been shot just a few days before the great S.F. earthquake in 1906.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

A Reflective and Memorable Palm Sunday Holy Communion

Today’s worship service at St Andrews Lutheran Church was perhaps one of the most memorable that I can recall in my dozens of years of church attendance.

As we entered, we noticed that behind the center altar in the circular-shaped sanctuary was a long table with 13 places in a tableau-like scene. Following Scripture readings and prayers, 13 people fell into place at the setting, representing the 12 disciples and Jesus at the Last Supper, or Passover Meal.

Each disciple then offered personal reflections on what it was like for him to follow their leader, Jesus. We learned a bit about each one’s home town, family, calling and commitment.

It was a moving worship experience. We were reminded that Christ chose ordinary people, warts and all, to follow him and embrace a changed perspective for living.

When all had spoken, the entire congregation came to the altar one-by-one to celebrate and participate in Holy Communion. Still today we find our spiritual strength renewed and refreshed with every partaking of the meal elements.

My wife and I have learned to appreciate a fresh and deeper meaning to the Communion sacrament since we have been worshiping in the Lutheran tradition. We have become conscious that the Eucharist is much more than just a “remembrance” or a symbolic ritual.

The Eucharist meal, we now recognize, in a mysterious way provides us and sustains us with what we need to live out the grace of God in our daily encounters and occurrences.

Thanks be to God.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Experience Adds Appreciation

There are certain things in life that you must experience in order to fully appreciate. I suppose a variety of things could fall into this category, but (a) kids and (b) grandkids are certainly two of them.

On Monday night a second cousin of mine gave birth to a beautiful, healthy little girl (click here for their blog story). The feelings and involuntary responses that she and her husband have experienced since then could not have been “explained” to them, nor could they have felt them, ahead of time. But right now they are overwhelmed with love and feelings of bonding for their little sweetheart.

The same was true when Kay Lynne gave birth to our sons, first to Gregg and later to Doug. The intense feelings of love and total acceptance we felt and experienced following their arrivals came totally out-of-the-blue and ended up deep within our beings from where we could not extract them.

The same has been true at the birth of each of our grandchildren. And I’m very happy that things work that way.

For the past two days we were privileged to enjoy time with our sons, daughters-in-law and grandkids at a beautiful ocean beach front vacation home on the coast. Pictured above are all of us just before we left for home (except moi, of course, the “taker”.)

All I can say is that this pleasurable experience has already woven its way deep into my psyche and memory and will forever remain there to “call up” from time to time.

These times together are also occurrences you have to live through to fully grasp. Even so, much takes place at the feeling level, almost subconsciously, and the reality of it all often doesn’t totally sink in until you’ve had a chance to process it.

I think I’m continuing to do that right now, and I’m deeply thankful for each and every one of these incredible human beings whom God has brought into our lives.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

A First & A Second For Talli In Track Inaugural

Our high school sophomore granddaughter, Talli, took first place in the 3K run (and beat several boys in the process – note pic) and a second in the 1500 meters on Thursday in a dual meet at Reynolds High School in Troutdale, Oregon, just east of Portland.

What a great start for Talli’s 2010 varsity track season. She ran an 11.36.02 in the 3K and a 5.19.88 in the 1500, getting nosed out by less than 2 seconds. Both are excellent “first race” times, especially when run within an hour of each other. I get tired just thinking about it!

I didn’t know girls ran directly against boys in high school track, but perhaps in a dual meet, when there aren’t that many competitors, they can gain some event efficiencies by doing so. I’m going to ask Talli about it when I see her in a day or so.

Congratulations, Talli. You’re off to a great start for the season!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Happy Birthday, Nikolai

Today, I’ve been told, is the birthday of Nikolai Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov. But I think I’ll call him "Nick".

Nick may have been one of the first to use a hyphenated last name. He was a Russian musician who lived through the turn of the 20th century. He died just short of 102 years ago.

A passionate and accomplished pianist, Nick became an active composer and was a contemporary of Tchaikovsky. They were “cautious comrades,” however, each proud of, and protective of, his own work.

One of his more well known pieces is Flight of the Bumblebee which closes act III of his opera, The Tale of Tsar Saltan, composed in 1899-1900.

The reason I noticed Nick’s birthday is due to a very creative application of his last name. If you’ve ever been to Portland Oregon’s funky east side, you may have come across the Rimsky-Korsakoffee House, a very popular eatery, coffee gathering place and music bistro. Click here to reach their blog.

My wife and I enjoyed some outstading chamber music there back in the 90’s. Apparently, it’s still going strong.

So, Happy Birthday, Nick. Thanks for your music contribution to our lives!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Some Music Fun

You can't beat this for music improvisation! It was sent to me by my old California friend, "Boof." Click on the arrow below for some great music on video. First grab your guitar/uke/banjo so you can strum along...

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Fishing May Take a Back Seat For a While

Life in general, for this retiree, is getting busier rather than calmer. And I couldn’t be more jazzed about it.

Once you’ve been retired for a period of time, daily routines become less than challenging and efficiencies begin to erode. But it’s really only during the last six months or so that I’ve become more aware of the slide toward inadvertent time squandering.

As a result of an incredibly fortuitous set of circumstances, I now have a part time work assignment that I not only am most happy with but also that provides me with an ideal resolution for time malaise. On top of that, the southern California hi-tech company providing this opportunity operates using cutting-edge technology in its field and grants the opportunity for this older guy to stay on top of things.

The only factor for which I’ll now have to incorporate some creative efficiency is the fact that I’ll have less overall time for my favorite recreational enterprise: salmon, steelhead and trout fishing. Somehow, though, I’ve got a feeling I’ll still be able to work it in from time to time.

Btw, the pic is of the largest trout I’ve ever caught. It was a 17-pound Brown Trout that I hooked in Lake Michigan near Sturgeon Bay, WI three years ago this April. I still can appreciate it everyday because it's mounted on my office wall. (Sorry about the shirt dishevelment in the photo; I wasn't exactly focused on attire.)