Friday, September 29, 2006

Making Grape Wine

Sue took one of her vacation days yesterday.  She had committed her help to brother-in-law, John Welch to stomp grapes for about 40 gal. of wine.  We all arrived about 7am to stem and clean the grapes.   Sue left for a hair appointment about two hours later.  John  and I cleaned the grapes in water and a plastic tub.  After Sue returned, she crushed the grapes.  All told, about eight hours for three people were spent making a batch of about forty gallons of wine.

John had a plastic barrel that was rated at 220 liters.  I used google to convert the metric units to imperial units.   All I had to do was enter 1 liter/1quart x 220 in pounds and google gave me an answer.  Search for google calculator for other interesting examples. 

In the afternoon, I built 4 blue bird houses from parts I had previously cut out.  Air nailers really speed up construction.  I make these houses in about two hours each.  They would be double that in the methods of the 50's.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Our Trip to Bait the Deer

Leigh McCloud, Sue and I went to their property on M55.  The pictures are taken there. Picture with no caption Picture with no caption We walked up the hills, through the mud and roots and damp and dry.  All told we had a great time..  At the end of the trip we stopped at the international Restaurant just out side of Standish.  I had bufflo meat loaf was soo good.  We had a ball.

I saw how Bob and Leigh have their blinds set up.  I have to do something like that.  Imagine me getting up in a tree in the dark in the early morning, bow in hand waiting for a deer.  Please note, the deer is not in much danger.  It has been guite bold lately though.  I mean eating beets in my garden, taking the sweet corn, and then the beans.  Pretty bold, I would say.  Anyway, I have now shot my bow.  It works great.  So we are a bit more ready.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Yesterday, Sue and I finally finished painting the East side of her mother's house. I started this project. Sue hadn't thought about doing it yet. I had a strange pride in that. Anyway, the project went well and was quicker than I thought it would be. I found out that hanging on the the edge of the roof at about twenty five feet up isn't that bad. We took about seven hours on the job. Today, I am aching.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Pope Benedict XVI on Discourse between Cultures

Pope Benedict's speech on the relationship of religion particuliarly Christianity and reason is quoted completely in the link above.  The Pope is currently in great difficulty with Muslims around the world for a comment made in that speech.  It is so unfortuate that so few will read the speech and understand the point it tries to make.  So few will appreciate its appeal to all to use an extended realm of reason in our approach to our relationship with God.

How many will see a first-rate, rational argument reduced to a trivial statement of bigotry due to their not reading, hearing or being able to understand what the Pope is striving to convey.

I have read the speech two times and hope to read it again.  It goes beyond condemnation of belief systems to point the way to a path for evaluation.  It would free logic from the bounds of science so it can venture to a broader horizon. 

It is unfair that the Pope's excellant speech is only being painted with such a false brush.

Vassar, Michigan Flood Diversion Project

Vassar, Michigan is finally getting the flood control project that has been in the works for years.  It is quite an undertaking.  The pictures show just part of the work being done.  This is the north bank of the Cass River looking upstream.  The work also continues downstream.  I believe that the rail trail will continue along at least part of this dike.  If so, it will be nice to walk along the river on it.  Off the the left and out of the picture behind the trees in the background is a pumping station that has an inlet in the Moore Drain.  The idea is to pump water from the Moore Drain into the Cass River.  That will help with downtown flooding since the Drain is the problem and floods before the river reaches flood stage.  The next flood will  be a test of the system. 

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Fred's Birthday

Hi Everybody,

This is Fred's birthday.  It reminds me of when I was sitting in the dining room in the house on the hill in Vassar and your mother told me that we were about to have a baby.  I was Twenty-nine years old at the time and was about to be a father for the first time.  It was one of the biggest transitions of my life. 

It was also one of the best things that ever happened to me.  At this point, thirty-two years later,  I wouldn't take anything for any one of my children.  They have been such a blessing.  I don't know if I would see the point of life without children being a part of it.  All my children are such a credit to the family and I love all of them.

Wednesday, September 6, 2006

Ethanol and Water

Health Politics has a video that discusses the relationship of ethanol production to water use.  This is a thought provoking video that add viewpoints which I have not heard before. 


Ethanol and Water

Health Politics has a video that discusses the relationship of ethanol production to water use.  This is a thought provoking video that add viewpoints which I have not heard before. 


Remodeling the old Basement Entry

I just had to add pictures of the old basement stairs in their new coat of paint.  The cupboards are so nice too.  This project took about 2 weeks but was well worth it. 

Tuesday, September 5, 2006

Labor Day Activities

This was a big weekend for home improvement.  I got my basement entrance finished.  This is the last step in remodeling the house.  I will now begin remodeling the remodeling.  I built three cupboards in the process.  There were fast and fun to build. We also painted the cement steps.  Sue was so much help.

Friday, September 1, 2006

Your friend wants you to check this out:
Scientists Use Gene Therapy to Fight Advanced Cancer - AOL News

Pope Benedict and Darwin

Pope Huddles With Religious Thinkers on Evolution - AOL News

The Vatican has been ahead of the curve on evolution for many years.  Unlike fundamentalist Christians who insist on a literal intrepation of an inerrant Bible.  Popes have said that the Bible should not be used as an exact description of how the Earth was created or as a scientific description. 

Pope Benedict has been having these meetings for years.  My bet is that the level of theology practiced here would be beyond the comprehension of almost all of us. 

Theology studies beliefs.  Science tests facts.  Science demands the search  of empirical testing.  Note that useful scientific thoughts can be taught of years without having been proven.  String theory is like that.  Scientists always looking for that physical proof however. 

Belief in God is just that Belief. Trying to use physical proofs for the existance of God is what created the conflict between science and religion in the first place.  Science can neither prove or disprove the existance of God.  Science can disprove descriptions of God given in the Bible.  The Bible cannot contain a complete description of God nor is the Bible a standin for God working as some sort of an idol.  God is too big for any description.  That is why every attempt at description lies in some way.