Monday, May 31, 2004


Tonight, just before bed, my 6 year old son came into the study and gave me a hug. Then he said, "If you weren't my Daddy, I'd still want you to keep me." Melts my heart.

New Anglican Primate

The Anglican Church has elected a new Primate. This is their national leader, although I'm not sure what direct authority he has over the various bishops. In any case, the new Primate is recognized as being on the liberal end of the spectrum, and is certainly eye to eye with bishop Ingham in Vancouver. I'm certainly no prophet, but the writing is on the wall - this will ensure the fracturing of the unity between the Anglican church in Canada and the Anglican church in Asia, Africa and South America.

Preaching That Speaks to Women

I've almost finished this book, and I must say it has been a bit of a disappointment. Too much theory, and not enough "take away". Yes, there have been a couple of reminders that illustrations in sermons should be ones women can relate to, and that women are in many different situations in life (married and single, homemakers and in the paid workforce, children and childless). But on the whole, it wasn't worth the money (IMHO).

Under the Weather

Hannah is a bit under the weather today. She's been sleeping quite a bit. She doesn't have a fever, and she is still feeding and wetting her diapers, but she seems to have a bit of an intestinal bug.

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Where did the money come from?

Paul Martin and his Liberal predecessors, have been saying there is no more money for health care. Now that the election is announced, he has found billions to give to the provinces for health care. Where did the money come from?

Perhaps it came from the surplus. This is the money that was going towards paying down the national debt. Paying off that debt isn't exciting. It's like paying off the mortgage of a house you are not living in. No fun. But what happens if you don't deal with debt?

Our current debt is costing us about $20 billion each year in interest charges. Paul Martin talked about injecting $3 billion into health care. Can you imagine the incredible social programs and low taxes we would have if we had an extra $20 billion each year? But at the current rate of repayment, the debt will not be paid off in my lifetime or in my children's lifetime.

I know it's not an exciting election platform, but will someone please stand up for the importance of paying off our national debt?

Monday, May 24, 2004

Rosalynn Carter

I'm about 3/4 through Rosalynn Carter's autobiography. She presents a very different view of Jimmy Carter than we normally think of. It's clear that he was a very strong willed man who always did what he thought was right (even when she thought differently). He also comes across as someone who was very involved in his community before getting involved in politics. It is interesting that his stature has grown considerably since he was the President. His work for various humanitarian and humans rights organization, Habitat for Humanity and his negotiation in various hot spots has given him far more credibility than when he was in the White House.

Perhaps it is interesting to note some differences between Canadian and American politics. Does anyone know who the wife of Prime Minister Paul Martin is? Would you know her if you passed her on the street? American State Governors have their Governors Mansions, but does anyone know if the Premier of Ontario has an official residence? When Prime Minister Chretien's son was arrested for rape, did it have any affect on him politically? Perhaps American politics is more politicalized? Canadian politics is still politics, but personal details do tend to get left out (except if you're a Christian, in which case the press makes fun of you and suggests you are a threat... but I digress).

Fusspot City

Hannah is being a fusspot. She's ok if she's held constantly, and she only seems to want to snack instead of taking a full meal. Other than that, she crys. Fortunately this is only an occasional behavior, although we're noticed weekends are worse.

Karen is thinking that its the change in schedule over the weekends. I spend a lot more time with her, and I do things differently than Mom. I don't suppose theres any cure for this, since Karen needs some downtime on the weekends, and this is when I'm better able to help.

Sunday, May 23, 2004

A quiet Sunday (so far)

Today was a quiet Sunday. All of us are a bit sniffly from colds, but we were out to church this morning. Hannah was a bit of a challenge during the first service, and Joel was a bit of a challenge during the second service, but hey, they're kids; they're supposed to be challenging sometimes.

I ended up taking Joel into my Sunday School class. I teach the Grade 7 to 10 class. I prepared some material for them on why we do what we do at our church. My goal to to help them understand the Biblical basis for what we do, and that it's not good enough to just do it because we have always done it. The class is a bit chatty, and gets a little off track sometimes, but I'd like to think the kids are learning something. They are a great bunch with a lot of potential. Joel was very well behaved.

This afternoon I did some preparation for a sermon in July, and did a bit of reading. As usual, my tastes are ecclectic. I'm currently reading John MacArthur's book on Expository Preaching, as well as "Preaching That Speaks to Women". I'm reading "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" to the children, and finished "The Right Thing" last night. I've also been leafing through Rosalynn Carter's autobiography (Jimmy Carter's wife) and "The Second World War" by Captain Sir Basil Liddell-Hart.

On a side note, does anyone know why Sir Basil only made it to Captain? Considering he was the theorist for the mobile warfare techniques that brought the Germans within an inch of victory, I find this surprising. He is also well known for his book "The Other Side of the Hill" which is based on his interviews with German generals after the war. Most of them were delighted to speak to "the Captain who teaches Generals". As such, "The Other Side of the Hill" serves as a fascinating historical reference, and comes close to being considered primary source historical material.

Anyway, it's a quiet Sunday night, so far. Hannah seems OK now, but you never know!

Saturday, May 22, 2004

One other funny incident (plus some other things)

While I was out with the children today, I was listening to CBC Radio 2, which typically plays classical music, as well as some jazz. The children liked the music they were hearing and asked about it, so I got to explain who Hoagy Carmichael was.

My digital camera has a video mode. I took a small clip of Joel holding Hannah while she cried, and sent it to my parents (so they'll know what they are missing). Then I tried a clip in VGA mode, while Hannah was in a better mood. The clip was much better quality than the "email mode", but it took 27 MB. No way to mail that! Too bad, because it had sound and everything. Maybe I'll burn it onto a disk and mail it by snail mail.

At work, we have to come up with a yearly training program. I didn't sign up for any courses this year, but asked my boss if I could order a couple of books. The first is on Corporate Finance. I'm not likely to transfer into the finance group at work, but I think it might be interesting to learn something about this area. The second book is on Organizational Behavior, and should be more directly applicable to my day-to-day job.

So far this weekend

It's been a good weekend so far. Last night we had some friends over for supper and had a really great time. Their 3 kids played with our 3 kids. They brought potato salad and dessert, and we supplied burgers and caesar salad.

Today, I took all 3 children with me to the mall. We had some shopping to do, and I thought it would give Karen a nice break. Hannah was in the snugglie and slept most of the time.

Tonight, Karen's Mom came over, and we invited her to stay for supper. Karen made Chicken Piccata (sp?) which was really good. Then again, everything she cooks is good.

I finished reading "The Right Thing" by Scott Waddle. He was the commander of the American nuclear submarine that surfaced under a Japanese fishing boat, killing 9 people. It was interesting to hear his side of the story. One mistake (but it was a big one) brought a 20 year career to an end. From his side of the story, I don't think the Navy treated him very well. There were also some lessons on leadership in this book.

Friday, May 21, 2004


Hannah slept fairly well last night, including about 45 minutes on my chest, which she seems to like. On a cool night this is nice, but on a warm night it's just too hot for me! Last night wasn't bad temperature wise.

Hannah doesn't have any sleeping patterns yet. He never know when she'll sleep or when she won't. This makes it even more difficult than not getting the sleep we need. Here's an example of not knowing - Hannah is asleep right now, but restless. Is it worth the bother for me to start updating my blog, knowing that she'll likely wake and I won't be able to complete my posting?

Well, she's still asleep, but I'm going to hit the "Publish" button anyway.


The children's uncle bought Joel some K'NEX for his birthday. Joel loves them. Then Bethany decided to use some birthday money to buy some. Now their grandmother found a huge K'NEX kit at a garage sale (2400 pieces)! Our living room looks a bit chaotic, but they are certainly having fun!

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Balanced Reporting

Today's "Daily Mirror" in London has a full page statement on the cover, "Sorry.. We Were Hoaxed". The Editor has also resigned. The reason? Photos of British soldiers abusing Iraqis have now been shown to be fakes. Rifles and trucks shown in the photos were never deployed to Iraq. One British serviceman has been detailed in the investigation. This is not to say there have not been abuses by the Americans in Iraq. However it is interesting to note the reaction to the Arab language press to the British hoax - silence. Go to or Silence. Now why would that be? Quite simply, newspapers and other forms of media exist to make money, and they make money by telling people what they want to hear. In the Arab world, they want to hear about the abuse of Iraqis, not that their rage against the British was misplaced. However I must credit ArabNews from Saudi Arabia. They have been doing a number of articles about the tragedy of spouse abuse in Saudi Arabia, since a high profile media personality had her face shattered by her husband. Today's article points out how difficult it is for women to get help in a society where a woman cannot go anywhere without a male guardian.

Monday, May 17, 2004

Cry, cry, cry

Hannah has had one of those days. Not much sleep, but lots of crying. I think it's likely gas that's hurting her. In any case, it seems easier for us this time around. We don't run to pick her up every time she wakes, and when she crys it doesn't put our nerves on end. On the other hand, sleep is nice when we get it!

On Saturday morning I picked up the minivan, and on Saturday afternoon I took Karen and the 3 children in the minivan to the library. I felt so suburban!

Sunday morning I was down in Winchester, speaking at a very small and very nice church on Romans 8. They had a potluck lunch which was really great. Just a really nice group of Christians. What an encouragement they are to me.

Back to work today. Lots is happening. Process changes and getting new products out the door and documentation. It's good to have a job, but it's hard to believe I just came back from a vacation a month ago. Of course, 2 weeks home with a newborn isn't a vacation in the normal sense of the word!

Thursday, May 13, 2004

One step closer to Yuppie?

On Tuesday, I paid off the loan on my Sentra. On Wednesday I was debt free. Today I bought a minivan. Well, Wednesday was nice while it lasted. I'm hoping this is the last loan I'll ever have to take out. For the short term, I'll concentrate on paying off the car loan, and in the medium term paying off the house. Hopefully the house will be paid off before I need to buy a new car (assuming the cars last 10 years!).

For those who are interested, the minivan is a 2003 Chevrolet Venture with 14,000 km on it. The Venture is like the Pontiac Montana, but will less fancy stuff on it. We are keeping the 2001 Sentra and used the 1997 Ford Escort as a trade-in.

Sunday, May 09, 2004

Friday and Saturday

On Friday we had an interesting discussion at the lunch table. One of the guys was very strongly against the war in Iraq. He was convinced that America knew there were no weapons of mass destruction, that Bush just wanted the Iraqi oil, etc. I had two questions which he seemed unable to answer. Their first I have asked before - has there ever been a nation with the economic and military power of the United States, which has used that power in such a benign manner? The obvious answer is "No". The second question is, if America knew there were no WMD's, why did they claim there were knowing that afterwards they would look foolish? Why did Colin Powell address the UN on this issue? The real answer is difficult for the die-hard anti-american folks to accept - America went to war in Iraq based on a perceived security risk. They honestly thought there were WMD in Iraq, and felt it was too great a risk to their security (and their interests) for Saddam to possess these weapons.

Saturday was a busy day. I washed both my cars, and cleaned up the Ford in preparation for selling it. I also cleaned out the BBQ. Bethany and I went out for lunch together (Joel was last week). Hannah was fussy, so I spent a fair bit of time with her, as well as some really nice time just talking to her and playing with her (arms go up, arms go down). For supper I put a couple of really nice steaks on the BBQ. They were inch thick 22 oz sirloins. Karen made baked potatos and asparagus, and we had fresh strawberries and butter tarts for dessert. No, we don't eat like that all the time (too expensive and too much fat), but every once in a while it's quite nice.

Thursday, May 06, 2004


Just a note to let you know Karen is feeling better.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Too busy to post (until now)

It's hard to type with a baby in your arms, so I haven't been doing much updating of the blog. But I have a few minutes, so here goes.

For about a week, Hannah was fussy eating. The milk was coming too fast, she was gagging on it, and so she was only eating a bit. As a result, she was only sleeping a bit. As a result we have gotten very tired. Then Karen started getting some medical complications. Yesterday afternoon we went up to the hospital ER. It took three and a half hours, and in the end the doctor wasn't able to do much. There will be some more tests and we'll see if everything just fixes itself. Karen was feeling better today, so I went to work. Unfortunately we had to cancel the baby shower which had been planned for her last night at the chapel. Hannah is eating (and sleeping) a bit better.

With the changes to the Ontario child seat regulations, we're in the market for a minivan. I plan to sell our Ford Escort, pay off the Sentra and then immediately plunge into debt again. Thanks Dalton. Liberal governments are always good at spending other people's money on the things the Liberal government knows they should buy. Big government know best!

I have finished and had printed some Sunday School curriculum for my Grade 7 to 10 class. They want to know why we do what we do at our church. In the absence of any suitable books, I wrote a small booklet to use with the class. We'll see how it goes.

I read one of Bethany's read-aloud books yesterday (in the ER Waiting Room). "Carry On Mr Bowditch" is an easy and enjoyable read. I must admit to being somewhat humbled by the true story of a man who quit school at age 10 to go to work, and ended up teaching himself calculus and Latin in order to be able to read Newton's "Principia". He also taught himself French and Spanish, made some fundamental discoveries in navigation, was recognized as one of the best mathematicans in America, was given a Masters by Harvard (even though he didn't attend) and became a ships captain. Oh to have been born with a first class intellect!