Wednesday, June 27, 2007



I know I said I would not be communicating until I was back from Missouri.  I'm writing this at the public library on South Campbell Ave in Springfield, Missouri.  On my May trip I could not figure out how to get on my blog at the library, but I figured it out today.

Rachel and I had 2 flat tires on the way down.  One in eastern Ohio and one in suburban St. Louis, Missouri.  The Dodge Caravan also poured antifreeze in the St. Louis area.  I'm very unhandy and don't handle auto breakdowns well, so it was pretty scary, but we got here to Springfield, Missouri late last night....2:30 a.m. Boston time/1:30 Missouri time.

Please keep us in prayer for the trip home!  I do thank God I got here!

Thursday, June 21, 2007


“And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.”  (Revelation 7:1)

I’ve only been home from my previous Missouri trip for a little over 5 weeks and yet it seems like it’s been much longer than that.

On Monday, June 25, my 20-year-old daughter Rachel and I will leave in our 2000 Dodge Grand Caravan and drive to Springfield, Missouri.  (For all those who think this would be a great time to break into my residence, forget it!  My wife Mary Ann and my 24-year-old son Jon will be at home in my absence.)  Rachel and I are bringing my daughter Amy’s “stuff” to her- her dresser and other stuff.

I actually don’t really like driving all that distance, especially since I tend to be concerned that the vehicle could break down.  (Some of you know, I once spent several days stuck just outside Union, Missouri which is about 50 miles southwest of St. Louis.) I HAVE successfully made the MA to MO trip many times, however.  Rachel and I will likely stay at Truck World in Hubbard, Ohio just over the line from Sharon, Pennsylvania.  Truck World is quite a place.  It’s a motel, restaurant, saloon, gift shop, gas station, and even an Ohio D.M.V. facility!  99% of the clientele are truckers, but ANYONE can stay there.  I’d recommend it- for one thing because it’s cheap, and for another thing, because it’s an “experience”!  We hope to make it to Springfield, Missouri late Tuesday night.

Rachel and I hope to visit Marvel Cave at Silver Dollar City in Branson.  We’ll also definitely “hit” the Bass Pro Shop in Springfield.

I’ll miss you when I’m gone.

We’ll be home by July 4.

I don’t know if this will be my last posting before I go away, but because I’ve got “tons” of things to do, it just might be.

Monday, June 18, 2007


“And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.”  (Mark 3:25)

I know the above isn’t speaking about a LITERAL, PHYSICAL house- rather it’s speaking of a group such as the “House of Israel”.  Nevertheless, I’m speaking about the house I live in.  The house I live in is owned by our church, First Assembly of God of Framingham.  In our church a house for a minister’s use is called a “parsonage”.  If a pastor lives in a parsonage that’s owned by a church which is financially stable and which wants to maintain the house (if for no other reason than) to keep up the real estate value, then that pastor kind of “has it made”.  If the church doesn’t have the money to maintain the house but the pastor is kind of a “handyman” at least he can usually keep things from being a total wreck. If the church is financially strapped and the pastor is not a handyman, well, things can get dicey!  That’s the situation I’m in.

Well, it’s not all bad.  It’ll teach you faith!  Over the years, God has provided “stuff” in one way or another for this circa 1892 house.  Through some clever refinancing, four years ago, the church had a new roof put on the parsonage. The old roof was well over thirty years old and we were risking major damage if the roof was not replaced.  A year ago, volunteers (including me- with lots of help) ripped the old deck off the parsonage and built a nice new deck. Last year, we discovered holes in the foundation which “unhandy me” managed to patch with hydraulic cement.  So far, that’s held pretty well.

The latest situation I’ve discovered is the bulkhead is deteriorating and will need some major work.  The present bulkhead was put in probably about five or six years before I came, or around 1981.  Once or twice, I did wire brush the bulkhead and paint it with Rustoleum.  I have NOT done that in over ten years, however.  As can happen, the bulkhead is not the first thing on my mind.  If I made a “to do” list (and as a matter of fact I DO make “to do” list) even then, the bulkhead would never have made the top fifteen items.  Well, over ten years of neglect have caught up with me.  Not only is there some serious rusting and deterioration of the bulkhead’s metal frame, but one of thewooden beams around the bulkhead is badly rotted and crumbling.  I “put a Band-Aid” on the situation by putting a rubber molding strip above the beam, then putting a plastic bag on top of the strip, then putting some stones on top of that to hold it in place.  But that’s a “Band-Aid” indeed! 

I’m not bad at yard work,  and I’m not bad at painting, and I can do simple (and I mean REALLY simple) repairs with hammer and nails or screwdrivers and screws at times, but as a “non handy” guy, this is WAY beyond me. 

Mary Ann even thought I should contact “Ask This Old House” and see if they’d feature it as a project on their show!  Well, preferably in 2007 and if not in ‘07 then ABSOLUTELY before the end of ‘08, that bulkhead needs some major, major work.  If anyone out there is a handyman (or handy woman) and has any ideas I’m all ears!

Friday, June 15, 2007


"Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints." (Psalm

It was reported this morning that Ruth Bell Graham, 87, wife of Evangelist
Billy Graham, died yesterday at 5:05 p.m. Her family was at her North Carolina

Her obituary lists her as "wife of famous evangelist" but she was really so
much more than that. It may be hard for some people to understand, but for
many "born again Christians" she was sort of our "first lady". I know that a lot
of people just don't get what it means to be an "evangelical Christian" or a
"born again Christian" even though it's been explained in books and magazines
a thousand times. An evangelical Christian is one who believes it's not
enough to merely attend church or to have been baptized as a baby. An evangelical
Christian believes that (when you are old enough to understand what you are
doing) you need to make a conscious, personal commitment to Jesus Christ as Lord
and Savior. There is no one "evangelical Christian" denomination, and that
causes some of the confusion. Many evangelical Christians are Baptists and
Pentecostals (including Assemblies of God). Many are Presbyterians. Some belong
to the Evangelical Free Church. In addition, there are "born again
Christians" found in almost every Protestant denomination and probably 5-10% of
American Roman Catholics consider themselves evangelicals.

For evangelicals of the late Twentieth Century, Billy Graham was our leader
and shining example, and his wife was First Lady. She was NO "barefoot and
pregnant" type just taking orders from Billy Graham! In fact, Ruth Graham, an
accomplished author and speaker in her own right, was quite feisty! On of Billy
Graham's biographers (in writing about how DIFFERENT Billy and Ruth were)
tells the story of a time Ruth Graham was stopped by a southern cop for speeding.
As he wrote the ticket, she urged him to hurry as she had to get going!
Once she got the ticket, she sped off! Ruth was much more bold and adventuresome
than was her husband. She was raised in the far east by missionary parents.
Ruth belonged to the very conservative A.R.E. Presbyterian Church. (Off hand
I can't think of what A.R.E. stands for!) Although Billy Graham was an
ordained Southern Baptist minister, Ruth would never "take the plunge" (pun
intended) to become a Baptist. All of the Graham kids were raised in the small
A.R.E. Presbyterian Church near their home in rural western North Carolina.

Billy and Ruth Graham are heroes to me. They lived virtually their whole
lives for Jesus Christ. Ruth leaves quite a legacy.

When "great saints" like this pass away, I always ask the same question: WHO

Thursday, June 14, 2007


“...speaking the truth in love...” (from Ephesians 4:15)

Political candidates are often asked for their positions on various issues.  Their answers can be so ambiguous, (i.e. “I voted for it before I voted against it”) that nobody can make heads or tails of what they’re talking about.  I don’t think I’ve ever done anything like this on the blog before but I’m just going to throw out a smorgasbord of my opinions.

Here goes:

1.  The Quincy teachers should NOT have gone out on strike. I’m glad they’re back to work.

2.  The Boston City Council should not be debating the noise of music being played by ice cream trucks.  There are far more serious issues they should be dealing with.

3.  We should be kind to everyone in our midst (as much as is POSSIBLE - see Romans 12:18); but we HAVE to secure our borders.  We must make sure we don’t allow any more undocumented aliens into our country, and we should enforce the laws on the books regarding the legal status of being in the U.S.  We should also crack down on illegal apartments in Framingham, for instance.  We also should NOT be unduly cruel to the economically disadvantaged people in our midst.  We can enforce the law without being “jerks”.

4.  The people of Massachusetts SHOULD be allowed to vote regarding “gay marriage” in November of 2008.

5.  President George W. Bush is a nice guy and a sincere Christian.  As President, he is mediocre at best.  His presidency has largely been a disappointment.

6.  Cable TV SHOULD be regulated LOCALLY.  That does not necessarily stifle competition.  Framingham, for instance, has two competing companies in Town who each are Licensed by the Town.  The local public access programming is very important.

7.  Trans-fat should NOT be banned.

8.  (Hate to admit it but)  I’ve come to the conclusion that cell phone usage while driving should be greatly restricted.

9.  Speaking of driving, people should drive SLOWER and MORE CAREFULLY.

10. I don’t care about the CFCs or whatever, the person who invented air conditioning is a HERO!

11.  The parents in New Hampshire were correct to be upset that they did not understand theirkids were going to visit a Planned Parenthood facility.

12.  I don’t like the idea of paying for satellite radio, and so I don’t have satellite radio.  (Admittedly, I DO like the idea of paying for Cable T.V. so I guess that makes me inconsistent!)

13.  Technology is moving way too fast.  Computers, software, and other electronic devices become dinosaurs way too quickly.  It seems ridiculous that a computer that’s less than ten years old may be considered totally obsolete and out-of-date.

14.  Time is precious.  Meetings and other events should start and end on time.

15.  If you like something you read on my blog, you should tell me (e-mail me, or whatever).  If you dislike something you read on my blog, well, you should tell me, as well!

Monday, June 11, 2007


"Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God."
(Matthew 5:9)

For this entry, I can't use the people's real names.

I won't even reveal their sexes. Maybe they're 2 men. Maybe they're 2
women. Maybe they're a man and a woman. For this piece I'm going to say they're
2 men...and they may be! I'll call them Don X and Fred Y. Don X and Fred Y
are essentially at war and I'm finding myself dragged into the middle of it,
whether I want to be there or not. Don X and Fred Y have had what I'll call a
"toxic" friendship over the past ten years or so. They've each faced a lot of
rejection and alienation in their lives. Both really need each other. Both
like each other. Both are capable of hating each other, and at times, they do
hate each other.

Early last week, Fred Y telephoned me. He was in an angry and
self-justifying mood. Fred Y wanted nothing more to do with Don X, and he spent almost an
hour on the phone letting me know that. Fred named fault after fault of Don
X's. Honestly, although Fred was NOT right in all of his indictments of Don X,
he WAS right about most of them. I tried to have a civil and pleasant
conversation with Fred Y without getting TOO involved in this feud.

Later in the week, I ran into Don X. Don X asked me if I'd heard from Fred
Y, and I told Don I had. Don X was in an independent and self-justifying mood.
Don named fault after fault of Fred Y's. Honestly, although Don was NOT
right in all of his indictments of Fred Y, he WAS right about most of them. I
tried to have a civil and pleasant conversation with Don X without getting TOO
involved in this feud.

Within the past couple of days, I've been in a situation where Don X, Fred Y,
and myself were all together. I felt like I was sitting in-between J.F.K.
and Nikita Kruschev during the 1962 Cuban missile crisis! Later, Fred Y made
some kind of nasty comments to me about Don X, but he made the comments because
Don X had made a nasty comment to him!

"Pardon me while I throw up" but Don X and Fred Y each profess to be
born-again Christians!

This is why all too often, we born-again Christians are not believable to the
world and are not respected by the world. The problem is not new.In I
Corinthians chapter 6, the Apostle Paul was dealing with his own "Fred Ys and Don
Xs" in Corinth. Paul didn't like it any more than I do.

Don X tends to be very independent and very opinionated and it drives Fred Y
crazy. Fred Y tends to be very manipulative and also very opinionated and it
drives Don X crazy. Interestingly enough, for all of you who are into the
significance of "birth order", but Don X and Fred Y are the youngest of several
children. Each is the baby of the family. Do you suppose that affects how
they handle life's situations? Probably.

I hate having to listen to them. Who's right in this feud? Fred Y is. And
so is Don X. Who's wrong in this feud? Fred Y is. And so is Don X. Is one
more in the right and one more in the wrong? Probably. But as much as I
wrestle with it, I can't come to a firm conclusion as to which one is MORE in the

If they were each little kids, they'd be given a "time out" and then they'd
have to make up. What do you do when "adults" over the age of 40 act like this?

Saturday, June 9, 2007


"Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against
me, and I forgive him? till seven times?" (Matthew 18:21)

The Immigration Bill has gone down in flames in the U.S. Senate. FMTalk's
Jay Severin and Michael Graham are ecstatic. I don't think I'd say I'm
"ecstatic" but I am genuinely glad it's dead. It was overwhelmingly a bad idea.

I write this piece with fear and trembling for a couple of reasons:
1. I originally started the blog a year and a half ago because of an article
in a journal for ministers which strongly recommended that each pastor have
his own blog. It also strongly cautioned against pastors discussing anything
political on their blogs. Thus, in the past year and a half I've only written
three or four political pieces. This will be my most political piece, so far.
2. I'm going to make some positive points about John McCain and take a stand
against the constant bashing of John McCain being done by Michael Graham and
Jay Severin. This is hard because I like Jay Severin and I "love" "Brother
Justice Michael Graham" but I'm flat out sick of their bashing John McCain. If
Michael Graham or Jay Severin want to disagree with me, they're welcome to
e-mail me, and they're welcome to comment about me and my opinions on the air-
even if they want to bash me.

John McCain WAS wrong about the Immigration Bill. He made some public
statements that he probably should NOT have. According to Mike Barnicle, John
McCain and a Senate opponent of the Bill angrily exchanged "F Bombs" when having a
heated public argument about it a few days ago. I don't condone McCain's
behavior and, again, I know McCain WAS wrong about this. Does that mean McCain
is some sort of Communist, anti-American, dirt bag jerk? According to Severin
and Graham: YES! According to me: NO,

I'll do a "Bob Dole" and speak in the 3rd Person. Has Bob Baril ever
advocated a position about something that was later proven to be stupid and
incorrect? Absolutely. Has Bob Baril ever uttered a stupid statement that he wished
he could take back? Absolutely. Has Bob Baril everacted in a way in the
pulpit that is unbecoming of a minister? With a red face, I say, yes. Has Bob
Baril ever said or done anything in asocial situation that was classless and
insensitive and stupid? Yes. Before you contact my denominational officials
and try to get me fired, YOU have said and done a number of stupid and erroneous
things you regret. We all have.

I know, I know, I'm not running for President of the U.S. That's true. But
I am a Minister of the Gospel which as far as God is concerned is a higher

If we look at the WHOLE of McCain's It's quite a life. Now, I
can understand Severin and Graham bashing Teddy Kennedy. If you look at HIS
life- well it's a pretty sordid, sorry mess! It's one disaster after another.
His politics? For every GOOD thing, there are probably fifteen bad things.
Teddy Kennedy is not worthy to shine John McCain's shoes. Neither is Michael
Graham. Neither is Jay Severin. Neither is Bob Baril, for that matter. (In
fact, in 2000 Jay Severin endorsed and promoted John McCain like I've never heard anyone endorsed and promoted. ) Is Jay very loyal? Is Jay very consistent?
I don't think so.

I have to assume Jay Severin and Michael Graham enthusiastically want Hillary
Clinton elected President of the United States in 2008. If Hillary is the
2008 Democrat Nominee, and it's VERY likely, she stands to carry almost all of
the "biggest" states, especially of the northeast, upper Midwest, and far
west. If she does that, and picks up a smattering of other states around the
country, she becomes President.

If the race is Clinton vs. Romney, do you really think Romney will carry
Massachusetts? No way.

If the race is Clinton vs. Guliani, Guliani does have a slightly better shot,
but in the end, Clinton would carry Massachusetts.

Despite his strong support of "Bush's" Iraq War, McCain is loved and
respected by many Americans. He's loved by the "middle of the road" people who make
up at least 40% of the electorate. Ronald Reagan was also loved by the "middle
of the road". You HAVE to be loved and respected by the "middle of the road"
crowd, or you WON'T win. George McGovern was looked upon by "middle of the
roaders" as a left-wing nut in 1972 and he lost big. Barry Goldwater was
looked upon by "middle of the roaders" as a right-wing nut in 1964 and he lost big.
Although Ronald Reagan was solidly on the right on most issues, he knew how
to appeal to "middle of the road" voters.

All Michael Graham and Jay Severin have to do is conduct a straw poll of
their fellow broadcasters at 969 FMTalk and it will PROVE MY POINT! Mike
Barnicle would vote for John McCain over Hillary. So would Hank Morse. So would
Margorie Egan. Jim Braudie would PROBABLY vote for Hillary, but the Republican
who would most tempt him to go Republican is McCain.

This will be preserved forever in cyberspace so if I'm wrong, everybody will
know it forever, but if John McCain is NOT the Republican Nominee in 2008, we
will elect the Democrat- most likely Hillary.

Thursday, June 7, 2007


"Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth." (Mark 9:23)



     Week after week and year after year it seemed I could read nothing but praise for the new Natick Mall and all of it’s “renovations.” I quickly grew tired of seeing everyone pat themselves on the back, wondering if they could possibly be talking about the same mall I used to know and love. I feel it my duty voice my observations and opinions on this supposedly new and improved Natick Mall.
     The changes began slowly; a store goes away here, a different one pops up over there. Seemingly innocuous at first, these changes grew exponentially with the “expansion”, and the status of the mall as I knew it was changed forever. The first major blow to commerce was the loss of Sam Goody and Suncoast Video. Eventually, FYE returned to the mall (after an absence of nearly a year if I recall) and they gave it the old Sam Goody location. Well, almost. Actually for reasons that don’t exist, they split the old Sam Goody location into two stores, so FYE now exists in a space that is far too small for merchandise that used to have twice the space, and needs it. Shopping at FYE is now far too claustrophobic an experience.
     The insanity did not stop there. If I thought there were too many clothing stores before, I had no idea how good I had it. For months we have seen the steady decline of the mall we used to know. Hammett’s Teacher Store is gone. Having been once removed from the old Shopper’s World in the name of progress, Hammett’s suffered again as history repeated. Kay-B-Toys is gone. There is no longer any toy store in the “new improved” Natick Mall. The Discovery Store cannot hope to cater to both of these markets; it is a completely different entity. Some would argue that Build-a-Bear or the Lego Store qualify as toy stores. While Build-a-Bear is nice for a special event or a one-time visit, the limited merchandise (it’s all bears, after all), and the fact that even a simple bear with a modest outfit will set you back thirty dollars, makes it irrelevant to this conversation. The Lego Store, though useful for getting as many of that one color brick you want, is
ridiculously overpriced. A giant Star Wars lego set will set you back 300 quatloos, when you’d pay half that at a normal store like Target (or less on the day of a crazy sale). That leaves only the GameStop for the child consumer, and this is only video games. Which also makes me wonder why it has never been moved when it’s trying to cram in games for at least six game systems and is even more claustrophobic than FYE. They were nice enough to move Claire’s to a larger and much nicer location, they were nice enough to move Spencer’s (twice!); I think GameStop has served it’s time in Purgatory.
     Some other notable losses to the Mall include Chesapeake Knife and Tool (which was briefly replaced by a different sword outfit, which was open even more briefly), and just recently the WaldenBooks. It’s final week before closing, I told the cashier that without the WaldenBooks I had no reason to shop at the mall anymore, and sadly it is true. The construction nightmares not only lost us valuable parking for a significant period of time, but no doubt contributed to the lack of human traffic by Johnny Rocket’s. I have no doubt this was a prime contributor to Johnny Rocket’s closing. Meanwhile, there is an overabundance of clothing stores, as well as two Sunglass Huts — if you forget to get shades on the first floor, you can get them on the second! — and a recruiting office for the Army National Guard. I don’t care how American our capitalist commerce is; the National Guard has no business being in a mall. Neither do the plethora of cellular phone venders who harass you from kiosks literally every twenty feet. On both floors.
     This is not to say
every change has been abysmal. The widening of the walkways on the upper level was a needed and very good change, however all the new tiling was not and the “hardwood floor” look upstairs is just stupid. The food court was completely and unnecessarily redesigned so it appears there is actually less seating. Half the seating now is along these stupid curved “booth wall” things. The whole area in the middle of the Mall where the elevator was had been carpeted for no apparent reason and a Customer Service desk put in. I used to like being able to sit down there. Still, even a Customer Service desk is not a totally unwelcome change, but the chairs are so low, you have to literally talk down to anyone who would give you service. I recently walked through to find the elevator also will soon be no more, and a sign directs you to another elevator at the other end of the Mall. Never mind the fact that in all these renovations no one bothered to put a staircase in. When you have to walk halfway across the mall to go up or down because an escalator is broken, it cries out for a staircase.
     The outdoor construction has been no better, or frankly worse. The redirected traffic nightmares have been horrible, especially during the holidays. Besides basically forcing Johnny Rocket’s to close its doors, the outdoor construction made it impossible to take a very direct and very sensible route to the cinema; I wonder if it contributed to a drop in movie attendance last year. And after all that headache of them ripping up a parking lot and tearing out a whole parking garage, they erect — drum roll — a parking garage! They even bothered to rip out the sidewalk (a sidewalk I frequented often), only to put in — drum roll — another sidewalk! A slightly wider sidewalk. Why did it need to be wider? So for months on end we had no parking all so that they could give us parking. What then was the point? It wasn’t broke, why fix it? Furthermore, with the loss of the “B” lot, what will the new lot be called? Will we forever be missing a letter? Now I see signs advertising the new luxury condominiums thinking who would want to live off a mall anyway? They even advertise valet parking. I say it’s too high a price to sacrifice our parking, including handicapped parking, so that some rich young ruler can have his car parked for him.
     Space would fail me to tell of all the rest, such as how one can’t go five feet without being accosted from a cell phone kiosk. I cannot speak for everyone, but as for myself I am sick to death of the Natick snobbery. And if “Natick Collection” doesn’t roll off the tongue, I’ve got a great name for it: how about the Blight? “It’s bright, it’s right, it’s the Blight!” Short of an occasional meal, I will not set foot in the Blight anymore. I feel literally sick inside just walking through it. Regretfully, should someone ask me if I know of a mall that provides both a great shopping experience and a variety of stores, a place that caters to people of all classes and ages, I will have to tell them I know of no such place. If however they are looking for a limitless array of slutty overpriced underclothes, I will point them to the Natick Blight.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007


“While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.”  (Genesis 8:22)

The window air conditioners are finally “in” - installed into their windows, that is, at my residence.  One thing that has really changed in my lifetime is the perceived necessity of air conditioning.  I’m old enough to remember the world of the late 1950s when virtually NOTHING in the northeast was air conditioned.  Even into the late 1960s, air conditioning in Massachusetts was quite a luxury.  I’d say well over half of the cars of that period were NOT equipped with a/c and probably only one out of three adults slept with a window air conditioner on.  (Houses with “central air” were virtually unknown in Massachusetts forty years ago.)

Times have changed.  If this was 1967, I’d feel rich because we have 3 window air conditioners.  Today, I feel poor because our house does not have “central air”! Even with the air conditioners, over half the house is stifling hot during the “dog days” of the summer.  

Our house was built around 1892.  The electrical circuitry HAS had at least a couple of substantial upgrades since then.   I believe one dates from the late ‘50s or early ‘60s, AND we had a couple of new circuits put in around ten years ago to accommodate our home computer.  Even so, while the basement and first floor are covered by a number of curcuits due to the heating system, washer and dryer, etc., the upper floors are only covered by like two or three.  We long ago figured out what rooms we could install air conditioners in without constantly tripping breakers, etc. (In other words, we’ve made sure they’re all on different circuits AND on circuits that can “handle the load”.)  The rooms that get air conditioning are the master bedroom, my son’s room in the highest (unbearably hot) level of the house, and the living room.  My poor girls were never able to have a/c.  However, they always COULD sleep in the living room, and often did on really hot nights.  (Now, it’s just one girl as Amy is now a permanent resident of Springfield, Missouri.)

Twice each year, Jon and I go through the hassle of putting in or taking our the air conditioners.  It’s a LOT of work.  With 115-year-old windows which are NOT level and are rickety, it’s also a real challenge to do the job right.  Jon actually has made a diagram about how we do it in the living room (piling in support boards, etc.)   It typically takes us about 90 minutes to do all three.  Last night we got the job done.  I store two of the air conditioners in the basement, so just carrying them up flights of stairs is a nuisance.  It seems like every year we’re later and later putting them in, although I think it was right around this time last year.  I’d like to have them in by May 15, but that almost never happens.  AND, I like to have them out before October 31 but last year they came out around November 29 and the year before it was around December 16!

Have you fallen asleep yet?  Maybe.  But that’s the point of window air conditioners!  How did we ever survive without air conditioning back there in 1957?! 

My big dream is to have “central air conditioning” installed and then to be able to sell these 3 window units at a yard sale...maybe someday!

Friday, June 1, 2007


[  NOTE:  You probably notice that the print and style of my entries looks larger than it used to be.  Any entries made from the Framingham Public Library will look that (this) way.  I still am unable to post anything on my blog from my home computer, but this larger style IS easier to read  :-) ! ]

“For bodily exercise profiteth little:”  (from I Timothy 4:8)

I do want to make it clear “right out of the box” that I’m not against physical exercising.  If a person is totally out of shape and is what could be called “a physical wreck” that is not a good thing. 

My understanding is that this week the Massachusetts State Legislature is debating a bill to reinstate a Physical Education requirement for all Massachusetts schools.  Such a requirement existed until about ten years ago.  I remember that during the time of the previous debate someone on a radio talk show said that it could be that any legislators who were picked on in gym class were now getting their revenge.  That’s possible.

On one of Mike Barnacle's morning shows this week, he and his buddies were all talking about how much Physical Education should be reinstated and said that virtually all boys love gym class.

If you’ve ever watched “Freaks and Geeks” which ran on NBC during the 1999-2000 season and later ran on Cable in reruns for a few years, you know there’s another side to that argument.  The “Geeks” on that show were the ones who experienced the stuff like a bunch of jocks annihilating them in gym class; being picked last for teams and being mocked for it, and even being thrown out of the gym area into a public hallway fully naked.  While the last thing never happened to me, much of the rest did.

My late father was very athletic.  He was NOT particularly big.  He was about an inch and a half shorter than I am and at least fifty pounds lighter than I am.  Even so, he played three sports in high school (I think they were baseball, hockey, and track) and he did remarkably well.  He aspired to be a football player and was often turned down for being “too small”.  It was hard to have him for a father because I was about as athletic as my mother, which is NOT AT ALL.  My mother’s idea of athletics was maybe doing a slow jog to make it to the commuter train before it pulled out of the station.  She was happiest watching movies, eating out in restaurants, and most of all, laying in bed reading.

Have you ever watched the animated show “King of the Hill”?  Well, if you’ve seen Bobby Hill trying to do a pull up and completely failing, that was me.  Well, in all fairness, I could not even do 1 pull up when I was ten.  After I went through puberty, I could do around five of them.  Most of my peers could do six or seven of them at ten and sixteen or seventeen of them at fifteen, so I just did not rate.  In junior high and high school I hated gym class.  In junior high, gym was once a week and the class was LONG. In high school, it was twice a week and the classes were quite short.  I still don’t know which I preferred.  With once a week, you got it over with in one shot.  With the twice a week short classes, just when things were unbearable, you could “hit the showers”.

No, gym  class was NOT all bad.  We did do calisthenics to start each class, and I still do calisthenics pretty much each day.  They DID allow us to do some weightlifting in high school during class time, and I kind of liked that. 

I guess the bottom line for me is:  IF they reinstate mandatory Physical Education classes, they’re going to HAVE to be a whole lot better than they were back in the 1970s!