It’s been about two months since I last posted an “Odds & Ends” article. Since then, I’ve accumulated several ideas that are not quite post-worthy by themselves. So, without any further ado, let’s clear the deck:
Christian bookstore closes
Alpha and Omega Christian Bookstore was a staple on Rochester’s eastside for a half-century. I bought two Catholic bibles there while I was still a Roman Catholic, which was the start of a journey towards salvation in Jesus Christ. After I was saved, I continued to frequent the store. They had some good, solid materials back in the day. Alpha and Omega moved from Penfield’s Four Corners to a nearby strip mall at some point and I visited less and less. The books on display increasingly tended toward TBN prosperity junk written by such authors as Meyer, Osteen, Jakes, and Prince. I noticed the store had closed during the pandemic lockdown and I’m ambivalent about that. A&O has another location on the westside of town, but it’s not clear at this point if that store will survive, either.
Remember the milkman? You might if you’re in your late 50s or older. Back in the 1960s, the Genesee Valley Dairy milkman used to make home deliveries in our neighborhood in his red and beige truck. He would open the two-way cubbie built into the side of every house, take the used bottles, and replace them with two bottles of fresh, cold milk. The milk had cream at the top, which disgusted me. That was before homogenization. I hated it when little chunks of slightly yellowish cream were floating around in my bowl of Cheerios. I picked them out with my spoon with great revulsion. The milkman packed his bottles in ice on the truck to keep the milk cold. When we kids were playing in the street during the summer heat, we would often ask the milkman for chunks of ice to suck on. Milk truck ice was almost as good as ice cream from Skippy! The homes in my current neighborhood were built in the 1950s and many still have the milk cubbies like the one in this photo.
Sword of the Lord
The first church my wife and I attended after being saved was an Independent Fundamental Baptist (IFB) church and the “Sword of the Lord” bi-weekly newspaper was the national communication organ for a large portion of the IFB movement. I was a subscriber for several years. I’ve been doing a lot of reading and posting about the IFB movement lately, so that prompted me to resubscribe to the “Sword.” Neither the IFB movement or the “Sword” are what they used to be. Most evangelical Christians (including myself) would find IFB churches to be too legalistic and the newspaper has only about one-quarter of the subscribers that it did in its heyday. However, the “Sword” still has a lot of very good, inspirational information. I just need to chew on the meat and spit out the bones.
Chromebook vs. Windows Laptop
My wife and I aren’t very tech savvy, so we rely on our oldest son, Joe, to help us with tech essentials. When our old, bulky laptop was starting to fail a couple of years ago, our son steered us toward a Chromebook. It was much cheaper than a laptop and our son thought we didn’t need all of the Microsoft Windows software bells and whistles. Well, I didn’t like the pared down Chromebook and stuck with my work laptop, which ran Microsoft Word and Excel. When I was laid off at the end of September, I had to give up my work laptop. I initially did my job search using the PCs at our local library because our jalopy Windows 7 PC in our basement doesn’t have Microsoft Word or Excel, which I needed for my job search. But doing job search at the library was VERY tough. Our son then loaned me one of his Windows laptops and that was a HUGE help. Yay! However, when the COVID-19 pandemic quarantine hit, our son asked for the laptop back because one of our grandchildren needed it for schoolwork. Ach. How was I going to get by without Microsoft Word and Excel? I thought about buying the Microsoft Office software suite for the jalopy PC, but found out the current version’s not compatible with Windows 7. I could have upgraded the jalopy PC to Windows 10, but for the total price of all the software I would have been better off just buying a new laptop. Grr! In desperation I dug up the Chromebook and began experimenting. Ahh! I discovered that Google Docs and Google Sheets worked just fine for my needs. I now love the lightweight Chromebook. The only two negatives are the lack of a “Delete” key and the lack of good picture editing software like Microsoft Paint and Adobe Photoshop. No big deal. When I need to edit a picture for the blog, I use the jalopy PC, which does have Microsoft Paint and also has Gimp, a free Photoshop alternative.
Flavor of Poland
I stumbled across the “Flavor of Poland” PBS television series several weeks ago. Each week, hostess, Aleksandra August, takes the viewer to different Polish city or town and highlights a traditional Polish dish. Find the show’s website here.
I no longer have a lot of hair on the top of my head, but I still need a haircut every month or so. During the prolonged lockdown I was desperate and used my battery-powered beard trimmer clippers to give myself a haircut. It actually turned out very well. Sorry, Sports Clips. I found out I won’t be needing your services after you reopen.
A few weeks ago, my wife and I began listening to Martyn Lloyd-Jones’ sermon series on the Book of Romans and I thought it might be helpful for her to see the 3-DVD documentary package, “Logic On Fire: The Life and Legacy of Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones,” which I had watched and reviewed three years ago (see here). My wife enjoyed it greatly and I was blessed by watching it again. The documentary is available from Amazon as either the DVD package or by streaming.
Chris Hillman Book
Mark your calendars! Chris Hillman has written an autobiography that’s due out September 15th. Hillman was one of the original members of the legendary Byrds from 1965 to 1968, co-founded the Flying Burrito Brothers (1968-1972), and was the leader of the Desert Rose Band (1985-1994). Hillman doesn’t get proper credit for his pioneering role in the creation of country rock.
San Diego Padres 2020?
The San Diego Padres are suppose to return to their original 1969 team colors this season, but fans may not get to see them. MLB is still trying to figure out how to have a shortened season in the midst of the lingering pandemic quasi-quarantine, with club owners and the players’ union still at odds. Two-and-a-half months of the season are already gone.