birthday family

It’s My Sister’s Birthday

Happy Birthday Jackie! Just like that, “voila!” she’s 21!

It’s my sister, Jacqueline’s birthday today. I was going to call her, but I realized that she wasn’t going to be home so instead I just sent her and email and dedicated this post to her. That’s right Jack, this is all for you. So what I’m going to do is list some of the things I like about you, Jackie, and some of the things I don’t like.

Things I like about growing up with my kid-sister Jackie:

  • She’s always been a easy scapegoat, it’s her own fault really.
  • that time she stole a pack of hubba bubba and shared with everyone
  • all the my little ponies that she had for targets for my GI Joe
  • never complaining to mom and dad all the times that Gary and I tied her up with ropes just for the fun of it.
  • never asking me to give you my Christmas spending money so you could buy a present for me and then turn around and buy headphones for yourself.
  • also never whining about not wanting to go on the Dumbo ride at Disneyland and then monopolizing the controls.
  • someone to talk to through the vents in my ceiling.
  • always being a good sport about all the nick names you’ve been given over the years.
  • bringing over friends…(don’t ask why)
  • hmmm, I guess that’s about it.

Things I dislike about growning up with my kid-sister Jackie:

  • that time she squirted ketchup on me just to prove that she would.
  • that time she borrowed risk for her boyfriend and never returned it (still)
  • all the times that she decided she would like to play monopoly but then either quit 10 minutes into it or the equivilent by just letting us roll for her.
  • telling me that you love me when you know I am angry at you and then saying that you only said you love me to impress people at church.

You Know You’re Trailer Trash When Joke

Conspiracy theories aside, here is an email I got today. I realize it’s just a silly forward, but it made me laugh.


  1. The Halloween pumpkin on your porch has more teeth than your spouse.
  2. You let your twelve-year-old daughter smoke at the dinner table in front of her kids.
  3. You’ve been married three times and still have the same in-laws.
  4. You think a woman who is “out of your league” bowls on a different night.
  5. Jack Daniels makes your list of “most admired people.”
  6. You wonder how service stations keep their restrooms so clean.
  7. Someone in your family died right after saying: “Hey watch this.”
  8. You think Dom Perignon is a Mafia leader.
  9. Your wife’s hairdo was once ruined by a ceiling fan.
  10. Your junior prom had a daycare.
  11. You think the last words of the Star Spangled Banner are: “Gentlemen, start your engines.”
  12. You lit a match in the bathroom and your house exploded right off its wheels.
  13. The bluebook value of your truck goes up and down, depending on how much gas is in it.
  14. You have to go outside to get something from the fridge.
  15. One of your kids was born on a pool table.
  16. You need one more hole punched in your card to get a freebie at the House of Tattoos.
  17. You can’t get married to your sweetheart because there’s a law against it.
  18. You think “loaded dishwasher” means your wife is drunk.
  19. Your toilet paper has page numbers on it.
  20. Your front porch collapses and kills more than five dogs.

Gas Conspiracy Update

The conspiracy continues. My gas tank is still three quarters full but gas dropped to 25.4 cents yesterday. On top of that Safeway gives 3.5 cents off per litre so all I can say is at least I’m happy that I don’t have to wait in line for cheap gas.


Gas Conspiracy

I think there is a conspiracy going on in Lethbridge. Actually I think it’s all across Southern Alberta. Every time my gas tank is full, the gas stations drop their prices. When it comes time for me to buy — they jack them up like crazy. It’s as if they actually know when I need gas and change their prices just to screw me over.

By the way, it’s Kyoto, not Keyoto. The interesting thing about Kyoto is that, from the sounds of it, you might think it’s a small town or even a medium sized city. This, however, is not the case. Kyoto is in fact a major metropolis. An easy way to remember how to spell Kyoto is to just switch the letters of Tokyo around. Kyoto means number two and I guess that was the deal — Tokyo is number one, Kyoto well it’s number two because it’s just a rearrangement of letters. Also interesting about Kyoto, I think that they sure produce a lot of poisonous gases themselves to be bossing everyone around. But thanks to Kyoto, we now have the Kyoto Accord and now everybody’s got to reduce their emissions. I wish the kid next to me in this computer lab would reduce his emissions. That’s all for me.


CBC Radio

Nothing funny or amusing to report today. So instead of a funny or even slightly amusing story, I’ll relate the lame pun I heard on CBC Radio last night while driving home to lethbridge:

“[With increasing threats from George W. to Saddam Hussien Canada is left between Iraq and a hard place.]”

Yuk. Yuck.

life technology

My New Computer

Since I can’t think of anything better to post, I’ve decided to write about my new computer. I purchased a 19 inch monitor but had to take it back. The picture on it was compressed at the top. I got a new monitor — same model (NEC AccuSync 95f) and it has the same problem. Since I live in Lethbridge and the computer store is closed for Canadian Thanksgiving, I’ve decided to let my parents take it back and I will get a new one in Lethbridge.

Update: I wish I would have written the specs — I can hardly remember but I think this had a 1.2mhz AMD processor with 2GB of RAM.


Trip to Israel Day 10

Today, the first thing we visited was the Western Wall (known more commonly as the Wailing Wall). Next we visited the Temple mount and saw the Dome of the Rock (the Islamic shrine at the centre of the Al-Aqsa mosque compound). We also stopped in at the church of the holy sepulcher. I didn’t really like that place with all its gold and jewelry ornaments everywhere.

On our way through the old city where walked into a wide area, that seemed a lot to resemble a parkade, but instead of parking spaces it had very large rocks for the flooring, and there was a Russian immigrant playing her violin. It was probably the most beautiful sounding violin that I have ever heard. I asked her to play “Jerusalem of Gold” and she did. The sound of her violin echoed of the old rocks of the area, while a bright stream of sunlight flooded in. I really enjoyed it.

The city of Bethlehem has been closed for the last week due to civil unrest, but it was opened to tourists this morning so hopefully we will be able to go there this afternoon.

We stopped at the mall for lunch. After I finished eating, I took a look at some of the computer stores. The prices seemed either the same, or slightly higher.

The next place we visited was the city of Bethlehem. We visited the Church of the Nativity, (where Jesus was born).

We went to a wood carving shop in Bethlehem and saw how they make some of the olive wood carvings. I wanted to take a piece of olive wood for my dad, so I asked how much it would cost. When he told me $25 dollars, I told him that for a piece of wood that was too much. He said, “well, I could make a $100 item out of that wood, but I will give it to you.”

Next, we went to some shepherds fields and saw the very place where the construction of new Jewish homes had caused so much protesting by Arabs. There were military check-points, but no one was there protesting.

Ruth Tollestrup read from the book of Ruth in the bible, and I enjoyed the time I spent there. Someone found a turtle and I thought that it was cool.

Later that night, we stopped in David and Goliath country. We stopped at the same river where David picked up his five smooth stones. Ami set a rock up on a tree and asked us to see who could throw another rock and knock it down. I was the first person to knock it down (and with my first throw).Some U.N. observers stopped and came over and talked with us.

On our way back we passed the place called Bet Shamesh, the place where Delilah had men cut off Samson’s hair.

We went back to the hotel and after supper some people went to Ben Yahuda street for shopping. I was sick of shopping so I just went to sleep early.


Trip to Israel Journal Entry Day 9

We are driving on the East side of the Sea of Galilee and the city of Tiberius can be seen in the distance looking down over the large body of water.

We are getting out of the bus to see the Jordan River.

We are now travelling in one of the most notoriously dangerous places in Israel, the west bank. Despite the image that the media puts on this place, it does not seem very dangerous at all. To our left is Jordan and on our right are some refugee camps, but almost half the people on the bus are sleeping. (Apparently they are not worried about the “danger”).

There are several anit-terrorist protections that Israel has. They have a mine field, a touch sensitive fence (if anyone touches the fence soldiers will come to investigate), a dirt road that is smoothed so that if anyone crosses it, their footprints will be left behind, and bunkers located all along the border with soldiers that keep watch 24 hours a day.

Jerrico, a city over 9000 years old is just over these mountains (hills). The children of Israel circled around Jerrico 13 times. Six times in the first six days and seven times on the Seventh Day.

We stopped at Jerrico for lunch, some people rode camels here, and then we headed back to the Concord Hotel for some sleep. It felt good to get some sleep after a long day of touring. Later that night we went to the Old City and Ben Yahuda street for some shopping and some well appreciated McDonalds’ fries.

When we got back some of the girls in our group wanted to do laundry but none of them had a bath tub in their room, so I told them they could use ours.


Trip to Israel Journal Entry Day 8

Today we visited the Mt. of Beatitudes where Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount (St. Matthew 5,6, and 7).  Together we read through Matthew 5 and compared it to the things Jesus taught in 3 Nephi chapter 12.  After we read and talked we sat for a moment in silene, to reflect upon the things we had seen and felt.  I didn’t really want to leave that place but we had other places to see.

We are now looking at the Jordan River.  It is not very wide but looks very pretty.

Now we are driving through a mine field.  When Syria had control of the Golam Heights they planted mines and did not map them.  It is against International law not to map mine fields.

I just discovered that the film in my camera was not advancing so I lost a full role of pictures.

We stopped in Qazrin for a quick break and then off for some of St. Peter’s fish.

When I first saw the fish, I was quite surprised.  We were told that it was some of the best fish in the world, but some of the people insisted that it didn’t matter how good the fish was, they just didn’t like fish.  Dave told the people that didn’t like it, he would buy them something else.  Well, I don’t think that anyone who got the fish was disappointed.  It looked like fish, including fins, gills, and its head.  Despite the strange fully formed appearance of the fish, it sure tasted great!

After supper, we took a boat ride across the Sea of Galilee. The Galilee area is beautiful and the cool breeze made the ride an even more wonderful experience.  We stopped and read some scriptures in St. Matthew 14. I really enjoyed the peaceful feeling.  Looking out over the Sea of Galilee, you knew without a doubt that Jesus really was there and that he did walk on the water, and that this was the place that it happened. I imagined Peter stepping out onto the water, and Jesus stretching out his hand and catching him. I will always remember that day.

The next place we visited was a kibbutz to see what the life was like there. A kibbutz is a small colony of people that live without income, but have everything they need provided for them.  It seemed a lot like the Hutterites there, but they had some major differences which might make life there more enjoyable.

The most amazing thing happened there.  I was feeling kind-of down and out, and we walked into the kibbutz gymnasium.  When it came down to a game of 5-5 I was sure to get on the old guys team (Phill Tollestrup, Jack Hicken, Dave Clark, and Bruce) because I’ve learned that the young team will hardly ever win, especially when it’s half court. I had a really good time playing with those guys. The rest of our group cheered us on from the stands. It really cheered me up. Even Phill Tollestrup told me he was pretty impressed. He said I could have easily played for his team in Magrath.

Later that night, some of the kids went swimming in the Sea of Galilee. Jesse slipped on the rocks and got his shirt a little wet and slimy, but he was ok and we all laughed, but felt bad for him. The water was pretty cold at first, but we all got used to it very quickly.

I love it here in the Galilee area.  We had a little bit of rain here, but it was so soft and didn’t last very long. It’s too bad we are leaving so soon, but that’s the way it has to be.


Trip to Israel Journal Entry Day 7

This morning I went to have a shower but the boiler was off and the water was freezing.

Last night, after supper I went for a walk with Julie Whitehead. She found out about the trip one day while buying shoes at Doug’s sports and came home with a trip to Israel. She also told me about her missionary boyfriend whom she is actually waiting for. He is coming home soon and she is very excited for his return. She is 22 and her missionary is the same age.

We are heading toward the place where Jesus was transfigured—Mt. Tavor. On top of the mountain I can already see the church of transfiguration. Mt. Tavor is a very round mountain with trees and a small village on its side. Buses cannot travel up the mountain, so we must take a taxi to the top.

The top of Mt. Tavor was beautiful. The church there was very nice and I enjoyed the short time we had to spend there. Today I decided to wear shorts, so did Jamie Clark. But when we reached the top we discovered that you were not allowed to wear shorts on the church grounds. Luckily I brought jeans to change into if I got cold. (I just put them over my shorts). Jamie had to wrap a coat around her legs.

We are now on our way to Nazareth. We are going to Mary’s Well, (the place where the angel Gabriel announced the birth of the savior to Mary). Nazareth is a good example of a town where Jews and Arabs live together. About 25 000 Jews live along with 40 000 Arabs in Nazareth.

Nazareth was Jesus’s childhood home, where he studied and worked. While we were there, we saw a rock quarry, the place believed to be where Jesus was threatened to be stoned. We read Luke 4:16-30. After that we sang the first verse to the song, “I Wonder When He Comes Again”.

Nazareth has been inhabited since biblical times, although no mention is made of it in the Old Testament. Its history was marked by successive cycles of destruction and renewal, and Christian residence in the town was prohibited following its devastation at the hands of Sultan Beibars in 1263 until the 17th century.

We just visited Mary’s Well. It probably was the true place, but I didn’t really find it that exciting. There is a giant church (300 years old) built over a Crusader church (1200 years old) built over a Bezenien church (1600 years old).

At the bottom of a small walkway is a tiny well with running water. There were many people chanting/singing and they poured water from the spring on their faces and heads.

We are just leaving Nazareth. There are lots of very expensive houses that Arabs live in. Some of the homes are not finished yet. People here will start a building (for example; if a young couple has enough for a foundation, that’s all they’ll build) and finish it later when they have the money. In the mean time, they will live at a relatives house.

We just drove by the place where Jesus was invited to a wedding and they ran out of wine, so He turned water into wine.

We visited St. Peters home and read St. Mark 5:23-43 and saw an old synagogue built on top of a church from Jesus’s time. The scriptures mention this church.

We are now on our way to Tiberius. On the way we passed some “rock rabbits” and mango trees that live in this very green area. The Galilee area is very beautiful. Ami told us that almost (if not all) plants will grow here. (I think he was referring to fruit bearing plants). Tiberius is a winter and summer resort. We are going to stop in the center of Tiberius where we are going to be able to see most of the town. We are going to an outlet to shop “till we drop” (We are going for an hour and a half, and I’m already ready to drop).

I am now very worn out from shopping. I bought a panoramic photo of the view of the Old City of Jerusalem and a postcard with Albert Einstein on it.

We are now on our way back to the hotel. Supper will be at 6:45pm as usual. Tonight there will be a disco dance (although I doubt it will really be a “disco” dance).1

  1. I think that the English term for dance used to be disco and it probably just stuck. I found the same thing in Japan.[]