Friday, November 27, 2009

On a different note... Solzhenitsyn

One of the professors at school referred us students to an address given at Harvard a while back (1978). Solzhenitsyn was a Russian who lived during the Communist times, lived at a labour camp for years, and was finally exiled because of his views. I believe that he became a Christian. He died just last year.

Here's a very short version of his speech and here's the whole shebang. It's a fascinating critique of Western society, written from a Christian perspective and also from one who grew up as a Russian communist.

Thanks for the link, Brian! (In case you're reading this.)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Quick fish post...

I have to make this quick, as I really should be studying, but... the Swets took us out for some fishing on Labor Day weekend near Dan's work. We caught a lot of sunfish and I caught this nice catfish. It was maybe around 7 pounds or so?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Samuel de Champlain Fish Roll

We just got back from Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park this past Tuesday. We had a great time. Curt, Jen, Phillip, and Ruth came up for one of the weekends, and we really enjoyed our time together. There is some great snorkeling and rapids-on-an-air-mattress at the park.

And of course for any camping trip, there is the small question of fishing. It was incredible! Never have we caught so many large fish in such a short time. You will have to ask for the stories that go along with these fish some other time.

We started out fishing quite a bit on the Mattawa River just below the rapids. There we caught a number of smaller small-mouth bass. But the highlight there is a 14.5 lb catfish - 31 inches long, 18 inches in girth that I caught. No picture unfortunately, but that's the official family record for catfish to my knowledge (aside from Dad's unofficial cat in Jordan Harbour, and aside from any picture-less fish that Jer remembers catching. :) Just kidding, of course.)

After Curt, Jen, Phillip, and Ruth left, Dad, Mom, and I discovered another place, outside of the park. The location is classified... we might let you in on it for a price. :)

First of all, I caught a 3.8 lb large-mouth bass there.

Then soon after that I caught a 4.4 lb walleye! This fish actually broke the line right next to the shore, whereupon Dad jumped in and caught it with his bare hands. So the credit goes just as much to Dad as to myself. Here you can see the two fish. We let the bass go, and made a fish-fry out of the walleye (cut into pieces and fry in egg and bread crumbs).

Then on the following day, Dad caught a 1 lb largemouth, and then I caught a 5 lb largemouth! This was my biggest largemouth ever, though Jonathan still holds the (unofficial?) record for his Florida bass.

Actually, this bass has a bit of a story as well. We decided to keep it, and left it tied up on the shore. But we came to get it just before we were going to go, and a turtle had been chewing on it! :( All in all, we probably lost a pound of meat to the turtle (though the 5 lbs measurement was taken in the pre-turtle era.) We ate this one as well (deep fried with batter). Here is a picture so you can see the turtle effect a little better. (The other side was worse.)

And finally on the next day, Dad wrestled a fish out of the one location that we had been trying for a while. It was a 4.2 lb largemouth. (Dad's biggest?) We let this fish go, as (needless to say) we had just had two very big fish dinners.

I've never seen fishing like that before. Incredible, eh? Too bad Curt and Jen and Ruth and Phillip couldn't have stayed a bit longer!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Flatlands

Pictures from the "Land of the Living Sky" (Saskatchewan license plate motto).

This picture reminded me of the marshes in LOTR. Dad would probably be horrified that I'm comparing real experience to movies, but ah well. :)

This was what a good number of my pictures look like before editing. :)

The ubiquitous grain elevator, once again.

One of the river valleys. (Athabasca?)

The Trans-Canada pipeline? No, just some hay bales.

They do everything big in these provinces! This train was actually probably five times as long as what you see.

Borden Bridge.

Some Manitoba farmland. The horizon is at least 10 kilometers away! (I measured.)

Right now I'm at a Day's Inn in Portage La Prairie. Tomorrow night I'll be into Ontario. I'm thinking of sleeping in my car overnight, so you may not hear from me.

Monday, August 10, 2009

My place #2

What happens when things are forgotten in the fridge that never should have been in the fridge in the first place.

I never knew an onion could do that. Actually, I saw it starting to sprout and so I left it in the fridge.

Tomorrow morning I'm leaving for Ontario. I was going to leave tonight, but it didn't work out (too much to do). So I'm not going to stop by Calgary and am instead driving straight from here (no change in plans for Thursday, don't worry).

Friday, August 7, 2009

My place

Ah... the peaceful quiet of a bachelor's suite. No worries at all. Here's a picture of my mug (I cleaned half of it) to show you the true state of things. :)

Don't worry... it's not quite as bad as that. Two reasons - first of all, my mug is usually elsewhere when I do the dishes. And secondly, if you look carefully, I made the shadow line up with the tea/coffee stain on the mug. :)

Here's some other assorted pictures of Edmonton. This one below is my appartment (part of a four-plex) from the outside. The tree there is a half dead birch. All the birches in the area seem to have the same sort of malady.

A local jack-rabbit I saw in the park.

And a nearby retirement complex.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Record Walleye? (For the family, at least...)

Last week, one of the guys from the congregation - Jean-David Jutras - invited me to go on a fishing trip with him in Northern Alberta. We went to Calling Lake, a northern lake right beside of Grandpa's favorite fishing lake - Fawcett Lake.

I had never caught any walleye before, so Jean-David was going to show me how to catch some. And catch some we did! Here is the picture of my second walleye there. We weighed it, and it was right at 5 lbs. Unfortunately, we never got to eat it, as it bent the stringer during the day and got away. Here are two pictures of it.

Jeremy? Curt? Is this the record for walleye? We should really have a page somewhere discussing who caught what for the family records. :)

Thanks for the great trip, Jean-David!

Saturday, July 18, 2009


My latest, greatest effort at cooking... harvest casserole.

If you come over soon enough, I'll even let you have some! :) Though you better hurry, 'cause it's .....

Monday, July 13, 2009

Edmonton Fishing

Today I went fishing with Mr. Klaas VanderVeen and Rev. Pols. The fishing wasn't quite as good as the last time... but we did still make out pretty well, as you can see. These were all the fish we three kept (I didn't catch all of these.... don't worry.) Rev. Pols caught the most as well as the biggest one, which was probably about 3 pounds.

I did do pretty well though, even getting some fish on some of my biggest lures. I tried the Baramundi Mauler, Curt & Jer, but didn't get anything on that one unfortunately. :)

We also saw on the trip two bald eagle's, some loons, and a big white pelican.

Afterwards, we went over to the VanderVeen's and had a nice dinner there together (Mr. and Mrs. VanderVeen, Rev. & Mrs. Pols, and Kevin VanderVeen, a grand-son).

This picture is of the bright yellow canola fields on the way home. Beautiful!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Long Overdue Pictures #2 - The Sky... of Wisconsin, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta

About three weeks ago, I drove out to Edmonton to start an internship there with the Edmonton ORC church (a URC). I haven't taken any pictures out here yet, unfortunately, but I did take a lot of pictures on the road trip. 3500 km, in toto! I took three days to do it, which allowed for a fairly easy driving schedule (13, 9, 8 hours I believe). It was a very enjoyable trip. I listened to some music, a good number of sermons, as well as the complete audiobook of Dostoyevesky's "The Karamazov Brothers".

The main thing that impressed me on the trip was the sky. The sky is so big out here! Everything is so flat (especially in Saskatchewan) that you can see for miles and miles. That means that you can see much more of the sky than in Ontario. On my second day, I was chasing a storm for quite some time. I went right through a violent part of it, as you can see. The downpours are quite torrential (though localized).

The Trip.

Approaching a down-pour.

In the middle of the down-pour.

Saskatchewan. No trees for as far as you can see.

After a storm, #1. No set of pictures on a trip through the Prairies (aka 'Grain Basket') would be complete with a picture of the ubiquitous grain elevator).

After a storm, #2. I think this is my favourite picture.


He has made the earth by His power;
He has established the world by His wisdom,
And stretched out the heaven by His understanding.

When He utters His voice--
There is a multitude of waters in the heavens:
He causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth;
He makes lightnings for the rain;
He brings the wind out of His treasuries."

(Jeremiah 51:15-16).

Long Overdue Pictures #1 - Where I Stay in Chicago

A certain dear cousin of mine has lately been after me to update this blog. So, I have overcome my tardiness and procastinatory nature (for the present, at least), and have chosen some pictures to post. These pictures are of the Swets' house, where I stayed in Chicago. It's quite a pretty house, as you can see. The Swets have put a lot of work into it. The yard is quite large as well, and extends a long ways backwards. Very nice for studying, though I'm afraid I haven't availed myself of the backyard too often. :( I'll have to rectify that next year.

It has been very nice to stay here. The Swets are very kind & sociable, love to play games :), and always include us students (Aaron V. and myself) in the life of the household.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Pictures of Visit and Gary's Bachelor Party

These pictures are long overdue. The first shows a visit from Pastor Bouwers and Mr. Sinke. They came all the way from Jordan Station to visit me at MARS! That was very nice of them and of consistory.... a real blessing!

And this was from a while back. It's of Gary Z's Bachelor party.

Joshua Project

I came across this site the other day... it shows a map of the world where you can see the unreached people groups of the world.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Pond Hockey (or rather... Pond Shovelling)

Over the Christmas break, I visited Uncle Curt & Aunt Jane's house.   I went there right before that one big storm (when we got over 1 foot of snow).  We decided to play some pond hockey, but by the time we got the whole pond shovelled, we were just about too tired to play!  And we could only play for about 20 minutes before we had to re-shovel.  All in all, we probably did about 2-3 hours of shovelling for about 40 minutes of hockey.  :)

Here's a picture Derek took.  As you can see it was quite blizzardly!