profits, prophets, presidents and birds

on monday there was an interesting article in the globe and mail about the growth trend in the christian retail market; its not just rebecca st. james and max lucado these days. in the lobby of many US churches you can purchase "faithguard" insurance... no deductible as long as you are going to or from church. in many states you can buy christian lots in a christian only neighbourhood with a local christian school. there is also a new theme park in florida called the holy land experience with full scale mockups of jesus' tomb and herod's temple and a daily reenactment of the crucifixion. fox news corp has recently spawned a subsidiary called fox faith - dedicated to christian entertainment programming. christian retail is one of the strongest performers in an otherwise uninspiring economicodemographical lineup. no wonder james dobson is so procapitalism.

george w recently said that america was in the throes of a third awakening. perhaps he sees himself in the shoes of jonathan edwards; "sinners in the hands of an angry god" has some real zingers for all those evil doers he's after. this throws an interesting dissonance onto one of the dominant zeitgeists of the evangelical church as i was growing up. that being the idea that christians are an oppressed minority in north america that has to fight back against the everpresent threat of the left wing news media and increasingly liberal governmental policies and the onslaught of sexuality and depravity in modern entertainment. last year michael horowitz dubbed christians the jews of the 21st century referring mostly to the plight of christians in certain "developing" nations, but his ideas play well into the oppression idea above and have been expanded to include the scapegoating of the christian right for bringing george bush to power and supporting him in the war that increased the threat of terror (according to recent widely publicized leaked CIA reports and common freaking sense).

i hate to admit it, but i think george w is at least partially right. reg bibby was telling us almost 10 years ago that the majority of north americans believe in god. a majority even regularly attend church if you push back the definition of regularly to at least once a month. well then what are we getting so worked up about? who is it that is trying to pollute our minds with hollywood smut? who is buying the jessica simpson cds and going to the latest summer blockbuster and looking at internet porn? who elected bush? i'll tell you who: the majority of americans (ok, maybe not in the case of the 2004 US election, or the 2000 one for that matter). I know i know, separate majorities based on separate inclusion/exclusion criteria are not necessarily synonomous, but they do necessarily overlap and it is my opinion that they overlap substantially. so who are christians afraid of? who is oppressing them? themselves? i suppose that is part of the message of paul in romans. i would like to bring this back around to the proliferation of christian products but this is going a little long so perhaps i will let you complete the circle as you see fit.

the president of pakistan pervez musharraf was on the daily show tonight. Yes, the leader of a world nuclear power made an appearance on an american variety show. president musharraf seemed to be a well spoken and rational man. perhaps he realized that if he wanted to get a message of diplomacy to the people he should forgo the heavily beurocratized channels of international relations and get in where he could fly under the radar of the typical censors and spinners - on the comedy network! crazy! (crazy like a fox? - thanks aaron for keeping that phrase cool)

kylie and i went back to the cheamlake wetlands yesterday. we have not visited recently b/c niko is not allowed there (even though he couldn't catch a rabbit he could probably kill a lot of little baby ducks). it is one of our favourite parks near chilliwack, but nobody we know who is from this area ever goes there. so for some unknown reason we often have this beautiful wetland wildlife reserve all to ourselves and yesterday was no exception. we enjoyed a great picnic by the water and niko had to burn off all his energy pulling me around on the longboard in the evening.

these first 3 pics are kind of a panorama but i am too lazy to stitch them together.

a familiar bulky beacon of bear bamboozlement beckoned. lethbridge pride!

there were birds everywhere: geese, ducks, starlings, chickadees, herons, yellow bellied this and thats... also frogs and rabbits and sundry other denizens of the damp.

later that night we saw an owl hunting over a field. we stopped the car to watch it and it perched on a road sign to observe us for a while. it then took off and returned to the field, but as we got going again it chased us down the road and did a few looping dives over the car before disappearing over the horticultural horizon.

lastly, if you like thailand and you are interested in military coups, you should check out our friend heidi's blog for some jarringly casual firsthand pictures of political upheaval.


You inspired me Katherine!

I was looking at Katherine's blog yesterday and saw that she had posted pictures of her house. It gave the idea to post before and after pictures of our house. When we moved into our place in Chilliwack the majority of the rooms were painted pink with what was maybe? a very popular sponging technique in the mid 1990's. I have painted most of the rooms in the house (including two bathrooms) and thought I would post before and after pictures.

Here is the living room before and after:

Here is the kitchen before and after:

And our bedroom:

I won't bore you with bathroom pictures. It should also be noted that for Niko's development we have kept the basement pink.

Also, can you guess what this is a picture of? If you look very closely at the pictures above you will find a hint.


Wonderful, Wrestful Weekend in Whistler!

Yes I know the title is a stretch but it's so much better when you can have an alliteration with 4 words instead of 3.

Marc and I spent this past weekend in Whistler. He was there for a conference and I was there with our friends Shawn and Karyn for fun. Marc did a lot of biking and while he biked Shawn and Karyn and I went on a hike to Cheekamos Lake. It was absolutely beautiful! The lake was a blue green colour and the river running out of it was almost baby blue (with a grey tinge). Here are some pics for you to enjoy! Who gets annoyed when I say pics instead of pictures?

This is the best side of our friend Shawn! :)

In other news (I say that a lot on this blog!) one of my tasks to complete for September was to get our pictures developed. We have not developed pictures for two years (yes I know that is a very long time!) and I have been going through our library of pictures and choosing ones to develop. Right now I have almost 1000! Thats a lot of pics or pictures as some would say. I am done this post now and not sure how to finish, so sianara dudes!


Something very strange is going on!

Today as I was cleaning and listening to Quirks and Quarks on CBC I found this extra measuring spoon in my kitchen. Now I realize that this is not big news. However, I know with 100% certainty that I only ordered one of these spoons from pampered chef because I just received it a month ago. To add to the weirdness the theme of the Quirks and Quarks that I was listening to was about parallel universes. Maybe I ordered two spoons in one universe and in the parallel universe ordered one. What other explanation could there be? :)


Holy Crapinolies Batman!

Have you ever taken in what seemed to be A LOT of bottles and just gotten like $4 or 5 for them? Not me today! I just took the bottles from our garage in and I got $67.20!!!! Wowzers. The bottles sure didn't seem like they would be worth that much just looking at them in our garage.

Also, take a look at how long my receipt is!

We're going out for dinner baby!


Hiking, Hiking and More Hiking!

Warning, long rambly post to follow! Don't say you weren't warned.

Marc and I have spent a lot of time as of late doing a lot of hiking. Did you guess that from the title? :) Yesterday we hiked up Elk Mountain and then onto the ridge at Mount Thurston. I must say that it was not my best hiking day. I have a tendency to get grumpy when I am hiking/running/biking up big hills. Yesterday was no exception. The hike up to Elk Mountain is quite steep and it gradually gets steeper and steeper until you reach the top. Marc will attest to the fact that I was not a happy hiker yesterday. I did quite enjoy the view from the top and especially the red wine that Marc brought up in his backpack. Mmmmm....

Last week we also did a backcountry hiking trip. (See post below.) We went with our friend Jarrid from Edmonton and we had the whole lake to ourselves! It was my first back country camping experience and was great for a first trip. This hike was definately not as hard as the one we did yesterday.

We fed Niko the leftovers of our wildberry pies we made the night before. Mmmmm (For the pies, not for Niko's food!)

In other news, today was the first day of school. I am not teaching this year because Marc and I are hoping to go overseas in the new year. I also decided not to sub so I have another four months off. Today I am feeling a bit sad not to be starting school though. I miss my grade 5's and 6's! The following are my goals for the next four months: (Just to assure you that I will be doing SOMETHING!)
1. Read More
On the list: Quantum Reality (I am slowly making my way through this now and think maybe I am understanding it at the most elementary level but who knows I may be totally out to lunch!) The Alchemist, Mirror Mirror, Son of a Witch, Friends, Lovers and Chocolate (that is all one not three separate the commas are confusing I know!)and Freakonomics
2. Exercise More
I have been running more since I figured out how to breathe when I run. Marc and I have been running up Little Mountain and it is a perfect run for me. Not too much uphill and pretty flat after the first steep part and it is short, hence the name!
I also want to take a Pilates class.
3. Get the photo albums in order
I have not developed pictures in over a year and have not yet finished our honeymoon album and have started a Newfoundland scrapbook but not finished it either. Maybe if I admit this in public it will make me more likely to finish them. While on the topic of confessions, I also have not yet given our wedding party their pictures for their frames. AHHHHH, yes it has been five years, why can I not remember to do this. I must have a mental block.
4. Train Niko more

Guess what? Those of you who know me well should be able to figure out that the reason for this long,rambly post is that I'm procrastinating. The garage is full of bottles and I need to take them in. (Two years worth, plus all the bottles from two resident retreats!) I am not relishing the prospect of dirty smelly bottles stuffed into a hot car. Yeech!