22 June 2017

God's Word for Thursday, 6/22/17

God guards you from every evil, he guards your very life. He guards you when you leave and when you return, he guards you now, he guards you always.

Psalm 121:7-8 MSG

21 June 2017

The Joy of Home Repairs

The previous owners of our home had obviously become aware of a significant dip in the kitchen floor (2nd floor of the house), and put a 6" x 6" wooden post under the beam which runs across the garage.

Unfortunately, they didn't get it quite vertical. So ... after 13 months in the house, it had begun to delaminate.

But I digress.

We discovered a stain on the ceiling of the family room (1st floor), and determined that a waste line which runs above that ceiling was leaking. Only a little, but still a leak.

So I contacted the home warranty company, which we've kept paid-up, and reported the leak.

To keep the story from meandering, let's just say that the plumber they sent knew how to fix a leak, but didn't know how to locate it.

So he cut holes in the second floor walls: behind the washing machine, behind the refrigerator, under the kitchen sink ... and managed to cut the 240-volt power line to the dryer.

And then, only when he couldn't find a source of the leak on the 2nd floor, went downstairs to cut a hole in the ceiling. Whereupon said Nimrod the Plumber discovered a cracked joint in the waste line.

Which meant that all the holes upstairs were completely unnecessary.

Meanwhile, we had engaged our own contractor to fix the column in the garage.


The leak was fixed, an electrician came bright and early this morning to repair the power to the dryer. And the contractor we hired is downstairs, fastening the new, truly vertical column to the beam, which has already removed the slight dip in the kitchen floor.

He also put metal louvers over the soffits, to replace the light steel mesh which was allowing squirrels into the attic above the 3rd floor ... but that's another story.

So the dryer works, the 2nd floor no longer sags, and the drywaller will be here next week to patch the holes made by Nimrod. (What? Yes, I could repair the holes. But the home warranty's plumber made them, so I shouldn't have to fix his mistake.)

All you who already own homes are probably nodding and saying, "Ayup ... sounds familiar." But it's our first major repair ... and we know it won't be the last.

Orcas Fight Back

The predators are pods of killer whales chasing down the halibut and black cod caught by longline fishermen. Fishermen say the whales are becoming a common sight — and problem — in recent years, as they've gone from an occasional pest to apparently targeting the fishermen's lines.
Fishermen say they can harvest 20,000 to 30,000 pounds of halibut in a single day, only to harvest next to nothing the next when a pod of killer whales recognizes their boat. The hooks will be stripped clean, longtime Bering Sea longliner Jay Hebert said in a phone interview this week.

Click on the link to see the video and read the rest of the article.

God's Word for Wednesday, 6/21/17

You who sit down in the High God’s presence, spend the night in Shaddai’s shadow, Say this: “God, you’re my refuge. I trust in you and I’m safe!” That’s right—he rescues you from hidden traps, shields you from deadly hazards. His huge outstretched arms protect you— under them you’re perfectly safe; his arms fend off all harm. Fear nothing—not wild wolves in the night, not flying arrows in the day, Not disease that prowls through the darkness, not disaster that erupts at high noon. Even though others succumb all around, drop like flies right and left, no harm will even graze you. You’ll stand untouched, watch it all from a distance, watch the wicked turn into corpses. Yes, because God’s your refuge, the High God your very own home, Evil can’t get close to you, harm can’t get through the door. He ordered his angels to guard you wherever you go. If you stumble, they’ll catch you; their job is to keep you from falling. You’ll walk unharmed among lions and snakes, and kick young lions and serpents from the path.

Psalm 91:1 MSG

20 June 2017

Two in two days: "Really odd"

‘Really odd’: 2 fatal maulings in 2 days by Alaska black bears

A sign alerts park users that the Bird Ridge trail is closed, Monday June 19, 2017. (Marc Lester / Alaska Dispatch News)

Patrick Cooper died Sunday as the 16-year-old came down Bird Ridge near Anchorage following a mountain race, the victim of an unusual fatal attack involving a black bear.

A day later, a Pogo Mine contract employee in the Interior was killed — also by a black bear.
Experts say fatal maulings by black bears in Alaska are rare.
Until the past few days, only six deaths had been linked to black bears in 130 years, according to a biologist compiling a report on Alaska bear attacks since 1880.
The sequence of events leading to Cooper's death is unknown beyond a text message he sent to a relative, saying he was being chased by a bear as he descended after finishing the 1.5-mile juniors division course of the Robert Spurr Memorial Hill Climb.
A state park ranger shot a black bear found near Cooper's body but the animal ran off.
Little information was available Monday about the attack on the Pogo contractor that left a second contract employee injured.
If black bears are found responsible for both deaths, it represents only the second time in recent history that black bears have killed someone in Alaska.
The last was Robert Weaver, a 64-year-old Fairbanks man who died following a black bear attack at his cabin near Delta Junction in 2013.
Black bears accounted for just 10 percent of bear attacks in Alaska dating back to 1880, according to reports compiled by two biologists working separately.
"The black bear — that's really odd," said Tom Smith, an associate professor at Brigham Young University who's studied bears since he worked as a biologist at Katmai National Park in 1992.

God's Word for Tuesday, 6/20/17

Calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to saving yourself, your true self. What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you? What could you ever trade your soul for?"

Mark 8:36 MSG

19 June 2017

Black bear kills teen runner during trail race near Anchorage

A 16-year-old runner in a Bird Ridge mountain race was killed by a black bear he apparently encountered while descending the trail Sunday, Alaska State Troopers and the race director said.
A Chugach State Park ranger shot the bear in the face, but it ran away. Rangers and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game were still looking for the animal Sunday night on the slope during overlooking Turnagain Arm southeast of Anchorage.
The teenager, who has not been identified, was a participant in the juniors division of the Robert Spurr Memorial Hill Climb, said race director Brad Precosky. The close-knit Alaska mountain running community is in shock at the fatal mauling, he said.
"This is the worst thing that could happen," he said.