This is a very major musical day for Beth and me! First of all, I'm playing with the handbell choir at Somerset First Presbyterian Church as we offer the prelude, a beautiful arrangement of "Untitled Hymn (Come to Jesus)." Then we both have our regular musical "duties" during the worship service, and then head quickly back to Richmond to prepare for the 3 p.m. "Concert in the Key of C," a benefit for the St. Andrews Retirement Community (seeking donations to purchase "C"-curity Cameras for the Telford Terrace nursing home). Beth is playing piano and organ selections, and I am the master of ceremonies for the whole event. Of very special note -- haha -- for each of the selections for the Concert, I am wearing a different tie, coordinated with the music! Finally, at 6 p.m., I have my weekly visit with the residents of Telford Terrace where I retell Bible stories and sing several hymns. Truly "My Life Flows On In Endless Song."
Sunday, September 24, 2017
Thursday, September 21, 2017
Every year, 21 September is the International Day of Peace, sponsored by the United Nations. Elephants are fairly peaceful animals, but my tie primarily honors Elephant Appreciation Day tomorrow. And tomorrow is also Hobbit Day, celebrated on the birthday of both Bilbo and Frodo Baggins. Frodo's friend Samwise Gamgee was very excited to see some "Oliphaunts" on their travels near Ithilien, during Middle Earth's Third Age.
Wednesday, September 20, 2017
I'm wearing a computer tie today to honor the 63rd anniversary of the first FORTRAN program. If you remember computer punch cards, you may also recall creating nested DO loops, calling subroutines, and declaring INTEGER variables. The word FORTRAN came from "formula translation" because the language was designed to process mathematical and statistical formulas. I learned to program with FORTRAN for the IBM 1130 at Houghton College, around 1972-73. Today I was surprised to learn that FORTRAN is still in use, although it has been superseded by other programming languages like C++, SQL and Python.
Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Most landlubbers dasn't care one wee bit, but today is (again) International Talk Like a Pirate Day. It was invented in 1995 and gained popularity as an "international" celebration in 2002. Why is the pirate's flag known as "Jolly Roger"? The best answer seems to be "no one knows." Many different designs were used, but the skull-and-crossbones design has become the most familiar.
Monday, September 18, 2017
Celebrating the 158th anniversary of the declaration of Norton I as Emperor of the United States. On 17 September 1859, Joshua Abraham Norton, of San Francisco, declared himself Emperor. As related by Wikipedia, "Although he had no political power, and his influence extended only so far as he was humored by those around him, [Norton] was treated deferentially in San Francisco, and currency issued in his name was honored in the establishments he frequented. Though some considered him insane or eccentric, citizens of San Francisco celebrated his regal presence and his proclamations, such as his order that the United States Congress be dissolved by force and his numerous decrees calling for a bridge crossing and a tunnel to be built under San Francisco Bay." Joshua Norton died in 1880 and his grave bears the inscription "Norton I, Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico." My tie featuring the NORTON name is entirely appropriate for this occasion.
Sunday, September 17, 2017
Thursday, September 14, 2017
Tomorrow, 15 September, is Guatemala's Independence Day. I have two personal connections to Guatemala: (1) I have two neckties handmade by "Lily" in Guatemala, purchased through Fair Trade, and (2) our son Ben spent 2-3 weeks in 2008 in the city of Antigua, video-documenting the work of short-term youth teams under the direction of Mission Discovery.