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Posts Tagged ‘society’

No Truck?

picture of Drew with a pumpkin

This past Friday my wife Becka, our daughter Nora, and I headed north for Cincinnati, Ohio, after my last class ended. Our older daughter Megan, our son-in-law Jim, and our grandson Drew headed south for Cincinnati and arrived earlier in the evening than we did. We all thoroughly enjoyed our quiet weekend together. One of our activities on Saturday was to go to the Pumpkin Patch at Blooms and Berries Farm Market in Loveland, Ohio. We did not do all the activities available there since several members of our party were not feeling their best with colds. We did enjoy seeing all sorts of fall produce on display and for sale and a hayride which included a stop at their pumpkin patch. Here are a few pictures from our afternoon there.

picture of Drew looking at decorative squash

picture of us on a hayride

picture of Drew exploring the pumpkin patch

picture of Drew on the tractor

On the way up to Cincinnati and back we saw a number of questionable drivers and interestingly loaded vehicles. Some people did not let having no truck keep them from hauling whatever it was they wanted to transport. This practice is known all over the world, though, as the following pictures readily testify to what people will do when they have no truck.

picture of a person hauling baskets

picture of a person hauling eggs

picture of a person hauling his family

picture of a person hauling fish

picture of a person hauling various fowl

picture of a person hauling greens

picture of a person hauling hoops

picture of a person hauling a large mirror

picture of a person hauling pigs

picture of a person hauling pipes

picture of a person hauling a piece of railing

picture of a person hauling a shark

picture of a person hauling tires

picture of a person hauling tubes

picture of a person hauling vegetables

During our summers in Asia we saw similar scenes, to our amazement! I am very thankful for my little pickup truck which has come in very handy for hauling all sorts of things. 🙂

Even though I have a truck, there are some things with which I have "no truck." Having no truck comes from the French verb "troquer" which means swap, trade, barter. So when someone says he "has no truck with something," it means he refuses to have dealings with something. For instance, I have no truck with the Marxist ideal of "redistributing wealth." I also have no truck with abortion.

On purpose, I try to steer clear of politics on this blog, since the answer to mankind's problems is the Lord, not politicians. I have to say that I am not wildly enthusiastic about either of the two major candidates in the presidential race, so please do not misconstrue what I'm saying as tacit approval of either candidate. Once again this election year, I will have to plug my nose and vote for one person mainly as a vote against the other person. As much as a third party vote would make me feel good, I need to be able to sleep at night.

This past Friday two young pastors whose blogs I follow both did a blog post which I feel compelled to pass on to my readers in light of our elections in two short weeks. I would really like to urge you to check out these two posts, which I pass on without comment - one on a blog called Pensées and another on a blog called My Two Cents.

I would appreciate your comments on our weekend, the people with no truck, and the matters with which I have no truck.


"God's plans will not fail to be accomplished." - Dr. Drew Conley

=^..^= =^..^=

He who runs behind truck is exhausted. He who runs in front of truck is tired.

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Financial Crisis Hits Japan

picture of a Japanese bank

Who wants to be the bearer of yet more bad news with all the financial gloom and doom already out there? But something has come to my attention that I feel duty bound to share with my readers. (Here at ivman, we're known for tackling the hard things as well as doing the fun things.) I've just read that uncertainty has now hit the Japanese banking sector. Read on, if you can take it....

In this past 7 days the following has happened in the Japanese banking world:

Origami Bank has folded.

Bonsai Bank announced plans to cut some of its branches.

Sumo Bank has gone belly up.

Yesterday, it was announced that Karaoke Bank is up for sale and will likely go for a song, while today shares in Kamikaze Bank were suspended after they nose-dived.

Samurai Bank is soldiering on, following sharp cutbacks.

Ninja Bank is reported to have taken a hit, but they remain in the black.

500 staff at Karate Bank got the chop, and analysts report that there is something fishy going on at Sushi Bank where it is feared that customers may get a raw deal!


All right, so I'm an incorrigible punster. Some would say, don't laugh at him - it only incorriges him. But it does do the heart good to chuckle when times are unsettling. Here in America things are so bad that they've printed a new dollar bill:

picture of the new dollar bill

But all joking aside, these financial woes are indeed worldwide and serious, particularly right before the elections here in the USA. There are so many huge issues out there at this time, but this one seems to be front and center, as it should be. As good as it is to be able to laugh a little, it's definitely no fun at all to watch the stock market roller coaster, knowing that what little we have towards retirement is being affected by what's going on in the market. That said, we know that God's promises to care for His children are not dependent on or at the whim of this world's economics.

What are some of you doing at this time in reaction to the financial situation? Do you have any words of wisdom to share?


"I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread." Psalm 37:25

=^..^= =^..^=

Q: What is the difference between a banker and a pigeon?
A: A pigeon can still afford to put a deposit on a Ferrari.

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picture of social networking

I received a cartoon from a reader that got me thinking about the current sensation known as social networking. Although it's primarily a rage among the younger generation, many older folks are into it as well. Some readers might remember my telling earlier this year about a long-time family friend (and ivman reader, I might add), a widower in his eighties who met a widow in her eighties using eHarmony. They are now happily married.

Anyway, below is the cartoon I received:

cartoon about Facebook

Facebook is a intriguing concept and being "friends" on Facebook is an interesting phenomenon. People are able to get back in touch with people that they have known but with whom they've lost contact. It's been great fun to find an old acquaintance on Facebook or to hear from someone out of the clear blue and get caught up on their lives. Once in a while, though, when someone asks me to become friends on Facebook, I really have to think hard to come up with how we know each other. If I can't think of it, I just confirm, rather than hurt someone's feelings. As of this writing, my "friend" count is 632! One colleague (and ivman reader) is 41 friends shy of 2,000! It was fun last week to have over 80 friends "write on my wall" to wish me happy birthday in at least 4 languages, some even offering condolences! Most of those people, however, would never have known or remembered it was my birthday, had it not been for Facebook. There are all kinds of other forms of social networking out there, some better than others, and some far worse than others.

One form of social networking that I have not explored and am not sure I would even want to is Twitter. This fall I attended a workshop during Faculty In-Service called "To Twitter or Not to Twitter." The presenter of the workshop has a business where he requires all his employees to Twitter. I cannot imagine that there would be that many people who would be interested in wanting to get frequent updates on my every movement and thought. Do any of you Twitter? If so, what do you like about it?

I saw a cartoon a while back that kind of sums up what I've seen happen on several blogs I used to visit....

cartoon about Twitter

I don't want that to happen to my blog!

Living in an age of technology and almost instantaneous communication, we might be surprised to learn how advanced some older societies actually were....

Ancient Social Networks

After having dug to a depth of 10 meters last year, Scottish scientists found traces of copper wire dating back 100 years and came to the conclusion that their ancestors already had a telephone network more than 100 years ago.

Not to be outdone by the Scots, in the weeks that followed, English scientists dug to a depth of 20 meters, and shortly after, headlines in the English newspapers read, "English archaeologists have found traces of 200-year-old copper wire and have concluded that their ancestors already had an advanced high-tech communications network a hundred years earlier than the Scots."

One week later, "The Kerrymen," a southwest Irish newsletter, reported the following: "After digging as deep as 30 meters in peat bog near Tralee, Paddy O'Droll, a self-taught archaeologist, reported that he found absolutely nothing. Paddy has therefore concluded that 300 years ago, Ireland had already gone wireless."


One of the fun things about Facebook is viewing and accessing pictures posted by your friends. Our daughter Megan recently posted some pictures of our grandson Drew who enjoys pointing to his facial features to show he knows the words. I've put them together in a collage....

collage of pictures of Drew

We're looking forward to some wonderfully real social networking later this month when we rendez-vous for a weekend in Cincinnati with our daughter, son-in-law, and grandson. I'll tell you all about it in a future blog post. 🙂

I cannot begin to list all various social media, but here are a few - online social networks (like Facebook), blogging, e-mail, text messaging, instant messaging, Twitter, etc. In many ways social networking strikes me as paradoxical - it focuses on relationships and community, but it also seems to encourage our human bent towards narcissism. The whole concept brings many questions to my mind. What are your thoughts about some of the various forms of social networking? Do you participate in it? Does it strengthen or weaken relationships? Does it deepen or cheapen friendship? How many close friendships is it possible to maintain at once? Are there dangers in today's social networking? I look forward to some good discussions in the comments to this post.


"Our hearts are idol factories." - John Calvin

=^..^= =^..^=

Your secrets are safe with me and all my friends.

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What’s a Billion?

picture comparing numbers
It's hard enough for me to get my mind around one million, but to try to understand the concepts of a billion or a trillion is beyond my finite mind. (You math teachers out there, please be patient with me and thank the Lord that He wanted me to be a French professor instead!)

A million is a hard concept to grasp. Did you know that a stack of a million one dollar bills is about 358 feet tall?! I read somewhere that for a person to count out loud from 1 to 1,000,000 it would take 23 days, counting day and night, without breakfast, lunch or dinner, without sleep, television, a phone call or a bathroom break!

Here are several more concrete comparisons of a million, a billion, and a trillion:

A million seconds is 12 days.
A billion seconds is 31 years.
A trillion seconds is 31,688 years.

A million minutes ago was 1 year, 329 days, 10 hours and 40 minutes ago
A billion minutes ago it was the year 107 AD.
A trillion minutes ago was over 1,900,000 years ago!

[added the evening of October 2 - for a really clear comparison of a million and a billion, take a look at Andrew's comment to this post]

Between World War I and World War II, Germans had to deal with astronomic numbers daily because inflation was so high and their currency was so devalued. It cost 200 billion Marks to buy one loaf of bread! Imagine having to deal with numbers like that! You can read a very good article about it by clicking here. Here's a picture of a German one billion Mark bill from 1923:

Whatever you want to say

Evolutionists throw the words million and billion around pretty freely. Here's a story I love that highlights that:

Tourists in the Chicago Museum of Natural History were amazed at the dinosaur bones. One of them asked the guard, "Can you tell me how old the dinosaur bones are?"

The guard replied, "They are three million four years and six months old."

"That's an awfully exact number," said the tourist. "How do you know their age so precisely?"

The guard answered, "Well, I was told that the dinosaur bones were three million years old when I started working here, and that was four and a half years ago."


Lately politicians are throwing the word billion around like it's chump change. The following article is from the website of one of our local TV stations WYFF 4:

If the $700 billion price tag attached to the bailout plan that failed sounds like a lot, well, it is.

You can spend $700 billion in a lot of different ways. For instance, you could buy a war — the U.S. has spent $648 billion on the war in Iraq so far.

That much money could ensure universal health care coverage for six years or upgrade the country's most deficient bridges four times over. Or you could build 1,750 bridges to nowhere. Surely all of those would eventually take you somewhere.

With $700 billion you could easily run Denmark, which had a paltry gross domestic product of $312 billion last year.

That much money could also pay back every single outstanding student loan, fund the national intelligence budget beyond 2020, or help the Gulf Coast recover from five Hurricane Katrinas.

The next time you hear a politician use the word billion in a glib, casual manner, you might want to think about how wisely politicians are spending your tax money. I guess if you can be glib about a billion, what's a measly $700 billion bailout?! It's just 700 of those billion-thingies....

Several people have expressed their thoughts about the bailout in their comments to my post the blame game. I'd be interested in reading what my readers think about the prospect of our government bailing out these failing businesses.


"The certainty that Messiah reigns produces calm in the face of current affairs, patience with the events of one's own life, satisfaction with the Lord's management of all things, expectancy that a glorious future is coming, and confidence in the One who sits upon the throne." - Walter Chantry

=^..^= =^..^=

"The god of the 'American Dream' doesn't seem to be coming through right now." - Dr. Drew Conley

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The Blame Game

picture of hands of elderly couple
An elderly man was struck by a car as he was walking across the road. The impact to his head caused him to be comatose for two days before finally regaining consciousness. When he opened his eyes, his wife was there beside him. He held her hand and said meaningfully, "Edna, no matter what, you have always been by my side. When I was a struggling university student, I failed again and again. You were always there beside me, encouraging me to keep on trying."

Edna squeezed his hands as he continued. "When I went for all the major interviews and failed to clinch any of the jobs, you were there beside me, cutting out yet more job ads for me to pursue." He continued, "Then I started to work at a little firm where I finally got to handle a big contract. I blew it because of one little mistake. And there you were, beside me. Then after being laid off for a long time, I finally got another job, but I was never promoted and my hard work was not recognized. Therefore, I've remained in the same position from the day I joined the company till now. And through it all, you've been there beside me." Her eyes brimmed with tears as she listened to her husband.

"And now I've had an accident and almost died, and when I woke up, there you were, right beside me. There's something I'd really like to say to you after all these years." Sobbing with emotion, she was ready to bask in his praise. Her husband proclaimed, "Edna, I think you really bring me bad luck!"


While we might find that story humorous, it also reveals an aspect of our human nature that isn't so funny - our tendency to blame others for our failures and misdeeds. Edna's husband was blaming his poor, faithful wife for his own ineptitude and failures. We inherited our uncanny ability to shift blame from Adam and Eve. I was just reading in the book of Genesis the other day and noticed in Genesis 3:11-13 that after God asked, "Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?" Adam replied "The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate." Then when God questioned Eve about this, she answered, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate."

We all have descended from these two people who immediately after the original sin started to blame others for what they had done. In blaming Eve for his disobedience to God's simple, clear command, Adam implied that ultimately it was God's fault since He had given him Eve. Then Eve blamed the serpent. And the blame game has been played now for millennia with no signs of going out of vogue as other fads in games come and go.

It's been fascinating to watch the blame game being played out on a national scale with our current economic debacle. Just this morning I ran across an excellent article by Chris Bixby, a former student of mine, who has explained things simply enough for even me to understand. After explaining how we got to this point, he talks about the blame game going on and draws some apt conclusions and applications. If you'd like to read his article, The Anatomy of a Bailout, click here.

I'm interested in any comments my readers might have about the current economic situation or the blame game.


"The sins of our land are really our own sins." - Dr. Drew Conley

=^..^= =^..^=

A person who can smile when things go wrong has maybe just thought of someone to blame it on.

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