Monday, October 31, 2016

Somebody has been signing my concrete

Somebody just had to sign my concrete.
Last weekend, I dug a hole and set a 4x4 post to hold large bird feeders. By that, I mean large feeders for birds of any size. I set the post in Quikrete, leveled and propped the post and then left it for a week to cure. When I checked it Saturday, I noticed someone had "signed" the concrete. Here's a picture.

That's the distinct impression of a little kitty cat's paw. We don't have any little kitty cats ourselves, but we've seen some hanging around the neighborhood. I don't mind them; they help keep the mouse population down.

I also don't mind the signature in my birdfeeder post concrete. I hope the cats just leave the birds alone and eat all the mice.

While I have your attention, let me encourage you to put out some food for the birds. I replenished all the suet feeders today, too.

And I put fresh water in the bird bath, something I do freequently each week.

We try to keep the birds fed and watered year around. Especially watered; we have a small heater for the coldest days of winter. The main birdwatcher in Rolla told me that keeping the birds watered in winter maight be more important than feeding them. It is difficult to find water that isn't frozen sometimes.

So do what you can to keep a supply of water that isn't hard as concrete on the coldest days of winter.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Taking time to worship the Creator who cares for me

This is the front of today's church bulletin.
Owing to work and sickness, I had not been to a church service for about a month until this morning. I had been to Sunday School for a couple of sessions, but I had to leave afterwards and did not attend worship service.

It was good to be at both Sunday School and the worship service today. Those are the best times of the week. I enjoy Sunday School immensely. There were 10 old men in the little classrom today. There are so many of us good ole boys that they are going to take down a wall and extend the classroom to give us some room.

The appeal of the Sunday School class is that we all talk freely. We give our own interpretation of the lesson, and while we may disagree, no one judges and no one gets angry. We laugh a lot in that class.

We are a small country congregation. About 50 of us attend the worship service each Sunday. We have a traditional service with singing of the good old hymns from the hymnal, accompanied by a piano player and an organist. Today, we sang the third verse of "Worthy of Worship" as the call to worship. We also sang "Trust Try and Prove Me," "Take the Name of Jesus With You" and "Wherever He Leads I'll Go."

In between the songs were the welcome to visitors, announcements, a brief presentation on the Christianity of the nation's Founding Fathers," praises and prayer concerns followed by our morning prayer, the children's sermon, the offering, a special vocal from one of the women of the church and the sermon.

The preacher preached about the prodigal son and his father, based on Luke 15. I tell you honestly that I did not listen carefully. That happens a lot to me. I have three jobs counting this one, so I have a full schedule. I should read the Bible studiously each day, but I don't have or make the time. I look forward to worship services so I can sit an meditate on God. Sunday mornings, I listen to the sermon a little and then my mind wanders toward God.

Today, I sat and wrote a little prayer while the preacher preached. Sometimes, just thinking about God and talking to him in my thoughts makes me feel better than a sermon does.

After the sermon, we had the Lord's Supper observance. We don't do that at every service; we have the Lord's Supper quarterly. It is always a moving experience for me to partake in the bread and grape juice as symbols of our Lord's body and blood.

I have heard lots of reasons for not going to church, and I think they are all good reason. I am not judgingyou for not going to church; that is between you and Jesus, who will someday judge you himself. If any of you reading this are compelled as I am to regularly join other sinners in worshipping the Savior, I recommend you find a good little country church.

Daily weather data for Oct. 30

Rolla (Missouri S&T) NOAA Co-Op Weather Station

Here is the Rolla weather data for the 24-hour period ending at 7:30, Oct. 30, 2016.

Maximum Temperature:                                                              82° F

Minimum Temperature:                                                               62° F

Present Temperature:                                                                 63° F

Precipitation:                                                                             0.00"

Precipitation for the year:                                                            36.33"

Precipitation for the month:                                                         1.98"

Snowfall/Frozen Precipitation:                                                     0.0"

Snowfall/Frozen Precipitation for the 2016-17 season:                   0.0"

Snowfall/Frozen Precipitation for the year:                                    9.5"

Snowfall/Frozen Precipitation for the month:                                 0.0"

Relative humidity:                                                                      72%

S.R. Fraley
NWS Co-Op Observer

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Thinking about Route 66

I grew up near Route 66, and I live today near Route 66. In fact, I drive daily to work and home on sections of Route 66, because I hate to drive in the traffic on Interstate 44.

What is called the Mother Road has interested me for many years, not enough to do any major research, but enough to make me stop and read whenever I see the phrase "Route 66."

And I was reading a list of birthdays for today, Oct. 18, and I saw that in 1918, Bobby Troup, a jazz pianist and composer was born. He is the composer of "(Get Your Kicks On) Route 66."

Robert Wesley Troup, Jr. (who died Feb. 7, 1999),  was also an actor. Among his roles was Dr. Joe Early on "Emergency!" back in the Seventies of the previous century when I was in high school and college.

That is all it took to get me to thinking about Route 66. I remember when it was still Route 66, not Historic Route 66 or, as it was called when I was older, Missouri 266.

To get from our home in Moniteau County, Missouri, down to my grandparents' home in Greene County, Missouri, we had to drive south and then get on Route 66 at Lebanon. I don't remember much of those trips, but I do remember a trip when we ended up driving on rough road under construction, getting off and on the roadway.

We were driving on both sections of Route 66 and sections of its replacement, Interstate 44. At least that is how I remember it.

Eventually, we moved to live near my grandparents in Greene County, and I began attending Republic Elementary School. That was in school year 1963-1964.  Interstate 44 was still under construction in that area, for I remember a classmate in my new school who was named Stanley, I think, and he was the son of a highway engineer. He moved before the school year was over. I have not thought about that for years, and I am surprised I recall Stanley's first name. I hope that is not a sign of impending Alzheimer's.

We drove frequently on Route 66 to shop at Barnes General Store, a terrific place that had a mill, barber shop, grocery store all in one building and a gas station across the highway. Also, a hardware store was across the street.

When I was much older. in fact, when I was nearly in my 50s, I rode my bicycle twice on summer vacations from my home in Rolla to my sister's house on the old home place outside Republic. I rode on Route 66 as much as possible. That was a great deal of fun.

I like thinking about Route 66, and I'm going to have to do more of it.

Monday, October 17, 2016

I love cowboy music so much that I wish I had a horse

Pandora, the music website, is a most wonderful technology.
You probably know how it works, but I'll give a brief explanation. You type in a name of a song or an artist, and then the computer program will pick music that is close to what you started with as a seed. You hit a thumbs up or thumbs down symbol for each song, and the computer that programs your station will select music more closely akin to your preferences.
I use Pandora almost every day while I write, and usually I tap into my Don Edwards Radio channel. Don Edwards is one of my favorite singers. He is a western singer. You've heard of country and western music? Well, he sings the western part of that. I hit a thumbs up symbol on all of his music, so the computer gives me more songs like that, songs by Sons of the Pioneers and Foy Willing and Riders of the Purple Sage, Red Stegall, R.W. Hampton, Dave Stamey, Marty Robbins, all kinds of good music.
I listen to that music and wish I had a horse and Stetson hat and some boots. I'd like a rope, too, and a fancy saddle. Oh, what a life I could lead ...

Oh, I'm a-ridin' around this here big spread
on Ole Paint, herdin' dogies with big thoughts in my head,
enjoying the good life out here in the saddle,
dreaming of ways to build a herd of fine cattle.
"Ride around, little dogies, ride around kinda slow!
"I'll get you to market, whoopee-ti-yi-yo!"
Oh, I'm lovin' the cowboy life out here in the sun,
Ridin', ropin', whoopin' and having big fun.
Then my wife hollers , "Push that thing a little slower!
"Or you'll hit one of my babies with that dang mower."
OK, I confess, this is fun, just oodles,
but Ole Paint is my mower and I'm chasing our poodles
around the back yard of our modest home
in small-town Missouri, not where buffaloes roam
"Yes, ma'am," I holler. Well, what else could I say?
I'm herdin' doggies, not dogies, whoopee-ti-yi-yay!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Forgive me, Jesus, but I am going to vote

This is a brutal presidential campaign. Because I have said publicly and emphatically that I will vote for Donald Trump, social media users have called me a Hitlerian brown shirt and have questioned whether I am truly a follower of  Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Although, I see only two choices on the ballot, I have been told I am wrong.
Now, it seems that the politically correct choice for the vocal progressive Christians, progressive evangelical Christians and liberal Christians is Hillary Clinton, because she is a Methodist who is pro-abortion, approves of same-sex marriage and seems to believe cops are evil white guys who want to kill all black people. She has the mind of Christ, the progressive and liberal Christians say. They believe Jesus Christ died on the cross for reproductive rights and same-sex marriage.
Donald Trump, on the other hand, is a dirty loudmouth and a capitalistic adulterer who doesn't trust Muslims and wants to keep Mexicans from swarming across the southern border. The progressives say Jesus welcomes all, died for all and so we should lay down our lives and our children's lives for all. We should put Muslims, illegal immigrants and urban thugs ahead of any other interest we might have, including our children's future.
Then, there are the Never Trumpers, so-called conservatives, many of them conservative Christians, who are campaigning agaist Trump. They say they are not going to vote for either of the main-party candidates. They question the Christian commitment of any conservative who will vote for Trump, the Republican. The Never Trumpers would rather see Hillary elected, though they claim they won't vote for her directly.
Now, I will acknowledge that I don't think either one of those two candidates is worthy of my vote, but they are the only two candidates we have, and I must make a choice.
Why must I make a choice? Why can't I do the so-called true Christian thing and sit this election out?
Listen, I went to elementary school at California, Mo., and Republic, Mo. I have an eighth grade diploma from Republic Junior High School that I received in May 1967. I got a diploma in May 1971 from Republic High School. All through those years, I was taught the history of the United States, how the Founding Fathers, the Sons of Liberty, the Minutemen, the Patriots, all fought monarchy in favor of the people having a voice in their own government. I believed all that stuff, and I still do.
I eventually earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Missouri, and that was back in a day when a student learned to think for himself. There were no safe spaces or baloney like that. Students would stand out on the commons and preach socialism or Jesus, either one or both. I had a professor in Southern history class who said slavery was not the main issue that caused the so-called Civil War. Back in those days, professors welcomed disagreement and argument and dialogue. I had an economics professor that demanded it, and you got marked down for not speaking out in the lab class.
I'm digressing and ranting. Let me get back on track. My educational foundation is this: We live in a democratic republic that people died to give us. We have a right to speak and vote because they shed their blood for us to have those rights. We continue to have men and women willing to die to protect our rights and to extend that right to other people.
For me to boycott this election would be a betrayal, in my mind, of those brave men and women.
Those courageous souls who fought for and founded this nation and those who continue to protect it believed in and continue to believe in the value of letting the people make the choice of who will lead them. They trusted people would make the right choices. Over our history, we've made some bad choices. I don't particularly like Lincoln, but he was the choice. My Southern people didn't like that choice, so they attempted to save the Constitution by forming their own nation. That failed, resulting in more power for the federal government, as well as more than 600,000 dead Americans.
Even after all that Lincolnite mess, we still have a right to vote, and through primary elections and caucuses, we have two choices. You might not like the choice, but I think you should, as an American, make a choice.
I have to vote. I'd like to secede, but that is a proven failure, so I have to vote just to have a tiny voice in the future of this nation.
Maybe Jesus doesn't want me to vote because neither candidate seems to be one of His followers, but I have done a lot of things Jesus doesn't want me to do. I'm sorry, Jesus, but I can't sit this election out. I am a loyal American and I am  going to cast a vote, and I am going to vote for Trump because I believe he has a better understanding of the value of our democratic republic than she does.
Call me a brown shirt, call me a non-Christian pagan if you wish. I think I'm a patriot.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Tonight's full moon is super!

Tonight's Hunter's Moon is a super moon. November's full moon will be even more super.
Despite the poor quality of the photograph taken by my tablet computer, tonight's full moon is a super moon.
This is called the Hunter's Moon.
It is a super moon because it is closer to Earth than it was back in the spring when it achieved fullness. It was a micro-moon then.
Being super, it looks bigger, though you probably won't notice it. It will just look big and full and bright and neat, and that is all that really matters. If you are interested in more info, I suggest a visit over to for a nice explanation of a super moon.
Or just do what I do: Look and enjoy and thank the Lord for a marvelous creation.