Saturday, January 31, 2009

Conversation – a gift from God

Have you ever noticed how easy it is to talk to some people? Have you noticed that the person you are talking to have some qualities that may it very easy to talk to them?

My dad was that way. No matter where he went he talked to people. Whatever we were doing as a family he could be found talking to someone. At a family camp ground dad would not be there for a while… and we would find him two spots over talking to someone. When he did that we discovered something new for our family to do.

One time I took my Dad with me to Newfoundland. I had been there many times but Dad had never visited the province. I was there to preach and teach in the many churches of the province. Dad was there to meet people.

Many times as I was packing up or unpacking my things for the session that I was doing. Dad was gone. I could always find him where people were.

In Newfoundland the church is often situated near the water front as the main road always followed the shore line of the Bay. I would find Dad across the road, down on the dock with the men that were working there.

It was on one of those docks that I heard Dad called by his new ‘nickname’ – “Skipper”. Dad was saying goodbye to his new friends on the dock – crusty old fishermen working with their nets. As he left they called out, “Good to meet ya, Skipper!” Dad replied, “Remember is you are ever in Saskatchewan I want you to come to visit us..”

My mom had not idea how many new friends Dad had invited to come and visit them in Regina. Newfoundland was so far away that it was unlikely it would ever happen… but they were all welcome.

Dad’s conversation was always friendly. Dad’s conversation always wanted to know more about the person that he was talking to. Dad knew more than most people on almost every topic – yet he wanted more. The person talking to him would never know how wise he really was – because he was always finding out how wise they were.

Conversation is a gift that I give myself. I treasure the interaction and the exchange of words.

Last evening I savored this again with a young man. We sat talking in my garage. I think I do more talking and meeting people in the garage than I do wood carving. It is a place of a gift exchange. The gift is conversation.

Looking to my reference to the Virtual World in the last two days – I have thought much about the loss that these folks have experienced. Their relationship is so superficial – so shallow. It is happening in their mind and often through an avatar.

This week I played a computer game that involves me and five other computer generated characters. I found my self stirred by the action and then laughed at my self as I started to talking to the idiot on screen that had just left me in the dust. The guy was beating me hands down with the race that I was running in… yet he wasn’t real. I was the only one talking to anyone… to a dumb TV screen.

There is nothing like speaking with a friend.

Can you imagine never speaking to anyone? Or - on the reverse - no one speaking to you?

~ Murray Lincoln ~

Friday, January 30, 2009

Virtual Affairs – Whacko Worlds

You really don’t have to go far to find a whacko world. I discovered a few in the last few days. Some were on the Internet stories and others in real life.

Yesterday I wrote about “Virtual Affairs” – where men and women have entered into computer relationships that are not real… but are real in their minds as they are connecting to an unknown person that comes to them as an “avatar” – which is a computer generated person controlled by a real person.

It appears new and almost impossible to understand. Yet it is not new – the whole idea of “virtual world” is really imagination going unchecked.

Over the past ten years in this city I have found men (and women) that have found their new partners in the strangest places. The person that they entered into a new relationship with(and left the one that they had) – were from odd community settings. They meet. They connect. They exchange. They concoct a fictitious world of thinking… then have an affair… entering into some level of sexual connection with a person other than their husband or wife.

Those were real affairs that destroyed real families. Now the partners of that relationship struggle with new relationships that have their own problems.

Another virtual world is one that a young friend of mine is caught in. I say “young” in that he is younger than me. Yet there are some older than me doing it too.

This other virtual world is one of pornography. And under Porn you can enter books, movies and strip clubs. The first two are relatively hidden. The last one is pretty much community.

The young man broke and confessed his indiscretion of attending a strip club often, drinking Coke – not alcohol. Then in his confession he told me of the number of fairly well off people that I know that attend the same strip club that he does. He told me of “good church people” that he and I both knew sitting beside him and clapping loudly. It must be a Man Thing – grunt, scratch and drool….but doing it together makes it better.

I have wondered what the gal doing the dancing thinks as she dances. I wonder if she is thinking about what she will buy her dad for his Birthday. Maybe she is thinking of what she might get on her grocery list?

The fact is that in her mind is a Virtual World that is very different from the Virtual World inside the “grunt, scratch and drool crowd” in front of her.

My virtual world includes my thoughts about these folks as well.

My hardest virtual world experience this week happened as I took along a disabled person that uses only one side of his body, to an event. People at that event reacted – at least one person did – and made it clear that it was not good to bring a person like my friend to their little party (group). The objecting individual was down right upset that the two of us were in the room at that time.

The virtual world – the mind of the objector – was so disliking of a physical abnormality or disability that he could not contain himself. Anger spilled out of him. But maybe he just disliked me? Before we left the building the objecting individual had expressed his anger to at least three people that I know.

We were hated and we left. I have had enough of that in my lifetime of work and I don’t need it in my volunteer world!!!!

Now look at the gamut of Virtual Worlds that I have written about. It is hard to imagine really.

Reading the news this morning I came across a story that just happened. Joan Cunnane, 77 years old, died in her home after the excessive things that she had bought toppled over on her. Her friends had not seen her for a few days and filed a report with the police. She was under suitcases that had fallen on her. It took days to find her.

Another Virtual World gone wrong. She just couldn’t stop herself from buying.

Whether it is a young mother looking for sex – or better say it – looking for a relationship with meaning…. Or a silly old lady that could not stop buying stuff… what is the difference? Whether it is a young guy in a sleazy strip joint in Peterborough or an angry senior that doesn’t want a crippled person in their presence – the virtual world for all is whacko.

On the TV Show called the Fifth Estate it was reported that a woman left her husband and children to fly to London, England to meet her avatar person. I watched as the camera followed her all the way and listened in as she was feeling the strange things she did. HE – the man behind his avatar – was not at all like what she imagined. She left to go back home to her family… unsatisfied and unhappy with herself. Her virtual world crashed with reality.

I am sorting through all that I have experienced this week. My virtual world has been challenged.

I have come to understand better that my virtual world – my imagination and thought life sure needs something better and bigger in it. That is when God is found and is available to enter my virtual world and clean it up.

A few years ago the bracelets and other small things appeared with WWJD written on them. It stood for “What Would Jesus Do” – referring to the setting that the wearer would be in?

I am a Christian and believe in God’s guidance and presence. I believe that he is available to enter my virtual world when I allow him.

This week I have met people and read of people that certainly could use a dose of God stuff in their lives. But I am not responsible for them. I am in charge of me…. That is enough!

I would love to hear your reflection of the virtual world you have heard about – so would others. How do you cope?

~ Murray Lincoln ~

Source:
http://politicom.moldova.org/news/elderly-shopaholic-killed-by-purchases-175649-eng.html

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Virtual Affairs – Men, Women and the Virtual World

Picture this… Imagine this…
You are sitting on a couch and the person walks toward you. The person is of the opposite sex from you. But there are two different scenes to picture… let’s imagine “his” perspective first.

As she moves slowly to you she begins to speak in a soft voice, kind of giggles, then stops in front of you. She comments to you… “the day has been hard for you… I can tell… do you want me to relieve some that tension? I am good with my hands… you will love it… now close your eyes… let me touch you…. can you feel that… ummmmm… your muscles are so hard…”

Now “her”…
He closes his eyes savoring her touch… then he says, “now it is my turn… turn around… here let me touch you… I will begin by rubbing your back… nothing like a good back rub and neck rub to relieve the tension from your old world… was it bad for you today?... did you get that contract completed?...”

She has closed her eyes and then says softly… “no one in my world can touch me like you do… that feels so good… your hands are so soft… you make me shiver inside when…. Oh man… what a rush… you are something else! Ummmm…. Oh… Yes…”

Whoah… HOW CAN A PASTOR WRITE THAT STUFF….?!

Pretty easy actually… you just have to imagine… And like the Web Site for Second Life states… “Your world – Your Imagination”

What kind of a crazy world is out there?

Well in the scene that I described above… the man is real and the woman is real…but they are not in the same real world or even the same country. They are real people sitting at their computers working a keyboard and mouse… and talking into a computer microphone… that then transfers their voice to the other person sitting at their computer monitor thousands of miles away.

The key word here to introduce you to is “avatar”. And avatar is a computer person that is made by a real person sitting in front of the Computer Monitor. The avatar appears and is controlled by on the screen by the real person sitting in front of the monitor.

The avatar does not need to look like the real person but in all likelihood will look like the real person would like to look.
Now add the fact that the newly made avatar will do what I want it to do in an animated way… in its own room…and it can invite other avatars – or one in particular into his or her room… they can interact and do things with each other on the monitor screen…

Now add one more thing… the avatar is an extension of a real brain… the brain of the computer operator… and at one point there is a transference of reality into non-reality and the two mesh. (“Houston we have contact…!”) There is a locking in one mind for sure… just the way that any pornographic/emotional locking in the mind takes place…

There is an intimacy that is possible without the real touch. There is a mind touching… not a physical touching…. Words suffice in place of real touch… and real intimacy that might be in a real relationship in a real world.

This Second Life was created in the following way… a quote from the real folk that developed this unreal world…
Second Life, also recognized as SL, is an Internet-based virtual world developed by Linden Lab (Linden Research, Inc) and released in 2003. Second Life was inspired by Snow Crash, a novel by writer Neal Stephenson who is known for his science fiction work which focuses on technological developments in near future society. There have been over 8.5 million SL accounts registered but it remains unclear how many of these accounts remain in use.

Imagine there are 8.5 Million accounts at this point. It is way more than a few weirdo computer geeks that can’t find a date. It is real people that are doing a unreal thing – yet inside of their minds it is very real.

Now Second Life is not like the fighting world of World of War Craft. And it isn’t like playing Sim City. Both WoW and SC are other groups that have millions of followers that work and play in a virtual world.

How can this be real?

Well a suburban house wife in Calgary with two sons, her parents and a good life – gave it all up to walk away from her real life and into another real life after working with the her avatar and meeting her new man. The report stated that she gave up all her past life, which was good, for a Dog Collar that her new real Biker Dude gave her… and all of her suburban mom kind of clothing for the duds of a Biker Chick… she now has a gun that he gave her and they ride his Hog all over the USA – and the warm country.

As I watched her face on the TV program last evening I was stirred as she stated, “I hope that my sons and my parents will see how happy I am in my new life.”

The fact that her avatar and his avatar are not anything like they way that they REALLY are… is kind of changed when they meet.

But that is only one small part of the equation or human relationships. In another posting a Professor Michael Keren makes the following statement…
But Michael Keren, who has written “Blogosphere: The New Political Arena”, suggests individuals who bare their souls in blogs are isolated and lonely, living in a virtual reality instead of forming real relationships or helping to change the world.

"Bloggers think of themselves as rebels against mainstream society, but that rebellion is mostly confined to cyberspace, which makes blogging as melancholic and illusionary as Don Quixote tilting at windmills," the author said.

Hokey Mokey… I am more crazy than I thought… “isolated and lonely”…? Maybe I am just like the rest… in fact I know that I am.

I know a few relationships that my REAL WIFE and I connect to. One or even Two of the couple are engaged in virtual worlds. Some of them are through WoW, SC and/or SL. Some of them have problems relating to real people. Some of them are broken because perfectly good, real world relationships are entirely destroyed by the unrealistic avatar world.

WoW, SC and SL legitimize what people addicted to porn have known all the way along… only porn is not accepted. It is all an affair of the mind.

I know one thing for sure. When I exhaust myself emotionally… it affects my physical feelings as well as my spiritual feelings. And as really good computer game does just that… so does Blogging… and avatars…

Second thing I know for sure… When your real body quits acting like it used to – your imagination doesn’t… and boy do you have to be careful.

In my Facebook world I have over a half dozen people who want to “Kiss me”. I am committed to kissing one woman and have little interest in a computer kissing me…

Is this world wacky or what?

~ Murray Lincoln ~

Source:
British Couple Split Over Virtual Affair
http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2008/11/14/virtual-affair.html

Bloggers living in a virtual reality, professor says
http://www.cbc.ca/news/story/2007/01/31/tech-blog.html

Second Life Affairs
http://www.selfhelpmagazine.com/maheu/?p=40
Examples of Second Life look-a-likes

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Sunday School Lesson – from an Undertaker

Sunday School Lesson – from an Undertaker
By Bruce Lindsay


This past Sunday, I helped teach Sunday School – filling in for someone who was away. The junior high class enjoyed the lesson so I thought I'd share it with everyone. I told the young people that I was going to talk about death. Being an Undertaker, I know a few things about it.

I started by talking about the late Bill Mason. He is kind of an idol of mine. In my eyes, he is the father of the modern canoe trip. He would spend weeks in the bush, exploring rivers – generally alone with just his canoe and canoe skills.

I borrowed one of his videos from the library on 'white water' – sort of a 'how to' video. In the video, he was showing how to survey the rapids and come up with a plan of attack. First he showed how to go through difficult rapids when you are alone in a canoe, then later in the video, his son was with him and he was going to show how to traverse difficult rapids with 2 people in a canoe. From above the rapids, he was asking his son for his opinion. His son looked to be about 12 years old. Whatever suggestions Mr. Mason gave, his son would respond, "I don't know. It looks awfully tricky."

The father would suggest that they could 'take the passage to the left of the big rock then turn into the next eddy and then move right.' His son would say, "I don't know. It looks very tricky."

In short, his son didn't trust him.

The video was about negotiating rapids, so you know they were going to do it. Bill Mason is a Canadian legend, perhaps the most qualified person in the world at going through rapids – and his own son doesn't trust him to be able to get through the rough water.

After some discussion, they got in the canoe. The nervous boy was still not convinced. They did it the Bill Mason way, and got through without a scratch or even a drop of water in the boat.

How much are we like that boy? We have a Heavenly Father who is in charge of everything, knows everything, plans everything, shares His plan with us, loves us - and yet, we don't trust Him?

Then I asked the kids to do that 'trust exercise' with a partner, where one person closes his eyes and falls backwards. The person's partner stands behind them and catches them before they hit the ground. One girl in the class told me she has "trust issues". I told her that I would catch her then, instead of another young person. She was only 90 pounds – soaking wet.

She couldn't do it for the longest time. She didn't trust me. Finally I caught the biggest boy in the group – he was easily 150 pounds. Then she began to trust me to catch her.
Trust…?
I told another story about a friend of mine who went to the circus. He watched the trapeze artists and was amazed. 'The Flying something-or-others' (I forget the name). He waited to talk to them after the show and told them that he was planning to come back to the show the next night to watch them again. The main flying man told him to save his money, and instead, come in the morning and watch them practice. My friend was so excited!

He watched them practice and was even more captivated and enthralled. The main flying man again suggested that he could come along with them on their bus for a few days. They were going from Peterborough, to Cobourg to Newmarket. That way they could talk. He was a very friendly person. My friend readily agreed.

While on the bus, my friend was asking the guy how it works. "What is the secret? How can you be flipping and flying so fast and then grab onto another person's hands?"

They flyer told him, "The trick is that people look at it all wrong. I don't have to do anything. The real star of the show is the catcher."

The biggest, strongest guy in the group is the catcher. He doesn't fly. He stands at the top of the ladder and catches the flyers. The flyer explained that when he finishes his flip or jump, all he has to do is hold out his hands – and trust. The catcher does all the work grabbing his arms and bringing him safely in. If a flyer tried to grab the catcher, it would be bad. You could break a wrist or hit his hand and prevent him from catching you. You would most likely fall. At the heights they were performing at, a fall could mean death. So you fly, and then reach out with both hands. You leave the rest to the catcher.

Hearing that made me think of Jesus on the cross when he cried out with a loud voice, "Father – into Thy hands I commend my spirit!" And then Jesus' spirit flew. He knew he could trust His Father. But like most boys would do, he called out, "Daddy! Catch me!"

I talked about death. I know it was probably one of the weirdest Sunday School lessons ever. But I told them that we all die. Likely, their grandmas or grandpas will die long before them. Maybe knowing a story like this will help them. We all need to know that we have a Heavenly Father that we can trust. And when the time comes, He will catch you. All you need to do is reach out with both hands. You leave the rest to the Catcher.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *
Addendum…by Murray Lincoln…
This past week I attended another church as some of you have read in an earlier posting.

While spending time with the Pastor of the church we shared some intimate details of ministry of the churches that we had worked in and ministered to. One issue surfaced that was common for both of us. We had both worked in churches where “previous pastors” (men that proceeded us in the church) had done some real stupid things. They had broken the people’s trust. That breaking of the Trust… had led to some very bad feelings and a “NO Trust Atmosphere” to work in.

When he entered the role of the pastor in his present church no one trusted anything that he did. And it stayed that way for one year and a half until they could see what he was like.

Sadly I can testify that the same thing happened to me a number of times.

As a congregant – a person attending church – have you ever wondered why some pastor’s stay is short? Look in the mirror – it could be you simply not trusting.

Bruce’s story above stands out for me… One young lady already “has trust issues”.

Now put the word “politician” or “doctor” or “car salesman” into the sentence and you can see issues… but those are other stories for the future…

Thanks Bruce – I needed this…

~ Murray Lincoln ~

Addendum 2
To lighten your day… I found a video you just have to watch.. talk about trust issues… too funny… it is called the “Husband’s Song” AND all the Husband called… “Dear you just have to see this one…”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2cgvBxI-XfE
~ ML ~

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Iggy and Stevie Show

My Letter to Mr. Irving R. Gerstein Chair of the Conservative Fund Canada….

Dear Irving and all...
I understand perfectly what is happening with our Government in Ottawa. I have followed it with great interest. I have also been speaking about it lately in different settings and have encouraged people to pray for the Government especially this week as these important decisions are being made.

I have given the name of the present turning/churning events as "The Iggy and Stevie Show". Both are desiring to be front and center of what is happening. We as the Canadian population are all following this show carefully. I only hope and pray that they will learn to get along together... and that isn't just Iggy doing it Stevie's way or Stevie doing it Iggy's way - it is learning to get together and govern for the best of the rest. (Iggy and Stevie – for non Canadian readers are Michael Ignatief –Leader of the Liberal Party – and Steven Harper – Leader of the Conservative Party and Prime Minister of Canada.)

I would certainly love to contribute something to the war chest... but that isn't possible at this time. You see the present economic situation has hit me personally. I am now paid by YOU and all the other leaders and followers in Canada. I am on Employment Insurance and have been since last June 2008. The downturn has turned us down as well. Your request for $100 or $200 is 25% and 50% of what I now get paid each week. And as harsh as it sounds - I cannot afford to give you One Cent.

BUT I will be praying for you and the rest that you can be assured of.

Now to help you fully understand and to be truthful about it... the Ontario Government along with E.I. have done a wonderful thing for us by providing the Ontario Self Employed Benefit program - that is known locally as O.S.E.B. or for short S.E.B. Under this program I have been able to start a Wood Carving Business entitled "Misty Hollow Carving".

Now if you would like me to be able to contribute something to your War Chest or anything else... would YOU consider investing further in my new small business by ordering a carving? You can look at my carvings at http://www.murraylincoln.com/ (A Great Idea… perhaps you folks would like to purchase a GREAT CANADIAN GIFT for Prime Minister Steven Harper – have I got some deals for you!)

To remain positive about the turning/churning events in my own life I have also pioneered a great ministry entitled "Ontario Provincial Chaplaincy" which encourages people to pray each day for each of our Politicians in our Ontario Government. Our initial goal is to have at least 2 people from each Riding of our Ontario MPP’s praying for an supporting the local MPP. Our second goal is to have 10,000 people praying for our Government across Ontario. We are well on our way to that goal now. Each day new people have joined into this effort.

You can look at what we do in this area by going to http://prayforleaderstoday.blogspot.com/

My other commitment is to pray for my local MP - who is Mr. Dean Del Mastro. Dean is doing a great job even though he gets opposition locally. We all believe in Dean.

I mentioned earlier that I speak about the current events and the light hearted(but serious) way that I have spoken about the "Iggy and Stevie Show". Well some of it is done on my personal Blog that is read around the world. It is actually light hearted and I try not to condemn or put down any person.... I think... ahemm.


Today I am posting your request for a contribution to the Conservative Party - along with this Email content that is a letter to you. I posted other times on the Blog and had sent the information to the different leaders. Our MP's office said thanks then I started getting letters from your office - so someone must have listened to me - or even read what I wrote. Cool.

Be assured that I will be praying for you... and Stevie and Iggy... and Dean... and all the others... specially this week.The offer still stands - there is a group of ministers in Peterborough that are willing to travel to Ottawa to offer counseling on how to get along together. We do that all the time in the local setting.

And HEY... Irving - have a great day!

~ Murray Lincoln ~
Unemployed Canadian starting my own business now and looking for customers.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
For the rest of you… here is Irving R. Gerstein’s letter. Irving is the Chair of the Conservative Fund Canada. Enjoy.
~ ML ~

January 26, 2009

Dear Mr. Lincoln,

At the last election, Canadians entrusted the Conservative Party to lead Canada during the current economic recession.

Tomorrow, Prime Minister Stephen Harper will deliver Canada's Economic Action Plan: A multi-year plan that will stimulate the economy, protect those hit hard by the global recession and secure Canada's long-term prosperity.

The plan reflects a Government that, unlike the power-hungry coalition, is focused on policy, not politics, with a real program to help Canadians.

To support Canada's Economic Action Plan, we need to be prepared should an election be forced by the opposition parties. That's why I'm asking all of our dedicated supporters like you to make a donation of $200 or $100 right now by following this link.

By continuing to cling to their coalition, the Opposition demonstrates just how out-of-touch they have become. Canadians are rightly opposed to the Liberal-NDP-Bloc seizure of power - without an election - to impose an agenda (with separatists holding the veto over all the coalition's measures) that no Canadian voted for.

We need to be prepared whatever happens on Wednesday. The very real possibility of an election call means we need to be prepared to fight, and to do that, I need your help. Please, follow this link right now and make a contribution of $200 or $100. In order to deliver action on the economy, Stephen Harper and the Conservative Government needs to have the backing of a strong party.

Sincerely,Irving Gerstein, C.M., O.Ont
Chair, Conservative Fund Canada

P.S. - With Canada's Economic Action plan being presented tomorrow, it's essential we have your support now. Please, consider making a contribution of $200 or $100 by following this link right now.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Walking Back In Time

This is posted one day late… Did you know that 100+ year old houses are not real good with having an internet connection. But – oh the quietness… too beautiful for words.
~ ML ~

As I begin typing this morning it is very early. The emotions and excitement of this weekend wouldn’t allow me to stay in bed any longer. I have walked back in time to the earliest days of my ministry… to the roots and place where I began working with people. What an unbelievable rush this has been…. Yet ‘Rush’ is not the right word for the experience that is unfolding around me at this time.

I am sitting in a small room that is an “office” for the owner of the home. However when the house was built way over one hundred years ago this would have been storage or a small bedroom.

The clock in the parlour down stairs has just chimed out 6:00 AM. The other clock in the small office is softly ticking the seconds minutes away. It is most fitting that I sit in this stillness and listen to time move around me.

One Billion, One Hundred and Three Million, Seven Hundred and Sixty Thousand seconds ago I came into this place for the very first time. I was a very young and excited pastor. I was the father to two little girls – one in school and the other anxious to go to school.

We moved into our first house experience during the first Thirty One Million, Five Hundred and Thirty Six Thousand seconds in this community. It was so much fun and so liberating to live in a house for the first time. For the years before in our early married life we had lived in an apartment setting except for one short stay in a very old farm house. The house was the church parsonage and was situated right next door to the hundred year old church building on that corner lot. I was the brand new pastor of this dynamic little church in a very old community called Walkerton, Ontario.

The old farm house stay that we have been treated to is north of town. Directly outside my window I can hear the snowplough running its route down this quiet country road. Then there is stillness.

The white field beside the house is open and flashes of memories pour back again. In this field Rev. Maury Blair and myself, both younger ministers at the time, nearly died when the snow-mobile we were riding on caught a strong piece of barbed wire lying below the surface of the deep snow and snapped at his throat and my head throwing us both from the flying machine. What a story that was to tell the church and the people Maury was working with at the time.

As we drove out to this farm, crossing a bridge over the river, and then down hill for a ways… more memories flooded my being. My daughter Dana was learning to ride her bicycle. We came to this quiet road so she could practice. However Dad had not yet taught her where the brakes were and how they were so important. Dana flew past me and into that bush at the side of the road.

Yesterday, before we came to the road leading to the farm we had driven around the town. New stores mixed with the old stores populate the main street. What a rush. Over there in front of that store was where I flew through the air as a young minister with all my finery on, having slipped in the ice, falling flat on my back. What a mess that was. I quickly stood up and looked to see if anyone had seen me. No one around Thank Goodness… It was at a funeral a few weeks later that a group of older ladies asked me how I was doing. Puzzled I asked why. “Well you took that nasty fall downtown a few weeks ago. Many people have wondered at how you are doing. We all thought that you were hurt quite badly. Are you okay?”

Flash back… everyone in this town knew everything that you were doing – all the time.

There was the old house that we lived in. There is the driveway that I had my car sitting with all its wheels off that day. The brakes were all worn out. The wheel bearings were in need of replacement. The car was in terrible shape. And I was sitting there wishing that something could be done… but I had no idea what. I couldn’t get to the store to buy the parts as the car was disabled entirely with its wheels off. Our salary was $105 per week and there was nothing left to fix the car with. We were always broke as the poor minister at the Pentecostal Church on Colbourne Street.

My wife called me from the house. Someone was on the phone for me. The conversation went as follows…
“Hello…”
“Hi – are you Rev. Murray Lincoln at the Pentecostal Church?”
“Yes…”
“Do you have your car up on blocks now and are you trying to repair you car right now?”
“Yes…..?”
“I cannot tell you why or who has asked me to do this… but if you will put the car back together again… then drive it to our dealership… we are going to repair it for you… at no cost to you. Are you able to put it back together now and bring it over?”
“Yes….? No problem… I can do that… I took it apart and will have it together in an hour… is that okay? But who is doing this for us?”
“That is the only thing that I cannot tell you… they want to remain anonymous… if that is okay with you?”
“I’ll be there in a heart beat…”

That was Walkerton for you. Gentle and quiet, stubborn and ornery, all mixed together with love. When you least expected it someone would come forward and give their best to you so that you never need to worry. The salary of $105 per week was likely more like $500 adding up all that we were blessed with… meat… milk… bread… desserts… vegetables… fish… Talk about flash backs – wow!

Up on the book shelf of this old farm house is a Wine/Burgundy coloured Hymn Book from church. Oh did that ever bring back memories!

Hymn Book Flash back…
The church struggled with money in those years. It also struggled with decision making. No more was that more evident than with the Hymn Books that we used in those early years. In the Pew Rack there were two books when we arrived as the new Pastor. One was Blue and the other was Red. A song service would include songs from each book – which meant that you closed one and opened another. It was the resolve to a problem of the past when a new hymn book was needed and the congregation couldn’t decide on which one they wanted… actually wanting both… so they got both. In actual fact I never did find out why there were two books – I only knew there was tension over the books and we needed to use BOTH.

A new young couple started attending the church. He and his brother worked together in our community. It was a blessing that they were part of our growing congregation. The young man’s name was Ken.

A month or so after he started attending he came to the church mid week. He and his brother walked in with about four boxes of new hymn books and dropped them on the floor. He said… “I am sick of singing from two books. These are the newest books and I like them. I bought them for the church.”

I was stunned. As I pulled the old books from the Pew Racks and replaced them with the new books, I struggled with the thoughts of how I would explain this to the congregation on Sunday Morning. Someone or ‘someones’ would not be happy that this had happened.

Sunday Morning came. People were puzzled but over all happy with new books. They were a little puzzled that someone gave the books free of charge. They missed the old books a little but the new ones were not taped and repaired like the old ones had been. This was something to be proud of. THANK YOU so much to the anonymous donor!

Weeks went by… we sang heartily. The books were a lift and it was a new day.

Ken and his family left the church for some reason.

Then the call came from the former minister that ran the Bible Book Store in the next town. His question was blunt, “When is the church going to pay for the Hymn Books? Get that Board of yours over here to pay this unpaid bill… it is too much for me to carry on my books! When will it happen?!?”

Oh Boy… I was in a mess. The church would flip out on this one. I had taken away there old books that they loved… replaced them with new ones… that cost a fortune… and now I find out that they were not paid for… Holy Cow – what would I do?

In the next hour I went to the bank and took out a personal loan for nearly three times what I made in a week…. Then took the money over to the other retired minister and paid the debt of the Hymn Books. I pushed the money over the counter to the minister and said – “Paid in FULL and don’t ever let me hear about this again!”

That Wine/Burgundy coloured book is one of the ones that I bought.

Oh… there is so much more… so many flash backs… so many wonderful memories of the One Billion, One Hundred and Three Million, Seven Hundred and Sixty Thousand seconds ago!

~ Murray Lincoln ~

Saturday, January 24, 2009

PETA Police

The story is more than a little warped to say the least.  The person that is involved thinking up the “business” is more than a little warped too.  At least in my thinking.  But it is a good “cold day” buzz to relieve this cold weather “shut-in-it is” that some are feeling now.

 

But giving an opinion on this will likely have P.E.T.A. reading my blog at some point. There are PETA Police searching the Internet all the time from the look of it.

 

It seems that Holly Crawford brought down the wrath of PETA by doing a rather ridiculous thing – making a stray cat go through a series of Piercings.  The kittens found in Holly’s possession had ear piercings, a nape piercing, and one kitten had a tail docked.

 

Daphna Nachminovitch, a VP at PETA, called the piercings barbaric.  They had been discovered by the PETA Police.  Holly was providing a service to the world now, at least Holly’s world, to do piercings for other people’s kitties. Holly used the Internet and her Web Site to tell locals what she was able to do for their kittens.

 

The language used is important.  Kitten – not cat.  Barbaric, Cruel, Suffer… all must be in the text of dumb PETA people.  Now watch it Murray – you can hear the hoof beat of PETA Coppers coming… they ride COWs not Hogs.

 

I am more convinced that PETA People have never gone to a farm where the most tough creatures are the Cats that live outside.  The murderous little beasts live near their supper all the time… and breakfast and snacks. It is nothing to see her majesty Matilda the cat walking home with a squealing mouse in her mouth… at least he squeals for a short time as she readies him for supper.

 

Sometimes Matilda will be kind of full when she snaps up little fury Barry the field mouse. So she simply snatches him with a little nip. Holds him for a small time and then lets him go… about one foot… then hammers him again and again.  It is where we get the famous phrase from, “He was with like a cat with a mouse.”

 

I bet PETA People don’t use that expression much – even when they talk about Holly and the local SPCA folk that they goaded on to press charges against Holly and her boy friend.  You need to note only Holly did the Piercing – her boyfriend answered the telephone – that was enough to PETA to react like a “Bear woken in her den”.  You don’t wake up a Bear from its deep winter sleep – unless you intend to place a well planned bullet in its noggin and take it home for meat and the pelt.

 

Oops… I wrote about what a friend of mine did here in our area.  He is a licensed hunter.  He was hunting. He stopped for a rest by a tree, taking in the beautiful scene around and the fact that his area has never ever seen a PETA person.  He felt something move on his foot as he stood by the tree.  He looked down thinking that it was a squirrel or something startled by his quiet presence.  Nope – not a silly squirrel.  It was a 450 pound bear that had just crept out of his lair for a stretch and laid his head down on the hunter’s foot… sniffing him.

 

Needless to say there wasn’t any pain inflicted.  It was over in a humane instant… and the pelt is so soft… the meat was good (someone told me) and everyone was happy.  Mr. Bear had torn a few cottages apart in getting to his 450 pounds.  He liked people food and people places.

 

Like any writer I would rather die than reveal my sources… so hoof beats or not – I told the story.

 

Remember the farm.  Well on the farms that I stayed on and attended often and even worked on… animals remained animals.  They didn’t live in the house with you.

 

Only in one case did I see a fruit loop run a farm. She was a little strange though. She used a home made diaper for calves that she started out by taking them into her kitchen pen.  You know – she used a baby minder kind of across the door as a barrier and the dumb calf stayed their in the warm house wearing a diaper because it tended to mess the floors up.  The diaper was easily removed and shaken outside in the garden… and you could easily tell when it was full.

 

Later she would place the calf in a pig pen with one pig.  The pig in turn taught the calf to only poop in one place in the pen – because that is what pigs do.  The calf was cruelly forced by that pig to mess in only one spot.

 

Talk about unnatural what this woman did.  Again she is protected by my own confidentiality rules.

 

PETA watch your COW machines… this “farmer lady” was a former Nun that had left the convent to become a farmer and that is all that I can tell you.

 

But back on the farm the dumb dog is trained to keep the intruders out. And should PETA Cops arrive on their varoom machines, Fido will kick up such a stink that they will be very careful to dismount. In fact anything hanging down off the PETA Police’s COW will be bitten.  Fido likes to bite.

 

Fido likes to roam too.  He will be in a neighbor’s yard in a heart beat when their dog is in heat.  But that is another thing about farms… what comes naturally is done easily without rules.  So they chain up Fido when the girl down the road is calling him to come over.  Kind of like Samson and Delilah.

 

PETA IS POWERFUL… and you don’t dare mess with a PETA Police Person.

 

In our home we are good… meaning we are safe. The tropical Siamese fighting fish is looked after well, fed each day, given clean water often and lives easily like all dumb fish should.  He has only tried to jump out on the counter top once when I tried to clean him.  And to my knowledge there are no PETF police yet... but there could be.

 

And the Lord help us and my Chinese friends that run their market stalls selling the live fish for supper.

 

Did I ever tell you the one about Matilda catching the song birds in the yard.  She was good and she looked so funny with the tiny black feather sticking from the side of her mouth… kind of made her grin wider and more evil… naughty little cat.

 

Summation – I live in a completely nutso world where things are kind of upside down.  And it is Cold OUTISIDE… brrrrr!

 

~ Murray Lincoln ~

 

Sources:

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/O/ODD_PIERCED_KITTENS?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2009-01-22-20-18-05

http://www.peta.org/


 


Friday, January 23, 2009

Differences of Dealing With Death

Warning – this may be too morbid to read at this time!

Most people do not see death the way that I do. Most people are not drawn to death the way that I am. Most people in my city have not been to as many funerals as I have – except my son-in-law Bruce and all his coworkers as funeral directors.

Most people attend few funerals but never go out of their way to do so.

At no place more than a funeral do you learn the great differences that exist in our world over the years and even today. We all bury our dead differently.

In my own family and some others around me – I have witnessed very different customs. One that unnerves me is the taking of photos of the corpse to preserve what they look like. Yes – really it happens. We have done this in our family.

Our custom and comfort with that may come from the Wild West days that some of our family came through – Great Grandfathers etc. When some one was bad and was shot to death… he was placed in a coffin… stood up/propped up for townspeople to have their photo taken beside him.

My… how we have changed. Today we just shoot the corpse with a camera… but the camera tends to take away the makeup and artistry of the embalmer – leaving a too real shot of a dead person.

In our western world we do almost anything to make death nicer and easier to deal with. One comical thing that has often happened is… the person in the coffin looks better than they have for years after the artistic embalmer completed his tasks. (Bruce has assured me he can take off 20 years when I finally go…)

My first contrasts in the death experience happened right here in Canada. From one province to the next we have different customs of dealing with the death. In the west and within certain cultural groups there are at least two church services – on the night before and one the day of the burial.

In certain cultural groups before the body is removed from the church or chapel the audience parades around the waiting corpse and each person kisses the dead loved one – one last time. (Yes – that is Canada… and I didn’t even know the dead person so I exited the church.)

Our life in Hong Kong included many shocks for me.

Nowhere did I feel the greater cultural difference than that of the funeral scene.

The one funeral business that I attended with a friend was a multi storied building – maybe seven floors with elevator accessing each floor. Each floor had about five or six chapels – big and small. Exiting the elevator you found your chapel either left or right. It was like looking for a conference room at a large hotel.

The day we attended our first funeral there was likely more than 30 funerals happening at the same time in the same building. Mourners wore white not black as in Canada – close family members in particular. Upon entrance to the chapel you were given a clean cloth that was damp to wipe your face and a candy to place in your mouth. Following that you walked down a long red carpet to approach the casket and stand quietly, then bow reverently – perhaps kowtowing three times (bowing of the head three times). Next you greeted the seated relatives to your left.

The westerners that read this will see the difference immediately – where we parade by the casket to standing relatives waiting to greet us then talk quietly with each other… a kind of reception so odd to the oriental mind set of Hong Kong.

No place did the contrast happen in a greater way than the place of burial. In Hong Kong most of the graves of people were used for a short 7 years at which time the bones were exhumed, cleaned, counted and placed in a bone bottle.

On one our hikes across an island we walked through the huge graveyard that is primary real-estate on the island. There sitting with a small blue baby bath tub in front of him was a worker wearing, black shorts, a T shirt, black rubber boots, and pink rubber gloves. He was concentrating on his work was he held what I thought was a femur of the deceased person. He was pulling the excess from the bone and washing it clean. His back was towards us and behind him was a pile of bones, ribs, arms, and on top of it was a grinning skull – smiling at us as we passed.

(Sorry for that one – I did warn you earlier.)

I vowed at that moment – just after I snapped a photo – that I would never, ever complain about my job again. Nothing could be a heavier task to accomplish that cleaning a departed person’s bones. And in the Hong Kong way – you were messing with the dude so don’t get it wrong. And wrong could be just leaving some of the bones behind – so yes – they were counted – all of them.

Why take them out of the grave? Well that grave was needed by someone else – starting that afternoon or morning. Think of it as a very busy motel – room service does it task around lunch time and the fresh bed is ready for the afternoon arrival. Which makes sense… most funerals took place in the morning.

Now this whole thread today was started in me after reading the new edition of National Geographic this week. I discovered another very strange culture through this edition. I also discovered why I like being a minister in CANADA and not Palermo, Italy.

Ministers in this area of Italy and in one church in particular featured in the article have to tend to former priest and church related people all the time. In fact today the present clergy sits at the entrance to this special place to collect the entrance fees from tourists that come to look and take photos.

Now – pause for a moment. In Canada the very best that we do in some churches is to have an honor wall where former ministers are hung for all to see. Sorry… that is their photos are hung up for all to see.

Not so in Palermo, Italy. The former ministers, some dating back as far as the 1500s are placed in a gallery kind of area entitled a catacomb – where they rest in peace by standing, hanging from hooks, sitting in boxes, laying in boxes that are open. The photos looking out of the National Geographic are pretty revealing to say the least.

In all of the churches that I pastored except one – I have followed other ministers. In some cases the previous guy was greatly loved and respected. In other cases they were not so loved as they left rather quickly.

But in none of the places I have been have I ever had to deal with the bones let alone the whole body of the previous ministers of that church.

Can you imagine the kind of mentality that thinks keeping the body in all the various stages it goes through until the very end… and looking after it?

Well some of these dear folk couldn’t imagine what we do in dealing with and in our death practices either.

In 2007 I witnessed the way that Kenya deals with death in the city of Nairobi… which is a relatively new city filled with millions of people… that when they die will have to be transported many, many miles back to a rural and isolated village that they originally came from. And that doesn’t take place until the family raises enough money to retrieve the body from the large city morgue(weeks or maybe years)… then purchase a casket and the bus to take the mourners and family 8 to 10 hours away… where the body may be buried sitting up with the head protruding from the ground… with designated family members sitting with the dead love one…. days, weeks… until the loved ones buries them selves slowly in the ground.

(Sorry again… I warned you…)

You can now see how we are so different across our very different worlds.

Yep – I dreamed of all this again this week. Last night there was this odd, older minister grinning down at me when I woke up in my dream. Oh boy. I told the dude that I was retired and his reply was… “Really?”

Sorry I warned you.

~ Murray Lincoln ~

Sources:
http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2009/02/sicily-crypts/musi-photography

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Now why didn’t I think of that!

Now why didn’t I think of that!

I love wood and can make almost anything. But this is one thing that I couldn’t imagine. A Table and Chair that stand over 30 feet high. Wow.

Yes it is real. It was installed in Hampstead Heath, England during the summer of 2005. The artist is Giancarlo Neri from Italy.

The next one came to me via an email sent from a friend. This Italian Artist/ wood carver does the most unusual things in wood. The scope of his work is simply staggering. His name is Livio de Marchi another Italian. Go figure!
His work is absolutely amazing to a fellow wood carver.

But one nagging question - Now why didn’t I think of that!

There is something amazing about a new idea. It is usually triggered by another idea… then time to ruminate on or with that idea… a place to do it in or carry it out… and then the big jump to do it.

Architects do this all the time. The House Builders do a modification of it when they build a house and make the changes to satisfy the home buyer. And a wood carver does it all the time.

Even the wood carver that is just beginning makes that wonderful step from the known to the unknown, from the ordinary to the extra ordinary… when he makes a mistake.

Some of my simple art philosophies I have adopted state…
* Art is a quiet place for a loud idea…
* Art is an idea with a line around it…
* Art is tasting with your eyes, seeing with your hands, feeling with your heart and expressing with your soul…
* Art is a big jump…
… and finally…
* Art is one mistake covering another mistake with enough nerve to charge for it…


Now what is the difference between the artists that I have shared here and me? Not sure exactly except maybe TIME and APPLICATION of one’s life. Add a little “I can do that…”, mixed with “Why not..!” and it is possible.
Now starting 2009 – what have you always dreamed of doing? What is it that you have tucked away for “some day”? Is there anything that just might be if you were to give it a try?

The saddest thing for me is regret. Regret is filled with a whole stack of “what if”, “some day”, “maybe”, “I wish I could” and a million other thoughts that simply died or were shelved for NEVER… IMPOSSIBLE… NOT ME I COULDN’T.

That may be the saddest thing that I have ever witnessed.

Not long ago I conducted a funeral for man I never knew. Yet as I stopped by his home to visit his family I saw the man. He was there by what he did… or had done.

There in his garage was a partially restored antique automobile. He had taken the paint off and repaired the dents and bad spots on the ancient vehicle. It was ready for painting soon.

The son told me that his dad had spent hours on that old thing. He had poured his time and energy into getting this done. But now he was gone.

As we looked at the old vehicle I asked the son what would happen to it. He told me that they had contacted one his dad’s friends who would take it away. Then he said, “None of us as his kids have any inertest in doing anything. We never got what dad had – that “will” to do something out of the ordinary. Dad was one of a kind.”

I couldn’t fathom not passing on what you love to do. Yet that had not happened in this case. None of the kids were interested in anything but their own small world. It may be the most extreme situation that I have ever witnessed.

My question is what happened to creativity? What happened to genius? What happened to “what if?”

I am working on a series of answers with three more planned sculptures. The basis of one is a couple watching a TV forever. That is their Hell. They sit on a couch, stare blandly at a forever screen with nothing on it. Expressions must be nothing – that is the hard part that I am dealing with.

Will it happen? Yes it will. I have six sculptures done so far – only six more to do before the gallery is notified.

I have run out of space. I am struggling with time. But I have not lost the will.

So to answer my own question… “Now why didn’t I think of that?” – I did… and I will… and I am going to… and it will be now!

Today is the start of the rest of my life! And I am gonna… so help me I am just gonna do it! You just watch and see… just watch and see…

~ Murray Lincoln ~

Sources:
http://www.artnet.de/event/74214/the-writer-giancarlo-neri.html
http://www.craftsmanshipmuseum.com/demarchi.htm

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

IDIOT AWARDS FOR 2008

This post is not original. A Google Search produced a number of sources – all a little different. I have no way to substantiate the source. Offered here as a source of humour for today. I can do no better … and I think it is down right perfect for a winter’s day in Canada!

~ Murray Lincoln ~

IDIOT AWARDS FOR 2008......
Idiot Number One of 2008

I am a medical student currently doing a rotation in toxicology at the poison control center. Today, this woman called in very upset because she caught her little daughter eating ants. I quickly reassured her that the ants are not harmful and there would be no need to bring her daughter into the hospital. She calmed down and at the end of the conversation happened to mention that she gave her daughter some ant poison to eat in order to kill the ants. I told her that she better bring her daughter into the emergency room right away. Here's your sign, lady. Wear it with pride.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Idiot Number Two of 2008

Earlier this year, some Boeing employees on the airfield decided to steal a life raft from one of the 747s. They were successful in getting it out of the plane and home. Shortly after they took it for a float on the river, they noticed a Coast Guard helicopter coming towards them.It turned out that the chopper was homing in on the emergency locator beacon that activated when the raft was inflated. They are no longer employed at Boeing. Here's your sign, guys. Don't get it wet; the paint might run.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Idiot Number Three of 2008

A man, wanting to rob a downtown Bank of America, walked into the Branch and wrote this, 'Put all your muny in this bag.' While standing in line, waiting to give his note to the teller, he began to worry that someone had seen him write the note and might call the police before he reached the teller's window. So he left the Bank of America and crossed the street to the Wells Fargo Bank. After waiting a few minutes in line, he handed his note to the Wells Fargo teller. She read it and, surmising from his spelling errors that he wasn't the brightest light in the harbor, told him that she could not accept his stickup note because it was written on a Bank of America deposit slip and that he would either have to fill out a Wells Fargo deposit slip or go back to Bank of America. Looking somewhat defeated, the man said, 'OK' and left. He was arrested a few minutes later, as he was waiting in line back at Bank of America. Don't bother with this guy's sign. He probably couldn't read it anyway.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Idiot Number Four of 2008

A motorist was unknowingly caught in an automated speed trap that; measured his speed using radar and photographed his car. He later received in the mail a ticket for $ 40 and a photo of his car. Instead of payment, he sent the police department a photograph of $40.Several days later, he received a letter from the police that contained another picture, this time of handcuffs. He immediately mailed in his $40. Wise guy........ But you still get a sign

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Idiot Number Five of 2008

A guy walked into a little corner store with a shotgun and demanded all of the cash from the cash drawer. After the cashier put the cash in a bag, the robber saw a bottle of Scotch that he wanted behind the counter on the shelf. He told the cashier to put it in the bag as well, but the cashier refused and said, 'Because I don't believe you are over 21.'The robber said he was, but the clerk still refused to give it to him because she didn't believe him. At this point, the robber took his driver's license out of his wallet and gave it to the clerk. The clerk looked it over and agreed that the man was in fact over 21 and she put the Scotch in the bag. The robber then ran from the store with his loot.The cashier promptly called the police and gave the name and address of the robber that he got off the license. They arrested the robber two hours later. This guy definitely needs a sign.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Idiot Number Six of 2008

A pair of Michigan robbers entered a record shop nervously waving revolvers. The first one shouted, ' Nobody move!' When his partner moved, the startled first bandit shot him. This guy doesn't even deserve a sign

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Idiot Number Seven of 2008

Arkansas: Seems this guy wanted some beer pretty badly. He decided that he'd just throw a cinder block through a liquor store window, grab some booze, and run. So he lifted the cinder block and heaved it over his head at the window. The cinder block bounced back knocking him unconscious. It seems the liquor store window was made of Plexi-Glass. The whole event was caught on videotape. Yep, here's your sign

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Idiot Number Eight of 2008

I live in a semi-rural area. (Weyauwega, Wisconsin) We recently had a new neighbor call the local township administrative office to request the removal of the Deer Crossing sign on our road. The reason: 'Too many deer are being hit by cars out here! - I don't think this is a good place for them to be crossing anymore.'

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
(Please note that all of the above people are allowed to vote)

STAY ALERT!They walk among us.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Blue Hairs

The guy on the scooter should have known better. When the car turned into his pathway on that street – he should have been wary of what was going down.

In one terrible moment he was launched from his scooter through the air. He flew a few feet and then landed with a thud on the windshield of the automobile. But it wasn’t over. He either slid off or tried to crawl off the hood of the automobile as it continued to move. His departure from the hood of the car gave him further injury as he rolled to the street.

Bruised, dazed and hurting badly he sat on the pavement a while to recover. The vehicle behind slowed and stopped to see if he was okay.

His scooter was a mess and wouldn’t be taking him anywhere. Police and ambulance were called by the people that were looking on.

With a description of the hit and run driver and a brief description of the vehicle that included some physical damage with denting on the hood and a possible windshield broken the car should have been easy to find.

It was. The police found the silver Toyota at a hairdresser’s shop when the woman driving came out after her hair appointment.

You see the silver Toyota was driven by a 77 year old woman that had a hair appointment. And there was nothing, come hell or high water, that would stop her from keeping that appointment. She nearly killed a man that got in the way of her getting there on time. She should have stopped… but that hair appointment could not be missed. Even committing a hit and run, major offense, was not to get in the way of the precious hair appointment.

“Blue Hairs”, my sister calls them, are a breed all of their own. The “he” has a bright silver hair or maybe none. “She” has a carefully manicured head covered with silvery blue hair that has been sculpt by a wonderful hair dresser back home.

My sister is a nurse practitioner in the Yukon. She sees “Blur Hairs” rolling through their town in their large motor homes. The little silver or blue haired folk are diminutive behind the steering wheels and in contrast to the mega windshield that they look out front. She is amazed that they are allowed to still drive these moving monsters so far north. Truckers are on the watch for them all the time.

But there is something that you cannot deny. A moving senior is something to be contended with and watched out for. There is nothing that is more important than them getting to where they need to be. It is an internal, nuclear force that says, “Get out of my %@&& way!”

Though the story that I read didn’t tell all that happened in Boynton Beach, Florida that day I can guess the rest. As the police herded the 77 year old lady out from her car and into the back of theirs, they were careful not to touch her hair. The jingle of her bangles and bracelets could be heard before they closed the back door of the cruiser.

Too funny… the two burly cops pulling away with their catch in the back. “Where do you boys live? I live over near the beach. My sons are going to be so upset with me. What have I done? Oh my…”

You will never find a silver haired man missing his hair appointment. He just never makes one. Whoever heard of such a stupid thing… book an appointment for a hair cut? Sheesh! That is not a thing that a man would do – plain and simple! If he did he would miss all the news and the lingering ambience in the local barber shop… all the banter that goes on and the jokes that are told as he waits for his turn in the chair.

His wife on the other hand has fussed and fumed for hours. Ever since she got up in the morning getting ready for her hair appointment things have been – well - different. He has driven her to that precious appointment for 44 years, once a week – to the same hairdresser’s shop for the exact same hair do.

And he NEVER gets a hair cut on THAT DAY!

At the end of our street…
There is a hairdresser at the end of our street that performs these ongoing, forever hairdos. She is the daughter of the lady that once owned the shop. Their clientele does go back for more than four decades. Every day there are “regulars” that come in for their “weekly”. Every week there are faithful men dropping off “Blue Hairs”(not totally accurate – some are pinkish, some are silver, some are a fake light brown and very thin) that are getting done over and over and over and over… then ready for their shopping trip that day.

The question is simple really. When did this insanity of hair dressing take over people’s lives?

I mean it is not a “man thing” to do. Men would never do that. Real men wait for their turn. And if it is busy they simply tell the barber that they will come back later. No big deal.

I think it happens in a panicky and horrible moment very early the day of their wedding. The hairdresser is more important than GOD… and all the guests. But you better NOT BE LATE FOR THAT APPOINTMENT on THAT DAY. Three or six or ten beauties come in there duds and are made super beautiful for one day. Then from that time on – that cotton picking hairdresser has control over every woman! It must be when it happens. I can’t find any other reason that has that hold on a woman.

But… get in the way of a 77 year old woman that is scheduled for a hair appointment and watch out – your life could be in jeopardy. Ask the dude sitting off the scooter and on the pavement if that aint so.

I have two women in our house that both go to the hairdresser at the end of the street. One of these women must have a bath and get all prettied up before she goes for her appointment the next day. Too funny – but don’t get in the way. Just don’t get in the way!

Hey scooter dude – I feel for you and have great sympathy. I really do!

~ Murray Lincoln ~

Sources:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090117/ap_on_fe_st/odd_hair_appointment_crash

Monday, January 19, 2009

President Ronald Reagan has Lost His Brain

“President Regan has lost his brain!” In the following scenes you would see a rubber brain moving along the floor…hiding under the couch, slipping from room to room. The President kept working and talking as usual – but definitely without a brain.

So do you remember that scene? Do you remember what TV program developed the idea that the President had no brain or had lost his brain? Do you remember the irreverence that this TV program treated everything?

Do you remember what country was the most picked on beside that of Ronald Reagan’s? Do you remember any of this?

No?

Do you remember what you had for supper last night? Do you remember what the news was last Monday – one week ago today?

No?

Then there is a strong indication that you have mild to severe dementia of some sort.

Really? Yep… sorry to have to be the bearer of bad news… but you may well be in trouble with your memory.

A little more testing… what was the name of the President that lost his brain? What country did that TV program originate in? What did the president lose?

Over the years I have heard of dozens of reasons that people have dementia. What is dementia? You don’t know?

One of the first reasons that were given during my days of Gerontology Studies was aluminum. Aluminum was found in everything at that stage. All of our pots and pans were made of some form of Aluminum. We wrapped our food in it. Our deodorants had a strong form of Aluminum in them and many were absolutely convinced they would rather smell bad than have no memory.

Beside the environmental causes which were many, there was the “lack of stimulation” cause that was offered. You know “use it or lose it” idea. People that sat in front of TVs too much were likely the ones that had lost their brains. People that had less education lost theirs. People that had too much education lost their’s faster. And anyone that had acted on TV or Movies – definitely had lost their brains… i.e. Ronald Regan.

The date when Ronald Reagan lost his brain was between 1984 to 1996. Does that help? Now that dating is outside the normal short term memory – and we are getting into mid to long term memory… are you okay? Why are you shaking?

Back to dementia…
“Everyone has some form of it” – was another comforting statement that was “mediaized” not long ago. If you cannot find your keys, lost something and then can’t remember what you were doing when you lost that something – you are likely dementia bound.

The latest – today I read it – published on January 16, 2009 – so it is right up to date… and the title of the report article states…
“Coffee Strong Enough to Ward Off Dementia?”
Moderate Coffee Drinking Reduces Risk of Dementia and Alzheimer’s by 65% in Study

Imagine – middle age people were studied and it was found that…
Those who drank three to five cups of coffee per day in midlife were much less likely to have developed dementia or Alzheimer's in follow-up checks two decades or more later, the researchers say in the January issue of the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.

The study was conducted in Finland and Sweden… somewhere along ways from here… that I don’t know about… so therefore it must be true…

One study indicated that in Canada – in 1991 the prevalence of Dementia was 250 in 1000 – in 2009 it is now 425 and by 2031 it could be 800 in 1000. The suggested group is people over 65 years of age.

Sobering thoughts on the short term.

What was that President’s name? Why am I thinking of a President now in this article? What did we eat for supper on Saturday night? Why am I sweating so profusely? Someone said something about a brain… was that about a brain tumor… or a brain stroke… what was that about a brain?

Imagine someone said that if you drink coffee – probably STRONG COFFEE it will help your memory…. Or something about forgetting… I think that is what was said.

Imagine… or think about it… in 2009 according to the study 425 people out every 1000 have memory issues… that is like four people sitting in a restaurant eating together and one for sure cannot remember where he parked his car… and the second one cannot remember where his keys are – which pocket… or what he ate for supper last night… the other two are making notes all the time to remind themselves of what they are to do today…. and one carries a notebook so he can flip back to yesterday to let you know what he had for supper….

All of them now are drinking coffee – two cups at each meal, one for coffee break in the morning and two in the afternoon coffee break. Three cups with the evening meal and one before bedtime. Then they all have sleep issues that they need medication for… But none of them can remember why the girl that served them at the counter remembers their names so well. Is she someone’s daughter that we should know?

Tomorrow they will install a new President in the USA. The last one has lost his Brain. That is what this report is all about that I just read. I am sure of it.

What do you mean that this article is rambling and not making sense?

Well my friend – let me tell you a thing or two… that rubber brain was part of one of the best TV shows ever out of Britain – it was called Spitting Image – and had Adolf Hitler living next door to Margaret Thatcher – he lived at Number 9 Downing Street and she at Number 10 – his name “Herr Jeremy”… and Margaret Thatcher’s character stood up to use the urinal… and was very bossy… and the politicians that followed Margaret were simply not that funny to make fun of – and the show died…

Hey have a great day… remembering….

Take a look at http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=a1jQdY3vfkc (this is Part 1 of 7 videos too funny)

~ Murray Lincoln ~

Sources:
http://www.webmd.com/alzheimers/news/20090116/coffee-strong-enough-to-ward-off-dementia
http://www.emedicinehealth.com/dementia_overview/page2_em.htm#Dementia%20Causes
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spitting_Image
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/studies-etudes/82-003/archive/1996/2826-eng.pdf

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Turkmenian Markhor is Dead

Okay Okay – I think I am ready for this one.

The zoo enclosure cage is empty. The Turkmenian Markhor is dead. How will I deal with it?

The encyclopedia states that… this largest goat…
Capra falconeri, found in the rugged mountains of central Asia, from S Russia to the W Himalayas. Largest of the goats, the male may stand over 40 in. (100 cm) at the shoulder and weigh over 200 lb (90 kg). The coat is short and reddish brown in summer; in winter it is long, silky, and gray. Males have long, thick beards. The distinctive corkscrew-shaped horns are extremely thick and heavy. Markhors live in small herds of between 4 and 30 individuals, grazing up to the snow line.

For me – the Goat is the one that has the gnarly head set on… the males likely have my hunting friends wishing they had them on the wall.

The fact that I know about the Turkmenian Markhor being dead happened because another animal rights group based in based in California is upset about it. It was reported in the Calgary Herald that the group is upset that the Turkmenian Markhor died in the Calgary Zoo.

Catherine Doyle, from this “in defense of animals group”, made the comment that they are happy that the Turkmenian Markhor had a toy to play with in its pen. Actually the wording was – she -
“commended the zoo for using play toys that provide enrichment, but noted there is tubing and hosing available to cover ropes and prevent such accidents.”

I am sorry… but this is Canada. It is cold. It is not California. It is Calgary where it happened and that is in Canada… and it is cold here! Maybe the Turkmenian Markhor committed suicide.

No – the reports show that it some how was strangled with a toy in its pen. Some how it fell down and died.

Now they are having an autopsy – called a post mortem – to determine its death.

This is a sure footed goat that walks on mountains and rocks and stuff… and it died from a fall? Come on it is C-O-L-D in Canada and even goats get cabin fever. Maybe it couldn’t take it anymore?

Can you see where I am going with this? It is a dumb story. And even in Calgary with its winter season being almost as cold as the rest of us – they are bored too.

Goats are bored. Reporters are bored. So are people that live in Canada….

I watched an American TV program that was advertising its normal amount of stuff to entice people in between the show’s program pieces. Up on to the screen pops an advertisement to come to Calgary, for winter sports and stuff… then it showed the wonderful mountains and the stuff that you could do in Calgary!!! Wahoooo!

But Calgary’s Turkmenian Markhor is dead for Pete’s sake.

I come from rural roots. I come from a FARM HERITAGE and I am proud of it. But with that heritage comes the knowledge of the farm. Two things were true on the farm – you lived or you died. The animals lived or they died.

Yes the farm did love their animals and take care of them. But the animals didn’t need toys to play with. They were animals… not like your kids… they didn’t get a Christmas Present at Christmastime… they were fed that day – that was necessary.

Have you noticed in the grocery store that there are two whole aisles dedicated to Pet Food and Pet Stuff. No kidding about 25% of a normal grocery store is dedicated to animal’s welfare. Check the prices out someday. It is wild.

We as humans are really strange. We fixate on strange stuff.

Oddly enough as I was checking the news out today… the new president of the USA will be installed on Tuesday… they love him today – but as the 4 years and then the possible 8 years goes by they – the press and the people will hate his guts – just like Bush.

Across the page from the report about the Turkmenian Markhor – the Israelis have stopped their attacks on the Gaza for now – but the rockets are still flying across the fences.

There are strikes for more money… people being arrested for murder… suspicious fires… too many winter fires…lots of lives lost… and on and on…

And a Turkmenian Markhor is dead.

The Turkmenian Markhor is dead – so get another Turkmenian Markhor…if you need one. Don’t make such a big deal out of nothing. This is Canada… it is cold… it is winter and it is long. Let’s get on with it.

Wahoo I killed a mouse in my garage. He came looking for and smelling the peanut butter in the trap. Nope – I don’t feel one bit guilty. But did the News Media pick that one up…? Nope The Turkmenian Markhor is dead.

~ Murray Lincoln ~

Sources:
http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/markhor.aspx
http://www.canada.com/calgaryherald/news/story.html?id=f6d66257-a24f-4fe5-ba04-1694521c8bab

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Breast Milk Ice Cream

My attention was drawn to this latest “weirdo thinking” as I watched a hunting and fishing program. The good old boy carrying the gun up the mountain side stopped, looked at the camera, and began his small rant. Usually he talks about BBQing or safety tips… not this time.

Quoting from an article and press release from Tracey Reiman, executive Vice president of PETA, that stated the following…
“Burlington, Vt. - This morning, PETA dispatched a letter to Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, cofounders of ice cream icon Ben & Jerry's Homemade Inc., urging them to replace the cow's milk in their products with human breast milk.”

"The fact that human adults consume huge quantities of dairy products made from milk that was meant for a baby cow just doesn't make sense," says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. "Everyone knows that 'the breast is best,' so Ben & Jerry's could do consumers and cows a big favor by making the switch to breast milk."

Usually this dude’s recipes and words of wisdom don’t really have much to do with my life… I mean I don’t climb tall mountains to look for illusive mountain goats to pop off. I don’t shoot a gun anymore. Nor do I plan to trot off to a Big Game farm in a country in Africa to lay down a Cap Buffalo with one powerful gun.

But his “explanation” this day caught me attention. ICE CREAM made from Breast Milk of Humans – COME ON! Are you nuts or worse? THIS HAS TO BE A STUNT for attention. It cannot be that someone would be so absolutely crazy to state something like that.
But yep – it is very true. Check the Link below. Tracey is real, the statement is real and was made in Sept 23, 2008 – just a while ago.

The Big Game hunter on TV went on to point out some very funny ramifications if this recommendation was to be followed through. Some of which were –
* A new job opportunity would evolve for Pregnant Mothers… for months after their baby is born they could make a handsome amount from Lactating Extra…
* Farm boys would not be so quick to leave the Farm for city because of “boring chores”…
* Bill Boards beside highways might change as well as TV advertisements – Instead of quiet pastoral scenes with happy cows grazing on the hill side… partially naked(or other wise) women would lull around on sofas waiting for their next milking – on the Bill Board… recruiting more women to work.

The dude went on to point out some other very obvious facts that would have women substituted for COWS. In fact as he went on it became even more ridiculous… if you think women are subject to silly things over these years past – it would be nothing besides what would happen should PETA’s suggestion come true.

In Peterborough we have a huge Baskin and Robbins Ice Cream Factory(Like Ben& Jerry’s in the USA) that makes millions of gallons of Ice Cream every year. It is not unusual to see the huge Milk Trucks pulling in and out of their large loading docks.

One of the products that they produce is for the Troops that serve in war zones all over the world. Troops in hot countries love their ice cream – a touch of home.
Now substitute the large semi trailer Milk Trucks that pull in all the time… with women...
“Tank trucks are referenced by their size or volume capacity. Large trucks typically have capacities ranging from 7500 gallons (28,400 litres) to 9900 gallons (37,500 litres).”(from Wikipedia)

Simple math and practical, personal knowledge of a lactating mother – they do not produce anywhere near ONE GALLON – let alone ONE LITER in one pumping. It may be more like ¼ of liter at one time – 250 mls. So with that in mind the line up at Baskin and Robbins would have to be 113,000 to 150,000 women lined up to “give milk” that one truck brings to the factory.

Peterborough’s population is only 75,000…

Canada ranks as 10th in the Top 10 Milk Producers of the World – with a production of 94.7 liters of Milk per capita. Finland is Number 1 with 183.9 liters per capita.

Convert that to PETA’s thinking in Canada you would need 390 women producing that much per person in Canada per year. And they need to be willing.

Now I am as bad as the Hunter Dude on TV. This is so ridiculous that you cannot leave it alone. It needs someone to point out the NUTSO PEOPLE that say really STUPID things.

Why Blog IT? Well it is very cold in Canada – most of us are suffering from Cabin Fever(staying inside far too long) – and we need a good laugh.

So if I hear that you have talked to some one about this story… snickered about it, laugher about it… and then smiled at someone… I have accomplished what I set out to do today.

Nope – I will not buy Breast Milk Ice Cream. There is absolutely no appeal to it. I lost the urge to drink that stuff about 64 years ago. Give me a Chocolate Milk Shake and a Big Hamburger – the Cow gives me both. Wahooo!

~ Murray Lincoln ~
Sources:
http://www.peta.org/mc/NewsItem.asp?id=11993
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tank_truck
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milk