Friday, October 30, 2009
My schedule, for those of you who are interested, is as follows:
Nov. 1, 11 AM, Presbyterian Church of Mt. Washington, Pittsburgh
Nov. 8, 11:15 AM, Tunnelton Presbyterian Church
Nov. 15, 11 AM, United Presbyterian Church of Freeport
Nov. 22, 11 AM, United Presbyterian Church of New Kensington
Nov. 29, 9:30 AM, Jacksonville Presbyterian Church, Kent; and 11:15 AM, Ebenezer Presbyterian Church, Lewisville
I think this will also be a lifetime record for me, as I don't believe that I have ever preached for six different congregations within a single month.
In honor of this record, I updated the firmware on my nüvi (well, that's something I have to do about monthly anyhow because of changes to the GPS satellites) and I went to the Garmin Garage to download a new vehicle avatar: Giddyup. Now I can feel just like a circuit rider during November.
Friday, October 09, 2009
I thought the city was very attractive, and I am looking forward to when the PCUSA General Assembly meets there in 2010.
I had researched how to get to from the light rail stop at Nicollet Mall to my hotel. Google Street View helped me orient myself in advance, so that I would recognize what landmarks I would see — as long as I was going in the proper direction. But I chose to use Nicollet Mall as the route to get close to my hotel; Nicollet Mall is a pedestrian mall, so unfortunately the Google Street View vehicles have not captured images of what a beautiful street it is.
Of course, I had to stop at the Mary Tyler Moore statue in front of the Macy's at the corner with 7th Street. It's not that I was a big fan of the show, but while the show was in its first run, it was one that I watched, largely because I didn't have cable.
There are lots of larger statues in downtown Minneapolis, and I really appreciated the art being made available to the public everywhere I went.
On Sunday morning I took a walk early to get breakfast and a cup of coffee. While I was walking down 6th St., I saw flashing lights like an emergency vehicle slowly approaching me in the distance. As they got closer I saw that they were three police motorcycles followed by a crowd of something that seemed to be moving low and close to the ground. Then I saw that what was following the police were a group of people in racing wheelchairs. A bystander explained to me that this was the Wheeler division in the Twin Cities Marathon. I saw about 20 participants in this division, and was very impressed.
On Monday I was warned traffic for a football game that day might complicate my trip back to the airport. Everywhere I went that afternoon I was seeing Vikings jerseys and cheesehead hats. This Minneapolis camoflage would not work in Pittsburgh.
Monday afternoon I also hung out a bit at the PCUSA Polity Conference and caught up with a number of old friends. No General Assembly event would be complete without seeing the Stated Clerk Gradye Parsons and Moderator Bruce Reyes-Chow, two cool people.
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
There are things one notices while spending a weekend with a group of people who care intently about choosing the correct word for the purpose. Keith Geckeler pointed this sign out to me on the way to lunch on Saturday.
A parking garage would be "vacant" when it is empty. It would have a "vacancy" when it still has a free space for a car. It would be "full" when there is no more room for any cars to park.
Someone may have saved a letter by not spelling out "VACANCY", but this sign saying that no one is parking in the garage might not encourage a customer considering using it. It might be nice to know there is room, but does one want to be the only or very first customer of the day? (Do the locals know something about why no one else is using the garage?)
On the other hand, the "occupied/vacant" distinction on an airplane restroom door makes a lot of sense. I would not be sure what to do if a sign in that setting said "VACANCY", suggesting that there might be room for more people inside.