Archive for July, 2007


Monday, July 23rd, 2007

I have been on vacation since the middle of last week, but somehow it doesn’t yet feel like vacation. However we finally decided that, yes we will accept Elizabeth’s kind offer of a week at her cabin at Pigeon Lake, Alberta. For various reasons including the expense of replacing a dead refrigerator and a dead lawnmower, we had considered spending our vacation closer to home. However the kids always look forward to these trips, and we haven’t reached the limit of our line of credit at the bank, so we depart tomorrow. This year will be different because Luke will stay at home, earning an income. It will be good to have someone looking after the house … we won’t get into the issue of stress involved with leaving a teenager in charge.

I did a quick query of MapQuest and Google Maps, and decided that their driving directions shouldn’t be taken at face value yet. Both of them have us going through Edmonton (we’ll go through Camrose) and MapQuest also has us swinging down to Saskatoon, which would be just silly. For their maps click the links below …

MapQuest Driving Directions

Google Maps Driving Directions

Another artist

Saturday, July 21st, 2007

Charlotte has a real eye for photography. Now that she has her own digital camera she’s been creating photographic works of art at an amazing rate. Here’s an example.

An accomplished piece of work

To view more of Charlotte’s photography, visit her photographic Art Gallery … click here.

Talk Backwards – and more Steve Goodman

Thursday, July 19th, 2007

This video clip that someone has posted on YouTube demonstrates why Steve Goodman concerts were so much fun.

I saw Steve Goodman in concert a couple of times while living in Edmonton in the early 1980s. He never gave any indication of his battle with leukemia, which he lost in 1984.

Here’s another clip, recorded shortly before his death, playing “The Dying Cub Fans Last Request” in front of Wrigley Field (his ashes were later buried under home plate), with a big grin on his face, and an oversized Cubs hat covering the evidence of chemo treatment.

For more information about Steve Goodman click here.

This New Testament won’t fit in my shirt pocket

Monday, July 16th, 2007

I used to think my mom’s “Parallel Four Translation New Testament” was pretty extreme. It included the King James Version, New American Standard, New International Version, and Amplified, with all four versions laid out on facing pages. When Mom and Dad died, I ended up with Mom’s parallel bible, and I decided to read through the gospel of John. Well, I decided that I liked the concept, but it would be nice to have versions in modern English. The upshot is that I’ve purchased myself a copy of a parallel New Testament with … get this … not four but EIGHT versions.

The “Evangelical Parallel New Testament” is put out by Oxford University Press, and includes these translations:

  • New King James Version;
  • New International Version;
  • English Standard Version;
  • Holman Christian Standard Bible;
  • Today’s New International Version;
  • New Living Translation;
  • New Century Version; and
  • The Message.

An introduction, plus a couple of articles on translation approaches and source manuscripts, are very well written. The layout of the pages uses a continuum from the more literal, word-for-word “formal equivalence” translations on the left to the informal, thought-for-thought “dynamic equivalence” translations on the right.
John 3:16 in eight translations

My main study bible has been the New International Version (NIV) for more than 25 years, and I think this will be a good way to decide on which version to adopt next.

The problem is that reading through the New Testament will take eight times as long as it did before.

UPDATE: Someone emailed me with a question about where they could find more information about this NT. My answer was to click on the hyperlink in the post. Several of my posts have included hyperlinks, and they might not always be obvious, but I don’t want to always specify “click here”. Meanwhile, for this post only, for more info please click here.

Fireworks 2007

Sunday, July 15th, 2007

The girls got out the watercolours today. Here’s one of Fiona’s creations.

Fireworks - Fiona - 2007-07-15

Working on the next Indie hit

Friday, July 13th, 2007

To view some of Luke’s videos, check out his YouTube page.

(my favourite is still “Mary Had a Little Deer”)

UPDATED 2007-07-19:  Hyperlink replaced with embedded video clip.

Name dropping

Thursday, July 12th, 2007

Coming from humble rural roots, it’s not every day that I see the name of a cousin in a prominent national news headline, so this story caught my attention:

MAYERTHORPE, Alta. — The court case of two men charged in the death of four Mounties began Thursday morning with a bizarre outburst from a friend of one of the accused.

As Provincial Court Judge Ken Tjosvold was about to open the hearing, a man stood up in the packed courtroom to offer unsolicited “evidence.”

“I have some new evidence that should be on the record,” said the man, clutching a Bible and describing himself as an “ambassador of the kingdom of heaven.”

When the judge replied that he couldn’t interrupt proceedings, the man asked if the court was “trying to hide something.”

Tjosvold assured him it wasn’t.

Shawn Hennessey, 28, and Dennis Cheeseman, 23, each face four counts of first-degree murder in the March 2005 slaying of four Mounties.

Full news story click here.

No, it’s not the accused, or even the “ambassador of the kingdom of heaven”, that I’m related to.  I guess I had heard that one of those Olson/Tjosvold cousins (another of those that I wouldn’t recognize if I saw him) had recently become a judge.

OK, enough name-dropping for now.  But someday let me tell you about my cousin Chris Loseth

Coalition for Knife Control

Wednesday, July 11th, 2007

I’m surprised that with the media coverage of the Medicine Hat trial of the 12-year-old girl who together with her 23-year-old boyfriend murdered her parents and brother, I haven’t seen any calls for tougher controls on knives. After all, we wouldn’t want to blame the perpetrators’ love of the occult and penchant for talking about killing people, would we? If they had used a gun, like that more famous occupant of, it would be very clear that the weapon was to blame. However the Coalition for Knife Control hasn’t yet organized itself.

UPDATED: The hyperlink at “talking about killing people” led to a subscription-required page.  The link now leads to a Google search … just click on the result and it should bypass the Globe and Mail’s subscription requirement.

Hi-res Google Earth for Prince Albert

Monday, July 9th, 2007

I love using Google Earth (and for the times I don’t want to fire up a stand-alone application, but just use a web browser, I also love with the “satellite” or “Hybrid” option turned on), but it’s always been somewhat annoying to check out a bigger city and be able to make out the detail of cars in people’s driveways, while zooming in on Prince Albert quickly resulted in fuzz. Therefore I was pleased to read an article in Saturday’s Prince Albert Daily Herald mentioning the fact that Google has aquired high-resolution satellite imagery for Prince Albert. Multi-spectral Quickbird imagery has a resolution of less than 3 m. I checked it out today, and it is definitely an improvement.

Here’s a scene showing our church (the building with the big yellow push-pin in the roof).

Gateway Covenant Church - Google Earth

Now if only Google would only get hi-res for Strongfield, Saskatchewan (pop. 42).

Strongfield - Google Earth

Dateline Strongfield

Saturday, July 7th, 2007

It’s not often that I see news headlines from Strongfield, Saskatchewan, so this news article about a Biofuels funding announcement by Prime Minister Stephen Harper caught my attention.

My mother (born Clara Olson) was originally from the Strongfield area. I have childhood memories of the unbelievably long journey from our bush farm near Shell Lake to Mom’s beloved prairie roots, visiting Olson relatives in the Strongfield and Hawarden area, almost 200 miles away. With the cars my dad could afford to drive, the trip was always perilous. If the radiator didn’t boil over, chances were high that we’d have a tire blow out. The highway from Shell Lake to Blaine Lake hadn’t been built yet, so we would take the grid road by Kilwinning. But I digress.

Cousin Arlin Olson still owns one of the few houses in Strongfield, which he graciously allowed Marv, Mike and me to use on our mule deer hunt last fall.

I don’t know what the population of Strongfield was in the 1920s and 1930s when my mom was a child, but with a large family on almost every quarter-section, I’m sure it was considerably higher than the current population of 42. A biofuel production facility in the area could offer farmers an alternative market for their grain. I don’t anticipate a boom in the Strongfield economy, but it can’t hurt.