Saturday, September 25, 2004


A few posts ago I told how I didn't like to waste things. One thing I don't like to waste is all the organic matter in my kitchen that we don't eat. You know, all the potato peelings and dead lettuce and apple cores. Several years ago we started a compost pile, and now it is a dandy. I make daily deposits of vegetable matter but I also include meat scraps and bones. Some people object to animal products in the compost, but I once heard a compost expert say that you could put anything in the compost pile that was once alive. As a side benefit, I've found that by not putting previously-alive things in the garbage, I only have to set the garbage can out once every two weeks or less for pickup, and it never smells bad.

Today was a good day to harvest the compost pile, and it's also a good way for me to get some exercize. So I took the wheelbarrow and shovel and got to work sifting the compost. I shoveled scoop after scoop of raw compost onto the compost sifter which sits on top of the wheelbarrow. This clever gadget was hand made for me by my dear husband for Mother's Day one year--isn't he romantic?? My work was made easier by the nocturnal visitor who has been coming for the last couple weeks--an armadillo who seems to like the compost pile almost as much as I do. He (or she?) has been digging around out there with its very strong and sharp snout, breaking up the clods and saving me the trouble. The pile is full of yummy grubs.

I almost gave up before my job was finished because I ran into the mother of all fire ant nests on one side of the compost pile. They came after me with a vengence for disturbing their massive array of tunnels. The gound was undulating with swarms of angry ants, each one trying to carry a white egg sack to safety. Luckily, I only got bitten two or three times.

The five wheelbarrows full of sifted, rich brown dirt were deposited on top of the flower garden by the front door. (This area is also the cat's favorite "box.") Times like this I ask myself why I don't have a vegetable garden. But I know why. Except for the dirt that comes from my compost pile, the rest of the ground here is made of white chalk.

Friday, September 24, 2004

"A triumph for globalization and the internet"

That is what A.'s email to me today said. I quote: "Are you having any luck with Rangers playoff tickets? I am in the virtual waiting room in another window on my internet browser now, hoping to get some. Wouldn't that be a triumph for globalization and the internet, if I could get playoff tickets in the virtual waiting room from Ethiopia!"

And then another email dated an hour later:

"Hi mom and dad,

The triumph of the internet is complete. I got eight tickets for the first Rangers home playoff game. They are in the third deck on the second row, two thirds of the way down the third base side. I really wish I was home to go to the game.

Why don't you invite *** and see if *** wants any of the tickets. I know he is a real fan. Maybe *** is/could be around and would want to go. You can use the tickets however you want. If there seems to be no one interested there is always eBay."

This child is crazy. He is a real fan. Anybody need tickets to the Rangers' playoff game 1? Wait, do we even know if the Rangers' are in the playoffs yet?

Thursday, September 23, 2004

The Bible

Today my 80+ year old former coworker came to my office and told me to get myself over to the museum before the Bible exhibit closed. I'm glad I did. It was cool. The display, (completely unguarded and I admit it was hard not to touch*) included a cuneiform tablet, a snatch of scripture on papyrus, an OT leather scroll, a sheepskin parchment, an early Hebrew codex, individual leaves from the Gutenburg, Tyndale, Coverdale, and Geneva bibles, and a complete KJV from the early printings. There was also a working replica Gutenberg press.

Here's a little blurb about it:

The exhibit, entitled “His Enduring Word,”
contains numerous other biblical artifacts. An
actual first page from the first book printed
with movable type, the 1450 Gutenberg Bible, will
be on view. Manuscripts in Hebrew, Greek,
Ethioptic, and Latin, including early Christian
papyrus (AD 250-450), and a complete Jewish Torah
will be available for examination.

“Steps in the Story,” a collection of leaves
(pages) from actual biblical publications by
reformers such as Martin Luther, William Tyndale,
John Rogers, Miles Coverdale, and John Calvin,
will be displayed. The exhibit also contains
leaves from the first Bibles produced by the
English Catholic exiles at Rheims and Douay.

“Many people, including Bible scholars, do not
know the basic story of how we got the Bible,”
explains F. J. “Rusty” Maisel, exhibit curator.
“But, seeing it laid out and explained as a
simple narrative has helped many people gain a
better understanding of the book they have been
reading for years. They say that what they have
learned from the exhibit also helps them respond
when friends ask about the Scriptures.”

Maisel is a graduate of Dallas Baptist University
and pursued graduate study in ancient history and
archeology at the Center for the Study of Early
Christianity (now University of the Holy Land) at
Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

A recognized authority on the authentication of
rare Bibles, Maisel says that, for most of his
life, he has had questions about “The Book.” His
search for answers has led to over 25 years of
studying and collecting original documents
throughout America, Europe, and Israel.

“The Bible itself tells us that God will preserve
his Word. To say I believe that is still an
expression of faith. But the years I’ve
experienced investigating that subject have only
strengthened my belief in the validity of the
scriptural texts,” states Maisel.

*I guess they think Bible translators respect both the form and the meaning when it comes to Bibles.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Bloggers in Pajamas

The TIME magazine that arrived today did not have obscene art on its cover. But it did have an editorial about how blogging is changing the mainstream media. Rather thought provoking. I guess bloggers will make the professional journalists a little more careful.

Of course, my blog isn't likely to challenge much of anything since I neither express many political thoughts nor explore many revolutionary ideas. No, I just talk to myself because my nest is empty.

p.s. It seems like should update its spelling dictionary to include the word blog and its deriviatives. Is that a revolutionary idea?

Monday, September 20, 2004

The Most Powerful Woman in America

is Condoleeza Rice. (At least that was the answer to the question given to the top five Miss America contestants last Saturday night.) D. called on Sunday to say he shook hands with her after church on Sunday. (And also with Bill Frist.) His impression of Ms. Rice: "She's pretty short."

Sunday, September 19, 2004

My Chickadee in Ethiopia

We recently got letter from A. in Ethiopia. He enclosed his new business card:

Cool, huh?

I don't think the email address shown on the card actually works yet, but the phone number does. But it can cost up to $1 a minute. I did find a cheaper phone card for about $.21 per minute. He does have email access from some internet cafes for $10/hour and I think it is dial-up, so pretty slow. He said there is not one ATM machine in the whole country, and no place to use a credit card.