Thursday, December 31, 2009

ANOTHER FIRST IN MY LIFE - a Raptors Basketball Game

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Today’s Blog Post
ANOTHER FIRST IN MY LIFE - a Raptors Basketball Game

Another special item checked off my list! Yes!!!

Yesterday my friend Chad called to ask if I was interested to go to a Raptors Basket Ball Game in Toronto with him. WOW! It was something that I have always wanted to do… something on my ‘Life List’ that if possible someday I would be able to accomplish.

Off we went at 4:30 PM heading for Toronto. Great fellowship and conversation all the way to the city – which is about a 2 hour drive when you add the mix of traffic and distance to the trip. And it seemed that everyone in the province was heading to the Air Canada Centre on Lakeshore Boulevard in Toronto.

Excitement was evident as we walked to the huge building to retrieve the tickets set aside for us.

Coming from relatively quiet Peterborough where the biggest rush hour – or rush day – is Senior’s Day at Shoppers Drug Mart and fighting for a parking space in a busy little grocery stores – Toronto is a shock.

I used to live and work in Toronto on a number of occasions… and miss it at times. But last night I realized that I have been away from it for a long, long time. My blood stirred and my heart beat faster being submerged back into the old way of Hustle and Bustle.

The Air Canada Centre entrance area was flooded with tall people. I am a measly 5 Foot 6 Inches and shrinking. It seems that only tall people are really interested in Basketball… and they were all there. My friend Chad is also a gentle giant that has a long stride as well. As we walked to the A.C. a little boy was kind of skipping along beside his fast walking daddy… and his gate was similar to mine… he was about 7 years old.
Chad looked back once in awhile to see if I was still coming – thanks Chad! Whew!

The first thing I noticed as we entered the building is that OLD PEOPLE with WHITE HAIR are NO WHERE to BE SEEN! Basketball is not an OLDIES Game! And I presume that few Oldies have it on their Life List to accomplish either.

Now at $43 a ticket I can see why my Oldie Friends might not attend a Raptors Game! Yikes!

By 6:30 PM, when we arrived at the A.C., I was getting hungry. There was one of the Food stands that frequent the entrance area – looked good. Maybe I can buy a Treat for my friend Chad… Hmmm… let’s look at the menu… Hot Dogs… Pulled Pork Sandwich… and other stuff. I looked at the price and couldn’t afford to buy for Chad – not enough money in my wallet! Sorry Chad – I will have to treat you to a Tim Hortons Coffe some time later…

I order a Pulled Pork Sandwich for myself. “That will be $13.50 Sir…” said the kindly young man behind the counter. Yikes – the bun was half the size of a Big Mac at McDonalds….but it tasted GREAT!

After wiping off the dripping sauce from my chin we entered the Holy of Holies where all the huge basketball players do there stuff – the A.C. Tonight the Toronto Raptors were playing the Charlotte Bobcats.

I am not sure what I was expecting. Chad had warned me that we would be in the upper sections of the A.C. but I was not sure what that meant. I should have brought the binoculars… Oldie eyes couldn’t see the features of the players. Yikes. I could see that they were really tall… because other short little coaches and team trainers were milling around the Stars… and seemed to be like little kids beside adults.

The WOW Factor was there the minute I walked into the Holy of Holies… thumping music… bright lights… and thousands of people spilling into their seats for the 7 PM jump ball… which was just minutes away.

Now for the other Oldies that read this Blog… and maybe have never spent $43 for a ticket in the nose bleed section of the A.C. (that would be $86 for you and your date – plus $26 for two pulled pork sandwiches)… the Basketball Game consist of 4 – 12 minute quarters. That is 48 minutes of watching a bouncing ball and very tall men running back and forth and jumping and reaching and listening to screaming and cheering fans all the while of being dazzled in the stands as a wide eyed fan.

I knew in High School that I couldn’t play basketball… I was just too short. So after the compulsory Gym Class of learning to play Basketball and its rules… I gave it up. I totally walked away from it – until last night. Now I see that 50 years ago when I learned the rules of this game – I understood what was happening way down there with the giants running back and forth.

But in away it hardly makes sense… one team grabs the ball and runs with it to the other end… then the other team gets the ball and runs back to which the other team grabs it again and runs the other way… each time they either get it into the hoop at the end or don’t. If that sound like a Metronome on top of the piano – well that is kind of like what it is.

Now the interruption comes when the men dressed up in fancy suits wave their hands to indicate that they want a time out… and when that happens all the really tall players gather around the sort suited men and listened for new play instructions from their coaches.

I couldn’t read their lips from that distance… but it seemed the coaches could say only one thing… “I want to get that ball and keep that ball and run after that ball – over and over and over again… until your really long and big tongues are dragging on the hardwood flooring.. we are going to win!”

The tongue part I added. But there was some truth to it I am sure… each time the players did their thing at one end and then run to other end… a very quick little lady with a large mop ran out on the court with one eye on the players and one eye on the floor and Mopped the sweat or tongue marks from the floor.

Chad had explained earlier that the seats beside the court were about $1200 each! Yep – that’s right $1200… and the people that were sitting there were likely getting wet with the flying sweat from the giants running around in front of them.

Now I am stringing this out way too long I know.

The last cheer went up with a roar from the crowd at about 10 PM. It had taken just about 3 hours to play 48 minutes of basketball. Hokey Mokey that is a lot of Time Outs called in three hours.

But time outs were good too… because it gave the cute little cheer leaders some time to dance and jig and bounce all over the place. They made the $1200 seats sit very still and they were less than 10 feet away from the dudes sitting there… and from the nose bleed section I could see nothing but men in those seats.

But then the Raptor’s mascot did his thing too to entertain…

We arrived home at about 11:45 PM. That was the longest 7 hour game experience that I have ever had. And it is checked off my Life List.

I want to thank Chad and his two daughters that allowed me to go along last evening. I had fun. Basketball wasn’t the most fun…it was being young again and with the three of you.

~ Murray Lincoln ~
Photos for You
This photo is made up of three photos to make it look big enough... my camera would not take a wide enough photo and this still doesn't show how big it is!!!!

and finally - showing the distance from the Nose Bleed Section with my Telephoto Lens!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

SO Have you seen AVATAR?

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Today’s Blog Post
SO Have you seen AVATAR?

There we were in the theatre yesterday afternoon… three Old People sitting in the second bank – first row… reserved for Old People that have walkers and wheel chairs. It is dark and we are waiting for show to begin. Two of us fell asleep during the movie trailers… one woke up before the start of the Feature Movie and the other still was dropped off…

You don’t want to sleep during this movie! That is the First important thing to say… and the Second one is… don’t scream if you wake up in the middle of it… it is not a bad dream!

Now getting that warning out of the way right off the start of this post I can continue.

How can you possibly describe the most visually stimulating experience that a person will ever have had in his or her lifetime – up to this point? And that lasts for a solid 2 Hours and 42 Minutes…! That is 162 minutes without moving the only thing but your eyes… which don’t really need to move much… and forget the Bathroom Trip. “Tiny Bladder” people would miss most of what was happening to connect the dots if they need to go in 162 minutes time!!!

There is no way to lean over and ask your partner what happened a minute ago…!

I think it was like a religious experience… that had praying… committing to someone or something… love… and deep, heart rending feelings peppered throughout the 162 minutes. It was also WAR and Blood and Guts… to satisfy all of us that love that stuff… making dumb marines look even dumber than a bag of bolts. It is about environment and all stuff green… it is about travel… it is about just about every major thing happening now in the world. With almost 3 hours to deal with the story the producers didn’t need to leave much out.

Did I enjoy it? You betcha…! It was the best one I have ever seen – EVER… and was worth the $5.00 ticket that Oldies have to pay on the Cheap Day at the Movie… actually I would have paid $10 and not skipped a beat on this one. So good in fact that I will go back to see it again – and I NEVER DO THAT!

During the movie I looked to my left… and one of our Oldies had fallen asleep… mouth wide open… and completely relaxed. I do not know when the Oldie woke up… and I didn’t hear a SNORT… the movie was loud enough to cover that.

As we walked from the theatre… my eyes felt like I had played a Video Game most of the night. My head was buzzing a little bit… to say the least. 65 year old brains need some space between stimulation particles!

This morning when I woke up… I forgot three things before getting out the door to go to the gym. Then when I got to the gym – I found out I had forgotten my gym shoes…. What a start for the day.

I closed my eyes a minute ago to test the brain recall… whoah! The big eyes of the AVATAR came to me in a hearty beat… the Pandora World came alive again with the magnificent scenery… it was all still there.

I think my Oldies Brain is tired… and I should go back to bed.

SO Have you seen Avatar?

~ Murray Lincoln ~


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

AIKo – the Robot Wife – Hokey Mokey – No Way

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Today’s Blog Post
AIKo – the Robot Wife – Hokey Mokey – No Way

The Wisdom Club discussed some of this yesterday – at least the members that attended.

“No way – I don’t carry a Cell Phone… they can get me at home if they want to talk to me… leave a message!” This was a strong comment from a happily retired man. He has freedom now and doesn’t want to give it up.

Another commented on the Augmented Reality bit that I shared about yesterday(Dec 28, 2009 Post).

Well today a new slant that may well change the world entirely… a ROBOT WIFE! You need to read about this one – see Link Below.

If you can read the language of the Link – you will clearly see that it is shown on the “Geeky Gadgets” web site.

Go figure!

Mr. Le Trung, an inventor, has created the almost perfect wife. His new wife is named Aiko. She is beautiful, soft, and speaks both Japanese and English… and is capable of 13,000 different sentences. She will slap your face if you touch her the wrong way…

13,000 sentences! Did you get that? That is way more than most Baby Boomers talk to each other. It is more like when you first get married… later on you know what each other is thinking so you don’t need to talk.

I can see problems for old retired guys who just want to go out to their on Wisdom Club at the nearby coffee shop… and I can hear the conversation… and comments…
“She won’t shut up! She talks all the time. I am so sick of her talking, talking, talking – I could scream!”

Now Aiko looks like a beautiful gal… and is maybe the ideal wife for Le Trung. But I couldn’t handle living with her. It would be a little too freaky.

One other thing is that Aiko can’t walk yet. She is kind of an invalid at this stage… she sits all day and talks a lot. Now I stop for a minute and say carefully…I know some Baby Boomer’s that have wives like that too… so…

As I reflect on this I look back at what my wife does in our household. When she went away for the weekend with my daughter for a shopping trip recently… did I ever get an eye opener again – as to what she does all the time.

I appreciated my wife. No Robot will ever be able to replace her.

Now on the side…
When Alida and I were married 42 years ago… both of us were young…vibrant and in our full prime. Now today we have aged together – one year at a time.

Poor Le Trung will age – but Aiko will not. Within a short few years he will be her father… then he will be her grandfather… yet she will still be his wife. Something weird about that picture – don’t you think?

But then I know another Baby Boomer that has left his wife… and got a younger more fresh model…that talks all the time… and looks very young… and slaps him when he doesn’t do it the right way…

Oh Boy… am I every glad Alida loves me… and that she married me so long ago!

Now… our church is not full… maybe we could start creating new people to sit there… they could shout Amen… Praise the Lord… Now that is an IDEA worth looking into! Hokey Mokey!

~ Murray Lincoln ~


Monday, December 28, 2009

Augmented Reality and My Life

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Today’s Blog Post
Augmented Reality and My Life

This subject may well be the turning point where people over 55 will become the Dinosaurs in their community. Simply put people will age must faster than they have been doing in the community up to now… That will be true socially in particular. They will be more and more isolated from the world that is coming.

What a harsh thing to say to most of my friends who are over 55!

When I wrote yesterday about the Mall and the Text Message Teenagers, TMTs – it made no sense to those over 55 – many of whom have never tried to Text from a small Cell Phone. Many of the Oldies will never buy a Cell Phone – because they have no one to call…. Let alone Text they talk over coffee an that is enough for them.

In fact a new generation is about to be developed that will be a “Communicator” – that is only a “Textor”… it will still be like a Cell Phone but never need to send or receive voice messages. It will only send and receive tapped out messages on small keyboards.

And even that will soon change… with no need to even carry a small unit that you type on. Let me explain.

A new term being used is “Augmented Reality” that describes the next generation of computers that have been developed… and are developing now at breakneck speeds.

Anyone over 55 understands the two words – Augmented & Reality… but put together they take on new meaning entirely.

Wikipedia offers definition that reads… quote…
Augmented reality (AR) is a term for a live direct or indirect view of a physical real-world environment whose elements are merged with (or augmented by) virtual computer-generated imagery - creating a mixed reality. The augmentation is conventionally in real-time and in semantic context with environmental elements, such as sports scores on TV during a match. With the help of advanced AR technology (e.g. adding computer vision and object recognition) the information about the surrounding real world of the user becomes interactive and digitally usable. Artificial information about the environment and the objects in it can be stored and retrieved as an information layer on top of the real world view. The term augmented reality is believed to have been coined in 1990 by Thomas Caudell, an employee of Boeing at the time. End quote.

Now I know that even if you re-read that paragraph three times you likely still cannot grasp what it means. Don’t worry. If it helps you…just about the time that you understand what it could mean it will have changed again and the reality will be new… or not like it was.

You will need an example… for that they have provided some YouTube Videos to help people like us. (But you have to understand what YouTube is and be willing to use it..)

In the first video they demonstrate an AR Jet Fighter. The young fellow is sitting in front of his Lap Top computer(or Desk Top) with a Video Cam. He lifts a simple card that may be about 5 inches square and has a black square on it(this is to help you see what he is holding and it doesn’t need to be this large at all… but rather at this point – only the size of a credit card at the present time).

As he lifts the card a Jet Fighter appears between him and the computer on his Computer Screen… and it flies… engines roaring… and it also shoots missals at himself – but they are not real missals and the air plane doesn’t exist.

Now are you confused? Look at the video link given below under Source.

The Stock Car is too cool. Talk about changing Modeling… The guy simply moves the card and the car can be seen from all sides. And to think that I spent hours building model cars from the plastic pieces in that silly box! – using all that Model Cement!

Now I know you are confused if you haven’t or can’t look at the YouTube of these examples.

Let’s make it easier for some of the Dinosaurs reading…

They now have a “SixthSense augmented reality system lets you project a phone pad onto your hand and phone a friend -- without removing the phone from your pocket.”

And because you need a photo – here it is…

The image of a telephone key pad is projected on to the palm of your hand… and then using your finger located on you other hand – you punch in the number that you want to call.

Sheesh now I know that you are confused!

Now if I have on my Blue Tooth Ear Piece that I now use… adding a very tiny projector to the ear piece… I need only bow my head slightly until the tiny projector spills its image on to my palm… and punch in the numbers. Tada – the call is made.

But that is silly and too much work to make a call. At present I simply reach up and touch the button on my ear piece and the lady in my head asks me what I want her to do… I say, “Call Home” and away she goes – within seconds my wife is talking to me from in my ear.

Why project it on to your hand?

Well if the projection is a Game… I need only hold out my hand to play the game in my palm. Duh!

And for that matter it could be a calculator on my palm!

My life is changing… people are now being put into AR as well. The video below shows the latest super model that has been created in AR.

Imagine – all the kids that are now stuck into Gaming Modes and have little or no contact with real people – will now grow up and be able to meet the most beautiful people in the world. By pushing a button and looking at the chair next to me… or across the table from me… I will be able to have the AR lady of my dreams sit and talk with me – like any other relationship might offer…only she is an AR Person.

NOW I know that you are confused as a Dinosaur. Sorry.

It could and will change church.

You do not need an expensive building at all. You need only have the congregants buy into the program… get the AR Minister, Pastor AR… hold the card in front of the Computer Monitor and Bingo… he will appear… Then all you have to say is “Preach Now” and away he will go.

If you want to sing along you need only touch the song sheet that appears beside the minister… and then make your choice as to which song you will want to worship with…(no more music that you don’t like)…

And if you don’t like the AR Pastor – you select “Change the Pastor”… make him wear whatever you want him to wear… and then tell him what you want him to preach too. The possibilities are unlimited!

There is no need to pass the offering plate either… the cost of the AR Church Unit that you bought to attend an AR Church will include your annual offerings divided into 52 parts a year.

Think of the money we could save and not have to give to support the monster churches that are all around us.

This is the IDEAL CHURCH!

Now I know that you are confused totally. But it is coming. Everything is changing – completely!

~ Murray Lincoln ~

Examples of AR - videos
AR Jet Fighter
AR Car

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Working Undercover at the Mall – Dec 26 – the Hottest Day for Cell Phone Users and Texters

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Today’s Blog Post
Working Undercover at the Mall – Dec 26 – the Hottest Day for Cell Phone Users and Texters

Camouflaged as Old People, my wife and I along with my 88 year old mother sat in the food court at the large new mall in Peterborough – Lansdowne Place. I was working undercover for the story that I was about to write concerning Cell Phone Use and Text Messaging. I needed to be right in the middle of it all. And Boy oh Boy – did I get my wish.

Normally Old People like us will wonder over to the Mall on bad weather days to walk inside and then following the walk – we sit in the food court and sip Tim Hortons Coffee as we watch for other Old People that we might know. This new food court draws out the Oldies – like a Watering Hole in parts of Africa gets every living creature for 40 miles around.

Well Dec 26 could not have been a better to day to observe the Wild Life in Lansdowne Mall. The Wild Life that came out had been caged for one whole day with no shopping – everything was closed for all of Christmas Day. And these folks we were surrounded with were hungry and agitated to get out.

Nope it wasn’t the Oldies that we normally see… it was their grandkids and great grandkids that had absolutely taken over the Mall – and Food Court in particular.

Now to set it up…
I had done my small bit of business and then headed to Tim Hortons to fetch the coffee for my Old People Undercover Squad (OPUS). That was “one Large Double Double, two Medium that were two black with three creamers and sweetners on the side… and one toasted sesame seed bagel with cream cheese..”

The two Older Ladies had gone shopping for bargains and I couldn’t get them on the Cell Phone in the Mall… so I bought the normal and waited. We each have a Cell Phone that we connect with when lost in any Mall! Working under cover as a shopper or a story writer – you need to keep connected – or the coffee will get cold!

I plunked down in the big comfy chair near the fire place and watched people. Beside me in the other comfy chair was a “mom” reading her book and once in a while looking at her watch… and occasionally picking up her cell phone to look. Her phone never rang… but she looked at it. Odd – most people know when their phone rings. Maybe she had her phone ringer turned off… but the Mall was noisy and she would hardly hear it in the normal ring.

I waited for the other two Oldies - sipping my coffee and munching my bagel.

The reading “mom” next to me suddenly grabbed her phone and frustrated she dialled a number… the conversation that I heard was only one sided… it went as follows…
“Where ARE YOU!? I have been sitting here for two hours waiting! You were supposed to call, or Text, or do something two hours ago! Get over to the Food Court… I am sitting beside the Fireplace and the Fire is burning… you will see it. I WANT YOU HERE IN FIVE MINUTES – I MEAN NOW!”

Snap the phone clapped shut and her foot was moving – the way that most mom’s feet move when they are signalling that some one in deep trouble.

Probably no more than one minute the daughter arrived. About 12 or 13 she stopped by her mom’s comfy chair and said “Hi…”

Mom went into the Mad Mom Trip… for a few minutes telling the same story over again… two hours waiting…. Yadda yadda yadda…

Then Mom snapped… “I have to get another coffee – stay with my jacket… and book…”

The daughter plopped down in the chair and flipped her new phone open… and began punching the mini keyboard that had popped out of the side of the phone. It had beeped just as mom was giving her the scolding and when mom walked away she immediately flipped it open to begin answering the beep.

This girl was a Texter! Whoah. I had traveled to this Oldies Watering Hole.. with hopes of finding one or two… and maybe being able to get a look at some wild creature Texting… now one was sitting within one foot of me and rapidly tapping out a message…

If I would have known the key board a little better I could have “read what she was typing…” I should have paid better attention in High School typing class!

As I looked closely at my new neighbour sitting in the close by comfy chair… I looked past here just another 5 feet… and there was a whole group of the Young Creatures… all sitting at one table… with heads down. It kind of looked like the old days when people prayed over their food. But they never stopped praying… they were Texting someone on their new cell phones!

It was Boxing Day… one day after a complete shut down of shopping… and house arrest by teenagers… in that they likely had spent the WHOLE DAY with OLD PEOPLE! And now they were out… and Texting wildly.

One table in the other direction was priceless to watch.

On one side there sat three girls on two chairs… and the other were two boys. Not quite old enough to be allowed to date yet – they could meet their friends at the Mall. All had on the cool clothes – all new stuff. But no one was looking at anyone’s new clothes… they were all looking at their new cell phones and Texting rapidly… with thumbs flying over the mini keyboards…

What happened next was too odd for words… but let me try.

Now one was saying anything… then one of the girls picked up a French fry and threw it at the guy across the table… and yelled “You PIG!”

He honestly did not say one word! He had sent a Text to her across the table….! No kidding only two feet away and they were using their Texting to Talk!

The young dude dodged the French Fry and kept Texting… thinking I am sure that his opponent will have to answer a Text Message and not retrieve another French Fry… to toss! IT WAS THE CLASSIC TEXT MESSAGE DIVERSION TACTIC AT ITS BEST! So cool! This kid was a classic at what he was doing! Talk about good.

Table after table was loaded with Text Messaging Teens… the TMT of the Mall.

Then I looked up and there were hundreds of others walking by – not seated and but with heads down in the prayer like fashion… with thumbs working wildly again… and walking!

The entire Mall was text messaging someone somewhere at the same time!

When I tried to call the Other Oldie – my wife… by dialling her cell phone…to tell her the coffee was hot and ready… the phone had acted weird… as if there was no signal… and THERE WAS NO ROOM ON THE AIR WAVES IN THAT MALL… because the Mall Air was filled with radio air waves… cancer causing… cell splitting micro waves that were slicing through my old body… at a million miles a nano second!

And I was worried that my Oldie would spend too much money in the Sale at that Store… or if the coffee would get cold!

In Africa and its Watering Holes… the animals communicate with sounds… that warn each other that something bigger than you is quite near and if you don’t watch out it might eat you.

In the Mall the Cell Phone Texting machine does a similar service…
“OMG I hv to go… my mthr is scmg on the phn @ me..gta go cya”

I got my story and also the photos that you see!

I am convinced that you can shoot their photo and they will never know…even when they are looking right at the camera… their brains are being fried one little cell at a time with the mini-micro waves that fly through the air.

I am going to start a petition at the Mall Food Court that simple will get the Mall to act on it… to make the Food Court a Cell Phone Free – Text Message Free zone on the days that Oldies go there to water at the Tim Hortons Watering Hole!!!!!

I mean… we Oldies don’t need another problem… with cancer causing air waves that fire through the air and our bodies! We are already constipated enough… limp a little and are losing our eye sight and hearing… the Good Lord knows that our old bodies can’t take that kind of shock to the system – so should the Mall Management!

At one table next to where we sat to eat ….was a roundly type Grandmother that had all her grandkids with her… all five. They were from University age to middle high school. She had taken them to the Mall to buy each one their after Christmas Gifts.

They came to the table one at a time to sit with her.

“Thanks Grandma… “I got you Text Message when I was in Old Navy.” The other grandson stated… “I got her message when I was in Sears..”

This COOL GRANNY… a genuine Oldie… had simply plopped down with her Tim Hortons Coffee and called in her Grandkids with Texting!

Some Grandmas are cool because they make great Chocolate Chip cookies… this one uses Text Messaging.

Sheesh – do I ever have to catch up! My Cell Phone plan has Text Messaging as well… it is just that I don’t have a fancy phone with that Teeny Weeny Keyboard… and I hate making a sepliing mistke!

~ Murray Lincoln ~

Saturday, December 26, 2009

“My Christopher” – the heart of a boy that loves giving

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Today's Blog Post

“My Christopher” – the heart of a boy that loves giving

Christopher isn’t my son – but he is one of “my boys”. His full name is Christopher Murray Rourke. And yes the middle name is given because of me. How could you not love a guy that bears your own name!!?

Christopher is 8 years old now. And at this magical age he has caught the idea of giving. This year he did everything possible to participate in his family’s Christmas celebration. The following is a snap shot of his story. What a delight – a wonderful delight to see him grow!

The setting…
It is Christmas 2009. We have all just completed a troubling year with loses in income and sometimes even loses of jobs – with not income at all. Then add to that the family and kids keep growing – stretching budgets and making the pay checks look rather slim at times.

Christopher is the fourth son of Bill and Anda Rourke. His mom Anda is our daughter. He lives with his family in Whitby. Ontario. His older brothers are Jonathan, Thomas and Michael.

This year as everyone was getting ready for Christmas things have been a little tight. How do I know… well Dads and Grandpas simply know everything.

Yesterday we gathered at the Rourke’s place in Whitby to open the presents together.

I played Santa – passing out the gifts…
As I pulled the gifts from the pile under the little Christmas Tree I came to a long skinny present that was addressed to Jonathan from Christopher. What do you suppose an 8 year old would give his oldest brother – when the 8 year old didn’t have a budget to shop and in fact couldn’t’ and didn’t go shopping?

As Jonathan unwrapped the 8 year olds wrapping job.. he discovered a small baseball bat that was Christopher’s favourite. He gave it to Jonathan.

As the pile of gifts went down Christopher waited so he could make sure that each one had something from him. There at the bottom of the pile of gifts he had placed a special box that he keeps his special things in. It is an old heavy duty shoe box that contains his test papers, drawings from school and all the things that are just too much for the front of the refrigerator.

As I lifted it Christopher came over and fetched the box from me… plopped down on the couch and carefully opened it as we all watched. Then he began to dig for the special gifts he had made and tucked in among his treasured school drawings.

One question for you to consider is… “Do you have any idea how hard it is for an 8 year old to hide his gifts so no one can see them… in a house filled with 3 older brothers… that sometimes tease you… and also in a house that is extremely busy?”

He beamed as he lifted one section of treasures and pulled out a new drawing for his brother Michael. I think it was a drawing of a “Transformer” – a modern day robot that the boys know well. “This one is for you Michael… and this one is for you Thomas… I drew them for you!” he said with a twinkle in his eye and a big grin.

Then he dug a little deeper… looking further below more papers… for one special gift… and there it was… (I gulp a little here because I want to cry… sheesh!)

Then came his card to Dad and Mom…
It reads… with translation…
“Have a Holly Jolly Christmas and I hope we ‘share’(chrie) and make this the best Christmas ever – to Mom and Dad”

The best Christmas ever! You better believe it Christopher…!

He dug deeper and we all waited… then he found what he was after… a beautiful, bright hand drawn picture for mom (- shown above).

The words read with translation…
“My Manchann (Mansion)… "Mom" - "Me” – and in the centre of the drawing is the featured bright red, Mansion that Christopher envisions for his family.

Anda beamed as her son gave her his treasure. “I love you Mom!” was his simple statement.

Then Anda turned over the picture to where Christopher had written these words… and she began to cry… ( I gulp again… sheesh!)

The words read with translation…
“if you whatnt to now why I am droring the piksher is why this is when I whant to move to a difrint Houes. A manchan I now it’s to eckspesev I just thank it will be so fun!”

“If you want to know why I am drawing the picture… because I want to move to a different house… a Mansion… I know it’s too expensive… I just think it will be so much fun!”

Anda tried to read all the words… but couldn’t and held the paper to her face sobbing… her little boy had touched her heart deeply.

The town house Bill and Anda own was once bigger… but with four growing boys… it has shrunk. Add hockey bags and a house full of boys stuff… it has become far too small.

Over this past year a neighbour broke into their home and stole many things from them. He used a key that his wife had been trusted with and entered often.

It was Christopher’s friend’s daddy that did the crime. He broke into at least four other houses on their court.

At times the house feels violated and the boys wonder why.

The daddy from next door had come in and opened Thomas’ special box… opened the second box inside of that one… then a third box that was tucked tightly inside of that one… to steal Thomas’s birthday money.

Christopher has tried to process all this the same as his brothers and… well… they don’t live in a ‘Manchann’ – but will some day… when Christopher gets his wish fulfilled.

His Dad has plans… and if Grandpa wins the lottery… FOR SURE IT WILL HAPPEN!

Christopher loves to give. And this year he wanted it to the best Christmas ever!

We played games together. We laughed long and loud. We had a ball… and Grandpa was in the middle of it all.

Someday in the future these boys will be men… and maybe reading this with their own families. I want them to know how proud this Grandpa was of them. And Christopher… THIS WAS THE BEST CHRISTMAS EVER!

Sheesh… I have to go blow my nose… and wipe my eyes… oh boy!

~ Murray Lincoln ~

Christmas at Whitby with the Rourkes
Notice first Thomas - the Guy that really cares... he sat with Great Grandma and put his arm around her...

Great Grandma Lincoln with Great Grandsons

now add the Crazy Faces - even Great Grandma did it

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas - Please Remember!

Misty Hollow Carving
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Today’s Blog Post
Merry Christmas - Please Remember

Today is special for our family. It always has been. Today we celebrate with family. And I hope we never lose this special part.

We are off to Whitby Ontario shortly... after this post is done. Gotta get going – there are four grandsons waiting for us to open their Christmas gifts. And they are excited o say the least.

But today I am feeling the weight of family loss.

Last night we delivered some Christmas Gifts to some families on our street. One door we knocked on was hard for me.

The dad answered the door and I passed him the special gift we had for them… and wished him our blessings for this season. He thanked me deeply.

As I walked from the home I couldn’t help think deeply… and sadly… but with much appreciation for this family.

This past year their son died in Afghanistan because of a Bomb at the side of the road. The home is still displaying the Canadian Flag and also one for the “Support Our Troops” message. The family is special in our hearts.

Yesterday they announced that another Canadian from BC died in another blast beside a road. This Christmas morning it will terrible for that family wherever they are.

I do wish you a Merry Christmas but as I do… I ask you to pray for our Troops today – so far away. And most of all pray for their families that wait one long day after another… these are our secondary heroes! And I thank God for all of them!

~ Murray Lincoln ~

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Wisdom Club Christmas Party - WOW

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Today's Blog Post

The Wisdom Club Christmas Party - WOW

Each morning at about 8 AM the Wisdom Club meets for coffee. There is about 7 or 8 people that sit around the table and enjoy each other’s company. The title of Wisdom Club is well earned. But the group is larger than these folks – much larger!

These folk that pause each morning for time together are from many different backgrounds. In the world they came from many would have never have met the others. But at this table in and in this place they have one purpose – fitness.

The Wisdom Club’s(WC) reserved table is at the Peterborough Sports and Wellness Centre – which is part of the City’ recreation programming. Each morning its members have come to the gigantic complex to exercise and swim their way into some better form of fitness.

They also share their analysis of anything political or odd in our community or Canada or the World or the Universe. This group is not afraid to hit on any topic. Kind of like ‘freewheeling’ of sorts… they deal with everything that might be happening at the time of any particular conversation.

President Obama or Prime Minister Harper are not out of range of discussion. The WC has dealt with these guys from time to time too.

A few of the WC live for a period of time each winter under President Obama’s jurisdiction… so they are entitled to opinions I guess.

To say the least their chatter and discussion is stimulating.

There is a serious side as well. One morning I was deeply moved by the evidence of their generosity. Through the WC connections it was discovered that two grandson’s, of one lady that comes to the Wellness Centre, were in Afghanistan serving with the Canadian Military. The lady shared how her grandsons really didn’t need anything for themselves… but would love to get something for the children that they interact with in their area of the country.

The WC heard the story and responded by taking up an immediate collection. Everyone chipped in something… and total that day came up to $80. Margaret took the money to a dollar store and bought a huge amount of things for the children of Afghanistan.

Margaret told me that Canada Post ships things going to our troops for FREE! The shipping heads off to the Trenton CFB just south of us. From there the Military transports the goods to their troops overseas.

The box of goodies was shipped the day before and within the WC there was great happiness that morning!

I was welcomed into the WC some time last month. If my personal exercise program fits into the schedule I join them for the banter. It has been a delight.

Introducing this nefarious group to you happens just after their annual ‘Christmas Do’ where they bring or buy things to munch on together AFTER the exercise sessions.

Oh it was good! Mmm Mmm!

I compliment the WC and its very low key affect on so many people at the Recreation centre. Together with the staff that works there… it becomes like family… and it is great to be a part of.

So three cheers for my friends at the WC! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of them!

The photos below show some of the WC Christmas celebration!

~ Murray Lincoln ~

As you can see - some are more wise than others as the knowledge shines through!

Finally I offer this special set of rules for you to consider…
Christmas Cookie Rules...
1. If you eat a Christmas cookie fresh out of the oven, it has no calories because everyone knows that the first cookie is the test and thus calorie free..

2. If you drink a diet soda after eating your second cookie, it also has no calories because the diet soda cancels out the cookie calories.

3. If a friend comes over while you're making your Christmas cookies and needs to sample, you must sample with your friend. Because your friend's first cookie is calorie free, (rule #1) yours is also. It would be rude to let your friend sample alone and, being the friend that you are, that makes your cookie calorie free.

4. Any cookie calories consumed while walking around will fall to your feet and eventually fall off as you move. This is due to gravity and the density of the caloric mass.

5. Any calories consumed during the frosting of the Christmas cookies will be used up because it takes many calories to lick excess frosting from a knife without cutting your tongue.

6. Cookies colored red or green have very few calories. Red ones have three and green ones have five - one calorie for each letter. Make more red ones!

7. Cookies eaten while watching "Miracle on 34th Street" have no calories because they are part of the entertainment package and not part of one's personal fuel.

8. As always, cookie pieces contain no calories because the process of breaking causes calorie leakage.

9. Any cookies consumed from someone else's plate have no calories since the calories rightfully belong to the other person and will cling to their plate.
We all know how calories like to CLING!

10. Any cookies consumed while feeling stressed have no calories because cookies used for medicinal purposes NEVER have calories. It's a rule!

So, go out and enjoy those Christmas Cookies - we only get them this time of year!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

God’s Angels Answer…The Mom’s Story

Misty Hollow Carving
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Today’s Blog Post

God’s Angels Answer…The Mom’s Story

I didn’t write the following. I have no idea who did... but I thank them for sharing the story with us. My friend Jeff P. forwarded it as an email for this Christmas. It has again reminded me what Christmas is about. I wonder where I could put some of my time, resources and ability into this year coming?

The Mom’s Story
In September 1960, I woke up one morning with six hungry babies and just 75 cents in my pocket.

Their father was gone.

The boys ranged from three months to seven years; their sister was two.

Their Dad had never been much more than a presence they feared.

Whenever they heard his tires crunch on the gravel driveway they would scramble to hide under their beds.

He did manage to leave $15 a week to buy groceries.

Now that he had decided to leave, there would be no more beatings, but no food either.

If there was a welfare system in effect in southern Indiana at that time, I certainly knew nothing about it.

I scrubbed the kids until they looked brand new and then put on my best homemade dress, loaded them into the rusty old 51 Chevy and drove off to find a job.

The seven of us went to every factory, store and restaurant in our small town.

No luck.

The kids stayed crammed into the car and tried to be quiet while I tried to convince who ever would listen that I was willing to learn or do anything. I had to have a job.

Still no luck. The last place we went to, just a few miles out of town, was an old Root Beer Barrel drive-in t hat had been converted to a truck stop.

It was called the Big Wheel.

An old lady named Granny owned the place and she peeked out of the window from time to time at all those kids.

She needed someone on the graveyard shift, 11 at night until seven in the morning.

She paid 65 cents an hour, and I could start that night.

I raced home and called the teenager down the street that baby-sat for people.

I bargained with her to come and sleep on my sofa for a dollar a night.

She could arrive with her pyjamas on and the kids would already be asleep

This seemed like a good arrangement to her, so we made a deal.

That night when the little ones and I knelt to say our prayers, we all thanked God for finding Mommy a job. And so I started at the Big Wheel.

When I got home in the mornings I woke the baby-sitter up and sent her home with one dollar of my tip money-- fully half of what I averaged every night.

As the weeks went by, heating bills added a strain to my meagre wage.

The tires on the old Chevy had the consistency of penny balloons and began to leak. I had to fill them with air on the way to work and again every morning before I could go home.

One bleak fall morning, I dragged myself to the car to go home and found four tires in the back seat. New tires!

There was no note, no nothing, just those beautiful brand new tires.

Had angels taken up residence in Indiana ? I wondered.

I made a deal with the local service station.

In exchange for his mounting the new tires, I would clean up his office.

I remember it took me a lot longer to scrub his floor than it did for him to do the tires.

I was now working six nights instead of five and it still wasn't enough.

Christmas was coming and I knew there would be no money for toys for the kids.

I found a can of red paint and started repairing and painting some old toys. Then I hid them in the basement so there would be something for Santa to deliver on Christmas morning.

Clothes were a worry too. I was sewing patches on top of patches on the boys pants and soon they would be too far gone to repair.

On Christmas Eve the usual customers were drinking coffee in the Big Wheel. There were the truckers, Les, Frank, and Jim, and a state trooper named Joe.

A few musicians were hanging around after a gig at the Legion and were dropping nickels in the pinball machine.

The regulars all just sat around and talked through the wee hours of the morning and then left to get home before the sun came up.

When it was time for me to go home at seven o'clock on Christmas morning, to my amazement, my old battered Chevy was filled full to the top with boxes of all shapes and sizes.

I quickly opened the driver's side door, crawled inside and kneeled in the front facing the back seat.

Reaching back, I pulled off the lid of the top box.

Inside was whole case of little blue jeans, sizes 2-10!

I looked inside another box: It was full of shirts to go with the jeans.

Then I peeked inside some of the other boxes. There was candy and nuts and bananas and bags of groceries. There was an enormous ham for baking, and canned vegetables and potatoes.

There was pudding and Jell-O and cookies, pie filling and flour. There was whole bag of laundry supplies and cleaning items.

And there were five toy trucks and one beautiful little doll.

As I drove back through empty streets as the sun slowly rose on the most amazing Christmas Day of my life, I was sobbing with gratitude.

And I will never forget the joy on the faces of my little ones that precious morning.

Yes, there were angels in Indiana that long-ago December. And they all hung out at the Big Wheel truck stop....

THE POWER OF PRAYER. I believe that God only gives three answers to prayer:
1. 'Yes!'
2. 'Not yet.'
3. 'I have something better in mind.'

(Thanks Jeff… I needed that)

~ Murray Lincoln ~

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

It’s Only A Matter of Time

Misty Hollow Carving
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Today's Blog Post

It’s Only A Matter of Time
One of my friends asked me, “Where do you get the time to do the Blog – actually two, and a Web Page? Why bother? I couldn’t be bothered to do what you do!”

The man that made the comment is very busy in his retirement. I suppose. He putters around doing odd jobs and he complains of his busy-ness all the time.

I tried to explain that many people are reading what I write and present all the time. It is fun to do and to have so many people read what is printed is complete satisfaction. To be a sometime resource or at least point someone to a resource is deeply satisfying as well. Then from time to time to lift someone’s spirit by an off the wall reflection on something is what it is all about… helping another person.

My friend and I are a complete contrast to each other.

He was involved in one small part of a large company where he faithfully did his small part for 35 years. All of his work was important, don’t get me wrong, but it was fairly narrow as he worked with a product and interacted with few people.

To the opposite extreme my roles in the businesses that I was involved in was all about people. I interacted with them, encouraged them and sometimes taught them. The subject matter ranged from simple Christianity(when there is nothing simple about it) to complex relational solutions to disastrous human bonding (marriage). I would walk into situations where threats were bouncing around the room and lives were close to being destroyed. My work was people.

So I can understand his consternation when he looks at my output and reaching out to the world out there.

Looking at Blogging? Go for IT!
Some examples of this Blog’s recent post. Yesterday…about Goo. A ‘40 something’ business man came over for a short lesson on Wii-ing after reading the Blog. Okay it wasn’t his sole purpose for coming over – but for a short few minutes we “Wii-ed” together and laughed a lot. I think he may buy himself some(more) Wii this Christmas.

From yesterday’s post I received a message from my Aunt Annie who is 92. She lives in a senior’s home in Alberta and reads the Blog each day. She has also started blogging on her own.

She wrote that her senior’s home has Wii also… in her words… "Hi Murray, your aunt Annie just read your blog about the Wii game, well we have that games here in the lodge on our large TV screen, I have played games on it but there must have or are different games… I did golf, bowling, & a few others but not Goo, bye for now love from aunt Annie"

Aunt Annie didn’t email me she sent it via “Facebook”. She is the “coolest senior” I know. And if there is anyone that I would love to emulate in Spirit when I am 92 – it is Annie! “You go girl!”

The Blog today is running between 75 to 85 people per day with a total of 28,828 pages having been read (at this moment) in the course of 520 posts over 18 months. And the hits come from every corner of the earth… every major religion area and cultural center.

And that is without any promotion. Go figure! It happens on the content I am sure – wide and great variety…off the wall and down right insane… and just plain fun! Like the World of Goo… which in its own way has brought new people looking for info about Goo!

Looking at a Web Page or a Business? Go for IT!
I have written about this part of my life before. The Web Page has done things that I never expected to do – EVER! I first considered it as a possible good thing to tell people about my carving… and do a show case thing. Kind of like an online catalogue of sorts.

The initial start was simple… and the numbers were low. Then they started to climb. The stair steps reached were in the hits per month… 161, then 800, the a little over 1000, then up to 3500 a month. Last June 2009 it jumped up to 8500 in one month and stayed that way until September. I wondered about it going higher… if it would… and it did… In October it went over 12,000 per month and didn’t stop. November’s total was 14,820!!!!!

Yesterday was a banner day in another way. An email arrived as a result of the Web Page… with queries about what I do… asking what the costs would be for a certain carving that was shown.

My heart jumped – “WOW! Maybe I would get another order for this kind of carving” I thought to myself.

An email back with an answer produced an immediate reply asking if I would be interested in doing 12 carvings at about $175 USD each. They would be one of kind – kind of like what I do on my Web Page… with no rush to get them done.

The writer is from California and was just wondering… on the side… if I would be available or interested in traveling to California to teach some classes in Wood Carving?

I replied trying to type in a cool way… not showing that my hands were shaking and that I was shouting loudly for my wife to come and read the email!

I clicked on ‘send’ and off my reply went into Cyberspace.

Within one hour another email came from the “*** Art Center Education” Director that she had just received my email – that was passed on to her… very interested and would I be interested in becoming Wood Carving instructor… but concerned that the travel to that area might not make it worthwhile financially for me from Canada.

I decided to sleep on it…. and toss and turn a little more before answering it. Should I or shouldn’t I consider California… from cold Ontario… hmmm???

Does a Web Page work? Is it worth the effort? I kind of think so… whew!

In these economically challenged times – it was kind of dumb to start a new Business. At least one of my ‘friends’ told me what they honestly thought. But I had just been laid off and had to do something at 64 years old.

There was a gut feeling that was growing steadily… “It’s only a matter of time.”

I looked at Moses… who was 40 when he committed the crime or murder… then ran away… waited until he was 80… before being called to do the next thing… then for 40 more years he did things that no one else had ever done.

“It’s only a matter of time…! Then something will happen.”

There is one other thing that another older person shared with me that is super important, “You need to believe in what you are doing… then do it like no one else would or could do it!”
And finally... from my own Dad… “Don’t be afraid to try something new!”

Finally my one super important secret… “Celebrate even the smallest Victory! It is your party – go for it!”
~ Murray Lincoln ~

Monday, December 21, 2009

The World of Goo

Misty Hollow Carving
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Today's Blog Post

The World of Goo
The discovery of the “World of Goo” came by way of my daughter. She had played it with her kids and then talked about it to others. Excitement caught on. She tried to buy it in the different Game Stores in our area until she happened to talk to a young gamester that knows all things in the hidden world of gaming – where most adults never go. Only young kids and teens know this stuff.

My reason for writing about the World of Goo is to let the adult population know about what they might be missing.

I asked another ‘Grandpa Aged’ man if he had a Wii Game. He looked at me like I was nuts and then answered… “Some of our games are small – but I am not sure they are wee? My wife looks after the games that are stacked in the closet and when the grand kids come over she gets them out. I am too busy to play games.”

I wanted to shout, “Come on dude… is your brain dead? Don’t you like to do stuff with your grand kids? Or will you wait until it is too late and then you will be considered too old to do anything like that? I bet you are already too old… right?”

But I didn’t say anything. The poor Old Geezer at 55 years old was already a dinosaur in his kids mind. Sad.

Well we have a Wii Gaming Unit and it is lots of fun. To watch the kids play when they come over is a delight. To see their amazing speed is something else. To see what they know and the fact that I have no clue what to do at times – is humbling to say the least.

Now I admit that Wii is one dickens more fun than Cribbage. That is an understatement. Wii can get your heart rate to rocket as you try to do the next level… often a danger for old geezers in that they hold their breath too long trying to do one intricate move or stage.

Well the World of Goo is the best ever! You need to try it. In fact I would like to hold a World of Goo party for the Old Geezers I know… to let them feel young again.

No it is not about something you put on your face… or clean your hands with. It is about Goo… stuff that sticks to itself and other things. It is about rescue and building stuff and help little blobs of Goo find away out of the danger.

Sheesh – how do I get this across to Old Geezers??!

First you need to understand Wii.

Wii is a small white box that connects to your TV. The small white box has a slot where you slip in a Game CD that will be read by the Wii. In your hand you hold a wireless controller that is something like a larger chocolate bar (that should get a few Old Geezers interested).

Now as the game begins it has a way of allowing the Hand Held Controller to communicate wireless with it through the space in front of your TV. Certain buttons on the Wii allow you to perform certain functions in the game.

In place of the hand held controller you can also connect a special exercise mat, or dance mat or … but that is for another lesson…

Now with the World of Goo you need to download it from the internet.

The Wii game unit is able to connect to the wireless connection that you may have in your house – or some one else’s place. From there it can connect to the special shopping channels that are available where you can use your Wii points to buy stuff.

You have to go back to a store to buy a Wii Points Card – 2000 points for $19.95… and then with the help of the code on the back of the card you make a deposit of Wii Points on to your account that is connected with you Wii Gaming Unit.

I know that sounds complicated. But if you have a 10 year old grand child they will know what to do. Just ask them to slow down to ‘Old Geezer Speed’ to let you catch the drift. In fact they will likely have it all done before you are able to get back from the toilet (needed because of the great excitement that you have experienced up to this point).

Look for the World of Goo on the shopping channel.. then with your points you can download the game… and away you go.

With the hand held controller you need to pick up the Balls of Goo, build a structure or bridge to another area… then connect the dots… to let the Goo that is isolated be rescued.

The best I can explain it for the Old Geezers reading this… is that it is a little like doing the plumbing in your house long ago. You connect the one area – which may be the bathroom – to the water outside the house and then turn on the water to let it all flow.

Goo is kind of like that except that it doesn’t always stay connected and sometimes breaks.

Yes I played it – a lot – and late one night until I could catch on to what was happening. I needed to be up to speed when the grandkids came over.

The ultimate moment or high came when my grandson came in and said, “Wow grandpa you got further than I did. We only had the demo that wouldn’t let you get that far!”

Then I replied, “Would you like me to show you how this level is done?”

He responded, “No, it looks like one of the other levels that I tried.” And then he proceeded to connect and move and build and balance and clip on to and pile up all the Goo Balls he needed to blow away that level.

Sheesh – how did he do it that fast!?

After he left I tried again… and again… and again. Yikes too many agains.

The next morning when I woke up at 6 AM I could still see Goo Balls kind of moving around in my mind – or was it on the wall? Too much World of Goo! But was it ever fun to do. I feel young again… totally young again.

So the plans for the future…? I am going to organize a Goo Party at my friend’s home. He cannot get out as much as others and I know he loves to play games as well. He is capable Old Geezer that might just love to do something like Wii.

It is easy to do. I simply unplug… wrap up the wires and grab the hand held controllers… and in a few minutes we can set up at his house.

We can play the World of Goo, go bowling, shoot snooker, do a race, Wake Board, fly an airplane and shoot targets…etc

I will call ahead to the ambulance if need be. Active participation may over load a few Old Geezer’s hearts… and we need to be careful.

Hey – do you Wii? No, no NOT WEE! But rather Wii?

~ Murray Lincoln ~

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Christmas Story 2009

Misty Hollow Carving
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Today’s Blog Post

The Christmas Story 2009
It has been our family tradition for many years to settle beside our Christmas Tree, just before opening gifts, and pause to remember why we celebrate Christmas. We do this by reading the Christmas Story form the Bible.

Usually we open to the account given in the Account Presented by Luke – the Gospel Writer.

We sit and listen to the reader tell the story in Luke’s words of that long ago happening for a small family of Joseph and Mary, then adding Jesus to their lives. It tells of the taxation and the call for all the Bethlehem people to return to their village of origin and be recorded in the census being taken.

It is murder for the kids to sit that long and listen when the gifts under the tree are keeping their complete attention. Talk about torture.

This year was not different – last night as we celebrated our first Christmas of 2009. Five days from now we will do it again with another part of our family.

This year was different in that I asked everyone in the living room around our tree to tell the story with me. Each person told a little bit of the story and then stopped for the next person to share their part. Not rehearsed and not planned nor practiced. It was perfect.

When someone jumped in with their part and made a mistake Emma, our 10 year old granddaughter, spoke up saying, “No it was this way…. I know because I studied this part in Sunday School just last Sunday!”

Instead of a drawn out and long reading of a story that almost all have memorized we shared together and LOVED IT! We all participated.

I shared with our family the facts that Father Ted Hughes shared at a Chaplaincy Banquet a few weeks ago. Father Ted is a Catholic Priest that is a great speaker and someone that engages you totally. Dynamic.

Father Ted told of his visit to the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem in recent years. He shared how over the years that most of the Christian artifacts and sites had been razed by the Non Christian invaders.

When one of the invading groups entered the Nativity Scene they saw the large paintings on the wall of the Wise Men coming on their camels to the nativity scene. The invaders decided not to destroy this site because the Wise Men were dressed in the clothes of the Persians – where they had come from to bring gifts to Baby Jesus – the ‘Born New King’. The invaders recognized the clothing and reasoned that the site must be a shrine or holy site from their part of the world – so they didn’t destroy it.

This small testimony by Father Ted a few weeks ago – grabbed our attention last evening as we considered the fact that the small Holy Site that still draws people today – over 2000 years later – did the same for our family again.

If you haven’t had your grandkids tell you what you know… you should try it some time.

Last evening a special treat happened again. Great Grandma Lincoln, Marion Nellie Kirkpatrick Lincoln sat with her son and his wife, her granddaughter and her husband and her two great grandkids to open presents one more time.

For Marion Nellie Kirkpatrick it started 88 Christmases ago. Then when she was in her early 20s she married and the Christmas came to her home. I have celebrated with her many years – and this was my 65 th Christmas. It was great to be with her again – and to have her with us now.

Last night I enjoyed the Christmas story like never before!

~ Murray Lincoln ~

Saturday, December 19, 2009

First Christmas About to Begin

Misty Hollow Carving
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My Web Site is a like a Gallery – please drop in for a stroll through.

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Today’s Blog Post
First Christmas About to Begin

Today we begin our Christmas celebration with our first Family Christmas. Next week we will have our second Family Christmas. I love Christmas!

The Turkey just went in and the smell coming from the kitchen is unbelievable. We will dine big time tonight.

Then next week the same thing a few more times.

It seems that the most important part is watching what you eat not just between Christmas and New Years – but between New Years and Christmas. Then the short week between the big holidays won’t matter so much.

But how I love Egg Nog and Short Bread Cookies! And Christmas Cake and Sweet Potatoes with brown sugar on top and turnips with butter and brown sugar and mashed potatoes with parmesan cheese worked into them… and…

Just now I watched the chef on TV make a Shrimp slightly salted and drizzled with Dark Chocolate sauce. Oh Boy!

Presents are wrapped and now we are waiting on our kids to come. What a blessing this is!

May God bless you with a rich anointing of his love this season!

~ Murray Lincoln ~

Zafra's Shrimp and Plantains with Chipotle-Chocolate Sauce
See Ingredients at...
MMM! Mmm!
Peel and de-vein the shrimp leaving on the tails, and set aside.
Cut the vanilla beans into 1-inch pieces with a knife, and then chop to a fine bread crumb texture in a small food processor or spice grinder, about 1 tablespoon.
Set aside.Cut off the brown ends of the plantains and slit the skin lengthwise from end to end along its ridges, preferably with a table knife.
With your fingertips, work off the skin.
Slice crosswise into 1/4-inch rounds or at an angle.
Heat the vegetable oil over moderate heat in a medium-sized, heavy-bottomed saucepan or deep skillet until barely rippling (about 350 degrees).
Fry the plantain rounds until golden, for about 1 to 2 minutes.
Remove from the skillet and place on paper towels to drain.
Keep in a warm place.
Place the tomatoes and chiles in a blender or food processor and process to a fine puree.
Heat the olive oil in a 9-inch skillet or medium saucepan over medium heat until it ripples.
Stir in the puree and salt.
Saute stirring occasionally for approximately 20 minutes or until the sauce thickens and the oil starts to separate from the solids and begins to fry again.
Stir in the onions, the ground vanilla, the vanilla extract, the optional sugar, and the dark chocolate, and cook until the chocolate dissolves, about 3 minutes, while stirring.
Add the shrimp and the plantains and cook for 3 more minutes.
Serve immediately with white rice or Moors and Christians rice.
This recipe yields 6 to 8 servings.


Friday, December 18, 2009

Even Our Polar Bears are Shivering

Misty Hollow Carving
This BLOG is sponsored by “Misty Hollow Carving”. You are welcome to visit Misty Hollow and see all of my carvings.

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Today’s Blog Post
Even Our Polar Bears are Shivering

I have watched this Summit on Climate Change taking place in Copenhagen – what a joke! It is one big circus of wannabe environmentalist that try hard to get their two minutes of fame.

The biggest joke is that they are trying to guilt Canadians to death. Pointing at us and saying that we are at fault and that our Alberta Tar Sands oil extraction is at fault. The Second Biggest joke being told around the world is that we should do something about it or else the world will tip over and we all will die.

This conference is doing many things that we cannot see.

In the shots you will see crowds of people milling around outside of venues. You will see the TV cameras shooting scenes of angry protestors in the streets of Copenhagen – doing what protestors do best – get their photos taken…mess with police and try to act like idiots.

In Canada in the middle of the almost coldest winter that is recorded – try to tell good Canadians that there is climate change happening. We all know that it is a lie from the stupid people of the world that claim to know everything.

Canadians already have all that Copenhagen has happening now. We have a weekly dose of TV Cameras catching fights regularly on our TV sets. It is called HOCKEY… and there are lots of fights… the whole action takes place on ice. And at this time in our calendar year we can freeze our behinds off when we travel from hockey rink to the car on a cold night.

Some people mill around the venues outside as well because they are hanging around for a smoke – more than 27 meters from the entrance. The “smoking” that they do is called a “health break” at our Government Conferences – the ones that I attend at least. The fact that they exhale a substantial volume of smoke with one small cigarette is of little concern. For Canadians that don’t smoke it is a relief to see smoke coming from these addicted ones… it means that no one around them will have to perform CPR – they haven’t frozen to death!

Now to a delicate subject that will possibly bring down the wrath of animal lovers and tree huggers that will flame this Blog… the Polar Bears. Those poor darling Polar Bears that adorn our Twoonie ($2 Coin) in Canada.

As the Copenhagen conference opened a film about the Poor Polar Bears was released showing the poor thing floating on an ice pan… stranded miles from a shore and the safety of a Zoo. OMG the whole world gasped at the fate the poor little fella… all alone without a mommy to tuck him into bed… and the inference was that there was no supper for the loveable creature.

You dirty rotten Canadians are killing your northern pets!

Some dumb film maker didn’t tell the whole truth. The Polar Bear is covered with a hair that no other bear has. Each shaft of hair is hollow and is filled with air. The bear is covered with his own floatation device that will keep him floating forever… and the silly thing is warm – no matter how cold it is. EVERY CANADIAN KNOWS THAT! SHEESH!

But what about the ice flow and the Polar Bear being all alone?

DUH. Every Canadian knows that if you don’t want a Polar Bear in your camp sight you throw out some meat somewhere else to get him to go there. The camera man was guided there by some good old Canadian that knows about Bears and they put the meat down for the Polar Bear to climb up on the ice flow. The bear needed to eat… in fact he never stops eating… and was probably ready to eat the stupid environmentalist if the good old boy hadn’t lead the Polar Bear out to the ice flow.

And it was probably a Newfoundlander that was the good old boy that knew about the Bears and their habits. The stupid environmentalist had killed their sealing industry – now they came to do the same to the Polar Bears.

The Newfie was laughing on the inside actually. He knows that the Seal won’t eat an environmentalist… but a Polar Bear loves the fat of these city dudes.

Do you think that the poor old Polar Bear is basking on that Ice Flow now? NO DUMMY it is winter time! And when you show this Poor Old Bear film in the cold winter time… Canadians know you are nuts – and must be lying!

Now I am a Canadian that has traveled a fair bit. I am from Saskatchewan and like old Saskatchewanians we do one of two things when it is cold... we stay inside – or go to some where it is warm! DUH!

(It is too cold there to go outside and when environmentalists come along we give them a camera and let the idiot try to find a shivering Polar Bear – outside!)

In Kenya in 2007 I nearly died from a lack of oxygen. It seems that the Doctor that saw me gasping for breath in his office that one fateful day thought I might have COPD. For nearly two weeks I had traveled with the local people, walked their streets in Nairobi and did things that they do. Along with that I had breathed all their richly soaked in diesel fumes air. We couldn’t read the license plates on the vehicles in front of us because of the crap that was coming out of the exhaust pipes. 99% of the cars were polluting the air with filthy fumes!

I lived in Hong Kong for five years and breathed all that diesel laden air 24 hours a day. I was a human air filter as their “no standard” air control was in full affect – just like Kenya!

But you don’t dare pick on these ‘developing countries’ – where would you go for a holiday!!?

It makes more sense to pick on Canada and its lack of care for its poor old Polar Bears.

The real problem with air quality is the Spanish people in North America… with the volume of beans that they eat.. their gaseous output is voluminous! Every Saskatchewanian knows that – we have gone to Mexico and eaten beans!

“Come on… Murray… aren’t you a little concerned about environmental things? What about your great grandkids and what they will breath?”

Yep I am concerned just like everyone else. But I am also just plain frustrated when idiots blame us for what we haven’t done.

I want the truth to come out – not the Bull that helps raise more money for Crowds to fly to Copenhagen… and pay them all the time they are there! I MEAN I COULDN’T Pay for a ticket and don’t get paid to mill around and get in trouble with the Police of Denmark.

When you add up the fuel that was burned to get all those people milling around in Copenhagen – THEY ARE THE POLUTERS! NOT CANADIANS. We knew enough to stay inside and keep warm.

And idea just popped into my Canadian thinking. The next Summit on Climate Change should be held in Winnipeg, Manitoba at the corner of “Portage and Main”; or in Wawa, White River or a remote village along the Hudson Bay in Ontario.

If they did that… I can accurately predict that NO ONE WOULD BE MILLING AROUND OUTSIDE.

How stupid do these idiots think Canadians are? We would arrange for Polar Bears to mill around outside until the FAT ENVIRONMENTALIST came out.

~ Murray Lincoln ~