Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Road Trip!

Just returned home from a road trip to Grand Rapids. I call it a road trip but I was really doing wok for my week of Special Camp at the Iowa Regular Baptist Camp.

My good friend Pastor Brian Cederquist is going to bring some of his college age guys from the Good News Baptist Church to serve as counselors at Special Camp this year. In order to do this, these guys have to attend counselor training and since it was easier for me to go to Grand Rapids than all of them try to get to Clear Lake so, ... ROAD TRIP!

A great deal of things have changed in my ability to travel, I no longer "must" do all of the driving, I no longer "must" sit in the front of the van and I no longer "must" sleep in order for someone else to drive. When we pulled out of Clear Lake on Friday morning Susan was driving and took us all the way to Morris, Illinois from there Lynn drove us into Michigan where I took over and drove us into Grand Rapids. From that perspective a very smooth trip.

Some random observations:

1. I80 is the roughest, the most "Under Construction" hunk of road in the world! I realize that statement may not be totally accurate, but spend some time on that "road" and you will know what I talking about.

2. 80 to 85 mph. That is the speed one needed to travel in Chicago to keep up with the flow of traffic and not be plowed over by another driver. This is just insane!! The posted speed limit was 60 mph but my observation was that if you were running 60 you were looking to get pounded by another driver. 

3. Lake Michigan is a huge spot of water! On our way home we took a bit of a detour to let Susan see Lake Michigan. We located a state park and were able to walk down to the beach and stand at the waters edge. Very Cool! I encouraged Susan to walk into the water since she was wearing flip-flops; she did and said that the water was freezing! She complained about her cold, wet, sandy feet but I really think she thought it was fun.

4. Lunch on the road. In an effort to save time and money, we had our lunch in the van as we drove. The menu: Hillshire Farms Summer Sausage, colbyjack cheese, hot pepper cheese, crackers, honey mustard & cookies. We always take a flat of water and for Lynn we had a few Dr. Pepper's in the cooler as well. This really work out well for us and I think it is very enjoyable, it always reminds me of traveling with my Mom & Dad and eating baked chicken sandwiches on the road. Fun times!!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Hooked on Phonics Worked for Me!

From the diary of a
Pre-School Teacher

My five-year old students are learning to read.
Yesterday one of them pointed at a picture in a zoo book and said,
"Look at this! It's a frickin' elephant!"

I took a deep breath, then asked..."What did you call it?"

"It's a frickin' elephant! It says so on the picture!"

And so it does...

" A f r i c a n Elephant "

Hooked on phonics! Isn't it wonderful?
Now that's funny, I don't care who you are.

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Masters; Tiger & Lefty

I watched with great interest the Masters golf tournament; having not been shy to pontificate on the Tiger Woods saga, I thought it worthwhile. I was right! Very interesting viewing!

Thursday and Friday was "must watch Tiger". Smiling, chatting with other golfers, folks in the gallery and signing autographs. This was the new Tiger ... then he made the cut and was playing on Saturday and Sunday. That was another story, play time was over and the pressure was building. Under that pressure Tiger did not fair well! Able to stay close but fading a bit on Sunday he finished tied for 4th.

The 2010 Masters was won by Phil Mickelson, "Lefty". There are so many angles to look at here but for this post I just want to say the irony of this picture is fantastic! Everyone is watching to see what Tiger was going to do his first tourny back from HUGE family issues, and the "Family" man won the day!

Phil Mickelson's wife and mother are both battling breast cancer. The last year or so Lefty has been through the ringer with family issues and his golf games carried the day in going away fashion. It was a very worthwhile watch!

Last thing ... coolest part was after the win Phil is hugging his wife; this is the first tournament she has been able to attend since her cancer diagnosis, if you looked closely to the video there is a tear running down his cheek. Priceless!

I remain,
Pastor Steve

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Busy, Productive & Very Enjoyable Day!

What an incredible Spring day this was!

Got up this morning and enjoyed my coffee while watching the many birds that visit my feeders. Following coffee I began applying weed and feed to my yard which still needed a bit of raking and bagging of yard waste. I got busy and before I knew it I had filled 8 large yard waste bags!

Philip arrived for Easter Sunday quickly followed by Amy's arrival and the fun was ready to bust loose! Amy and Susan took off for a quick shopping trip to Wal-Mart so Philip and I decided it was time to go fishing. A very good decision for Philip because after landing 3 good sized yellow bass, he hammered a 16 inch walleye! First walleye of the year for Phil and he was really pumped!

After the fishing trip we returned home and I began to get supper ready. Tonight's menu was brats and chicken breast on the grill, baked beans, rice and a green salad. Good eats!

Needless to say I'm tired but thrilled to have the kids home.

I Remain,
Pastor Steve 

Friday, April 02, 2010

BREAKING NEWS: Mama Lacona’s will come back in Urbandale, in a new locale

(Blog post by Joanne Boeckman • jboeckman@dmreg.com • April 1, 2010)
Mama Lacona’s restaurant will soon reopen in a new location at 121st Street and Douglas Avenue in Urbandale. It will be in the former location of Maverick Grill, and to hear new manager Joe Wilson tell it, it will be a new and improved Mama Lacona’s.

 Mama Lacona’s, founded in 1957 by Charlie Lacona, was most recently at 2743 N.W. 86th St. in Urbandale, was forced to close when its grease trap was found to be inadequate. Owners Jim and Katie Lacona couldn’t fnd financing for replacement of the grease trap interceptor and opted to close the restaurant, but after customers begged them to reconsider, they did.

Wilson has 40 years of experience in the restaurant industry, including the past eight at Biaggi’s in West Des Moines and another 12 at the old Mama Lacona’s.

Wilson said all the old familiar recipes the Lacona restaurant was known for will be there, but he’s adding fresh fish to the menu and introducing some menu items from the East, such as Philadelphia cheesesteak sandwiches, and keeping a few menu items from Maverick Grill. He’s also hired a culinary-trained chef and is adding a wood-burning grill.

There will still be pizza, including an option of a gluten-free crust. Diners will still be able to get all-you-can-eat spaghetti, prime rib and dinner rolls made with Charlie Lacona’s recipe.

The facility is beautiful, with a prominent bar, and Wilson said it will be utilized. Offerings include nine tap beers. He was enthusiastic about the addition of Matilda, a craft beer from Goose Island Beer Co.

There will no longer be a lunch buffet, but there will be a Sunday morning buffet.

The opening is tentatively set for May 1.

Tiger Woods Is Back

Well it seems that Tiger is back. The news is out that Tiger will make his golf return at the Master this month. It will be nice to be able to hear his name without being followed by the latest bimbo-eruption (copyright Bill Clinton). Tiger doing what Tiger does best ... GOLF!

There is a huge pre-tourney press conference on Monday, that would normally be a real circus but being held at the Master in Atlanta, it will be very tame. The guys who run the Masters are hardcore, old-school traditionalist who will not put up with any funny business or off color comments by any of the media. It is their tournament and you will play by their rules or you can be escorted out!
 That brings me back to the idea that Tiger is back ... back in control! Tiger gave a couple of interviews a few weeks ago. But there were some ground rules, the interviewers got 5 minutes and could ask anything they wanted. The interviews were not very interesting, nothing new, just Tiger dodging, deflecting and denying. The most interesting part was AFTER the interviews aired and the talking heads trying to find some nugget to expound on with their brilliance!

The Masters begins Thursday ... Let the games begin!

What A Beautiful Venue!!