GOING DOWN WITH “WHATEVER”

Posted February 21, 2019 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Education, War Against America

Tags: , , ,

 

Alternate title:   William C.  or  Robert E. —   whatever.     Whatever.     WhatEVER.

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Two kind of funny stories; 

First:

American students in universities and high schools are being taught that American heroes of the past are   evil racists!   oppressors of women!    greedy capitalists!  

Or whatever.

But  “Words have consequences.”

Recently some young people in North Carolina pulled down and damaged a statue of a war hero from their state.   It was placed prominently in an outdoor public area of a museum, for all to be proud of their native son.  (He is the founder of the army air corps of World War II – the foundation of our modern air force.)

But what was his “sin”  in the minds of theses vandals?        His full name is William C.  Lee.

Get it?      . . .  “Lee.”

Like Robert E.,  the highly moral Christian southern gentleman with proven and respected military skills,  who was asked to defend his home state of Virginia, whose history he loved,  where his family lived.      He was asked to lead the army of the CSA.      Robert E.  Lee.

The South has a right to be proud of this man.

William C.   Robert E.     These vandals simply saw “Lee”  and mindlessly  (I mean that,  without using their minds)   vandalized a statue.         “Lee.”   Whatever.

 

Miseducation and words   have consequences.*

 

Funny Story #2

Sometimes the consequences are just funny on the surface.

An interviewer went around asking young adults if they could name the Seven Continents.

One pretty young lady, smiling in the bright sunny day,  was asked is she could name the seven continents.

She looked a little shocked, at first.   A blank, bemused look on her face.   And then she asked:  “You mean of the United States?”

Now, the interviewer could have answered,  “Yes,  what are the seven continents of the United States?”

Or he could have said,  (and what he did say) :  “No,  what are the seven continents of the world?”

Either way her answer began:    “. . . . America . . . .”

Nope.    Mercifully, she didn’t make anymore guesses.  She was stymied after that.
“America”  is not a continent.    But what if she’s old enough to vote?   How will she know anything about the world?  About international politics?   About the issues that face our lawmakers and representatives, and our president?   About what money should be allocated to which systems of defense?    How will she know that we actually have  borders,  and that our borders define our country.

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We’d better find out what’s going on in the minds of the next three  generations, alive today.     Words have consequences.   Words mean things.   If they ‘re not too precise about the words they hear and use,    these young people will be wide open to those who are.

Is it too much to ask that adults take some action, maybe start calling attention to our failed and hi-jacked  educational system?     Protest?      Make changes?

 

Or else our nation  will go down . . .  in flames . . .   carried by the Whatever’s.

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.*   Sow a thought

Reap an action

Sow and action

Reap a habit

Sow a habit

Reap a character

Sow a character

Reap a destiny.

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GREEN DRAGONS AND ANALEMMAS

Posted February 21, 2019 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Backyard Pond, Science Fun

Tags: , , , ,

Expanding your  (mental)   horizons here:

I’ve written a bit about Light lately, here in the Spruce Tunnel.  I’ve been thinking about it a lot more.

Last night I was positively kept awake  all night by . ..  light.    Right in the dark,  there was the Super Snow Moon,  full and bright, about 30% brighter, they say,  because it’s a bit closer to the earth right now by 17,000 miles, I heard.      (So many conflicting facts out there!)

It wasn’t the moon that kept me awake,  it was the light of the moon:

Moonlight back

I think I showed similar photos a month ago,  but here’s the one from this week’s Super Full Snow Moon.      My house was surrounded by the sharp shadows of trees and shrubs.    As the moon moved in the sky,  the shadows were cast from different angles and the patterns kept on changing.

It was a constant delight from window to window.

I had visitors in the moonlight too:

Moon deer

That got pretty grainy because I was trying different settings on my camera.   I had deer footprints all over the pond and the yard the next morning.    Guess they were enjoying the moonlight too.

So Light reflects off the moon,  and it comes from our sun.

Here’s some fun with sunlight:

camera

Start with a  camera.    Pick a time of day,  the same time every day.   Take one snapshot of the sun.    Come back each day at that time and take another snapshot.   If you can do this every day for one year,  you won’t get 365 pictures that look all the same;   you will get a pattern.

 

The pattern is called an analemma.

Here’s one professionally done:

Analemma

 

Look it up in a Search Engine,  Images.    You’ll see that the sun makes that same pattern no matter who does it.   It won’t be quite that same pattern from the south or north poles, because your camera will see a different angle.     And if you do it on Mars?   It looks like a tear drop!

Speaking of Mars,  and outer space,   and lights and shadows,   remember that object that they discovered out there at the edge of our solar system that they called “Ultima Thule”  — making a joke, they were.   It caught their attention because it looked like it was made up of two unequal sized globes glued together somehow.     Since they didn’t know how that could be,  some speculated that maybeit wasn’t a natural object.

Well, then it moved.  And now we have a different view on it:

ULTIMAThule pancake

It wasn’t two globes stuck together at all.   The distant light shows us a peculiar double-circled flat shape.    And now scientists  really  don’t know how that could have formed naturally.

And here’s an un-natural natural phenomenon:

Green DRAGOn Aurora 260

A brilliant green dragon rises from the earth,  unfurling its wings, tossing its head,   ready to roar and spew out fire . . . .

Or so it seems.

It’s a recent aurora;  the northern lights.     If you were lucky enough to be in Iceland that night,  maybe you would have been a little startled.

Once you see something, you can’t un-see it.

I know what northern lights are.   But this still looks menacing!

The first command given in this cosmos:  “Let there be Light!”

Indeed.

 

DONNER REDUX? – 173 years

Posted February 18, 2019 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: American History

Tags: , , ,

 

Well, I hope not.  Not really.  Not an actual  “redux”  but that’s been a word that’s popped up in my writings a lot this week.     As well as the location.

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A mother’s  thoughts  

173 years ago  the Donner Party left  their known world.    172 years ago the first rescue party made it to the members of the Donner party, camped here and there,  buried in the snow.

This week, in February, 2019,  Son will be heading in that direction —  heading exactly  for Donner Lake, exactly  172 years later.      He’ll be visiting his sister and her little family;   being “Uncle”  to Cooper.

Son  will be well fed, I’m sure;  he won’t have to eat his dog – or his friends,   but he’ll be equally buried in snow.       Here’s where he’ll be staying, somewhere under that snowstorm:

Truckee Storm now

Donner Lake is just over that snow bank.

His brother-in-law is clearing a path for him.  

Truckee MORE snow

Yeah,  well,  more snow in the forecast.  

The public school system has this week off – so they can go skiing.  Ski Week, they call it.   However, I just read a news article that tells them they can’t go skiing.   Too much snow!  Again.    Buried the lifts.

Too much snow

 

I’ve been to this area many times.  I’ve walked through the  Donner Party Museum.   It’s not a place where you want to buy trivial souvenirs from;  but  I have a reprint of the journal of young man, a keenly observant teenager;  harrowing writing  . . . . The church I go to when I’m out there is just across Alder Creek,  mentioned below in the Donner Party Timeline.    These people are very real to me.

This week our local weather forecast is  -1   (one below zero),  freezing rain, and 1-3 inches of   snow.    I have nothing to complain about.

Except the temporary  “loss” of my son.

 

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THIS WEEK IN FEBRUARY,    172 YEARS AGO

 

  • February 19, 1847: Patrick Breen’s diary: “Froze hard last night. 7 men arrived from California yesterday with som provisions, but left the greater part on the way. To day clear & warm for this region. Some of the men are gone to day to Donner’s Camp. Will start back on Monday.” Daniel Rhoads, one of the rescuers, recalled, “At sunset, we crossed Truckee Lake on the ice, and came to the spot where, we had been told, we should find the emigrants. We looked all around, but no living thing except ourselves was in sight. We raised a loud hello. And then we saw a woman emerge from a hole in the snow. As we approached her, several others made their appearance, in like manner coming out of the snow. They were gaunt with famine; and I never can forget the horrible, ghastly sight they presented. The first woman spoke in a hollow voice, very much agitated, and said, ‘Are you men from California or do you come from heaven?’
  • February 20, 1847: Catherine Pike dies. Three of the rescuers go to Alder Creek to check on the Donners.
  • February 21, 1847: Patrick Breen’s diary: “Thawey, warm day.” The rescuers return to the lake camp from Alder Creek bringing six emigrants who are strong enough to travel.
  • February 22, 1847: First Relief: Rescuers leave the lake camp with 23 refugees. Second Relief: After spending several days drying meat at Johnson’s Ranch, Reed’s party sets out for the mountains. Patrick Breen’s diary: “The Californians started this morning, 24 [23] in number, some in a very weak state. Fine morning. Wind S.W. for the 3 last days. Mrs Keysburg started & left Keysburg here[; he was] unable to go… Paddy Reid & Tho[mas]s. came back.” Patty Reed, eight years old, and her little brother Tommy give out and have to be taken back to the Breen cabin. Patty tells her mother “Well, Ma, if you never see me again, do the best that you can“; thirty-one people remain in the camps. There have been ten deaths at the lake camp and four at Alder Creek.
  • February 23, 1847: Patrick Breen’s diary: “Froze hard last night. To day fine & thawey. Has the appearance of spring. All but the deep snow. Wind S.S.E. Shot Towser [a dog] today & dressed his flesh. Mrs Graves came here this morning to borrow meat—dog or ox. They think I have meat to spare; but I know to the Contrary. They have plenty hides; I live principally on the same.
  • February 24, 1847: First Relief: John Denton is unable to continue and must be left behind.
  • February 25, 1847: First Relief: Ada Keseberg dies and is buried in the snow. Patrick Breen’s diary: “Froze hard last night. Fine & sunshiny to day. Wind W. Mrs Murphy says the wolves are about to dig up the dead bodies at her shanty; the nights are too cold to watch them; we hear them howl.
  • February 26, 1847: Patrick Breen’s diary: “Martha’s jaw swelled with the toothache: hungry times in camp; plenty hides, but the folks will not eat them. We eat them with a tolerable good apetite. Thanks be to Almighty God. Amen. Mrs Murphy said here yesterday that [she] thought she would Commence on Milt. & eat him. I don’t [think] that she has done so yet; it is distressing. The Donners, 4 days ago, told the California folks that they [would] commence to eat the dead people if they did not succeed, that day or next, in finding their cattle, [which were] then under ten or twelve feet of snow, & [the Donners] did not know the spot or near it; I suppose they have done so ere this time.

 

BLACK HISTORY MONTH

Posted February 18, 2019 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: American History, Christendom

Tags: , ,

“With Christ there is no Jew or Gentile, no rich or  poor,   no male or female, no slave or free . . . ..”

If in Black History Month we are supposed to honor great Blacks of the past . . .  then let’s see a few more:

My favorite man –

Pierre Toussant

He is Pierre Toussant.   A Catholic gentleman who lived from 1766 to 1853,  born a slave, was a reliable man of good character, learned a valued skilled trade, was eventually freed,  went into business for himself – but yet  not for himself and his wife and children alone —  he became the Founder of Catholic Charities  in the United States of America.

He relieved the suffering and ignorance of countless thousands of people in New York City.

(I started with more and have done less.)

I’ve written about him here at The Spruce Tunnel previously,   (Although now if you look him up elsewhere you may have to endure  atrocious anti-Trump rhetoric in some articles first, before you get down to the story of PIerre Toussant.)

You can read about his equally venerable wife, Juliet Noel, devoted to charitable works in New York City.

Bl Juliet Noel

Juliet Noel

A few of  their foundations and their charitable buildings still stand.    The life of these two people should be included among the great biographies of American history, although they are not being taught in our children’s textbooks.

Mother Mary Lange is another black woman in American History you should know:

Bl Mother Mary Lang

Born Elizabeth Clarisse Lange  (in Colonial Cuba — see the missionary work of St. Anthony Mary Claret), came to the United States in 1833, to South Carolina,  to Virginia,  then to Maryland,  and then opened free schools for Black children, with the encouragement of the Church.  Eventually she and a co-worker founded a new religious  order of women working   called the Oblate Sisters of Providence working with women and children in needy and poverty stricken situations,  teaching them all both faith and skilled work.

Bl Mother Mary Lang 2

(an early photograph of B. Mother Mary Lange)

(Their work still exists today, but I don’t know if they have been “modernized” into focusing on a more secularized “social justice.”   I hope not.  God is the foundation of  all justice.) 

Well,  that’s my contribution to Black History Month……

Of course the Catholic Church has many other “Black”  saints.

As St. Paul said,   “With Christ there is no Jew or Gentile, no rich or  poor,   no male or female, no slave or free . . . ..”

All are equal in the dignity and worth that God gave us.

 

A SERIOUS CHILD’S GAME

Posted February 18, 2019 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: American History, Current Events, Founding Fathers, Necessity of Virtue

Tags: , , ,

 

Putting the entertainment-news media on the dock, in this post.

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Children’s games are fun because children have the capacity to blur the line between reality and imagination.  These childish games are less fun  as the child matures because he’s beginning to have a firm grasp on what is imagination and what is reality.

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So here’s a common pretend game many of us learned in childhood —

We all know that men pray,

ch men pray

 

And we all know what this is:

ch pic

So the game starts like this:

Put your hands together and intertwine your fingers.  (“Here is the church.”)

ch do 3 is 1

 

Now place your thumbs together and  rotate your hands outwards so you can see your thumbs together.     (to make little doors)

c h do 1

Now move your two forefingers upwards and make them touch at the tips.   (“Here is the steeple.”)

ch 2

 

Now  OPEN   your hands apart,  and  “See all the people!”  —

ch do 4

 

Wiggle, wiggle,  wiggle  your fingers.  Those are the PEOPLE!
ch see thepeople

Little ones,  3, 4, 5, years old giggle with delight when they feel that blurry existence between “fingers”  and  “people.”    6, 7, even 8 years old  do it again to feel their “distance”  from childish beliefs, and they smile inwardly knowing they  know better,   they’re  becoming mature.

It’s a natural process,  children do it  themselves.

(This is why you don’t yell at your five year old for “lying” because he really doesn’t yet have the capacity to always, fully grasp when his statement is a ‘lie.”    In fact, you’ll retard this process if you respond with parental intimidation . . . the child will never feel safe when he contemplates, on his own,  what is reality and what is imagination. and so the process may never completely mature)

Maybe that’s what happened to the entertainment-news media.  They seem to get more howls of delight and glee (and rating$)   if they blur the line between what really happened and what they pretend had happened.

And they capitalize on how much of an agenda some of the public has internalized.   The entertainment-news-education media has taught many people that “America is a racist society.”    “Institutionalized racism,” they explain.

So dearly do they want to hang on to this idea that a young hijab-wearing student in an Ivy League University can fake an attack on herself and claim it was “white Americans”  — and be taken seriously without any proof.  Later, when she admits she lied, she receives no societal punishment, legal or otherwise.

Homosexual college students write homophobic  epithets on their own dorm room doors!

Political ads show outrageous atrocities committed against Black victims,  all imaginary and dramatized to imply these things are being done today.

Jusse Smollett,  an actor of some kind,   claimed to be attacked for his race and for his sexual proclivities by  some “white” men (who later turned out to be Black)  and was taken seriously by the news readers on network television.

Why did this almost work?   Because people on the network entertainment-news programs  solemnly intoned:   “This  . . .    is America   . . .     in 2019.”      I watched one woman say that on television,  just like a 6 year old discovering her wiggling fingers-people.

Furthermore:    “And those attackers were “wearing MAGA hats . . .”    Why that detail?   Because, it is repeatedly  and solemnly declared:       “Trump   . . .    divides this country  . . .   because he . . .    is a racist . . .   and a homophobe  . . . . ”

This would be a pretty long posting if I gave you so many more examples –  daily, really.

Maybe it’s our entertainment-news-education media programs that have never really stopped blurring the lines between imagination and reality.

ch whole thing

Here is the church

And here is the steeple

Open the doors

And see all the people!

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I would be remiss if I stopped right there.    Because- –   if we as a society live in that blurry magical line of what is real is what we want to be real,  then, like children,  are playing with fire.

It is the fire of Civil War and destruction, a collapse of all the societal safety nets that America has built up over the last two centuries.

Of course there’s a remedy, within easy grasp of every adult qua adult.

const

There is NO conflict between faith and reason,  between religion and reality,  between private and public  religious thinking.       Our Founding Fathers knew this, and also warned that the continuing success of this Republic,  based upon our Constitution,  relies upon the goodness and moral behavior of the  people of the United States,  “We The People.”    Alexis de Tocqueville observed and reported this about America in the early 19th century — as we were growing as a nation.   “America is great because America is good”  he said.

Post Govt needs Morality

The American people  were informed by their Christian faith –  not each individual personally,of course,   but in our laws and institutions, and public behavior.

As in the last two postings here,    Christian faith,  Christ – ” Christ is the Light of the world,”   ” His Light is the Life of Men, ”    the true enlightening of men’s minds, so that we can be a good and moral people:

ch the way

 

If, as a society, we can stumble our way back to Him,  then there is hope that we too, like an 8 year old,  will mature in our thinking – and be able to sustain our American Republic.   

 

 

 

MYSTERY AND LIGHT – NO GOOD-BYES

Posted February 16, 2019 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Christian Analysis, Death, Faith, Lent, Science Fun

Tags: , , , , ,

I’m not ready to leave the subject of Mystery-and-Light;  too many more things to say!  And because of that,  here are some seed thoughts for you,  so to speak.

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In the last post I said:  Light will in one future instant say a final and eternal good-bye to all who choose Darkness.

How many are the human souls who will say a permanent good-bye to us at the end of life!   What a sadness!.  What a horror!!   A horror because the permanent good-byes are given to those who choose not  the Light,  and  who then  will exist in a horror of Darkness that we cannot now fully imagine.

But Light is eternal,  and Light is eternal Life.   Light is from the Creator,  it is the Creator:      “He was the Light of the world,  and His light was the Life of men.”

Here is some photo-miscroscopy for you:

1 light conception

We are told there is a  “flash” of light at the moment of conception; at the moment that the sperm enters the egg,  whoosh!  However brief and instantaneous it is,  it does occur.

 

1 cell suicide.jpg

We are told that when  our immune system causes a cancer cell to self-destruct —  whoosh!    Again,  a flash, a release of energy.

 

1 destroy tumors

Light has been used (in a laboratory)  to destroy tumors.

And we can see a strand of DNA in a powerful microscope.

1 dna

Bathed in light (energy).

 

Light is Life.     

I don’t know how many of you have read the classic book which describes the qualities of our existence in the next  Life;   Heaven, that is,  for those who have chosen the Light of Christ.

(Now,  this is Light as a Catholic is instructed,  not a New Age concept of “Peace and Light.”   Not the secular-atheistic concept of “Enlightenment.”   It’s not some esoteric and nebulous Nirvana.     As Christians are instructed, the Light is from God,  the Light is God,  the Light is a Person entering this world,  giving and bringing Light.)

That Light raised himself from the dead and is able to raise each of us, in that same manner.  We will have new resurrected bodies with new qualities,  reserved until then.

(in no special order):

.  1,   Impassibility  –  our new bodies won’t change,  won’t be subject to pain or aging and decay

. 2,   Immortality –  our new bodies will never die

. 3,   Agility –  our new bodies won’t be subject to the limitations of time and space

. 4,   Understanding –  our new bodies will have the full use of our intellectual capacity which will enable us to fully  know and to  understand  everything  around us – as far as “humanly” possible.   We will still be human;  merely human.  We will know ourselves as ourselves – and we will know others.

.4,    Glory –  our new bodies will have Beauty and Glory,  which is the reflection of the Glory of God,  which manifests as pure and radiant Light.

We won’t have “light bodies.”   We’ll have human bodies filled with the Light of Pure Love, which is God.

Eternal Light.   No good-byes to the people around you,  no good-byes to the glorious angelic beings;  no good-byes to the One who loves you with a powerful and eternal Love.

No ending.

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The “classic book”  which discusses these matters, based upon solid Church teaching is called:  The Happiness of Heaven,  by Fr. J.  Boudreau.  Easily available on Amazon.

Also helpful is a passage in the gospel of John, first chapter.  (John 1:1-14)

What will you think,  what will you feel, at the moment you realize you are dying?  This is it!  I’m leaving this world and going . . . .      so, another helpful book is called Preparation for Death,  by  St. Alphonsus Liguori   (Don’t get the one by the 20th century author.   It has little depth of understanding.)

The Sinner’s Guide is helpful.   It’s by Louis of Granada and will guide you away from the darkness.

PURPLE cloud

Lent is approaching!  

We cannot stop our calendar! 

Time to choose a good book to read.    One that is profitable for your soul.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MYSTERY AND LIGHT

Posted February 15, 2019 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Christian Analysis, Cooper, Creator, Nature Speaks, Science Fun

Tags: , ,

 

Light will in one future instant say a final and eternal Good-bye to all who choose Darkness.

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The End of the Mystery is a mystery in itself.   

A well-crafted mystery is a pleasure to read.

ag christie vic

A really good whodunit engages the reader and draws him into the story — temporarily,  because then when the mystery is resolved, the story is over;    and then the reader sits back with satisfaction knowing, now, how it all worked together.

ag jek

The best authors have given the reader little facts along the way that only as the story progresses does the reader begin to perceive the smallest facts as clues.

ag writer

The author must have great skill to weave those important facts into the narrative, being fair to his readers but respecting the reader enough to require him to use his intellect.

Wherever we are confronted with a mystery,  the closer we look at it,  the more we see there are facts and clues that lead us to greater and greater understanding.

Light is like that.  It’s actually the greatest Mystery we have.   We know  it when we see it.   (Or do we?)   We can give it a definition.  (Or can we?)   We know what it does.  (Or we know some of its effects.)

We even know its origin:  “Let there be Light.”    It isn’t that at the first moment of Creation some kind of “light bulb” was turned on so we can see what the Creator is doing.

Instead . . .

ag big bang

. . .  energies,  forces,  vibrations,  frequencies began where there were no “disturbances”  before.    It began in an instant.

Such,   let’s call them energy frequencies —  such energy  frequencies  moved “outwards,”  became organized  into irregular areas and forms,  some slowed down and coalesced into what we call high energy particles, which built atoms,  some of which became matter,  plain old material that we can touch and feel and use.

af particles

We’ve read the clues, we’ve learned some facts,  but much of this is still unknown to us,  still undiscovered.  The whole truth about Light remains a mystery.

It’s exciting and very interesting to some people.   They want to keep on learning more about this thing we call Light, observing nature, examining science books,  research, studies,  results of experiments at CERN — the nuts and bolts of hard science.

Grandson Cooper will be receiving this book soon –

a book moon

–   from “Science Grandma.”   Ha!     I gave him a seven-inch diameter moon for Christmas,  a night light,  which he likes very much.    Little by little during his lifetime he will pick up “clues”  about the mystery of Light.

But apart from hard science,   we can approach this mystery of Light by examining the Equivalent of Light –  an equivalence that exists in Reality.     The Person who said “Let there be Light”  actually called Himself  the Light, our Light.  “I am the Light of the world.”

eden 2

That Light was all over the first home of the first humans, whatever that was;   it was still there after the Fall which darkened both the world and the intellect of man;  it was there choosing and enlightening one portion of the human race, one race, one tribe;   and then later,  the Light came to enlighten all the rest of mankind.

Now the Light was identified as “the Light to Lighten the Gentiles.”

That Light had been long-promised, and It was  the long-promised  Messiah sent by the Creator,  the long-promised Christ.      He came to “enlighten” us about the nature and reality of God, giving us more facts and clues about our Creator.   Infinite.    Infinite Power.    Infinite Love.     Infinite Fatherly Caring.

The Christ chose a small group of men to teach His mysteries to, as many as they could endure.

a transf

 

And then Christ returned to that Father, leaving us enough information, enough clues,  so that we can now call the Creator “the Father of Lights.”     (James 1:17)     He used that small group of men to set up a living system,  a Church,  to preserve and  transmit that information, and it has endured for almost 2,000 years.

The more we seek and search,  the more facts and clues we learn about how this all works.    We were not abandoned,  the Light can live in us – if we so indicate our desire – and then Christ, the Light of the World, will return to us.

a return

What will that look like?

Now  the End of all this  Cosmic Mystery is a mystery in itself.       Some humans will recognize and choose to live in that Light.   Some,  many more,  will choose to continue on in darkness.

If there is One Light,  One Christ,  One Church,   why would some choose to live apart from it?

Do they truly think that when they die,  the Light will go out?

.

 

 

 

WATCH YER FEELINGS

Posted February 12, 2019 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Christian Analysis, Truth

Tags: , ,

(“Cooper’s Cardinal”  next post.)

A more serious post tonight:   “You can stifle your feelings,  but feelings can stifle your ideas.”

'It always hurts more when...'

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 A WORLD OF FEELINGS*

We don’t even question it.  We ask each other,  “How do you feel about . . .?”    We watch ads on television that are devoid of any meaningful information but are meant to give us feelings towards the product, one way or the other, blatantly and annoyingly!

Since mass media developed in the early 20th century,  appeals are made to all people, men and women, on the basis of how they can be made to feel.

Political speeches were always like that – but not always political debate.

(“How do you  feel about  the Wall?   Doesn’t it make you mad/hopeful?”)

Today, if a person doesn’t accept the many socially correct ideas like man-made climate change,  or evolution from one species into the next,   gender fluidity,  central state control of all of society . . .  you can name other ideas we’re supposed to accept . . .  but if  a person doesn’t agree or accept,   there is a kind of emotional-social horror towards him.   It’s not “oh,  so what do you know about that subject?”  It’s  “you don’t!?”

There’s a big difference.   One invites human discussion; one doesn’t.   One seeks to advance understanding, for the benefit of all;  the other seeks to shut down the “dissident” voice,  to the benefit of no one.

They say ordinary conversation between people has become self-restricted;  we dare not say exactly what we think because we may get called on it.  Or we may get told it “offends”  someone’s feelings.   So we talk a  lot but dare not say a lot.

I wonder how common this is?

 

FEELINGS COLLAPSE EDUCATION

Parents used to see their children off to school with the words, “Be good!”   because good children can think clearly and learn.   Now it’s common to say, “Have fun!”

We make our children “feel good”  about going to school.   We make sure their self-esteem is bolstered.    We make sure our college students are not offended in anything,  so we carefully guard them from points of view that differ from  the ones they’ve been taught.

Unfortunately,  since socialism has increasingly taken control of our education  (early 20th century)  our children have been taught that Western Civilization is the root of all evil, in general.  This precludes teaching students anything that contradicts this ideology, so that they won’t be upset.

There is no transmission of  all those characteristics and values that built up civilization since the collapse of the Roman Empire.

I wonder if we can anticipate all the consequences of an ignorant generation coming into positions of leadership normally reserved for the mature mind.

I wonder how we’ll “feel”  as society around us falls apart – and just doesn’t seem to work anymore  – and no one knows how to put it back together again?

 

SERIOUS DISCUSSION HAS BECOME AN APPEAL TO FEELINGS

No matter what field of inquiry,  appeal is made to our personal inclinations but not to observable and objective facts and analysis of those facts for the purpose of advancement of understanding and possible improvement.

Especially sad is the lack of serious discussion for the development of understanding in the field of religion.   No matter how often we’re told that religion isn’t important,  religion is outdated, religion is the cause of war, etc.,  the fact remains that humans are religious.  They all believe in something.  The Creator of humans have given all humans the capacity to seek and to find Him . . .

Humans do frequently choose to not seek out their own Creator, much to the delight of the powerful Enemy of human beings,  but when a human  stops believing in God, he doesn’t believe, now, in nothing,  he will believe in anything — but he will continue to believe.

We’re just made that way.

So we seek after answers.

Unfortunately, if you’ve read any religious book, any “Christian”  book that was published in the past fifty or so years, you are likely to be “encouraged,”  made to feel “confident” in God,  “soothed,”   and directed to not be afraid.   Reading some of the most popular Christian books is like reading a vapid woman’s magazine, where we are shown how to be happy people,  happy Christians,  happy members of our society.   All is well.    things will work out.

Boring.   Boring because such books don’t satisfy the deepest questions we are asking ourselves.

In a recent brilliant essay entitled:    Why How You Feel Is Not All That Valuable,   Father Stephen Freeman,  an American Russian Orthodox priest,  explores how we are defined by our feelings –  in our current culture. **    He says:

Sentiment is a function of the passions, and rather shallow passions, at that. It is a disposition towards pleasure. A sentiment that says, “I think human suffering is terrible,” is generally a sentiment that will avoid confronting the nature of suffering and its true depths. If you’re decently middle-class, you can afford to avoid encounters with many forms of suffering. You can filter your friends-list in a manner to see and hear what you find pleasant and agreeable.

But as he implies, our character should not be equated to our feelings.  “I feel, therefore I am.”    No matter how a person feels about something, if we watch what he does,  that reveals his true character.

Or, as the old adage has it:  “character is what you do when you think no one is watching you.”

And character  is  destiny.

I wonder if a society that runs on its feelings could ever know what its “destiny”  is — until it smacks it in the face.

 

It’s the rug you’ve been sweeping things under that gets pulled out from under you.”

 

___________________________________________________

.*   For those of you who are used to marxist rhetoric,  of course none of my statements are intended to indicate all, all, all, all cases in some kind of 100% mathematical completeness.     I’m observing general trends.    There are always pockets of good thinkers here and there.    I hope you find them.

 

.**  If you’d like to read the whole serious article by Father Stephen,  it can be found here:

(remove spaces)

https  ://  blogs.ancientfaith.com/glory2godforallthings/2019/01/28/why-how-you-feel-is-not-all-that-valuable/

 

It is satisfyingly intelligent.

 

 

 

 

 

SNOW “BURIAL”

Posted February 10, 2019 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Cooper, Humor, Winter

Tags: , ,

 

Well, what do you do when a blizzard buries your front yard?

Snow angel toppers 280

You jump down on top of the snow and make snow angels!

(That’s Cooper and his Daddy – I think – several feet above their front yard, and beautiful  Donner Lake in the background,  with the High Sierras of California.)

When you have a blizzard burial,  you try not to let you and your friend get  buried —

Snow burial 230

But it makes it really hard to play on your  swing set —

Snow jungle gym 390

The swings are down there somewhere.

They’ll have to wait till Spring.

Snow porch 280

Cooper and Daddy  (I’m sure Cooper helped!)   dug out their front door and shoveled across their raised deck . . .  and I’m sure Daddy said, ‘Now, stand in front of the snow so I can take a picture to show Grandma.”

Oh, yes.  Grandma loves winter.    I’ve told you that before!   Even when I visited them one winter and shoveled three feet of snow off their deck so it wouldn’t collapse.  But it kept snowing and I had another four feet to shovel the next morning.

What that gives you is . . .  an experience to remember!

 

ROARING WEATHER

Posted February 8, 2019 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Socialism, War Against America, Winter

Tags: , , ,

It’s not often that the weatherman predicts  “Roaring Winds”  as part of his weather report.

But he did yesterday, and we did have roaring winds all night long,  into today, from the sound of it.    Along with the high winds we had  drizzle, heavy rain, sleet,  snow, and a temperature plunge from 52 degrees down to -6 (below zero) wind chill, this morning.  Oh, yes,  and sunshine with snow squalls.    Normal winter weather(s).

Throughout all this, somewhere along the way —

Door free front  .     — my front door thawed out and I’m able to open it now.

Ditto the back sliding glass doors –

Door free back

So, just to report up here in The Spruce Tunnel,  I’m free! and no longer iced into my house by frozen doors.

Our Winter Faery:

Winter Fairy 300

I took this  photo recently, and it astonishes me that I can’t remember where.   It was hanging on a wall in a public place;  I walked by,  did a double-take,  and embarrassed myself by taking out my camera right in front of a  bunch of strangers . .  . .

Well,  you find interesting pictures where you can,  and this one reminded me of my own back yard — and the woodsy sprites and fairies that haunt human imaginations.

Hey!  Anything is possible,  right?

dignity of a congressman

She is the new young congressman who tells us we can eschew airplanes and cars and build a railway system to cross the oceans!

(At least   I  don’t really,  really believe in magic and fairies.)

Here is my frozen fairy-world back yard:

Weather Iced Trees

Normal, after an ice storm.

Our birds are not going to get a drink:

Weather no birds

We’re actually having a normal winter,  full of everything that happens during the winter in the Far North.

Here is the surface of my driveway:

Weather iced driveway

It was actually not slippery to walk on because the ice had come down with snow and sleet, producing a measure of bumpy traction:

 

Weather not slippery

 

Another astonishment came, however, from a “weather”  report from the entertainment-news media on the radio last night.   The news reader —   (I wish they could hire readers who could actually read and pronounce the words they’re reading.  They obviously have no idea what they’re reading –  which maybe lets them off the hook for this:

“2018 is yet again an extremely warm year on top of a long-term global warming trend,” said GISS Director Gavin Schmidt. . . .     Two U.S. agencies, the United Kingdom Met Office and the World Meteorological Organization analyzed global temperatures in slightly different ways, but each came to the same conclusion on Wednesday: 2018 was the fourth-warmest year on record behind 2016, 2015 and 2017.

Followed by the ever popular:  “It’s going to GET WORSE so you’d better listen to your climate change politicians . . . .

While 2018 was the fourth-warmest year on record, British meteorologists are predicting the next five years will be much hotter, maybe even record-breaking.

You know,  there’s been a lot of analysis of these ridiculous statements;  you can find it all over the Internet.    The temperature charts have been selectively used, and the “conclusions”  even contradict their own previously-published charts.

Cold weather, like today,  is not a Cold Climate,  or even evidence of a Getting-Colder Climate.  Hot weather is not Hot Climate,  nor evidence of a Getting-Hotter Climate.

The climate on any planet in the solar system  changes as it’s affected by our changing sun.

The Grand Scheme of a Massive Transfer of Wealth across the globe planned by the Global Socialist Rulers  is simply not supported by any science or any history of our planet.

Yet the scares go “roaring out” over the airwaves.

Time for us to do some roaring  back.

Listen up, dear young lady –

WIDE-EYED Cortez

.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OUR SOCIALIST SORORITY GIRLS

Posted February 6, 2019 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Rulers, Socialism, Sorority Girls, War Against America

Tags: , , , , , ,

Chilling !   Chilling!    

My main takeaway from the State of the Union speech:

.                         (We  can  lose our country.)

_____________________________________________________________________

(In  spite of the 76% approval of the president’s State of the Union speech,    we  can  lose our country.)

_________________________________________________________________

 

You all probably know my stance on socialism:   All aspects of our lives controlled by Central government planning — “for the good of society,”  of course.  It has never worked and never can work, no matter how earnestly and optimistically its adherents will try to make it work.

From actual experience,  socialism has always brought with it Death, in its  many unnecessary and too-early  forms and causes.   *

 

flag

My Grandma’s country lived under the menace of soviet socialism, so much so that as  this tiny country capitulated more and more, a new term was invented:  Finlandization.

russo reindeer

Finland fought against soviet socialist aggression, 1939-1941 or so,  with their skis and reindeer and brave young men, full of SISU.    That’s a word I grew up with, long after that little war.

They kind of win;  it goes down as a win for Finland because Russia had to retreat at that time.  But the win brought devastating results to Finland:

russo fin

No,  not just death of soldiers and starvation to the people.
Finlandization was the result,  accommodation to socialism;  even when there was no immediate need,  Finland became a socialist country.

 

It would take too much time to describe today’s socialist Finland right now because I want to get to Hitler’s  girls:

hitlers girls young.

Socialism gets our children, while they’re very young. **  These are national socialist girls.

hitlers girls

Hitler’s national socialist girls,  (again the color white predominates).  They are highly-favored,  privileged,  elite,  and giddy with their power.

These are “our”  socialist girls last night:

Sor girls

When President Trump said, “We will never become a socialist country,”  they booed and hissed and rolled their eyes in disrespect.

Our Congressional elite socialist sorority girls :

sor in white

Truly, it was chilling to watch.

sor pelosiBut they have a watchful leader directing them.     It was chilling also to watch her hand signals,  directing them to do this or that,  now it’s okay to stand,  now it’s not . . .     Naked Power.

Socialism is by necessity dictatorial and tyrannical and driven by “power-over”  others,  over party members and over “enemies” of their party.

 

(Latest news is that the one Democrat woman who wore pink, not white,  has been severely warned . . . .   )

 

Growing socialism, especially propagated by the entertainment-news media script readers,  is responsible for the apparent  “divisiveness” in our country.    It’s a manufactured division;  Americans are not by nature like that — away from Washington DC,  away from the media.

(I’ve always wanted to make an appeal to my foreign readers:     what you see in our entertainment-news media,  our movies,  our so-called “popular” music — none of this represents  ordinary everyday Americans.  The elites, however,  are doing their best to stir us up.   We are fearful sometimes to even speak out -m as Americans used to do.)

As much as we like our president,  and we know there is a variety of opinions,   it was chilling to watch  where the obstinate unreasoned  mindless opposition  was coming from.    It was chilling to see their numbers  growing — I think because Americans are “nice” — and we can’t really believe it.

We’re busy doing our best,   living our ordinary lives.

Not realizing we’re losing our “ordinary lives.”

Just watch the socialist Game Plan over the  next  two years  :   Investigate.  Indict.  Impeach.

Investigate.  Indict.  Impeach.

____________________________________________________________

 

.*   Death.  Over a hundred million  people killed by their own socialist leaders as the system is implemented,  as history has witnessed.

socialist DEATH TOLL

 

Death,  by increasingly lowered standard of living and unavailability of goods and products:    high prices,  high taxes,  rationing,  starvation, unattended sickness.

Death,   under “social pressure”  for the good of society:   rationing health care;   euthanasia of the unwanted,  the horror of non-voluntary euthanasia,   abortion,  and the murder of little babies in the process of being born,  or shortly after the child’s birth –

(If you are for “choice”  you ought to be able to look at the “product” of choice):

From  THIS:

sor about babies

To  THIS:

sor save me

And, yes,  it was testified to Congress,  they DO sell baby body parts,  under socialism.

Baby Bodies

 

______________________________________________________

Schools:

.**   I was a young schoolteacher and witnessed the incorporation of socialist teaching methods and the socialist curriculum into American public schools.   I fought it,  best I could.  At least in my own classrooms.    But it was then that I learned about the power of the socialist consensus.

Teacher training schools (also known as colleges or universities)  are fully saturated with socialist  principles.  The students graduating out of them know nothing different,  no alternative pedagogy.    The teachers today know only socialism, and they are teaching our children nothing but socialism.

PIZZA IS ITALIAN

Posted February 1, 2019 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: A Nation of LEGAL Immigrants, Football Days, Humor, War Against America

Tags: , , ,

 

Now that our extreme weather emergency is over for a while, the “pressure”is off,  we’re not on “alert” anymore —  things are lightening up a bit.

Only two things to think about this weekend:   Grandson Cooper, who lives in the High Sierras,   will be having a blizzard, expecting 3 – 6 feet of snow.  That’s nothing new for him and  his mommy and daddy,  but it still is a bit disruptive.

6 Snowed in 400

Cooper’s snowfall a couple years ago.

And it will  probably be a  fun blizzard, since they live surrounded by ski resorts on every available mountain top.

The second thing this weekend is  the Super Bowl.   Last game of the season.  Of course I’m not going to miss it!  

football food

While I don’t plan a party,  I still look forward to the last indulgence in football food. Pizza’s  been on my mind — so that’s what caught my attention while reading the news today, an article about illegal immigration and its effects on our country.

We all know we’re “a nation of immigrants”  — legal immigrants.  Our grandparents,  whoever came here before us,   had enough wisdom to understand that our new American culture would be a Melting Pot . . .  all blended together sharing American values and language and experiences — and especially food:    Like  pizza, apple pie . . . .

I read the comments following the article.   Seemed to be a pretty good-natured set of comments, many listing the good things we enjoy today  in our America.

And then someone commented:

Pizza is Italian. Apple pie is Dutch. Louis Chevrolet was French. And Donny is  Scottish and German.

“Donny”  referring to President Trump probably.

 

Yeah,  Think of all the football food!     Throw in tacos,  Chinese takeout,  sushi for some, uh —  popcorn from the American Indians, and  hot dogs from . . .  well, Chicago maybe, via all the wonderful German sausage makers.   Cheese from Switzerland and other European countries.

Football!   A real international experience!

 

So how did we create an American culture?    How did we blend ourselves all together?

Ask a “wise man” —

ET GO HOME

 

The ones who wanted to be American, stayed here!   The ones who didn’t, went back to their homes.

Here’s the new caravan of “would-be”  Americans coming:

Caravan New Note Flags

Proudly marching behind the flag of their “new country”?

Not.

 

 

 

ICE THINGS

Posted January 31, 2019 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Humor, Winter

Tags:

Well,  the story around here is still ice.   And today was the third day that I’ve been iced in, as in my doors are frozen shut!    Front door and back door.

It’s okay.    This weather is in my blood.   Here are some of “my people” —   my ancestors, my Grandma’s cousins.  They’re playing with their reindeer.

reindeericeancestors

Reindeer are surprisingly small animals,  but they can give a Lapp or a Sami absolutely everything needed for life.

Well, I wouldn’t see them outside my windows today.   As I said in the last post,  I roam from window to window, just looking outside “at the cold.”       I knew there was no mail delivery today, but I peeked outside my (frozen )  front door curtain anyway.

icewindow

It’s not Jack Frost,  but that ice is pretty thick.    And that’s my  mailbox out there, temporarily inaccessible to me.

 
icepalms   Our weatherman  promises really warm weather this weekend, so my doors will probably thaw and release me to the outdoor world.   Our temperatures are supposed to take a wild swing 70 degrees upwards,  from Wednesday to Sunday.      (For a day or two, that is, before another swing downwards.)

 

It’s a big country here.  I know there are some who are all right during this deep freeze, some who are not all right.       That’s the way life is.   You take care of those immediately around you, and maybe,   if you can,   help those who are reaching out even further away.

Meanwhile,  we can just experience this extreme cold snap with  a little fun:

Here’s a lighthouse along the shore of Lake Michigan  that gets photographed most winters:

icelighthosue

 

For some perspective:

icepersepctive

 

Someone in Ohio,  Cleveland I think, near Lake Erie,  took some photos.  Here are some street lamps:

icelamps

And then — I don’t know what this is!

icedon27tknow

Maybe when the Midwest gets its heatwave this weekend,  they[‘ll figure it out.

 

 

 

BIG AND INVISIBLE

Posted January 31, 2019 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Nature Speaks, Winter

Tags: ,

If I were going to give you a lesson today, it would be that some really big things cannot be seen.

___________________________________________________

As I write,  it’s 15 degrees below zero, with a wind chill index somewhere approaching  40 below.   In this area we’re all aware that something  major,  something extreme is going on outside . . . .

Well, here’s a beautiful photo from my back yard during this deep freeze we’re having.

starlights cr

It’s two of my solar-powered lights which are supposed to be lighting up the statue of St. Joseph in my back garden     I didn’t even know they would work in such cold weather!   The snow depth was just right to catch the light coming from the bottom of the lamps to make these star patterns.

I chanced upon these pretty “starlights” because I go from window to window, looking outside into this frigid weather.   It’s not the snow that fascinates me,  it’s pretty, but I’ve seen it before.   It’s the extreme cold.

As I said, we all know this weather is unusual; it’s a very big event, and  dangerous.  It has already proven to be fatal to some.    So I keep checking the windows, I think  just to  “see”  how different it is out there.

jack frost

Jack Frost*

Like  this weather,  there are other invisible  things that are bigger than humans, notable and very  real.    There are things we have to deal with  that are invisible, but dangerous if we ignore.

heaven cr

 

The whole spiritual world is very real yet usually remains invisible.  Our own souls.   God Himself  and all His angels — intelligent spirits who do God’s bidding.   Evil intelligent creatures.   Heaven.   Hell.

 

spirits

 

I can keep on looking out my windows, going from room to room as I do, and yet I’ll never see 15 below zero;    and I’ll never see anything in the spiritual world,  but yet it has an effect on me,  on all of us.

It can be denied and ignored, but only at our own peril.

We were created with a soul and an intellect,  and the created natural world can help us start  our journey back to our Creator.      And then we need to search out more information with open hearts,  humbly, and with our full attention.   We’ll find some beautiful “starlights” along the way.

These Big Matters which are  invisible  are  yet  real.  We need to know all about them.

OR ELSE, we just might step out into the Night and run into real danger.

 

spirits near

 

__________________________________________________________________

.*    I must “defend” my own windows.   I don’t really see Jack Frost  because my windows are triple-paned and insulated with inert gases.   It’s quite cozy,  but not very artistic in the cold weather anymore.    At least I’m  “saving energy.”

 

FROZEN – IN

Posted January 29, 2019 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Winter

Tags: , ,

(85% of our nation’s lower 48 is below freezing temperature these days, according to news reader on television.    I join. . . .)

It’s “official.”    I am officially frozen in my house,  back and front.

door frozen

That’s a door handle to the sliding glass door that opens out to my back deck.   Only it won’t open today.   It is frozen shut.

It has been cold.  The wind chill index is about 10 below zero right now as I write,  but it’s supposed to get down to as much as 38 below overnight.   30 mph winds –  so I will count myself very lucky if our power doesn’t go out.

See,  my front door is frozen shut too.    The door frame has contracted in the cold so the door can’t leave its frame.     My firewood is out there on the front porch.

Lighting a fire in the fireplace is fun;  but if it’s a necessity,  then  there’s a serious situation going on.

I woke up to this view across my desk this morning:

snow from desk

We did get 7 inches in that storm I was writing about last time.      My neighbor (who played and coached hockey and still likes to skate)  cleared the snow off the pond with shovel and snowblower.     (And left his chair that they all use to fumble with their skates, or to rest.  Wonder if it’s a penalty box too?)

The reason my sliding glass doors are frozen is because I’m using two vaporizers in the kitchen.  When it’s so cold outside,  the humidity goes way down.   The plants and I get very dehydrated — a big no-no for someone walking around with (dissolving)  pulmonary embolisms.   The sliding glass doors are very tight,  but that room moisture seeps into cracks that we can’t even feel. And  the severe cold seeps in from the other side.

snow rink chair

So the pond looks inviting.   My neighbor augered the ice and found it to be at least four inches thick, so it’s safe.

It’s just the air that’s not safe.

Not for another couple days.   A couple days to be,  not  snowed in,  but frozen in!

 

Stay warm everyone.

 

 

SNOW FOR DINNER and UPS AND DOWNS

Posted January 28, 2019 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Bears as Metaphor, Sunday Readings, Winter

Tags: , , , ,

(Human emotions are so weird – and uncontrollable,  at least when  they come up unexpectedly.   Like an ambush.)

This is about snowstorms,  funks,  and a thought from our Sunday Sermon.

____________________________________________________________

bear talking to you

 

First your scent.  Then stalking.  Then the sudden ambush.

 

(Things in life do that to you.)

A restaurant in Austria last week   (“Snow for Dinner”):

snow for dinner

In case you haven’t been following European news in the past couple months,  they’re having a terrible winter  over there;  extreme weather, especially lots of snowfall!  There have been frequent avalanches there,  some deadly, as well as here in the US;  a bad one in New Mexico and another in Utah, in the same suburb of Salt Lake city where I stayed one winter.  Our hosts took us up  a harrowing  snow-covered winding road to one of the ski mountains —  something about a “bird, forgot which one —  and that’s where they had an avalanche this year.

Well, we’re going to get a big  snowstorm tonight and all day tomorrow.   “Hurray!”  I say.  And just in time to raise my spirits.

It started with a visit from Son a few days ago,  enjoying his conversation;  he has interesting things to say –enjoy feeding him;   and he’s really good at lighting up the fireplace.   And then we watched a movie together.

About a bear.       A bear attack.

bear trees a man

That’s not from the movie, but it’s a very scary picture to me.  The movie was about two people hiking in  the woods (why do people DO that?)  up in Canada, and they were stalked (successfully)   by a big bear.

The movie was well done,  based on a true story  and,  as Son remarked,  “intense.”   I enjoyed it, but of course it brought me back to the moments when a bear started to stalk my Mom, Dad, and me deep in the forest in the Far  Far North.

Stalking,  then chasing,  making  lunges through the bushes.

bear brown snarl 350

Not a time that you’d forget.

Unfortunately,  for some reason that also brought back lots of “feelings”  from that period in my  life.  It was a long period of time,  very, very long,  and all the sadness and bleakness of those years  came out and  “attacked” — unexpectedly.

And that started one of those Deep Blue Funks that I get from time to time.

funk

I don’t know what Garfield should have been doing,  but I couldn’t post for a few days. . .

No big deal.  We all have  old emotions hanging over our heads,  stalking us.

funk blue moon

You wouldn’t believe how much sadness a person can contain – usually hidden from the rest of us.    I know this.   And I can easily imagine  the sadness and “aloneness”  that overshadows other people.

funk moon

I wrote.  I wrote and wrote and wrote;  and that helped,  to get feelings out of me and down on paper.   But what ended this Funk altogether were some good words in our Sunday sermon based upon readings from Romans 7.     Be present for the other person.  Be “instant in prayer”  — always ready for a reason to pray and then personally “present”  to God when you do pray.    Being fully present for the person you’re talking to.  

Good advice for all  of us, of course;  good thoughts to meditate on . . .   but what if someone actually practiced that on you!   Someone did!     Friendly chitchat after Mass,  and then a friend made a personal comment on my boots (of all things!)  and that she liked the color and how they matched my clothes!  Since I’m usually unaware of how I dress, I took notice that this was a genuine compliment.    Well, I took notice.   Of everything around me, then.

And I remembered the sermon, in which we were admonished to be fully present and attentive to the people around us.    And —  then . . .  I remember my Mom during some of our blizzards when I was a child around the age of that bear chase we had.    My Mom made our days of being snowed in a happy time of togetherness and mutually enjoyable activities –  reading to each other;  knitting side by side;  and  baking!  Above all,  the baking of treats.    I wrote about this a few posts ago,  but it came back to me again.

Now, our coming  snowstorm reminds me of someone being fully present for me.     A sense of not being alone all the time.    My Mom.  My friend today.   My Son for me.

And now my turn, for others.

That’s what a good sermon does,  makes you think and try to  become a better person in some way.

And that’s what a good snowstorm does,   reminds you of happy times.

And keeps the bear away.

 

A MOON OF UNCERTAIN PORTENT

Posted January 21, 2019 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Science Fun

Tags: , , ,

Some like to prognosticate based upon natural events.    I wish last night’s  Full Blood Wolf Moon  actually portends something.   Some people like to think it did,  but they don’t make any logical sense.

Nevertheless,  our nation certainly needs something to be “portended” — we really need a change in direction!

moon pic colorful

This month’s full moon is called a Wolf Moon, and it just happened to occur during a total eclipse of the moon.     I  hope you were all able to watch it.

For us,  the sky was very clear but that means no clouds –  no warm blanket of clouds to protect us!   The temperature outdoors on this clear, crisp night was about  -7;  that’s  seven  degrees below zero, and falling  during the eclipse.   Son and I took only intermittent peeks at the moon outdoors.

I did take a few photos as the eclipse progressed . . .

But the black and whites on the ground were far more dramatic.

moon shad on pond 1.1

The bright full moon rose in the east and cast the “tree”s onto the snow-covered pond.  It was so stunning!

Later on, the moon had moved, and so had the shadows:

moon shad later 2

Looking out over the pond in the same direction but a new set of shadows.

Even the trees at the edge of my deck were cast onto the ground.

moon shad see trees

It was weird seeing those familiar tree shapes on the ground instead of up in the air.

I pointed the camera upwards too.      The little cell phone camera did the best it could  with all its pixels —

moon my own reddish

It’s good at taking “moon smears”   but it did get the color right.

During an eclipse, as you know,  the earth passes between the sun and the moon.    It is the earth’s own shadow that advances across the moon.  The moon is reddish during the totality of its eclipse not because of the earth’s atmosphere,  but because because the light from the sun is so strong that some of it bends around the earth and still falls on the moon.      The light that is made up of the longest waves,  the red ones,  are the ones that make it to the surface of the moon.   The shorter wavelengths,  the blues,  are blocked and scattered by the earth into space.

 

Here’s an official  Q&A –

Will the moon appear red?

Yes. Some commentators are referring to the event as a “super blood wolf moon”. The “super” part comes from the fact that the Moon will be near its closest approach to the Earth – when it will be marginally bigger in the sky than usual. The “wolf” part comes from the name given to full moons in January – “wolf moons”.

Walter Freeman, an assistant teaching professor at Syracuse University in New York state, said: “A little bit of sunlight is refracted by the Earth’s atmosphere and reaches the Moon, bending around the edges of the Earth. This small amount of red light still illuminates the Moon enough for us to see it.”

 

So,   Happy  Super   Full   Blood   Wolf   Moon!

(Sigh-h-h-h-h . . .   the world is the same today as yesterday.   It’s going to be up to us to change it,  n ot up to the moon!)

 

THREE TALES

Posted January 21, 2019 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: War Against America

Tags: ,

Three Tales, a Tale of Three “Groups,” in chronological order . . .  to reveal the  power of the entertainment-news media:

First,  neither Hubbie nor I are “joiners.”  We don’t  “join”  movements, although we were aware of things going on in the world and had opinions,  sometimes strong opinions.  We just don’t seem to trust a group often enough to associate with the group.

So I’m not defending any of these groups,  just observing . . .

And I won’t name any “groups”  because of the hostility and distortions from the entertainment-news media.

(1)

Hubbie, a high school accounting teacher,  felt very strongly about where our tax money was going.   So did a lot of other Americans.  Taxes were high and we had no control over how they were spent.  More commonly, we had no knowledge of how the tax money was being spent.

“No Taxation Without Representation”  !!    That was the motto that began the American Revolution.  About ten years ago, we knew we were once again quite  “unrepresented”  when it comes to spending our tax money,  and several  million Americans chose a date to publicly protest  this state of affairs.    A group planned to meet on our nearby state capitol building lawn.   Good speakers were chosen, a couple nationally famous.    Hubbie planned to go, and I went with him because even then I was concerned about his health and his strength.   This was something he really, strongly believed in, though.

Here’s a photo from my camera,  April 2009.

tea party

I was both surprised and delighted to find myself among 2,000 nice people,  just like Hubbie and me,  who felt the same way about high taxes and wanted to be heard.    Men, women, and children were present.  It was a “family outing” with a purpose.

“Real Men”  Take Charge:   A little side note:     Of the 2,000 people, only one young man stood out from the crowd.  He shouted over the speakers,  he used profanity,  he acted angry – it was an act, I’m sure, copying what he sees on television – and he waved a big sign.   What happened?  Several  men,  fathers and husbands,  walked over to him and said firmly, “We don’t act like that here.”   They said  a few other things too and made it plain that if he didn’t leave, he’d probably be “escorted”  out of there.   We didn’t want him there because of his behavior.   The young man did leave, and calmness returned.  As a woman,  I felt safer because of these men.)

After the rally, people walked over to local restaurants and had friendly conversations with new-found friends.  It felt like a neighborhood barbecue!   The event had been orderly, full of  these nice people,  and we left no garbage or damage behind.   Apparently this happened all over the country that day.

I remember being astonished at the hostile press coverage, including outright lies about what took place that day,  until  uploaded YouTube videos proved each of these stories false.  The politicians who  had our tax money in their hands continued to spread the false stories, even to the point of Sen. Pelosi weeping in front of the cameras, pleading with the people in this movement not to  “start riots or hurt anybody.”    I remember thinking “who is she talking about?”

 

(2.)

The second group event happens annually, with sometimes as many as 500,000 people meeting in Washington DC to call attention to the decriminalization of killing unborn children.

Same kind of people as the first group:    “nice,”  calm,  orderly,  clean, friendly,  earnest, concerned,  and wanting to call attention to a terrible problem.    Over 3,000 children who haven’t been born yet are killed everyday in this country!!!!

(Another little personal side note:     I taught in public schools for several years – before my own children were born.  When they were old enough to be at school all day,  I decided to go back into public school teaching —  however,  there  was by then a huge surplus of licensed schoolteachers!!!       What had happened?     In the previous eight years, we had been killing off TWO CLASSROOMS worth of children every single day, and that’s just int he state where I live!   Two classrooms   –  just . . .  gone!)

march

This weekend another March took place, a little smaller than past years, but still as fervent.    There were families and school children,  teenagers, college students mothers, fathers,  ministers, teachers;  there was  no profanity, threats,  violence,  confrontations,  and when it was over,  there was no garbage or damage left behind.

There was also almost  zero  press coverage from the entertainment-news media.   (Except for theattempted controversy over the aggressive move of a  member of a Separatist “Black-Hebrew”  cult who attempted to intimidate some high school kids who were waiting for their bus to come.    Although the media had tried to make the teenagers the aggressors,  actual video shows they were actually victims of this group’s hatred.)

(3)

There was another  “march”  in Washington DC this weekend.    I can’t show you any posters and signs because they are pretty much full of profanity,  bad language,   violent suggestions,  accusations,  X-rated words and embarrassing pictures.  It was ugly and immoral and totally unAmerican.    You don’t convince your fellow Americans of anything by shouting at them.

I can’t show you any photos, but you know what angry faces look like.

The speeches were strident and angry and promoted violent actions against those who disagree with them.     Some spoke of violent things they wished to have done against the president, and again, against his family, including the children in it.   They seemed to not even like differing factions within their group.  Even the press called their movement  “fractured.”

There are a few photos of garbage left behind,  broken things, overturned barrels and cones . . . .

The entertainment-news media gave them many hours of coverage.

______________________________

 

I said this was going to be about the power of the media.   I don’t know.   The media distorted and demeaned the first group, so that I don’t even know if it’s in existence anymore except as a term of derision.

The  media lies about and ridicules the concerns of the second group, when they’re not ignoring it altogether.   There are fewer numbers now in that group too,  but I don’t know exactly why.

The third group seems to be destroying itself by its own viciousness,  but so far its basking in glory and great hope from the media.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ON A COLD DAY

Posted January 18, 2019 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Cooper, Current Events

Tags:

This is to update some of you who have been asking to see Cooper . . . .

__________________________________________________

I wrote in the last post that I was eating some “nice hot red lentil soup.”

soup

And the reason is:  it’s COLD around here tonight!

(Not my bowl,  not my soup,  but pretty close.)

Our weatherman tells us it’s going to get a whole lot colder in the next few days, and that we’ll be getting a little snow tonight, probably less than five inches,  but in a few days we’ll be getting  another snowstorm and that one promises to be bigger.

Finally!   Maybe some cross-country skiing this year.

However, I’m keeping an eye on my grandson and his home in the High Sierras:

 

warning blizzard

 

I knew he’d be all right in just a few feet of new snow,  but it was interesting.     I didn’t even think he’d have a snow day,  but he called me yesterday and said he was having a snow day then and there was one the day before.

I told him that I used to think Snow Days were fun because my Mom and I would use that extra time to bake some treats:  penuche was my favorite;  or fudge;  or brownies;  or cinnamon rolls.

cooper cooking 270

Guess he took it seriously.

And, yes, he’s really using the mix-master.  He bakes and he cooks his own meals sometimes.   He’s 8 years old now.    (His Daddy took the picture and wrote:  Chocolate-y  Chocolate Chip cookies!)

That’s the way you pass down traditions –  baking treats on a Snow Day!

I tried taking a peek at their area during their blizzard,  but the Donner Lake web cam and the Truckee downtown web cam were both covered by snow.     They were last night and they still are today.

They got three or four feet of snow.   We’re supposed to get three or four inches of snow this weekend.    But I’ll probably be baking anyway.

 

 

 

 

FUNNY, SAD, AND SILENCED

Posted January 18, 2019 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Bad Times, Culture, Current Events, War Against America

Tags: , ,

(Identify-Villify-Nullify-Destroy)

________________________________________________________________

 

Maybe I shouldn’t combine these two stories . . .   Maybe not,  but they are both contributing to my experience on this Friday –  one funny and serious;  one unfunny and serious.

 

Funny and serious:

So it’s Friday today!   Who doesn’t like Friday!!!!?

These guys don’t, apparently:

sad fish 300

I was shopping  for some fish this week,  at a store that is known to fly in its fish twice a day.   The fish is always fresh and it tastes just the way you’d hope the fish would taste.   I took a few photos of their colorful display of fish of all sorts of varieties, and when I got home,  this photo caught my eye.

What a sad group of little guys lying there on ice!     Their expressions stopped me in my tracks.     They look almost human in their . . .  sadness.

sad fish cr

So, well,   it’s Friday today.    A day of abstention from  meat.   One way to get good daily protein is by eating fish, although right now, as a type these words,  I’m eating a nice hot bowl of red lentil soup (but the reason for that I’ll put in the next posting).

Fasting and abstention, among other religious practices, have been a part of the Hebrew and Christian religions for far more than 2,000 years.

Since Christ died on a Friday  (the end of the Thursday/Friday Passover feast),   Christians participate in that act of sacrifice by their own acts of self-denial and penance, abstention from meat being the most common and the easiest to do.    Sort of easy.

These fish seem to understand the tragic necessity of Good Friday.

 

Unfunny and serious:

Another thing that I’ve experienced on this Friday is not abstinence,  but absence.   And that’s not funny.

I knew that the annual March For Life was going to be held today, but I waited until today to really pay attention.    But I couldn’t find it anywhere.   Radio news, television news,   not even the DrudgeReport  carried the March.  Maybe it was just me.  Maybe they did carry it but for such a short time that I missed it.

march

I watched my local TV station,  and there, at the end of an hour and a half of local news was a 10 second mention of people from our state and the state next to us who had left on buses today to attend the March in Washington . . ..    That’s it.   I went to their Website.   Same short video.

I went to  our local  newspaper’s website;   nothing.  I used the search engine and typed in  March For Life.   I got ONE result,  an article about  the 2017-2018 March For Life –  I don’t know how they combined them.     Then I searched for March For Life 2019.   I got nothing, except for a warning that I had only one more “free” article to read, and then I’d have to pay 99 cents for more.

Yahoo “news”  had an extremely   short mention of the March,  just the what, when, and where, and that it happened.    I went to the Washington Post Website and found a slightly longer article,  what, when, where,  followed by a long refutation of everything the Right to Life people believe in, throwing statistics around as though they were invented out of thin air.    Uh,  maybe . . . .

Finally I came across an article on LifeSite news which reported exactly what I had been finding.  ABC/NBC/CBS  according to their findings,  had completely ignored the March For Life  event this year, but spent a lot of time on the pro-abortion, pro lots of things  Women’s March on Saturday.   (Full of controversy itself, as liberals are pulling out of it, afraid to be tainted by anti-semitic members in the movement.)

So I wasn’t wrong.

______________________________________________________

But this is serious,  far more serious than we all care to admit   I sure hope I’m wrong    about that.

Not too long ago,  in living memory of some people still here with us,    Germany began marginalizing a group of people.   Here’s the process:

First they ignore and and de-legitimize that group

Then they demonize that group, calling them names,  making up false stories  (fake news) about them;   mocking them;  making them look ridiculous

Then they make that group look un-social, anti-social,  dangerous to society

Then they begin to identify members of that group and isolate that group.

(In today’s world they would have “de-monetized”  any member of that group and pulled their videos and messages off of YouTube and Facebook, etc.)

Then the State criminalizes speech.    It criminalizes that group and everyone who thinks like the group.

Then criminal sanctions are applied . . .  fines . . .  arrests . . .  imprisonments . . .  and,of course,   execution is the inevitable and most efficient way to get rid of the opposition.

That’s serious.

Just pay attention to the words and attitudes of our entertainment-news media and see for yourself how far along this pathway we’ve come.

 

Identify-Villify-Nullify-Destroy

Memorize that process.    It’s still a mystery why the very highly educated,  cultured, and refined German nation slipped into that process.

Identify-Villify-Nullify-Destroy

It’s the very opposite of  the free discourse, political discussion,  that any culture must have in order to survive.

no right turn

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