Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Third Time is not Necesarily a Charm

I have mostly caught up with my fellow bloggers, so I thought I would post about this morning with my coffee cup encounters.

But first ... I have some strange sort of health bug going on. I've had a cold and sore throat for about 10 days now. But it's a tight cold, not a loose one. I wake up stuffed at night but can't really blow it out. You know how one side of your nostrils usually clear when you're lying on your side? Well ... that was not happening, and you can't easily sleep when you can't breathe. Grrr.

Anyway, the nights were getting better, so we went out to a fiddle concert on Sunday afternoon. I came home exhausted and spent the rest of that day and much of the next wrapped up in my chair listening to podcasts. I have a tv in my room, but it seemed like too much trouble to watch it. I could close my eyes and listen to podcasts.

On Monday, I stayed away from the kids completely when they were here,for fear of infecting them, but I did mingle some with them yesterday. Today, both parents had to leave early, so we consented to go over there at 7 rather than have the kids come here at the usual 8. Having the parents get them out and over here for 7 might have been problematic — to say the least.

Sometimes Often I wake up at 5 - 6 just because that's the way I roll — unfortunately ... I wasn't always afflicted thusly — TG for that. Today, however, I had to pull myslef out of bed at closer to 6:30 — go figure. When I made my usual coffee with the Tassimo, I knocked the cup over.

After eventually dropping them off at school and stopping at Tim Hortons for a second cup on the way home, I put my coffee on the desk beside as I sat down to peruse the internet. Darned if I didn't knock this over too.

Wipe, wipe, wipe.

Sit down. Knock it over again.


I can't even remember knocking my coffee over at any other time. At all. Now, three times in one morning?

As I said ... WTF?

I discovered that the third time is not necessarily a charm.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Of Flooding and Torrents

The water in our Mississippi River (the one in eastern Ontario that flows into the St Lawrence) is very high there days.

Just a week ago,  I did a stitch of several photos with Sue's camera when we had a sandwich at the park while sitting in the car in our usual Bad Weather Spot. Normal water level is beyond the tree in the centre, and none of the land to either side should be flooded.

This is a stich of 6 photos covering a 180° field of view.
The river does not really go uphill in the middle. :)

On Friday, we went back and saw that the flood was receding a bit.

This started out as a similar stitch, but for compositional reasons I cropped it quite a bit.
It's certainly a better photo, technically. Live and learn, eh?

Then we drove to a nearby town where there are falls. This is the same river, but just fifteen or so miles downstream. Beware of the sound if and when you click play. It's pretty loud.

It's hard to believe it's the same river, and it's also hard to fathom that it would have been raging even more last weekend when the water was even higher.

Finally, a photo of the falls.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

A Delightful Surprise

Jimmie the blogger, like me, is a retired teacher. Unlike me, he knits, for I may be a nitwit, but I am not a knitter.

One day, he noticed that Sue can be a bit of a flamboyant dresser in her capes, scarves and so on. So, he emailed to tell me that he had decided to send his current project to Sue.

Wishing it to be a complete surprise, I didn't tell her about it. And lo, in the fullness of time, it didst come to our mailbox, and, behold, it was a complete surprise. What a delight!

It took about a week for us to get around to taking some pictures, and then they had to be done right away when the mood strucketh m'lady. So, I did the best I could by catching the fading light by the bedroom window.

Sue posted about it here, and this is where you can find Jimmie.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Murals in our Town

On Easter Sunday we headed uptown (or downtown) for a stroll. We picked main street because I thought it was high time to take some pictures of various murals.

We started on the south end of Bridge Street, heading north, and this mural (both top and bottom) celebrates Canadian folk icon Stompin Tom Connors. He got a month long gig in Carleton Place in 1967, and it was here that  he wrote Big Joe Mufferaw, in which he mentions our town. The words are written on the mural. He sang this rendition in Hamilton in 2005.

My main intention of this walk was to take a picture of this old signage. We have lived in this town for 8+ years and walked Bridge Street many, many times, but I hadn't spotted this signage until just last week. Perhaps you can see why (above) as it is almost hidden along on little alley. I crossed the street and took the picture below, but I much come back someday with my wide angle lens and try to get the whole thing.

The sign reads: Chew SAP Bright Plug Tobacco in Canada None Better.

I took this next one from the bridge looking south. Our river in running high these days. I wonder if it really pays to advertise?

Finally, we came upon the homage to Captain A Roy Brown, who is officially credited with shooting down German flying ace, Manfred von Richthofen aka the Red Baron ): yes, he also of Snoopy fame. This is quite a claim to fame for this town, and I didn't know about it until a few years ago.

The mural and story were featured in one of Canada's National Newspapers, The National Post. I think my picture is better than there's, however. lol

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Easter Crocuses

Every year, I try to take some crocus photos.It's always a bit of a mugs game as the weather tends to alternate between high winds and rain at this time of year. On Easter Sunday, however,  it was sunny, and the winds let up just enough to try taking a few pictures. That was good because it has been either bleak or rainy ever since, and the little darlings may fade and wilt before any more opportunities arise.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Omissions, Discrepancies and Contradictions within the Crucifixion Narratives

Mothers hide your children as this is a follow-up post to my crucifixion piece. There was a little interlude of a Danica post between the two. This is a continuation of my amateurish analysis of the four gospel accounts: this one highlighting the differences.


Not all differences from one gospel to another are problematic for me even though I formerly believed in the inerrancy of scripture. I can even accept outright contradictions, for one can certainly believe that God is revealed through the bible without believing that every word is 'God-breathed'. 

Following are three lists of what I see as omissions, discrepancies and contradictions within the four crucifixion narratives. Keep in mind that this is all from one layman's reading and not from a biblical scholar's perspective; therefore, there may be errors. I leave it up to the reader to determine whether there is any merit to this analysis.

The first of my three lists contains seemingly significant omissions from at least one gospel.
  • When the gang came to take Jesus from the garden, only in John do they fall backwards when he says. "I am he." This seems like a glaring omission from the three gospels that were written earlier.
  • Only in Luke does an angel appear when Jesus is praying, and only in Luke does Jesus sweat blood. These are astounding occurrences to omit.
  • Only Luke has Jesus seeing Annas before seeing Caiaphas, and he also has Jesus going to Herod between two trips to Pilate.
  • Matthew is the only gospel writer to report an earthquake occurring when Jesus died and graves being opened with ghosts (my word) walking about. If such an astounding event had actually occurred, one would be entitled to think that everyone would have known and that it most certainly would have been reported by all four writers as well as in external, non-biblical sources.
  • His side was only pierced in one gospel – John.
  • Jesus only [apparently] re-attaches the severed ear in Luke. It seems like an extraordinary fact for the other writers to omit.

This next list contains discrepancies, some of which seem very difficult to reconcile although I know that some people manage it.
  • The cock crowed twice as in Mark and only once in the other gospels.
  • The inscriptions on the cross were all different: The King of the Jews (Mark); This is Jesus the King of the Jews (Matthew); This is the King of the Jews (Luke); and, Jesus of Nazareth the King of the Jews (John). The first three could probably be fit together by asserting that Matthew recorded the whole message and the Mark and Luke just mentioned a part of it. That seems odd for such an important fact, but it's possible. I don't see how, one could easily fit John's "Jesus of Nazareth" into that, but I do find it slightly plausible.
  • Did the soldiers throw lots for the garments (plural) as in Matthew and Mark, or did they part them into 4 and only throw lots for the cloak (singular) as in John? Just how many garments did Jesus have that they could be divided into four plus a separate cloak? Wouldn't his cloak have been a bloody mess and not the prize that it seemed to be?
  • Jesus was offered vinegar near his expiration in Mark, and seemingly just before being crucified in Matthew. He did not seem to drink the concoction in either case. However, in John, he did appear to drink just before the end. I suppose He could have been offered three times — early on in Matthew and twice later, once in Mark when he refused and a second time in John when he drank — but it seems improbable.
  • The Centurion, could have said, "Truly, this was the son of God," (Mark, Matthew) and also say, in Luke, that Jesus was righteous, but it doesn't strike me as likely.
  • It seems odd that there was no discussion with the thieves in Mark but that they [both] mocked Him in Matthew, and that one was pro and the other was con in Luke. Luke also has Jesus telling the 'good' thief that he would meet with Him in paradise that very day. These accounts seem almost contradictory, and it doesn't seem like something that Mark and Matthew would leave out had they known of the exchange. And why wouldn't they have known?
  • Was Jesus rather taciturn before Pilate as in the synoptic gospels, or did he get into more of a conversation as reported in John?

Finally, I seem to spot three seemingly irreconcilable contradictions although I am sure that apologists have managed the feat somehow. I begin with the most innocuous of the three points and end with what I consider to be the most profound contradiction.
  • The robe was purple in Mark and John but scarlet in Matthew. I don't feel that it is as crucial as the timing issue of the next point, but it certainly doesn't support the belief that many have in the inerrancy of scripture.
  • In Matthew and Mark, Jesus predicts Peter's denials in Olives, but in Luke He does it before, at the supper. It doesn't seem likely that both can be true.
  • Jesus was with Pilate at the sixth hour in Luke but on the cross at that time in both Mark and Matthew. In fact in both of those accounts, Jesus was on the cross in the third hour. This seems significant to me.
As I have already stated, I don't feel that scripture must be seen to be inerrant for people to be Christians and to believe in God and Jesus. However, I do find it highly improbable that the doctrine of biblical inerrancy can be satisfactorily supported.

Edit: After readying the above for posting, I came across this graphic. I find it humorous. I hope you take it in that spirit, for I am not intending to be sacrilegious.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Danica's Seventh Birthday

It's the girl's birthday, and this is the collage that I made for her. There is a little portait of her in every month from last April through this March. She's a gem, this one is: full of life, energy, fun, brains, personality and disposition.

This was last year's collage: kind of Danica through the years as opposed to one year. Who knows what the theme will be next year? (I didn't realize that I began this years collage with the same photo with which I ended last year's.)

Friday, April 18, 2014

Examining the Crucifixion Narratives

(I am not doing my usual light and easy photo blog for the next two posts. I understand if this is not your cup of tea and if you wish to move along.)

I was as close to being born an evangelical Christian as anybody can be, and I still find myself fascinated with the origins of Christianity. A number of questions interest me. What did the earliest Christians believe? How did the doctrines develop? How did the bible come to us? How do the four gospel writers tell their stories, and how do they compare with each other?

So it was that, with Good Friday and Easter approaching, I decided to read the four gospel crucifixion narratives to see how similar or dissimilar they might be. I did not make this into a painstaking academic effort. I merely read the accounts twice, jotting a brief outline as I read. I then listed my findings in four parallel columns to facilitate comparison.

I found that the story is told most completely in the three synoptic gospels – Matthew, Mark and Luke – but John's later account also follows a similar outline, leaving some things out and adding others. There is no question that the narratives agree that Jesus is betrayed and sent to the high priest and then to Pilate before being crucified. Some events are omitted in some of the gospels, and I do not, necessarily, consider omissions to be discrepancies as you and I would likely tell the same story differently. I do think there are also actual discrepancies, however.

Following, is the gist of the story as more or less agreed to by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and sometimes John. I am telling it clinically in brief précis form, trying to stick to the common facts (which is sometimes difficult to do). I am not attempting to conflate the four accounts into one narrative as is usually the case when telling the crucifixion story, but I am trying to highlight the points on which they agree. Therefore, it becomes quite a 'bare bones' recounting. Even trying to stick to the common points, I sometimes find myself writing that such and such occurred in just some of the gospels because it seems necessary to avoid huge gaps in the account. I am also assuming in that most people are familiar enough with the narrative that I can be terse in the way that I lay it out.

Here is my summary.

A Last Supper was kept, probably in an upper room, during which Jesus ceremoniously broke bread and offered wine in the tradition that churches still, more or less, follow today. Jesus also predicted his impending betrayal by Judas although he was not named, but seemingly implied in Matthew. After the supper, Jesus and His followers went to the mount of Olives. It was here that Jesus predicted Peter's denial in Matthew and Mark, although Luke has Him declaring this earlier, at the supper. John also recounts the denials and the cock crowing , but he doesn't mention an earlier prediction.

In the garden, Jesus went apart from Peter, James and John to pray that "this cup" would pass from Him. Matthew and Mark have him praying and returning to the sleepy disciples three times. Luke doesn't mention the number of times that Jesus went back and forth, but He does have Jesus sweating blood and an angel appearing to Him.

In all of the gospels, Judas appears with a gang of the high priest's men to arrest Jesus, and he indentifies Jesus by kissing Him in each of Matthew, Mark and Luke. An unidentified someone cuts off the ear of one of the priest's men in three gospels (Peter did it in John), but only in Luke does Jesus, seemingly, re-attach it.

Jesus is then taken to the High Priest where He, apparently, chooses to say little. He does say enough to irritate Caiaphas, however, so he has Jesus flogged and beaten. It is during this time that Peter was asked three times about his connection with Jesus in all of the accounts. He denied it each time, and when the cock crowed (twice in Mark, and once in the other gospels), Peter became understandably upset when he realized what he had done.

Jesus was then sent along to Pilate and said very little according to the synoptic gospels but had a bit of a conversation in John. In all gospel accounts, Pilate offers Barabbas before giving Jesus over for beating and mocking, which included a robe and the crown of thorns in all versions except Luke's. He is taken to be crucified at Golgotha (named in three accounts). There was a sign placed over His head, and He was crucified alongside two men, identified as thieves (or at least bad guys) in three gospels. He, eventually, cries out and dies, whereupon a centurion expresses a certain wonderment. This occurred in unnatural darkness in Matthew and Mark, and these two gospels also report that the veil in the temple was torn in two.

Joseph of Arimathaea collected the body and laid it in a sepulchre.

 I will attempt to highlight the differences among the four accounts in my next post.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Sleepover Fun with Danica

It had been quite awhile since her last sleepover, so we were all pretty ready for it on the weekend.

Shortly after her arrival on Saturday afternoon, we headed to the chip truck for supper. This was our first visit to the truck this season. The weather has been bad up until now, and the truck has only been back in business for a few days.

We still have a bedtime story when she's here and sometimes if I happen to be there. On this night, we read one of James Herriot's stories — about Blossom the old cow who decided that she wasn't ready to go to the knackers.

On Sunday, before taking her back home, we stopped at Tim Hortons for a snack. She decided that this was a good time to play with my hat.

What fun!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

What I Do for Two Bucks

I have probable tossed a few coke cartons with the $2 coupon on the inside, but decided to extract one. They don't make it easy.

It's in there somewhere; all I have to do is look. ↓

They don't make it easy. ↓

Success at last. ↓

Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Olde Barn

I happened upon a folder yesterday looking for a particular picture but soon got sidetracked by the first couple of photos below that I had ignored previously; I never did get around to doing what I had originally intended to do. The others I had processed earlier, and I probably also posted some of them previously.

While the house on the property is nothing much to look at, most of the outbuildings is somewhat photographic: the garage, the red barn, the planer mill, and the old barn (the one in this series). These are all of the old, unpainted barn.

These photos are all from out August visit and have been processed with different styles, particularly the first and seventh of the series, which I did as sort of an old, distressed b&w. My faves are probably the second and fourth photos.

These are some other old barn photos that were lying about. There are more, but these were at hand, and I thought that I might as well include them.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Ten Days Later

Ten days ago, as you may recall, I had shovelled a niche for the kids; it was tough work because the snow was ,ore like ice. But, what a difference ten days makes! That's the time difference between the two photos that are taken from a fairly similar spot although the first is vertical and the second is horizontal (note the same car in the background of both photos).  This rapid change surprises me, at least a little every year, particularly this year when we had quite a bit of snow to lose plus the fact that it hasn't been that warm yet. Even when the temperatures have climbed a little, it's been blasted windy, so it has seemed quite cold. We did have a good rain or two. however.

Anyway, a lot of progress has been made, and I begin to regret the fact that I didn't clean the garden very well before winter overtook us. However, I plead for some understanding as winter came on early and quickly last fall.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Some Days Are Like That

It looked nice outside yesterday, so we decided to walk to Walmart. It's not our favourite place, but it's the closest store, and there were a few items that we could pick up. Besides, we could treat ourselves to a cuppa coffee from the McDonalds inside. I've never tried it, but Sue says that it's pretty good.

The way that I gimp along with my stupid right foot, it takes the best part of a half hour, and it was much windier than we thought, so it wasn't an altogether pleasant ramble.

Carrying Sue's camera, I stopped to take a few pictures of the field with the water tower in the distance. Where the snow has not been piled, there isn't all that much left. Mind you, there's still ~4' on our lawn. Even at that amount, a good chuck of it has evaporated.

We continued on to WM and barely got inside the door before there was a power failure. We waited outside for a few moments to see if it would come back on before deciding to trudge back home when both my sore foot and Sue's cold ears (did I mention it was very windy?) could have used a rest. Oh well.

About 5 minutes out, we could tell from the traffic lights that the power had been restored, but we kept on trudging toward home. And it was a trudge, let me tell ya. In good shape, I am not.

Some days are like that.

Saturday, April 05, 2014

The Good Ole Hockey Game

On Friday night I finally got my Christmas present. Sha bought both Eric and me tickets to the Montreal Canadiens - Ottawa Senators game for Christmas, and Friday night was the night.

Both the of us donned our jerseys. His is Montreal's current star goalie, and mine is the previous great, Jean Beliveau, who played when I was a boy and into young adulthood. Fittingly, he played his last game on April 04 1971, and this was also April 04, 43 years later.

Just for fun before I get back to the evening, here is a photo of me in my Canadiens (CH or Habs for short from now on in this post) hockey sweater, circa 1955.I am with my Uncle Charlie on Christmas if I recall. He died in 1970. He was a Leaf fan and would tease me good-naturedly at every opportunity.

Anyway, we made it to the arena early and found our seats in the third tier: section 321, row F, seats 1 and 2.

The view was excellent. The camera was zoomed out for this photo ↓ and the players were larger in life than they look here.

I tried a few selfies and did better with the second shot below.

Using Sue's compact camera, I snapped quite a few photos during warmup, choosing to leave my bulky DSLR at home. My favourite player, #76, PK Subban is prominent in both shots. The second shot below shows, more or less, the real life view that we had from our seats. It was fine.

The game is on. I put the camera away for most of the game but eventually remembered to take a few pictures.

Despite the game being in Ottaw, there seemed to be as many Habs fans as Sens fans. There was an exuberant block of fans just behind us. ↓ They were loud and sang their victory songs from time to time, for the Habs won handily: 7 - 4.

I took my title, The Good Ole Hockey Game,  from the main line in Stompin' Tom Connors', The Hockey Song, which gives the flavour of how seriously but enthusiastically we take our hockey in this county. Stompin' Tom was a greatly loved Canadian folk icon. At one point he spent several weeks here in Carleton Place where he composed Mufferaw Joe, and we have a wall painting in town commemorating him and his stay.

Fittingly, he performed this ↓ rendition of The Hockey Song in Ottawa on Canada Day 1993, just after the Habs had one the Stanley Cup and mentions that in this version. Unfortunately, the Habs have not won since. In fact, although the CH has won more championships by far than any other team, times have not been terribly good for most years since 1993.