The Big Dogs ( band Jim plays with) include in their repertoire the song “Wipe Out, which features Jim on drums. Their version of Wipe Out is a take off on the Ventures’ trade mark song. The Ventures play the song all the way thru at the same tempo. The Big Dog version increases the tempo several times during the song. The leader says, “faster Jim”, and up goes the tempo. But the real novelty of the rendition is near the end of the song. All of a sudden Jim decreases the tempo to a slow walk.Ken Swain, the leader, says, “Oh, oh, Jim’s run out of gas. I’ll check.” He walk over to Jim and bends over, and sniffs a couple times. “Nope,  he says, he didn’t.” Just then the tempo goes back to the fastest to end the song.


We celebrated the sixtieth anniversary of Calvin Church today with a special sermon related to the occasion and then a scrumptious display of goodies in the assembly room afterward. I saw Bert and Sally De Vries standing off to the side and stepped over to express my disappointment that I couldn’t attend a lecture on the Middle East that Bert was giving at Raybrook Manor. It should be no surprise that our conversation turned to the situation in the Middle East. Bert pointed me to an article he wrote and could be accessed on Calvins web site. You might want to read it here.


I ran across this site and found it very interesting.  It lists all the Iraqi bloggers between 2002 and November of 2005.  Some  people claim that all these Iraqi bloggers are fictitious people living in USA or other countries other than Iraq. If you visit some of the blogs listed, I am sure you will not think that way.


Grand Rapids and environs is a unique community. I am sure there are others like it, but it doesn’t represent the main stream of American cities. The idea for this post came to me the other evening while having my supper at the Panera restaurant. Panera doesn’t have waitresses or waiters, but I would think that eating establishments with food servers should give their staff a short course in common courtesy. I make reference to the frequent instances where families take a moment to bow their heads and say grace before their meal. It doesn’t promote the idea of prayer if the waitress is asking right in the middle of the prayer if, “is everything all right?”, or if during the brief prayer a the server is going around the table refilling coffee cups, etc. On the other hand, the family chaplain should not pray all the way around the world and back. Which could be a strategic problem the staff would face.

It was while eating at Panera’s that I observed a young couple join hands and bow their heads in silent prayer before digging into their food. This is a custom, and particularly with young couples, that I see quite often. It is with people like these that gives me some hope that this country isn’t going to the dogs!!!!


I have over the course of the year, five different line dance teaching venues. Of those five, two put me on the payroll with Soc. Security deduction, withholding, etc. the other three treat me as a contractor and ususally  pay me  for a complete 8 week session. The most profitable is a class that pays me $320.00 for an 8 week session. The sessions last 1 1/2 hrs and also involve driving there setting up my equipment, taking it down and driving home.  Roughly amounting to $20.00 an hour. The payroll example is Kentwood Recreation Dept. I have taught there over  ten years without a pay raise. This class is an hour long and also involves about the same amount of set-up time etc. I turn in a time slip and get paid every two weeks. Today I cashed my pay check for $19 plus change, roughly $6.35/hr., and then went next door for a $13.00 hair cut. With my mop of hair that lasts about 15 minutes. Is something out of whack here?