Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Catching up

I just noticed I have not posted anything in more than a week.  I have been reading the blogs of others but have neglected to post anything myself.  I appreciate seeing all the pictures posted by Galen.  He is a dedicated blogger.

Last week I was getting over a cold, so my activities were limited.  I missed duet practice and didn't do a whole lot during the week. 

This past Saturday was Food & Fellowship day.   Ten of us met at Chopsticks for a noon meal.  As you might imagine, Chopsticks is a Chinese restaurant.  After that was over, we went to Braum's where I bought two 3-pint containers of ice cream for the Ice Cream Social sponsored by HAT.  We hosted a meeting for Move On and talked politics after we had our fill of ice cream.

On Sunday, during the religious education portion of the morning, we discussed ethics.  About eight people were present for that.  Following that, Debra Garfinkle, a UU minister from All Souls, preached a sermon based upon some text in the Bible about Jesus.  I have forgotten now just which story it was.

Monday, Gail and I played duets at the piano for a couple hours.  We will be doing the special music this coming Sunday at Restoration. 

I am still awaiting the arrival (by mail) of a DVD titled "The Singularity is Near."  After I receive it and view it, I will post some comments on it.

I am nearing completion of an online course on building your vocabulary offered by the Tulsa Library.  I have begun another free online course offered by Coursera titled "Listening to World Music."

Saturday, July 21, 2012


Well, it's not tomorrow.  It is now Saturday.  I have been working on an index all this week.  I missed piano practice with Gail last Monday since we did not get back until late Monday evening.  Come to think of it, she had something she had to do that day. Next Humanist Sunday we plan on playing "The Comedian's Galop" by Kabalevsky and "Boogie for Two."  A galop is a lively dance in duple meter, not to be confused with a "gallop," which is something you might do with a horse.

I just now signed up for an online course in World Music.  The course starts next Monday.  The course is free.  You, too, can sign up and take the course.  Go to the website "Coursera" and sign up.  Read about Coursera, and you may discover other courses you would like to take.  All coursera courses are FREE.  Check it out.

I am still taking the free course titled "Build Your Vocabulary" through the Tulsa Library.  I have just three lessons remaining.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Back home from St. Louis

We got back home tonight from St. Louis.  We flew out of Tulsa last Friday and went to St. Louis via Dallas (Love Field).  Coming back we had a direct flight from St.Louis to Tulsa.  It was a good trip, and I will say more about it tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Baptist watching

The following is from the blog of Jacob Lupfer.  The blog is called "Saving OBU."  That's OBU as in Oklahoma Baptist University.  This is just a small portion of one post.

Anyway, I have not paid attention to SBC politics in many years, but this year's convention seemed pretty typical. It was mostly white, mostly old, and (like many denominations) mostly driven by clergy and denominational staff rather than laity.

The highlight was, of course, the historic election of Luter as the first black SBC president. The main event was the unending circle of SBC elites patting themselves on the back for finally finding a black person who will go along with their social/political agenda atoning for all the racist sins in the SBC's past. One prominent sideshow was the kerfuffle over whether or not LifeWay stores should sell a inspirational movie about race (The Blind Side). (With Luter's support, LifeWay discontinued selling the movie.)

There was also a debate over the efficacy of the sinner's prayer, whether it is an advisable evangelism tactic, and whether it is followed with sufficient discipleship. I don't want to open that can of worms here, though many Baptist blogs covered the debate.

Boards, agencies, and institutions gave their typical reports. Nothing seemed especially newsworthy (though please correct me if I'm wrong). The demographers reported continued membership decline (the SBC is below 16 million members for the first time in over a decade). White church decline continues and nonwhite congregations appear to be something of a growth industry in the SBC. I don't know how many legitimately mixed race congregations there are, but a few Latinos and a black person in the choir do not make your lily white church "mixed-race." There is definitely a trend toward acknowledging the importance of "ethnic ministry," though when white people refer to everyone else as "ethnic," you wonder how much progress will ever be made.

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Hot days

We have been through some hot days recently.  Last Wednesday, the Fourth of July, J and I went to the west bank of the Arkansas River where people were assembling to watch the big fireworks display held each year on the 23rd Street bridge.  The bridge is closed off around 11 am on the 4th.  Workers set up the fireworks. 

We were there around 5 pm.  I did not see anyone I recognized.  I attempted to call another supporter, but I accidentally dialed Galen, who lives in California.  But he might have been in Shawnee, OK visiting relatives.  Anyway, when I saw his name on the display, I hung up. 

Already there were many people there who came early to claim a spot from which to watch the fireworks.  Our reason for being there was to pass out literature for John Olson, who is running for Congress.  We gathered up a handful of flyers and walked among the crowds passing out the materials.  It was around a hundred degrees, and after an hour of distributing literature, we decided to call it a day.  We returned home to our air conditioned house, not staying to watch the fireworks.

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Recent events

This week we took a trip to Springfield.  We left on Thursday and returned home on Friday.

Saturday morning, I drove to Bixby, a suburb of Tulsa on the south side.  I marched in the Green Corn Festival parade.  It is an annual event.  I was with the John Olson entry in the parade.  Olson is the Democratic candidate for Congress from the First District.  The parade route was fairly short -- less than two miles, I would estimate.  The parade started about 10:00 am and was over by 11:00 am.  His Republican opponent in the contest had an entry in the parade, but was not personally at the parade.

Saturday evening, we went to the Storey residence and had dinner with Glenn and Gail.  After the dinner we all got in my car and we drove to Fellowship Congressional Church to hear the Council Oak Men's Chorale.  If you have never experienced this vocal group, check out their YouTube videos.

Today was Humanist Sunday at Restoration.  Gail and I played "Original Rags" by Scott Joplin as the special music.  Steve Nunn gave the message.