Flatlander Faith

Apologetics from an Anabaptist perspective

Category Archives: Whimsy

Changes

A barber once told me “Men don’t lose their hair as they grow older. The hair that disappears from the top of your head just moves to different places. Your eyebrows get bushier and tufts of hair grow out of your ears and nostrils.”

I guess he was right; the hair on top is receding but now I need to trim hair in locations I never gave a thought to until a couple of years ago. That’s something you young fellows have to look forward to.

The intruder

Image by ivabalk from Pixabay 

A few years ago I took an old picnic cooler, cut a square hole in one corner large enough for a cat to go through, put an old blanket on the bottom, and set it on our back step. It was meant as a shelter for our cats if they were outside in cold or stormy weather.

Tuesday morning Chris opened the door to let Angus and Poolie go outside. A half-grown kitten emerged from the cat shelter and walked in the open door. He has made himself right at home here, even though we’re not sure we need another cat. Angus and Pookie are especially dubious about that.

He is obviously accustomed to being a house cat and has been well cared for, though probably went a day or two without food. He is going to be big, his ancestry is probably largely Norwegian Forest cat, (I had to look that up, I knew there was a long-haired Norwegian cat with a ruff, the only name that came to mind was Norwegian Elkhound and that’s a dog so it couldn’t be right.)

If he had been a stray that long hair would be messy and matted, and it wasn’t. He didn’t wander in from the farm next door (we asked) and the next closest house is a kilometre away. Chris’s guess is that he is getting to the age that he should be neutered and the previous owner didn’t want to pay the vet bill.

He is gentle, friendly, playful, cute and pushes himself into the middle of whatever is happening. Chris thinks we should call him Frosty, for the colour of the fur on his back. I’m afraid that if we give him a name that means we have accepted him as part of the family.

Cat vantage

Cats are asleep about two-thirds of the time, but their noses and ears seem to be always on the alert. Open a can of tuna in the kitchen without making a sound and the aroma will reach a cat who is sound asleep several rooms away. Soon she is by your feet, asking for a share. Rustling a bag of cat treats will often have the same effect.

A black cat is aware of the camouflage value of its coat. One of our cats noticed a mouse hole beside the garden shed and lay down close by under a maple tree. She became almost invisible in the dense shade and the hunt was successful.

Your cats can distinguish the sound of your automobile from all the others going by. When you get home they are waiting to greet you. One of our cats would sit on the back of the couch and push aside a vane of the vertical blinds to look out the window. When we drove up, especially after dark, there would be two golden eyes looking right at us.

A cat can sleep anywhere, sometimes in a secluded spot, often in your favourite chair. Sometimes they find a vantage point where they can keep track of everything going on in the house

Angus, who looks very much like the cat in the above picture, has chosen the washing machine as his vantage point. The other cat in the house cannot jump that high, so it belongs exclusively to Angus. He has a clear view from there out the hallway window, plus the people of the house frequently walk in front of him. He can then loudly demand attention and we don’t have to bend down to offer the attention and comfort he desires.

Looking for clues

“The future is an opaque mirror. Anyone who tries to look into it sees nothing but the dim outlines of an old worried face.” Jim Bishop.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

BUT

“Almost all current events in the affairs of governments and nations have their parallels and precedents in the past.” Harry S. Truman

Morning Coffee 11/9/20 The ball is IN our court!

“The world has been watching the 2020 race for United States President.” That is certainly true here in Canada, and many Canadians have become emotionally involved on one side or the other. Your thoughts point us toward what we need for healing. No politician has the prescription for healing, we must look to God and submit our wills to His, without presuming to already know what His will is.

Morning Coffee Devotions

Hello Family

A lot has happened since i last wrote to you. I will speak about those things in this weekends up coming podcast if the Lord wills. A few weeks ago I told you a story about a young warrior with incredible potential but did not take full advantage of it, if you have not read it link is at the bottom.

The world has been watching the 2020 race for United States President. we all see the results, so now what? We (followers of Christ) take action, we pray for this new administration! Our personal opinion of them does not matter. God’s will supersedes what we think is good and what is not.

All authority is established by God. To neglect our duty to pray for them and intercede for our nation because they are not what we voted for is a sin, and don’t relax and put…

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Shelley didn’t live in Saskatchewan

Image by Richard Duijnstee from Pixabay 

If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?

That line comes from Ode to the West Wind by Percy Bysshe Shelley. This morning, here in Saskatchewan, spring seems far away. It’ll be five months until this snow is gone.

Here it comes

Image by Юлия Зяблова from Pixabay 

We have been enjoying unusually mild weather this week, with day time highs of 15° C or higher. But the threat that the coming weekend will bring an abrupt switch to winter has been hanging over our heads since last Sunday. A Colorado low has been tracked all week and is forecast to reach us tomorrow, Saturday, with the full storm arriving Sunday.

A Colorado low is a low pressure system beginning in that southwestern state and tracking northeast towards Canada, picking up moisture along the way and dumping it upon us. The forecast is for 30 to 40 cm of snow and winds gusting up to 70 k/hour. Monday morning could look like this.

public domain photo from Pixabay

Most of us have heeded the warnings and put our lawn chairs and lawn mowers away for the winter. I expect retail outlets have seen a rush on sales of snow shovels and winter apparel. Children are looking forward to playing in the snow, some adults are looking forward to a few days of remunerative work in removing the snow from streets and parking lots.

The main advantage for the rest of us is that it gives us something new to talk about, and blog about.

Do old arthritis remedies ever die?

I have had some arthritic stiffness in my right shoulder for years. It has been bothering me a little more lately. I rummaged through our medicine cabinets, in both bathrooms, and came up with three tubes of rubbing compound for arthritic pain. The fine print on the tubes indicate that one expired in 2004. another in 2014 and the last in 2016. Does that mean anything?

My parents kept a bottle of oil of wintergreen in their medicine cabinet. We used a little from time to time and I don’t think they ever needed to replace it. As far as I know it never lost any of its effectiveness. Certainly never lost its scent.

Judging by their scent, oil of wintergreen is one of the principal ingredients in two of these tubes. It seems to help a little when I rub it on my shoulder, and does no harm as far as I can tell. Except I’m not sure my wife will want to sleep in the same bed with me tonight.

And ye would not

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay 

The devil and the powers of the realm of darkness keep the world in turmoil. Then they tell Christians to look at what’s going on and urge them to get out there and set things right. That gets Christians stirred up, some trying to fix the world in one way, some in another, and blaming each other that they are not doing enough, or are doing the wrong thing.

Why are we, who say that we trust in God, so prone to think that we have to get out there and save the world? Didn’t Jesus say: “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33)?

When we think we have to do something to fix the world, aren’t we much like God’s people of old, to whom Isaiah said: “For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not” (Isaiah 30:15)?

Why don’t we just try this quietness and confidence thing?

STATISTICS DON’T LIE

BUT HARDLY ANYONE UNDERSTANDS WHAT THEY SAY

Public opinion polls are not infallible. At best they give a snapshot of what people are thinking at the moment the polling agency spoke to them. At worst, the snapshot is poorly focussed and the results unreliable. Polling results are presented as being accurate within a certain range (±1.5% is about as good as it gets), 19 times our of 20. It is always possible that this poll is the one time out of twenty the sample was not representative and therefore the results are not to be trusted.

A provincial election took place here in Saskatchewan on Monday. A month ago, shortly after the election was called, a public opinion poll reported that support for the incumbent party was 27% higher than support for the main opposition party. Shortly before the election two other polls showed a difference of 18%, leading the opposition party to rejoice that it was on the verge of major gains. Now that the votes are in and counted we see that the incumbent party received 31% more votes than the opposition party (62% for the party in power, 31% for the main opposition party, the remainder split between an assortment of small parties).

What happened? I can’t answer for this particular case, but a lot of things can go wrong in gathering and interpreting statistics. For the results to be trustworthy one needs a sample that is representative and random and questions carefully designed to obtain a clear answer. The results need to be intelligently explained, something most media outlets don’t have the expertise to do.

There is a group of major polling companies in Canada whose results are generally reliable. They are Ipsos-Reid, Léger, Environics, EKOS and perhaps one or two others. The first Saskatchewan poll was produced by one of these companies. The two later polls were produced by smaller companies that do not have a history of producing remarkably reliable results. The stated confidence levels for these polls was ±3.9% and ±4.4%. Even with that generous margin of error, their predictions were far off the mark.

During a Saskatchewan election campaign 20 years ago, results of an opinion poll weree widely reported in the media shortly before the election. It was a poorly executed and poorly interpreted poll, but I believe it influenced the election results. One major flaw was that the results showed something like 35% of voters were undecided. This was compounded when those interpreting the results ignored that number, assuming that those people weren’t going to vote. This resulted in a definite edge for one party. But when you subtract a vary large group of respondents from the results, the margin of error balloons from ±1.5% to some stratospheric number.

That poll was an amateur effort by a small consulting company and should never have been published. In publishing those results the newspapers were showing that either they didn’t have a clue what they were doing, or they were deliberately interpreting the results to favour one party. Take your choice, I don’t know which it was.

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