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Monday, December 8, 2014

Some Had/Have it Right!

Some who understood well the ways of the world. 

Unfortunately nothing has changed.


Ambrose Bierce January 01, 1900 - December 31, 1984, - France 

"The conduct of public affairs for private advantage."
 "An election is an advance auction of stolen goods." 


Ronald Reagan February 06, 1911 - June 05, 2004, - United States of America

The 9 scariest words in the English language: "I'm from the government and I'm here to help."


The bottom-up answer... and probably the right one.



Anyone out there with one of these tech devices paying attention?

Perhaps you should.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Writing?... Maybe It Is

... however the weather is known to change very easily.

Most writers write to say something or to tell a story.


Why else would a writer write? 

One problem is that the words you have written down may not mean what you are trying to say. 

Yes... so far... but can others understand it?

Another problematic issue is that many writers do not know how to organize their thoughts and ideas into a coherent sequence to tell a story.

I'm sorry, but as a confused reader, I often get lost; very easily too.

As a writer, do not assume that we, your readers, know what you are thinking about, what you are seeing in your mind, what you are hearing in your thoughts and what actions your protagonists are doing inside your head; your readers do not have a clue!

Tell us!

Tell us in detail!

Be clear and exact, so that we, your readers, do not have to guess what is going on, or worse, give up in confusion and stop reading what you have written.

Here is a suggestion: go back later, days later if necessary, carefully and thoughtfully read out loud what you have written and then ask yourself, “Are these words that I have written the thoughts I was thinking, the words I wanted to say and the meaning I ultimately wished to convey?”

Only you know these answers.

But... the reader decides in the end.

 The Oddblock Station  Agent

The Last Word 
Not every word need be written or spoken, for silence is still golden.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

I Just Love New Technology!

Surely you did not for a minute believe this title... did you?

Tools of the Trade

Maybe I should have called this "Fools of the Trade" but then again there is that very fine line between...

The following may have appeared in a newspaper 31 years ago but many of my true feelings toward new technologies are little changed.

One thing is certain 31 years later... that tire iron still works the same way it used to... but I cannot say the same for that 31 year old computer and the several that have followed since.

Tire irons don't need upgrades, or new apps, or a charged battery either.

The Experts

Right about now is the right time to play that Stephen Sondheim song, "Send in the Clowns."


We all know these types of guys. 

They can fix any computer problem. 

When all else has failed though, how many times have you been told simply to shut of the #@&$* computer and restart it?

That said though, if this expert really knew what he was doing, then an hour earlier he should have had the microwave working for you to heat up your cold coffee so you could put it in the cup holder that slides out... when you push the button.

I almost forgot... an hour earlier your coffee would not have been cold.

Behind the Scenes

The truth is stranger than fiction, unless of course it's not fiction to start with.

Someone obviously has their finger right on the pulse... 

Need any more be said to explain why technologies do not work the way should, or should not work the way they do, or plain just don't work.

But don't let that poor dead mouse fool you. This system shown actually functions better than most governments but don't just take my word for it though.

Go ahead! 

Test the waters! 

Go ahead and deal with government bureaucracy somewhere for something that should be simple and straightforward and then see what happens.

I Actually Understand this Question

Really I do!

I actually understand this question! 

Perhaps it is similar to something I have asked David when I have needed his help with my computer. This boast now made, knowing the answer is another matter entirely.

Never mind the need for a new computer though because these types of questions also apply to any or all the peripherals you have in use. 

See that? 

If I can use technical words like peripherals to make it appear that I know what I am talking about, then anyone can do it.

Meanwhile I'm trying to figure out what type of food should be served in a satellite dish... just in case Martians land unannounced in the backyard.

Now isn't this app to blow your boom box?

The Oddblock Station Agent

Friday, October 24, 2014

The Adventure of a Lifetime Continues

34 years may have passed since January 26, 1980, but my adventure of a lifetime with Kie continues.

What happens during 34 years of marriage? 

Well, I know one thing: 6 people in this photo were not around for the wedding... and not because Indonesia is on the opposite side of the world.

Left to right from top to bottom: Kimberly holding Jonah, Kiera, Sharl, Winnie, David, me and Kie. This photo was taken December 25, 2013, as we celebrated Christmas in David's new home.

The Oddblock Station Agent

Addendum: December 01 2014 

Our early family Christmas gathering was celebrated at the Old Mill on Sunday, November 30, 2014. 

Audrey, the youngest member of our family, will be seeing her first Christmas this year.

Kimberly, Sharl, Kiera and Jonah will be spending Christmas and New Year's in South Africa.

Left to right: Sharl, Kiera, Kimberly, Jonah, David, Winnie, Audrey, Grandma and Grandpa.

The next generation...

Left to right: Audrey, Kiera and Jonah

Audrey just loves her new shoes... but not on her feet. 

Kiera is wearing her new LL Bean boots and a dress from Grandma.

Jonah does not quite know what to make of what is going on, but he was the perfect gentleman.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

On the Road Again

Ah yes...

Things that can be done with old wood scraps, some half-empty cans of spray paint, masking tape, a few hand tools, time and patience.

All that is needed now is a little person and an active imagination.

I expect that Jonah will fit the bill the next time he comes here for a visit


Going places... but not sure where

Driving on the wrong side of the road.

Hey Dad! Only 14 more years to go before I can play here.

The Oddblock Station Agent

Monday, July 7, 2014

One Year Later and Still Here

One year has passed since my heart attack and I am still here and grateful to God to be here. 

May 14, 2016 - celebrating my 60th with my beloved.

"Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink, nor about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?"
(Matthew 6: 25-26)

Words so easy to read and so easy to recite, but words so very very true and yet so difficult to live.

"Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the day's own trouble be sufficient for the day."
(Matthew 6:34-35)

This much I do know and can honestly state: during this past year a few days came when I did not think that I would see a tomorrow. Anxiety from that fear can be daunting.

"I sought the Lord, and he answered me, and delivered me from all my fears." (Psalm 34:4)
The concept of a tomorrow is nothing more than an assumption we live with; tomorrow is a day we should hope for and ask God for.

Life is a precious gift from the God of Israel, and with gratitude I treasure each new day of life that is given to me.

The Oddblock Station Agent

Monday, March 24, 2014

Audrey Carol

March 22, 2014. This photo should have been the first taken... or posted... but newborn babies don't look exactly like this upon arrival into the world.

March 22, 2014. Safely arrived at home for the first time.

March 22, 2014 - and all is calm... at least right now. Grandpa relaxing with sleeping Audrey.

Here is the close-up of the star attraction.

New parents - are they trying to figure out what to do next?

"...and his mother kept all these things in her heart." (Luke 2:51b)

Words recorded 2000 years earlier, but this which mothers do has not changed over time.

March 24, 2014. Today's photo of Audrey from David.

 March 22, 2014 Celebration

Ben and Catherine 35 years! Left to right: Kiera, Sharl; Anita, Don, Kie, Tim, Ben, Ed, Catherine, May, Jonah and Kimberly.

Saturday evening we gathered to celebrate Ben's & Catherine's 35 years of marriage. 

Double Happiness really; we also had a new family member to talk about.

Of course David and Winnie were expectedly absent; home from the hospital a few hours earlier with newest family member, Audrey Carol.

Oddblock Station Agent

Addendum March 29, 2014

"A generation goes, and a generation comes, but the earth remains for ever."
(Ecclesiastes 1:4)

90 years may have passed, but nothing has changed between new mothers and their first born child.

1924 - A new mother when this photo was taken. My grandmother holding my father

2014 - A new mother 8 days ago. Winnie holding my granddaughter.

I was born early enough and have lived long enough to see and know the people in both these two photographs. God's favour is upon me.

Addendum September 06, 2014

This is the stuff that grandparents do. A few more pictures...

August 28, 2014

Audrey September 04, 2014

Taken for Audrey's baby dedication at our family gathering on September 06, 2014

Addendum November 18, 2014

Babies don't stay babies forever... and not very long either.

November 07 2014

Addendum December 08, 2014

Addendum April 25, 2015

Audrey: Tastes Great! - Grandpa: I wish I knew what she was eating.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Baby Dot has Arrived

Congratulations David & Winnie!!

A new arrival comes into the world.

Today, the wonders of technology allow us to see images of events as they occur. 

Can you remember a time when we had to wait days for a roll of film to be developed, and we hoped that the pictures would come out okay?

Wasn't really that long ago.

She arrived a few weeks early, but... Baby Dot was born at 11:58 on March 20, 2014. David took this picture within minutes of the awaited event and sent it to us. Baby and both parents doing well!

Excited grandparents are doing okay too.

A spring surprise sprung on us on the first day of spring!

Baby Dot must have wanted to see winter; she arrived today at 11:58, one hour before the official start of spring which was at 12:57 this afternoon. Maybe that was enough of winter too.

Welcome to the world! Life's challenges are not long in coming.

A few hours later and sleeping like a... well, you know.

Audrey Carol - early morning, March 21, 2014

With praise and gratitude to God!

 The Oddblock Station Agent

Addendum March 21, 2014

A few more of the photos taken last evening...

Ben holding new granddaughter

Catherine holding Audrey Carol

Grandpa holding the tiny baby... she is really that small.

Kie with Audrey Carol

The two happy grandfathers with Audrey Carol. This was not a staged photo! Holding a newborn baby again is like riding a bicycle, you do not forget how to do it.

The two happy grandmothers with Audrey Carol. I'm certain they'll soon be making lots of plans for shopping for her. Maybe they already have.

What does our newest family member think of all this attention from the grandparents?

The photo says it all!

Bored already? We haven't got started yet.

You don't really believe this is all, do you?